City: Vancouver, Canada
Damage: $7.06 for a slice of tortière and a 355mL bottle of Raspberry Guava Koala
One of the most quintessential Vancouver hotspots is Granville Island, nestled under the Granville St. Bridge and jutting out into False Creek.
The highlight of the Island is the Public Market, home to numerous fresh produce stands, organic and whole foods stores, bakeries and sweets, seafood, cheese and charcuteries. It’s most busy in the summer, when throngs of tourists and locals alike pack the narrow corridors inside and spill into the outdoor patio.
When the weather is fair, the dock outdoors makes a great place to grab a bite to eat, though most things bought in the Market itself are admittedly overpriced. It’s a better idea to bring lunch with you (there’s a Save-On-Foods about a 20-minute walk from the Island which most people pass by on the way in anyway), but if you find yourself starving, or just curious as to what the stalls have to offer, my best suggestion is to pick up something from a place that doesn’t look like a food-service stall. Of course, you can always skip lunch and head straight for something sweet…
…but if you have a craving for something a little more ‘normal’ (a relative term, I assure you), you can buy a few buns and some cold cuts from one of the meat places and make yourself a sandwich, or grab one of the premade items at a bakery. On this particular day, I bought a slice of tourtière and a bottle of raspberry/guava Koala from Laurelle’s Fine Foods, a bakery that sells ready-to-eat pies and salads.
For those of you that don’t know (which will be most of you), tourtière is a French-Canadian meat pie traditionally served during the winter holiday season. Warm and savoury, the ground meat, usually pork, is spiced with nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, and sage; the smell is reminiscent of rustic Christmases gone by.
If you’re still hungry after lunch, you can also grab a small snack at any of the stalls. My brother’s favourite place is Lee’s Donuts, where you can buy freshly baked cake donuts by the dozen. I, however, think the best deal in the Market are the sticks of pepperoni at one of the meat places – the price of $1/stick hasn’t changed in almost ten years. And for dessert, maybe a cake from Stuart’s – Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte, anyone?