The market community at the Public Market really makes Granville Island a must-visit in Vancouver. The vibrant colors of the fruits and vegetables that aren't on the East Coast really stand out, especially on farmers market days.
The market goes beyond produce, as you can buy a variety of goods, from jewelry to stained glass. There are also tons of coffee shops here, including the Blue Parrot Espresso Bar, which has a patio.
Though I haven't been, I've heard that outside the market there's a great food cart called Go Fish, and that the market tours offers tours. I'll definitely be taking one when I'm back!
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Eat poutine in Granville Island
The ferry over to Granville Island had been a fun experience in itself - hoisting our bicycles onto the tiny Aquabus and crossing the "False Creek" for the price of a couple of bucks. The island itself is best known for its market, which didn't disappoint; all manner of food was there, from butchers and fishmongers to grocers and fruiterers and a chocolate-nut vendor who branded their wares "Better Than Sex" (well, they were pretty good). There's a food court that serves all sorts of healthy options like quiche and salad and noodles but we wanted the real Canadian experience so we ordered the poutine - chips, cheese curds and gravy - which proved as gloomy and delicious as it sounds. I made up for this desperate unhealthiness by later purchasing a beautiful handbag made of all-vegan materials. That counts, right?
Anyone who talks to me about travel for more than five minutes knows one thing: I'm absolutely obsessed with farmers' markets. It's simple: They're great for photography and one of the best ways to get a taste of local flavor—both culturally and literally! I hunt them down in every city I visit; it's really the ideal way to spend a Saturday morning.
While recently visiting Vancouver, I traveled across the bridge to Granville Island on a drizzly Friday morning to check out their huge public market in person. I strolled the stalls, which seem to contain every type of market item possible: flowers and baguettes, mountains of berries and handmade chocolates, teas by the tin and salts by the pound, meats and cheeses, candles and coffee. It was heaven.
I learned a few things about what makes Granville Island Public Market unique:
- produce vendors have an unofficial competition going to see who can stack their produce in the most artful fashion
- coffee sipped from the Blue Parrot Coffee Bar really is a cut above the rest
- flowers in Canada are beautiful
- freshly-baked bread tastes amazing no matter where you are in the world
- you really can meet the nicest people at farmers' markets (just as I had suspected)
Granville Island Market was pulsing with energy from musicians, tourists, and a frenzy of food markets. After living in a desert region for so long, it was awesome to get a hold of fresh fish, fresh fruit, and the German sausage was pretty amazing too.
Granville Island is my favorite place in Vancouver, and the public market might be why. Exploding with tasty foods, gorgeous flowers, and unique musicians and street artists, this little oasis is the perfect place to grab lunch in the city. Take a short boat ride, which allows bikes and arrive at a food-lover's paradise.
Granville Island is an excellent place for seafood—either picking it up yourself or having it prepared for you. We were enjoying the first appearance of the Copper River salmon when we came across this tub of delicious-looking mussels for sale.
Granville Island: Vancouver's Market for all Senses
Fresh fruits from local farmers, salmon caught in BC, meats, cheeses, chocolates, pies, pastries, ethnic foods galore. Find it all under one roof daily at Graville Island. Tip: take the ferry from Hornby Street to get here!
This former industrial site is a one-stop shopping spot for last-minute souvenirs. Weave in and out of the countless alleys and stalls; among the art galleries, toy shops, crafts stores, farmers market and waterfront restaurants, you’re likely to find something tasty to sample or so unique that you have to bring it home.