We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“Good spot for a coffee” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Commercial Drive

Commercial Drive
Ranked #49 of 345 things to do in Vancouver
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Fee: No
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Trendy neighborhood lined with ethnic cafes and fashionably bohemian boutiques.
Kelowna, Canada
Level Contributor
28 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Good spot for a coffee”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 March 2014

This is a great place to meet up with some friends, hang out, walk the streets, sit down at one of the many coffee shops and people watch for awhile. The Commercial Skytrain Station is usually crowded with people, they have a bunch of stores/shops to eat at, banks nearby. People do their own thing on Commercial, and its best to let them be.

Visited December 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank ColleenA8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

222 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    105
    80
    30
    5
    2
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
69 reviews
35 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
“Love it here, but it grows on you..”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 November 2013

So, I visited commercial drive for the first time in 2011, and I was indifferent to it.
"WHY would I come here? Kensington Market (my current home) is SO MUCH COOLER."

In 2012, I found myself moving away from the Market in Toronto, and to Vancouver. It was really a coin toss between Kits and Commercial drive. We picked commercial drive because we wanted to be around the queer culture.
Now, The Drive isn't somewhere I'd put on a "must-see" list if you're on a tight budget. You don't "see" the Drive like you would Kensington Market in Toronto, or some of the other neighbourhoods in Vancouver (like Kits). You "experience" The Drive.
There's not much to "see," but there's lots to experience.
Grab a coffee in a cafe, and strike up a conversation with someone.
Sit in the park, and join in on someone's jam session.
Find someone you think looks cool in the park ("cool" is subjective - this is one of the most diverse places I've ever been, and you will find someone who meets your unique brand of cool in gradview park). Tell anybody in the park that it's your first time on The Drive, and they'll probably let you hang out with them.
Grab food from all over the world (which is notably absent in Vancover, compared to Toronto, in many other parts of the city).
Walk around the streets, and check out the amazing backyard farms. Ask someone to show you around. They will.

If you have time, spend at least 2-3 days here. If you are "passing through," try chatting with some of the people who live here. Commercial drive isn't about the shops.
Commercial drive is about the people, and not the places. here, you'll find young people, artists trying to make it, old people who have lived here for 60 years, people of all linguistic/cultural backgrounds, hippies, computer programers, lawyers, students, bank tellers...everybody. The one thing they all have in common is a love for this neighbourhood, and the desire to live a bit more communally.

So, yeah, if you just walk around, you'll think it's awful here. I was bummed out when I first moved here, and walked around. I was unimpressed when I visited. But, now, I call this place home. Any tourist who has come to stay with us on the drive for more than a few days has been enchanted by it.
Come visit us. We'll like you, and we'll be happy to see you. :)

Visited November 2013
Helpful?
9 Thank smfische
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
34 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Arty, mellow hippy town”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 July 2013

We visited various areas of Vancouver before settling on a place to live, but I think it's safe to say Commercial Drive stole our hearts from the get-go.

I have SO much love for this place! Something we noticed travelling around was how each area of the city has a particular feel. If the bohemian hippy lifestyle resonates with you, Commercial Drive is definitely the place to be.

A particularly good place to come if you want to relax, unwind, and just take time out to appreciate life (...man), and home to a fantastic range of restaurants, not to mention some beautiful parks.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
Thank Rhiarti
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
143 reviews
106 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
“Why bother”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 July 2013

If I were on a tight schedule, I would have been regretful for the time I spent visiting places such as commercial drive, Gastown, Granville Island and Chinatown. I enjoy nature the best and I don't care to see small independent shops. I was tempted to visit those places as they were high rated attractions and I had enough time. I thought I might find something interesting and special about them. That didn't happen.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank L0ve2TravelCanada
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
146 reviews
95 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
“Funky central”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 June 2013

Commercial Drive is the place to go for great food (especially italian and organic vegetarian) and for it's unique ambiance. Take an outside table at The Havana restaurant to watch the passing parade.

Helpful?
3 Thank Donald R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed Commercial Drive also viewed

Vancouver, British Columbia
Vancouver, British Columbia
 
Vancouver, British Columbia
 

Been to Commercial Drive? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing