Can I Just Say... 5 Vancouver hidden gems exposed

    1 of 6 2 of 6

      By Ali Sami and Jamie Kan

      Lion’s Den Café, 651 E. 15th

      Lion’s Den Café is Vancouver’s only “Japaribbean” restaurant. Need we say more? Yes? Okay. This funky spot offers traditional dishes from both Caribbean and Japanese cultures. Jerk chicken is a fan fave as well as the all day breakfast. What makes Lion’s Den so special is its eclectic interior and friendly owner, Ken. Most interestingly, the highlight of the restaurant is a large stuffed lion named Junior, who walked in many decades ago as the pet of Ken's friend. Junior now chills regally on top of a shelf and is what inspired the name of the restaurant. If you are a first time visitor, be sure to sign the calendar that's been signed by every guest for all the days they've been in business.


      Buddha-Full, 106 W. 1st St., North Vancouver

      Buddha-Full is a hidden gem encrusted on the North Shore, and only a five-minute walk from the Seabus terminal. Nestled in the quietly charming community of Lower Lonsdale, this vegan eatery is a breath of dairy-free, gluten-free, fresh air. The amazing thing about Buddha-Full’s menu is that it makes it easy for anyone to enjoy a vegan lifestyle. Whether you decide to try one of their unique juices, or have a bite to eat from their rapidly expanding menu, you’ll know for sure that it will taste great and be entirely guilt free.


      Sole Spa Reflexology, 3086 Cambie St.

      Spas are not hard to come by these days. Choosing the right one, however, can be a daunting task. Sole Spa is a charming mom-and-pop-run spa that offers a wide variety of services that are totally customizable. When we need spa time, it's because we need to de-stress and/or get rid of a hangover. That’s why it’s especially convenient that at Sole Spa you don’t need an appointment until after 7 p.m. The calming atmosphere and relaxing treatments give us just the right amount of peace before we get back on our grind.


      Guess HQ, 150 W. Hastings St

      Do you ever watch action movies where the main hunky character is trying to escape a locked room and think to yourself, I would be so good at that? First of all, you're crazy. But there is now a way to put your skills to the test! Guess HQ is an escape game where you and friends are trapped in a themed maze. You have solve puzzles and riddles to open doors to escape. The goal is to get out before time is up. Guess HQ is unique because of its majorly eerie atmosphere and extremely dedicated staff that help create the entire ambience.


      The Stable House, 1520 W. 13th Ave

      The Stable House Wine Bar is an intimate space that offers just enough to please everyone in your party. Formed by locals, the Stable House plays homage to its neighbourhood and the culture of our city. And just in case you didn't bring a sommelier with you for dinner, its attentive staff is always ready to make great wine suggestions for your meal. So the next time you are in South Granville, stop by the Stable House to find your perfect pairing.

      Ali Sami is a Vancouver writer and editor. Jamie Kan is a Vancouver illustrator.