Nicknamed Hollywood North for its conspicuous proliferation of film crews and touring directors, and widely considered to be one of the most cosmopolitan metropolitan centres in all of British Columbia, it’s perhaps not surprising that Vancouver draws so many big names all through the year. In Canada at least, the city remains the undisputed king of celebrity spotting; a place where actors can be seen eating sushi during the day, and recognisable faces pepper the bars at night.
To make the search a little easier for those passing through, we’ve put together this list of the five best celeb-spotting places in town. It incorporates all the cool eateries and stylish restaurants the big names are known to frequent, along with a hint at the luxurious accommodations they like best and the districts they love to roam.
Dining with Bonds and bona fide celebrities at the Blue Water Cafe + Raw Bar
This award-winning spot is where any local will say is the place to be for celebrity spotting in Vancouver. With its prime location on stylish Hamilton Street and a Japanese-chic interior to die for, it’s easy to see why this one’s a favorite with the big names in British Columbia. Reports of VIP patrons invariably include the likes of Uma Thurman, Jamie Lee Curtis, Catherine Zeta Jones and a former James Bond, Pierce Brosnan. I guess it must be as good as they say!
Between the sashimi and the sushi, try to spot some stars at Tojo's
Under the guiding hand of head chef Hidekazu Tojo, this eponymous restaurant has propelled itself to the forefront of contemporary Japanese cuisine in Vancouver. To date it has reportedly enjoyed the patronage of no less than William Shatner, Morgan Freeman and Robin Williams, who, no doubt, have come to sample the creative and boundary-breaking dishes that pepper the menu. There's no beating the seafood in the bounteous BC, but food lovers looking to spot famous chefs in town should be sure to check out the regular calendar of culinary events that are held here, because there are usually plenty of Michelin stars flying around the place!
West Restaurant: Where the film stars go to dine, post-shoot
Hailed as one of the all-round culinary greats of Vancouver as a whole, West Restaurant continues to be a major draw for stars on central Granville Street. The chefs here are regularly awarded for their mastery of the classic dishes of British Columbia, while the menu exudes a creative intermingling of veg, meat and fresh fish that’s both regional and seasonal in the extreme. Those looking to spot big names sampling the dishes should opt for one of the pre-theatre prix-fixe menus, or head here a little later, when the Hollywood crowd descends on the tables.
The Sutton Place Hotel: one of Canada's only Triple-A, 5-Diamond hotels
Photo via their FB page
With unrivalled luxury and a location deep in the heart of central Vancouver, it’s easy to see why the Sutton Place Hotel has long been one of the city’s most famous celebrity accommodations. Inside, the big names are treated to a private spa complex, a regal cocktail bar, a fine-dining restaurant, and even Sutton’s own boutique wine outlet. Rather that stake out the door all evening, consider strolling to nearby Robson Street, where many of the big names can be found dining or drinking after dark.