From historic attractions to delicious fish and chips, the charms of waterfront Steveston Village have long been known to locals and savvy visitors. But radiating along and beyond the Moncton Street main drag, the area’s heritage buildings are also home to a strollable shopping list of independent stores. Read on for details on 10 great places to unleash your credit cards the next time you visit.
Beatmerchant Record Store
One of Metro Vancouver’s most famous record shops, Beatmerchant Record Store packs a lot into its small Second Avenue space. Alongside a browse-worthy array of CD and vinyl recordings—from Bowie to Chuck Berry to the Rolling Stones—the owner’s British expat tastes are well-reflected in a supporting cast of additional items, ranging from soccer team scarves to must-have new books and old-school concert posters. It’s the kind of compact shop you expect to spend 10 minutes in but find yourself still exploring an hour later.
Must-buy: Souvenir mug from UK television sci-fi show Doctor Who.
Beatmerchant is lined with CDs, vinyl records, and much more. | Photo: John Lee
Steve’s Board and Apparel
Arguably Steveston’s coolest store, Steve’s Board and Apparel stocks a kaleidoscopic array of artsy-looking decks: even if you don’t skateboard, you’ll be tempted to buy one to display on your walls. Top board companies Hosoi, Dogtown, Landyachtz, and more are here, and the store does custom set-ups for any decks you purchase. But if you just want to look cool, there are also great skater T-shirts, bags, and shoes to buy.
Must-buy: Customize your board (or your life) with some cool skate stickers.
Scout & Co.
A one-stop shop for arts and crafts lovers, Scout & Co. is a brilliantly curated Moncton Street boutique where you should give yourself plenty of browsing time. You’ll discover the handmade work of dozens of West Coast creatives, ranging from felt art and artisan soaps to slogan T-shirts and cute, hand-sewn baby clothes. It’s the kind of place you’ll easily find gifts for everyone you know—as well as lots of must-have items for yourself. It’s not just new items, either: there’s a handpicked selection of vintage décor items here as well.
Must-buy: There’s an excellent selection of artisan jewelry here in a variety of styles.
Give yourself plenty of time to browse at Scout & Co. | Photo: John Lee
Sinfully the Best
Chocolate fans routinely beeline to Steveston to salve their sweet tooth cravings at Sinfully the Best, one of the region’s tastiest—and friendliest—treat purveyors. There are actually two stores to check out here: the main one is at the corner of Chatham Street and No. 1 Road; while the Sinfully Too location is just steps from Fisherman’s Wharf on Bayview Street. You’ll find a tempting selection of treats at both stores, including individual bonbons plus a wide array of molded chocolates ranging from sheep to ducks to guitars.
Must-buy: Create a ribbon-tied gift box of treats for someone special—and be sure to include the delicious lavender and peppermint ganache.
Gulf of Georgia Cannery Gift Store
You don’t need to be exploring the exhibits to visit the large, wood-floored gift shop inside the Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site. With a soundtrack of lilting sea shanties, there’s a huge array of maritime-themed items to peruse here, ranging from starfish-shaped earrings to foil-wrapped chocolate fish and whale-tailed salt and pepper shakers. And be sure to take a look at the canned and packaged salmon treats plus the not-just-for-kids plush toys—lobsters, octopus, and narwhals included.
Must-buy: Shopping for kids? There are some cool toys here as well as a selection of excellent maritime-themed picture books.
Packaged seafood items are part of the mix at the Cannery's Gift Store. | Photo: John Lee
Splash Toy Shop
A magnet for Metro Vancouver families, Splash Toy Shop is a super-friendly, double-fronted Hepworth Block store takes play seriously: there’s nothing here that hasn’t been carefully selected with kids in mind. That means shelves bulging with Lego, Playmobil, and Brio wooden train sets, plus a brilliant array of educational toys (anyone for crystal growing?), huggable furry critters, and a full selection of Schleich animal figures (go for the pangolin). Adults are also well served, with plenty of board games and jigsaw puzzles to choose from.
Must-buy: We love the handmade Grimm’s wooden toys from Germany—a great, sustainable play option.
Steveston’s Best of British
Luring UK expats and curious foodies to what may be Metro Vancouver’s best British store, you’ll find a full menu of nostalgic treats at Steveston’s Best of British. Snacks abound, including Curly Wurlys and Tunnocks Tea Cakes plus bags of chips—called ‘crisps’ in the UK—such as Quavers and Monster Munch. Teas, jams, and canned goods also crowd the shelves, while locally-made pies and Scotch eggs are big sellers. Don’t miss the bargain table or the store’s upcoming Christmas selection: where else will you find that stocking-shaped Cadbury selection pack you need?
Must-buy: Delicious snacks such as Walkers crisps or a Curly Wurly.
The shop is full of tasty treats. | Photo: Steveston's Best of British
A Monkey Tree
Arguably the most diverse of Steveston’s top-notch gift and décor emporiums, A Monkey Tree is the ideal store to browse away a rainy afternoon. Just be aware that you’ll likely discover perfect presents for everyone you know, from cute earrings and folk-art paintings to gourmet salts and humorous gift cards. You'll also find a great array of housewares and kitchen items to make your place look way cooler, ranging from candles and aprons to cleverly-designed kitchen gadgets.
Must-buy: Made from recycled cotton, the deliberately mismatched Solmate Socks are a great quirky gift.
Village Books & Coffee House
This First Avenue staple had been operating in Steveston for 25 years before husband-and-wife Ron and Angela Hill took over a few years back from Ron’s parents. Adding a coffee bar to make the browsing even more inviting has deepened local affection for Village Books & Coffee House as well as ensured that thirsty new visitors keep discovering it afresh. Used books as well some new titles dominate the towering shelves, with themes covering everything from cooking to Canadiana. Need recommendations? Grab a latte and ask away.
Must-buy: Books about Steveston’s salty history.
Another Hepworth Block store, the excellent taste of Nikaido’s owners is on full display on every shelf of this business. Fusing Asian and European sensibilities, you’ll find blended teas alongside achingly beautiful Japanese teapots; ultra-stylish stationery complementing fountain pens and Blackwing pencils; and gift-worthy soap packages just steps from the latest must-have art calendars. It’s the kind of place where you’ll discover the perfect, high-quality gift for a friend—or yourself.
Must-buy: Cavallini & Co. retro-look posters and calendars.