In 2023, the city of Vancouver in Washington experienced a year of dynamic changes and exciting new ventures. From the buzz of newly opened restaurants and breweries to developments along the waterfront, it has certainly been a bright year for Vancouver, WA! The city saw a mix of vibrant murals and newly established parks that brought a greater touch of charm to the area. Here is our recap of relocations, revamps, and businesses that are new to The Couve in 2023!

Food & Drinks

This year, Vancouver has seen the arrival of several exciting new restaurants and bars. Rally Pizza made a triumphant return and partnered with Victor 23 Brewing, which has become quite popular for its delicious combination. Willful Wine, located in the historic Grant House on Officers Row, offers a perfect setting to enjoy wines and small bites inside and on its wrap-around porch. A Little Vice by Vice Beer opened up in the heart of downtown, introducing a vibrant range of IPAs, smoothie sours, pastry stouts, and lagers. Brothers Cascadia Evergreen Pub replaced Mav's Taproom, which relocated to east Vancouver. In Uptown, Irrelevant Beer, a collaboration between Relevant Coffee and industry veterans, brought even more quality craft beers to the neighborhood. Meanwhile, Cecilia's emerged as the new breakfast hotspot, offering high-end dishes and delectable brunch options. Foxhole Cocktail Den, the vintage art deco-inspired bar by the owners of Pacific House, added a touch of glamour to Vancouver's nightlife district. Winston’s British Fish N Chips, a new popular food truck founded by a former Buckingham Palace chef, has elevated the local scene with quality fish and chips. East of Vancouver, Recluse Brew Works and Grains of Wrath Brewing both offer great selections of brews in the Port of Washougal near 54-40 Brewing. And in Ridgefield, the owners of Little Conejo are serving up Neapolitan-style pies and inspired bites at their new Bunnie’s Pizza location. 

Waterfront Locations 

2023 may not have matched the previous year's flurry of grand openings at the Vancouver Waterfront—still, recent additions like Willamette Valley VineyardsGrassa, Pop-Local, AC Hotel by Marriott, Hotel Indigo, and more continued to thrive, buzzing with energy and new experiences. Nevertheless, the year did bring some notable newcomers to the waterfront. Salt & Straw, the famous ice cream shop, announced its much-awaited expansion across the bridge, opening its doors on January 5th, 2024. Early in the year, the Witness Tree Lounge made a grand entrance, establishing itself as Vancouver's first rooftop bar atop Hotel Indigo, boasting panoramic views of the Columbia River. Additionally, Evoke Wine Bar, previously known as Naked Winery, made its mark, offering a mix of humor and creativity alongside an exquisite wine selection. 

Things To Do

There is always something to do in Vancouver, WA, and 2023 brought even more exciting activities, adding to the list of must-try places. Firehouse Axes hit the scene as Vancouver's first axe-throwing bar and restaurant, taking residence in the city's original Fire Station in 1932. FlightFORM took fitness enthusiasts to new heights with aerial yoga and a unique workout experience. The Vancouver Farmers Market announced it is now a  year-round event, bustling with up to 250 vendors offering farm-direct produce, high-end crafts, and live entertainment. Esther Short Park and Marshall Park, in collaboration with Harper’s Playground, introduced two inclusive playgrounds with fully accessible play equipment. The first Vancouver USA Arts & Music Festival brought a lively summer atmosphere to Downtown, with an array of musical genres to enjoy. From large outdoor performances to intimate jazz sets in local art galleries, the festival encouraged attendees to explore art walks and participate in family-friendly activities for a fun weekend outing. In Ridgefield, ilani Casino Resort elevated hospitality with the opening of its luxurious 14-story tower hotel, offering four-diamond service, stunning mountain views, and Bella Vista's Italian-inspired dining. 


For some retail therapy, Vancouver's shopping landscape saw a delightful expansion with a variety of unique stores. Hook and Needle, a woman-owned yarn shop downtown, offers a creative space for craft enthusiasts with classes and workshops. The Romance Era emerged as a cozy, inclusive space for book lovers and creators to gather and share their work. Ronald Records, tucked away in the basement of Kindred Homestead Supply, became a treasure trove for vinyl lovers, hosting live music and offering record trading. White Oak Books in Uptown Village invites bookworms to its space, complete with a coffee station and a wide array of books. Eryngium Papeterie answered the call for quality paper products and writing ephemera, becoming the go-to for stationery lovers. Bright Indirect Light Social Club opened its doors to plant enthusiasts, offering a lush selection of indoor plants and home goods. Finally, The French Door, an upscale vintage shop, moved to the Providence Academy building, continuing to enchant with its European-inspired home and garden treasures. 


Uncover colorful works of art from the sidewalks of Vancouver! While exploring the blocks surrounding Main Street, visitors are greeted by more than 40 murals adorning the sides of buildings, bridges, and walls, including 15+ new murals as part of the recent Great River Arts Festival. Created by tattoo artist Ricky Gaspar, owner of Local Boy Tatau, the Great River Arts Festival depicts Vancouver’s culture and history in the new downtown murals. Vancouver's Downtown Association is proud to partner with Local Boy Tatau to bring this unique annual event to Downtown Vancouver. Find an updated Mural and Public Art Walking Map in our blog here


A post shared by Just North (@justnorthpnw)

Looking Ahead

We are excited to see the start of renovation work on Main Street as a part of the Main Street Promise project (expected completion by 2025). Meanwhile, the city will be making progress on the Waterfront Gateway, with the final design for the public plaza expected to be presented to the Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission in the spring. Visit Vancouver, WA, will continue to implement the recently approved Destination Master Plan, a 10-year framework for guiding tourism strategy and investment opportunities for community partners and business leaders in Vancouver, WA.