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New series: five spots to visit along the Canada Line

With lots of people so excited to ride the Canada Line, I thought it might be fun to do a little series spotlighting places to visit along the Line’s corridor!

So read on for five good excuses to ride the Line out somewhere — as if you needed more :) And if you have five spots to share along the Canada Line too, e-mail me [1] and I’ll put them up. (Fewer spots are fine too, and they can all be at one station or spread out.)

1. Daiso (near Aberdeen Station)

Daiso in Aberdeen Centre! [2]

Daiso in Aberdeen Centre!

Daiso is in Aberdeen Centre, a shopping mall about a block away from Aberdeen Station in Richmond. Here’s a map [3] showing how to get there from the station.

Daiso [4] is probably one of the most amazing shopping experiences in the Lower Mainland.

Classic American magazine! [5]

Classic American magazine!

Daiso is a Japanese department store where everything is $2 (or thereabouts), and in all honesty, once you visit, you will likely spend your entire afternoon wandering its aisles, piling stationery, dishes, pens, toys, gift boxes, and more into your basket.

The sheer breadth of inventory combined with low low prices creates an overload of shopping goodness. Daiso spans two floors and stocks 50,000 items in every category you can think of.

Batteries? Check. Scrub brushes for the bathroom? Yep. Tote bags with a cute dog painted on them? They’ve got that too. And “classic American magazine” — a.k.a. hip tearouts from old Life magazines for you to put on your wall? All this, and more!

For more on the Daiso experience, check out a post from Tams at the Bigger Bang Theory, detailing her trip to Daiso via Canada Line [6] last week.

2. Beard Papa (near Aberdeen Station & Broadway-City Hall)

Beard Papa, in the Aberdeen Centre food court! [7]

Beard Papa, in the Aberdeen Centre food court!

Beard Papa is in the third-floor food court of Aberdeen Centre, a shopping mall about a block away from Aberdeen Station in Richmond. You can also find Beard Papa in City Square Shopping Centre, next to Broadway-City Hall Station, plus more locations in Vancouver and Burnaby. Here’s a map [3] showing how to get to the Aberdeen Centre location.

Beard Papa's eclair cream puff (vanilla filling, chocolate topping)! [8]

Beard Papa's eclair cream puff (vanilla filling, chocolate topping)!

Beard Papa is another wonderful Japanese import — they make delicious cream puffs that are a cult favourite worldwide, especially in New York and San Francisco.

Check out the articles on Beard Papa’s Canadian website [9]: apparently the first weeks of opening in Aberdeen Centre, Beard Papa had lineups stretching to two hours long!

Anyway, the puffs are the size of your fist, and Beard Papa’s classic flavour is vanilla custard cream, although green tea, chocolate, and other flavours are available.

It’s cash only, so make sure you have some on hand!

3. Kube Computers (near Broadway-City Hall)

Kube Computers near Broadway-City Hall Station. [10]

Kube Computers near Broadway-City Hall Station.

Kube Computers is at 2921 Cambie Street, at 13th and Cambie, about three blocks from Broadway-City Hall Station. Here’s a map [11]!

Inside Kube! [12]

Inside Kube!

Exit Broadway-City Hall station and head south away from the big box stores, and you’ll run into Kube Computers [13], a little computer shop featuring super stylish computer accessories.

Kube’s the place to go if you want a gorgeous laptop case that’s fashionable as well as functional.

And they also do computer repair, design custom computer systems, and other assorted services.

Take a look at their online store [14] to sample their lovely range of bags ahead of time!

4. Arroy-D (near Broadway-City Hall)

Arroy-D Thai Restaurant on Cambie Street. [15]

Arroy-D Thai Restaurant on Cambie Street.

Arroy-D Thai Restaurant, 3106 Cambie Street, at Cambie and 15th, about five blocks from Broadway-City Hall Station. Here’s a map of its location [16]!

You really can’t miss Arroy-D Thai Restaurant [17]—it’s in a bright purple building on Cambie Street.

It’s open for lunch and dinner and the specials make for terrific, affordable Thai meals.

Also, if you bring a bigger group and you’re going to be spending at least $15 per person, you can arrange to sit in the big open area in the middle, which features Thai silk throw pillows and fancy tables.

Edit: I’m sad to report that Arroy-D has in fact closed.

5. Yaletown restaurants along Mainland Street (Yaletown-Roundhouse)

Chocoatl and the Yaletown Brewing Company, right behind Yaletown-Roundhouse Station. Head further up the street for more restaurants! [18]

Chocoatl and the Yaletown Brewing Company, right behind Yaletown-Roundhouse Station. Head further up the street for more restaurants!

Check out this map [19] to see the location of Yaletown-Roundhouse Station and some of the restaurants marked out along Mainland.

Walk north up Mainland Street behind Yaletown-Roundhouse Station, and you’ll encounter a strip of trendy, tasty restaurants in the former warehouse district.

Just near the station, you can hit the Yaletown Brewing Company [20] for casual drinks, Chocoatl [21] for hot chocolates and dessert, or even go celeb spotting at Glowbal Grill and Satay Bar [22] (the gossip pages always say the Twilight kids swing by there).

Or head up the street a bit and check out PHAT [23] (a.k.a. Pretty Hot and Tasty), which serves up delicious lunchtime sandwiches and salads. Hamilton Street one block west has another long strip of great eateries to try. And this is just a small sampling: check out this list [24] for even more restaurants!

And just think about it: if you work or live along the Canada Line corridor, you can now take the train to Yaletown and hit any of these places for lunch or dinner!

Again, if you want to share some spots, I’d love to hear about it. E-mail me [1] your list and I’ll put it up!