Visiting Granville Island and the Public Market – Vancouver, Canada
Granville Island is sandbar turned man made island in 1916 used for mining, shipping, fishing, and construction industries – remnants of which can be found all over the island today. There are over 300 businesses that have residence on Granville Island and is home to a famous public market that draws locals and visitors in. It was still early so we had time to walk around the island and explore a bite before it got busy.
We came ready to eat our way through the Granville Island Public Market as it is home to over fifty merchants – the majority of those focus on food. While the market officially opens at 9AM, we were a bit early but were able to find a few spots open early.
First stop was the famous and iconic Lee’s Donuts for their handmade donuts from scratch since 1979. There are both yeast and cake donuts to choose from with over 20 different donuts. I chose their most popular donut – the Honey Dip which is a honey glazed yeast donut and Kevin got the Double Chocolate which is a chocolate cake donut with chocolate icing. Kevin also swung around the corner for coffee from JJ Bean Coffee Roasters.
The donuts were fantastic and it was so tempting to double down and try more flavors but we had stomach space to preserve for more snacks. As 9AM rolled around, the market officially opened and we began our exploration.
From bread, to cheese, to pasta, to bagels, to meats, to soup, to chocolate, to cookies, to baked treats, to vegetables, to fish, to fruit – there was everything here!
Staying on a breakfast kick, the next stop was Seigel’s Bagels which has been serving up Montreal style bagels out of their wood fired oven since 1990 and has been a staple of Granville Island Public Market. There were many options of bagels served up with a variety of cream cheese or other toppings. For fear of a bagel weighing us down for the rest of our day, we decided to split an everything bagel toasted with cream cheese on it.
We sat outside at the harbor to enjoy our bagel and we were happy that it was not an enormous bagel but rather smaller and thin. We enjoyed the bagel and I think for folks not from the New York area where bagels reign supreme, this is an excellent bagel. We are spoiled by having New York bagels on demand so this one was definitely better than average but not the bets we have had. If amazing bagels are not accessible to you, definitely make the stop here.
Taking a brief eating break, we started at the beginning of one side of the market and worked our way around to see everything. I cannot even imagine the opportunity to use this as a routine market for grocery shopping, lunch breaks, and specialty items for meals at home.
One treat I regret not getting is the Nanaimo Bar as it is a specific Canadian dessert that is made of three layers of chocolate ganache top, coconut custard middle, and wafer crumb bottom. I was also so tempted by the pies at A La Mode Pie Cafe as the puff pastry top on those soups looked amazing.
After completing our journey through Granville Island Public Market, we ended our food adventure at The Lobster Man for a lobster roll – can’t explain the hankering but I really wanted one! While it was expensive – as all lobster rolls are – it was jam packed with lobster meat and it was very delicious.
Granville Island is a must stop when visiting Vancouver. While I highly suggest participating in your own food tour by trying things from different merchants, it is also fun to go and see all the different things available on the island.