Our top 5 local Vancouver grocery stores
In Vancouver, we are accustomed to hearing about the importance of shopping local – we’re almost immune to it. We are blessed by a cornucopia of farmers markets, fruit stands, artisanal bakeries and crafty supply stores. Essentially, one can easily garner most of their weekly necessities from local businesses. Shopping local means keeping money in our communities and allows for our favourite small businesses to flourish. Unfortunately, many of us struggle with this come grocery day. It’s not always easy or convenient to know what your options are. Us health conscious folk like to keep it cheap and convenient. While sometimes this means Superstore, we often turn to Whole Foods for our more specialty wants and needs (sugar free ketchup anyone?).
Don’t get me wrong – I love Whole Foods. I will shop there to the end of my basic green juice and spin class loving days, but I think it’s equally important to spread the love (coin!) to some of our local health food grocers. They have all the speciality items Whole Foods provides (sometimes for cheaper), but with the righteous benefit of shopping local. You can find Well Daily’s favourite Vancouver grocery stores below.
Larry’s Market is the new kid on the block in North Vancouver, but it’s already turning heads. An all vegetarian grocer with a gourmet cafe inside, Larry’s Market and Cafe has quickly put the hot food section at Whole Foods to shame. Their menu is curated by the critically acclaimed The Acorn chef (Brian Skinner) and executed by Hayley Parrent. The market section is equipped with everything from your veggie basics to kombucha slushies (so you can kick your summer Slurpee habit).
NADA is a zero-waste Vancouver grocery store where you can buy what you need and nothing else. Everything is sold in bulk, with zero packaging. Customers bring in their own containers/bags and pay by weight. The store focuses on health-conscious items, such as local produce and house made nut mylks. The selection is vast, and very reasonably priced. NADA was started by marine biologist Brianne Miller who was baffled at the amount of plastic plaguing our oceans. She realized that our grocery store system was set up to produce more waste, not less. From this, NADA was born.
The August Market
The August Market is a main street staple, and coincidentally one of my personal favourites. They have very cheekily printed on their window “not as expensive as you think” – which is true! They are fair priced with a wide selection, but the real draw here is the community focused atmosphere.
Harvest Community Foods
Harvest Community Foods is Vancouver’s best snack and shop destination. Located in Chinatown, they sell only the best organic produce and products, with none of the stuff (excess packaging or unnecessary chemicals) you don’t want. They are so community orientated, that they quite literally became exactly what their neighbourhood needed; by participating in the This Space project. This Space surveys locals about what businesses they want in empty community spaces. The result was overwhelming in favour of a small grocer, as the area had limited options. Harvest Community Foods rose to the occasion. On top of providing top notch groceries, they also run a small ramen shop inside. The ramen is fresh and delicious, with the focus being on the quality of ingredients.
Another North Vancouver grocery store favourite, and for good reason. Nourish is Whole Foods, but with a bucket of local charm, fresh local produce, kombucha, and beauty products. For the North Shore carnivores who may be deterred by Larry’s Vegetarian identity, Nourish caters to all, and even carries local grass-fed meat and dairy. A super convenient, one stop shop.