When visiting Vancouver, one of the activities that has to be on your itinerary is a trip to Granville Island. Filled with local shops, theatres, food vendors, galleries, parks and restaurants all while overlooking the ocean and mountains, there is no shortage of things to do, see and eat. A main attraction of Granville Island is the Granville Island Public Market. Home to over 50 vendors, you can either grab a quick bite to eat while on Granville Island or stock up on delicious produce, seafood, meats and sweets to make your own meal at home. With so much to choose from it can be hard to know where to start. Read on for our must-visits you have to try at the Granville Island Public Market.
The Lemon Square
The Lemon Square sells exactly that — lemon squares! The top is a creamy, zesty, lemon buttercream over a coconut graham crust that will make you say “yum” with every bite. They make the perfect mid-afternoon snack, dessert after dinner or gift when heading to a friend’s house. If you can’t make it to Granville Island to try these sweet treats for yourself, they are available to order across Canada through their website in a pack of three to 12 squares.
Zara’s Italian Deli
Since 1987, this family-owned and operated Italian deli has sold a variety of ingredients perfect for any Italian feast. Zara’s Italian Deli has it all, from fresh and dry pasta, sauces, and a large assortment of international olive oils and olives. If you’re looking to make the charcuterie board of your dreams, this is the place to shop because of their large selections of meats, cheeses, crackers and preserves.
The Stock Market
Nothing is better on a cold day than a hot bowl of soup, and no one does it better on Granville Island than The Stock Market. A staple in the Public Market since 1986, the Stock Market serves soups, stocks, pestos, butters, dressings and sauces using local and fresh ingredients. Some of their best-selling soups include the classic Chicken Noodle Soup, Butter Chicken Soup, Yam and Bean Chili and Creamy Clam Chowder. Grab a few to-go packages to enjoy from the comfort of your own home, or get a bowl to eat for lunch while at the market. Either way, your taste buds will thank you!
A La Mode
From classic pies like Cherry Lattice Pie and Apple Pie, to modern pies like the Ultimate Mac and Cheese Pie and the Banana Split Pie to their viral puff pot pies and quiches, A La Mode has a sweet and savoury pie or tart for every occasion. These tasty treats are available to take home to share with friends and family in a variety of sizes or enjoy a slice at the market. A La Mode have had a place in the Vancouver food scene for 37 years, and have over 40 flavours of pies to choose from. They even have pies created for special holidays like their Father’s Day Lobster Pie (filled with fresh lobster meat, peas and potatoes), and their Holiday Turkey Pie (which has all the best parts or a Thanksgiving dinner like turkey, stuffing, peas, cranberry sauce, and gravy).
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One of the original tenants of the Granville Island Public Market, this three-generational family-run shop specializes in fresh and smoked local seafoods. The maple candied salmon nuggets are a local favourite, but their fresh seafood like the Dungeness crab, scallops and halibut are also known for their excellent quality. They are also known for their delicious smoked salmon which would go perfectly which a Siegel’s bagel (more on that later). If you want to treat yourself, try some of their caviar which can range from $20 to $350 per jar.
If you feel like dining from the land rather than sea on your trip to Vancouver, stop by Tenderland Meats for a variety of meats, poultry and deli meats. From steaks to lamb chops to veal to pork cutlets, they have it all and have been in the Granville Island Public Market for over 30 years. If you want to get a taste of Tenderland Meats but don’t want to season them yourself, enjoy some of their prepared meats. Just add their prepared meats like tandoori chicken skewers, butterfly chops, Maui ribs or lamb sausages to the grill, bbq or stove and you’re ready to eat in no time! If you want to try something different, pick up their beef marrow bones for a flavourful experience.
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Vancouver-born and raised superstar Seth Rogen has named Lee’s Donuts one of his favourite foodie spots in Vancouver and it’s easy to see why. Founders Alan and Betty-Ann Lee began selling handmade, classic donuts in 1979, and their Granville Island Public Market location often has a line out the door of people waiting to get their taste of these famous donuts daily. Lee’s Donuts is best known for their popular Honey Dip donut, however with so many flavours to choose from it will be hard to leave with just one. From Seth Rogen’s favourite — the Jelly Filled Donut, to the Powdered Donut, to the Cookie Monster (blue vanilla icing and Oreo crumbs) and their giant apple or jelly fritters, we wouldn’t blame you for making more than one stop to Lee’s Donuts on your Vancouver trip.
The second you walk up to the counter for Stuart’s Bakery, you will be in a sweet lover’s paradise. Their shelves are always stocked with some of Vancouver’s best cakes, cookies, tarts, and pastries. Everything is almost too beautiful to eat, but you won’t be able to resist these delicious desserts. Our favourites include the Fresh Strawberry Tart and the Mille-feuille (also known as the Napoleon) but we wish we could take one of everything. During the holidays, be sure to pick up some of their seasonal holiday cookies or gingerbread houses.
Known as a staple for Vancouverites as an early morning breakfast or a snack after a night out (their Kitsilano location is open 24 hours, five days a week), Siegel’s Bagels has been serving authentic Montreal-style bagels since 1990. With locations in Kitsilano and at Granville Island Public Market, this is the place to get the best bagel in Vancouver. Siegel’s has a variety of bagel flavours including Everything, Cinnamon Raisin, Sundried Tomato, Blueberry Bagels and our favourite, Rosemary Rocksalt (which pairs perfectly with that Longliner Seafoods Smoked Salmon we mentioned earlier). Get a single, half dozen, or full dozen bagels to go, or enjoy one of Siegel’s delicious sandwiches like the Big Breakfast Bagel (a toasted bagel with cream cheese, smoked meat, lettuce, tomato, green pepper, red onion, egg and cheddar cheese), the Reuben (smoked meat, sauerkraut and melted swiss with mustard) or the Candied Salmon (candied salmon and cream cheese with red onion and capers). If you can’t make it to Siegel’s during your visit, they ship their delicious bagels across Canada.
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When Chris Hobson (AKA Hobbs of Hobbs Pickles) couldn’t find a good-tasting pickle on the West Coast, he took matters into his own hands and made them himself. With a range of flavours like Horseradish, Jalapeno, Honey Mustard and Sweet Heat, Hobbs Pickles specializes in New York pickles with a West Coast flair. Perfect on their own, on a sandwich or part of a charcuterie board you won’t want to stop with just one. If you can’t decide which flavour to get first, don’t fret. Hobbs Pickles always has a plethora of samples available to try when you visit the Granville Island Public Market.
The Lobster Man
Although The Lobster Man is not directly in the Granville Island Public Market, we still felt it deserved a shout-out as a place to stop when visiting Granville Island. Known as Vancouver’s premier destination for live lobster and crab, The Lobster Man is one of the original tenants of Granville Island and has been selling live shellfish since 1977. When you walk into the space you are greeted with tanks filled with live lobsters, crabs, prawns and more. If you don’t want to take the plunge of cooking live lobster or crab at home, The Lobster Man will cook your shellfish for you at no extra charge. You can also get a taste of The Lobster Man by ordering one of their Lobster Rolls, Dungeness Crab Rolls, or Shrimp Rolls in-store.
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