South Vancouver hidden gems worth checking out this summer

Summer is just around the corner, and if you’re looking for places to explore, you should add South Vancouver to your list.

South Vancouver is a treasure trove of hidden gems that residents, with the exception of locals, are probably unaware of.

While residential and industrial zoning dominates this geographical portion of Vancouver, there are still plenty of cool spots to visit. From luscious parks to a wide array of ethnic cuisine and even some trails to put your body to work, South Van is the perfect destination for a day trip.

South Vancouver

A map highlighting South Van. (Google Maps)

One of the key areas to check out in South Van is the Punjabi Market. And while it is itself a hidden gem in Vancouver, there are a few spots within the Punjabi Market that you need to check out.

Having opened in the ’70s around the birth of the Punjabi Market, Himalaya Restaurant has been doling out sweets and delicious Indian food for well over 40 years. Make sure to try its Gulab Jamun!

Address: 6587 Main Street, Vancouver
Phone: 604-324-6514

Cleverly paired right next to THC dispensary, the Dank Mart is your one-stop shop for snacks and beverages. Yes, munchies.

Dank Mart was a trendsetter, creating a wave of bodega-style convenience stores like it.

Address: 6418 Main Street, Vancouver
Phone: 604-321-3265

While Breka Bakery has become a local favourite with its many locations across the city, you can see where the success started at the Fraser Street cafe. Open 24 hours a day, Breka offers a combination of savoury and sweet items, freshly baked bread, as well as a big selection of hot and iced coffee drinks.

Address: 6533 Fraser Street, Vancouver
Phone: 604-559-0900

Memorial Park is a great spot for some quiet time. If you’re feeling active, it has facilities for a wide range of different sports and track activities. Several restaurants on Fraser Street are also within walking distance of the park.

Address: 5955 Ross Street, Vancouver

hidden gems South Vancouver

Punjab Food Center/Google

The Punjab Food Center is an OG Punjabi Market business that opened in the early 1980s. It’s your one-stop shop for Indian ingredients and products, from a wide variety of Indian spices to more common fruits and vegetables. They even sell traditional Indian pots, pans and utensils.

Address: 6635 Main Street, Vancouver

Fraser River Park may be the most stunning of the hidden gems that South Vancouver has to offer. Think of your own beautiful and less-populated seawall. Not far from the Fraser River Park is the 2.1 km Fraser River Trail.

Address: 8705 Angus Drive, Vancouver

Another lesser-known park is Everett Crowley. A great spot for some quiet rest and relaxation, but it is also home to a series of trails if you want to be more active.

Address: 8200 Kerr Street, Vancouver

Designed in 1968 by Arthur Erickson and Geoffrey Massey, the KDS Ross Sikh Temple is a gorgeous structure that has been a cornerstone for the South Asian community in South Vancouver for decades. Members of this Sikh Temple are always welcoming to guests from all backgrounds.

Address: 8000 Ross Street, Vancouver

The Northern Cafe & Grill truly embodies the definition of a hidden gem. It’s been around since 1949 and presents a unique blend of Chinese and Western diner cuisine. Choose from a crispy chicken burger or vegetarian chow mein. Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, both!

Address: 1640 East Kent Avenue South, Vancouver
Phone: 604-313-8118

Do you like Italian cuisine? What about Japanese? Well, Cafe de L’Orangerie offers a unique blend of both with their take on Italian-Japanese fusion, located in Marpole. Try the Hayashi and Creamy Spaghetti with Hamburger Steak for a real taste of both influences.

Address: 1320 West 73rd Avenue, Vancouver
Phone: 604-266-0066

A brand new addition to the hidden gems in South Vancouver is Dhamaka. It replaces the former Main Street Indian restaurant, All India. It offers similar food with the addition of some Chinese fusion dishes. So far, the reviews are glowing.

Address: 6560 Main Street, Vancouver
Phone: 604-327-0891

This piece was originally published in July 2021.