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 The Village that never sleeps

As a commercial artery, Vancouver’s Davie Street has everything

The Fountainhead. Credit: Leah Bromley

Davie Street, the heart of Vancouver’s gay village, never sleeps. It’s the main reason I keep living in the West End. I love that I can buy my groceries, decorate my apartment and meet a friend for drinks and a bite in a single trip.

As far as commercial arteries go, Davie Street between Granville and Denman boasts a wide array of nightlife, shops and restaurants that satisfy all my cravings. It’s a street that caters to renters, condo dwellers and senior citizens, focusing on both the necessities and indulgences of everyday life. Davie Street is that perfect blend of convenience, practicality and irreverence that makes Vancouver what it is.

If you’re craving food, caffeine, something to read or play with, or a little something for your home, check out these businesses.

The Fountainhead
1025 Davie St

Best known for its year-round patio, The Fountainhead Pub is where I like to go to hang out with teammates and friends over a beer and a nosh. No matter what time of day or night you go there, the crowd is always having a good time and the staff is always in on the fun. This local watering hole has something for everyone: shoot some pool or some darts, have a quick drink at the bar, or cruise Davie Street and warm yourself up by the fire pit on the patio.

The Dish
1068 Davie St

On those rare occasions I make it to the gym, I like to stop off at The Dish for a wholesome breakfast or healthy wrap to replenish my electrolytes or whatever the hell it is you burn when you’re working out. I’ve never had a bad meal at The Dish. The food is fresh, the service is pleasant, and I always feel like I’ve done something good for my body when I leave. The “family” photos on the walls add to this tiny eatery’s homey feel.

Melriches
1244 Davie St

Melriches is still my favourite place to relax with a cup of coffee and a good book, and that’s not just because I used to work there. The wood tables and chairs give the shop a rustic feel that I look for in a coffee shop, the music is always eclectic without being canned or overbearing, the confections are baked in-house, and the staff helps me keep my pulse on contemporary youth culture. The back-alley patio is a great place to unwind with a cup of joe or a brew, collect your thoughts, and watch the sun set behind the buildings.

Joe’s Grill
1031 Davie St

I love over-easy eggs, but I can never make them at home. For a cheap and fast breakfast, I like to go to Joe’s Grill. What separates breakfast at Joe’s from the other diners on Davie are the hash browns; they are simply the best and there are lots of them. The waiters help each other out when it’s busy, and they treat you more like a roommate than a customer. When available, their crab-cake Benedicts ($8.95) are the best.

Little Sister’s Book & Art Emporium
1238 Davie St

What can I say about Little Sister’s that hasn’t already been said? The store is a cornerstone of Vancouver’s queer community, enriching our lives by fighting censorship, educating us through books, and keeping us in lube and sex toys. It’s always a pleasure catching up on the goings-on in the neighbourhood with co-owner Jim Deva and manager Janine Fuller. Their used-book selection is a great place to find vintage and out-of-print queer-themed books and magazines.

Homewerx
1053 Davie St

Homewerx adds a touch of class to Davie Street. The store appeals to the minimalist in me with elegant home furnishings that feature clean lines and interesting objects. Homewerx is the perfect place to shop for small apartments and interesting gifts for your friends. If you love to entertain, drop in and browse their selection of interesting stemware, ambient music and timeless furniture.

Hamburger Mary’s
1202 Davie St

Over the years, I’ve watched Hamburger Mary’s evolve from a late-night hangout for the Dogwood Monarchist Society to a solid neighbourhood restaurant with good food and efficient service. Although the diner opened in the 1980s, it’s stayed true to its ’50s-themed roots and commitment to camp. One of the last holdouts from Davie Street’s glory days, this is where I go when I need a manly meal of a milkshake and a hot turkey dinner smothered in gravy.

Room in Order
1055 Davie St

I have a lot of stuff and not a lot of space. I don’t know where I would be were it not for the collapsible ottoman that doubles as storage and a place to sit on movie night. Room in Order has everything you need to organize your home, from closet organizers ($19.99) to picture frames (starting at $9.99) and compost bins ($34.99).