If you're a devout carnivore who could never imagine ditching meat, it's probably because you've never eaten at The Acorn. Totally unpretentious, this little restaurant offers some of the most delicious and flavourful dishes in the city. 

The Acorn's owner and General Manager Shira Blustein wanted to bring variety to vegetarian cooking in Vancouver. With the help of Head Chef Rob Clarke and Chef de Cuisine Brian Luptak, The Acorn dispels any notion that vegetarian cooking is bland, boring, and brown. If you don't believe us, just head to the corner of Main Street and 24th Avenue on a Friday night - the line up outside the restaurant doesn't lie!

The space is small and cozy, with a contemporary take on 1950s décor. The dishes are relatable (even to those who don't speak vegetarian) and interesting - we haven't seen tofu listed on the menu yet. And like any good Vancouver restaurant, there are always vegan and gluten-free options available.

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If running a successful café is an art, Liberty Bakery takes the cake.

Liberty Bakery was originally established by  Swedish baker named Gunnar Gustafson and his wife, Liberty, as a 20-year long retirement project. In June of last year, artist Shannon Skansen, musician and photographer Scott Livingstone, and artist Rodney Graham took over the coffee shop, allowing Gunnar and his wife to enjoy their re-retirement. The trio renovated the space, giving it their own personal touch with tables designed by Livingstone and signage designed by Graham.

The artist touch can be seen in the baking, too - from gingerbread cookies shaped like Totoro (the cartoon character), to the chocolate cream puffs that look like oysters, to the sprinkle cookies probably modelled after a Pollock painting. And although we (clearly) have a sweet tooth, Liberty Bakery also offers beautifully (read: artistically) prepared salads, soups, and sandwiches. 

It's impossible to recommend only one thing from Liberty Bakery but we highly suggest accompanying any drink with a baked good. And if you eat it there, you will probably be able to feel yourself becoming more cultured as you are surrounded by the artistry of its three owners.

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Vancouverites are unapologetically proud of their city and display their affection at every opportunity in any way possible, from sports paraphernalia to Van City t-shirts to bottles of 'I Love Van' water. The Vancouver Candle Company (VCC) has developed a completely different (and arguably much more sophisticated) way of displaying their love - through candles.

The company started in 2014 as an alternative to the chemical-infused candles that could be found in stores. Instead of paraffin, lead, and chemicals to create their candles, the Vancouver Candle Company uses soy-based wax and 100% cotton wicks. They use perfume-grade fragrance oils to create their scents, and look for locally-sourced materials as much as possible. Even after all this, their candles still stack up to the alternatives - VCC's candles burn for 60 hours and won't force you into debt.

Each candle is carefully handcrafted by Nick Rabuchin in their 150 square foot studio in Mount Pleasant. Nick produces the candles in batches of 50, numbering and signing each box (which he also folds). It truly is a labour of love!

To date, Vancouver Candle Company has six scents: Gastown (also known as the 'mandle' for its musky leather and tobacco scent), Mount Pleasant, Fairview, Strathcona, Point Grey, and Kitsilano. The company chose to name the candles after some of their favourite neighbourhoods to set themselves apart from the candle-naming trend of flowery names. The boxes are also beautifully designed with geometric patterns in bright colours, allowing them to stand out from the traditional white and ivory packaging. 

The candles are available in stores in Gastown, South Granville, Kitsilano and may other neighbourhoods across the Lower Mainland. Vancouver Candle Company also sell their candles from their website making it easy to have your house to smell like Vancouver, even if you live somewhere else. They make a great gift (for someone else or for yourself) and every sale supports the local artisan community. 


Despite the temperature of the ocean that surrounds the Pacific Northwest, Vancouverites cannot resist the chance to jump in. From paddle boarding to windsurfing and surfing, we take pleasure in watching our extremities turn blue. The ocean affords you a unique perspective of the city that few get to experience.

Which is where Shaper Studios comes in. 

Both Mitch and Nate, owners of Shaper Studios Vancouver, learned to surf abroad - Mitch first jumped on a board 15 years ago during a trip to Australia, and then chased the waves in Costa Rica and New England during hurricane season. Nate comes from Hawaii, so chances are he learned to surf before he could walk. They started to teach themselves how to make their own surfboards out of a garage on King Edward Avenue, using YouTube videos and trial and error to create something that was both functional and beautiful. From that process, Learning Curves was established in 2013, providing the tools, materials and knowledge to teach everyone and anyone how to make their own boards. 

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Elysian Coffee has been serving quality coffee from carefully roasted beans since 2000. The company has grown from its humble storefront on 5th Avenue at Burrard Street to include two additional cafés and a roasting facility. As a pioneer in Vancouver's speciality coffee scene, Elysian has always kept quality and customer experience at the forefront of their process to remain one of the city's favourite places to enjoy quality coffee.

Elysian focuses on creating connections with the people they come into contact with, starting with the coffee farmers that grow the beans and ending with the satisfied customer. This culminates at their newest location in Mount Pleasant where  their roasting facility is on full display (it's an interesting process if you haven't seen it before). Elysian encourages customers to engage in the process and understand where their coffee comes from, how it's roasted, and how quality is controlled.  

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Lifetime Collective launched in 2002 from a basement, largely as a graphic t-shirt production for the skate and snow community. What began as a collaboration between friends has become a lifestyle collection in a bricks and mortar establishment on Main Street. Not only has its location improved, but Lifetime has also expanded to include something for everyone (probably even your grandmother).  

The founders, Reid Stewart and Trevor Fleming, continue to design their collections. Stewart designs the Uniform Standard collection, designed for quality and value. Fleming designs the main collection, which focuses on quality fabrics and finishing for the boutique customer. 

Lifetime describes itself as, "A collection of wearable artwork and identity". Their designs focus on the creative community, working with artists, photographers, musicians, filmmakers, skateboarders and snowboarders to influence the brand, creating "wearable art". Their products are made in China, Argentina, Canada and the United States, and are sold throughout the world (and on their website). 

As if the clothing design and production weren't enough, Lifetime also produces Free Thinkers, a biannual zine that features artists and collaboration pieces, as well as a behind-the-scenes look at the creative process. 

In addition to clothing and the zine, Lifestyle carries a range of accessories from ties and hats to cologne, ceramics and soap (the kind you could sniff all day). We are willing to bet that you can't walk out of this store without wanting to buy at least one thing.

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