Over the past 8 years of visiting Vancouver, we have learned a lot about where to shop for GOOD FOOD. What we tend to get from the supermarkets may well be food, but it is not always good. So, here is our list, starting with the most important item first.
- JJ Bean (many locations, but our favourite is 1188 Alberni)
- good in-house coffee choices, all served tasty and hot by skilled baristas. Also food choices including Vegetarian. The huge double chocolate cookies are our favourite.
- this trip, we opted to get some ground coffee here to take back to our place, so we could have our coffees with a view of English Bay. I chose the Eastside blend.
- with any order of beans or ground coffee, you get a free drink (Americano, press, drip or an Espresso shot).
- Parthenon Market, 3080 West Broadway
- many deli dine-in choices, spanikopita, pita and spreads, Moussaka, Baklava, etc.
- good selection of Feta and other Greek cheeses, olives, pitas, spreads, spanikopitas, baklava and other sweet pastries, etc.
- Our favourite are the huge spanikopita that you can buy frozen and take home to bake. On this date, they had no frozen, but were just putting fresh ones together. We could not believe how much better they were. Rich, flaky and full of spinach and cheese.
- Solly’s Bagelry, 2873 West Broadway
- forget the “bagels” you can get at Tim Hortons. They have not been boiled and are not proper bagels, but simply another form of bread.
- Good selection of bagels, including Mish-Mash (Timmies calls theirs the Everything, while actually putting nothing on it).
- Several different Schmeers pre-packed in tubs.
- tasty sweets, including Babkas, Bialys and cinnamon buns
FRESH PRODUCE, ETC
- there are numerous produce markets, but the hands down winner is the Granville Island Public Market with its huge selection of vendors. It is located in huge warehouse buildings at 1669 Johnston Street. If you can’t find it here, you are not looking.
- an honourable mention goes to Persia Market, 2827 West Broadway Avenue for their one pound of fresh strawberries at 99 cents.
- our favourite is The Pie Shoppe, 1875 Powell Street, but it is too far away from the West End and their prices, while fair for what you get, are high at $30 and up. The chocolate pecan pie is to die for at $32 for a full pie.
- while walking on Davie, we tripped across Tartine, 1069 Davie Street. Their pies include fruit and cream pies, but our favourite is the Sour Cherry pie at $20 for a full pie.
GENERAL GROCERIES in the WEST END
Urban Fare, 1133 Alberni Street
- small trendy store run by the Save On Foods group. Groceries, produce, dairy and deli with a fresh pizza kitchen and in-store licensed dining for those in a hurry.
- prices are not cheap, but it is convenient when you have no time to go further afield.
London Drugs, 1187 Robson and 710 Granville Street
- lots going on here, besides pharmacy – cards, paper products, packaged groceries (cereals, snacks, etc.)
- good prices on staples and household items
There are other neighbourhood options, IGA, Safeway and Whole Foods.
LIQUOR STORES in the WEST END
- most stores are still run by the BC Liquor Board. Our go to location is at 768 Bute, but there are others.
- good selection of imported and local wines, domestic, craft and imported beers and spirits.
- prices seem lower than in Alberta, but some products are not always available in both provinces, so comparisons are not always equal.