Granville Island Shopping, Vancouver
The centrepiece of the Island shopping experience, the Public Market is an irresistible emporium of green grocers, butchers, bakers, fishmongers, importers, ethnic food sellers, craft vendors, sweet stands, florists and casual eateries. It also features a wine shop and a micro-roaster of organic coffee.
Everything in the Public Market is on display, from bakery backrooms to a mini fudge-making factory.
Fifty permanent vendors and a constantly changing array of farmers, artisans and cottage industry food producers are open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week.
I remember the fresh fruit, berries and meat very well. Great for barbeque season I am sure.
The highlight of GRANVILLE ISLAND is the Granville Island Public Market. Inside you will find an array of fresh fruits and vegetables, bakeries, seafood, etc. Outdoor patios and walkways offer plenty of places to sit and enjoy the scenery.
What to buy: On Granville Island there is an array of marine supply shops serving the boats moored at the marina.
Granville Island which isn't really an island but a little piece of land stuck out in an inlet off of English Bay called False Creek. It's south west of downtown and north of the rest of Vancouver proper. It's got a big public market, fruit and veg, which is ringed by fast food kiosks and a seating area. Most of the "island" is craft and designers studios and stores where you can buy the wares. Also there are a number of marine oriented businesses, from rentals to equipment for boating and other sports like scuba gear. False Creek is also a marina and there were so many boats docked that it looked choked and I don't know how any of them can actually maneuver out to have a sail!!!
There are buildings containing assortments of shops and studios, one of which is entirely devoted to children. There are a couple of community theatres, restaurants and cafes and, oddly enough, a cement plant which is what was there before they redid it over to a tourist mecca.
What to buy: Some of the shops I looked into were one that consisted solely of postcards, one that focused on paper products like bookbinding, origami supplies, stationary and gift cards. There were bookshops, and souvenir shops and little squares where buskers were scheduled.
Although Maiwa is noted for clothing and bedding, much of it is handprinted with the hardwood blocks that are themselves for sale, and which make beautiful and very unusual works of art. These blocks are made of teak or seasum. "A single rectangular design, as for a bedspread, requires an entire set of blocks, carved so that the image fits together like an elaborate puzzle." I found so many things that I wanted to purchase that I finally had to turn my attention to the fabrics imprinted by the blocks, which were easier to pack into my luggage!
What to buy: Bring home at least one specimen block, and amaze your friends.
What to pay: The blocks were quite reasonably priced. Even substantial ones, really works of art, were $20 (Canadian) or less.
The website, says: "You'll find handcrafted shoes, tailor-made eyeglasses, and custom-built kayaks; wooden musical instruments, high-craft blown glass, ceramic and woodwork treasures; gardening gear, dragon things, leather crafts, fishing reels, and one-of-a-kind toys: just a small spattering of what's in store for Island shoppers", and I addgroceries.
Granville Island isn't just one shop, it's many. There are more than just shops down here, there is the Emily Carr Institute for Art and Design, as well as the Arts Club Theatres. (plural) Opus-art supplies, a few restaurants and pubs, the Granville Island Market, and many smaller shops. You can easily spend an entire day down here and find something interesting to occupy yourself. If you have children with you, perfect. There is the very large; Kids Only Market. As you first enter Granville Island, this will be one of the first buildings you come across. (This is the large building you can see in my opening shot)
Check it out, take it in, it's a lot of fun. You won't be disapointed. I promise.
Under - Select An Appropriate Type For This Shop: I chose Other. You could include everything listed.
What to buy: Skies the limit when it comes to this Island Market; too many to list here. Open up the link attached to give you a better idea.
What to pay: Various Prices
The Farmer's Market was a bit pricey but beautiful to walk through nonetheless...
What to buy: I found beautiful Native Artwork to hang on my walls back home.
What to pay: Since the tourist buses stop here, expect to pay a little more...
This store is so unique. I'm not sure there's anything else like it anywhere and I've traveled a lot. I live in Vancouver and go here regularly. It used to be called Justin Stitches but they've changed the name to MAKE. They have really fun gifts and you can bring your creativity and create your own gifts. They have lots of stock designs you can have embroidered on hats, aprons, clothing, towels, tshirts, even bring your own item in. They have big industrial type embroidery machines right in the store.
You can also get a myriad of designs printed direct to t-shirts and other fabric items. Take a photo right from your camera card and have it printed on a shirt to take home as a present from your trip! They do this right in the store too on a high tech printer.
Kids can draw their own designs on paper and have it put on a pin-on button. If you're on Granville Island, be sure to check them out.
What to buy: custom printed tshirts, embroidered hat or embroidered clothing, unique gifts from local artist as well as other countries.
What to pay: $20 - $200
I've never seen such a wide assortment of fresh oysters, lobsters, and crabs as at the Lobster Man. They have a fairly large facility and are so able to equip it with large water tanks from which you can pick out the precise items yourself.
We all know that American aficionados pick up Cuban cigars when they come to Canada. But the other thing American aficionados can't get at home are fresh, unpasteurized cheeses. The rule is specifically that you cannot sell unpasteurized cheese less than 60 days old in the US. But you can in Canada, and you don't have to go to Montreal to get it. On the west coast, Les Amis de Fromage has such products, along with a vast array of other great cheeses, both local and global. They appear to be the only supplier of Neal's Yard cheeses in Vancouver, which if you know your English farmhouse cheeses is a very good thing. Of course, all the smelly French stuff is there, plus a good array of pecorinos and Spanish goat & sheep products. They also have a kitchen that does prepared meals, plus a few other products for the foodie market (like 2 types of smoked paprika, one of the world's greatest spices)
What to buy: Cheese. If you're American, especially the fresh unpasteurized stuff.
What to pay: About the same as other cheese shops of the same calibre.
If you're looking for seafood there a number of great places scattered throughout Granville Island. But you might want to try walking off of the island, turning right and strolling over to the government docks.
I don't know the hours but they seem to be open during most daylight hours. They offer various kinds of fish and shellfish.
What to pay: If you do ever buy from one of the boats docked here please drop me a line about the prices they offer.
I sort of ran into this store right at the start of Granville Island. It's almost impossible not to notice it really, its in a caboose! All painted up lively. They offer all sort of things for pets, from your standard dog treats to stuff for the truly spoiled pet. If your pet is like mine, he probably isn't going to be too picky when it comes to souvenirs from far away cities.
Locals are crazed about their pets, showing them off at every opportunity. Since it rains so much in Vancouver there is probably no better place to go shopping for rain gear for your canine companion:)
Staff was really nice as pet people usually are.
What to buy: I got Charlie a squeeky toy...yes one more! But alas, this one was a cool souvenir from Vancouver. The toy was in the shape of a hockey puck with a big old Maple Leaf on it. Makes an ungodly racket, so he loves it!
This small seafood store in Grandville Island has some of the freshest seafood around. Take a peak. They will even cook the crabs or lobster for you in the big metal cans shown on the pictures.
What to buy: Fresh fruits, vegetables, seafood, cheese specialist and lot more. There are also food stalls of different nations.