This is part 1 of my 4th avenue series. ..
I live in Kitsilano, so my first go-to shopping street is 4th avenue.
I’ve taken many people shopping on 4th. To me, it’s a must-go place for any shopper – I’d take 4th ave over Robson Street any day.
The main shopping stretch on 4th ave runs starts at Cypress St. and goes westward, ending at Balsam St. There are also a slew of skate & snowboard shops nearby, east of Cypress, but I don’t skate or snowboard, so this tour does not take these into account!
When I shop, it’s all about good kitchenware (I’m a big cook), beautiful clothes, and shoes.
Here’s are my go-to places for shopping on 4th. Make sure you hit the below stores, but also just enjoy the street and wander into any store that looks good…and maybe grab a latte at 49th parallel first.
The best of 4th Ave. Shopping (generally in order from East to West)
4th & Maple:
One of my favourite stores ever. Moulé carries lines for children, men, women, and home decor. Lots of frivolous stuff (ie. a silver plated pig piggybank), but also lots of practical items (ie. Very thoughtful collection of kids toys). They also carry Canadian designer Rachel Mara, who makes some beautiful clothes for women. You can buy anything from jeans and a t-shirt to a full-out gown. Big range, lots of selection, many brands. Not cheap. BUT, they have fantastic sales. I’ve purchased many items at 50-70% off there and wear them often, including 2 pairs of Chie Mihara heels, which are incredibly made & designed, but I bought them for the same price as a pair of Aldo shoes.
Make sure you stop by the front window of Chocolate Arts and admire their chocolate sculpture of the moment. It’s always some beautiful creation. Chocolate Arts carries their own gourmet and organic chocolates, and the store always smells fantastic when you walk in. During Christmas, they also have their famous “lump of coal” chocolates, which I use as stocking stuffers. Again, a higher end place. Go to Purdy’s down the road if you want a cheaper, but still good, chocolate fix.
Spank & Spank Shoes
Spank and their sister store Spank Shoes are both on 4th and both focus mid-priced clothing & shoes, with an emphasis on unique and Canadian design. Spank carries lines like Soia & Kyo, Industry, Mat & Nat, Chulo Pony, and others. Spank shoes i’m less familiar with, but they seem to have a lot of Biviel and Jeffery Campbell. Focus is on funky casual clothes/shoes, outerwear, and dresses.
Beauty Bar carries several cosmetic and skincare lines for men and women. I am not a big make-up person, so whenever I visit I just tell the salesperson that I want _____, and they hook me up good. They introduced me to the Kevin Aucoin cosmetic line, which I love.
Lululemon and Oqoqo
Once upon a time, Lululemon was one independent shop and 4th ave is where it all began. I don’t buy much lulu now, but I will always remember my lulu phase. Oqoqo is Lulu’s natural & organic clothing line. Very soft fabrics and flattering cuts. Prices have gone up since they first opened, but it’s still a nice store. Lotuswear is also right by Lulu and Oqoqo, so visit them all for a trifecta of yoga stores.
There are sevearl kitchen stores on 4th – all good – but Ming Wo is probably the best for me in terms of price and selection. I buy my good grips gadgets there (usually marked 20% off).
Fab is all about premium ($$$) denim and casual wear. Think Paige, Seven, Citizens, Joes, Rock & Republic, William Rast, James Perse, Velvet, etc. I spend way too much money here.
My friends say this place is great, so I’m recommending it! I’m not a huge accessory/jewelry person, but they do have some cute items here. Pop in and take a look!
Gravity Pope Shoes & Gravity Pope Tailored Goods
These are 2 stores, right next to each other. First, Gravity Pope started off as am amazing shoe store in Edmonton & Calgary. They opened in Vancouver a few years ago. The best thing about Gravity Pope is their selection – a HUGE range of shoes, styles, and price points. I can get a pair of Steve Madden shoes there, or I can buy a pair of $1100 Givenchy beauties. Range. And it’s fun to see so many different types of pretty shoes for men and women. Tailored Goods is the clothing equivalent, but less range in price – it’s all $$$ there.
I always stop by to see the crazy mannequins and colours.
Great stop for casual, well-priced clothing and all sorts of selection on hoisery.
There are SO many more stores, but these are some of the best. Make sure you have an afternoon and have fun!
Quick Takes: If you’re in need of food during the trip go to any of the following for good & quick sustenance: The Noodle Box, Terra Breads, Capers (go to the deli), Gypsy Rose Crepes, Kits Coffee. I’ll detail eating places in a future post.