Neighbourhood Guidebook: Granville Island (Best Eats, Food, Drinks, & Shops)
A typical day at Granville Island begins in the wee hours of the morning. Boats and ferries begin their journey down False Creek and the markets start coming to life. Soon the place begins to buzz with visitors, locals and any and everyone looking to explore this beautiful neighbourhood, spend a day out and about, or just to shop for some fresh seafood.
Once an industrial manufacturing area, Granville Island is now a bustling and gorgeous landmark that thrives with restaurants where they used to be sawmills, charming stores where factories once ran, and loaded with talented artists and musicians. It is a place worth visiting more than just once, and to help you discover the best Granville Island has to offer, we’ve put together a list of the best restaurants, drink spots, shops, and spots to stop by at the Public Market.
The beauty of dining in a place like Granville Island is undoubtedly its brilliant array of waterfront eateries. Even the ones that don’t offer stunning views of the harbour, will wow you with their charming atmospheres and unique cuisine. Here’s our list of the best places to dine when you visit, be it for brunch, lunch, or a hearty dinner.
Starting with this gorgeous landmark spot on Granville Island, Bridges is a hugely popular restaurant with stunning views of the harbour and boats in False Creek, and the gorgeous mountains on the North Shore. It’s set in an old building dating back to the 1920’s and boasts beams and trusses, as well as floor to ceiling windows, and mouth-watering food. The outside patio of this restaurant is an institution in itself, and a coveted spot among diners.
Pop into their Pub & Bistro and have a cold one, with some yummy mussels and fries, and maybe a Smoked Salmon Pizza. If you go upstairs, then prepare for a seafood feast. Enjoy a classic Halibut & Chips, their famous West Coast Chowder packed with seafood in a tomato broth, or a Hot Seafood Caesar. Round off with a trip to their Dessert Bar for some creamy gelato, or a slice of decadent cheesecake.
Go fancy and head to Dockside Restaurant on Granville Island for a memorable dining experience. Located right by the water, this spot offers gorgeous views of the harbour, classy atmosphere, and food that is casually classic, yet perfection on a plate.
Whether you’re there for brunch, lunch or dinner, try their Knotty Garlic Bread for starters, and go for a nice warm potato salad. The BBQ Baby Back Ribs are fantastic, and you don’t want to miss out on their Grilled Humboldt Squid. Pair off with a glass of red or white for a more enjoyable meal. Round off with a sweet Skillet Brownie, some Carrot Cake, or freshly fried mini Donuts.
Another glittering gem on Granville Island is undoubtedly The Vancouver Fish Company. Living up to its name, this lovely waterside spot offers guests all day dining, including Happy Hour and a Late Night Menu. This is the perfect place for a gathering of friends, family, or even date night.
Order yourself a beer, or some Sangria and sample their Maple Walnut Prawns for starters. The oven-roasted Sablefish is delish and is accompanied by braised rainbow swiss chard, chorizo, smoked clams, and heirloom-tomato consommé. If you’re a shellfish fan, try the Scallops, or Lobster, or indulge yourself and order one of their amazing Seafood Trios. Finish off with a speciality Irish Coffee, a Rum Chata Latte, or a divine Espresso Martini.
Whether you’re looking for a great lunch or dinner option while you’re visiting Granville Island, The Sandbar comes highly recommended by both locals and visitors alike. Set right beside the water and offering stunning views from their patio, and equally good ones from their classy nautical themed interior, this is one restaurant you don’t want to miss out on experiencing.
The Sandbar has a great menu that has separate seafood, vegan, and gluten-free options. Enjoy a taste of some Dungeness Crab Cakes, or yummy Har Gow for starters, go for the Wok Mussels, or The Sandbar Tower, which is a fresh and chilled seafood feast. Pair your meal with some wine or cocktails, or even beer from the tap.
Address: 1535 Johnston Street, Creekhouse #102, Vancouver, BC
No eatery list is complete without the mention of good steakhouse, and this one wouldn’t be either if we didn’t talk about The Keg Steakhouse & Bar. This spot is spacious yet cozy, with booths and great low lighting. There is an air of comfort and warmth, and the need to feast on good solid food. Dine in and you won’t be disappointed.
The menu at The Keg is extensive, but we highly recommend a couple of appies, like the scallops and bacon, and maybe the Baked Brie. For your main, there is a ton to choose from, and if you’re there for steak, then the Prime Rib, and the Peppercorn New York (12oz of crusted striploin, with a whisky sauce) is the way to go. Add some grilled jumbo shrimp, or King Crab to your steak and make it more special. Dip into a delicious Creme Brulee to round off, and grab an espresso while you do.
Tip: The Keg has a great Kids Menu if you’re dining with your little ones.
Everyone knows they cannot leave Granville Island without digging into a super delicious Puff Cream. If you’re wondering what this is, then imagine a gorgeous soft serve inside a freshly baked cream puff. And, where does anyone go for that amazing treat? Straight to Popina Canteen! That’s right. If you’re strolling about the Ferry Dock and need a quick pick-me-up, this is the perfect spot to do that.
We recommend you start off with a Lobster Roll, because why not? It’s yummy and you know you want one. If veg is your jam, then the Falafel Roll is for you, and if you’re feeling meaty, try the Chicken Sandwich. But, don’t forget the Puff Cream! There’s a range of great toppings from blueberries to nutella.
For good times, great food, and no-fuss, there is always Tony’s Fish & Oyster Cafe. One of Granville Island’s mainstay establishments, this charming eatery consistently wins the hearts of locals and tourists both. Serving a delicious array of fresh seafood with no frills and great taste, this is the spot to go for a wonderful meal.
Dig right into a steaming bowl of Tony’s White Clam Chowder, and for an entree go for a Scallop or Tiger Prawn Platter. If you’re a fan of the classics, you cannot go wrong with Tony’s Famous Fish & Chips (The Cod is just heavenly.) Round off with sweet flambeed bananas in rum, brown sugar and vanilla ice cream for a perfect end to a perfect meal.
Blue Hat Bistro is a fun and stylish bar/bistro located at Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts in Granville. This rare gem serves gourmet cuisine prepared by budding professionals, and hosts seasonal menus.
Start your meal with some Fresh-shucked Pacific Oysters, or Local Farm Greens. For your main try the Pan Roasted, Fraser Valley Porchetta, some Fettuccine ‘Aglio e Olio,’ or a sherry glazed Grilled New York StripLoin. Finish your meal with a scoop of house-made ice cream, a slice of Citrus Cake, or Chai infused Pana Cotta.
Certified organic, locally grown, and artisan-crafted, A Bread Affair is a true Vancouver bakery and cafe through and through, and a must-visit when touring Granville Island.
They are of course renowned for their amazing selection of breads, from their famous 100 Mile Bread, and Spelt, to the Cranberry Semolina. But, A Bread Affair also serves an array of delicious sandwiches (the Ham & Cheese, and Turkey in a Dress are yummy,) as well as an assortment of super fresh Croissants and Pastries. The Double Baked Almond Croissant is to die for, so give it a try!
If you’re a foodie or just love public markets, this is the place to go and spend an afternoon on Granville Island. Enjoy a leisurely lunch while you’re there and stroll past displays of food, fresh produce, seafood and more. Listen to talented street musicians perform, pick up a few souvenirs from an array of vendors, take a ton of Instagramable pictures, and make your visit memorable.
Here’s a list of must-visit spots in Granville Island’s Public Market.
Chau Veggie Express
For a unique and delightful Vietnamese vegan experience, the one place you need to stop at in Granville’s Public Market is Chau Veggie Express. This is an adorable and cute spot to stop by for quick service, great variety, and a wholesome and delicious lunch.
Try their signature Golden Temple Soup, a light turmeric coconut curry broth with seasonal veggies, organic tofu, beancurd, mushrooms, taro, yam, kale and herbs. The dish is served with your choice of quinoa, wild rice or rice noodles. The Nonla Crispy Rolls are also a must-try, wrapped in rice paper and stuffed with a, kale, mung beans, taro, organic tofu, garlic, shallots, sesame, vegetable filling, and lemon vegan “fish” sauce.
Tip: Chau also has an array of ready freezer meals for take home, along with a fantastic selection of wellness products.
If you’re strolling along Granville Island’s Public Market and see a long line, you’re probably heading towards Lee’s Donuts. So, queue in and get ready for an amazing sweet treat in the form of classic and melt-in-your-mouth donuts made fresh.
The menu is extensive and packed with sweet temptations. We recommend you try the Blueberry Filled, a Chocolate Cake Donut, or their famous Maple Iced Rings. Whatever you choose here will take you to donut heaven, so go ahead, indulge sweet tooth, and don’t forget to take a box home!
You can’t miss the classy signs and gorgeous glass displays at Laurelle’s Fine Foods in Granville Island’s Public Market. One glance, and you’ll be drawn like a magnet. Follow your instinct and just go visit, and while you’re there, treat yourself to some classic homestyle baked fare and deli delights.
From muffins, tarts, vegan items, gluten-free options, and ready-to-eat meals, there is something for everyone at Laurelle’s. Sample their yummy Chicken Pot Pie, the Salmon Puff Pastry Rolls, or even an Asian Bean Salad. Round off with a slice of cheesecake, and definitely don’t leave without sampling their hottest seller, the Nanaimo Bar.
Yes, you read that right! Delicious stir-fried Pad Thai noodles just bursting with flavor and waiting for you to dig in. When you’re in Graville’s Public Market and craving some Thai food, Sen Pad Thai is the place to stop and treat yourself to mind-blowing savory goodness.
If you’re a meat lover, go for the Pad Siew Beef, or for a seafood option try the Prawn Pad Thai. Another popular dish on the menu is the Crispy Pork with Rice, which is seriously just amazing. For a lighter snack, opt for some Crispy Chicken Wings, or a Fried Cauliflower Salad. Wash it all down with some cool Thai Iced Tea, or grab your choice of some Asian Soda.
Who’s up for some pie? If your taste buds began to tingle reading that, then have we got the perfect spot for your next stop in Granville’s Public Market. A La Mode Pie is one of those places no one can resist visiting. From sweet and savory pies, to quiches and unbaked whole pies, they have got it all.
For a savory treat, try their classic Steak and Kidney Pie, the Chicken Pot Pie, or a flavorful Cheesy Vegetable Pie. If you want something sweet, the Raspberry Rhubarb, and Pecan are great options. Take home a Tart Box, or a frozen Quiche for dinner.
If you get to Granville Island’s Public Market early, and are looking for good breakfast options, then head to Siegel’s Bagels for a boost of morning energy. They serve a wide array of freshly baked bagels in a variety of flavors, great breakfast sandwiches, as well as regular sandwich options, and deli items.
Try their signature Big Breakfast Bagel that comes packed with cream cheese, smoked meat, lettuce, tomato, green pepper, red onion, egg and cheddar. The toasted Bagel with salami and egg is also delicious, or you can opt for a non-breakfast Turkey Breast, and Tuna Salad. For something less fancy but equally yummy, go for a Cinnamon Bagel, or the hotseller Rosemary Rocksalt Bagel.
Protip: Be sure to check their list of gorgeous Cream Cheese flavors for your bagel.
Another great spot to pay a visit in Granville’s Public Market is Stuart’s Bakery. We give you fair warning, this Bakery is packed with every sweet treat imaginable, from wide varieties of cakes, pastries, tarts, pies and gorgeous healthy granola.
Grab some creamy Black Forest cake, or a couple of Blueberry and Strawberry Tarts, or go for a croissant you can enjoy with a cup of coffee, or just a yummy Nanaimo Bar or two. Take home a box of heavenly pastries, and definitely a loaf of freshly baked bread.
If you love macaroons, and want to sample a great number of unique flavors, Bon Macaron Patisserie is the place for you. One of the best spots in Granville Island’s Public Market for a quick stop to get that perfect treat.
With over 30 flavors available on any given day at Bon Macaron Patisserie, it may be hard for some to decide on what’s best. A few flavors we recommend are the Lavender, Cotton, Candy, Earl Grey, and Tiramisu. The Peanut Butter Choc, and Rose Lychee are also pretty amazing. The best way to go is to select an assortment and have it boxed to go. You may sneak a couple out while you stroll away, but that’s okay and no one will judge you!
Tip: Bon Macaron Patisserie offers macaroon making classes, so if you’re interested in learning how to do that, ask at the counter and sign up!
Grab some coffee, enjoy beautiful views of the marina, or just people watch. You can do all of that at Blue Parrot Coffee in Granville’s Public Market. This spot is just right for some down time and to recharge your batteries before you go exploring again.
The Hazelnut Milkshake here is really good, or you can opt for a latte, some espresso, or a classic Americano. Grab a pastry while you’re at it, but if you’re more hungry than that, try their omelette bagel, a Salmon Sandwich, or even a delicious Fish & Chip.
If you’re in Granville Island’s Public Market to stock up your freezer, then a stop at the award-winning Armando’s Finest Quality Meats is a must. One of the best and most popular butchers in the city, Armando’s offers great cuts, and great prices too.
From pork and duck breasts, to goose, veal, and turkey, all you have to do is ask and you’ll find your needs met. The meat here is fresh and of the highest quality, and you will not be led astray if meat buying is not your thing. Take home a few prime cuts, and you will not be sorry.
Calling all tea lovers (and tea snobs!) Your visit to Granville’s Public Market wouldn’t be complete with a stop at Granville Island’s Tea Company for a loose leaf extravaganza. Rivaling most speciality tea shops, this store has every tea flavor imaginable, and then some. So, don’t miss out!
The flavors are in abundance, so grab a steaming cup of Masala Chai, a Lychee Jasmine, or a herbal Serenity. Ask a friendly server to assist you in selecting just the right loose leaf to take home, or choose your own from a variety of blacks, greens, and herbals.
Oyama Sausage Co in Granville’s Public Market is the place for some of the best buys in cured meats, pate, charcuterie, and of course, sausages. A super popular spot that lets you grab a number, and sample some delicious cooked sausage while you wait your turn.
They have an extensive variety of cheeses, deli meats and sausages to choose from, so go to town and get some delicious Red Wine Beef, Spicy Chorizo, Rookwurst, or Maple Syrup Ham for your next party. Their Duck Truffle Pate is a big seller, and so is the yummy Wild Boar Rosemary ready-to-eat Salami. Don’t miss out on stopping by Oyama, you’ll be doing yourself a favor!
Granville Island is renowned not just for its liquor establishments, but also for the unique artistic flair of each one. When you visit, you’ll undoubtedly want to stop for a drink and enjoy a great afternoon or evening out. To help you along, we’ve curated the three best spots for you to have a spirited good time.
Artisan Sake Maker
With a charmingly beautiful name like that, you can only expect the best when you visit this gem on Granville Island. And, we promise you will! Artisan Sake Maker is the country’s first locally produced premium sake, and is popular among locals and visitors alike.
There is a tasting room inside, which can hold around four people at a time, so try not to visit in too large a group. If you don’t know what you’d like to order, opt for a tasting first, otherwise you can go for a full glass, and even a bottle. Try the Osake Junmai Nama, some Nigori, or Genshu. There is also a range of amazing beauty products made from rice, and novelty drinkware you can pick up as a gift for a loved one.
If you want to spend some time in a place serving good brew, then Granville Island Brewing is just the right spot. They have a nice no-fuss bar, great music, comfortable seating, and even a Gift Shop.
Order a seasonal Ale or Pilsner, or try their West Coast IPA, and Cypress Honey Lager. Go for gold with a flight and have a memorable time. For a bite to eat, check with your server for their famous Dip of the Day, sample some of their delicious Fish Tacos, or share a charcuterie plate.
Protip: Be sure to stop by their Gift Shop for some cute novelty items.
Go visit The Liberty Distillery on Granville Island and get transported to another era. There is such a charming old-fashioned vibe to the place, you will want to sit down and while away the hours over whichever spirit they serve you.
But, they have some really awesome ones, so browse the menu and make your choice. We recommend starting with a flight, or one of their delicious signature cocktails. The McClay and Honey’d Sour are particularly good. If you’re more traditional, try The Portuguese Old Fashioned, or a classic Martini. Don’t forget to order a round of their Flax Roll Wraps to nibble on while you drink up!
Protip: Visit their site for some super cool bar accessories, and gift cards.
Address: 1494 Old Bridge Street, Granville Island, Vancouver BC
There is really nothing Granville Island does not have for everyone, even kids! If you’re a shopper by nature (and even if you’re not,) you will be wowed by the abundance of amazing stores selling art, jewelry, clothing and tons more. We’ve curated a list of some of the best ones to visit for some window shopping, or real retail therapy.
If you’ve traveled to Granville Island with your kids, take them to the Kids Market. If you haven’t traveled with kids, go visit anyway and rediscover your inner child. This place is literally a kid’s paradise and for all those young at heart!
Visit the Arcade, and take a ride on the Bumper Cars, stop by The Adventure Zone, and then for a treat at The Licorice Parlour. Shop for clothes and shoes, and toys, toys, and even more toys! Puppets too! Grab a bite at The Beanstalk Bistro, or another sweet treat at Ribit’s Corner.
Tip: Plan to spend a good deal of time here. Most never want to leave.
Are you a professional beader? Just starting out? Or, are you just crafty? If you’ve answered yes to any one of those and you’re visiting Granville Island, you will need to stop by Beadworks for an hour (or two) or delightful browsing and shopping.
Beads, beads and even more beads. There is no colour, shape or size that is not available here. They also have a ton of hooks, wires, and any and every kind of beading supply on hand. Spend some time making up your own bracelets and necklaces, or whatever accessory you like. This is also a great spot to take your tween/teenage kids for some fun.
This next spot is another must-visit when you’re out and about in Granville. Paper-Ya is hands down one of the cutest and best stationery stores one can shop at. You will love the atmosphere and want to spend hours just browsing through all the gorgeous greeting cards, paper, and even novelty items from as far away as Japan.
Paper-Ya boasts a vast selection of some of the best quality paper in the city. Browse through beautifully textured natural and decorative sheets, cloud-dragon paper, vellum, kozo, and much more. Other gorgeous items include fancy folders, personal journals, whimsical photo albums, and even sealing wax, seals and stamps.
For delightful arts & crafts, beautiful home decor, and artwork, visit the gorgeous boutique Gigi B on Granville Island. This gem of a spot will leave you in awe and make you want to buy almost everything you see.
From funky backpacks and stylish bags, Sid Dickens merch, to novelty coasters and plate holders, cool watches and even themed cribbage boards, this store is great for finding that perfect gift you’ve been meaning to buy, or getting some early present shopping underway. What are you waiting for? Go shop your heart out!
Established in 1977, The Lobster Man is one of Granville Island’s original tenants. And, for a truly remarkable experience in seafood (especially lobsters oysters and mussels) this is where you blindly go, and without a moment’s hesitation.
They have cooked Atlantic Lobster, and Dungeness Crab, as well as King Crab claws and cooked crabmeat. There is also an array of fresh Saltspring Island Mussels, and Manila Clams, frozen prawns, squid rings, lobster meat, and scallops. Grab a shucking knife and go to town on some Pink Moon or Paradise Oysters. Have fun, and take home a ton of fresh seafood goodness.
For a quirky and fun experience, visit MAKE Vancouver on your next visit to Granville Island. This store is super fun and caters to everyone, no matter their age (or mood.) With a focus on celebrating creativity, this store is all about the artisan and pretty handcrafted items that are unique and truly one of a kind.
From embroidered and engraved items, to custom printing, you can sort and select, browse and buy to your heart’s content. Check out their funky Back-to-School stuff, graduation gifts, office supplies, home decor, kitchen and bar novelties, and much more. Design your own special something, and take home a souvenir, or a present for your special someone.
Fantasy lovers, get ready to enter into another realm of sheer delight! Granville Island’s DragonSpace is a fantasy-themed gem that sells super cute items, books, cards, and novelty items.
Browse through stunning displays of beautifully crafted figurines, from fairies, unicorns and mermaids, to woodland and medieval creatures. Check out their collection of dragon goblets and mugs, pewter jewelry, themed apparel, bookbags, totes, and even jigsaw puzzles and of course books! This is the perfect spot for some great gift purchases.
There’s a lot that can be said about this store, posted about it, and even photographed, but nothing could compare to an actual visit. Taking speciality to a whole new level, the owners of Granville Island Broom Co. will leave you awestruck the moment you step through their doors.
Crafted in unique Shaker style, there are all kinds of handmade and beautifully crafted brooms available at Granville Island Broom Co. First, inhale the fantastic scent of pure Sorghum which is used in the crafting of each broom, and then let your senses take you browsing through an array of brooms from regular and floor cleaners, whisks and scrubs, to cobwebbers, and accessories. You don’t want to miss out on a visit to this amazing hidden gem store!
If you’re looking to stay nearby the Island, peek at what’s available around below.
We hope you take the time and make a trip to the legendary Granville Island for a brilliant and memorable time. We also hope you’ll try out as many of the spots we curated for you, so you have a more pleasurable time.
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