By: Ben McGuinness, Peak Associate
On the cold plateau of SFU Burnaby, where you can literally see snowy mountain ranges far into the distance, one can feel disconnected from the world by the end of the school day. But for students who travel on the 95 B-Line, which makes the trip from the SFU Transit Exchange all the way to Burrard Station in about an hour’s time, they can find a plethora of great hangout spots and eateries on Hastings Street.
From Burnaby North through East Van to Downtown, the 95 connects you to everything you could need for a quick refuel, a cozy chillout, or a delicious meal. Below we’ll get you started with a list of the greatest spots to stop at en-route!
For the incredibly hungry: Cockney Kings
Get off at: East Hastings @ Kensington
Cockney Kings is an unassuming restaurant at Kensington Square Shopping Centre which is most famous for its all-you-can-eat fish and chips, served Monday to Wednesday. For just $12.95 you get all the fish, fries, and pop you could [n]ever eat. But even when this special isn’t on, Cockney Kings serves a variety of generously portioned fried seafood at prices that can’t be beat. It’s the casual kind of place you can dress cockney, but with food options fit for a king.
Something sweet: Chez Christophe
Get off at: East Hastings @ Hythe (+ 5 minute walk)
Go where the pastries are buttery and the chocolate is rich, and you can’t really make a wrong decision. Chez Christophe is an artisan chocolate shop and cafe specializing in cakes, chocolates, and French pastries. It reps gourmanderie near Hastings and Beta Avenue, where there otherwise wouldn’t be many places to stop for a breather or a chat with a friend. This place has all the fixings for a perfect pick-me-up after your school day, but a word of warning: leave your diet at home.
Study spot: In the Moment Cafe
Get off at: Kootenay Loop
Across the street from the Kootenay Loop bus station sits a calm cafe on the corner aptly called In the Moment. A warm, inviting space and a solid espresso make this a great choice for studying — or any other meditative moment! There are a handful of tables where you can arrange your group study session, but the high seats at the window are a perfect spot to watch the traffic while you ponder your (no doubt incredible) essay.
Feeling fancy: Baci Ristorante
Get off at: Kootenay Loop (+ 5 minute walk)
Baci Ristorante is a charming, elegant, and completely underrated Italian spot at Boundary and Hastings. Its classy façade in front indicates that you’re entering a little outpost of Italy, complete with tablecloths, dapper servers, and a refined menu. If you cut up your spaghetti, the waiter will politely tell you that it would break his mama’s heart, and if you come at the right time, you might hear some live retro-Italian balladry. The items on the menu cost slightly more than a starving student normally spends, but for the incredible atmosphere it’s not bad at all — perhaps even perfect for a date. Buon appetito!
Cool and casual: What’s Up? Hot Dog!
Get off at: East Hastings @ Nanaimo
Painfully hip right from the name, What’s Up? Hot Dog! is a punk diner at Nanaimo and Hastings with bitchin’ comfort food and booze. It’s got savoury sandwiches, hot dogs, and wings you can devour to your clogged-heart’s content. Almost every item has a vegan alternative for those who see where punk and ethical eating meet on a Venn diagram. Come thirsty ‘cause they’ve also got a sweet beer and cocktail menu.
Get the goods: Purebread
Get off at: West Hastings @ Abbott
But a short walk from SFU Harbour Centre lies Purebread, a bake shop full of delightful treats. Opened in 2014, this was the first of three Vancouver locations for the growing Whistler-based franchise. When you walk in there’s no missing the long counter completely covered in all types of baked goodies — crumbles, loaves, scones, cookies, pastries, all of them looking completely delicious. Take a bite and you’ll find looks don’t deceive! It’s not always easy to get a seat at this popular place, but if you can then you ought to grab a coffee with your treat and take a break from your studies (or, rather, lack thereof).