There are two contenders for the old heart of Vancouver’s counterculture: the formerly hippiefied Kitsilano and the punk-heritaged Commercial Drive. But while Kits’s history as a cheap place to live for creatives easily evolved into a slick high-priced oasis of yoga and kale, the punk roots of the Drive weren’t so easy to to tame. D.I.Y. street festivals exist alongside a heavy concentration of shops and restaurants, which tend to reflect the area’s cultural diversity and occasional anti-establishment leanings. Locals say “the Drive” has a “deep bench” when it comes to bars and restaurants—plenty of options means it’s easy to get in somewhere, even if your first choice is taken.
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