June 1, 2009

| Shops | Visit | Households


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1. The brothers Piccolo supply their top-quality 49th Parallel roasts to boutique grocers (like Meinhardt Fine Foods), the city’s best cafés (like their former chainlet, Caffè Artigiano), and here, their signature café that bears the roast’s name. 2152 W. Fourth Ave., 604-420-4901.

In recent years, there’s been something of a restaurant renaissance along W. Fourth. At 2. Bistrot Bistro (1961 W. Fourth Ave., 604-732-0004., informal French dishes match an informal room; the mood is that of a neighbourhood gathering. Across the street at 3. Maenam, find authentic Thai food and an amped wine and cocktail program. 1938 W. Fourth Ave., 604-730-5579.

4. Drop by Scoop! after a walk-in yoga class to recover with a healthy treat. The tart soft-serve is packed with probiotics and the add-your-own-toppings bar has plenty of diced fresh fruit alongside the cereal and mochi. Chill out in the rear with the café’s enticing supply of classic board games. 2050 W. Fourth, 604-569-3338.

5. Terra Breads is an artisan bakery/café whose stone ovens turn out fragrant, crusty loaves ranging from fig-and-anise breakfast bread to salty green-olive fougasse. The sunny window counter is filled with regulars poring over the papers, while dining tables fill with visiting carb fanatics. 2380 W. Fourth, 604-736-1838.

6. Andrea Bini and Carlo Bottazzi, owners of The BiBo, will refuse to cut your wood-fired pizza, made by their Napoli-trained master, because that’s not how it’s done back in Italy. Make sure someone orders the pasta fresca—too good to miss. 1835 W. Fourth, 604-568-6177.



There’s 7. Gravity Pope, where designer shoes of all categories are laid out on a marble slab, ripe for the picking (and, during end-of-season sales, the fighting over). Next door, there’s 8. Gravity Pope Tailored Goods, the boutique that supplies trendy men’s and women’s apparel to wear with them. (Filippa K, Paul Smith, Tocca, and T by Alexander Wang—we love it all.) Gravity Pope Tailored Goods: 2203 W. Fourth Ave., 604-731-7647. Gravity Pope: 2205 W. Fourth Ave., 604-731-7673.

9. Jen MacCormack and Michael Ziff have purchased and smartly revamped Hip Baby. The duo behind Fig organic kids­wear have kept staples like cloth diapers and bisphenol-A-free bottles, and added more modern accessories and gifts, like stainless-steel dish sets, handmade dolls from Montreal’s Raplapla, and, of course, Fig’s graphic clothing, onesies, tees, and blankets. 2110 W. Fourth Ave., 604-736-8020.

The yogawear-as-uniform phenomenon has deep roots here: 10. Lululemon opened its first store in 2000. Today, it shares the block with 11. Oqoqo, its eco label. One block east at 12. Orb, more casualwear—this time in the form of skater-girl basics like hoodies and fitted Ts. Lululemon: 2113 W. Fourth, 604-732-6111. Oqoqo: 2123 W. Fourth Ave., 604-732-6188. Orb Clothing: 2028 W. Fourth Ave., 604-568-6720.

13. Stepback has a charming mix of vintage odds and sods (’60s rec-room glassware, classic board games, baking gadgets Grandma used) and new items and furnishings designed to look vintage—you may not be able to tell the difference. 3026 W. Broadway, 604-731-7525.

14. Lifestyle store Moulé serves man, woman, child, and the home. On the first floor, a slim selection of kids’ toys and designer duds (Ben Sherman, Small Paul, and the like); on the second, beautiful home accessories and on-trend apparel, like Justin Timberlake’s William Rast line and dressier pieces from labels like DVF, Ted Baker, and Rachel Mara. 1994 W. Fourth Ave., 604-732-4066.

15. Kidsbooks is just that: an independent bookstore devoted to young readers. Titles are organized from infant to young adult, and local publishers, like Simply Read Books, share shelf space with commercial heavyweights. Sign up for the e-newsletter and you’ll be invited to readings and signings, and get advance notice of its popular year-end sale. 3083 W. Broadway, 604-738-5335.

16. Ray Rickburn: Shopping for menswear simplified. Go for preppy separates from Tiger of Sweden, well-tailored jackets from New York’s G-Star, and the city’s best selection of Penguin and Fred Perry. 2100 W. Fourth Ave., 604-738-9177.

17. Flagship Nicole Bridger finally opened, to the delight of her following. Stop by to browse the Vancouver-born, Vivienne Westwood-trained designer’s eco-friendly line that proves green clothing can satisfy the sophisticated businesswoman as well as the granola-crunching hippie. 2151 W. Fourth Ave., 604-730-1129.
18. U Life is a brick and monochrome shrine to whimsy. Play with build-your-own Cardboard Safari stag heads and rhinos, or shop for a vintage-inspired mesh clutch by Whiting & Davis. 2028 Vine St., 604-879-9135.

19. If you enjoyed the 1990s cult hit Empire Records, you’ll want to live in Zulu. Behind the army-green façade, grungy hipsters in ironic glasses dole out concert tickets and headphones for shoppers who need a pre-buy sampling. Zulu is also a community centre of sorts, with a regular lineup of in-store concerts. 1972 W. Fourth Ave., 604-738-3232.

20. At Beautybar, boutique cosmetics brands (Kevyn Aucoin, Tarte organic), tools, and skin-care products rise to the ceiling; at the back a mini spa beckons with brow shaping and makeup application. 2142 W. Fourth Ave., 604-733-9000.





 21. Kitsilano Wine Cellar just added a tasting bar to its wine boutique. Quiz the sage staff about pairings as you scoop up an in-demand bottle from the Okanagan’s Naramata Bench. Among the whites, we love the citrusy 2010 La Frenz Sauvignon Blanc. For reds, we dig the smoky tobacco and cherry notes in Red Rooster Winery’s 2009 Pinot Noir. 2235 W. Fourth Ave., 604-736-7660.

22. Kits Beach Pool and its adjacent park teem with picnicking families, students blowing off steam, and addicted sun worshipers. Claim your spot, but don’t nap. Whether for toddlers learning to bike, enthusiastic beach volleyballers, or someone in pursuit of a wayward kite, it’s advisable to keep one eye open.





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