The Ultimate Vancouver Neightbourhood Gift Guide: The West End, Downtown and Yaletown

The best gifts, giftable experiences and places to eat while you shop downtown in 2021.

If you’re feeling all malled out, grab some fresh air with a stroll around downtown. From city-savvy apparel to an owl-focused tour of the great outdoors, this ’hood has the best of the concrete jungle.

READ MORE: Our Complete Vancouver Neighbourhood Gift Guide 2021

The Best Holiday Gifts in the West End, Downtown and Yaletown

Truff Hot Sauce Variety Pack

Lucifer’s House of Heat, 779 Denman St.
You’re likely either a hot sauce person or you’re not—but for those on your list who dose every dish, Lucifer’s is the go-to in Vancouver. Get schmancy with this Truff kit ($90)—there’s a hit of black or white truffle in each bottle, and varying degrees of heat. All are perfect for spicing up a slice or anything Italian.

Occupying Chinatown

Vancouver Art Gallery, 750 Hornby St.
Whether you start with a tour of the current show—Soul Power from Jan Wade—or head straight to the gift shop, you’re winning. Local artist Paul Wong’s new art book ($80) may look striking lounging on a coffee table, but crack it open and find a beautifully detailed exploration of Chinese Canadian identity—think 110 colourful images of family, food and our rapidly changing Chinatown.

12 Days of Christmas Calendar

Lush, 1020 Robson St.
If ever there was a time to soak in a bath bomb, it’s now, and Lush’s handmade version is really the gold standard. This advent calendar ($115) is full of the scents of the season—egg nog, candy cane… cinnamon roll?—in shower gels, body butter and, yes, bath bombs. 

Market Bag 

Fine Finds, 1014 Mainland St.
One of the original Yaletown go-tos, Fine Finds is loaded with local—at least 18 jewellery designers, as well as bestselling Blume teas and gorgeous Hollow Tree candles. Carry your civic pride with a neighbourhood-branded Market tote ($45).

Agrium Hoody

Arc’teryx, 813 Burrard St.
This fresh high-performance jacket ($500) from an outdoor apparel favourite is made using a plant-based liner and a process called dope dyeing, which saturates the yarn itself with colour and results in less water waste. It’s minimum environmental impact with maximum coziness.

Super Basic Pin

Little Sister’s Book and Art Emporium, 1238 Davie St.
Little Sister’s has been an anchor for Davie Village’s queer community since 1983, and it’s a rich source for everything from LGBTQ+ reads to excellent attire and erotica—and great gifts, like these Vancouver-made, statement-making enamel pins ($20).

E-Bike Rental 

Cycle City, 646 Hornby St.
If you, like us, have been a little jealous at those powered cruisers that let you barely break a sweat climbing the Lions Gate Bridge, maybe it’s time to test the waters yourself. Rent a pair of ebikes from Cycle City ($34 for 2 hours), and you and your giftee are perfectly positioned to head straight from here to the heartbreak hill of Prospect Point in Stanley Park.

Owl Prowl 

Stanley Park Ecology Society, 610 Pipeline Rd.
Know a seawall stroller who wants to get to know the inner sanctum of the park’s ecology a little more? The Stanley Park Ecology Society offers regular seminars each month on subjects like Things You “Otter” Know as well as BIPOC birding groups, but if walking with strangers isn’t their thing yet, you can also give a gift certificate to a more custom, private tour—or a totally virtual one, too (from $100).

Where to Eat While You Shop

Maxine’s, 1325 Burrard St.
From the gorgeous brass bar to the note-perfect rattan café chairs on the patio, the Ste. Marie-designed Maxine’s will have you swearing you’re dining somewhere on the Seine. And that alone would be enough—but the food is lovely, too. Stay on-theme and go all-in on the steak frites with perfectly peppery watercress salad, or just pop by for happy hour for a glass of rosé and some people watching on Burrard.

READ MORE: Our Vancouver Neighbourhood Gift Guide to South Granville