As a straight man in his early thirties I know firsthand that the next best thing to finding an insane deal on a pair of Prada pumps is reveling in the glow of that victory with your girlfriends over an americano and a slice of coconut cream pie. Actually, that memory is kind of blurry…that may have been a scene from Sex In the City come to think of it. Or was it Twin Peaks? In any event the Army and Navy Shoe Sale is a fantastic reason to check out any number of great locally owned cafes and restaurants that have opened up in the DTES right by the iconic store. Here’s a list of a few that are all within walking distance of Army and Navy.
Nelson The Seagull– This charming little spot has an open kitchen in the back where the seductive scents of sweet and savory baked goods woft through the air from. Open and spacious with a rustic, intellectual and urban feel, Nelson the Seagull is literally, right around the corner from Army and Navy on Carrall, just between Hastings and Cordova.
Potluck Cafe– A nationally award winning social enterprise, Potluck Cafe and Catering has not only established itself as a catering force to be reckoned with in Vancouver but have also served over 300,000 free meals to homeless and low income residents in the Downtown Eastside. It’s right across the street from Army and Navy on Hastings. Your friends will save your spot, make sure to look both ways.
Save On Meats- If you haven’t caught an episode of Gastown Gamble on the Oprah Network yet, Mark Brand is one of the busiest entrepreneurs in Vancouver. Saving the iconic Save On Meats from extinction last year the diner has since become one of the hottest spots in the DTES. They even have a streetside window for breakfast sandwiches and other items. That’s pretty damn convenient! Just down the block from Army and Navy on Hastings, you know, where the giant glowing pig and nickel sign is.Can’t miss it.
Acme Cafe– remember that coconut pie I mentioned? Well there’s probably nowhere better in town than Acme to grab a slice of that stuff! Just next door to Save On Meats this cafe has a great range of bistro dishes including fantastic sandwiches, soups, and a legendary meatloaf. A comfy refreshing decor and open kitchen concept with consistently fantastic food has made this diner a favorite for local professionals and residents. Best Chicken Club in town and the pie…oh the pie!
W2 Cafe– Right in the Heart of the Woodwards development W2 is a Cafe that not only serves great coffee and food but also empowers citizen journalists through media literacy and access to communications technology.The cafe is actually a small part of what they do, take a stroll around and see for yourself. In the past 3 years W2 has established itself as a socially minded events juggernaut. Just head on in off of Hastings and you’ll see it on your right hand side.
Catch 122– Right across the street from Woodwards is the brand new Catch 122. Beautiful exposed bricks and a menu with delicious comfort foods make this a cozy little spot to unwind after Shoe Sale Madness (similar to Space Madness)
Bean Around the World on Cambie and Hastings– I would remiss in not including Bean Around the World on Cambie and Hastings. With a gorgeous view looking out to Victory Square Park, great coffee, and some of the most charming and pleasant staff I have ever encountered this coffee shop has become a nexus for businesses, students and residents in the area.
So there! A few options for the early morning coffee grab while waiting in line and a few options for reveling in victory after grabbing that perfect pair of shoes at the Army and Navy Shoe Sale.