Moving to Canada is an exciting phase in the lives of newcomers, but as you settle into your new home, it’s natural to crave some of the things you love most from your homeland. What’s great about Canada is that it welcomes multiculturalism and encourages you to celebrate your heritage and traditions.
Keeping in touch with your cultural roots is one way to ease your transition into Canada. You’ll have chances to connect with your community through new, but familiar experiences, take part in cultural celebrations, and enjoy a taste of home in your new surroundings.
Vancouver is one of the most popular cities in Canada. It’s located off the Pacific coast and boasts warmer weather than anywhere else in the country. If you recently moved to Vancouver from India, you’ll find several neighbourhoods and areas in the city dedicated to Indian culture. We asked Indians living in Vancouver to list their favourite places for food, cultural events, faith, and day-to-day support, so that you can feel at home in your new city.
In this article:
- Indian restaurants and vendors in Vancouver
- Indian grocery stores in Vancouver
- Indian shopping and cultural events in Vancouver
- Places of worship across Vancouver
- Finding daily support in Vancouver
While there are many Indian restaurants and food vendors in Vancouver, these popular favourites come highly recommended:
- Apna Chaat House, Surrey
- Mumbai Local, Vancouver
- Gully Canteen, Coquitlam
- Tasty Indian Bistro, Vancouver & Surrey
For ordering food online, try Happy Singh Street Eats. They’re available on DoorDash.
While stores like Walmart and Real Canadian Superstore carry Indian spices, snacks, and frozen foods, you’ll likely need to visit a specialty store to find all the ingredients you need for home-cooked Indian cuisine. Here are a few options in and around Vancouver:
- Big Bazaar, Surrey
- Sabzi Mandi, multiple locations in BC
- Fruiticana, multiple locations in BC
A good place to find community when you first arrive in Vancouver is online. Facebook groups like the Indian Cultural Association (ICA) Vancouver organize events and local meetups for Indian newcomers living in the city. University campuses like Simon Fraser and UBC also host Diwali celebrations and other festive events (COVID-19 protocols permitting), as do Hindu Temples.
For a more casual taste of culture, there’s an area called Payal Business Centre. The neighbourhood, often known as “Little Punjab” offers a traditional mix of jewelry shops, clothing stores, and restaurants that serve Indian dishes.
Vancouver is sometimes referred to as the “city of neighbourhoods.” This is because its neighbourhoods tend to be geared specifically to certain ethnicities. In addition to Little Punjab, there’s also Little Italy, Chinatown, and Greektown, to name a few.
Finding a place to worship typically isn’t tough. Depending on where in the city you live, you should be able to find a place of worship that reflects your faith. Below are a few:
- Hindu Temple, Burnaby
- ISKCON Temple, Burnaby
- Akila Singh Sikh Society, Vancouver
- Khalsa Diwan Society, Vancouver
- MAC Vancouver Centre, Vancouver
- BC Muslim Association, Vancouver
- Coastal Church, Vancouver
- Westside Evangelical Church, Vancouver
While you search for cultural events and traditional foods to make you feel more at home in Canada, you may also need day-to-day support as you settle in. Getting acclimated to the job market, language, and other nuances will take some time, but there are places you can go to get the support you need to make your transition easier.
- MOSAIC offers employment services, settlement services like workshops and community-building programs, as well as interpretations and translation services.
- Vancouver Public Library’s NewToBC resource which helps newcomers find settlement agencies or specific immigrant services, such as employment services and English language classes.
- S.U.C.C.E.S.S. BC Settlement & Integration Services (BCSIS) provides settlement support ranging from immigration consulting to networking opportunities.
IndiansInVancouver.ca is a platform where members of the Indian community can connect to network and attend cultural festivals.