Familiar Brands and One-of-a-Kind Pieces: The Best of Vancouver's Downtown Shopping

Shopping in downtown Vancouver? You've got options! From familiar faces to unique and one-of-a-kind boutiques, you're spoiled for choice. Vancouver's downtown core is easy to get around by foot and there are plenty of cafes and restaurants along the way to keep hunger at bay and thirst quenched so you can shop until your heart's content.

When the weather's nice, take a leisurely stroll down Robson Street and check out well known brands and the occasional boutique. Centrally located, Robson Street is one of the most popular areas to go shopping and you'll find stores like BCBG, Sephora, lululemon athletica, Zara and Roots, to name just a few.

Looking for a little luxury? Head to Holt Renfrew where you'll find all kinds of fanciful treats. This large department store has everything from accessories and shoes to gowns and suits.

The Hudson's Bay Company is no stranger to Canada and has been around since 1670. What started as a single fur trading post has morphed into Canada's much loved department store where shoppers will enjoy affordable and high-end items. They have sales quite often and they're worth checking out.

For one-of-a-kind, special pieces, you must make your way to Gastown. This downtown Vancouver neighborhood is where you'll going to find unique boutiques that carry local and international designers.


Ladies, and gentlemen, are no strangers to retail giant, Victoria's Secret and Vancouver is home to one of their flagship stores. This location boasts 35,000-square-feet of shopping bliss. Spread over two floors on the corner of Robson and Burrard, this is the largest Victoria's Secret in all of Canada. The space itself is feminine and luxurious, making lingerie shopping an extra treat. Upstairs is where you will find the majority of their bras, underwear, scents and make-up. Head downstairs for lounge wear, yoga gear and work out clothes, amongst other pretty treats. There is an abundant amount of inventory, which means that they will likely have the size you're looking for.

Recommended for Best of Vancouver's Downtown because: This Victoria's Secret is massive! Stretched over two large floors, there's plenty of selection here.

Natasha's expert tip: Weekends can get very busy, so shop during the week days if you can.

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What started as a small hat shop in Quebec City in 1837, has turned into a nationwide empire that is a fashionista's idea of heaven. Vancouver's Holt Renfrew is attached to the Pacific Centre and is three levels of high-end designer apparel, accessories, make-up, shoes and jewels. With brands like Gucci, Christian Dior, D&G, Jimmy Choo, Louboutin, you've got to have some serious dough to spend. However, there are more mainstream brands like Marc Jacobs, William Rast and popular denim name brands that could possibly fit your budget. It may not be a place you can afford to shop all of the time, but it certainly doesn't hurt to take a gander through and gain some inspiration for your next wardrobe purchase, somewhere more affordable.

Recommended for Best of Vancouver's Downtown because: Holt Renfrew is the place to go when you're looking for high-end designer labels.

Natasha's expert tip: Holt Renfrew's shoe sale is not to be missed!

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Stylish menswear with a contemporary touch attracts men of all ages to this leading men's retail shop. Harry Rosen carries business suits, casual wear, shoes and accessories, so whatever the occasion, Harry has you covered. The retail chain is almost 50 years old and carries designer lines like Armani, Hugo Boss, Dolce & Gabbana, Tom Ford and other sought after labels. For men that have a hard time finding a suit and shirt that fit just right, a trip to Harry Rosen will change that for you. Custom alterations will have your suit fitting like a glove. Though the store is not cheap, they have great sales!

Recommended for Best of Vancouver's Downtown because: Looking for a new suit? Harry Rosen is the place to go for men.

Natasha's expert tip: If you can't make it into the store, or you see something and leave without buying it, you can go to their website and visit the online store

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The Pacific Centre covers three city blocks and offers an indoor shopping experience that comes in handy on those notoriously wet days in Vancouver. With some familiar brand names like The Gap, Guess, Hollister, Coach, Michael Kors and Sunglass Hut, mixed in with Canadian companies like The Hudson Bay Company's department store, there's no shortage of choice. Feeling peckish? There's a food court with plenty of choice that will certainly curb all cravings. From salads and sushi to pizza and Vietnamese, they've got you covered. The accessibility of this mall is perfectly located in the core of Vancouver and within walking distance of many hotels, buses and public transportation.

Recommended for Best of Vancouver's Downtown because: Pacific Centre is all indoors and perfect for those rainy Vancouver days.

Natasha's expert tip: Weekdays during the day are the best time to visit and avoid a busy mall.

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Looking for the perfect pair of jeans? Dutil Denim is the place to go. Specializing in mainly denim, Dutil has a huge stock to choose from. No matter what style, shade or brand you're looking for, they likely have just what you're after. Premium brands you can expect to find are Levi's, Rag + Bone, Nudie and Cheap Monday, plus other favorites. The service here is great and these guys will help you find the perfect fit for you. This Gastown gem has been around for years and it's a true testament to the quality of stock and service here.

Recommended for Best of Vancouver's Downtown because: Dutil has one of the best (if not, the best) selections of denim for men and women in Vancouver.

Natasha's expert tip: Don't be afraid to ask for help. They're experts here!

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Robson Street is downtown Vancouver's most popular shopping drag. Stretching from downtown into the city's West End, Robson has a wide range of stores. Familiar faces like The Gap, Zara, Forever 21, lululemon, BCBG and Club Monaco are staples along the street for men and women's apparel. You will also find shoe stores, sunglasses, souvenirs and jewelry shops along Robson. After all that shopping, take a load off at one of the many restaurants and tuck into a delicious meal. From sit down fine dining restaurants to quick and affordable take-out options, you definitely won't be going hungry. Robson Street is close to the city's main transportation hubs so it's easy to get to.

Recommended for Best of Vancouver's Downtown because: Robson Street is one of Vancouver's most popular outdoor shopping areas when looking for familiar name brands.

Natasha's expert tip: Hit up the stores first thing in the morning to avoid the midday rush.

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Located in the heart of Gastown, The Block has been a mainstay amongst Vancouver's trendsetters. Here, you'll find a solid selection of clothing, accessories, bags and jewelry made by international brands like Filippa K and NO. 6. Catering to both men and women, The Block makes his and her shopping a breeze. The Block was one of the first to set up shop in Gastown, and over the years it has continued to remain one of the best boutiques in the neighborhood. The price point isn't cheap, but these are pieces that'll hold a special spot in your capsule for the season.

Recommended for Best of Vancouver's Downtown because: The perfect mix of local and international labels can be found at The Block Clothing Co in Gastown.

Natasha's expert tip: This is a great store to find a unique piece for the person that has everything.

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Brooklyn Clothing is a well-stocked men's clothing and accessory store in Yaletown. Located in a trendy part of town, it's a great store to go to for fashionable men who appreciate solid brands without the big department store vibe. Whether you're looking for a pair of jeans, a shirt, a new jacket or leather man-bag, Brooklyn Clothing has got it all. This independent store provides helpful customer service and attention to detail. Treat yourself to well known brands like G-Star, Matt & Nat, Energie, Morphine Generation and Canada Goose jackets, to name just a few. It's unlikely you're going to leave here empty handed.

Recommended for Best of Vancouver's Downtown because: Brooklyn Clothing Co. always have a great selection clothes that will keep men looking slick.

Natasha's expert tip: If you're heading somewhere cold, Brooklyn Clothing Co. carries Canada Goose jackets.

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If you're looking for fashion inspired by Europe, Japan and NYC, head to Roden Gray. This awesome shop calls the cobblestone streets of Gastown home, and there really couldn't be a better locale for it. Step inside this contemporary store and prepare for a little retail therapy. The clothing is well laid out and the clean lines mixed with rich wood accents don't overwhelm so you can really focus on the clothing. The price point is definitely higher here, but you're getting quality and style. Find brands like Comme des Garcon, Wings+Horns, Nice Collective, Filson and many more. This men's store is one of the best in Vancouver and an ideal place to go for the man who has everything.

Recommended for Best of Vancouver's Downtown because: Looking for something on-trend? Head to Gastown's Roden Gray and check out their solid selection of awesome designers.

Natasha's expert tip: Roden Gray has a higher price point, but it's a great place to find statement pieces.

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The Hudson's Bay Company can be dated all the way back to 1670, and it has evolved over time to keep up with their customers' needs. This location in downtown Vancouver on Granville St. and West Georgia St. is massive! They have just about everything you need for the home, your wardrobe, shoe collection, accessories, beauty products and more. They also carry affordable and high-end items, so no matter your budget, you will find something here. Within this department store is also the second largest TopShop, a trendy clothing chain from the United Kingdom. The department store is attached to the Pacific Centre and can be accessed from the street or inside the mall.

Recommended for Best of Vancouver's Downtown because: The Hudson's Bay Company is awesome because it has high end and affordable brands and fits all budgets.

Natasha's expert tip: The sales! The Hudson's Bay Company has amazing sales on, what seems like all the time, and you can definitely get some awesome steals!d

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Meet Natasha John

Natasha is not born and raised in Vancouver, but is pretty certain it's her spirit hometown. After jumping around Canada, Texas, Arkansas and the UK, she has her feet firmly planted in...  More About Natasha