Caffeine stop: Open 24/7, Breka Bakery and Café (818 Bute Street) makes its own coffee, cake, and pastries.
Landmark: Robson Street Plaza offers space to sit and relax amid the buzz of downtown.
Go-to greenspace: The pedestrian plaza at Robson and Bute streets boasts a community piano and plenty of seating.
For the style stalker
Arguably Vancouver’s busiest—and most transit-accessible—retail strip, Robson Street is packed with the kind of big-brand stores you’d expect from a metropolitan (read: tourist-friendly) shopping district. But amid the Zaras, Club Monacos, and J. Crews are plenty of opportunities to support locally grown names.
Adventurers and wannabe outdoorsy types are spoiled for choice with Lululemon (970 Robson Street), RYU (805 Thurlow Street), and Arc’teryx (813 Burrard Street); trendy womenswear abounds at Plenty (1107 Robson Street), Couturist (1085 Robson Street), and the mammoth Aritzia (1100 Robson Street); and then there’s Reigning Champ (1148 Robson Street), one of only three brick-and-mortar outposts for the premium athletic wear label known for its comfy and effortlessly cool crewnecks, Ts, and joggers.
Blue Ruby (1089 Robson Street), meanwhile, offers one of the best jewellery selections in the city.
For the foodie
The allure of Robson Street as the city’s favourite outdoor shopping scene shouldn’t be overshadowed by its food offerings—but this district is home to some damn good eats that can rival any seasonal sales.
Starting from the south end of Robson, you’ll find the vibrant seafood house Joe Fortes (777 Thurlow Street) and upscale Italian eatery CinCin Ristorante + Bar (1154 Robson Street). A variety of French sweets and pastries can be found at Café Crêpe (1032 Robson Street) and the relatively new Ladurée (1141 Robson Street).
As you make your way north, multicultural cuisines start to come into sight, including at Stepho’s Souvlaki Greek Taverna (1359 Robson Street), Sura Korean Royal Cuisine (1518 Robson Street), and Dinesty Dumpling House (1719 Robson Street).
Since you’ll be in ramen central, check out Hokkaido Ramen Santouka (1690 Robson Street) and Marutama Ra-men (780 Bidwell Street). You can’t leave Robson without trying some Asian specialty desserts, so stop by Meet Fresh (1232 Robson Street) for traditional Taiwanese treats and Snowy Village Dessert Cafe (1696 Robson Street) for Korean shaved ice.