City Gem – Vancouver, British Columbia

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Next up in this blog series is from Claudia Laroye and she is taking us to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.


I’ve lived in Vancouver, British Columbia, for twenty years, and I truly can’t imagine living anywhere else. In that time, Vancouver has grown into a hip, outdoorsy, and cosmopolitan west coast city. There is so much to love and enjoy about this vibrant and livable city, and I’m pleased to share some of my personal city gems.

Foodie Favorites


Food Truck revolution has hit Vancouver. There are more than 100+ plus delicious trucks and carts to choose from throughout downtown and local neighborhoods. We love Japadog, Tacofino and Fresh Local Wild.

Cactus Club is a successful local chain restaurant, with an eye to high quality, west coast ingredients and a menu the reflects the many ethnic cuisines of Vancouver. The Jack Daniels burger and chicken rice bowls are personal favorites. I’m also quite partial to their Kavorka martini.

Temaki Sushi is our go-to sushi house, in a city loaded with incredible sushi options. Temaki’s ebi mayo, freshly prepared sushi, and tuna sashimi are super fresh, delicious, and great value.

Family Time

vancouver_aquariumphoto courtesy of the Vancouver Aquarium

The Vancouver Aquarium is one of Vancouver’s favorite local attractions, and is dedicated to marine preservation and education. Families with young children can spend hours running through the facility, exploring the shark tanks, Amazon zone, wild west coast exhibits, clownfish cove and penguin point.


The Granville Island Kids Market is housed in an old industrial factory, and features more than 30 shops, services and activities for kids and families. There’s also a train caboose, pond, and tugboat to climb over, and the Island’s water park is just steps away.

Sweet Treats


Thomas Haas Chocolates & Patisserie is the best chocolaterie in town. His artisanal chocolates, packed in beautiful ballotins, are made with the freshest ingredients, and his baked confections, macarons, and cakes will please anyone with a sweet tooth.

Lee’s Donuts satisfies everyone’s deep-down need for fried, sweet dough. Lee’s is a Granville Island institution that handcrafts its many flavors of yeast and cake donuts several times daily.

Style In My City

Walrusphoto courtesy of

Walrus Home in the Cambie Village neighbourhood features local and internationally sourced high-quality products that bring cool haute design into your home. Perfect for unique gift shopping for those tough-to-buy-for friends and family.

Lululemon was born in Vancouver, the true home and native land of the yoga pant and the ladies who love them. It’s hard to miss their top selling Groove pants around town, given that yoga wear is the daily uniform of many Vancouverites.

Holt Renfrew is the gorgeous home to every fashion mama’s dreams. This luxury retailer features international fashions grouped by designer, as well as showcasing bling, accessories, cosmetics and perfumes, many of them exclusive to Holt Renfrew, including Byredo, my personal favorite.

Date Night


Kits Beach is the best place to be for walks on a summer’s night, with or without kids. The walk along the beach offers beautiful views of Stanley Park and the north shore mountains, and goes past Kits Pool, playgrounds, the Maritime Museum, and ends up at Granville Island.

La Quercia in Kitsilano serves up an exceptional 7 or 10 course menu that changes daily. This cozy restaurant specializes in northern Italian cuisine, and each course in the prix fixe menu offers a delicious surprise of antipasti, homemade pastas, meats, fish, with a sweet finish.


FPRphoto courtesy of the Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel

Fairmont Pacific Rim reflects Vancouver’s casual and cosmopolitan nature. It’s the luxurious home-away-from-home for chic city visitors. Luxury suites, top drawer tech, and iPad2 devices in every suite. Plus, televisions in the bathrooms? But of course.

Granville Island Hotel is smack in the middle of everything on Granville Island. It’s also just a quick hop, skip and jump onto an Aquabus ferry for a crossing of False Creek to Yaletown, the West End and downtown.

About our City Gem author

bloggers-0164Claudia Laroye writes the travelling mom, a modern mom’s guide to travel sanity with your family. She’s passionate about the value of traveling as a family, and shares travel tips, advice, and destination guides on her site. She also writes as the Curious Travel Mama on San Diego-based She lives in Vancouver, Canada, with her husband and two teenaged sons. Find Claudia also on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+ and Vine.

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