Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Granville Island Public Market - Part 1

If there’s one place in Vancouver that is a mecca to both locals and tourists, it’s Granville Island Public Market. A large scale waterfront market in the same line as Pike Place Market in Seattle, this Vancouver landmark offers fresh produce, unique culinary items, beautiful art… and of course, great places to eat! After mentioning the food court not once but twice in other reviews, it’s time to cover it properly. In this two part post (second part to be posted tomorrow), I’ll be covering some of the restaurants Olympic visitors should check out, as well as some recommendations about where to buy great food if you’re planning to do a bit of cooking yourself.

For the first installment, I’m going to deviate from my usual approach of covering my favorite places and instead cover places that I have not eaten at but know through reputation. As such, I cannot give my personal guarantee of satisfaction for these stores… but I can say that they are very popular and always look VERY tempting! Tomorrow I will cover some of my personal favorites, but for now, let’s look at some tempting distractions…

Celine’s Fish and Chips

There’s something about Granville Island that attracts fish and chip shops; I’ve already covered two in this very blog! As such, I haven’t had the chance to try this one out. Having said that, its menu has always been rather eye-catching, with things like oyster burgers on offer. If you’re unable to make it to Go Fish or Tony’s Fish and Oyster Café, this would be an excellent third option.

I confess that I’m not a huge fan of curry, but there’s usually a small lineup at this food court outlet.  It also caters to people looking to prepare curry in their own home.

A great option for vegetarians and healthy eaters, Fraser Valley Juice and Salad offers a selection of organic juices and various kinds of salad, including fruit, bean, pasta and so on. There are a few noodle dishes too.

Kaisereck Delicatessen

For those looking for hearty sandwiches or German meat, this is probably the best place to go in the market. You can build your own sandwiches, or order sausages, bratworst, and so on.

La Tortilleria

I have a friend who always eats here whenever we go to lunch on Granville Island. Not only is it affordable but the portions are generous and the food is satisfying without being overly greasy.  Good Mexican food for those in a hurry!

Omi Japan

Despite my adoration of Japanese food, I’ve never tried this place… probably because I always go to my favorite places like Gourmet Wok and Market Grill! Omi Japan still offers a decent selection of Japanese dishes, with prepackaged sushi or hot dishes like teriyaki and yakisoba.

Pizza Pzazz

This restaurant offers a standard selection of pizza that can be bought by the slice. What sets it a bit apart is that it also offers some great gelato and other desserts in the cooler. 

The Perogy Place

The name says it all! Perogy lovers and Ukranian cuisine fans should definitely give this place a try, as it offers dishes like cabbage rolls, blintz, Kiev chicken cutlet and so on. Not only that, but you can buy frozen food here to take back to your kitchen or kitchenette.

The Stock Market

This store doubles as a stock and broth shop for cooks as well as a soup bar. The Stock Market usually offers three daily specials; one meat soup, one seafood and one vegetarian. I’ve never tried their soups personally, but I have bought lots of dips, marinades and dressings from them and have always been impressed.

An organic bakery located in the main food court, Terra Breads offers plenty of unusual loafs, muffins and other pastries. Expect lots of natural ingredients like flaxseed, olive oil and nuts. No eggs or shortening are used.

This is not a restaurant; rather, it’s a meat and cheese store that is very popular with foodies and chefs. There are plenty of esoteric items here such as duck breast, headcheese, and cheeses you’ve never even heard of.

Looking for fine dining but don’t want to break the bank? This is a recent addition to Granville Market and offers a fantastic option for those Olympic visitors who are renting condos or have access to a kitchen. You can purchase fresh prepared meals or frozen entrees to cook back home. The options are incredibly high quality, with dishes like southwestern organic squash stew with cornbread, butter chicken with jasmine rice, coq au vin with pearl onions and bacon, and balsamic glazed duck breasts. Entrees usually go for around $30 and serve two, making this a very economical option for those wanting something more sophisticated for their buck.

Stay tuned for part 2 tomorrow, where I talk about my own favorite places on Granville Island! In the meantime, find out more at the Granville Island Public Market directory.


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