Stroll Down Denman Street - Vancouver

by Dad


Before we had children, my wife and I lived in an apartment two blocks from Denman Street.  I used to call Denman Street Vancouver's answer to Las Vegas.  It was the street that never slept.  Any time of the day or night, there was action on Denman Street.  Restaurants galore and people everywhere.  That was 25 years ago, and it hasn't changed.

Last summer Mary and I went back to our old haunting place-this time with three kids in tow.  We'd just finished two hours of swimming at Second Beach Pool, and everyone was starving.  I didn't think it was possible, but there were even more eating spots than before:  fish & chips, pizza, sushi, Mexican, Chinese, Vietnamese, Greek, you name it.  I felt like a Donair, but the kids were stuck on pizza and Mary couldn't get a chai latte out of her head.  Nathan suggested we all eat in a different spot and then meet up in 20 minutes.  I have to admit, it was tempting.  Mary's voice brought me back to reality, "Nathan, are you prepared to supervise Coleman?"  End of story.  We finally settled our dilemma at an all-day breakfast place.

The waitress hadn't even brought us our food before Jen popped the question, "Can we go shopping, please, please, please?"  Nathan answered for all of us, "Forget it."  Somehow we still ended up walking the five blocks from English Bay to Stanley Park.  I had to laugh when we walked past "The Rubber Rainbow."  It had so many bright colours on display that Coleman thought they were selling candy.  Mary couldn't resist buying a piece of cheesecake at "True Confections," her all-time favorite dessert restaurant.

What I thought was going to take us 15 minutes ended up being two hours.  Jen was eager to walk back on the other side of the street.  There were a couple of clothing stores she wanted to investigate.  I told her she'd unfortunately have to use her own money because my wallet was empty.  End of story.  We decided to detour back along Lost Lagoon.  Instead of people we saw ducks, swans, and raccoons.  If you go at twilight you may even get lucky and see a skunk.

Age group:

Jen was the one who made the comment, "I don't see too many kids around here."  She was right.  Denman Street is mostly populated by the people living in the apartments around it.  The summer is different because a lot of families go to Stanley Park and English Bay, which are both within easy walking distance.

Expense rating:



Denman Street is five blocks stuffed with places to eat, get a cup of coffee, or to a lesser extent, shop.  I probably wouldn't make a special trip to see it.  But it's so close to places like Stanley Park, English Bay, and Robson Street, you could easily make it part of your route.


Too many choices!  We have five people in our family, and they all have an opinion about food.  If this rings a bell, you might want to make an executive decision ahead of time, instead of throwing it open to the kids.


Denman Street is the link between Georgia Street and Beach Avenue.  If those don't mean anything to you, Stanley Park and English Bay should ring a bell.  Denman is actually the first traffic light you hit after crossing the Lion's Gate Bridge into town.  Just turn right and you're there.  Website:




Denman Street is happening year round.  It does not depend on tourists to keep it going.  Even the bike rental on the corner of Denman and Georgia is open all year.

Educational highlights:

Two restaurants I know of, "The Dover Arms," and "Café de Paris," have been on Denman Street for at least 30 years.  They must be doing something right.

Fun for the adult?:

Walking down Denman Street brought back memories of all those romantic evenings my wife and I had lingering over a decadent dessert or late-night meal.  Those were the days.