Hey there, fellow market lovers! Granville Island, although not technically an island, is a little bit of land jutting into the ocean over the bridge from Vancouver’s CBD. It is easily accessible via the #50 bus from downtown for those of us sans automobiles. The Granville Island Public Market is, as the official website states, “the jewel in the island’s crown.”
And on a beautiful summer’s day it can look something like this… yes, gelato is mandatory.
The markets are open every day and are enclosed in a massive shed so rain doesn’t affect business, which definitely helps in a city like Vancouver where productivity is unfortunately very weather-dependent. The bright colours of the fruit and vegetables are very enticing.
Once you pass the produce, stop and smell the flowers. The Granville Island Florist has a beautiful array of local flora, that also draw you in with their colourful allure, for that special someone in your life (which could just be you!) Next you have to try and walk by and not buy from the stalls offering delicious homemade sweet treats. The decadent fudge, the fruit pies, the macaroon tower – I could feel the chocolate melting in my mouth as I stared at the perfectly cut squares through the glass.
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Although I had self-control when it came to the sweet treats, I did take a sample from Terra Breads. The market is the perfect place to purchase everything you would need for a picnic out by the ocean: bread, exotic cheeses and some deli ham. You can also buy fish and meat, which is so fresh the fish is still staring at you with their glassy, lifeless eyes.
But alas, the market is not all about the gastronomy. There are residents selling their homemade wares also, including jewellery, soaps, leather goods and other perfectly Canadian souvenirs.
Once you have worked up an appetite browsing the maze-like public market, head to the food court for lunch. You have a lot of different cuisines to choose from: Mexican, Indian, Italian and the usual burgers. My friend and I decided on fish and chips, as it had been a while for me and I was missing my fish by the sea. We got the seafood platter for about $17 from Celine’s that included fish, oyster, fries, onion rings and calamari. It was quite expensive, about $12 for just a piece of fish and chips, so this was definitely the better deal.
There is usually some form of entertainment in the courtyard overlooking the water outside the market – a busker performing music or tricks.
After lunch we did sample some gelato, and then walked from the island west to Kits Beach. A great way to spend a summer’s afternoon in the city.