Hangout Handbook Yukon Blonde's Vancouver

Hangout HandbookYukon Blonde's Vancouver

In our annual Hangout Handbook, Exclaim! asks some of our favourite artists to discuss their favourite hometown haunts and hidden gems. Here, members of Yukon Blonde — keyboardist Rebecca Gray, guitarist Brandon Scott, bassist James Younger and drummer Graham Jones — discuss some of their favourite spots in Vancouver.

A Bunch of Brunches
Rebecca Gray: There's a few really wicked brunch spots in Vancouver, but my two favourite places are Yolks (1298 E. Hasting St.) and Bandidas Taqueria (2781 Commercial Dr.). Yolks took over the defunct Brave Bull Steakhouse building on Clark and turned it into the best place to get soft poached eggs in the city, not to mention their hollandaise and potatoes. Bandidas is my all-time favourite vegetarian brunch in the city. Super affordable, super good vibes.

What a View
Brandon Scott: One of my personal favourite spots to visit in Vancouver is Spanish Banks, located in between Jericho Beach and Wreck Beach. Depending on the time of year, the tide can be extremely low and the beach stretches out for a full kilometre. On the horizon is the entire Vancouver city skyline, the North Shore mountains, along with massive freighter ships sitting in what appears to be two inches of water. It's the strangest-looking scene when this happens, almost apocalyptic. Once you venture way out into the receding beach, the deep ocean fully appears and will quickly start to flood back in around 5 or 6 p.m. — make sure you don't get caught out there passed out from pinting in your lawn chair.

Keep Them Clean, Keep Them Keen
James Younger: I spend most of my time complaining about the excesses of consumerism, but then the only thing I do more than that is shop at The Soap Dispensary (3718 Main St.); it's like this refill store for soaps and household cleaners, essential oils — all the madness.

Lunch Spot
Scott: A good quick-fix lunch spot is easily Budgie's Burritos (44 Kingsway). It's all vegetarian options, about six different kinds of burritos or tacos.  The music is always great and random in there, and usually a couple good friends are working behind the counter. My burrito hack suggestion would be "The Johnny O" — add tofurkey sausage, mix of cabbage and lettuce! Just delightful.

Presents from the Past
Younger: We spend a lot of time goofing around with our friend Bart, who runs a vintage furniture store called ReFind (4609 Main St.). For records, Red Cat (4332 Main St.) and Neptoon (3561 Main St.) — that's [singer] Jeff [Innes's] hang really. We don't have Uniqlo in Vancouver, so clothes get tricky, I'm an online guy, because the whole trying on clothes in public thing gets a little claustrophobic!

Secrets, Secrets Are No Fun
Younger: There are beaches and parks, secret ones, where you can still light fires and drink without dealing with yobs or cops. If you have a bicycle in this city, you're good as gold, you'll find something...

Having a Guu-d Time
Graham Jones: I took my girlfriend on a birthday dinner date to a spot downtown called Kitanoya Guu Original (838 Thurlow St.) — the OG of the Guu restaurants scattered amongst Vancouver and Toronto. When we arrived, the entire staff stopped what they were doing give us a loud welcoming cheer. We ate the most delicious Japanese tapas and drink gigantic mugs of beer. To top things off, they brought out flowers for the birthday girl and sang a song!

Fun and Games
Scott: There's an Australian-themed bar called the Anza Club (3 W. 8th Ave.). The basement bar of this place kind of has a similar vibe to your grandparents basement or an old legion. Years ago, when I first moved to Vancouver, every Wednesday they would throw an evening called Psych Night, where they would DJ all sorts of great psych tunes with visuals; the place would be absolutely jammed. I've recently started going there again when we're home from tour to meet friends for a casual game of darts.

Pubs and Grubs
Gray: My favourite late night spot is my bed, but if I have to be out, The Lido (518 E. Broadway) is a great pub in Mount Pleasant that some very rad friends of ours opened a few years back. The Foundation (2301 Main St.) for late night nachos is always a good choice, or The Naam (2724 W. 4th Ave.) for pie and hot chocolate at 4 a.m.

Yukon Blonde's most recent album, On Blonde, is out now on Dine Alone Records.