Hyper-Specific City Guide: Your Former Bandmates Are in Town (And Some of Them Are Broke)

Here's what to do on a day out in Vancouver with your former bandmates, who have grown up into cool adults with awkwardly disparate incomes.

This is part of our Ultimate, Hyper-Specific Vancouver City Guide, featured in the May 2024 issue of Vancouver magazine. We’ve created 25 unique personas and 25 unique itineraries to match. If this to-do list for ‘former bandmates’ isn’t helpful, perhaps one of the other 24 bespoke schedules will be. Explore them all here. 

10:00 a.m. The Gang Goes to the Gallery

Pack your art-loving buds onto the Seabus for a voyage to the Polygon Gallery at the Shipyards in North Van. Admission is by donation, though your higher-income friends will find plenty to splash out on at the well-curated gift shop. The focus here is on contemporary photographers and new media—the perfect fodder for art-punk debates over lunch across the square at JamJar Canteen, where big spenders can splurge on share platters of mezze (think roasted eggplant dip and minty lebneh) and thriftier friends can tuck into a hearty, flavourful bowl of mujadara stew for under $10. 101 Carrie Cates Ct., North Vancouver, thepolygon.ca; 122-125 Victory Ship Way, North Vancouver, jamjarcanteen.ca

an angular, modern building

dishes of mezze on a table

2:00 p.m.: Record Empire

Back over to Gastown, go for an afternoon of record-store hopping, starting with Vinyl Records and its huge selection of hip hop and soul albums. Beat Street Records on Hastings is nearby—it’s been here forever, and even had a surprise visit from Ed Sheeran last year. Your buds can shop till they drop, or browse the day away: everyone wins. From there, make your way to Chinatown’s Dandelion Records, a cozy treasure trove of a shop specializing in esoteric psychedelic discs; down the street, Noize to Go Records is a haven for collectors. 44 Water St., vinylrecords.ca; 439 W Hastings St., beatstreet.ca; 180–288 E Georgia St., dandelionrecords.ca; 243 Union St., facebook.com/noizetogo

5:00 p.m.: You Can’t Live on Music Alone

The Chickadee Room might offer the best happy hour in town: your first $10 cocktail comes with two huge pieces of crispy fried chicken from Juke next door. If the gang’s still hungry, hop to Pizza Coming Soon for dinner proper—the hipster izakaya offers a wide range of dishes to please diverse palates and wallets, from gomae with sunflower seed gremolata ($6) to seafood butter yaki udon ($24). 182 Keefer St., thechickadeeroom.com; 179 E Pender St., pizzacomingsoon.com

9:00 p.m.: Bring the Earplugs

End the night by reliving your live-music glory days at either China Cloud Studios or Fortune Sound Club. One is a scrappy hidden venue on top of a T-shirt shop with low-slung sofas and an up-close-and-personal wooden stage, the other, a grimy-in-a-cool-way venue that sparkles under the disco ball; both feature up-and-coming musical talent on the reg. 524 Main St., @chinacloudstudios; 147 E Pender St., fortunesoundclub.com

a neon sign outside

More from the Ultimate, Hyper-Specific Vancouver City Guide here.