What is Commercial Drive like in Vancouver?

Answers from Our Experts (3)

Stéphane Mouttet
  • Stéphane Mouttet

  • Chef Concierge, Shangri-La Hotel Vancouver

  • Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Commercial Drive is one of my favourite neighbourhood in Vancouver and it is easily accessible from the downtown area by taking the Skytrain (10 minutes away). This area is full of interesting restaurants, coffee shops and local stores. It used to be the “Italian” part of town so you will really feel it when walking along the Drive. 

Carolyn B. Heller

A funky mix of coffee houses, Italian pasta shops, vintage clothing stores, and eclectic eateries, Vancouver’s Commercial Drive is a fun district for browsing and nibbling. Once the center of the city’s Italian community, this East Side neighborhood now blends hipsters, hippies, and long-time residents. Stop for an espresso at the laid-back Continental Coffee, pick up an overstuffed Italian sandwich at La Grotta del Formaggio, or graze on freshly shucked oysters at Merchant’s Oyster Bar. Later on, see what’s happening in the tiny theatre at the Havana Restaurant, or detour off the Drive to the nearby Vancouver East Cultural Centre, known as “The Cultch,” which offers an always changing menu of eclectic theatre, music, and dance events.

Maria Tallarico

Commercial Drive is one of the country's most eclectic neighborhoods. What was once the Little Italy of Vancouver has morphed into an area with a vibrant spirit and laid-back attitude (as well as a touch of counterculture cool). There are plenty of independent boutiques, restaurants, coffee shops (including a heavy dose of espresso bars), organic grocers, farm-to-table butchers and yoga studios. The area is always busy with locals and families, and the patios seem to be full no matter what the weather or time of day.

True to its diverse and urban vibe, Commercial Drive also attracts unique shops and cultural activities like mystical book shops, experimental theatre, street vendors and the occasional protest.

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