The Drive is a strollable smorgasbord of independent and adventurous dining options. Fusing ethnic soul-food joints, cheap-but-good pizza spots, chatty street-side cafes and the kind of convivial pub-style hangouts that give the concept of 'neighborhood bar' a very good name, this is the city's most sociable dine-out district. It's also Vancouver's patio capital, so if the weather's good, drop by for an alfresco meal.

Don't Miss: Drive's Best Fests

In addition to the Pacific National Exhibition a few blocks away, consider celebrating Commercial Drive's rich Italian heritage at June's annual Italian Day (www.italianday.ca), an epic, jam-packed street party of music, bocce ball and plenty of food. Expect to see generations of Italian families flocking to the area during this day-long event, fostering a festive vibe that welcomes all. Check the website for exact dates and information.

Also in June and hugely popular, Car Free Day sees the street closed to traffic and turned into a massive fiesta of food, music, face-painting and stands selling or demonstrating artsy creations and local nonprofit initiatives.

Also look out for the city's finest homegrown Halloween happening if you're here in October. Staged by the Dusty Flowerpot Cabaret, the Parade of Lost Souls (www.dustyflowerpotcabaret.com) invites locals to dress up in their most ghoulish attire, stroll en masse with lanterns around the Commercial Drive area and congregate for spooky displays and performances that thrill, chill and entertain in equal measure. It's more fun than any self-respecting zombie could ever hope for.