Shopping for gourmet food items is a delightful experience. Whether you’re browsing the offerings of an online store or wandering the aisles of a brick-and-mortar retailer, there are so many delicious items to gift the favourite people in your life. Stores that specialize in artisanal food products are more than just businesses; they’re places that care deeply about cultivating a sense of community and helping their customers find the best food gifts in Vancouver.
Below are 10 shops carrying food items that will make for a very merry Christmas for all of our gift recipients.
Coho Market is an online destination for all things local, ethical, and small-batch. Originally created to support food startups in their commissary, the Market has grown to become a celebration of a vibrant local food system and the power of conscious business practices. It’s basically a one-stop website for purchasing Christmas gifts in a very intentional way. You can search according to categories like plant-based food, queer-owned enterprises, gluten-free foods, artisan baked goods, and condiments and sauces – all with a wide array of items to choose from. Alternatively, if you have a certain local small business that you want to support, you can visit their brand page. Vendors include Flaming Chocolates, which sells red-ribboned bags of Choco Nuts; Panela Lemon, which makes decadent stuffed vegan cookies; and Salty Cabbage, which crafts handmade kimchi using local ingredients. There’s something for each of your loved ones at Coho Market.
Best for: Local, small-batch culinary products; Plenty of gluten-free and plant-based options
Gift this: Make sure to order one of their beautiful Holiday Boxes, like the BIPOC-Led Local Foodie Box, with items like True Nosh’s Monk Fruit Ginger Tea, Tequila Beets Hot Sauce from Sriracha Revolver, and Shoyu Koji from Van Koji.
Why buy from Coho Market: If you care about championing local small businesses, Coho Market is the place for all kinds of high-quality edible food gifts.
Owner Caren McSherry is a fireball of passion for all things culinary-related, as evidenced by the extensive selection at her East Hastings store. While there is plenty to tempt you when it comes to cookware and homeware, Gourmet Warehouse also carries an array of fine foods that would make for very thoughtful gifts for family and friends. The shop carries everything from gourmet biscuits and crackers to an impressive array of condiments, including salsas, hot sauces, and jellies. If you want a more experiential foodie gift, you could also purchase a spot in one of their cooking classes, like how to make sourdough pizza or choux pastry.
Best for: Culinary accessories and gourmet food items
Gift this: For a luxury gift, give a jar of La Madia Regale’s Whole Black Truffles or Côte d’Azur’s Dried Small Morel Mushrooms.
Why buy from Gourmet Warehouse: The store has everything for your cooking and gourmand needs, all in one convenient place.
Originally a supplier for restaurants and retailers, Legends Haul pivoted during the pandemic to deliver groceries to people across the city. Their offerings span the supermarket aisles, showcasing the best of local goods and produce. They are particularly popular for their Friends of Legends, which are well-known cafes and restaurants in the city that sell their specialties via the website. Many of them would make for amazing gifts, especially if your giftee is a fan of a particular place. For example, you can buy a S’more Kit from Butter Baked Goods, Chili Oil from Bao Bei, and Citrus Salt from St. Lawrence. In addition, they carry a host of other products from local small producers.
Best for: Prepared food and gourmet items from favourite local restaurants
Gift this: The Acorn, Vancouver’s acclaimed vegetarian and vegan restaurant, has a syrup with organic foraged salal and huckleberries, which would be a lovely gift, especially accompanied by their organic vegan pancake mix.
Why buy from Legends Haul: Since the products come from top establishments in town, your giftee can elevate their home cooking to restaurant quality.
4. Vancouver Farmers Markets
During the fall and winter, Vancouver Farmers Markets holds a market at Riley Park on Saturdays and at Hastings Park on Sundays. There, you can browse for the freshest of local produce, as well as get to know your farmers. The community spirit extends to food vendors that sell hand-crafted goods that would be wonderful as Christmas food gifts. Since the line-up of stalls changes every week, be sure to check out the market map before you go so you can plan what you want to buy. Expect items like apple and pear cider from Left Field Cider, premium coffee from Mükasi Coffee Roasters, and Portuguese custard tarts from Casa de Nata.
Best for: Meeting and supporting local food producers
Gift this: Gingeraki, a new vendor to the Vancouver Farmers Markets, sells a four-pack sampler of their cold pressed ginger and turmeric elixirs to give as delicious wellness boosts to others.
Why buy from Vancouver Farmers Markets: The Markets work tirelessly to foster a sustainable and nurturing local food community that spotlights the best producers in the province.
Despite the difficulties of the pandemic, this grassroots craft fair has continued to bring together independent crafters and artisan producers of food and drink. This year, their annual holiday market will run virtually from November 17 to 28. Besides ceramics, jewelry, and body care products, you can expect a host of food vendors producing unique handmade treats that are ideal for gifting. They’ll ship your purchases to either you or your gift recipients, or you can opt for free Vancouver curbside pick-up.
Best for: A curated and inclusive selection of small businesses that handcraft special food and drink items
Gift this: Look out for vendors like Solasta Chocolate, which makes gourmet chocolate bars, like one with 41% milk chocolate, honey sponge toffee, and bee pollen granules. Vegan, sugar-free, and keto-friendly options are available.
Why buy from Got Craft: This local craft market, running since 2007, supports over 200 different creative businesses in the community, providing them with a venue to connect with customers who are equally passionate about the handmade and the local.
Next to sister restaurant Pepino’s Spaghetti House, you’ll find an ode to Italian food and drink. Besides indulging in plates of pasta over glasses of vino, you can also browse their Alimentari, a beautifully assembled collection of premium grocery items for producing delicious Italian meals. You can also order their items online for in-store pick-up. You’ll find it difficult choosing between all the possible Christmas food gifts since there are so many delectables in the store: Tropea onion jam, lemon and herb infused salt, a range of dried pastas, and premium olive oils and vinegars. Your giftee will love being transported to Italy with these food items, especially if they haven’t been traveling internationally.
Best for: Italian culinary treats for anyone with a penchant for old world quality.
Gift this: Gift someone their gourmet conservas, such as octopus in olive oil or razor clams in brine.
Why buy from Caffè La Tana: The goods at Caffè e Alimentari evidence a discerning palate, one rooted in the best food and wine. Your gift recipients will eat well from a gift bought here.
The age of beautiful hybrid grocery stores has now arrived in Vancouver, with a plethora of new options. The people behind Say Mercy and the Mackenzie Room have recently opened Collective Goods, which combines a neighbourhood bistro with a specialty grocer. Chef Sean Reeve has chosen food products that will raise the quality of your giftee’s home cooking. Browse the shelves or the online shop for items like blue cheese stuffed olives, date and walnut artisan crisps, and roasted garlic aioli.
Best for: Restaurant quality grocery items that will make everyday cooking revelatory
Gift this: Collective Goods features some wonderful house-made items, like pickled garlic scapes, plum jam, and BBQ sauce, which feel both rustic, yet elegant at the same time.
Why buy from Collective Goods: This grocery concept emerged after the restaurant group’s Staff Meal Initiative, which offered affordable nutritious meals during the early stages of the pandemic. Collective Goods continues their commitment to the health and well-being of their community.
It’s hard to resist this combined French bistro, bakery, and specialty marché. In addition to scrumptious pastries and baguettes, Mon Pitou has an extensive retail section devoted to the best of French products. You can visit their location in South Granville and pick up a croissant or two for yourself as you shop for your loved ones. Pre-ordering is also available for in-store pick-up. The shop contains bottled goods that would please any foodie on your list: hazelnut and caramel spread, spiced olive salsa, cognac mustard, and lavender honey. Other items include specialty pasta and rice, oils and vinegars, as well as cured meats, like cured Iberian pork chorizo sausage.
Best for: French specialty food items that will add charm and flavour to any pantry
Gift this: Jars of Sur Le Sentier des Bergers raspberry and strawberry jam from Aix-en-Provence are a simple yet lovely Christmas present.
Why buy from Marché Mon Pitou: The Francophiles in your life will adore the many food products imported from various regions of France.
Vancouver Olive Oil Company sources their premium extra virgin olive oils, infused oils, and balsamic vinegars from Veronica Foods and the Delizia Olive Oil Company, which rigorously tests the products to ensure exceptional freshness and nutritional value. The oils change throughout the year based on seasonality. Regardless, you’ll always find a wide selection at their Kitsilano Store, ranging from olive oils of mild intensity to ones with robust intensity. Pair one of these high quality EVOs with a flavoured balsamic vinegars, like fig or Tahitian vanilla, for a gourmet gift set.
Best for: Extra virgin olive oils and balsamic vinegars
Gift this: Go for a bottle of one of their infused olive oils, such as blood orange or wild mushroom and sage, to customize your gift to your recipient’s palate.
Why buy from Vancouver Olive Oil Company: The Company specializes in two kitchen staples, priding themselves on the exacting quality of their oils and vinegars.
Founder Michelle Ng ran Vancouver Foodie Tours for over a decade before she recently switched to the food delivery business. Initially, the enterprise was intended to give much needed business to Granville Island food vendors during the pandemic. Since then, her business has grown to include delivering a range of themed gift boxes, all prioritizing local companies that make artisan products. For example, the BC Artisan Bean Box is for any loved one who adores coffee and chocolate. It comes with JJ Bean’s Railtown Coffee Beans, 70% bean-to-bar dark chocolate from Kasama Chocolate, two cappuccino cups from Ocean Glassware, and an Eileen French Press from Bodum. Other popular packages include their Comfort and Cravings Snack Box and their Wellness Snack Box.
Best for: Gourmet gift baskets
Gift this: The Sugar & Spice gift basket has all sorts of local goodies, such as Turkish delight from Fraser Valley Gourmet, coconut cashews from the Nut Merchant, and berry smoked parsnip chips from Hardbite.
Why buy from Granville Island Delivery Co.: If you’re looking to give a range of local food items but are short on time, Granville Island Delivery Co. will do all the work for you.