Kingsway has long been one of my favourite eating destinations. It certainly has the best Vietnamese food in Vancouver, and some of the best regional Chinese food outside the suburbs. But I worry—the area is changing and I am concerned about the future of these food destinations. Gentrification has reached this diagonal slash of a road. Condos and new buildings rise as old stores are torn down and replaced. On the one hand I welcome it: this city is growing, and we need to densify and replace aging two and three story buildings with taller mixed-use spaces. On the other hand, I can’t help but feel that this is the beginning of a mass extinction—that soon all the little mom and pop joints presently defining Kingsway’s gastronomic landscape will be replaced by corporate outposts from Starbucks, Shopper’s Drug Mart and the like.
Perhaps I am being pessimistic. The little businesses that occupy these crumbling buildings will surely move to Kingsway’s main tributaries: Fraser, Victoria, Joyce. Many might even stay and re-establish in new, modernized digs. And those that move—we will find them.
In the next few articles, we will travel from west to east to explore, eat and shop at some of my favourite spots.