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Vancouver's Granville Island

You'll find Northwest Indian art, silk clothing, puppets, brewed lagers and ales, and good eating on Granville Island near downtown Vancouver, B.C.

A cheerful bartender pulls a pint at Granville Island Brewery.
Photo caption
A cheerful bartender pulls a pint at Granville Island Brewery.

Once a hub of grimy waterfront industries such as anvil casting and cement making, Granville Island, on False Creek near downtown Vancouver, B.C., has become a vibrant gathering place. Open every day, the island’s Public Market ( overflows with Northwest produce, flowers, salmon, and prawns, with all the accompanying colors and smells. Area code is 604.

  • Browse museum-quality artworks by Northwest Indians at Eagle Spirit Gallery. You’ll need nearly $10,000 to capture a carving of giantess Zunukwis being embraced by an octopus, but unlimited ogling is free. 1803 Maritime Mews, 801-5277,
  • Surprisingly small silkworms spin raw material in a terrarium near a busy loom at Silk Weaving Studio. Find scarves, shawls, dresses, and ties. 1531 Johnston St., 687-7455,
  • Kites, puppets, costumes, ice cream, a video arcade, and an indoor playland attract large (but short) crowds to Kids Market. 1496 Cartwright St., 689-8447,
  • Chefs in training create fully formed masterworks at the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts. Try line-caught Pacific cod wrapped in nori and topped with a tart blackberry sauce. 1505 W. Second Ave., 734-4488,
  • Fine-food emporium Oyama Sausage generates some of the market’s boldest flavors to go: cave-aged Gruyère cheese, duck prosciutto, wild boar sausage. 1689 Johnston St., 327-7407,
  • Climb a long flight of stairs at the Sandbar Restaurant for a fresh seafood meal and a lofty view of the water. 1535 Johnston St., 669-9030.
  • At Granville Island Brewing, a glass of honey lager or maple cream ale—more smooth than syrupy—tops the day with a flourish. 1441 Cartwright St., 687-2739,

Photography by Graeme Teague

This article was first published in January 2012. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.