Help Me Wrap My Brain Around Granville Island
- Morton the Mousse Jun 9, 2008 10:47 AM
Last post before I head out to Vancouver on Friday (I'm so excited!)
Looking for the must visit, food shops and stalls at Granville Island. I'll be taking public transit, as I've read that parking can be a nightmare.
My current list:
Lunch at Go Fish (I know it's just off the island)
Oyama for charcuterie
Longliner for smoked fish (anyone know how this stuff compares to the smoked fish at Trilogy Fish in Tofino?)
Osake for sake
Terra Breads for bread
What am I missing?
How will I find these places? Google lists them all as having the same address on Johnson St, and that can't be right.
Is there a visitors center with a map of vendors? Where is it?
You already have a good list there. I think there is a map at the island.
I just came back from the Tofino Food and Wine fest. I had some of the smoked fish at Trilogy. It was certainly excellent. I don't know if Longliner is dedicated to sustainable fishery the way Trilogy is.
JJ Bean is one of the best coffee roasters in town. They have a location right at one of the entrances.
Barbara-Jo's Books to Cooks is a excellent bookstore over at the NetLoft. They have a bigger location on 4th ave. Food and Wine magazine called it one of the ten best cook book stores in the world....for whatever that's worth.
The Wood Co-op often has some very nice kitcheny items (cutting boards, bowls, etc.)...I find them too nice to actually use though! Have a look around for a cool memento. http://www.thewoodco-op.com/creations...
I second the recommendation for Barbara-Jo's. I came back with three more cookbooks than I had intended to buy (I hadn't planned on buying any, actually--I'm usually an Amazon.ca shopper). The staff are very knowledgeable and let you take your time reading through the books before making a decision. Very deep and broad selection across all categories.
Most of the small vendors are in the Public Market and therefore all have the same or similar addresses. You will find Terra and others by just wandering through but if you want specifics, Terra is on the West side where most of the little restaurants can be found. Lee's donuts are great - try their plain honey cake version. The Stock Market has great soups, the Indian food is great at Curry 2 U, I love the antipasti at Duso's, try the fudge at Olde World Fudge and the sausages at Oyama.
As you know, Go Fish is just west of GI at Fisherman's Wharf. The rest of the vendors are in the public market building with the exception of Osake which is southeast of the market building in a section of small studio type shops south of the Emily Carr Institute. The visitor center is on the south side of the road if you turn right at the Granville Island Brewery. They are staffed and have washrooms.
For smoked fish ***DON'T*** buy anything from Granville Island Smokery-a throughly mediocre place with questionable business practices.
The shellfish place next door has some interesting products at times not just Lobster http://www.lobsterman.com/, as does the French Bakery in front of the Market.
There's a boat on the dock in front of Go Fish selling some unique Albacore Tuna products-Yes it's local fish-and of course Live Prawns on offer until the end on the month.
There was a boat there with Smoked Salmon but he may have moved on by now.
re: Sam Salmon
Since you are from SF, you could think of the GIsle Market as being similar to the regular vendors inside the Ferry Plaza Building. All of the places listed above except as noted are inside a building -- it just happens to be bigger and squarer than the FPB. Once you get in there you will find everything just by wandering as suggested above -- then leave the building and cross to the Net Loft if you are interested in Barbara Jo's. Then walk out the other side of the Net Loft, hang a left (go under the bridge high above you) and toddle over to Osake (walk about two city blocks, turn left, turn right, you're there). Vancouverites are generally very good about steering you in the right direction if you should happen to go off course, and the Island is quite small. This will all make sense once you are actually in situ, I promise :-).
The parking chaos occurs on the weekends after 10 am, in my experience. I regularly drive to the market to do big shops that I couldn't lug on the bus, and I've never had a problem as long as I avoid those times. If you're not buying much, the bus is a decent option. You could always cab back if you get carried away!
Terra breads is flour-based heaven. Longliner for smoked fish is great—but if you're planning on getting the foil-packaged kind (which doesn't need refrigeration), you may be disappointed; it's actually cooked inside those foil pouches for food safety reasons and the foil produces off flavors, IMHO. Still not bad, but the fresh stuff's better.
There's a decent wine shop there IIRC, and I second the Oyama rec. Don't worry about a map, it's not that big and you'll find these stores quickly.