Vancouver's Granville Island Public Market: A Complete Guide

Granville Island Market, Vancouver

 Getty Images/ Jean-Paul Lescourett

Shops, Boutiques & Markets
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Granville Island Public Market is Vancouver's most famous food market. Home to more than 50 vendors, this packed-to-the-rafters market offers the best fresh seafood, produce, meats, sweets, and global specialty foods in the city.

History

Originally home to logging and mining companies, the Public Market buildings hark back to a time when Granville Island (not actually an island) was an industrial area on False Creek. In the 1970s the area was reimagined as a public place that combines food, with cultural uses including art and theatre. Since then, it has grown into a favorite destination for tourists and locals alike.

What to Expect

Located on Granville Island, a small peninsula on False Creek facing downtown Vancouver, the Public Market—along with the entire island—receives more than 10 million visitors a year. Both the island and the market are popular tourist destinations, but they're equally loved and patronized by locals.

What to Eat

Whether you're a chef, an amateur chef or just an everyday foodie, the market is an oasis of epicurean delight and a great place to eat lunch or pick up dinner.

Sunlight Farms: When you step through the market's main entrance, this is the first place you'll see. With fruits piled high in a gorgeous array of colors, this is just one of many fresh produce vendors inside the market. Produce is often locally grown, so availability depends on the season. But half the fun is seeing what's new for that time of year.

Stuart's Bakery: Here you'll find fresh bread, pastries, cakes, and tarts. This bakery has something for the sweet-tooth in everyone. Chocoholic? Try the New York Chocolate Cheesecake. (But bring water—it is rich.) Love French Pastries? The eclairs are the best in the region.

A la Mode: This lunch or dinner favorite—which can be eaten in the seating area just in front or outdoors on a sunny day—has an array of homemade pot pies, including Clam Chowder Pot Pie, the veggie Mushroom Pot Pie, and the very English Shepherd's Pie.

The Stock Market: This little soup vendor has hot soup-of-the-days as well as a wall of pre-packaged soups and sauces to take home.

Zara's Italian Deli: This Italian specialty foods shop is much more than a deli. There are fabulous pastas to take home and prepare, 15 types of olives (including provolone-stuffed, Sicilian, and Spicy Moroccan), feta-stuffed peppers, and marinated artichoke hearts.

Oyama Sausage: This locally-owned gem has the look of an old-world sausage shop full of hand-made sausages of all kinds, from prosciutto-style meats to chorizos. But it's the wide range of pâtés and terrines—the Terrine Landaise is sublime—that make this must-stop shopping. If you've never had a terrine before, you must try it. Thicker and more crumbly than the smooth pâtés, terrines are so old-world French, they seem like a true delicacy in Vancouver. Buy French bread to go with your pâté at La Baguette, the French bakery outside the market and across the street from Oyama Sausage.

Longliner Seafoods: They have a nice selection of fresh, seasonal fish and often the best prices in the market.

The food court: In case you haven't got enough to eat, you'll find prepared Mexican, Indian, Chinese, sushi, crepes, and more in this section. Have a seat at one of the indoor tables facing the water, or if it's a beautiful day, take your bounty outside.

Facilities

Make sure to bring cash to the market as some vendors accept cash only. You’ll find ATMs outside of the market near Edible Canada, and most major cards are accepted.

Washrooms can be found inside the Public Market and throughout the Island. Small sellers such as local artists and makers have stalls in the center of the Market. 

What to Do Nearby

Granville Island is home to artists, so there are plenty of studios and boutiques to explore in Railspur Alley and beyond. Enjoy a sunset supper at one of the Island’s seafood restaurants such as SandBar, or take in a show at one of the comedy clubs or theaters that are found near the Market. Granville Island is a popular location for festivals from comedy ones to foodie events and special celebrations such as Canada Day.

How to Visit

Granville Island Market is open seven days a week, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Walk or cycle from downtown (via Granville Bridge), or take the #50 bus and get off underneath the bridge. Organized sightseeing tours call here, and you can drive or take an Evo car share. Parking is a mix of free two-hour spaces and dedicated Evo spaces.

False Creek Ferries runs ferries from the Aquatic Centre, Vanier Park, Yaletown, and Olympic Village, as does the colorful AquaBus, which also enables you to take your bike onboard from its Howe Street downtown pick-up point on False Creek.