Eating and Drinking Guide 2010: Best Farmers’ Markets

Trout Lake Farmers Market
15th Ave. and Victoria Dr. (Parking lot of Trout Lake Community Centre). Funky and friendly, with a bit of everything: organic produce, baked goods, and nursery plants. Don’t miss Milan’s heirloom tomatoes from the Okanagan. You might even bump into chefs like Vikram Vij and Andrea Carlson. Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., May to October.

West End Farmers Market

1100 Block of Comox St. across from Nelson Park at Mole Hill
Downtown’s only market, this is where Robson fashionistas and Davie’s prodigal sons shop. Blue Comet Seafoods delivers savoury smoked salmon and fresh fish frozen at sea, while the venerable  Forstbauers has biodynamic berries and ground crops. Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., June to October.

Main Street Station

1100 Block Main St. Below the SkyTrain station, this one-time “craftacular” welcomes produce, cheese, and meat vendors (Gelderman Farms offers succulent bacon). Rob Belcham of Campagnolo can be spotted browsing. Wednesdays, 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., June to October.

Kitsilano Farmers Market

10th Ave. and Larch St. (Parking Lot of Kitsilano Community Centre) The bike valet confirms this is a neighbourhood market. Chefs come for Jay Springs lamb and Stein Mountain garlic, while Walter Harvey displays seasonal fresh assortments of fruits and veggies. Sundays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., June to October.

Winter Farmers Market  

WISE Hall, 1882 Adanac St. at Victoria Dr. Families and hipsters scoop up all the apples, squash, onions, and garlic they need for hibernation. Empire Valley Beef has excellent roasts, while Goat’s Pride Dairy and Ridgecrest are quality cheese vendors. Alternate Saturdays, from November 8 until April, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Holiday Market
Croatian Cultural Centre, 3250 Commercial Dr. Keep your elbows out as you navigate the crowds. Crafts dominate (jewellery, textiles, pottery, and wood), but surprise specialty items (vinaigrettes, preserves, candy) round out the holiday kitsch. December 12, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

200 block of Carrall St. between Water St. and Cordova St.The city’s hotly-lobbied-for market marks Gastown’s transition from tourist trap to nascent ’hood. Foodie elite in attendance (Karen Barnaby, Caren McSherry, Sean Heather) suggest it’s a hit. There’s something for everyone: fruits and vegs, eggs, breads, preserves, meat and seafood, flowers, crafts, and more. Sundays, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., August to September.

Artisan Farmers Markets

Lonsdale Quay, 123 Carrie Cates Ct.; Ambleside, 13th St. and Bellevue Ave.; Burnaby 4949 Canada Way “Make it, bake it, grow it” markets combine fruit and veg from the Fraser Valley and Okanagan with honey, cheese, pastas, breads, and a wide selection of meats, fish, and preserves. Also look for cosmetics, pet care items, and pottery. There’s also a book exchange, kids’ craft tent, games table and more. Saturdays and Sundays, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.: Lonsdale Quay, May to October; Ambleside, June to October; Burnaby, June to October.