For many years, Vancouver's "Punjabi Market" (Little India) was a shopping hub for South Asians in the city. Stretching along Main Street from 48th Avenue to 51st Avenue, the Punjabi Market was vital and vibrant as late as 2009. (The area still plays a role in the annual Vancouver Vaisahki Day Parade.)
Today, Vancouver's Punjabi Market is only half occupied: Over the last five years, more and more of the Punjabi Market's small businesses have moved to Surrey, where there is a larger South Asian population. In fact, Surrey's Newton business district has been slated to become the "new" Little India of the Lower Mainland.
So what will you find at Vancouver's Punjabi Market / Little India today? Use this Guide to the Punjabi Market / Little India in Vancouver to learn about the shops and services this wonderful area still provides.
Fashion / Sarees / Lehengas at the Punjabi Market in Vancouver
For upscale South Asian fashion, you will need to go to Surrey (see below). However, there are still a few shops here with inexpensive fashion, sarees, lehengas, and (some) fabric, including Rani Fashions & Fabrics (6607 Main Street) and Sahdne Saree House (6580 Main Street).
Jewelry & Accessories at the Punjabi Market in Vancouver
One thing you can definitely still find in (relative) abundance at Vancouver's Punjabi Market / Little India is jewelry and accessories, both high-end and bargain-priced. There are a small number of high-end jewelers, but the bargain jewelry--including bangles galore--is more fun. Palika Gift House & Bazaar (6526 Main Street) is packed to the rafters with costume jewelry, shoes, bags, children's clothes, and wedding accessories.
Food & Groceries at the Punjabi Market in Vancouver
Food and groceries are still major reasons to shop at Vancouver's Punjabi Market, since the markets here sell hard-to-find South Asian products and ingredients. Punjabi Food Centre (6635 Main Street) is the largest grocery store in the Market district, selling everything you need to cook South Asian cuisine at home plus ready-made Indian snacks like bhel mix and spiced moong dal.
Where to Go in Surrey for South Asian Fashion & Fabric
Though Surrey's Newton district may one day be the new Little India of Metro Vancouver, today the largest groups of South Asian businesses can be found on Surrey's Scott Road and at the Payal Business Centre.
Here are a few stand-outs (that are absolutely worth going to Surrey for):
- Crossover Bollywood Sé - gorgeous women's fashion, sarees and accessories
- Sunny's Bridal - famous for wedding attire, including designer lenghas, sarees, and men's suits
- WellGroomed Designs Inc - high-end fashion and wedding apparel for men and women
- Punjab Cloth Warehouse - huge selection of fabric
If you're looking for something specific, see Indian Business Canada's List of Indian Clothing Stores in Surrey.