5 Foodie Facts about Gastown

Written by Cecilia Ryan – Vancouver Foodie Tours


Gastown is Vancouver’s #1 Foodie neighbourhood and is the hub for new and exciting restaurants.
Photo Credit: Josh Boettcher

When people think of Gastown, they think of the cobbled streets, the famed steam clock, the Victorian architecture, the fascinating history and … the food! Gastown is Vancouver’s #1 Foodie neighbourhood and is the hub for new and exciting restaurants. Whether you’re looking for specialty coffee, cocktails, bistros, Neapolitan Pizza – Gastown has it all. Here are the 5 foodie facts about Gastown for you to digest:

1. One of the longest Happy Hours in the city

From 11:30 am – 6:00 pm, Six Acres has happy hour specials! Standing at the site of the original birthplace of Gastown, Six Acres follows in Gassy Jack’s tradition: provide a space for people to eat and drink together. The atmospheric charm could easily sway you into staying for six and a half hours!
Six acres can be found at 203 Carrall St. 

2. Hi-Five Grilled Cheese Window 

This 100 square-foot space opens late night to offer grilled cheese sandwiches to-die-for. With a short menu but long lines, don’t miss this delicious hole-in-the-wall. Try the ‘Yes Ma’am’ for mac ‘n’ cheese between bread…
Hi-Five is tucked away at 30 E Cordova St. 

3. Save on Meats tokens

Not only does Save on Meats provide delicious diner food, it also has a fantastic token program. You can buy tokens which can be redeemable for food and share these with some of Gastown’s residents who are in need. Save on Meats sandwiches are too good not to share!
Save on Meats at 43 W Hastings St 

4. A champagne and dessert bar, hidden in plain sight 

Mosquito opened it’s doors in 2015 and serves incredible desserts along with champagne cocktails. Tucked into a dimly lit space on Water St, Mosquito sits in the heart of Gastown and yet feels like your own private world. Start or finish the night on a sweet note.
Mosquito is found at 32 Water St. 

5. Dirty Apron cooking school and delicatessen

Gastown is home to Dirty Apron which offers renowned cooking classes and also an exciting array of artisan products and lunch time treats in their delicatessen. For the foodies who love to cook or “the toast burners” – Dirty Apron is a popular choice.
Dirty Apron at 540 Beatty St



Top 10 Haunted Places in Vancouver


Halloween is fast approaching. It kind of snuck up on us, no? Are you ready? Do you have your plans set and your costume planned? If you are like me, you’ll wait until the last minute and find something from your closet to throw on. If costume parties aren’t for you, maybe you like to stay home and watch a scary movie or hand out candy to the neighbourhood kids. If none of the above suits you, maybe being spooked by your friendly or not-so-friendly ghost is right up your alley. We’ve compiled a list of the top 10 haunted places in Vancouver, in no particular order. Brace yourself!

1. Deadman’s Island

Once a First Nations burial site and labelled as one of North America’s most haunted islands, Deadman’s Island had to make the list. The island is closed to the public, however, this didn’t stop the stories of strange phenomena. Some of the rumoured noises heard are footsteps walking back and forth and an apparent wail of a young woman.

2. Penthouse Nightclub

An installation in Vancouver’s night scene since the 1940’s, the Penthouse Nightclub is sure to have its fair share of scare stories. Celebrities including Frank Sinatra, Louis Armstrong, and Ella Fitzgerald were once visitors to this previous hot spot.

The Penthouse’s resident ghost, who is a modestly dressed woman, is known to open and close windows after the doors are closed to scare the staff.

3. The Vogue Theatre

Located at the south end of the Granville Mall, the Vogue Theatre originally opened its doors in 1941. It shut down temporarily between 1988 and 1991 when it then opened has a landmark music venue in Vancouver.

The theatre has attracted a resident ghost said to be in his mid-thirties and dressed in a cream-coloured dinner jacket. He is known to play the drum kits at night and re-arrange stage props.

4. Sam Kee Building 

Situated on Pender Street, the Sam Kee Building owned by Jack Chow Insurance is renowned as the “narrowest commercial building in the world”. It was built in 1913 as a coffee house. The original building was much larger however the City of Vancouver decided to take some land to widen Pender Street. The owner of the building, Sam Kee, was left with a narrow strip of land and rebuilt his business on the remaining land.

There have been reports of ghosts ‘pushing’ people from behind when in the area of this building.

5. Fairmont Hotel Vancouver

Known has one of Vancouver’s luxury hotels, the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver opened in 1939 for the royal visit of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth (the Queen Mother). This hotel is probably one of the better-known haunted landmarks in Vancouver with the Lady in Red.

The Lady in Red is a friendly ghost and is embraced by hotel staff and visitors. She was once a frequent guest of the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, who’s real name is Jennie Pearl Cox. She was killed in a fatal car accident in the Stanley Park causeway in 1944 and has since taken residence in her favourite hotel.

It is said that she hovers in the hallways, rides the elevators, and steps out onto window ledges.

6. Waterfront Station

As one of Vancouver’s busiest transit hubs, it’s also one of Vancouver’s busiest ‘ghostly’ hubs. There are so many stories of apparitions and hauntings at the station as it’s known to be the most haunted landmark in Vancouver. Night security guards claim to have seen paranormal activity in the grand halls, including one woman from the 1920’s who dances by herself. Many guards and cleaning staff have claimed to hear music from the depression era, which doesn’t come from the sound system.

7. Vancouver Rowing Club

Before Stanley Park became Stanley Park, it was once the site of a Chinese burial ground around the late 1800’s. Years later, many of the dead were dug up and their bones shipped back to China. The bone collectors lived in small buildings where the Vancouver Rowing Club is now located. It wouldn’t come as a surprise that the staff of the current building has accounted for some spooky tales.

8. Old Spaghetti Factory

The Old Spaghetti Factory is located at 53 Water Street in Vancouver’s historical Gastown area. Gastown is Vancouver’s oldest neighbourhood. It will be no surprise to hear ghost stories from the area.

There are a few ghosts at the Old Spaghetti Factory. One of the most famous ones is a train conductor who apparently died in an accident which happened underneath the current restaurant. Others believe the ghost came with the installation of the tram in the restaurant.

9. Hycroft Manor

Hycroft Manor is an early 20th-century mansion located in Shaughnessy owned by the University Women’s Club of Vancouver. There have been numerous reports of ghostly encounters over the years. In fact, there are seven resident ghosts who occupy the 20,000 square foot, 30-room mansion! Two of the ghosts are the original owners of Hycroft, Mr. and Mrs. McRae.

10. Orpheum Theatre

Located the next block up from the Vogue Theatre (see Number 3), the Orpheum Theatre is also an iconic theatre for artists to play and perform. Rumour has it that the men’s bathroom in the basement has the ghost of a former attendant haunting those who dare enter. The Main Hall apparently has seen the most activity with a woman who has been seen standing to applaud the acts that play at the Orpheum.

Saturday’s are not only for the boys

In my social media realm as of late, there has been a commonality amongst the male gender with the latest phrase “Saturdays are for the boys”. I don’t know how this started or why, but apparently an old man at a bar yelled out one Friday night saying “Fridays are for Men, and Saturdays are for the boys”, and just as “Long Hair, Don’t Care” stuck around for a minute this is the latest hashtag/phrase to go viral. There are many rumoured meanings behind the phrase; however, the most common one is a ‘legit excuse for men to use when their spouse or partner has other things planned but he would rather hang out with his friends on Saturdays’ because well, they are for the boys!

Well, let me tell you Saturdays are not only for the boys. I’ve compiled a list of 25 other things you can do on a Saturday in Vancouver with your boys or not. I do agree that Saturdays should be enjoyed and errands can wait until Sunday, right?


Visit Granville Island: Granville Island is the place to go when you need fresh fruits and vegetables, seafood, artisan cheeses and bread, gourmet sausages and or yummy desserts. Do your grocery shopping here and make a delicious dinner at home Saturday night.

Stroll/Bike/Blade around Stanley Park: The Stanley Park seawall is one of Vancouver’s most popular destinations. The seawall is perfect for walkers, runners, and cyclists. It offers stunning views and it gets you outside. What more could you want?

People Watch: There are so many great places in Vancouver where you can people watch. A few are English Bay, Kitsilano Beach, Local Public Eatery Kitsilano, or the Coal Harbour Seawall.

Celeb-spotting: Vancouver is going to be starstruck in September. Some of the famous faces passing through Vancouver this month are Helen Hunt, Charlize Theron, Julia Roberts, and Jacob Tremblay.

Grouse Grind: If you dare climb “Mother Natures’s Stairmaster” as it is referred to, be prepared for the 2.9 km uphill trek with an average 30-degree grade. Luckily, you get awarded with drinks and food at the top.

Canada Place: Canada Place is an iconic national landmark in Vancouver’s harbourfront. Canada Place is a multi-use facility that includes FlyOver Canada, Vancouver Convention Centre East, Pan Pacific Hotel, and the Cruise Ship Terminal.

Vancouver Art Gallery: Our art gallery is housed in a previous courthouse located in the thick of Robson Street and is the largest public museum in Western Canada. Make sure to stop by to see the Picasso Exhibit before it ends October 2nd.

Wander Vancouver’s hotels: We have some amazing hotels in Vancouver including the Fairmont Pacific Rim, Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, and the Rosewood Hotel Georgia. Stop by each hotel and have a cocktail in their fabulous lounges.

Window Shopping: Cruise Vancouver’s fashion districts along Alberni and Robson Streets and make a wish list of everything you wish you could have or want.

Hang out at UBC: Visit one of the most beautiful university campuses in Canada at the University of British Columbia. It hosts plenty of attractions and places to visit including the Museum of Anthropology, the Beaty Biodiversity Museum, and the UBC Botanical Gardens.

H.R MacMillan Space Centre & the Museum of Vancouver: Visit Vanier Park for the day and learn all about Space at the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre followed by learning about Vancouver’s history at the Museum of Vancouver.

Scenic Drive: Get behind the wheel and go for a scenic drive along the Sea to Sky Highway to Squamish. Dreamt of driving a six-figure car? Rent a car with Sea to Sky Exotic Car Rental to rent a Lamborghini for the day. Don’t want to drive? Take the Sea to Sky tour with Landsea Tours & Adventures!

Olympic Village: This little community on the southeast side of False Creek has everything you need for a day or afternoon of fun with plenty of pubs, restaurants, and shops to choose from.

Richmond Night Market: Visit the largest and longest running night market in North America. Located near the River Rock Casino Resort, the market is open Saturday’s from 7:00pm – 12:00am. This is a great place to go for inexpensive goods and yummy foods. Make sure to visit before it closes for the season on October 10.

Queen Elizabeth Park: Visit Vancouver’s highest point, Queen Elizabeth Park, at 150 metres, which used to be an industrial rock quarry. Visit for the stunning views of Downtown Vancouver and the North Shore mountains. It also hosts the Bloedel Floral Conservatory and the newest art installation ‘Love Locks’.

Capilano Salmon Hatchery: Located in North Vancouver along Capilano Road, the hatchery is an ideal environment for families to visit to learn about the lifecycle of salmon.

Capilano Suspension Bridge: This attraction not only offers the famous 70-metre Capilano Suspension Bridge, but there is also the Cliffwalk and Treetops Adventure. Plenty to keep you amused for a couple of hours.

Grouse Mountain: This wilderness resort is a 20-minute drive from downtown Vancouver and once you arrive, the Grouse Mountain Skyride takes visitors on a one-mile aerial journey up the mountain. Once on top, have your choice of activities including the Eye of the Wind, the Wildlife Refuge, Theatre in the Sky, or Mountain Ziplines.

Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Gardens: Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and enter Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Gardens. This is the first classical Chinese Gardens in all of Canada built in 1986 by 53 craftsmen from China, and was constructed using 14th-century methods, so no glue, screws or power tools were used.

Lonsdale Quay: The Lonsdale Quay Market is home to over 80 unique shops, restaurants, and services. Plan on visiting for a few hours exploring the market with all the food vendors, artisans, unique shops and restaurants.

Lynn Canyon: If the Capilano Suspension Bridge doesn’t interest you then visit Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge. This bridge may be better for the less brave as it’s 30 metres shorter than the Capilano Suspension Bridge. You can run across it faster!

Vancouver Mural Tour: Take a walk around Mount Pleasant from the top of Main and 12th down towards the industrial area to discover the newly painted murals from various different artists.

Comedy Show: There are plenty of places to have a good laugh in Vancouver. Visit a comedy club to catch up-and-coming local talent or a big name headliner. Or visit a theatre for some improv down on Granville Island with the Vancouver TheatreSports League.

Science World: A fun place to visit with your family on a rainy Vancouver day, which we get a lot! Immerse yourself in interactive displays and stimulating feature exhibitions. Starting September 24, their feature exhibit is “Zoom into Nano”, exploring the world of nanoscience.

River District Drive-In Movie: Just off of Boundary Road and Marine Way is the River District Drive-In. Every Saturday until the end of October, they feature two feature films, one at 7:00pm and one at 9:30pm.




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