Granville Island is not only one of Vancouver’s biggest tourist destinations. It’s also a mecca for hardcore foodies, with hundreds of shops and stalls selling fresh produce and meats, as well as gourmet prepared foods and artisanal cheeses, sausages and much more. In fact, the Granville Island Public Market is so jam-packed with culinary treasures that it can be a bit intimidating for a first-timer. I’ve been there dozens of times and still feel like I’ve only scratched the surface.
That’s where the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts new Plugged-In Tour of Granville Island comes in. Located right in the Granville Island neighborhood, the Pacific Institute is an elite private culinary school. Every Friday at 10 a.m., their chef instructors guide groups through the maze of produce stands and butchers’ cases in the public market, offering insight into what makes the wares unique.
But there’s an added twist. All guests are also given a headset filled with commentary on Granville Island’s history and the stories behind the incredible food on offer. For real food nerds, it’s a dream come true. Not to mention that your chef guide is sure to introduce you to dozens of impassioned growers, artisans and food purveyors in the market – the real people behind all the great ingredients available in Vancouver.
Tours meet up at 9:45 a.m. at Bakery 101, located at 1505 West 2nd Avenue, near the entrance to Granville Island. The tours last approximately 90 minutes and cost $40/person. As an optional add-on, you can conclude your tour with a visit to the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts’ marina-side, student-run restaurant, Bistro 101. The students do the cooking, so the prices are relatively affordable: $25 for a gourmet buffet lunch, plus an extra $15 for the optional wine flight.
Has anyone done the Pacific Institute’s Plugged-In Tour of Granville Island Market? Please share any comments below.