Help Me Date in Vancouver!
March 15, 2011 3:26 PM   Subscribe

So, what do people do in Vancouver, dating-wise? Where do they go? Recommendations, please! Stipulation: budget- and rain-friendly.

I moved to the city less than a year ago, and I'm finally getting into the dating thing. Met a girl online; had coffee; that went well. What now? I assume food/drinks is called for, but where would you recommend? In or around downtown is probably best.
posted by smorange to Human Relations (11 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Roughly how old are you? What do you usually do in your spare time? What kind of crowd are you looking for?

A few more details would help a lot - I'm not sure whether to give you recommendations for unlicensed hipster-ish venues in the DTES, or nicer yuppie-friendly places in Yaletown and the West End.
posted by ripley_ at 3:38 PM on March 15, 2011

I like going to the art gallery with my ladyfriend. Some days have better prices than others. The restaurant there is fairly inexpensive, yet has some classy meals and desserts.

Granville island is a good walk aboot, and can be free; Normal people don't really buy things there. The fish and chips at Red Fish Blue Fish are the bomb and fairly inexpensive.

The Donnelly Group owns a bunch of bars that sell cheaper beer than you would find in similarly decorated Vancouver bars. (I recommend the driftwood).

Yaletown Brew Pub has $3.50 pints and $5.00 pizza on Sunday. It is kind of a weekend institution. (I recommend the Old Bruin Seasonal Beer).

The UBC endowment lands are surprisingly good outdoor trails in the rain because of all of the trees. Good for dates because it is understood to be kind of dangerous to go alone.

On non rainy days, walking the sea wall is nice. There's always nice scenery to talk about if nothing else comes to mind.

Have fun!
posted by dobie at 3:47 PM on March 15, 2011

The best budget-friendly date is walking around, rain be damned. Get umbrellas or raincoats and some rubber boots; you should have these anyway living in Vancouver. The city is pretty in the rain and you might as well start enjoying it or you will never survive here. Places you walk to/around:
- Seawall (around Stanley Park)
- Stanley Park, various trails
- Seawall (around False Creek)
- Jericho beach/Spanish Banks
- UBC campus/Wreck Beach
- Granville Island (via the cute little ferries) -- stop for lunch at Go Fish
- DTES/Chinatown
- etc...

You can go on bike rides too, if that's you're thing, and hit all kinds of interesting places. Hiking is often free or cheap as well. If you go to North Van, the Lynn Canyon suspension bridge is great, and free, and has nice trails nearby as well, and is not snowy in winter, usually. There are free snowshoe trails at both Cypress and Seymour; you can rent snowshoes in town for $9-$12 per day.
posted by PercussivePaul at 4:02 PM on March 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

Um, Red Fish Blue Fish is in Victoria. Since it was brought up, the best Fish and Chips in the city is at Go Fish at the wharf, at the foot of Fir Street.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 4:48 PM on March 15, 2011

Response by poster: Age: mid twenties. What do I do most weekends? I have people over at my suite and make them food, and we have a few drinks. But inviting someone you met over the internet is a bit easier when you've been out a couple of times in public, I think. I haven't been on a date in Canada for...several years, and never in Vancouver, hence the question. I know the West End well (I lived in Korea for several years, and I hang out there with Korean friends often), but I'd prefer somewhere more Skytrain-adjacent. I'd prefer hipster over yuppie, if I had to choose between them. The grad student set is sort of what I'm looking for. A good place should facilitate good conversation.
posted by smorange at 5:24 PM on March 15, 2011

Best answer: I have some ideas for places that facilitate conversation and have a younger crowd, but I do think you'll have to venture outside of the downtown core a little:

The bowling alley on Commercial (a few blocks north of Broadway) is fun, and close to the Skytrain and lots of restaurants. I had a good date there a few years ago, with a trip to Stella's (now Biercraft) for excellent Belgian beer afterward.

Bronx Cheer puts on a comedy show called the Hero Show about once a month on Tuesdays, at the China Cloud theatre near Main and Pender. It's solo sketch comedy/monologues (anything but standup), cover is $5, the bar is cheap, and it's a really neat little place. Probably my favourite thing to do in Vancouver, and it's weird enough that you'll have lots to talk about.

For drinks and food, the Waldorf's tiki bar and restaurant are fantastic (but not super close to Skytrain). The decor and crowd will give you lots to talk about, definitely worth the trek.

The Sunday Service performs improv on Sundays at Hennessey Lounge (short walk from Cambie/Broadway station), pretty cheap cover and reasonable drinks/food. Better crowd and better performances than Theatresports, IMO.

This doesn't really apply now, but I had a great first date at the Stanley Park Ghost Train a few years ago - definitely something to try later in the year!
posted by ripley_ at 5:57 PM on March 15, 2011

Best answer: I think you might like The Foundation (2301 Main Street). The atmosphere is relaxed, the clientele young and hipsterish, and the food well-priced, healthy, and delicious. One small caveat--the music can sometimes be just slightly too loud for conversation. It helps if you can get seated away from the speakers.

Easily accessible from Skytrain--get off at Broadway/City Hall station and then get on the #99 B-Line (stop is just outside the exit). Or if it's not raining and you're not in a hurry, you could walk the few blocks from the station.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 7:18 PM on March 15, 2011

Smoke weed and watch a movie at your place together.
posted by LordSludge at 8:40 PM on March 15, 2011

Best answer: Go see a movie at the Hollywood Theatre on Broadway. It's been open for 75 years and has a balcony inside. My Grandma saw Gone with the Wind play there - it's that old. On your way to the theatre, you can stop at Solly's Bagels for the best Jewish food in town - try the Knishes! And afterward (If you have access to a car), go see the 9 O' Clock Gun at Stanley Park.
posted by Bron-Y-Aur at 9:42 PM on March 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

Hiking at Deep Cove! Bit of a bus ride, though, if neither of you has a car.

If you two are the ski/board enthusiast types, the local mountains (Grouse, etc.) have gotten a good dump of snow lately.

UBC has a good museum if that's your thing. Nice garden too, although the botanical garden requires a fee, I think.

Try new foods! I informed my boyfriend that he was a heathen for not knowing what takoyaki was, and made it my personal mission to educate him about his blasphemy. (FYI: Zipang Sushi on Main St. makes authentic takoyaki--grilled, not deep fried--that's not limited to summertime at the night market in terms of availability.) Apply to anything that is new and interesting to you or your new friend.

Lots of beaches to walk around on...the list of places to walk around above is great.

There's the Lonsdale Quay in North Van (a seabus ride away) and Westminster Quay in New Westminster, if you two like shopping. I distinctly remember a neat stamp shop at the latter several years ago; not sure if it's still there...
posted by Hakaisha at 1:48 AM on March 16, 2011 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: There are some great suggestions here that I'll definitely try. I've found that there aren't that many "city" things to do in Vancouver, and not that many new things to experience if you've lived in East Asia. When the weather's nice, the city's great. But when it's raining, it's quiet, and nightlife isn't really Vancouver's strong suit. Best answer is going to those who gave great indoor suggestions.
posted by smorange at 6:22 AM on March 16, 2011

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