Chef Karen Barnaby's top shops for Vancouver foodies

I love cooking at home and there’s no particular style or culture that I cook all the time; I cook everything from everywhere. Gastown is my local neighbourhood and East Hastings from Gastown to Burnaby has become my main shopping street – with the occasional foray to H-Mart or Fujiya, which I pass by on my way home from work. There are so many great places to shop in Vancouver, and these are the stores I frequent regularly.

Asia Market

103-326 E Kent Ave South, Vancouver, BC V5X 4N6

Great assortment of herbs, curry pastes, fish sauce, sour pork sausages, noodles, seasoning condiments and anything else you need for Southeast Asian cooking. This store has thrived in this location for years under other names and has always had a great selection to shop from.

Sunrise Market

300 Powell St, Vancouver, BC V6A 1G4

An institution in the DTES, Sunrise has served the public since 1956. There are screaming deals here and you can leave with two bags stuffed with vegetables for around $16.00. Not all of the vegetables will be in great shape (and are priced accordingly) so it’s best to get whatever’s fresh that day. The selection of groceries – Asian and Western – is vast; you’ll find everything from extra-virgin coconut oil and chia seeds to Filipino sausage and soy sauce. Besides all this, where else in Vancouver can you see someone shopping with his pet snake around his neck?

Homestead Junction

649 East Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC V6A 1R2

So, you want supplies for fermenting, food preservation, beekeeping, sausage making, mushroom growing or micro farming? You’ll find everything you need and more at Homesteaders Emporium. Shop here for yogurt and cheese cultures, dehydrators, canning jars and meat grinders. They also have workshops and rent out pressure canners, dehydrators, honey extractors and vacuum sealers, and host classes.

lesamis du FROMAGE

843 Hastings St E, Vancouver, BC V6A 1R8

Cheese, more cheese, GREAT cheese, aged cheese, young cheese, blue cheese, washed-rind cheese, cheese from many places and more cheese! Les Amis du Fromage carries cheese of all varieties, as well as crackers and charcuterie, oil, vinegar and mustard too. They make great cheese and charcuterie platters to take away and also rent raclette and fondue equipment. I love the Tete de Moine cheese cutter – you anchor a small wheel of the cheese onto the board then rotate the blade across the top of the cheese creating thin, and beautifully ruffled cheese slices.


200-550 Robson St, Vancouver, BC V6B 2B7

I dabble in Korean cooking – which includes making kimchi on a regular basis – and this is where I go for supplies. I also shop here for persimmon vinegar, gochuchang, Korean fish sauce, Korean short-grained rice and rice blends, sulfuric bamboo salt, a comprehensive selection of grains and seaweed, and pre-salted cabbage for making kimchi if you’re feeling lazy. A large selection of sliced meats for hot pot, kalbi and Korean-style grilling abound. H Mart also carries take-out foods and has an on-site bakery if you’re feeling peckish.

Fujiya Japanese Foods

912 Clark Dr, Vancouver, BC V5L 3J8

I’ve been a fan of this Fujiya location since their opening and became an even greater fan when they started selling bento boxes. Sometimes I’m feeling a little rushed but still want to make a delicious dinner; Fujiya has two different marinated sablefish – one in miso and one in sake lees – and salted mackerel for a quick feast. The sell all the Japanese hits: soba noodles, green tea, Japanese curry, miso, rice bran for making your own pickles, sea urchin paste (which is great on grilled eggplant) and many flavours of Pocky.

Bosa Foods

1465 Kootenay St, Vancouver, BC V5K 4Y3

I work right beside Bosa Foods once a week and I’m always sorely tempted to go there, even if I don’t need anything – I’m a sucker for mortadella! I love their cotechino, sausages, olive selection, nut aisle, coffee and sandwich bar plus there’s a restaurant upstairs. I stock up here on cases of passata and tomatoes. If you’re lucky, you might be rewarded with an Italian candy when you check out.

Cioffi's Meat Market & Deli

4156 Hastings St, Burnaby, BC V5C 2J4

Cioffi’s has expanded into mini empire on this stretch of Hastings that includes a meat store and take-out food. The deli stocks fantastic imported burrata cheese and an interesting selection of fresh meats, plus more cheese, olive oils, pastas, and olive-oil-packed tuna – I especially like the Rio Per Pasta cans of flavoured tuna. In other words, they have all the grocery supplies needed for Italian cooking. If you’re hungry, an Italian sausage with peppers will go down nicely.

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