Local Healthy Food Resource Guide for the Vancouver BC area.
This guide is also designed for those who are adhering to the Metabolic Balance whole foods program.
The best place to find fresh local produce, meats, cheese, fish, and other local foods are the local Vancouver Farmers Markets. There are winter markets at Nat Bailey Stadium on Saturdays and at Hastings Park on Sundays. During the spring and summer months there are markets all over the city. Check the Vancouver Farmers Market website for details.
The Granville Island Public Market is also a great place to find a variety of local foods. There is a variety of local produce and a wide variety of cheese, meat and seafood available as well. A number of unusual meats can be found at the meat stalls including venison, rabbit and goat meat. Granville Island market also has the best variety of seafood in Vancouver, if you are looking for a type of fish that is a little unusual. Oyama Sausage sells a wide variety of fresh natural sausages, pates, hams and cold cuts as well as a variety of unusual cheeses.
Large Organic Foods Grocery Stores
The biggest organic store with the biggest selection is Whole Foods. It tends to be a tad overpriced compared to other organic food stores. Their produce is always very fresh, but it doesn’t tend to be local and their meat selection isn’t that great. They do carry an extensive selection of grass fed dairy products as well as sheep and goat dairy products. They have a few locations in the Vancouver area.
I usually prefer shopping at Choices rather than at Whole Foods. They don’t have quite as big of a selection as Whole Foods, but they are a Canadian company and their prices are more reasonable than Whole Foods. They also have a good selection of meats. Choices has a number of locations in the Vancouver area.
Famous Foods has a reasonably priced, large selection of organic food. They are located at Kingsway near Knight St.
For those that live on the west side of Vancouver who would like to support a smaller local business that is not a chain store like Whole Foods or Choices, Greens Organic Natural Food Market is a good option. They are located at Broadway near Arbutus St. in Vancouver.
There are a number of healthy local bakeries in Vancouver. My two favourites are the European Breads Bakery on Fraser St. in Vancouver and the Artisan Bake Shoppe in North Vancouver. Both European Breads and the Aristan Bake Shoppe make the traditional 100% rye that is recommended by Metabolic Balance. The Artisan Bake Shoppe breads and the European Breads Bakery breads can be found at Whole Foods, Choices, and a variety of other local grocery stores.
Small Specialty Organic Stores
Home on the Range is a great little store with a lot of unusual, hard to find health foods, such as non-homogenized dairy products and local ethically raised meats. They are the only store in town to sell fresh bone broth. Their retail store is located on Broadway near Main St. They also do deliveries.
Windsor Meats on Main and King Edward in Vancouver sells mainly local organic meat, free-range meat and chicken, meat raised without antibiotics and grass fed beef. They also sell ethically raised pork. Even though a number of stores on this list sell meat, Windsor tends to be the most reasonably priced with one of the best selections.
Market Meats in the Kitsilano area of Vancouver on West 4th has a wide variety of free-range meats and grass-fed beef available. They also carry grass-fed butter.
Halal Meat Butchers
There are a number of halal meat shops in Vancouver, mostly located at the south end of Main St. and Fraser St., that offer some good quality lamb and goat meat. Halal meat does tend to be of higher quality than regular meat. Fraserview Meats and Video Shop on Fraser near 49th in Vancouver has some of the largest selection and best prices on halal meats.
The Daily Catch on Commercial Drive is the first seafood store in Vancouver to sell 100% sustainable seafood. Their fish is also very fresh and high-quality.
Organic, Raw and Grass-Fed Cheese
Les Amis du Fromage is by far the best place to buy all types of cheese in Vancouver. They do offer a number of raw cheeses as well as organic and grass-fed cheese. They have a location in Kitsilano and another location on E. Hastings St. in Vancouver.
Organic Food Delivery Service
This is an easy, convenient way to buy local, fresh organic produce. There are many delivery services in town, but I think that Spud organic delivery service is the best one overall. Spud also offers a healthy meal delivery service called Be Fresh Local which could be customized to accommodate one’s individualized Metabolic Balance meal plan.
Do-It-Yourself Healthy Local Food
The Homesteader’s Emporium on E. Hastings St. in Vancouver offers a number of workshops on how to make your own healthy, local food. Workshops include canning, making fermented foods, and making your own cheese and butter.
Where to find Ghee?
This is a common question I get from many of my Metabolic Balance clients. Metabolic Balance usually recommends that either ghee or coconut oil be used for frying your food. Ghee can be found in many South Asian ethnic stores in the south end of Fraser or Main St. in Vancouver. Ghee and coconut oil are also widely available in most health food stores including Whole Foods and Choices.