263 E. Pender St., Strathcona
Chef Joel Watanabe (also of acclaimed Chinese brasserie Bao Bei) wanted to combine the clean flavors of Japanese food with the indulgent, comfort element we often associate with Italian dishes. Kissa Tanto is the physical manifestation of that fairly rogue idea. The Japanese-Italian fushion manifests as eggplant fritters with yuzu gribiche, gnocchi with kombu dashi, and sourdough, served with both olive oil and nori butter. The restaurant itself is beautiful—a mix of blue and blush leather banquettes, rich wood tables, and vintage library lamps that cast a soft glow across both the diners and the food. The effect is intimate and chic, but it’s the immaculate presentation of this unusual cuisine that has made Kissa Tanto one of the best restaurants in Vancouver.
Charlie & Lee
223 Union St., Strathcona
One of our favorite Vancouver finds, Charlie & Lee is one of those rare independent stores that doesn't adhere to a strict fashion-season calendar—everything is meant to stand the test of time. The owners are major champions of locally made, ethically sourced goods, like woven shoppers, wooden utensils, and a solid round-up of clean beauty products. You’ll find a selection of Scandinavian-style clothing—jumpsuits, dresses, and tops in natural fibers like linen and silk—as well as pieces for the home, including painted cushions and super-soft throws.