Where to eat and drink on Commercial Drive in Vancouver, BC

Commercial Drive is not just a laid-back and cool spot to stroll or shop – it’s one of the best places to eat and drink in the city.

This article is presented by Freshmart

Whether you’re seeking a sun-drenched patio or darting between raindrops with cozy comfort in mind, Vancouver’s Commercial Drive is a food lovers’ paradise.

This lively neighborhood – known fondly as “The Drive” – has snagged a spot on Time Out‘s list of the “coolest streets in the world” for 2024, and with good reason.

Stroll its storied blocks and you’ll spy an eclectic mix of independent cafes, restaurants, treat shops, and bars that make Commercial Drive one of Vancouver’s true culinary hot spots. From laid-back coffee shops to award-winning dining destinations serving up mouthwatering global flavours, Commercial Drive is not just laid-back and cool – it’s one of the best places to eat and drink in the city.

By no means an exhaustive listing – what a daunting task! – this food and drink round-up spotlights a curated selection of the very best of what Commercial Drive offers, running the gamut from Michelin Guide-recognized pasta, inventive ice cream scoops, Vietnamese coffees, intimate bars, and Vancouver’s most delicious sandwiches – with plenty of pizza, veggie options, and breakfasts to boot.

Here are some of the top spots for eating, drinking, and getting a tantalizing taste of Vancouver’s celebrated Commercial Drive.

Coffee, bakeries, and other treats

Prado Cafe

The Drive is where Vancouver cafe Prado began, and its cozy coffee shop at 4th Avenue is still a cherished hangout where you can enjoy a great cup of coffee, pastries, and people-watching.

Address: 1938 Commercial Dr

Hèm 377

Vietnamese coffee shop Hèm 377’s second cafe location is on The Drive. Here, the menu focuses on its signature coffee beverages, including Egg Coffee (Cà phê trứng) or Pandan Drip (Cà phê lá dứa) – made with drip coffee and sweetened pandan milk and cream. The café also has a “cloud series” of coffee drinks, specialty lattes made with ube, durian, or Biscoff cookies, along with milk teas, flavoured milks, and fresh teas and juices. For food, Hèm 377 offers snack-style eats, like popcorn cups, a sticky rice bowl, and banh mi. 

Address: 1108 Commercial Dr.

Grounds For Coffee

Looking for the best cinnamon buns in Vancouver? Look no further than one of the two locations of Grounds For Coffee, whose gooey, sticky, frosting-laden cinnamon buns have a cult following. While you’ll be sweetly satisfied with their standard offering, Grounds is known for its seasonal specials, which draw raves and often sell out swiftly.

Address: 2088 Commercial Dr.

Moja Coffee

Commercial Drive is the home of local coffee roaster Moja’s second Metro Vancouver cafe location. Grab a cup of coffee made with their house blend beans and a fresh pastry, and take a seat (or head out for a stroll). 

Address: 1102 Commercial Dr

Elephant Garden Creamery

Elephant Garden Creamery is known for its Asian-inspired flavours and has been scooping for about five years now on The Drive. Lindsay William-Ross/V.I.A.

Ice cream certainly brings people together, and Elephant Garden’s diverse flavours reflect how multicultural Vancouver itself is. Owner Betsy Ng fell in love with creating ice cream and is constantly wowing customers with her line-up of scoops and pints, in flavours like HK Milk Tea, Coconut Pineapple Tart,  Cookies N’ Cream Monster, and Vietnamese Coffee.

Address: 2080 Commercial Dr.

Oh Sweet Day!

This charming little bakeshop will take you just steps off The Drive on 1st Avenue, but it’s a staple nonetheless. Local blogger Fanny Lam rose to local acclaim for her shortbread cookie boxes before she turned her side hustle into a brick-and-mortar business a few years ago. You’ll want to grab some cookies along with her signature cheesecake. 

Address: 1706 E 1st Ave


At Livia you can sit down in the daytime to enjoy coffee and breakfast sandwiches or you can tuck into plates of pasta by night. Around the side is their take-out window if you’re looking to grab a pastry to-go. Lindsay William-Ross/V.I.A.

Though Livia is among the contemporary businesses on The Drive, it oozes old world charm. From the side-street walk-up bakery window, where you can pick out a pastry and order up a coffee, to the counter-service interior where you can sit down with a breakfast sandwich by day (and plates of pasta by night), Livia is a delightful spot. Be sure to snag a loaf of their signature sourdough, and, during the holidays, their housemade panettone.

Address: 1399 Commercial Dr

Merci Boulangerie

The newest bakery on The Drive is the French-inspired Merci Boulangerie, which got its start as a pick-up and delivery service before opening a retail space in early 2024. Indulge in a “taste of Paris” vis a vis the bakery’s buttery croissants, pain au raisin, or savoury scrolls. 

Address: 2879 Commercial Dr

Fratelli Bakery

It doesn’t get more The Drive than Fratelli, an institution on the street beloved for its Italian-style baking. Take home whole cakes or cheesecakes, or a collection of smaller bites, like Neapolitan slices, mini cupcakes, eclairs, tarts, and plenty of cookies.

Address: 1795 Commercial Dr

The Bench Bakehouse

Tucked inside Il Mercato, the Bench Bakehouse is a small storefront with a big selection of artisanal bread made with Canadian-grown whole grain flours and French-inspired treats. 

Address: 1641 Commercial Dr

The Licorice Parlour

One of Vancouver’s most colourful characters is the sweetly nicknamed Watermelon who is the proprietor of The Drive’s own candy shop, The Licorice Parlour. Satisfy a sweet craving by perusing a selection of over 100 kinds of licorice at this quirky and charming spot.

Address: 1002 Commercial Dr

Casual Eats

La Grotta del Formaggio

La Grotta del Formaggio has been on The Drive since 1979. Lindsay William-Ross/V.I.A.

“Can a sandwich, like, transform you?” is how I kick off my video review of this legendary Commercial Drive deli. This gem is an undisputed classic on The Drive and makes what are probably the best sandwiches in Vancouver – no fuss, no frills, no fanfare. Build your own or choose from the menu; I’m partial to anything on their focaccia that’s loaded with deli meat, but their hot meatball sub is heavenly as is their chicken parm.

Address: 1791 Commercial Dr

Baby Dhal Roti Shop

Trinidadian flavours shine at this casual spot on The Drive where you can find homestyle Caribbean fare like doubles, pholourie (fried dough balls), and curries. 

Address: 2707 Commercial Dr


Daybreakers does all-day breakfast, featuring dishes like the Apple, Bacon, and Brie Benny with house-made “smashbrowns.” Brendan Kergin/V.I.A.

Every cool street needs an all-day breakfast joint, and Daybreakers has this covered. Their generous portions of classic daytime fare will fill you up and get your day going. Look for breakfast selections like their signature Bennies and lunchtime eats like burgers and German-style sausage (from sibling spot Kaisereck Deli in the Granville Island Public Market).

Address: 2095 Commercial Dr.

Don’t Argue

Main Street’s dearly departed pizza joint has re-emerged as a slice joint offered in-house at Caffe Soccavo, the Italian-style cafe owned by the same folks behind some of the city’s favourite pizza spots. The by-the-slice pizza lineup includes classic Margherita in regular and spicy varieties; Pancetta Pineapple; Pesto Ricotta with fresh basil pesto; and Potato Mash topped with whipped potato, red onion, and braised kale. 

Address: 1321 Commercial Dr.


Home to some of the best tacos in Vancouver, Chancho’s come-as-you-are cantina on The Drive is the perfect hangout for meet-ups over trays of Mexican meats, like juicy carnitas, you can fold into freshly-made tortillas. 

Address: 2096 Commercial Dr

The Drive Canteen

Is it where you can find some of the city’s broadest selection of non-alcoholic beverages? Yes. Is it where you can order kitschy comfort classics like nachos, glizzies, and screamers? Also yes. Is it also a snack shop that mixes locally-made with popular faves? Yes, that too. Is it also a spot for sneakerheads? Why, yes, yes it is. 

Address: 1111 Commercial Dr

The Burrow

Previously known as Bandidas, The Burrow (which is now under new ownership) is a bastion of Mexican-style casual eats (think tacos and burritos) that are vegetarian and vegan. 

Address: 2781 Commercial Dr

DL Chicken

DL Chicken’s original shop is at the northern end of Commercial Drive and is home to big fried chicken sandwiches with big flavour. Lindsay William-Ross/V.I.A.

It’s brash and loud by design, as is the fried chicken here. Riffing on one of the best food trends of the last several years is DL Chicken with its monstrous hot and spicy fried chicken sandos on pillowy buns. Go as hot as you can stand it, and keep an eye out for their playful specials and “secret” menu items like the “Fries on the DL.”

Address: 905 Commercial Dr

Riddim & Spice

Fans of Caribbean and Jamaican food know where to go to find the “riddim and spice” of the islands. Here you can enjoy classics like ackee and saltfish, jerk chicken, fried plantain, and Jamaican patties. 

Address: 1945 Commercial Dr


Magari by Oca

Magari by Oca carries on where Oca Pastificio left off, offering a seven-course tasting menu in addition to a la carte dishes. The menu features four pasta courses, and could include a gnocchi with burrata and tomato sauce, for example. Lindsay William-Ross/V.I.A.

The Commercial Drive restaurant, beloved for its tight menu of handmade pasta served in an intimate setting, opened in December 2019 (as Oca Pastificio), and was ranked by the Michelin Guide as a Vancouver “Bib Gourmand” selection. Inside the simple but cozy space, you can watch pasta being made by hand. Order a la carte from the big chalkboard or put your dinner in the hands of the kitchen and get the tasting menu, with its salad, appetizer, four pasta courses, and dessert. Take note, they don’t take reservations so you’ll have to get there before opening to get your name down for a table.

Address: 1260 Commercial Dr

La Mezcaleria

It’s always a vibe inside La Mez, where the open kitchen is a centrepiece in the narrow room and the chefs are turning out approachable authentic Mexican fare alongside wicked good cocktails.

Address: 1622 Commercial Dr

Loula’s Taverna

Loula’s on The Drive is a family-run Greek restaurant with a vacation-meets-party feel. Lindsay William-Ross/V.I.A.

This family-owned Greek escape loves to bring the party – plate smashing included. Loula’s is one of the liveliest joints on The Drive, with its immersive coastal Grecian decor and approachable eats. In the summer, that garage-style front window opens all the way up, making for the perfect sunny evening hangout. Pro tip: take your phone into the bathrooms, they are decorated on theme and you won’t want to miss the photo op.

Address: 1608 Commercial Dr

Pepino’s & Caffe La Tana

This powerhouse duo has emerged as contemporary classics on Commercial. Pepino’s took over from the legendary Nick’s Spaghetti House and created a modern iteration of a red sauce Italian staple (get the Spicy Rigatoni alla Vodka) and also built a slightly more casual “alimentari” style spot right next door where you can get share plates, pasta, and sip on Italian wines.

Address: 631 and 635 Commercial Dr

Kin Kao

This is The Drive’s tried and true modern Thai restaurant. Slip into the minimalist space and order up authentic Thai fare from papaya salad to panang curry, paired with cocktails and wine. Walk-ins only. 

Address: 903 Commercial Dr


The big, bright flavours of Cuba are on deck at Havana on Commercial Drive. Lindsay William-Ross/V.I.A.

Swap the clamour of Commercial Drive for the colours and culture of Cuba at Havana, one of the most enduring modern restaurants on the block. Revived by new owners back in late 2017, Havana’s menu is all about big, bright flavours dished up in a fun atmosphere. 

Address: 1212 Commercial Dr


One of three locations for this Vancouver modern Indian restaurant, Sula has emerged as a destination for street food-style eats along with traditional, flavourful curries and tandoori dishes. Many of the dishes are vegan or vegetarian, too.

Address: 1128 Commercial Dr


This intimate spot with exposed brick walls has been a beloved Japanese restaurant on The Drive for well over a decade. The award-winning restaurant is known for its seasonal kaiseki dishes and fresh sushi selections, made with local seafood and ingredients. 

Address: 2054 Commercial Dr

Sopra Sotto

Sopra Sotto is a lively destination on The Drive for salads, pasta, and cut-your-own pizza. Lindsay William-Ross/V.I.A.

Sopra Sotto has handily emerged in recent years at the forefront of the neighbourhood’s class of modern Italian restaurants, thanks to its lively atmosphere, and solid menu of easygoing but elevated classics ranging from salads to pastas and pizza (complete with scissors to cut your own slices).

Address: 1510 Commercial Dr


Relaxed and reliable Lebanese dishes can be found at Jamjar. By day for dine-in, it’s wraps and platters showcasing their juicy house made lamb sausages or crispy falafel, and by night you can opt to order from a line-up of hot or cold mezze and salads or go for the Lebanese feast, with five courses with dishes of your choosing served family-style. On weekends, head here for a flavourful twist on brunch.

Address: 2290 Commercial Dr


Harambe is Vancouver’s go-to for Ethiopian soul food, presented in a bright and colourful space (on one of Vancouver’s liveliest streets). Aromatic dishes are best enjoyed shared and scooped up with spongey injera, whether you prefer meat (like beef, lamb, or chicken) or veg (the Veggie Lovers Combo is one of Harambe’s most popular dishes. Not sure where to begin with Ethiopian cuisine? Opt for the Chef’s Choice Selection. 

Address: 2149 Commercial Dr

Lunch Lady

With roots going back nearly three decades in Vietnam, The Lunch Lady in Vancouver is a beloved spot known for its delicious Vietnamese cuisine, including banh mi and pho. With a focus on fresh ingredients and authentic flavors, it has garnered a loyal following over the years. The Lunch Lady, which is a Michelin Guide “Recommended” pick has a broad menu of modern dishes, available a la carte or as family-style meals, for brunch, lunch, and dinner. Take note of their daily dish specials – if you can visit on a Sunday you must try their duck noodle soup.

Address: 1046 Commercial Dr

Drinks (and sometimes eats)

Pax Romana

At Pax Romana, a Mediterranean-style tapas bar with cocktails and shareable dishes, you’ll find a fantastic Espresso Martini made with fat-washed white rum and plates like a rabbit terrine on the menu. Lindsay William-Ross/V.I.A.

Pax Romana’s menu features “a variety of small, shareable items,” such as conservas (tinned fish) and cured meats, designed to go alongside cocktails or wine. The sardines are perfectly briny with the added crunch of chopped walnuts; a dish like this makes perfect sense at a taps bar as it will have you craving something to sip on, likely by design. For sips, the Live at Pompeii is a great opener; it’s citrus-forward and refreshing. For those in search of a bit of a caffeinated boost, Pax Romana is making a fantastic espresso martini, using fat-washed white rum.

Address: 1670 Commercial Dr

Flamingo Room

One of the newest birds on the block – or The Drive – is the Flamingo Room, a semi-speakeasy space that lives inside Havana (where the restaurant’s theatre venue used to be). Flamingo Room has a fun cocktail menu, including several punch bowls, and inventive share plates, all evoking a slice of Miami nightlife. 

Address: 1212 Commercial Dr

St Augustine’s / Industry Apizza

St. Augustine’s Pub is where beer fans know to go on The Drive to enjoy its extensive selection of craft beers, featuring over 60 taps showcasing local and international brews. The pub offers a relaxed and inviting atmosphere, complemented by a menu of comfort food classics. Recently they debuted their in-house New Haven-inspired pizza brand, Industry Apizza, with fire-charred thin-crust pies available for take-out and delivery.

Address: 2360 Commercial Dr

Bar Corso

The drinks menu at Bar Corso include several negroni and amari options and house cocktails like the Burnside Avenue. Lindsay William-Ross/V.I.A.

Narrow and dim, Bar Corso is the perfect hideaway for cocktail lovers who also enjoy sharing bowls of fresh-made pasta and Italian-inspired appies that are coming out of an impossibly tiny kitchen. PS, every table gets a free order of bread. 

Address: 1566 Commercial Dr

Storm Brewing

You know you’ve found Stom Brewing when you see the massive (and once controversial) mural. Inside, one of Vancouver’s most respected and long-standing craft breweries with a real irreverent streak. Pop in for a pour and try some of their inventive brews. 

Address: 310 Commercial Dr

Find more delicious Vancouver food and drink video stories by following V.I.A’s Forking Awesome TikTok account, @forkingawesomevancouver on Instagram, and signing up for our Forking Awesome newsletter delivered fresh to your inbox every Thursday.

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