Just a hop, skip, and a jump from the bustling UBC campus is the up-and-coming Vancouver neighbourhood of Wesbrook Village. Perched between the lush forest of Pacific Spirit Park and the coastline, locals may not know just how much is going on in this scenic west side area. Restaurants and shops have been moving in at a rapid pace, and stunning residences, like the luxurious and modern Ivy on the Park, are creating the opportunity for high-end living amidst all the greenery.
To help you make the most of a day exploring Vancouver’s greenest neighbourhood, we’ve put together your day-trip itinerary:
9 am: Caffeinate at Murchie’s
Sure, there’s a Blenz down the street, but there’s a certain charm to fuelling up at Murchies’s in-house tea bar. Feeling that seasonal crispness in the air makes this the perfect time to sample one of their fall-themed gourmet loose leaf blends — pumpkin spice tea latte, anyone? Or how about their cinnamon bun tea? You can practically smell the cream cheese frosting! Decisions, decisions.
9:30 am: Grab some essential snacks at Doughgirls
A true Wesbrook Village gem, this cheerful bakery and café is a favourite among locals. On the sweet front, we loved the chunky bad boy brownies dusted in almond flakes and the buttermilk cream cookie sandwiches with birthday cake sprinkles. But this bakery also has a ton of hearty and scrumptious savoury items, too. The signature ham and cheese croissant looks like a Yorkshire pudding and a muffin had a baby, and tastes like a buttery combo of all three. Plus, they’ve also got great to-go options for lazy worknight meals, including frozen entrees like moussaka, lasagna, and all manner of glorious meat pies.
10 am: Bike Pacific Spirit Park
Pacific Spirit Park is home to some of the best deep-woods-style trails in the city (and don’t require a trek to North Van). Seventy-three kilometres of paths weave through towering fir, spruce, and red cedar trees, so dense the sound of car horns and traffic gives way to bird calls and squirrel chatter. If you don’t have your own wheels, rent some at More Bikes (it literally shares a wall with Doughgirls) and then hit the trails.
Where: 5495 Chancellor Blvd
1 pm: Sink into some comfort food at Chef Hung Taiwanese Beef Noodle
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You know the noodles are thick when you have to eat them strand by strand 🍜 I challenge you to go try and slurp the entire noodle without breaking it. Sounds easy but these noodles are so long and thick that it’s hard to get the entire noodle in. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ….Did that caption start sounding dirty? 🤔Nahhh…you have a dirty mind if it did 🤣 ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Pictured: Award-Winning Beef Shank, Tendon with Noodle in Soup (with Thick Noodles) from @chefhungcanada
After a solid morning of getting back to nature, the onset of well-earned hunger pains has us returning to Wesbrook Village central in search of sustenance. It’s not a difficult search, as every street has options, but we follow the crowds to Chef Hung (full name) where diners are tucking into steaming bowls of soup. We tie our hair back and dig into a monstrous order of braised beef shank with flat noodles.
2 pm: Treat yourself at Rogers’ Chocolates
Post-lunch, pop on over to Rogers’ Chocolates (which, FYI, was opened by Canada’s first chocolatier) and visit Ellen behind the counter. You might even be greeted with free samples! When we walked in, we got to pick from a decadent spread of choices like chocolate-covered pretzels with white chocolate drizzle, spiced orange chocolate creams, and cashew salted caramels.
2:30 pm: Grab a refreshing drink at Biercraft
This is hands-down Biercraft’s best Vancouver location. It has an expansive patio (it’s like two Biercrafts in one) that opens out onto a central courtyard that’s Wesbrook Village’s main hangout spot — Norman Mackenzie Square — complete with water fountains and stone benches. Kick back with a cold one on the patio while it’s still more than warm enough to enjoy an open-air pint.
4 pm: Get pampered at A Perfect 10 Nail Spa
This place is one of the last remaining unicorns in the ever-decreasing group of affordable nail salons, and there’s even a neighbourhood discount of 10 percent off for Wesbrook residents. 20 bucks got us a manicure in fall reds and it even came with a relaxing hand massage — talk about a win-win!
Where: 3337 Wesbrook Mall
6:30 pm: Indulge at Virtuous Pie
After a relaxing manicure, our stomachs are rumbling again. We head over to Virtuous Pie — the vegan pizzeria that even meat-eaters are Instagramming about. Their first location was a modest space in Chinatown, but this Wesbrook spot is so big it has a merch section and a massive patio out front. Obviously, we can’t leave without ordering a pizza, so we decide to try the decadent combo of an all-vegan cheese gramma pie topped it with an order of the mac and cheese — to die for!
From relaxing yoga sessions to frozen yogurt nightcaps, there are so many places left to check out in the walkable Wesbrook Village. It’s like a hyper-condensed hub of all the best parts of UBC (shops, eats, trees for days), all nestled within a few blocks. What surprised us the most was how many cool spots there are moving in right under our noses — and this is only scratching the surface. Whether you’re in the market for a day trip or a home in the area, keep your eye on this little neighbourhood, because it’s sure to be buzzing soon!