British Columbia Local Foods

Lions Gate Bridge, Stanley Park
Keith Levit / Design Pics / Getty Images

British Columbia could, if it so chose, lay claim to being the birthplace of contemporary local eating – after all, Alisa Smith and J.B. MacKinnon, who wrote The 100-Mile Diet: A Year of Local Eating, a.k.a. Plenty: One Man, One Woman, and a Raucous Year of Eating Locally lived in Vancouver during their experiment in hyper-local eating. The province is home to all kinds of wonderful local foods. From salmon and oysters to wild mushrooms and wine. Farmstead cheeses, ultra-fresh produce, and tender lamb are also rampant at its markets.

For more resources, check out Better Together BC, Get Local BC, and Edible Vancouver.​

  • 01 of 08

    Seasonal Fruit and Vegetables

    Blackberries in a Basket

    Paul Williams / Funkystock / Getty Images

    A wonderfully wide range of produce is grown and sold in British Columbia – from apples and greens to traditional Asian vegetables and wild-foraged mushrooms. See what to expect when with this Guide to British Columbia Fruits and Vegetables.

  • 02 of 08

    Farmers Markets

    Stand at Granville Market

    Christopher Morris / Getty Images

    Every year seems to bring new markets to British Columbia. Vancouver, in particular, is chock full of them and this Guide from the BC Association of Farmers' Markets lists most of them.

  • 03 of 08

    Wild Pacific Salmon

    Different Salmon Species

    Chris Arend / Design Pics / Getty Images

    Salmon has been feeding people living in British Columbia for centuries (that we know of!). All five varieties of Pacific salmon are available in British Columbia, although chinook/king, coho/silver, and sockeye/red are the most popular for eating fresh or smoking. New to these pink-fleshed lovelies? See How to Cook Salmon to get started.

  • 04 of 08

    Dungeness Crab

    Fresh Live Crab
    Dungeness Crab.

    Owaki / Kulla / Getty Images

    British Columbia enjoys a Dungeness crab season that starts later - and ends later - than its neighbors to the south, a fact that leads to such delights as summer beach crab bakes. Learn more About Dungenes Crab here.

    Continue to 5 of 8 below.
  • 05 of 08

    Shellfish

    Granville Market Seafood in Vancouver
    Shellfish at Market.

    Christopher Morris / Getty Images

    The oyster beds, mussel farms, and clam flats of British Columbia produce excellent shellfish. 

    Learn about different types of oystershow to shuck oysters, and how to serve oysters and enjoy the briny bounty of the province.

  • 06 of 08

    Spot Prawns

    Spot Prawns on Ice
    Spot Prawns. Taesam Do/Getty Images

    The bulk of the commercial spot prawn fishery is in British Columbia, one of the few places where spot prawns are widely available at the retail level (in California, the bulk of the catch goes directly to restaurants). Spot prawns look like tiny lobsters and have a firm texture and amazingly sweet taste that many liken to the very best lobster. Learn more About Spot Prawns.

  • 07 of 08

    Wild Mushrooms

    Chanterelle Wild Mushrooms

    Sanna Lindberg / Getty Images

    Cepes, morels, chanterelles, and more. The forests and glens of British Columbia are home to lots of wild mushrooms.

  • 08 of 08

    British Columbia Wines

    British Columbia Vineyard

    Benjamin Rondel / Getty Images

    British Columbia is famous for its wonderful white wines, most of which hail from the Okanagan Valley (which is, it must be said, also home to some great produce). Learn more about B.C. Wines.