Before I get into the food, let me give you a little context (see what I did there?).
Earlier this month, I attended a travel blogging workshop in Philly called BlogHouse. During one of the sessions, Paul Bennett (co-founder) and Brian Costello (marketing manager) of Context Travel came to talk to the group about their company and best practices for blogger-brand relationships. At the start of the workshop, everyone received a goodie bag, and included was a complimentary voucher for a Context Travel tour anywhere in the world. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to go on a tour in Philly so I decided to use it on my next stop of North American travels: VANCOUVER! And boy, did I strike gold.
On my 2nd day in Vancouver, I was joined by Heather, our guide for the morning, as well as local bloggers Jordana from Urban Xenophile and Claus from Clausito’s Footprints for the Made in BC, A Culinary Stroll on Granville Island tour. Having 3 locals show me around, share in their love of food, and learn more about their own city was an extra special treat.
What is Context Travel?
Context Travel is a small group tour company based in Philadelphia. They lead casual walking seminars that engage intellectually curious travelers with local experts, whom Context refers to as docents, and take them beneath the surface of a destination’s culture and history, offering an intimate experience with no more than 6 people in a group.
To work and travel with bloggers, especially food bloggers, is to understand that we must take pictures of our food first before we eat. Especially at a place like the public market, somewhere with an eclectic assortment of stalls selling unique, homemade products, rich aromas permeating from every direction, and frequented primarily by locals, photos before chowing down is a cardinal rule.
As Heather led us through the market, she inundated us with golden nuggets of her vast knowledge of the food industry and the things she has learned through building relationships with some of the vendors. Sometimes I caught myself only half listening, stars in my eyes with all the food around me. Our heads piqued in all directions trying to identify the scents in the air and where they were coming from. With each stop, when snack time came, we’d pop whatever we were sampling into our mouths (after taking photos of our food, of course) and standby for each other’s reactions.
Whenever I looked over at Jordana and Claus, bewildered expressions had crossed their faces accompanied by a brief shake of the head that might be typical of someone who had just eaten a food that is hard to swallow or induces a gag reflex. But no, this is the travel blogger’s way of coming to terms with what it is they just ate, appreciating the sublime taste, and wondering why they had never come across such a delight until now. To passersby, such an expression may give off the wrong impression, but in fact, it is just the opposite. When we looked back at Heather, she’d give us an “I know, right?” as if she had just read off an incredible list of perks and amenities to joining the most prestigious food cult. Whatever the price, we were in.
OK enough talking. Let’s get into the good stuff.
If you’re interested in trying some of the same treats on your visit to Granville Island, here are the places we stopped at:
- Granville Island Tea Company (Recommendation: Chai tea or Matcha Chai tea)
- Oyama Sausage Company
- Terra Breads (Recommendation: Rosemary bread or Salted Chocolate Truffle cookie)
- The Vancouver Olive Oil Company (Recommendation: Butter Olive Oil or Honey Ginger White Balsamic & Persian Lime Oil)
- The #1 Orchard (Recommendation: Apples or cherries)
- Benton Brothers Fine Cheese (Recommendation: Village Gyr Cheddar)
- Seafood City (Recommendation: Candied Salmon or Peppered Salmon)
- ChocolaTas (Recommendation: All of the chocolates)
- Edible Canada
- Artisan Sake Maker
BONUS: We didn’t stop here on the tour, but I also recommend the veggie pizza from Pizza Pzazz.
Thank you to Context Travel and my guide, Heather, for hosting me on a culinary stroll through Granville Island Public Market and allowing me to indulge in what I do best: EAT. As always, all opinions are my own. If you’re interested in taking the same tour, check here for all the details or pick a Context Travel tour from 30+ other destinations. You can support this blog by booking your tour through the links provided, and Sushiyama Travels will receive a small commission from each tour booked. Bon appetit!