Hyper-Specific City Guide: A Little Taste of India and Punjab Here in Vancouver

Your relatives are in town from India and they took 4,000 photos in Tofino but they're starting to feel a little homesick. Here's how to cheer everybody up.

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 ‘relatives visiting from India’ isn’t helpful, perhaps one of the other 24 bespoke schedules will be. Explore them all here. 

They’re loving the West Coast wilderness, so give ’em another dose at sprawling Pacific Spirit Park (16th Ave. and Imperial St., vancouvertrails.com), where trails crisscross under towering firs and the fresh, earthy air will keep anyone from feeling too depressed. A taste of home, though, isn’t too far away—it’s just a car ride over to Dosa Corner (6181 Fraser St., dosacorner.ca), Vanmag’s 2023 Best Indian award-winner, where crispy, chewy and fermented oversized crepes (from $12) wrap around flavourful fillings and feed the soul.

a table covered in dosas and fillings
Photo: Leila Kwok

After lunch, pop up to Punjabi Market (Main St. and 48th Ave., punjabimarket.ca), a three-block district dense in community-serving South-Asian shops, supermarkets and fashion outlets. Take a walk on a self-guided mural tour of the eight murals from South Asian artists that were added to the ’hood during the 2021 Mural Fest—Sandeep Johal’s colourful A Love Letter to Mithai makes an ideal photo-op backdrop.

a colourful mural
Photo: Rattan Prakash Singh

Nearby, scope out legendary architect Arthur Erickson’s unique Sikh Temple (8000 Ross St.). Currently home to the Khalsa Diwan Society of Vancouver, it blends West Coast modernism—boxy angles and glass galore!—with Sikh tradition.

a modern sikh temple

Experience another east-meets-west moment over dinner at Vij’s (3106 Cambie St., vijs.ca), where co-owners Vikram Vij and Meeru Dhalwala put old-school techniques to work on fresh, sustainable B.C. ingredients to create both irresistible fenugreek-cream lamb popsicles ($32) and one of the most lauded Indian restaurants in town. It’ll be good fuel for tomorrow’s whale watching expedition—time to get back to some Pacific-style adventure.

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