Commercial Drive, Vancouver, is the best place to visit if you want to get a glimpse of Italy. This authentic neighborhood is filled with an interesting collection of quaint boutiques, restaurants, shopping malls, coffee houses, theatres, bakeries, and food stores.
It is also a family-friendly destination that is home to Vancouver Car-Free Festivals. However, there is more to Commercial Drive than its assortment of cafes, parks, and shops.
Commercial Drive is one of the interesting places to explore.
You will never run out of food in your fridge and pantry if you are a resident of Commercial Drive because traditional grocery stores are accessible in this area. For Italian dish lovers, sampling delicacies from Santa Barbara market or Grotta Del Formaggio is a must.
You may also want to have a relaxing night by enjoying a sangria cocktail or a mojito in Havana. If you are into arts and culture, you can also visit The Clutch or Rio Theatre to have a dose of Commercial Drive's rich history in films or live entertainment.
There is no doubt that Commercial Drive is a cultural haven for families, tourists, hippies, and hipsters. Giving you a bohemian feel, the citywide attraction you will get from this area will give you an opportunity to take a trip down memory lane.
If you want to experience Italy in Commercial Drive, the best way to do it is to sink your teeth into a wide range of Italian cuisines palatable to the taste. Some of the notable restaurants that will fill your tummy with satisfaction are Marcello's, Lombardo's and Via Tevere.
There are also excellent dining options at La Mezcaleria, Biercraft Tap & Tapas and Merchant's Oyster Bar. If you prefer something on the exotic side, Ethiopian Addis Cafe or Harambe and Rinconcito Salvadoreno Restaurant are your top choices.
The colorful shops on Commercial Drive are a great reason to visit this area because they feature items that can be ideal for souvenirs. With a beautiful collection of clothing, furniture, and more, spending your afternoon snagging and shopping treasures will keep you occupied.
Some of the shops to visit are the Attic Treasures, Paranada and Exposure Home.
Events and Festivals
Car Free Day Festival
Commercial Drive celebrated its very first Car Free Day Festival in 2005. Since then, it has expanded to Main Street, Kitsilano, West End, and North Vancouver. The purpose of these celebrations is to show locals and tourists the neighbourhood's diversity and culture.
During the festival, artisans and musicians gather to showcase their talents. Even local businesses are invited to participate in the event by moving their production to the street and sidewalk so people can eat and shop.
It has been a popular festival since it was first introduced to the people in Commercial Drive.
photo from itlalianday.ca
Another noteworthy celebration that you cannot afford to miss when in Commercial Drive is the Italian Days where the Italian influences and Italian roots are celebrated. It began in the 1940s when a large number of Italian immigrants set foot in the area.
From then on, street festivals were held to pay respect to Italian culture. In Vancouver, Italian Day is hailed as the largest one-day cultural Festival.