Commercial Drive is essentially a fine taste of Italy in Vancouver. It is also called The Drive, representing one of the most vibrant districts in British Columbia.
This aggregation of 22 full blocks provides a full experience – there are chic boutiques, restaurants, live music spots, lounges, pubs, etc.
Bars, dinner, theatres, coffee spots, bakeries, and many more are also included. Every few steps in this area pose a place of great delight.
Where Is Commercial Drive Located?
This district stands in Commercial–Broadway SkyTrain Access, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
In other words, you would find Commercial Drive in East Vancouver. It is only about a 10-min walk from VCC-Clark.
It might as well be addressed as a part of Napoli, Genoa, or any other part of Italy because it gives an Italian experience – from the fashion scene to the food and music.
What Is The History Behind Commercial Drive?
This roadway was originally called Park Drive but was later renamed Commercial Drive in 1911. There were several attempts to turn it into a real estate area, which failed wonderfully.
After World War II, several Italian immigrants settled in the northern part of where we now call Commercial Drive. Today, it is called ‘little Italy’ obviously because of the Italian heritage and influence.
Are There Fun Events To Look Forward To In Commercial Drive?
This is a street festival to celebrate Italian culture. It is a yearly event that brings the community together with over 150 street participants.
This includes partners, merchants, vendors, and community organizations. Italian Day sees over 300,000 attendees of all ages.
For a lot of persons, Christmas is a great time to spend at home. Well, the event (Christmas on the Drive) will be bringing the pleasantries of Yuletide to you.
It is a free public event that provides participants, especially the kids, with different packages. This includes pictures with Santa, tree lighting, live music, and a kid craft area.
There are also horse and carriage rides, seasonal beverages, and holiday treats. Clowns and caricature artists will also be available for balloon twisting and other tricks.
February 17th is the date. This is an annual event on The Drive celebrating families. This event usually takes place in the afternoon.
This annual event started in 2005, with 16 blocks in Commercial Drive being freed from vehicular activity. There were thousands of individuals celebrating with walks, chants, and dancing.
Which Food Spots Are There To Try Out?
Although The Drive is known for the Italian experience, its food offering is not limited to just Italy. There are several eateries with cuisines from other cultures.
Here are some of such restaurants.
Varadero Cuban Cafe
You will find this cafe at 2767 Commercial Dr, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. They offer Caribbean and Cuban menus.
Try out the ropa vieja, vaca frita, and many other cuisines that you might find hard to pronounce but your taste buds will thank you.
There are a lot of Asian restaurants in this part of Vancouver. The menus at Bao Down take customers on a culinary journey.
Experience the Asian spice, Japanese arts, and special cocktails. If you get there in the afternoon, you get tacos and tapas with some eccentric presentations.
Their menu creates a balance between sweet and sour taste. This balance is popular in Filipino delicacies.
There are so many spots in Commercial Drive, where you can get great Italian cuisine – whether it’s a dinner date or a quick takeout.
There is Tikka House at 1859 Commercial, which offers mustard fish tikka. There is also Madras lamb curry that will keep you finger-licking.
If you want a mix of art, beauty, and Indian food, check out Siddharta’s Indian Kitchen. This is at 2066 Commercial Drive.
There are a lot of seafood and gluten-free options. You can end the night in Bombay Kitchen, which is at 1018 Commercial Drive.
Are There Other Notable Attractions In Commercial Drive?
Rufus Guitar and Drum Shop
This is the spot for music enthusiasts. It is sited at 1803 Commercial Drive.
It is an instrument shop, as well as a centre for learning music – whether it’s jazz, heavy metal, or any other type of music.
There is the Guitar and Drum part. They not only sell modern instruments but also have a collection of vintage instruments.
It does not end here as they also offer servicing and repairs for your instruments.
Salons on The Drive
Indeed, ladies do not play with their hair. But this truth applies to both genders. This is why everyone should try out these salons in Commercial Drive.
There is the High Fidelity Hair on 1003 Commercial Drive. This salon has close to 10 expert stylists, with a unique theme of rock and roll here.
They live up to high energy with amazing hairdos. Get to 205 Commercial Drive, you’ll see Kokopellis Hair Salon that has been standing here for over 20 years.
This salon has a reputation for finding customers with amazing outreach initiatives. If you want the best haircut, check out ‘Ice Kol Kut.’
This is a non-profit organization by Portia Sam on 1029 Commercial Drive. This is one thrift shop that offers a range of used products.
From clothing, furniture, and accessories to a host of household items. This store also seeks to eradicate the stigma generally associated with using second-hand items.
For over 15 years, this flower store has been serving the neighbourhood with some of the best flowers. Once you get to 1319 Commercial Drive, you can already bask in the beautiful scents.
You would find some of the finest flower petals along the walkways. Sacha Thompson, the owner, operates this space seven days a week.
FlowerBox adds a lot of colours to the neighbourhood, and they offer consultation. Perhaps, you want to hold a wedding but are not sure of the type of flower to use.