Best of Vancouver: Hometown favourites share their favourite things about their hometown

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      Every wonder what your fellow Vancouverites love best about the city that we live in? Wonder no more. We asked some of our local favourites what makes them happiest in our lovely town. Here are their answers. 




      I hang out in Richmond most of the time because the burby life I live. When I'm in Rich I like to hit up LA Chicken for some fried treats or right across the street is a fire pho spot called Lotus. Or head to Steveston for fresh-made frozen yogurt at Timothy's. It's cash only but you only need like six bucks.  But when I do trek my butt to van i love the banoffee pie from Calabash Bistro. I'm not much of a sweet tooth but it's so light and tasty it's like heaven. 

      You can check out Horsepowar's Soundcloud page here


      Tamara Taggart
      News anchor

      I love Main Street. Everything you need is on Main: clothes, coffee, entertainment, flowers, food, wine—the list goes on. I always feel at home there, mostly because I’m not the only parent chasing after three kids and a crazy dog…it’s nice to know you’re not alone! I hope it never loses its character and charm. Really, it’s the people on Main who make it so colourful and friendly.

      Tamara Taggart anchors CTV’s News at Six. Check out her website at


      Guerrilla interviewer/singer

      Whether it be an old Chilliwack Sea Cadets hat to give to rapper Lil Yachty, or an ’80s couture Versace to wear when interviewing EDM noisemeisters Flosstradamus, or even some amazing Christmas sweaters for my band the Evaporators, Burcu’s Angels [3128 Main Street] is one-stop shopping! Burcu Ozdemir, the owner, gives me lessons on colour, texture, and fabric every time, plus I trust her! She plays in a band too, Something About Reptiles! Doot doola doot doo... Burcu!

      Nardwuar hosts Nardwuar the Human Serviette Radio Show on Fridays from 3:30 to 5 p.m. on CiTR.


      Ernesto Gomez
      Restaurateur/YVR Food Fest cofounder

      What I love the most about Vancouver is that we can create our own history. As a young city that is still struggling to find its cultural identity, the pioneers of today will be shaping the future of tomorrow. So for those of us who get a rush from breaking the mould, there is never a dull moment! Stay tuned for a new and exciting Mexican restaurant I am launching later this year on Hamilton Street.

      Ernesto Gomez is the co-owner of Nuba, which has multiple locations around the city.


      Danny Ramadan
      Writer/LGBT activist

      My favourite thing to do in Vancouver is to wake up on a Saturday morning in the sunny days of August, pack my bag, fill it with crackers and soft drinks, and walk down Davie Street, all the way to English Bay, and meet my friends there. Together, we walk in our shorts and tank tops towards Second Beach. On the way, we gossip about cute boys around us and take shameless selfies. We sunbathe all day, and I slide down the children’s waterslide into the pool at least once. I mean, I realize it’s for children, but I’m a child at heart.

      Danny Ramadan’s novel The Clothesline Swing comes out in spring 2017.


      Mark Brand
      Restaurateur/social entrepeneur

      One of my favourite spots in Vancouver is CRAB Park at dawn. It’s one of the few places that feel really “Vancouver” to me. From the fishing and tug boats gearing up and the tankers terrifying pods of orcas to the insanely beautiful views and folks who needed a place to be safe rising for the day, it’s a real juxtaposition that keeps me focused on things I care about.

      Mark Brand’s ventures include Save On Meats, Persephone Brewing, and A Better Life Foundation.


      Shanda Leer

      The 900 and 1000 blocks of Main Street. This busy lil’ patch of land has kept my spirit turnt up for nearly six years and I don’t see any signs of that slowing down until I finally go home to Jesus. Torafuku, Upstairs at Campagnolo, and Pizzeria Farina keep me fed and make me look like I’ve got my life together on a first date. I can snatch cute dresses and pet cool dogs at the Eastside Flea, and when I’m ready to give shows for the kids, I slip into the Cobalt, where everybody knows my shame. It’s a very polite Groundhog Day situation.

      Shanda Leer hosts the sketch-comedy show Studio With Shanda the first Saturday of every month at XY.


      Tarun Nayar
      DJ/producer/tabla player

      The first thing I do when I come back to the city after tour is drop my bags at my place in East Van and sneak over to Mount Seymour for a run in the woods. Less known and less visited than Cypress and Grouse, the trails starting in the Old Buck and Hyannis Point parking lots are mostly empty and better than any I’ve seen—anywhere. In the winter the rainforest helps our rain make sense. And in the summer, stop by Third Beach in Stanley Park on the way home for the most epic Vancity doubleheader.

      Tarun Nayar’s band Delhi 2 Dublin has just released a remix of last year’s album We’re All Desi.


      Matt Troy
      Artist/arts activist

      My favourite thing about our fine city is the constant ingenuity of artists to make a mark upon this city. Despite the many challenges of creating art in this city you will find art everywhere, from bus stops to murals to pop-ups. A friend of mine once described the Vancouver art scene as “Venue Whac-A-Mole”. Numerous art venues have disappeared, but despite this there are always new and interesting spaces appearing where artists can present work on their own terms.

      Matt Troy is the artistic director of Vancouver Art and Leisure.


      Julia Kwan

      Vancouver is the ideal walking city, rain or shine. I purposely choose to walk through the nooks and crannies of the city for my walks. I feel much more connected to the community when I walk through the wonderfully diverse neighbourhoods. I love hearing pockets of cheering during a World Cup game, visiting the chickens running around someone’s front yard, or seeing a homemade “honey for sale” sign on a beekeeper’s gate.

      Julia Kwan is developing an animated film with the NFB inspired by Tuk, the geriatric polar bear.


      Mina Shum

      Third Beach is my go-to place of possibilities. I’ll swim/float, stare off into the horizon, and get lost savouring a concession- stand ice cream. Tuesday nights during the summer, there’s a sunset drum circle and I like to swim out with the beats behind me, buoyed and renewed.

      Writer-director Mina Shum’s award-winning documentary, Ninth Floor, is on iTunes. Her next fiction film is Meditation Park.


      Chris Walter

      As much as Commercial Drive has changed in the last 25 years, it still enjoys the largest concentration of weirdos outside the Downtown Eastside. I sidestep the bold, the broke, and the beautiful as I make my rounds, stopping at JJ Bean before continuing on to Frattelli Bakery, Donald’s Market, and Wonderbucks. Crusty street punks serenade me with banjos and the pungent smell of pot drifts from the Canna Clinic as I walk down the street. I might have a burger at Vera’s or stop for a beer at the Dime Roadhouse, but everything I need is right fucking there. This is my neighbourhood—my home—and I’ve become surprisingly attached to it over the decades. Winnipeg was never like this.

      I Survived D.O.A. by Randy Rampage, with Chris Walter, will be released October 6.


      Josh Ramsay

      One of the perks of my job is that I get to visit so many cities around the world. Having seen all that, I will never leave my beloved home of Vancouver. I grew up in Point Grey/UBC and I still live there today. My favourite activities include: my dog and I at Spanish Banks at low tide on a sunny day, or running with her and my sister in the UBC Endowment Lands and Camosun Bog. Wreck Beach is amazing, although trust me, you will see something you can never “un-see”. (You never see the ones you want.) And the Eatery at 3431 West Broadway has the most amazing and creative Japanese fusion I’ve ever had. I have never seen any other city in the world that has so much beautiful diversity to offer. We are all truly lucky to live in such an amazing place.

      Josh Ramsay plays with his band Marianas Trench at Abbotsford Centre on November 4.



      Raymond Louie
      City councillor

      Each year, the century-plus-old Pacific National Exhibition fair treats our city and region to new experiences along with our old favourites: the special single-season-only shows, the summer-night concert series, the old roller coaster and numerous new rides, and, of course, the tremendous offering of healthy and slightly less-healthy food. Each year I go to the exhibitors’ building and look for some new invention and, of course, find myself a deal or two. I am always amazed at how many people I meet that that tell me their first job was at the PNE but it should be no surprise since it is the single largest employer of youth in our province and we have been creating memories for over a hundred years. I have never missed a Fair and I know there are many others out there who are fans of the PNE just like me!

      Raymond Louie is acting mayor and a five-time Vancouver city councillor.

      Hannah Georgas

      My favourite thing to do in Vancouver is to go for a run in Kitsilano and then make my way to the ocean for a good stretch. The seawall is the most beautiful and refreshing place to be in the city. I also love getting up early and riding my bike around Stanley Park. Seeing the mountains every day and the beautiful landscape is an unparalleled experience and never gets old.

      Hannah Georgas, whose new album is called For Evelyn, plays the Commodore on November 2.