5 Vancouver restaurants for the aspiring plant-based foodie
The concept of plant-based eating has been gaining momentum lately and the vegan community could not be happier.
If you have recently been sucked into the vortex that is The Game Changers on Netflix, know that you are not alone.
The documentary profiles several high-performing and unbelievably attractive professional athletes who swear by their plant-based diets. The film suggests that by replacing animal-derived protein sources with plant sources, like lentils, beans, and tofu, one can improve several of their body’s vital functions.
According to the researchers featured in the documentary, following a plant-based diet can lower blood pressure and cholesterol, decrease recovery time, and prevent a multitude of diseases.
However, there is a common misconception that adopting a plant-based diet means sacrificing flavourful foods.
Sure, chicken nuggets and hamburgers will be nothing but a distant memory, but the vegetarian alternatives of these meals can keep you well distracted.
Cooking vegan on a daily basis is surprisingly easy—but fulfilling greasy hangover cravings or the need for a picturesque smoothie bowl is often a bit of a challenge.
If you are looking to sink your teeth into a gourmet vegan meal that you probably can’t create at home, these five restaurants in Vancouver will do the trick.
“Have you ever been to MeeT?”
This question is habitually uttered from the mouth of every vegan that resides in Vancouver.
MeeT can be considered a transitional restaurant, as it eases guests into veggie-based eating by offering vegan versions of traditionally non-vegan meals. These include mac 'n’ cheese, poutine, and hamburgers—eating salads all the time is boring.
All three of the locations have a laid-back vibe that is perfect for a pre-Canucks-game dinner or virtually any other dining situation.
Cult favourite menu items include the sweet chili cauliflower, satay sauce & spicy mayo fries, every single burger on the menu, and the artichoke spinach dip.
If you happen to have room after appetizers and mains, though it’s unlikely, the dessert menu features seven vegan dessert options. These include mini cashew cheesecakes, “cronuts” (a croissant-donut hybrid), and lemon tarts.
MeeT restaurants can be found in Yaletown (1165 Mainland Street) Gastown (12 Water Street), and on Main Street (4288 Main Street).
This plant-based pizzeria bamboozles every skeptical diner as soon as they take a bite. With hand-stretched dough, vegan cheeses, and other toppings that are often locally sourced, the team at Virtuous Pie creates one-of-a-kind ‘za.
The Stranger Wings pizza mimics the flavours that are found on a plate of Buffalo wings by using spicy cauliflower, crispy fried shallots, and blue cheese drizzle.
For those who cannot part with meat toppings on their pizza, the sweet pepper + sausage pizza has crumbles of housemade vegan Italian sausage sitting atop of every pie.
But why stop at pizza?
Virtuous Pie has also conquered plant-based ice-cream with flavours like salted carmel + chocolate pretzel, mint + dark chocolate, and bourbon vanilla.
Vancouver has been blessed with two Virtuous Pie locations: Chinatown (583 Main Street) and UBC (3339 Shrum Lane).
The garbanzo bean, otherwise known as the “chickpea”, has thankfully weaseled its way into every dish at this Main Street eatery.
Chickpea serves up classic comfort dishes with a Mediterranean twist—all dishes can be ordered on a delicious bed of creamy hummus. Restraurantgoers can also opt for the signature creations to lie upon a salad or get wrapped into a fluffy pita, but going to Chickpea without trying the hummus is not a wise decision.
Guests who frequently visit this restaurant will recommend first-timers to order the dishes with fried eggplant and fried cauliflower, as they pair perfectly with plate of chickpea fries and side pickles.
Chickpea also has an exciting selection of sauces, like sweet chili and tahini, available for diners to add to their meals. Plant-based individuals with a love for Mediterranean cuisine will undoubtedly appreciate the vegan tzatziki.
The restaurant can be found at 4298 Main Street, but its food truck can be found at local events, festivals, and around downtown Vancouver.
This modern eatery brings sunshine to Vancouver, no matter what the actual weather is doing outside.
Kokomo creates savoury “sun-inspired” dishes, for dine-in or takeout, like the golden laksa noodles and coastal macro bowls. Smoothies and smoothie bowls, filled with ingredients like bananas, berries, almond butter, and topped with granola, will satisfy any hungry customer.
The restaurant is 100 percent plant-based and serves colourful dishes that will nourish both the body and the mind.
The café is the perfect spot for breakfast, lunch, a post-yoga green smoothie, or a quick on-the-go snack before a walk along the seawall.
The eatery is currently opening its third location in North Vancouver, with two other locations open in Chinatown (611 Gore Avenue) and Kitsilano (2028 Vine Street).
The Workshop Vegetarian Café
This café is a godsend for those who cannot resist a warm cinnamon bun slathered in gooey icing.
The Workshop has two locations, one in East Vancouver (3596 East Hastings Street) and the other in North Vancouver (296 Pemberton Avenue).
The restaurant is best known for its Organic Spicy Tan Tan Ramen, which includes ramen noodles that are delicately made in-house. Other bowls of the popular Japanese soup feature puffed tofu, shiitake mushrooms, shoyu broth, and rayu chili oil.
If ramen isn’t your thing, The Workshop also serves smoothies, Buddha bowls, mochi cakes, and freshly baked vegan goodies. Individuals in need of a caffeine fix can swing by the café for a hot beverage that can be made with a selection of plant-based mylks.
The Workshop carefully prepares all its dishes and baked goods with organic and locally sourced ingredients where possible.