CityGuide: South Cambie

This neighbourhood is changing big time.

South CambieThe construction of the Skytrain’s Canada Line prior to the 2010 Winter Olympics certainly caused trouble for the independent businesses of Cambie Street, but almost a decade after the dust settled, things seem back on track. Though there’s a cluster of suburban big-box stores by the train station (like one of the only Save On Foods in town), further down the main drag you’ll find plenty of neighbourhood-y charm—mom-and-pop restaurants from all over the world, one of the city’s last video stores, a flamenco-slash-comedy bar—and, steps away, gorgeous single-family homes lining quiet, leafy streets. ShoppingHoney’s 3448 Cambie St., honeygifts.comLooking to spice things up? Honey’s is a minimalist, modern adults-only boutique with friendly, knowledgeable staff ready to answer all of your blush-inducing questions with professional ease. From bridal party gifts and vegan bondage gear to Stella McCartney lingerie, they keep things tasteful yet tantalizing. Lemonade Gluten Free Bakery 3385 Cambie St., lemonadebakery.caShop for all manner of highly enjoyable baked goods like fresh sourdough bread, decadent cinnamon danishes or toothsome salted caramel pecan tarts in chef Tracy Kadonoff’s cozy-yet-bright bakery. Everything is made in house, gluten-free and (surprisingly) delicious. Cambie Cycles 3317 Cambie St., cambiecycles.comLocally owned and operated since 1985, this little bike repair and retail spot is stocked floor to ceiling with two- and three-wheel rides—they specialize in recumbent bikes—as well as accessories and even rentals for those seawall cruises. Historic Fact/Local LingoThe Park Theatre, designed by the same architects as the iconic Vogue Theatre, was built in 1940 and still operates as a rare one-screen theatre that’s managed to stay relevant over the years. Currently, it’s focus is special screenings, like Cat on a Hot Tin Roof or the Muse: Drones World Tour concert documentary coming this summer. Sightseeing/To doTake in a show at the quaint Kino Cafe (3456 Cambie St.,, a strange but longstanding combination of stand-up comedy on Tuesdays and impressive flamenco performances Wednesday through Saturday. If you opt for the comedy show, know that more than a few famous comedians have been known to drop by unannounced. Old FavouritesPeninsula Seafood140–650 W 41st Ave.Sharing walls with the likes of designer boutiques at Oakridge Mall seems to suit Peninsula Seafood Restaurant just fine, allowing them to carve out a name for themselves in the upscale Asian dining market. Serving elevated dim sum to a discerning crowd, Peninsula also offers sushi and showstopping sashimi (especially the California lobster). Be sure to grab some sweet, pillowy-soft Peninsula buns for the road. U and I Thai 3364 Cambie St., uandithai.comFine Thai dining with influences from both the southern Thailand and the northeastern Isaan is found at this modern room filled with dark wood accents and polka-dot banquettes. Try the Isaan lettuce wrap (yom nam khao tod), a specialty of the northeastern region of Thailand, with spicy pork, fried rice balls and egg served with a sweet basil sauce, or the tiger beef salad with cucumbers and chilies.