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Edible Canada at The Market commands a prime spot on Granville Island close to the Public Market where over 12 million visitors peruse the food hall on a yearly basis. They started with a small shop in that very food hall (Edible British Columbia), selling many items now found in their current onsite shop. The busy restaurant has a comfortable, casual vibe, with families, businessmen, and groups coming and going.

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The restaurant was packed during my recent lunch visit. Sitting by the window offers a glimpse into the daily life of Granville Island. The open kitchen is the first thing you see upon entry, opposite a series of square windows letting in a good amount of natural daylight.

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Edible Canada enjoys relationships with many local suppliers, including South Surrey’s Hazelmere Farms, providing the Granville Island restaurant with beautiful sunchokes for their soup. Sea to Sky bacon-salted butter is offered with crusty bread or rolls. Victoria’s Silk Road Teas and Granville Island Tea selections are on the beverage menu, as well as local beer, wine, and spirits.

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You can see where this is going: Edible Canada at the Market is a proudly local restaurant and retail space that’s passionate about things sustainable. They are dedicated to sourcing the highest quality products across Canada.

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A room towards the back can be sectioned off with a glass-windowed sliding garage door for private parties and tastings. There’s also a bar, culminating in a retail space that showcases numerous local products from honey to gourmet salt.

The drink menu is filled with local beers on tap: Driftwood’s White Bark Wheat, Fat Tug IPA, Howe Sound Brewing’s seasonal Baldwin & Cooper Best Bitter, and Vancouver’s own Red Truck Lager. They’re all available in half-pint, pint, and pitcher portions ($4.50, $7, $16). Bottled beers cost between $7.95 and $13 (the higher end of that scale includes a Unibroue La Maudite Belgian dark ale).

Edible Canada's Market Red, produced at Okanagan Crush Pad

An extensive cocktail list as well as whiskeys, vodka, and gin all incorporate Canadian products. Flights of wine on tap (Nichol Vineyard Organic Pinot gris and Nine Mile 2010, Crush Pad Rosé, Red, and White) plus a large list of reds, whites, and dessert wines are offered by the glass or bottle. I sampled their 2010 Market Red, produced at Okanagan Crush Pad. It’s an aromatic, medium-bodied blend of Gamay and Syrah picked from both Secrest and Cequeira Vineyards in Oliver, BC.

Vivreau water forms part of the sustainability program here (read my earlier Vivreau post here).

Sunchoke bisque/Hazelmere Organic Farm sunchokes, garlic chips

I started with a Hazelmere Farms sunchoke bisque with tiny crispy garlic chips on top. It’s presented in a nicely-designed deep bowl. The delicate flavour of the sunchoke was a great match for the garlic spice. I ordered a piece of crusty artisan bread just to try the bacon salted butter. Magnificent along with the sunchoke.

Vij's curry spiced Albacore tuna, confit belly, bacon, Fraser Valley kale, fingerling potatoes, sea beans, Nonna Pia's balsamic vinaigrette

It was hard to decide between the Canadian-inspired mac & cheese, Salt Spring mussels & frites, or the Yarrow Meadows duck poutine, but another flavourful concoction caught my eye: Vij’s curry-spiced Albacore tuna ($16). Part of the lighter fare menu, the fine curry-crusted tuna is set atop local veggies with a drizzle of Nonna Pia’s balsamic reduction. It tasted as healthy as it looks in the photo. All of the dish’s components are smartly laid out on the rectangular dish. The only part of the dish that didn’t agree with me was the belly confit’s fitting in. While delicious on its own, it didn’t seem to combine well with the rest.

Maple sugar pie, cinnamon whipped cream, candied pecans

Desserts ($8 each) can vary from a warm fudge brownie with Alberta rye ice cream and hazelnut crumble to a maple sugar pie, with thickened cinnamon whipped cream and candied pecans. I admired how the whip cream wasn’t soft but held a consistency that reminded me of a custard. I like the rustic presentation of this dish, with the nuts loosely tossed about, with the flavourful maple filling packed into an uneven chunky pie crust. While I was enjoying the sugar pie, I also sampled a bit of that homemade Alberta rye ice cream, and while not a spirits lover, this ice cream is simply divine. I can imagine returning to try it with its proper fudge brownie, melting amongst the bits of hazelnut. Blissful thoughts arise.

While I sipped a cup of Silk Road Gen Mai Cha Japanese green tea at lunch, I ordered a decaf americano for the pie. Salt Spring Coffee is one of Edible Canada’s investors, and together they share a great relationship offering a dedicated coffee program, with an abundance of coffee drinks on the menu.

Edible Canada’s owner has Celiac’s disease, thus the menu offers a wealth of gluten-free dishes whether by choice or necessity.

On the day of my visit, reggae music at a non-obtrusive level was playing on the sound system. I also learned that the coveted outdoor heated patio will accommodate 100 more seats this year.

Edible Canada offers two-hour culinary tours of Granville Island Public Market, gourmet kayaking trips to the beautiful Gulf Islands, as well as a market dinner series with well-known Vancouver chefs. The next dinner is set for May 7, where Chef Ted Anderson of Campagnolo Roma will present a multi-course dinner with wine pairings ($80 per person plus tax; includes gratuity). Each guest chef dinner is limited to 24 guests. Visit the website for more information.

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There’s also the return of The Take-Away Project, a campaign to find the best themed concept for a dish, to be served at Edible Canada’s outdoor take-out window during the summer season. The winner will receive free food while the window is open as well as having the item named after them.

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My lunch and drinks were courtesy of Edible Canada at the Market for the purpose of experiencing the menu and restaurant.

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