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À La Mode Public Market, 1689 Johnston St., 604-685-8335. Famous for its pot pies in mugs, cups, soup bowls, and even pie shells, À La Mode bakes all its treats on-premises. Lineups form for the hearty clam chowder, and few can pass by the sweetly tart lemon meringue pie, stacked high with a statement-making six-inch meringue.
Dussa’s Ham and Cheese Public Market, 604-688-8881. Since 1956, Dussa’s has sourced fine cheeses from near and far. Although there are over 200 cheeses, Cheddars and Bries are the mainstays, as well as many unpasteurized varieties. Don’t miss the famous ham, glazed with honey, garlic, and herbs. For even more flavour, try the mouth-watering French ham.
Edible BC Public Market, 604-662-3606. Dedicated to indie producers, the store has over 400 B.C. products. Great for travellers; a unique source for gifts. Flying off the shelves are Oculus cherries—a Mason jar filled with unpitted organic Okanagan cherries steeping in Oculus wine, exclusive to Mission Hill—and Langford shortbread.
Granville Island Smokery 1805 Mast Tower Rd., 604-684-4114. Come early if you’re shopping for salmon jerky—it’s often sold out by noon. All the salmon is wild, everything is smoked on the premises, and they’ll custom-smoke your catch for you.
Lee’s Donuts Public Market, 604-685-4021. Lee’s has been hand-cutting 30 varieties for almost 20 years. It tried oat-bran doughnuts for a while, but thankfully, the health-food craze is safely behind us. The honey-dip version exposes Krispy Kreme as the imposter it is.
Lobster Man 1807 Mast Tower Rd., 604-687-4228. More than your lobster connection, the Lobster Man is the largest distributor of oysters in town; at any time of the year it also features several varieties of clams and mussels. For the squeamish, it will cook your crab or lobster; take a stroll and it’s ready on your return.
Longliner Seafoods Public Market, 604-681-9016. Local sardines, ahi tuna, salmon, and, now that every boat has a specific quota rather than spot openings and closures, fresh halibut available March through November. Excellent service; if it isn’t already filleted, just ask.
Oyama Sausage Company Public Market, 604-327-7407. Oyama produces over 100 fresh and smoked sausages, all handmade, along with 20 salamis, pâtés, and terrines. Sausages change seasonally—barbecue recipes for summer, cassoulet for winter. Special-order foie gras or the more affordable parfait de foie gras.
South China Seas Trading Company Public Market, 604-681-5402. If the foodie staff don’t have what you’re looking for, they’ll find it or direct you to the source. Fresh Thai vegetables and herbs are often featured, along with rare items such as Korintje cinnamon and high-demand spices like the smoked paprika.
Stock Market Public Market, 604-687-2433. Pick up chicken stock, demiglace, and walnut-pomegranate dressing, add a few ingredients, and wow dinner guests. Favourites include date and sun-dried tomato sauce, mango-cashew Thai vinaigrette, and fig-tangerine dressing.