Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Top 5 Vegetarian Restaurants in Vancouver

As promised in my last post, here's a shortlist of the best vegetarian restaurants in Vancouver. This is by no means and exhaustive list, Vancouver is blessed with a plethora of great vegetarian restaurants and you should try them all if you have the means. This should at least give you a solid start and point you in the right direction. Happy eating!

  1. Meet  (Vegan)

    Whether you're a Vegetarian in need of guilt-free comfort food or a mildly curious omnivore, you can't go wrong with Meet. Serving up all vegan all-America fare, their menu consists of various burgers, pasta/ rice bowls and fries almost any way you could imagine. Their burgers all use a house-made patty which is the best vege alternative to a beef patty in flavour and consistency that I've yet experienced. I highly recommend The Angry Burg (beer-battered patty and wicked hot sauce) if you're into spice or The Meet burger (standard patty, chipotle mayo and onion rings YES) and definitely order some of the BBQ Things (vegan version of BBQ chicken wings) to start. Not only is all their food vegan but their booze is too, cocktails included! We tried out both their locations during our time in Van and I'd recommend the trip up Main Street for better atmosphere at their original spot. The Gastown location is a touch tricky to find, they have the same menu so the food is equally awesome, the space in that part of town just feels a little less welcoming. Most of their menu is also either gluten free or can easily be adjusted to be on request. Portion sizes are massive so don't be afraid to ask for a doggy bag.

  2. Bandidas (Vegetarian with lots of Vegan Options)

    Bandidas on Commercial Drive is hands down the best Mexican food in Vancouver (Yes, I've had Tacofino, this is better) as evidenced by the hordes of people in and around the place whenever we went there. As I understand it they'd recently expanded their premises before we got to try them out but honestly I think these guys could pack out a restaurant double the size. We had the good fortune of living relatively close to Bandidas so found ourselves there more than once. Try the Edna Dip (baked cheese dip served with sour cream and corn chips) and literally anything from the Enchilada section of the menu (I'm sure their entire menu is awesome but I never made it past the phenomenal enchiladas at dinner time). If you're ever hung over near The Drive, these guys also run an all day breakfast and a 9-3 brunch menu, from experience I can vouch for their breakfast burrito on that side of things, it kicks ass. These guys aren't exclusively vegan but a lot of their menu items can be made vegan and they pro-actively offer the opportunity to veganise a number of selections. I can't see any of their food's appeal being lost by veganising so if you are that way inclined, Bandidas still comes highly recommended. As well as serving amazing food, these guys also deck their walls with visually spectacular local art. Plan ahead as Bandidas is pretty much packed non-stop so you may be faced with a wait for a table but their service team and kitchen are incredibly cohesive and make for an unparalleled dining experience once you do get a seat.

  3. 3G Vegetarian Restaurant (Despite the name, I'm pretty sure their stuff is vegan)

    Don't be fooled by the simplicity of the decor, these guys do amazing things with meat substitutes. The best descriptor I can think of for their menu is if you'd expect to see it on a Chinese Take-out menu, 3G probably has it. Serving up the pseudo-Asian classics us Westerners love like Orange Chicken or Sweet and Sour Pork, these guys replace the meat with scarily realistic soy-based substitutes. We felt a little guilty eating here because it felt like cheating on our Vegetarianism but I can assure you they're 100% meatless and depending on what sauce comes with your dish, more than likely vegan too, though I'd double check with them on that before taking my word as gospel. They have an array of rice dishes that make use of vegan cheese which is the basis for my supposing that their other dishes are likely to be vegan. As far as I can tell, this restaurant is run by just two people, one who acts as the waiter and one who cooks the meals. Their service style feels a bit odd for sit down dining and is very casual but they are lovely people who make good food so it is ultimately a very enjoyable experience. While we always dined in, there were many people popping in to pick up take out orders, they're clearly a neighbourhood favourite.

  4. The Foundation (Vegetarian)

    If you like hip-hop culture, you'll like The Foundation. The decor and the music rattling from the speakers scream urban groove while the menu is vege paradise. Regardless of your dietary habits, if you get chatting to Vancouver locals you're bound to have this place suggested more than likely coupled with "you have to try the nachos!" You have to try the nachos by the way. They're awesome, they're meat-free and the serving size is ridiculous. The two of us struggled to get through a small so I'd say with a couple of beers each you could comfortably go one small order between 3 people. The large order is twice the size and could easily cater for 6 people. The rest of their menu is probably just as good but honestly we made the mistake of ordering something other than the nachos (yam dip and it was truly excellent) the first time and it was way too much food to handle. Get the nachos, add their guac, and you're in for an epic time.

  5. A photo posted by chloë (@totravelblind) on

  6. Jam (Serves a lot of meat dishes but has some very solid vegetarian options)

    Brunch is hands down my favourite meal of the day. There's nothing more luxurious than rolling out of bed in the afternoon, throwing the cleanest of your floor clothes on and treating yourself to a cooked breakfast out. Brunch has all the best foods: pancakes, waffles, eggs on toast, eggs benedict (meatless eggs bene is my personal favourite meal), hash browns, without the giant pain in the ass of dragging yourself out of bed that comes with breakfast. As such I had to include a brunch spot on this list somewhere and Jam takes the cake for most tremendous all round brunch experience in the city of Vancouver. Originally a staple of the Victoria culinary scene, these guys opened up a few months ago on Beatty street, a stones throw from Stadium- Chinatown skytrain station. While Jam is not exclusively vegetarian, they do have some epic vegetarian options which I feel make them worthy of inclusion in this post. I had the Veggie bowl and after much pleading from our waiter opted for the "little" version. Here is where I feel obliged to warn you that the portions at Jam are gargantuan. I'm not a light eater, I'm just over 6 feet tall and weigh roughly 80kg (176 pounds), I average 5 to 7 fully loaded plates at an all you can eat buffet and this supposedly "little" bowl of crumbled biscuit, gravy almost beat me. In all honesty I only finished the damn thing to impress the waiter, who did seem very genuinely surprised I got through it all. Clem ordered the red velvet pancake stack and was served a full cake worth of pancakes. She struggled through about 1/4 of the plate before admitting defeat and asking for a takeaway box. It was evident in the understanding nod of our waiter that this was how most meals at this cafe ended. We ate those pancakes for like 3 days afterwards before they were done, no kidding. Size aside, both of our meals were beyond fantastic, words cannot describe the amazing things they achieve with biscuits and gravy. The only downside of Jam is that they have a relatively small space and everyone loves them. This means that when we went, not too long after their opening we were faced with a half hour wait for a table for the two of us. Don't be deterred, just plan ahead, the food is more than worth the wait and once inside, service is exceptionally attentive and very fast. If you only have one brunch out in Vancouver, do yourself a favour and make sure it's at Jam. 

  7. A photo posted by Lox (@dixolox) on

No comments:

Post a Comment