Vancouver, Day 5: All the food of Granville Island


After a late night at Mountain Madness Monday, we woke up around 11am to get a start on my last full day in Vancouver. And that start...began with a breakfast of glorious cinnamon rolls.

Tom and I headed off to Granville Island to spend the day. Tom described it as an island that had a bunch of food shops and some other stores in a concentrated area on a peninsula, and it seemed like a fun thing to explore.

We took the bus which didn't take too long, and fortunately dropped us off right at the entrance. It reminded me of a mix between Chelsea market in NYC and Navy Pier and the French Market in Chicago.

There are a bunch of buildings on the island, the largest of which is the public market, which we entered first. Here, there are a bunch of food vendors much like the French Market, in a variety of cuisines such as Indian, Chinese, seafood, pizza, and more. Tom and I ordered way too much food at the Chinese restaurant, so much so that I didn't eat any of the rice that came with my meal in fear that my stomach would explode.

It was chilly outside but the weather was mostly pleasant, so people were constantly shuffling in and out of the doors from the market to the port outside. This allowed some seagulls to occasionally sneak in, and they'd perch above the rafters longingly staring at the baskets of fish and chips that guests were enjoying below.

We then walked through the marketplace section of this same building, which featured vendors selling a range of food items from basic fruits and vegetables to pre-made soups, gourmet pasta, gelato, various local honeys and more. Tom, like me, has cravings for sweets even if his stomach is full, and debated ordering an entire cake from the bakery and stealing a fork from the fast-food area so he could enjoy it right then and there. It could have been the $30 pricetag, or it could have been the logic side of his brain, but he didn't end up ordering it.

I needed something sweet, to settle my overflowing stomach (of course), and decided on donuts. I got two, which were coated in a thick, glossy frosting of strawberry or maple. Tom was a bit weirded out by the maple one, but happily ate some of the strawberry. He thought maple on anything but pancakes was a bit odd.

We left the market and explored the other nearby buildings. One sold tours for whale-watching, one rented out kayaks and SUP boards for exploring Vancouver via the water, and other buildings were simply gift shops selling everything from soaps to shirts. The entire island is aiming to be zero-waste in the near future, so all of the trash cans are split into compost and recycling, and the paper cups/trays/diningware in the market are all compostable, which I thought was a nice touch!

In the store MAKE Vancouver, there were unique gifts ranging from stack-them-yourself Tetris Lamps to locally-sourced wooden cutting boards. Upon entering, the music changed to a Bieber song, and one of the employees shouted out in glee and then told his coworkers that THIS WAS HIS JAM.

Our favorite thing in the store was the T-shirt shop in the back, or rather, the computers where you could design your own shirt. The screen had a plain shirt, and there were options to add graphics, designs, and text to make it unique. We got drunk on giggles as we designed one with a bear in the background of a sideways caribou with a maple leaf for his eye, along with waving Canadian flags arbitrarily placed around his head. And the final touch was a speech bubble that read, "I'm Canadian, eh?" A store employee heard our giggles and walked behind us to see our design and smiled, but clearly wasn't as amused as us. He did recommend we add maple syrup to our design, though. The computer didn't have that graphic option. How DARE he suggest something that the machine is incapable of doing!

After popping in and out of a few more shops, the sky grew darker and it was time to plan our next meal. With the market offering so many tempting options, we decided to get some handmade butternut squash ravioli and a jar of pesto sauce for dinner. After our purchase, we hopped on the bus back to Tom's place.

We lounged around a bit, and then we made dinner and realized we purchased way too much pasta for two people to eat. Well, Tom can have it as leftovers, along with the gallon of cider I left behind.

Since Tom is also a sci-fi aficionado, we watched the final episode of the latest season of Black Mirror together before I headed to sleep in anticipation of a 3am wakeup for my 6am flight.

It was a quiet end to an eventful weekend. I enjoyed relaxing and just hanging out, meeting Tom's friends and exploring Vancouver's beautiful city and nature preserves. I always love reuniting with friends I've made through travel, so it was great to see him again in a new environment for me to explore!