We asked. Where readers voted. Here are your favourite spots to shop
By Jennifer Patterson
The city’s fashion elite favour this chic label thanks to high-quality, editorial-worthy clothing. This local company started in 1984 and now boasts shops across North America. The store offers six in-house lines, and it was an official apparel partner for the 2010 Winter Games.
Well-groomed gents feel right at home in Harry Rosen. Custom-made suits, classic casual wear and colourful ties grace the rich wood interior, alongside leather loafers and great-for-winter puffer jackets.
This chain stocks a huge selection of prescription sunglasses and eyeglasses for men, women and children. Drop by for an eye exam with the on-site independent optometrist, choose from a wide selection of flattering name-brand frames, then wait while your lenses are made at the in-house optical laboratory.
Eyes on Burrard
For over 25 years Dianes has helped women of all sizes find that perfect bra. Take a few minutes to have a free, professional bra fitting, then choose from sexy lace delicates, practical t-shirt bras, or convertible or strapless numbers.
La Jolie Madame (Pacific Centre, 701 W. Georgia St. 604-669-1831)
Join the crowd of locals at this bustling shoe shop, carrying hard-to-find labels for the whole family. For women: Alexander Wang, Repetto and Rachel Comey. For men: Bensimon, Rag & Bone and Zeha Berlin. For kids: Minnetonka, Tretorn and Toms. The house line offers on-trend options without the sticker shock. Find purses and travel bags, too.
Cool parents shop for their cool babies and kids at this Kitsilano boutique. Adults appreciate the eco-friendly options, clothing and furniture, while tots go crazy for the scoot-along balance bikes and ride-on animals.
The Children’s Place
For over 100 years this iconic Vancouver chocolatier has satisfied sweet-tooth cravings with a box of mint melties, sweet Georgia browns or hedgehogs. The recognizable gold and purple box—chock-full of assorted chocolates, nuts and caramels—makes a great gift, whether for a hostess or for that chocolate-loving friend.
Thomas Haas Chocolates & Patisserie
Daniel Le Chocolat Belge
Serious shoppers head to this downtown mall for footwear, beauty and electronics. Go underground to the lower level and make your way to The Bay, or take the aboveground overpass route to posh Holt Renfrew. Peruse the massive department stores, then pop by popular shops such as Apple, H&M and Sephora.
Metropolis at Metrotown
Granville Fine Art
Head to Vancouver’s famed art district to find this popular South Granville gallery. The proprietors offer decades of experience and the collection ranges from Canadian masters to acclaimed American and European artists. Keep an eye out for works by The Group of Seven, Leonard Cohen and Ray Mead.
Ian Tan Gallery
Uno Langmann Limited
Founded in 1670, this Canadian company—one of the oldest in the world—recently added some exciting elements to the downtown location: The Room, a high-end section dedicated to the crème de la crème of designer goods; and the largest in-store Coach boutique in North America. For holiday decor visit the Christmas Street department.
Antiques & Collectibles
Second Time Around Antiques
This Main Street shop opened in 1980 and is dedicated to antique and vintage furniture and decor. Search through over 740 sq m (8,000 sq ft) for that rare piece from the Victorian, Arts and Crafts, Edwardian or Art Deco era.
Uno Langmann Limited
Spend an hour—or four—exploring this palatial, multi-level bookstore. Everything from cookbooks to architecture to language has a dedicated section, as do the hottest best sellers and magazines. Take the tots to the renovated kids’ section, then peruse the expanded gift and home decor area. Monthly author events.
China & Crystal
Find the perfect hostess gift, or outfit your own abode with Waterford Crystal or dinnerware by Iittala, Versace and Wedgwood. Linens, pottery, home decor and fragrances, too.
Herzog China & Crystal
Jewellery & Watches
This Canadian jeweller and watchmaker has made covetable pieces since 1879. Big-name brands Rolex, Cartier, Gucci and Longines line the glass cases alongside the Birks collection of stellar diamonds, watches and pearls. On the upper lever find a large selection of fine home decor items.
Tiffany & Co.
Athletic Sporting Goods
Mountain Equipment Co-op
This always-busy store celebrates its 40th anniversary this year. Locals know it as MEC, and since it’s a co-op, every customer must buy a one-time $5 membership in order to make any purchases. Head there for everything from down jackets and wool toques to bikes, kayaks and portable cook stoves—for adventures both big and small.
Spas & Salons
Lie back, relax and let the massage therapist do all the work at this downtown waterfront spa. Book an entire day at the spa—for you, or with a plus one—and enjoy everything from medical facials to acid peels to body wraps to manicures and pedicures.