Vancouver farmer’s markets are a must for me from May to October. Are you kidding me? An open-air venue packed with Vancouver’s local food? That is my happy place.
So I visit a variety of Vancouver’s farm markets (and those close to Vancouver) during the summer—as many as I can, depending on my schedule. The quality, freshness, and taste are leagues ahead of what I find in the grocery stores.
Here’s a fun idea: let’s build Vancouver’s local food scene and spread the news about the best finds at Vancouver farmer markets. Take a picture of your top farmers market picks and tag me in Instagram (@karenanndavidson)
Allow me to start us off. These are my top farmers market picks this season.
P.S. You might think by some of these options that I’m vegetarian/vegan. I’m not, but you’ve got to appreciate the flavour and creativity of these vegetable-forward farmers market picks.
P.P.S. Here are a few useful resources if you’re just getting started with this whole Vancouver farmers market thing:
Vancouver’s local food answer to: all things organic and vegan
Kiki’s Kitchen, with a mission to create tasty, organic, vegan, and healthy meals, is represented at a number of Vancouver farmer markets. (Check the link for their schedule.)
Ever had jackfruit carnitas? I promise you, this is a worthy vegan alternative to Taco Tuesday.
Vancouver’s local food answer to: heavenly baking
Originating in Whistler, but now with a Gastown location, Purebread always has a line-up for their mouth-watering morsels of goodness.
Their garlic cheddar and ciabatta bread are my family’s favourites. And the orange cake is so perfectly spiced.
Vancouver’s local food answer to: kombucha
I am a huge fan of kombucha so when I found these guys at the New Westminster’s farmers market, I had to try their product out. Their bubbly sweet and sour brews are exactly what this fermented, gut-loving beverage should be. They even sell starter kits if you want to get into making your own booch!
Vancouver’s local food answer to: microgreens and wheatgrass.
Microgreens (baby plant greens) are flavour-dense and nutrient-packed. The sunflower microgreens, with a nutty, buttery flavour, are my favourite. Try the wasabi mustard microgreens if you appreciate a little spice too.
You can find Food Pedalers at Vancouver farmer markets like Nat Bailey and Trout Lake, and they also deliver on bicycle throughout Vancouver.
Vancouver’s local food answer to: modern Asian cuisine
You’ll find this fantastic food truck, serving up fresh, modern, Asian eats, at locations all over Vancouver (check the link for specifics).
I had the “Crack Salad”. It was super delicious to begin with, but the guys in the truck cracked me up, so the name has a double meaning for me.
Vancouver’s local food answer to: vegan, gluten-free, nut-free, and soy-free pâtés
Ever had a végé-pâté? Oh my goodness; it’s an awesome alternative to meat-based pâtés, with enough substance and spice to please the most discerning charcuterie lover.
I served it as an appetizer on slices of cucumber and topped it with chives from my herb garden. It was a hit!
Vancouver’s local food answer to: mouth-watering crepes
The line-up is always long to get a taste of these buckwheat crepes! Creperie La Boheme’s chefs create sweet and savoury crepes in an eye-catching painted trailer you’ll find at the Trout Lake and Kitsilano farmers markets.
They truly have something for everybody. I love the cheesy crepes while my husband Russ leans toward the sweet options. We both walk away happy.
Vancouver’s local food answer to: yes, it’s all in the name—glorious organics!
Choosing my mixed greens from this Aldergrove, BC-based farm’s huge selection is such a satisfying experience. I love that I can put my baby kale, red lettuce, and pea tips all in the same bag.
You’ll find them at a variety of Vancouver farmer’s markets under the name Organic Farm Connections. Don’t pass up their stall!
Vancouver’s local food answer to: cultivated, foraged, and wild-crafted mushrooms
This local business provides direct distribution between consumers and mushroom farmers and foragers. And what could be better than a particularly well-cultivated mushroom? My favourite is the mini portobello; they are divine in an egg white omelet.
I know you can find Oyster and King at the UBC Farmers Market; that’s where I discovered them. Unfortunately, they don’t list their schedule on their website. But if you come across their stall, consider it a successful foraging mission.
10. Simply Delish
They said it: it’s simply delish! This Langley, BC-based soup and salad maker crafts healthy, hearty, MSG-free dishes.
A favourite of mine is the Mexican Taco Soup. I also just took the Cranberry Almond Quinoa Salad to a dinner party and it was a big hit.