The businesses our editors visited the most in 2022

We kept coming back to these places.

businesses we visited most

There’s something about an awesome neighbourhood haunt that attracts you back time and again. Obviously, many of these places will be in our own neighbourhoods, because convenience rules all. But that’s not always the case. Maybe the closest thing to your house is a bad pizza place (I know it sounds crazy, but I’ve been there), or maybe you work in an awesome location.  

Our editors each took a stab at naming the places we went to most—with the caveat that only two of the establishments on our list could include food. Oh, and we didn’t count liquor or grocery stores either because that would be boring.  

Nathan Caddell, editor in chief

1. Flourist Bakery

If you know me well enough, you’re probably just waiting to see whether I’d lie about this. No, I’m not lying. I live very close to one of the best bakeries in Vancouver, and despite the best efforts of my belt buckle and my wallet, I have not stopped visiting it. Everything here is dynamite, but I do have to give a shoutout to the oatmeal raisin cookies that taste incredible while lulling me into the false sense of “this is kinda healthy, right?” 

I have Googled “Flourist hours” way too many times, and the result is always the same: opening hours for different florists in my neighbourhood.

favourite businessesCircus Play Cafe on Facebook

2. Circus Play Café

Welcome to having a toddler. This place is also close to my house and an absolute godsend on weekends or days without childcare. Come in, grab a ticket and a coffee and let the kid go nuts. The best part is the small talk you have with the other parents while your kids are taking turns pulling each other’s hair: “So, do you… Hey, don’t do that to her, that’s not nice. What do we say? Yeah, that’s right… do you live in the neighbourhood?” 

I don’t have any actual information on this, but it does sadly seem like Circus might be a thing of the past sometime in 2023, as most of the other businesses in its little strip mall have shuttered and a large development sign looms over the site. Keep hanging on, Circus, please. My sanity hangs in the balance.

3. Max Performance Sports

There are a lot of places that I could throw in here as I don’t actually have exact stats on this (shocker, I know). In other years, a movie theatre would probably take the cake and there are more than a few bars that I visited charitably this year.  

But I do think I need to shoutout the magnificent Max Performance Sports on West Broadway. If you love hockey, it’s a small, dedicated shop that can help you find whatever you need. And hey, if you have a hockey lover in your life, it’s not too late to grab them something from here, as this place has a tremendous amount of awesome gift ideas. Smart, friendly staff goes a long way, as the folks at Max Performance prove time and again.  

Rushmila Rahman, assistant editor

Rain or ShineRain or Shine

1. Rain or Shine

Given how directionally “challenged” I can be, one might argue that I chose to live where I do because of the two Rain or Shine locations on either side of me—one at UBC and one on 4th. To find a classic ice cream spot that actually lives up to the hype in Vancouver means that I get to recall my Freshman 15 days every time I step in for dessert. 

You can’t go wrong with their classics or seasonal flings. And for someone who hates chocolate ice cream to declare this place’s malt chocolate honeycomb to be my favourite in the city (I’ve never walked out of there without a pint and a scoop) means it’s a safe bet… come rain or shine (or snow).

The DiamondThe Diamond Facebook

2. The Diamond

No, this bar doesn’t carry Empress gin. If that’s going to prompt you to open Maps and start typing “drinks near me,” hold on, because this craft cocktail lounge in Gastown is a hidden gem if I’ve ever seen one. 

Nestled above a small pizza shop and a random ATM machine on Powell Street, The Diamond’s narrow flight of stairs will transport you to a charming, dimly lit old-timey cocktail bar that’s reliable late at night (which means 11 p.m. for Vancouver). The drinks are strong, smooth and easy to lose count of (namely the Connor Rocks, even with basic gin). But don’t be fooled—even though the sign says The Diamond Restaurant, food options don’t include anything that will actually cushion the blow to your liver. Not that I come here to eat, anyway.

Bedazzle Nail SpaBedazzle Nail Spa Facebook

3. Bedazzle Nail Spa

Although the handful of nail salons along Point Grey’s West 10th strip are all relatively well-rated, Bedazzle had my heart (and hands) from the get-go. If you’re getting a mani-pedi (which I always do), you’ll be seated in a massage chair and offered a tea and snack tray within five minutes of stepping inside. The staff will always accommodate you, whether you have an appointment or not. (Which means that if you do have an appointment, you can expect it to run long. Like, really long. Nobody’s perfect.)

And while I’d say the establishment’s 4.6-star Google rating is a fair judge of how Instagrammable your nails will look afterwards, prices here do tend to skew higher than some other Vancouver salons. It’s West Point Grey, after all.

Alyssa Hirose, Contributing editor

1. Pulpfiction Bookstore

Earlier, we mentioned convenience—I am so lucky to live just a few blocks from Pulp Fiction, which is in my opinion Vancouver’s best bookstore. Especially considering the tiny square footage, this store has an impressive collection of new releases, particularly by Canadian authors… but it also has those kind of creepy, charmingly overwhelming back shelves full of older novels. There’s a great little comic book section, too. favourite businesses

2. The Nooks

There’s four Nooks retail shops in B.C., but my home base is Vancouver’s Kitsilano location. It’s my go-to place for gift-buying, no matter who the giftee is: everything in store feels so deeply personal mindfully made, it’s a slam dunk. The Nooks feels a bit more like a craft fair than a retail shop, because every section is labeled with the (always local) maker’s name and bio, so you really know who you’re buying from. It’s a small biz paradise full of handmade jewellery, art prints, candles, clothing and more.

3. Michaels Crafts

Speaking of crafts—if we’re talking strictly “number of trips”-wise, Michael’s is it for me. I can (and have) spent hours in that store, and in my family it’s a universally understood truth that you can get me a Michael’s gift card for every Christmas and birthday and I’ll be happy. I know the store well enough to give other people directions. I am a big craft nerd.