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Are you sick of Granville Island ?

Your Though please?

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  1. The market or the whole place-because GI is larger more diverse & essential place than just the overpriced market.

    Having lived within a 10 minute walk of the place since the week it opened back in another century I've been through various stages of appreciation & rejection.

    In the end like any place familiarity can breed contempt-I think it's best in fall & winter when tourist traffic drops off.


    1. Not at all. I don't get to Vancouver often but when I do it's my first stop. Always find some yummy esoteric thing I have been looking for.

      And I love the vendors.

      1. Is this a straight poll, or are you looking for sympathizers ?

        1. I love Granville Island. However, I do think the market's short order food are could be improved. Considering how food-obsessed this city is, it's odd that the premier food market has rather paltry lunch selections...I'm referring to the crappy Chinese, Mexican, Fish and Chips etc on the north side of the Market Building.

          Also the restaurants in general down there tend to be more chainy and lacking in quality (Cat's Meow, the Keg etc) They could be greatly improved, but maybe there's just not enough night traffic down there to warrant the same restaurants you'd find in nearby Kits or Yaletown.

          6 Replies
          1. re: ambiguoustraveller

            I hate the food court if you wanna call it that, the only good thing is cobs bread. I with you on the restaurants, if I wanna got to the keg GI is not the place for it.

            1. re: ukjason

              Cob's bread?

              I can think of four bakeries on the island with a new one opening soon-none of them is Cob's.

                1. re: ukjason

                  Cobs Bread? You mean Terra Breads?

                  Wow, all you guys are pretty nice on Chowhound ... on other forums this was an opportunity to lay the smack down! Lol. Just joshing, of course.

                2. re: ambiguoustraveller

                  Good points, and I would agree. I'm not referring to the rest of GI, but the food court itself is an underachiever, given the stature of our city and the public market itself. Pike Place Market food vendors blow GIM food vendors out of the water any day.

                  As for restos, I've not been to Edible Canada, but have heard many good things about them:


                  1. re: LotusRapper

                    I've been to Edible once and it was excellent. Will definitely return!
                    I'm not sure how you could get sick of Granville Island. Grab some charcuterie from Oyama and a baguette and just take in the scenery. That's a good day for me.

                3. Nope, not sick of it at all.

                  It is not all great but I focus on the good parts. I enjoy visiting the market as well as other parts of the Island. I live in the West End and it is a nice walk and ferry ride to the Island, so that adds to the enjoyment I get from it.

                  1. I don't go there enough to get sick of it. It's one of the rare places where I can feel like a tourist in my own city.

                    I don't buy produce, meat, cheese and anything else that I could get cheaper and often better in the Eastside.

                    1. There's things about it that could be better (especially the restaurants) but I love almost everything else about it.

                      The kids were out of school today so we sat in the sun, listened to buskers, dodged pigeons, ate mediocre pizza, took the dogs for a walk up the hill at the end of the island, looked at boats. and felt like we were a million miles from home. In November.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: waver

                        Upon reflection I suppose an old vet like m'self does cherry pick and Yes the food court is nothing more than a food court-I saw a classic pile of greasy MSG laced fried Cantonese styled horrors resting on a steam table yesterday for instance.

                        GIM management is on record as saying they want the place to be more upscale-they are also on record as laughably under performing and that's being kind about things.

                        1. re: Sam Salmon

                          While the Market's food court could be better in so many ways, there are some good options there (my kids eat the pizza because that's what they see). Mostly I bemoan the lack of the decent restaurants on the island generally.

                          1. re: Sam Salmon

                            Been a while since I've been there since I don't live in the west end anymore, but I used to "LOVE" the goulash soup at one of the places in the food court. Can't for the life of me remember the name of the place though. But it was my go to dish there every time, especially in the fall/winter. Great spicy broth and hearty fresh ingredients.... Sigh, I could really go for some right now actually :)

                        2. I shop at the public market on an infrequent basis, particularly at Oyama, Stock Market, Dusa's, Zara's and Armando the butcher. For large-ish orders, I like that I can call ahead and my stuff is ready to go when I arrive. Fresh herbs are well priced. I would prefer to see more organic and/or locally produced items, but basically, purchase what meets my needs, and don't get caught up in impulse buying. The produce vendors I frequent have very good quality.
                          AND, Finest At Sea has re-opened. Yay!

                          Stock Market
                          1689 Johnston St, Vancouver, BC V6H3R9, CA

                          1. Saying I am sick of Granville Island is like saying I am sick of my local Safeway or Farmer's Market. It is a food market and it meets its purpose. We live close by and go at least once a week - usually early in the morning or early evening to avoid the tourists. It is my go to place for a good selection of vegetables, non-scary luncheon meats, fresh bread, and specialty meats from the butchers and seafood mongers. It has the advantage of of a pleasant happy atmosphere and the occasional interesting rented table vendor of a previously undiscovered artisan. I know as a local I am not the target of the food court. I would imagine that is sustained by starving art students at Emily Carr and tourists who may not necessarily have the same standards as I do. I would not go to Granville Island for an amazing restaurant experience in the same way that I know that I cannot get an amazing meal at Grouse Nest, Horizons, and Watermark. There is an inverse relationship between a stunning location and the value you get in a meal - I think most foodies get that. I think CHMCC has done an amazing job of managing the market though I do wish there was a way to provide unsolicited feedback now and then.

                            1. I just wanted to add that I went to Edible Canada today and had a really enjoyable lunch. As an eatery, it compliments great food suppliers in the market like Oyama (local, delicious etc). I hope that more places like both of these come along and eventually Granville Island will become a better food destination. And they don't all have to be expensive either. Good food court food is possible!

                              1. I haven't gone for a while but compared to Toronto's St. Lawrence Market - GI is much better organized. It's just the parking is so BAD depending on what time you go that sometimes I would much rather go to some of my local staple grocery markets or the farmer's market instead.

                                1. yes and no.
                                  i agree, the "food court" is uninspired, to be polite
                                  the parking and other access is frustrating
                                  it just seems dirty and tired to my mind. I know that some people call it "atmosphere" or other experience.
                                  i've been going to GI since it first opened

                                  I went to Lonsdale market the other day (have not been in ages) and was somewhat impressed. Clean, good selection tho miss the Baguette store that used to be at the north entrance. (same as is still in sep building on GI)

                                  5 Replies
                                  1. re: Georgia Strait

                                    Lonsdale Quay market *has* improved over the years.

                                    GI public market ....... it's caught in a time warp. It could be 2001, or 1991, in there, you can't really tell.

                                    1. re: LotusRapper

                                      Ummmm...can you tell me what part of Vancouver is not caught in the same time warp?

                                      1. re: lunchslut

                                        I can't stand Lonsdale Quay for a dozen reasons including but not limited to astounding turnover and crappy little shops all cut off from one another-if it wasn't for Screaming Mimi's I'd never darken their door.

                                        The food court @ GIM is in a sad state I agree but again so is market management-mediocrity oozes out of the office/down the stairs and pollutes the market.

                                    2. re: Georgia Strait

                                      I find I frequently step out of the market proper...to Lobster Man for mussels or oysters (and Finest at Sea tell me they will soon be retailing local mussels...can't wait!). Really though, Oyama was what saved GI for me when they opened. The new cheese store is great too. In season the local stalls with foraged mushrooms and local tomatoes etc make a difference.

                                      1. re: jcolvin

                                        and the new permanent Chilliwack honey stand!

                                    3. Not really. Granville Island Teas is by far the best tea shop in Vancouver. Siegel Bagels has a location there, Oyama is world class and there's some decent if pricey butcher shops. I seem to be able to find most things I'm looking for in one place, except bread but for my money there isn't really a great bakery anywhere in Vancouver.
                                      One thing I will say is that there aren't many changes over the years so if you're hoping for something new it's not likely to happen.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: marko65

                                        Slouched through the Food Court this afternoon and it was kind of sad-like a stroll through the 80's without the chemical aids (except MSG).

                                        Succoured by the Terra Breads cookie clasped in my paw I saw nothing worth eating or even sampling.

                                        1. re: Sam Salmon

                                          I once bought some pieces of tamago from the sushi stand (Omi). The cook methodically took out a package of pre-made "egg", cut it open, took out the slab and cut 5 uniform pieces. The stuff is amazingly homogeneous in texture and aesthetics, and lacking any flavour or semblance of real egg. He then made five pieces of tamago with that. I felt so insulted watching all of that, and then paying a criminal price for that McTamago for my son.

                                      2. I still have mix feeling about Granville island

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. Boring outdated and nothing revent except tourists and overpriced seafood and veggies...