Vancouver’s best shopping can be found along key streets and at shopping malls, farmers markets, department stores, flea markets and designer brand stores.
Vancouver Shopping Locations
Below is our list of Vancouver’s year-round best shopping streets, shopping malls and public markets (like Granville Island).
In this article we’ll tell you about Metro Vancouver’s special public markets first though, as they are tourist attractions in and of themselves. For many people (although perhaps not those who only like brand name stores and shopping malls) these are probably the most interesting.
Vancouver’s Best Markets
The Lower Mainland has lots of markets. There are year-round public markets, seasonal farmers’ markets, fruit stands and night markets throughout the region.
Metro Vancouver Public Markets
The following are Metro Vancouver’s two BEST PUBLIC MARKETS (both of which have a wide range of stores and stalls selling everything from fruits and vegetables to art, gifts and exotic foods from around the world):
- Granville Island Public Market (Granville Island, Vancouver)
- Lonsdale Quay Public Market (North Vancouver)
Note: There are far more shopping opportunities at Granville Island than just its Public Market. The place is full of art studios and one-of-a-kind boutiques. See our article about Granville Island Shopping Opportunities to learn more (and to see a couple of videos about the place).
Lower Mainland Farmers’ Markets
Metro Vancouver also has a number of great farmers’ markets at various times throughout the year including the following:
- Ambleside Artisan Farmers Market – at Ambleside Park in West Vancouver on Sundays between 10 am and 3 pm from May until October.
- Burnaby Farmers Market – in the north parking lot at Burnaby City Hall (at 4949 Canada Way in Burnaby) every Saturday between 9 am and 2 pm from May until October.
- Kitsilano Farmers Market – on Sundays from mid-May to mid-October between 10 am and 2 pm outside the Kitsilano Community Centre at 2690 Larch Street.
- Lonsdale Quay Farmers Market – at Lonsdale Quay in North Vancouver on Saturdays from May until October between 10 am and 3 pm.
- Steveston Village Farmers Market – every second Sunday outside the Steveston Community Centre in the summer.
- Trout Lake Farmers Market – on Saturdays from 9 am to 2 pm from mid-May to mid-October at John Hendry Park in Vancouver.
- White Rock Farmers Market – their markets take place on Sundays from 10 to 2 pm at Miramar Plaza (15154 Russell Avenue) from late May until late October.
- Riley Park Farmers Market – year-round on Saturdays between 10 am and 2 pm near Nat Bailey Stadium (at 4601 Ontario Street).
For a more complete list of Farmers’ Markets, see below:
- Wednesday Farmers Markets: Main Street, Surrey and Whistler.
- Thursday Farmers Markets: New Westminster, Granville Island and Downtown.
- Friday Farmers Markets: North Vancouver’s Shipyard Night Market.
- Saturday Farmers Markets: Abbotsford, Burnaby, Fort Langley, Haney, Riley Park, Squamish, Trout Lake and the West End.
- Sunday Farmers Markets: Ambleside, Coquitlam, Kitsilano, Ladner, Mt. Pleasant, Steveston Village, White Rock and Whistler.
Metro Vancouver Fruit Stands
Some of the Lower Mainland’s best fruit stands include the following:
- Richmond Country Farms – at 12900 Steveston Hwy it’s a great place to stop at on your way back to Vancouver from the BC Ferries’ Tsawwassen ferry terminal, or after spending a few hours with the kids at Watermania or the Extreme Air Park in Richmond. Open from April until the late fall.
- Probably the cheapest fruit and vegetable store in Metro Vancouver can be found at Sunrise Market at 300 Powell Street, not too far from Chinatown. It’s an interesting place, and everything is amazingly affordable (for Vancouver). It’s also just a block from the Vancouver Police Museum, which is interesting if you’re curious about police work, Vancouver’s criminal history and crime scenes.
Metro Vancouver Night Markets
Taking place in the summer, Metro Vancouver’s main night markets are the following:
- Shipyard Night Market – at Shipbuilders’ Square near Lonsdale Quay in North Vancouver. This market is open Friday evenings in the summer and offers quality locally-grown and made produce, crafts, art and foods. You won’t find any cheap sunglasses or knock-off brand name items here. TIP: Combine this with a visit to the Lonsdale Quay Market – which is open daytime hours – as the two are just a five minute walk apart.
- Richmond Night Market – at 8351 River Road in Richmond. Looking for lots of good take-out Asian foods, products and people? This is an amazing place for the senses with all its sights, sounds and delicious smells every weekend night in the summer. TIP: If you like walks or bike rides, and you’re heading out to Richmond anyway, maybe combine this with an afternoon trip out to Steveston Village.
Vancouver’s Best Shopping Streets
The following are Vancouver’s best shopping districts:
- Robson Street – a district with a wide range of trendy and high fashion clothing stores. If you are young and like brand names like the GAP, Lululemon, Roots, and Armani Exchange (plus all the other regular expensive and not so expensive brands), and you prefer to be outside instead of in a mall, then Robson Street is the place to shop. It’s also a great place for restaurants and people watching.
- Granville Street – a shopping area which is also home to Vancouver’s main entertainment district with its night clubs and restaurants. Stretching from Waterfront Station (not far from the entrance to Gastown), this street has lots of popular shops including Canada’s most famous department store, the Hudson’s Bay.
- Water Street – the main road in Gastown. Looking for quaint shops and restaurants, and also needing to pick up some souvenirs, then Water Street and the Gastown area can make for an enjoyable window-shopping afternoon.
Want to learn about more great streets for shopping? Then check out Vancouver’s Top Most Interesting Streets.
TIP: Granville Street (the part starting downtown) is connected with Gastown at one end and Robson Street in the middle. It’s not a short walk to Robson Street, but it’s a nice one, so these three main shopping streets are actually fairly close together, as is Pacific Centre below.
Vancouver Shopping Centres
In addition to the above shopping streets, Vancouver’s best shopping places and districts include some of its shopping centres and malls. Now malls aren’t for everyone (and these malls aren’t a whole lot different than the best malls in other major cities), but they are still great places for shopping.
- Guildford Town Centre – the third largest mall in the Lower Mainland is located at 10355 152nd Street in Surrey.
- Pacific Centre – located at 701 West Georgia Street, this mall is close to Granville Street and Robson and features such “H” starting stores as Hugo Boss, Harry Rosen, Holt Renfrew, and Hollinger, plus new places like Nordstrom. This is Vancouver’s best downtown indoor shopping centre (so an especially good place on rainy days).
- The Hudson’s Bay – it’s not a shopping centre, but it is a big multi-storied retailer. The Bay has been Canada’s main department store since the fur trade days.
- McArthurGlen – an outlet mall in Richmond near YVR Airport.
- Metropolis at Metrotown – with close to 400 stores, this Burnaby mall is the Vancouver region’s biggest. No matter what store you’re looking for, it’s probably here, and the mall is conveniently accessible by SkyTrain.
- Park Royal – a large fairly upscale shopping mall in West Vancouver. Much of it is all indoors although some parts are more like a strip mall (but a really nice one) where you walk outdoors from one store to the next.
- Tsawwassen Mills – a large mall near the BC Ferries Terminal in Tsawwassen.
Vancouver Second-hand Shopping
Looking for second-hand stuff? Then check out the Vancouver Flea Market – a shopping mall of second-hand stalls selling everything from junk to treasures. Also, another “interesting” market for second-hand goods is the DTES Street Market just east of Gastown (where most pf the vendors are residents of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside).
Similar to the Vancouver Flea Market, in Surrey there is the Cloverdale Flea Market which features hundreds of tables of second-hand goods on Sundays from 6 am to 4 pm at the Cloverdale Fairgrounds near the corner of 176th Street (a.k.a. Highway 15) and 62nd Avenue.
A third major second-hand-shopping venue is the Abbotsford Flea Market. It takes place almost every Sunday of the year at Abbotsford Exhibition Park in the Fraser Valley.