Vancouver’s Best Shopping Districts, Malls and Markets

Vancouver’s Best Shopping Districts, Malls and Markets

Shopping in Vancouver

Vancouver has all kinds of great places for shopping. Some of Vancouver’s best shopping can be found along key streets, shopping malls and public markets.

Vancouver Shopping Locations

Below is our list of Vancouver’s year-round best shopping streets, shopping malls and public markets. We’ll tell you about Metro Vancouver’s special public markets first though, as they are tourist attractions in and of themselves, so for many people (except for people who only like brand name stores and shopping malls) these are probably the most interesting.

Granville Island Public Market
Granville Island Public Market

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);

Lower Mainland Farmers’ Markets

Metro Vancouver also has a number of great farmers’ markets at various times throughout the year, including the following:

  • Ambleside Market – at 1300 Bellevue Avenue in West Vancouver near Ambleside on Sundays (10 am to 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 (9 am – 2 pm) from May until October.
  • Granville Island Farmers Market – the oldest farmers market in the region, it’s a small market open every Thursday from 10 am to 3 pm from early June until late October.
  • Kitsilano Farmers Market – on Sundays from mid-May to mid-October (10 am – 2 pm) in the parking lot at the Kitsilano Community Centre at 2690 Larch Street.
  • Lonsdale Quay Farmers Market – at Lonsdale Quay in North Vancouver on Saturdays from May until October (10 am – 3 pm).
  • Steveston Village Farmers Market – every second Sunday in the summer and early fall outside the Gulf of Georgia Cannery historic site in Steveston Village from 10 am to 4 pm. 2015 dates include July 5 and 19, August 2, 16 and 30, September 6 and 20, and October 11 and 25.
  • 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 winter markets take place every Sunday from 9 to 1 from mid-October to mid-December at the Elks Hall (1469 George Street in White Rock) and in the summer at Miramar Plaza (15154 Russell Avenue) from late May until Thanksgiving in October.
  • Nat Bailey Winter Farmers Market – on Saturdays from November until April (10 am to 2 pm) at the East Parking Lot of Nat Bailey Stadium (at 4601 Ontario Street).

For a more complete list of Farmers’ Markets, see below:

Metro Vancouver Fruit Stands

Some of the Lower Mainland’s best fruit stands include the following:

  • Richmond Country Farms at 12900 Steveston Hwy. 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.
  • 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 time, Metro Vancouver’s BEST NIGHT MARKETS include 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).
  • Illumination Summer Night Market (at 12631 Vulcan Way in Richmond).  This Chinese night market competes with the Richmond Night Market (above) and offers more of the same.  Check them both out, or flip a coin to see which to visit.  (Open from 7 pm every weekend evening in the summer).  (TIP: Same as the tip for the Richmond Night Market above.  Also, both of these markets are excellent if you like crowds, exotic Asian foods and smells, and cheap things to buy.  If not, and you’re not young, then it might not be worth the trek to get there.  Either you’ll love them or you won’t).
  • Surrey Night Market (at the Cloverdale Exhibition Grounds at 17726-62 Avenue). The market runs every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 6 to 11 pm from the end of May until around the third week in September. The cost is only about $2, although free for people in wheelchairs, kids under 48 inches accompanied by their parents, seniors over 75, and members of the Armed Forces (past and present) and their families.
  • Vancouver Christmas Market (at 650 Hamilton Street downtown Vancouver). Open from late November until Christmas Eve.

Vancouver’s Best Shopping Streets

The following are Vancouver’s best shopping districts:

  • Robson Street (which has 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 (which also represents 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 (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.
Buildings and sidewalk cafe on Water Street in Gastown
End of Water Street in Gastown

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.

  • 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 store.  The Bay has been Canada’s main department store since the fur trade days.
Hudson's Bay at Night
Hudson’s Bay at Night
  • 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 sky train.

Vancouver Secondhand Shopping

Looking for secondhand stuff? Then check out the Vancouver Flea Market – a shopping mall of secondhand stalls selling everything from junk to treasures. Also, another interesting market for second-hand goods is the DTES Street Market on Sundays in Gastown.

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.

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