The locavore movement—the movement to eat as much locally-grown and locally-sourced food as possible—is huge in Vancouver. In fact, Vancouver has always been at the vanguard of the local food movement: the famous bestseller, The 100 Mile Diet, was written by Vancouver authors Alisa Smith and J. B. MacKinnon (who lived in Kitsilano during their 100-mile diet experiment).
So it's no surprise that it's becoming easier and easier to eat local foods in Vancouver. That said, it does still require some effort and the knowledge about how and where to buy local foods in the city.
Use this Complete Guide to Eating Local Foods in Vancouver, BC, to find the best sources for local foods, from CSA and local produce delivery services to farmer's markets, local seafood markets, and farm-to-table restaurants.
Vancouver CSA & Local Produce Delivery Services
One of the easiest ways for busy folks to eat local foods is to buy a subscription to a local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) delivery or other local produce delivery service. These services deliver a box of fresh, locally-grown produce weekly, either directly to your door or (more frequently) to a set point where you go to pick up your box. By subscribing to the service, you're not only getting fresh, local produce, you're also supporting local growers and farms.
Vancouver Farmers Markets are a great place to find local foods in Vancouver. During the summer season (mid-May through October), there are weekly farmer markets at neighborhoods across Vancouver, while there is a weekly farmers market at Nat Bailey Stadium that runs through the winter months.
Finding local foods in Vancouver can be time-consuming since it means heading to different markets to meet all your grocery needs. Busy families can save time by shopping at grocery stores and neighborhood markets—including Choices Markets and the Granville Island Public Market—that have a large selection of local foods.
Vancouver is blessed—by virtue of our geography—to be a great source of locally-sourced seafood. Like other local foods in Vancouver, local seafood is easy to find if you know where to look. The freshest catches can be found at local wharfs—including Fisherman's Wharf—but there are also great neighborhood seafood shops that carry local seafood, like the Daily Catch on Commercial Drive.
Eating local foods in Vancouver includes dining out, and there are many, many Vancouver restaurants that cater to farm-to-table enthusiasts. From high-end seafood restaurants to budget-friendly neighborhood favorites, the best farm-to-table restaurants bring local foods and flavors to life in unique, delicious ways.
One of the most innovative ways to eat local produce in Vancouver is through the Fresh Roots Schoolyard Market Gardens and Veggie Box service. In this interview, Co-Founder and Director of Fresh Roots, Ilana Labow, explains how Fresh Roots' unique relationship with Vancouver schools led to the first working farms on school grounds in Canada.
The BC Dairy Association has a free app for iPhone/iPad that will let you search for local foods—including restaurants and markets—in your Vancouver neighborhood.