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South Main

House prices have declined across the city, but this neighbourhood—still trendy, still gentrifying—seems immune. And no wonder: it offers a rare mix of independent cafés, eclectic antique stores, and boutiques showcasing local designers and European labels
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House prices have declined across the city, but this neighbourhood—still trendy, still gentrifying—seems immune. And no wonder: it offers a rare mix of independent cafés, eclectic antique stores, and boutiques showcasing local designers and European labels


Eats
| Shops | Visit | Households

 

Click here or above for an interactive Google Map.

 

Eats

1. The former Aurora Bistro is now Wallflower Modern Diner, a comfortable, modern space that serves hearty breakfasts until 3 p.m., when it makes that crucial transition to classic comfort foods and cheap cocktails for dinner. 2420 Main St., 604-568-7554. Thewallflowermoderndiner.com

2. At The Cascade Room classic cocktails like the Rusty Nail and the Manhattan are elevated by fresh, top-quality ingredients and served in a stylish, blessedly unself-conscious atmosphere. On Mondays, the lounge plays host to a British pub-style quiz night. Registration opens at 6 p.m., the quiz starts at 7 p.m., and all proceeds go to charity. 2616 Main St., 604-709-8650. Thecascade.ca

3. Liberty Bakery is a pleasant, old-fashioned bakery with battered farmhouse chairs and flaky pastries, custards, and tarts. Come lunch, the lineup for its wholesome sandwiches and soups snakes up the narrow staircase. 3699 Main St., 604-709-9999

4. Gene is quintessential Main: a pie slice of a minimalist café wedged between Kingsway and Main—and packed with hipsters and their MacBooks. 2404 Main St., 604-568-5501 

5. Crave: Chef Wayne Martin has struck gold with his refined, satisfying plates served by friendly wait staff in an intimate room and, come summer, in the sunny back courtyard. At dinner, the steak frites with truffle-Parmesan fries is a local favourite ($24); at weekend brunch, it’s all about the buttermilk pancakes and the Bennys. 3941 Main St., 604-872-3663

6. Inspired by Lebanese roadside cafés of the 1970s, Cafe Nuba is a vintage souk-side diner complete with brick lattice, pink celluloid chairs, and old-fashioned number placards for orders. We love Najib’s special crispy cauliflower tossed with lemon and tahini. Add a deluxe pita with creamy baba, feta, and paprika chicken. Finish with a murky Turkish coffee. 146 E. Third Ave., 604-568-6727. Nuba.ca

7. The Vancouver-based mini chain JJ Bean is at its best in the hipster heart of South Main. The unique interior mixes retro midcentury mod with industrial appeal, while the menu consists of the much-loved basics: house-roasted JJ blend espresso and plump vegan muffins. People-watch to your heart’s content as the slick hoodsters come, camp out, and go. 3010 Main St., 604-879-2326. JJbeancoffee.com

 

Shops

1. Eugene Choo has long been a favourite of the fashionable for its beautifully curated collection of men and women’s clothing and accessories. Some labels are local; many are imports: look for the latest offerings from Dunderdon, and the tried-and-true sailcloth messenger bags from Red Flag. The wooden artwork and mirrors from Henderson Dry Goods are striking, too. 3683 Main St., 604-873-8874. Eugenechoo.com

2. Rags & Dishes snaps up last season’s kitchen linens, tablecloths, and throw cushions from lines like Danica and April Cornell, and sells them at deeply discounted prices. It’s the perfect place to stock up or snag a thrifty housewarming gift. 4213 Main St., 604-879-2592

3. Let’s not mince words: Vancouver Special is our newest obsession. High design (Tivoli radios, Phaidon coffee-table books, quilted Hay throws) complements affordable art like vintage posters brought over from Copenhagen and limited-edition photography. Closed Mondays. 3612 Main St., 604-568-3673. Vanspecial.com

4. Sentimental Luddites come to The Regional Assembly of Text for handprinted notecards and stationery. The writing slates are worthy of Anne Shirley. 3934 Main St., 604-877-2247. Assemblyoftext.com

5. Find vintage toys, old schoolroom maps, and furniture and art that veer toward the quirky at Baker’s Dozen Antiques. 3520 Main St., 604-879-3348

6. Stylish skin-flints come to Front and Company for well-edited consignment (see the racks of designer-label denim) and new wardrobe staples like Hue tights and Alternative Apparel tees. 3772 Main St., 604-879-8431. Frontandcompany.ca

7. Twigg&hottie: Sustainably minded Canadian designers are the focus here, and the line of organic-cotton dresses and silk Modal tunics by Vancouver’s Nicole Bridger (she developed Lululemon’s ecofriendly sib, Oqoqo) makes going green effortless. There’s also a good selection of Contexture Design’s popular wood-laminate cuffs and accessories. 3671 Main St., 604-879-8595

8. Sisters Lauren and Cara Stryer opened Vincent Park in December 2008, bringing spare modern labels like Cheap Monday and Alternative Apparel to a former antique store. Feather-light jewellery by Dogeared is a highlight. 4278 Main St., 604-879-6665. Vincentpark.ca

9. Main’s swelling population of young and oh-so-cool families stop by The Archetype. The boutique goes after small labels that offer avant but affordable prints, and the frock selection reflects this. Dads come for the denim and reworked leather jackets. For babes, the selection of edgy onesies is nothing to sniff at. 2549 Main St., 604-872-1144. Thearchetype.ca

10. Lark is a mecca for Main’s savvy dressers. Sure, the posh boutique carries lots of labels—macs by Barbour, suiting by Malene Birger, bow ties by Alexander Olch plus instruction on how to tie them—but the trendsters are drawn to the total Lark aesthetic curated by passionate staff and displayed installation-style. 2315 Main St., 604-879-5275. Lark.me

11. F as in Frank stocks vintage snapback hats, Ray-Bans, a killer Polo collection, and a sea of Levi’s cut offs. Given that the owners sort through over 100,000 pounds of clothing a day, it’s no wonder that they also wholesale their awe-inspiring “top shelf” inventory of garments to high-street retail monsters like Urban Outfitters, along with renting it out by the piece to us little guys. 2425 Main St., 604-568-5130. Fasinfrankvintage.com

12. Cathie Jung, Guinness World Record holder for smallest waist, flies to Vancouver to visit the peachy boudoir of Melanie Talkington, the corset maker and owner of Lace Embrace Atelier. Talkington recently made a splash when she created the costumes for the 2011 film Sucker Punch. 219 E. 16th Ave., 604 737-1119. Laceembrace.com

13. Main Street is home to a number of fashion-forward boutiques, many featuring local designers. The majority are clustered in the 3600 and 3700 blocks—and quality and price points vary—but it’s a great place to scout up-and-coming talent. Look for: Narcissist (Narcissist.com), Life of Riley, Hum Clothing (Humclothing.com), The Lip Lounge (Theliplounge.com), Lushuz (Lushuzboutique.wordpress.com), Umeboshi (Umeboshishoes.com), Smoking Lily (Smokinglily.com), Lazy Susan’s, G-Girl Fashion, and HP3

Visit

 21. Blim, a Chinatown arts-and-crafts collective, runs a monthly Main Street market with over 60 vendors to browse plus tunes, good eats, and plenty of artists on hand to help nurture your creativity through crafty activity. 115 E. Pender St., 604-872-8180. Blim.ca

22. Local starchitect Bing Thom’s flower-like Sunset Community Centre features a restrained West Coast palette of concrete, glass, and wood, and is topped by a dramatically curved roof. The indoor ice rink and basketball courts offer year-round fun for families. 6810 Main St., 604-718-6505. Mysunset.net

 

Households

 

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Recent Comments

Discussed

Hello
Can you pls share some information and photos of the city i am planning to visit the city in this vacation. also pls. share some place where can i visit for picnic.

regards
Neil Neilson
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by flexdevelopement on May 4 2010 at 4:22 AM

South Main is an amazing antique store just like my antiquesrepublic.com their different is my antique is related in New York, their I offer fabulous things that old yet has a good quality and nice price.

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by antique furniture on Apr 27 2010 at 7:06 AM

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by Goalranks on Apr 16 2010 at 8:46 PM
by Gd on Apr 16 2010 at 7:13 AM

It is a self sustained community. I am planning to visit Canada this summer, might as well check that place out. Thanks

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by conrad894 on Apr 14 2010 at 9:37 AM

House is one of the important investments you can have in life. If you want to own a nice house which you can call your home, you should shop around.

by Taislim on Apr 13 2010 at 12:31 AM
by turkbox on Apr 12 2010 at 2:21 PM

Wow, South Main would be a great place to visit during the summer! I'm gonna have to add it to my list of possible holiday destinations. Thanks for publishing this article. You've got a great blog here. Keep up the good work! Cheers, Brad of black wall mirror

by bradsmith on Apr 12 2010 at 4:52 AM

wow, it an luxurious and elegant image building

by sewa mobil on Mar 26 2010 at 1:11 AM

Great view, clean surroundings, very cosmopolitan, seems like a breezy environment. Based on the statistics looks like a perfect place to settle in.

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by KrisBall on Feb 26 2010 at 12:31 AM

This is a smokin awesome looking place! Its no wonder it hasn't had issues during any kind of financial recession. Hopefully I can go check this place out in person some day instead of having to use Google Maps. :)

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by zippy1 on Feb 25 2010 at 7:11 AM

The Wallflower looks like a great place. DreamMaker Spas

by tara22tara on Feb 22 2010 at 4:33 PM

I think I also want to stay here and feel the air of Europe. but I come from a very distant country Indonesian, but one day I'll travel around Europe. I Love Europa :D

by Heryrhey on Feb 22 2010 at 7:14 AM

hi guys
i think it is a beautiful and nice house
i never seen that house before
thanks

by sewa mobil on Feb 19 2010 at 7:53 PM

This picture looks like a cool place to hang out. One thing very noticeable though is that the surrounding is very clean. I don't see a single litter. I think it's a very posh area too and a good neighbourhood to raise a family.
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by warnwinch on Feb 13 2010 at 10:43 AM

This is a place anyone would like to live. I would love to go check this place out. I would love to check out the cascade room.This place is awesome .
I would like to thank you.

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by joel on Feb 11 2010 at 3:57 AM

This is a place anyone would like to live. I currently live in Orlando, Florida but I would love to go check this place out. I would love to check out the cascade room.

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by Omega-3 on Feb 11 2010 at 3:04 AM

You'll always get niche pockets of population, just like Montpellier in Cheltenham where exactly the same effect can be observed. Web Design Cheltenham

by Web Design Cheltenham on Feb 10 2010 at 7:30 AM

Vancouver is so cool. That is a most memorable building in the photo shown.
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by LinkMoney on Feb 7 2010 at 4:10 AM

This looks like a perfect place to raise a family. Although I would love to see more pictures, I think that the community is not sprawly. Everything is accessible and the best thing about it is affordability. It is like suburban meets urbanism in a laid back stylish way.

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by Scott on Feb 7 2010 at 4:05 AM

Wow! No wonder it seems immune. When the story is right and it matches peoples world view they will spend money. If you happen to match the world view of people who have lots of money, then your in the right place. jogos gratis

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by gstore on Feb 4 2010 at 8:15 PM

Great read! Hope to read more from you! :)

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by Rebels on Feb 4 2010 at 6:33 PM

It seems like the very cheap property and very expensive properties are starting to sell again but the mid range Mexico real estate is still not selling

by wmabra on Feb 4 2010 at 4:38 PM

There are always diamonds in the rough and this spot looks to be one! Every market downturn always has a good story and this is one of the bright spots. I am looking forward to visiting here. Vancouver reminds me of my home in San Diego where we are also involved in a number of aspects of the real estate market. Our niche is San Diego short sales and we find these type of stories to be a real positive the real estate market.

by Donald Hayes on Feb 4 2010 at 9:34 AM

This is a great place to go. I'm planning to visit this places coming summer. It would be great if you can post more photos of buildings around these places. :-)
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by BrettGrant on Feb 4 2010 at 1:11 AM

This is a place anyone would like to live. I currently live in Orlando, Florida but I would love to go check this place out. I would love to check out the cascade room.

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by samwalters1918 on Feb 1 2010 at 4:00 PM

This is one of the best blog posts that I have seen for real estate. Would you mind if I use the same concept for my blog postings and just adapted it to my town called Altinkum?

The market is Turkish property so it won't be in competition with your blog.

by Altinkum on Feb 1 2010 at 4:06 AM

Wow! No wonder it seems immune. When the story is right and it matches peoples world view they will spend money. If you happen to match the world view of people who have lots of money, then your in the right place. Like HIP

by redsy on Jan 25 2010 at 8:50 PM