Our amazing neighbourhood📍

Image of cars and buses on busy street in hastings sunrise vancouver bc

Our amazing neighbourhood📍

This month we are highlighting this amazing neighbourhood we live and work in. You’ll see plugs for our favourite restaurants and small businesses, ones we support on the regular.

Sara Ward

Sara Ward headshot

Being a small business owner means I’m a steward of the neighbourhood I live and work in. Over the 12 years I’ve been in practice, and my 20 years living in this neighbourhood, it’s my joy and privilege to know and support other local business owners, many of whom have become really great friends. 

Let’s start with the #1 place I conduct most of my business meetings, Le Pho. They know I waffle between two different orders and they ALWAYS remember my son’s favourite. But most importantly, the food is just so good. Everyone I take there always comes back. 

Big shout out to my dear friend and fellow entrepreneur Jordan Hocking and her Sriracha Revolver Hot Sauce. Her story is the absolute best. One day she just decided she wanted to make hot sauce, and now she is shipping her product all over the place. You’ll find her in Whole Foods and in basically every grocery store I know of. 

In line with amazing eats check out this business full of businesses: The Coho Commissary

To top it all off, you can’t call yourself a true East Vaner until you’ve had breakfast at El Roundel

As for businesses you need to know about for your health, here is my short list:

The Chiro Culture: My therapy of choice.

Physio Lab: Elliot is my go-to guy there.

Van East Massage: Hard to get in, but once you’re in, you’re in!

Woodland Physio: These folks are amazing, we’ve been working together for a long time.

There are so many great local health resources to discover. Be sure to ask me when you’re in for your next treatment.

Lisa’s got the neighbourhood covered so I won’t double up on these incredible shops. Check them out, you’ll likely see all four of us in any one of these special places on our way to and from the clinic. 

Lisa Matsuzaki


A listacle of some of my favourite local businesses:


Yama Cafe — Love everything here.

Ramen Gaoh — Ramen is my comfort food and Gaoh is my fav ramen in the city, on par with the ramen in Japan. Tsukamen forever!

La Dulceria — Their ice cream is incredible. Mexican Hot Chocolate and Cafe Con Leche are my favs!

Sooyo Cafe — So close to my house. Great coffee and breakfast/brunch foods. We love this place!

Chicko Chicken — Our order is: buldak, soy garlic and padak padak. We make rice and prep veg at home for a DIY donburi.


Iron Dog Books — Indigenous owned, with a great selection of books, games and gifts.

The Learnary — A go-to for creative supplies and gifts.

Baaad Anna’s — I’m a knitter so I love this shop.

Jam Florists — Lovely florals and houseplants.

Mucker Next Door — Carries a line of skincare products called Sḵwálwen Botanicals, which are amazing. Leigh Joseph, the line’s creator, also wrote an amazing book Held by the Land, which I also highly recommend!

A bit further afield:

Shop Makers — A collective of local small business artisans and creatives in several locations around town: Gastown, Metrotown, 4th Ave, North Van, etc.

Street Hawker — On Main Street. The Shrimp Mac is amazing — shrimp toast in a burger!!

Sharyn Turner

Sharyn Turner local acupuncturist smiling headshot

My fave neighborhood BIPOC business would have to be Iron Dog Books, just up the road from the clinic. My daughter is a voracious reader, and we love that we can shop for gifts from the lovely people there.

I highly second many of the other local businesses mentioned. You’ll often see me grabbing a late lunch at Dachi or Le Pho, or picking up treats for kiddos from Lucky’s Bodega. This is the ‘hood of my heart!

Shanie Rechner 

Shanie Rechner local acupuncturists smiling headshot

Small business shout outs are my favourite kind! Sara, Lisa and Sharon have you covered in East Van, so my recommendations will come from differing corners of Vancouver and surrounding areas.

The Well –  For “Slow wellness” and mindful movement.
Healthy with Kelsey – A must follow on instagram @healthy_with_kelsey for content and offerings with a balanced approach to food, bodies and movement. 

Adriana Sabrina –  “Creative Well Being- Healing through art and somatic practices” 

Studio Remedē– RMT/Founder Siam Gomes and her team redefine expectations of massage therapy, and the space alone creates a reset for your mind and body.

Whisk Matcha Cafe – Odds are your favourite matcha in the city is using Matcha sourced from Kimmy and her cafe on Main Street.
Paragon Tea Room First put on my radar when they did a collaboration with a fellow TCM colleague Dr. Adrien Ip

Cultivate Tea –This is where I recommend sourcing your Chrysanthemum from when I prescribe Chrysanthemum tea, but this beautiful shop has a tea tasting offering that makes for such a special outing with family, friends or as an experience all for yourself. 

Salmon & Bannock – Call and make your reservation asap, the Bannock and Cedar Jam is reason alone, but every last item on their menu will leave you checking your calendar for when the next time you can make it in. 

Massy Books If you’re one for hidden gems, better find your way down to Chinatown and see what this female and indigenous owned business has to offer. 

Massy Arts – A branch of Massy Books, Massy Arts Society gallery hosts visual art exhibitions, book launches, artist talks, performances and community events. 

The book/author which introduced me to the likes of Massy Books- “Bad Cree” By Jessica Johns 

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