It seems that with every year that goes by, our Kitsilano neighbourhood is losing yet another part of its old-school charm. Visit these iconic and historic Kitsilano eateries before they too, disappear under the bulldozer.

Arbutus Coffee

Once upon a time, the teal, shingle-sided, frontier-looking heritage house that’s now Arbutus Coffee, used to be the Eureka Confectionery. This former grocery store was built and operated in 1907 by Thomas Frazer, one of the first settlers in the area, and who lived in the house next door. In the 1930s and in the 1960s, 2200 Arbutus Street survived several attempts of demolition since it was situated along the Arbutus Corridor. The iconic building is now a rustic, cozy coffee shop filled with locals who appreciate a bit of the old Kitsilano, along with enjoying some Bean Around the World coffee and sweet and savoury pastries.

Arbutus Coffee, 2200 Arbutus Street, 604-736-5644,

The Naam

Back when West 4th was known as Rainbow Road, The Naam opened its 24hr doors. It was 1968 and it was the perfect time to introduce an entirely vegetarian menu. Hippies, anti-war activists, Greenpeace staff, and other counter-culture folk felt welcome at The Naam. Fifty years later, customers, now from all backgrounds, are still ordering those satisfying and healthy brown rice bowls topped with organic veggies and drizzled with The Naam’s special sauce. Nightly live music and locally produced artwork on the colourful walls keep the atmosphere congenial.

The Naam, 2724 West 4th Avenue, 604-738-7151,


Another child of the sixties, this classic family-run Greek restaurant has managed to fill its seats and stand the test of time on West 4th since 1969. Inside, the space is bright and airy, and the menu has hardly changed over the last 50 years. Greco-Roman dishes include generous portions of rich and flavourful souvlaki, roast lamb, pasta, and loaded pizzas.

Simpatico, 2222 West 4th Avenue, 604-733-6824,

Last modified: February 18, 2018

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