Step away from the syrup, people! When we talk about picking up the best Vancouver souvenirs, we’re not talking about a leaf-shaped bottle of maple syrup. Seriously, it’s produced about 3,500 km from Vancouver. Nor are we talking about the vacuum-sealed package of smoked salmon you pick up at the airport. We’re talking cool gifts that are made or designed in Vancouver that you’d be tempted to buy even if they weren’t from here. And these are not just for your lucky friends and family waiting at home. You’ll also want to pick up some (or all) of these Vancouver souvenirs for yourself.
Souvenirs you can drink
It’s no secret that Vancouver’s craft beer scene is very effervescent, and while you can’t really take a filled growler over the border, you can take the refillable glass bottles home empty. We love the swing-topped one-litre versions from Brassneck Brewery. Not into beer? A bottle of Odd Society Spirit’s beautifully floral Wallflower gin is an excellent alternative, as is Liberty Distillery’s Truth Vodka, which is made from 100% organic, BC-grown wheat. And while British Columbia makes some exceptional wines, the fact is you won’t find many of them outside the province because we tend to drink everything we make! Pick up a bottle of Blue Mountain Brut, Tantalus Riesling, or Poplar Grove Syrah from the wine shop, and you’ll be toasting Vancouver when you’re back home.
Souvenirs you can brew
What makes a coffee one of the best Vancouver souvenirs? Aside from the fact that the city has an excellent local coffee scene, there are the practical details – it’s shelf-stable, light, consumable and you won’t have trouble getting it past the folks at the Customs desk. A couple of Vancouver coffee roasters to seek out include Matchstick Coffee (which is also served at Container Coffee, just off The Burrard’s lobby), and 49th Parallel Coffee Roasters.
Souvenirs with history
The City of Vancouver is only 129 years old, so you might think that finding a historical souvenir would be tough. But thanks to the Museum of Vancouver, we can now find some awesome retro souvenirs that are authentic, produced by local companies and drawing from designs in the museum’s collection. We love the Fat Boy Coffee Bar t-shirt, Cabin + Cub’s coasters, and the bus scroll pillow.
Souvenirs in leather
Two of our favourite leather accessory brands are from right here in Vancouver. It was on a trip to Toronto that we discovered Erin Templeton’s soft, slouchy leather purses upcycled from pre-loved leather clothing. So imagine our surprise when we met the lady herself tending her unassuming Chinatown shopfront! Further east, the guys behind BB Gun ply their trade, turning out solid, ageless leather bags and unisex accessories that look like they’ll last forever.
Souvenirs you can wear
It used to be that we could proudly claim that something from Vancouver-born Lululemon would make one of the best Vancouver souvenirs. But now, you’re just as likely to buy a pair of their yoga pants in SoCal as in Kitsilano. Our new pick doesn’t fall far from the tree (pose) – it’s Kit and Ace’s technical cashmere. Founded by the wife and son of Lululemon founder Chip Wilson, the company’s easy tops and wraps walk the perfect line between looking elegant and feeling like you’re wearing your pyjamas. This souvenir will have you looking good on the flight home, and really, that’s one of the best Vancouver souvenirs you can buy!
If, after all of these suggestions, you still decide to opt for the salmon and syrup combo, we have a tip for you: head to a regular, neighbourhood grocery store. You’ll find better quality at half the price. You’re welcome.READ MORE
Since 1972, runners have been dashing through the 42.2 kilometre (26.2 mile) course that makes up the BMO Vancouver Marathon. Last year, 5,000 participants ran through three parks, six beaches and 12 neighbourhoods before making it to the finish line, all while being cheered along by 100,000 spectators and excellent local bands! Along with those running the full distance, there were also another 10,000 more runners completing the half-marathon and 8K courses.
We love it when people make a fuss about The Burrard being a good value Vancouver hotel. Not because we are a budget backpacker hostel, but because we love proving that a downtown location, stylish retro-modern guestrooms, free wifi, an awesome hidden courtyard, and amenities like espresso machines in every room can be had without breaking the bank!
Being just a quick three-hour jaunt up the I-5, Vancouver sees a lot of awesome visitors from Seattle. Our two cities have this unspoken understanding, like, “Yeah, it rains here, and you’re all obsessed with coffee and technical fleece. We get it. No need for the apology.” Among our many recent Seattleite guests was Jenny Kuglin, a writer for KOMO News’ website, as well as their travel and lifestyle section, SeattleRefined.com.
March is when we start to get optimistic – winter’s about done and we can see the light (and cherry blossoms) at the end of the tunnel! This month we’re getting a dose of Warhol, the luck of the Irish, dinner with new friends, and Frank Sinatra’s getting under our skin. Here are our picks for things to do in Vancouver during March.
WARHOL: A DIFFERENT IDEA OF LOVE
Whether it’s soup cans on our sneakers or Marilyn screen-printed on your coffee mug, Andy Warhol’s iconic works have thoroughly permeated our day-to-day lives. A showing of 80 Warhol prints and paintings is the sort of blockbuster exhibit that major galleries dream about, so it blows our mind that this show, “WARHOL – A Different Idea of Love,” is being presented in a Yaletown warehouse with free admission.
March 1 – 30 (excluding Sundays), warholvancouver.com