Luxury Farmers Market Sets Up in Downtown Vancouver

Photo credit: Mr. T in DC | Flickr

Photo credit: Mr. T in DC | Flickr

Vancouver has plenty of farmers markets.  But only one is attached to a five-star hotel.

The Shangri-La Farmers Market is back for another season, offering trendy downtown shoppers a place to find the freshest fruits and veggies and a little something more.

Held every other Sunday in the plaza between the Shangri-La Hotel and Urban Fare grocery, the market has carved out a niche with its specialty prepared foods – everything from organic olive oils to goat cheeses and Italian delicacies.

But this year, the Shangri-La is offering something few markets can boast: cooking demonstrations with one of the top French chefs in the city.

Wayne Harris, executive chef at the Shangri-La’s Market restaurant, will be whipping up recipes featuring products from the day’s market.  A veteran of Iron Chef America, Harris trained under Rob Feenie at Vancouver’s legendary Lumiere before moving to Market, where he now works under three-Michelin-star sensation Jean-Georges Vongerichten.  The best part: All of Harris’ creations will be available for sampling.

The Shangri-La Farmers Market also features one other popular twist: a specialty brunch. After loading up your basket with greens and artisan foods, head up to Market restaurant for a three-course brunch created using items from each Sunday’s vendors (At $29, it’s a steal at Market, which normally charges the same price for its basic two-egg breakfast).

First course consists of banana bread French toast, with warm vanilla maple syrup.  Next comes a goat cheese fritatta, with mushrooms, crispy potatoes and tomato salad.  Finish things off with a slice of lemon loaf, with local jam and fresh berries.  Just about every ingredient is fresh from the Lower Mainland.

Here’s a peek at a few of the vendors setting up shop at this year’s Shangri-La Farmers Market:

  • Nelson the Seagull: artisan breads and baked goods
  • Happy Days Dairy: goat cheeses, milk and yogurt
  • Erin Ireland’s To Die For Fine Foods: famous banana breads and lemon loafs
  • Sandhill Estate and Red Rooster wineries: Okanagan wines, perfect for Sunday sampling
  • Lusso Verde: Italian fine foods and flower arrangements
  • The Jam Ladies: jams, marmalades and hot pepper jelly

The Shangri-La Farmers Market runs every second Sunday, through September.  The next market is Sunday, June 2.

For more updates on Vancouver and beyond, follow me on Twitter @RemyScalza.  

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