The Top 7 Things To Do and See in South Main/SoMa, Vancouver

Olga Lenczewska

Vancouver’s South of Main, more often referred to as ‘SoMa’, is a trendy neighborhood which is a Canadian version of London’s Soho and San Francisco’s SoMa (South of Market). You will fall in love with this neighborhood if you enjoy vintage clothing, cocktails and vinyl records, not to mention multicultural dining opportunities. Here is a list of the top-rated activities in SoMa.

Vancouver by night

1. Explore Indie Music At Red Cat Records


Explore Indie Music At Red Cat Records

Red Cat Records is a music shop founded and run by two artists: the singer Dave Gowans and the guitarist Lasse Lutick, who belong to a local country-rock band ‘Buttless Chaps’. Inside you will find many independent music vinyl records, and you can also get events recommendations from the shop owners as well as tickets to some gigs. The shop has been voted one of the best indie music shops in Canada due to the records selection and the owners’ expertise.

Red Cat Records, 4332 Main Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada, +1 (604) 708-9422

Vinyl records | © Jamie Moore/FlickrVinyl records | © Jamie Moore/Flickr

2. Shop For Stationery At The Regional Assembly of Text


This cute and unique stationery and gift shop exhibits Vancouver’s SoMa’s eccentricity, visible both on Assembly of Text’s website and in the shop itself. You will find there Little Otsu journals, handmade pencil boxes, American Apparel T-shirts, and much more. The shop has also a tiny reading room with cultural exhibits. If you want to make use of the vintage typewriters you will see inside, you should also join their monthly letter-writing club.

3. Sample Cantonese Seafood At Sun Sui Wah Restaurant

Restaurant, Chinese

Alaskan king crab at Sun Sui Wah
© Vandiary/Flickr
A highlight of Vancouver’s rich Chinese history and culture, Sun Sui Wah is an award-winning Chinese restaurant. It specializes in Cantonese-style dishes on the base of the local seafood. What is especially worth tasting are: the Alaskan king crab, whole fried fish dishes, and the traditional dim sum. For desert, you should try the mango pancakes.

Try Brie Fondue At The Burgoo Bistro

Burgoo is a Vancouver-based bistro. This interesting place is particularly known for its tasty grilled cheese and, the classic Mac ‘n’ Cheese, and the unusual brie fondue. With a generous drinks menu, a special brunch selection, and great soups and sandwiches, this place is one of the most popular diners in SoMa. The main ‘Bistro Meals’ selection features American, French, Mexican, and many other specialties.

Burgoo Bistro, 3096 Main Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada, +1 (604) 709-8650, +1 (604) 873 1441s

4. Shop Local Designs at Smoking Lily

Shop, Store

Shop Local Designs at Smoking Lily

Smoking Lily is a local, independent clothing shop that sells their own products, produced in-store by local craftsmen. It started in Victoria, BC and opened in Vancouver’s SoMa afterwards. The clothes are made of silk fabric and have various charming or funny prints on them, such as animals, helicopters, or the periodic table. The collection, including accessories, stands out from typical chain stores’ products.

Smoking Lily, 3634 Main Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada, +1 (604) 873 5459

Inside Vancouver's Smoking Lily | © Christine Rondeau/FlickrInside Vancouver’s Smoking Lily | © Christine Rondeau/Flickr

5. Sip An Old School Cocktail At The Cascade Room

Bar, Cocktail Bar, American

5. Sip An Old School Cocktail At The Cascade Room
Courtesy of Long Table Distillery
This old school, thematic cocktail bar bring you back to the 1950s: ‘the golden age of the cocktail’. The great selection features ‘vintage standards’ such as ‘Tom Collins’ or caipirinha, and ‘old school classics’ such as Hemingway daiquiri or millionaire #1. Additionally, The Cascade Room serves full dinner meals and a very large selection of plates and snacks to accompany your drinks.

6. Explore Local Art At The Jem Gallery

Explore Local Art At The Jem Gallery

The Jem Gallery is a must for any pop culture fan and kitsch art enthusiast, providing with a variety of unusual things. It showcases ‘Just East of Main’ eclectic and low-brow artworks such as prints, painted surfboards, woodcuts, or jewellery, all made by western Canada’s craftsmen.

The Jem Gallery, 225 East Broadway, Vancouver, BC, Canada

The Jem Gallery | © Emmanuel Buenviaje/FlickrThe Jem Gallery | © Emmanuel Buenviaje/Flickr

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