Stopping by a summertime market for artisan breads, organic produce, free-range eggs and ethical snacks is a rite of passage for Vancouverites. In a city stoked on wellness and the virtues of shopping local, where better to mix social time with weekend errands than at a local market? Read on for a guide to the city’s best!
Kitsilano Farmers’ Market
– Where: Kitsilano Community Centre, 2690 Larch Street
– When: Sundays from 10 am to 2 pm, May 7 – October 22
– What you’ll find here: This beloved market specializes in all things vegan, organic and healthy. You’ll find lots of fresh, organic produce, whole grain and gluten-free bread and unique products such as organic jams, honeys, spreads, granolas, cheeses and salsas, depending on the day. Food trucks and live entertainment are staples, and the friendly crowd certainly reflects the neighbourhood – it’s a favourite among young parents (whose children play in the nearby waterpark), yoga types, urban hippies and UBC students.
Main Street Station Farmers’ Market
– Where: 1100 Station Street
– When: Wednesdays from 2 pm to 6 pm, May 31 – October 4
– What you’ll find here: Located across from the historic and colonial Pacific Central Station, this edgy, urban market is ideal for a mid-week stock up on produce, bread, eggs, meat, cheese, pre-made meals and more. It’s also within a stone’s throw of transit hub Main Street–Science World SkyTrain station, which makes it a convenient stop on your evening commute. And the best part? The people who produce the goods are at most of the tables at this market, busy answering your questions and taking requests.
Mount Pleasant Farmers’ Market
– Where: Dude Chilling Park, 2300 Guelph Street
– When: Sundays from 10 am to 2 pm, May 28 – October 8
– What you’ll find here: At the hip and healthy Mount Pleasant Market, you’ll find popular food trucks, bike racks, plenty of picnic space and a vibe that’s as chill as the tongue-in-cheek name of its locale (Dude Chilling Park). All the usual stuff is available here – from organic, no-hormone meat to local cheese to heirloom produce. And the park’s proximity to the 99 B-Line ensures you’ll be home before your sustainable goods (and you) expire in the sun.
Riley Park Farmers’ Market
– Where: 30th Avenue and Ontario Street
– When: Sundays from 10 am to 2 pm, June 24 – October 7
– What you’ll find here: This much-loved market returns from its eight-year hiatus in 2017 to provide unique, affordable goods to Vancouver’s kid-friendly Riley Park neighbourhood. Featuring 30 local farms and producers, Riley Park Farmers’ Market offers such popular items as craft beer and wine, fresh fruit, grass-fed meat and sustainable seafood. After strolling through the stalls, why not go for a swim at the local pool to work off all that food truck goodness?
Trout Lake Farmers’ Market
– Where: Lakewood Drive and East 13th Avenue
– When: Saturdays from 9 am to 2 pm, May 6 – October 21
– What you’ll find here: Market aficionados adore this family-friendly, dog-friendly, foodie-friendly market, which borders one of Vancouver’s few natural lakes. Back in 1995, Trout Lake Farmers’ Market featured just 14 farmers outside the Croatian Cultural Centre. Today, it’s expanded to include dozens of vendors and food trucks serving artisan breads, free-range and organic eggs and meats, heirloom vegetables, crepes stuffed with homemade cheese and much, much more. The nearby lake is an excellent spot to run the dog or to enjoy a bite between browsing.
West End Farmers’ Market
– Where: 1100 Comox Street between Bute Street and Thurlow Street
– When: Saturdays from 9 am to 2 pm, May 27 – October 21
– What you’ll find here: This decades-old market calls the heart of Vancouver’s eclectic West End neighbourhood home. Surrounded by mountains and ocean, it’s an excellent spot to grab picnic supplies on your way to Stanley Park. Here, you’ll find local produce, baked goods and locally crafted pottery, jewelry and more. Food trucks and coffee are on site to satiate your hunger as you stroll this vibrant collection of vendors.
When the sun comes out, Vancouverites flock to these six major farmers’ markets, each with their own crowd, products, surroundings and ambiance. From picnicking with hipsters at Dude Chilling Park to watching your kids play in Kitsilano, there’s certainly a market for you. But no matter where you’re headed, don’t forget to bring your own bags!