When I first moved to Vancouver, I really felt the need to rebuild my "people" - not just friends, but those around you in local businesses to help you get beautified, inside and out.
I'm very lucky to have found home in Kitsilano, a beach neighbourhood near the University of British Columbia, located close to West 4th Avenue.
When I moved in, I didn't realize how much my life would take me around the city, but there's something about crossing the bridge and coming home that brings a huge sense of relaxation.
That...and a few of these businesses also help:
Best Wine Store: Broadway Wine Shop: (2752 West Broadway)
Not only is there a diverse collection of interesting wines, they hold the BEST tastings each week on Sunday afternoon.
Marty, who runs the front of house, knows everyone by face and/or name, and I've often run into him around the neighbourhood with the biggest smile on his face. He's never steered me wrong on a wine choice.
Plus, the cork wall art is the coolest thing, ever.
Best Salon: Bare Wax Bar (Two locations: 1828 West 1st + 101-2065 West 4th)
I stumbled on Bare Wax Bar while exploring my neighbourhood and walked in for a brow appointment. I've never been to another salon since. Kimmy the owner is divine and very personable, and has created a beautiful, clean, and welcoming environment with wonderful staff.
Sati has been my main girl since that first walk-in, and she now greets me with a hug. Some days, you really need it! I also highly recommend getting a pedicure at their beautiful new West 4th location.
Best Boutique: beautybar (2142 West 4th Ave)
There was once a point in my life when I wanted to be a visual merchandiser, and I've always LOVED looking at boutique windows. beautybar kills their display every, single, time.
beautybar has everything fit for a girly-girl like me - local and unique bath products, jewelry. makeup, cards, candles, etc. Although you might think a boutique must have clothes, I beg to differ. Plus, if you're looking for the perfect "little something" as a gift, you're covered here.
(PS I'm currently lusting after that purple skull in the bottom left corner of the photo - it's a candle) *hint hint*
Best Float: Halsa (2028 West 4th Ave)
It's no secret, I love to float. Over the past year, I've found it the most effective method to
a) relax and b) help all my injuries
Halsa is a beautiful, open space, and a the Genesis Float Pods has both a option for complete sensory deprivation or with gentle light and calming music.
I dare you to try a float. You'll be hooked.
Best Restaurant: Maenam (1938 West 8th Ave)
I feel like giving the title "Best Restaurant" in Vancouver is the equivalent of winning an Oscar. In my humble opinion, Maenam is one of the best places you'll eat, ever.
I had my birthday party there last year and was floored by the diverse takes they had on Thai cuisine, interesting cocktails and service for myself and my friends. I'm seriously thinking about ordering pickup right now...
There we go! What are your favourite small or local businesses in your neighbourhood?