(This post is not sponsored. It is intended for informational purposes only. Enjoy!)
This post came about in response to a question I'm constantly asked by people who are looking for good plant-based food in Vancouver: where are the best places to eat out? It's a question I LOVE answering and could talk about a lot, because for a small-ish city Vancouver has a huge number of vegan and vegetarian restaurants. It's one of the easiest places to be vegan (largely why I've stayed here for six years), and it's very easy to spend too much money enjoying its culinary delights. If you're wondering where to eat vegan in Vancouver, this post is for you.
Any list of the 'best' places to eat out is going to be subjective. At last count there were 50+ plant-based eateries in Vancouver and it only keeps growing, so please bear in mind that these are just my top 10. They're the ones I'd recommend to visiting friends - the superstar restaurants who offer more innovative goodies than just salads and smoothies. So if you're new to town and wondering where to eat vegan in Vancouver , or are just looking for a new favourite eatery, have a read through this list - I'm sure you'll find one that appeals!
(pictured at top)
The only non-vegetarian/vegan establishment I'm adding to this list, Nuba earns its inclusion because of its vegan and gluten-free options. A chain of restaurants, its Lebanese food is delicious and satisfying, including dishes like mjadra, falafel and crispy cauliflower. A favourite for its well-priced lunch platters, I love it because its vegan options are so well-marked on the menu. It's a crowd pleaser, particularly if your dining companions eat meat.
Arbor is the little sister of Acorn (see mention in article below) and is worth a trip if you like comfort food - get the tacos and brussels sprouts. The vibe is glamorous diner, and they have a gorgeous outdoor patio in the summer months. As well as their comfort staples (poutine, mac 'n' cheese etc.) they do a tasty range of flatbread pizzas and feature desserts.
A list of where to eat vegan in Vancouver wouldn't be complete without a nod to Vancouver's oldest vegetarian restaurant. Opened in 1968, The Naam is loved for its cosy location that's open 24 hours a day and its constant menu staples (I haven't noticed many changes in the last few years). Prices are good and portions are big, although the food can be heavy. It's worth noting that their menu is geared slightly more towards vegetarians than vegans and I have found options more limited than at other restaurants. Nonetheless, it's worth going for a hearty meal and to soak up its history.
Meet has cemented itself in Vancouver as being the vegan best burger joint around, loved by vegans and omnivores alike. And with good reason! Portions are big, prices are reasonable and they solve that age-old conundrum of whether you order fries or salad with your burger: at Meet, you get both. Granted, the burgers are quite junky but they do a good range of healthy bowls and salads as well. There are three locations: Main Street, Yaletown and Gastown.
Heirloom is THE place to go for brunch, whether vegan or vegetarian. Served everyday until the afternoon, their menu includes the always delicious hashes, vegan bennies and omelettes. This restaurant definitely wins for its design - it's all white walls and window boxes of geraniums. Although they're open for dinner every day too, brunch is (in my opinion) where they really excel. The price tag is a little higher here but portions are large and the food is beautifully presented. There are two locations - South Granville and Ambleside.
One word: pizza. These guys make a wide range of really delicious, all-vegan pizzas with names like 'Ultraviolet' and 'Stranger Wings'. Who wouldn't want to eat those? It's the best non-dairy pizza I've ever had, not least because Virtuous Pie make their own cashew 'mozzarella' in-house. I love the various pre-packed vegan cheeses out there, but it's great to have an alternative that's a little more wholefood and actually tastes more like mozzarella. All the pizzas can be made gluten-free, and they also serve their own range of ice cream.
A restaurant whose focus is - unsurprisingly - in the name, Chickpea serves beautiful falafel, pitas and salads sure to fill you up. The food is also reasonably priced. Dishes are colourful and the ambience of the restaurant is relaxed and funky. They've just launched a new indulgent brunch menu (pictured above) which offers waffles, vegan bennies and locally-made vegan bacon. My favourite menu item is the Chocolate Torte, which uses raw chocolate from local producer Zimt. (They also have a food truck located in Downtown Vancouver during the week if you can't make it out to the restaurant - but you really should).
One of my favourite restaurants for its value and quality (they also have a food truck located Downtown). This Mexican all-vegetarian taqueria has delicious food, most of which can be made vegan (they use Daiya cheese) and gluten-free. And best of all, it's actually cheap. It gets pretty busy around 6.30-8.30pm so you may have to wait for a table, but amazingly it's open late (until at least midnight) everyday, so it's a great go-to for a late night bite. My menu recommendation? The Rocky Enchilada, every time.
This list of where to eat vegan in Vancouver would be missing something if I didn't mention Umaluma. This ice cream parlour sells utterly delicious dairy-free gelato in Vancouver's Chinatown. Offering flavours like the beautifully-named Drunken Cherry and Vancouver Sunset, you'll definitely be coming back for more. Prices aren't cheap but scoops are large and the ice cream itself is extremely decadent. It's a great place to take non-vegan friends as it's hard to believe the ice cream is dairy-free. One thing to note is that whilst everything is dairy and egg-free, a few flavours do contain honey.
Easily the most up-market vegetarian restaurant in Vancouver, The Acorn also has a higher price tag. It's small so there can be quite a wait for a table in the evening. However it's THE place to take someone you want to impress. The food looks and tastes stunning, and is described in such mouthwatering detail that you'll want to try everything. Dishes are plated beautifully and service is excellent. Do be aware however that if you're ravenously hungry, The Acorn values quality over quantity (it's not the place to go to eat until you're in a food coma). It's also a smaller menu and not all options are vegan.