Best Boutique Shops In Vancouver
Boutique shopping in Vancouver has grown to become a big industry and an even bigger relief for those tired of shopping in the insanely high traffic malls (regardless the season) and retail chains traditionally so prevalent in Vancouver. With a bevy of neighborhoods offering quaint shops to browse it is a tricky, never ending, and subjective process in picking the best places to "support". Yaletown, Gastown, West 4th Avenue, West Broadway and the Dundarave district of West Vancouver all offer excellent boutique shopping. YAHglobal.Com has compiled (and will continue to compile) a list of the best boutique shops in Vancouver, categorized by theme, and recommended to you, our valued public.
P.S. We want your feedback on this list. As we mentioned, boutique shopping is very subjective and new stores turn up all the time without getting the proper attention they deserve before the doors close from lack of "word of mouth" and support from the local shopping community. Here is your chance to let us know about your favorite store. Shop owners are welcome to send us their info for consideration too! Sign up as a member and leave your post below.
The Cross Décor & Design - Best Home Decor Boutique
1198 Homer Street (@ Davie), Yaletown, Vancouver
The Cross Decor & Design whispers with Victorian appeal. It feels as if this place belongs perched atop a very complicated wedding cake with its frosted white decor complete with unique boutique style goodies that would serve as perfect wedding gift registry items. Over 5000 square feet of retail space is devoted to luxury home decor, accessories for the abode and the body, and other exquisite "mentionables" that defy classification. Spend an hour browsing in non-confrontational comfort within the doors of The Cross Decor & Design and you'll be sure to depart with a find (or two) that will have your friends and family begging to know where you acquired such treasures.
Salmagundi West - Best Curios & Antique Boutique
321 W. Cordova St, Gastown, Vancouver
Salmagundi West is one crazy place (in an awesome way) with a collection of goods that could never be pigeonholed into any sort of category. Their motto "A collection of interesting things" doesn't do justice to the curios and antiques within. Curios by definition means "A strange and interesting object which invokes curiosity". One walk inside past the old wooden door lets you know your in for a unique shopping treat, albeit with an uneasy feeling of caution as you make your way to the creaking staircase to the basement of this dim lit establishment. As you descend, you can almost hear the audience shrieking "don't go down there you idiot!" as you pass through an interior decorated with creepy bald plastic dolls and babies with an insane looking clown thrown in here and there for good measure. The mood lightens and fear subsides to nostalgia when inspection of the lower level feels more like an exploration through your grandparents basement (if they were hoarders). Trinkets, toys, and pretty much everything else line the narrow walls and the most fun is found when you come across a dark wooden antique file cabinet with dozens of sliding drawers, similar to the Dewey Decimal systems found in old libraries. Inside each drawer is some strange souvenir, memento, or token from a toy chest of days passed. Never (in Vancouver) has there been a store more appropriate for that "ages 2 to 92" category.
Hitz Boutique - Best Alternative Surf/Skate/Snow Tiki Inspired Boutique
316 W. Cordova St, Gastown, Vancouver
Do not get this Hitz Boutique confused with the one on Robson Street which is not affiliated in anyway, nor has anywhere near the quality, selection and awesome staff as found with the real deal on West Cordova street on the outskirts of Gastown. Although this area has some very cool shops, it is an injustice of high lease rates that keeps Hitz Boutique from its rightful place among the high traffic retail neighborhoods of downtown Vancouver such as Granville or Robson streets. Hitz deserves your business so pull yourself away from the entertainment district for a visit to the boutique store that shelves one of the best selections of surf/skate/snow apparel and accessories in town. Purchase decisions aside, Hitz is a fun place to browse with its eclectic decor and tiki inspired theme within. Its one of those places that keep the Christmas lights up all year, but it works. The art adorning the walls provides a gallery like atmosphere with the creations of Jim Cummins, "I,Braineater" (a local genius/psychopath artisan), surf art hanging from above. Hitz also has the best selection of gear for babies and toddlers of parents that love riding waves and half pipes. Hitz is a hit!
Sparkle & Junebug - Best Children's (0-12 yrs) Boutique
3073 West Broadway, Vancouver
This cute little store for munchkins is located in the heart of one of the best boutique shopping neighborhoods in all of Greater Vancouver. Sparkle & Junebug is for parents that want to doll their kids up with a touch of class while still keeping their comfort and innocence intact. You'll find outfits perfect for taking the little ones to the VSO Kids' "Koncert" Series or ballet at the Centre for the Performing Arts. However, as the shop owner clearly stated to us upon discussing the wear at Sparkle & Junebug, one need not have a special event or holiday serve as a reason to dress your children to the tee, and we completely agree.
El Kartel - Best Urban Boutique
1025 Robson Street, Vancouver
El Kartel has become a staple on Robson street, noticeable for its lucha libre themed logo out front. Inside you will find a fantastic selection of trend and anti-trend clothing & accessories for men and women that range from Adidas to Uranium and everything in between (Stussy, etc...). Their custom shoe selection is slick and the art on display is cutting edge. El Kartel screams "urban" and has become a popular haunt for the high top sneaker and skinny jean wearing hipsters of Vancouver and the people that hate them. In other words, everyone.
Goorin Bros. - Best Hat Shop Boutique
1188 Hamilton Street, Yaletown, Vancouver
If you're not a hat person you'll want to reconsider upon one step inside Goorin Bros in Yaletown. Reminiscent of a hat makers you would find off of some cobblestone path in old world England, Goorin Bros exudes class with its dark wooden decor and their friendly yet professional staff. There is something extremely comforting about the shop that makes you want to grab a latte-to-go from across the street and browse their selection for hours. The soft leather seating and classic furniture within don't help matters much should you find yourself pressed for time. Put Goorin Bros on your list of leisurely things to do and we can all but guarantee that you will start finding the likes of Stetson, Panama and Fedora lining the top shelf of your closet. Goorin Bros will turn you into an advocate of the art of "chapeau" making in no time at all.