Vancouver's secret gems for travellers

Our secret undiscovered spots (until now!)

Union Wood & Supply Co.
When we inherited a 12-foot long harvest table with only one bench, Craig Pearce was the man to make us a matching one. He still does custom commissions (often using reclaimed materials from demolition sites) in his new Railtown workshop, but just opened is the retail store attached. Now you too can purchase the canvas shop aprons worn by the staff of Meat & Bread, plus industrial antiques, vintage wire baskets and lighting. Union Wood & Supply Co., 503 Railway St., Vancouver, 604-675-9033,—Sarah Bancroft

I Found Gallery
It's easy to get lost in I Found. This creative treasure trove on the edge of Main Street’s shopping district is filled with beading material, woven carpets and beautiful vintage clothing. I Found Gallery, 578 Main St., Vancouver, 604-876-2218, —Kelsey Dundon

Gorilla Food
Sure, it’s been around for a while, but I’m always surprised how many people in the city have never heard of Gorilla Food. And when I tell them it’s vegan, wheat-free, gluten-free, sugar-free and raw, I get funny looks. Don’t knock it ‘til you try it: Gorilla Food features some of the most innovative raw cooking in town, offering items beyond just salads, such as zucchini noodles (or “new-dles”), sunflower seed pizzas, and even sugar-free cookies. Before starting Gorilla, chef Aaron Ash concocted his vegan delicacies for Beastie Boy Mike D, serving as his personal chef for several years. Time to ch-check it out. Gorilla Food, 101-436 Richards St., Vancouver, 604-684-3663, —Anya Georgijevic

Kafka's Coffee and Tea
In a city jam-packed with coffee shops, Kafka's Coffee and Tea has become my go-to for consistently great coffee. A good book, a vanilla latte and one (or two) of their so-good-it-hurts caramel salt cookies and you'll be one happily caffeinated camper.  Kafka's Coffee and Tea,  2525 Main St., Vancouver, 604-569-2967, —Kelsey Mulyk

Envision Optical
While most of us spend our cash on accessories like bags and shoes, it is in fact your glasses that will make the biggest statement. They sit on your face! We love Envision Optical on Fourth, not only do they have one of the best selections of fashion eyeglass frames in the country, but they carry unique, hard-to-find European brands. There’s no chance you’ll run into someone wearing the same frames as you, which is a risk you take when you buy Prada or Gucci. The owner, Monny, is fantastic at helping you pick out the right frames for your face, and he’s always got something amazing tucked in the back. I guess you could say he has a discerning eye.  Envision Optical, 2675 W. Fourth Ave., Vancouver, 604-733-2020, —Alexandra

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