As you leave downtown and pass over the Granville Street Bridge, you will enter an area that is great for shopping. There are lots of cute little clothing stores, nice houseware stores and gourmet food shops. There are also a variety of art galleries and a theatre where you can see live plays. This area is called the South Granville Rise and you can reach it by taking any city bus heading across the bridge.
South Granville (also called "South Granville Rise") is an upscale shopping district south of downtown Vancouver.
The heart of South Granville's commercial area spans along Granville Street between the Granville Street Bridge up to W 16th Avenue at the top of the hill. In between are clothing boutiques, home decor shops, gourmet grocery stores, and some great restaurants. South Granville also offers many services for the locals, resulting in more of a local community atmosphere.
Along the side streets are some fairly nice small-scale apartment complexes from the 1920's with mature trees and leafy gardens. Rent is generally cheaper but the apartments are often more spatious and have more character than others.
Some of Vancouver's top restaurants are found here. West, for example, is often rated the top restaurant in the city. It's famous for its French and west coast fusion cuisine. Meanwhile Vij's offers a west coast Indian fusion and is often rated one of the best dining experiences in town.
If you're looking for designer home furnishings, there are many shops in the neighbourhood such as Restoration Harware, Pottery Barn, K's Interiors, and the Urban Barn. Feeling like some gourmet treats? Shop at Meinhardts Fine Foods, MacKinnon's Bakery, or Jackson's Meats.
If you're not in the mood for food or shopping, South Granville is probably most known for its dozen or so commercial and public galleries. These galleries host a variety of art styles, from west coast First Nations to international avant garde. These galleries always seem to be hosting new shows, so the scenery's always changing.
If you head off Granville and onto Broadway, there are clusters of restaurants and good shops as well such as the restaurants Cru, and Bin 942, the tea shop "T", the cooking shop "Cookwerx", and Oscar's art book shop.
While South Granville is not for those who don't enjoy windowshopping, it is one neighbourhood easily accessible from downtown Vancouver that offers a different atmosphere from the downtown city centre.