Photo credit: Philip Tong / Flickr
Rainbow flags and sunburst banners adorn the lampposts in this lively neighbourhood in the heart of downtown's dense West End. Known internationally for its thriving community of gay and lesbian residents, Davie Village is offers a chilled-out vibe for people watching during the day, and thumping clubs, pubs and street life at night. “Davie Village” refers to the stretch of Davie Street between Burrard and Jervis Streets, but make sure you poke your head around the corner onto some of the side streets which are also home to some gems.
Seeing and Doing
It’s not just the characters that are colourful around here. The intersection of Davie and Bute is home to the much-photographed Rainbow Crosswalk, which made its debut during Vancouver’s Pride celebrations but has remained a year-round attraction. But Davie Village is less about “seeing the sights” and more about “living the lifestyle.” So grab a coffee and stroll – start at the busy, Burrard Street end, and head down the hill, towards the water. On your way, you’ll pass LGBT-friendly bookstores, boutiques and plenty of places to refuel.
In the evening, Davie Village comes to life as the real epicentre of Vancouver’s gay nightlife scene. What you might not expect is just how diverse that nightlife can be. Along with dance clubs hosting some of the world’s hottest DJs, you’ll also have no trouble finding LGBT-friendly sports bars, bingo games hosted by drag queens, and casual pubs with excellent craft beer selections.
Photo: Kris Krüg / Flickr
Eating and Drinking
On a sunny day, there’s nothing like a Davie Village patio for brunch or a beer. Most of the restaurants in this area are real neighbourhood spots, so expect to find yourself sitting among the locals, perhaps including one or two of the community’s renowned drag queens.
You won’t find a lot of high-end restaurants in this area, but you will find a lot of range in the multicultural menus on offer, from Greek to Malaysian, Persian to classic American. It’s not unusual to see line-ups for the most popular spots, but fear not, the queue will move quickly!
Photo: jugolic / Flickr
Shopping and Souvenirs
The stores you’ll find in Davie Village pride themselves on being independent and serving the local community. Instead of “big box” stores or international chains, you’ll instead find spots such as famous LGBT bookshop, Little Sisters, boutiques packed with club gear, charming vintage stores, and one of the city’s very best wine shops.
For more information, visit the West End Business Improvement Association online.