“The neighbourhood has a ton of character, and it’s alive 24 hours a day.”

Though she’s travelled the world in her role as creative director and founder of Truvelle, wedding dress designer Gaby Bayona has a special attachment to Gastown. “For me, this area is sentimental because it’s where I started my business and ‘grew up’ as a designer,” she says. “The neighbourhood has a ton of character, and it’s alive 24 hours a day—from people taking early morning photos of the empty streets to the office crowd to the dinner crowd to the bar crowd…but also the locals who live in the buildings (or on the streets) thrown into the mix, giving the ’hood grit. It’s a balancing act that makes Gastown unique from all the other Vancouver neighbourhoods, and it’s a neighbourhood I feel lucky to call home.”

“I spend too much money at One of a Few but feel happy doing so. Such an amazing curation of womenswear and little knickknacks. Everything I buy from here will have somebody asking me, ‘Where’d you get that?’”

Hi-Five has the best pickles I’ve ever had. Bonus: you can buy jars of them. Just ask for a jar of Brine Adams.”

“I love getting after-work drinks at the Diamond. Go right at 5:30 p.m., when the sun’s shining through the corner suite windows and there’s hardly a person there. Also: $1 nigiri at happy hour.”

“If you’re looking for cheap/fast/late-night, Gringo can’t be beat. Six Acres is awesome for a catch-up sesh with a friend. And for something nicer (but still casual), the Sardine Can is superb.”

Mosquito is a lot sleeker than my normal spots, but with desserts this good you make an exception. It’s great if you’re having a dinner date and want to continue the conversation without going to a bar.”