A city as big as Vancouver is bound to have a few hidden gems—places that only a select few locals know about because they live in the neighbourhood or maybe just got lucky and stumbled on to it one day.
In the time before social media, you relied on your friends to tell you about special places; while that still happens (it's how I first heard about Bartholomew, which is on this list) TikTok is in many ways the new word of mouth. I can't count the number of videos I have saved for a rainy day when I want to try something new and secret in Vancouver.
From small restaurants to hidden bars, secret viewpoints to awesome stores, these 10 hidden gems represent off-the-beaten-track and underrated Vancouver places you might want to know about.
The Red Accordion on Alberni Street in the West End looks like a house from the outside, if it weren't for the patio you might walk right past this farm-to-table restaurant without a second glance. The neighbourhood staple serves up brunch, lunch, and dinner plus a full cocktail, beer, and wine menu. It's been added to my list of places to check out.
@ateebofficial Tiktok took me to this hidden gem in my neighbourhood. Amazing Wagyu Beef burger #hiddengem #vancouver #travel ♬ Trampoline - SHAED
This punk rock-themed burger joint is a controversial pick for a hidden gem because it's been around for so long but it's one of those if you know you know places on Commercial Drive. It's a very casual laid back diner atmosphere with an extensive burger and fried chicken menu. You can also get sides like mac and cheese and poutine. There's also a liquor licence and a soft serve machine so what more could you want?
@vancity.chef Fridays call for foodie adventures #vancouver #yvr #burger #yamfries #vancouverfoodie #cannibalcafe #yvrfood ♬ Gangsta's Paradise (feat. L.V.) - Coolio
I had the best gnocchi of my life at Bartholemew with a cocktail that tasted exactly like a Kinder mini egg. The small room is a blink and you miss it bar across from the more imposing Yaletown Brewing. Inside the decor is sophisticated and cosmopolitan with a European meets New York feel. The menu consists of wine and elaborate cocktails with elevated bar snacks like elaborate charcuterie boards and albacore tuna tartare.
@jaaady__ Kingsman vibes 🍸✨ #vancouver #fyp #vancouverfoodie ♬ Sweet Dreams - Trinix
This hidden bar is located in the back of the burger restaurant, Hundy which is owned by the same people as AnnaLena and Their There. Its official name is the Stock Room but you'd be forgiven for not knowing that. The cocktail bar serves up tropical-esque drinks accompanied by burgers from Hundy or bizarre bar snacks from Lucky's Exotic Bodega.
@cravings.yvr Hidden bar in downtown Vancouver. It’s located in the middle of Yaletown. #foodie #vancouverfoodie #yaletown #hiddenbar #vancouvereats #vancouverbars #foodtiktok #fyp #vancouverhiddengems #secretbar ♬ First Class - Jack Harlow
Located at 572 Davie St, Noah's Cafe is the passion project of Vancouver chef Clifford Chi. He serves up "Japanese-based western fusion bistro-tapas-izakaya" with plates like miso-marinated black cod, gyoza, and aburi salmon or Anchovy-Nori Negitoro and Confit Beef Tongue. Plus some spectacular-looking cocktails.
@hello.nicki Drooooling over the uni pasta #japanesefood #japanfood #omurice #foodtiktok #vancouverfoodie #downtownvancouver ♬ Sunroof - Nicky Youre & dazy
Changing tracks, Zenden Meditation is a sound bath and reiki studio that hosts classes on the subject along with breathwork sessions. The location and view from the facility on the second floor of a Gastown building overlooking the harbour is a pretty nice way to connect with the inner self.
@everythingspiritual Vancouver Canada Hidden Gem 😍🇨🇦 Where’s all my BC / Vancity peeps at?! Drop a hello below! 💫 #vancouver #vancity #canada #yvr #vancitybuzz #vancouverbc #gastown #vancouverlife @zendenmeditation @everythingspiritual ♬ Violin - Grooving Gecko
The UBC botanical gardens hardly seem like a hidden gem but so many people forget that you can walk through the canopy of trees on a series of suspended walkways. The 310-metre-long treetop walkway is almost 20 metres off the ground and can be done at your own pace or with a guide. You just have to book tickets in advance.
@lifewmaraya So glad I finally found this #thingstodoinvancouver #dateideavancouver #vancouverhiddengems #vancouverdateideas #vancouverhiddengem #ubcvancouver #ubcbotanicalgarden #vancouverlife #minivlog #vancouvervlog #exploringvancouver #treewalk #greenhearttreewalk ♬ Satellite speed audio - 1D Audioz
Cute plant shops are a delightful surprise when you stumble upon them bursting with life while walking through a neighbourhood. Bita Florist on West Broadway is full of greenery and flowers and according to this TikToker the owner gave her free soil when she bought a plant and a pot and he offered to help pot it for her.
@vancityhotspots Reply to @ceilingshrimp I love it here one of my favourites #vancouver #vancouverbc #downtownvancouver #plantshop #plants #plant #plantsoftiktok #plantshopping #plantparent #smallbusiness #hiddengem #thingstodoinvancouver ♬ Toxic - Britney Spears
Beer Island and other spots along the sea wall
The seawall around Olympic Village and Science World has so many hidden gems that this TikToker had to do a series of them. She pointed out Beer Island which is a man-made habitat in False Creek that's a favourite of locals but the path is very easy to miss if you don't know it's there. She also suggests a secret courtyard and enjoying the view from a little ledge at the base of a pillar holding up the Granville Street bridge.
@thatvancouvercouple Our fave stops along the seawall 🌊 #vancouver #yvr #vancouverbc #vancouverlife #seawall #hiddengems ♬ More Than A Woman - SG's Paradise Edit - Bee Gees & SG Lewis
This graffiti and artist hub isn't too far from Casa Gelato and is a great place to walk around while you eat your ice cream. It doesn't look like much from afar, in fact, it's kind of dilapidated but if you're into your street art or looking for a cool place to take street-style photos, this is a great location and there isn't usually anyone there. It exists because a 152,000-square feet warehouse was converted into 110 studios for 227 artists, designers, photographers and woodworkers so the exterior reflects the colour and creativity that's going on inside.
@alannahlawrie love finding cool spots on my daily walks 🕺🏻🕺🏻🕺🏻 #fyp #foryoupage #vancouver #eastvan #explorebclocal #yvr #yvrgirls ♬ A-Punk - Vampire Weekend