With 48 hours in grey, raining Vancouver, we decided to spend our time wisely. Doing something indoors was best and I was hearing of great things about Granville Island Market. Market = food. And that's a very good thing.
A quick bus ride from the city centre and we arrived at the Market. It's popular with the locals for buying groceries and with tourists - indeed, the bus is packed out with both; and trying to get onto the bus was reminiscent of boarding an EasyJet flight (where there's no order and everyone rushes on board... every man, woman and child for themselves).
The market is a sprawling affair, with the stores and stalls housed in various buildings. It's not organised in grid formation and looks like a movie studio with big grey buildings and narrow, winding roads. It can be a bit confusing finding your way around - especially if you're completely new to the place.
The plan was to meander around the market and do a self-guided eating exploration. Having picked a random building to explore, we had a quick lap around and I decided to get some soup from a cleverly named soup and stock place called The Stock Market. TSM specialises in making stock - simple, proper stuff with no artificial nasties. In addition to the ready made stock and soups for at-home consumption, they make a range of hot soups for right now consumption.
I picked a small serve of hot smoked salmon, tomato-based chowder, which comes with a nice wedge of herbed foccacia. Piping hot and loaded with lots of finely chopped root veg (carrot, toms, onion, celery) and herbs the soup was flavoursome, hearty and warming. The bread was warm and fluffy and perfect dipping material for the soup.
We wandered to another building where I spotted Terra Breads. I love bakeries - that uplifting aroma of freshly baked bread and the temptation of the light, yeasty, flaky, yumminess of refined carbohydrates.
TB has quite a range on offer - both savoury and sweet. My instinct told me buy one of everything but reason told me to limit myself to two things.
A cinnamon bun. One of the best I've ever had. Light, buttery and yeasty brioche that pulled apart easily. It was studded with lots of toasted pecans and had a not-too-sweet, slightly chewy caramel swirled through it. Absolutely delicious and I wish I had a cup of tea when I had it. In fact, I could do with one of these right now. I also got a small loaf of olive bread, which I'll talk about it a bit further down.
Oyama Sausage Co is a very popular stall and it takes a bit of elbow work to get to the front counter to get a ticket - the crowd of people wanting to get served is unceasing. Practically all forms of porky (and not-so-porky) goodness is available - cured meats, ham, more ham, legs of ham, sausages and a range of other deli products.
I got a small slab of a country style pork and duck pate to go with my green olive loaf.
Verdict: we loved it.
A great market for foodies. There's lots to explore and food is quite cheap. I wished we were staying longer in Vancouver as I would have bought more food with us to take back to our hotel as a snack.