Vancouver is a picnicker’s paradise. Not only does it have fantastic places to picnic whether you want to picnic at the beach, in the woods, on top of a mountain or in a kayak, gondola or ferry. It has the food to match.
Local beaches are a great place for a picnic. Try Spanish Banks, Locarno Beach, Kits Beach, English Bay Beach or Second Beach. There are hundreds of places to picnic in Stanley Park. Canada Place or Coal Harbour, if you’re downtown, are both excellent picnic destinations.
Robson Square, across from the Vancouver Art Gallery is another great urban picnic destination. So is False Creek just down the block from Urban Fare and a couple of blocks from Choices. All of the local gardens are wonderful places for a picnic
On the North Shore, North Vancouver is a picnicker’s paradise. You have more than 100 parks to choose from. Capilano Regional Park, Princess Park, Cates Park, Panorama Park in Deep Cove, Lynn Headwaters and Lynn Canyon Park, Waterfront Park, Lonsdale Quay, and Bridgeman Park.
In West Vancouver, you can picnic at Ambleside Park, located at the south end of 13th Street, near Dundarave Pier at the south end of 25th Street, or at Lighthouse Park, Whytecliff Park or Horseshoe Bay.
Urban Fare is a food lover’s paradise. The store is beautiful and so is the food. It’s a place you go to browse, to graze, to linger over pastry shelves and meat trays. It has a fabulous selection of fresh pasta, striped ravioli, exotic cheeses, olives, oils and sauces. You can purchase an already prepared picnic or make your own from the deli food or the fresh fruits, vegetables, breads, cheeses and meats.
You can even picnic in the store, sitting on a stool in the window eating while the Yaletown crowd goes about its business outside. Or if you have enough discipline to pick out the food and get it out of the store, all you have to do is make it to the end corner where you can sit and watch all the action on False Creek.
If you happen to be on South Granville, then try Meinhardt Fine Foods. It provides the same experience as Urban Fare but feels a bit more European where Urban Fare is North American in flavour. Wherever you decide to get your picnic food, Safeways will do, find just the right place to enjoy it and you’ll enjoy Vancouver in a way that even the locals often don’t take the time to do.
2380 West 4th Avenue
Terra Breads is consistently voted #1 for the best Bakery and best sandwiches in Vancouver and with good reason. Their food is fresh, delicious, sophisticated and fun to eat. Check their website for a list of the breads they make. You can find Terra Breads on 4th Avenue and also at the Granville Island food court.
177 Davie Street
Urban Fare is Vancouver’s most sophisticated and most beautiful grocery store. They have fresh fruits, vegetables, bakery goods, meat, fish, poultry and a deli you won’t believe unless you’re from a major food center. Urban Fare can create opulent picnic lunches and dinners. Or you can eat at their cafe.
Choices is a family run, upscale natural foods market, a 21st century version of the hippy market: spotless, well organized, well stocked with more selection than most major super markets. Great deli food, great ambiance.
Meinhardt Fine Foods
Meinhardt Fine Foods caters to the carriage trade from Shaughnessy. Everything about the store, from its flowers to its canned goods, is elegant. It’s a great place to get lunch if you’re touring the Granville Street art galleries or on your way to the beach.