It’s practically everywhere. On restaurant menus all over town, it has become a quintessential Vancouver dish. We’re not talking ramen, poké, sushi, tacos, acai bowls, or kale caesar salad. Rather, what’s increasingly hard to escape is avocado on toast.
Never mind that the humble number is delicious in a comforting way; it’s also loaded with nutrients. In fact, avocados are the only fruit that provides a hefty dose of monounsaturated fatty acids, or “good fats”.
Sometimes referred to as alligator pear or butter fruit, the creamy stone fruit also contains almost 20 vitamins and minerals, including vitamins B6 and C, riboflavin, and folate, as well as fibre and protein. Plus, they’re heart-healthy, containing a natural plant sterol called beta-sitosterol that’s associated with keeping cholesterol levels in check.
Here, a few local chefs dish on their spin on the avo-toast combo—and divulge when they like to enjoy it themselves.
Café Medina, 780 Richards Street
What’s it got? We start by grilling our house-made focaccia to get a nice crisp layer for the avocado to sit on. We don’t smash the avocado into the bread; instead, we carefully slice it and lay it on top of the focaccia upside down. This enables us to garnish the avocado with our fresh tomato salsa, made with our own harissa paste, pomegranate molasses, and Turkish black chilies. Then we top it off with some really nice olive oil and fleur de sel. And, of course, you can always opt to put an egg on it!
What makes yours delish? (See previous answer.) It’s not your average avo toast.
You’d love some when? I enjoy having avocado on toast right after the gym, with a couple poached eggs and a protein shake.
Belgard Kitchen at the Settlement Building, 55 Dunlevy Avenue
What’s it got? We start with a delicious grilled sourdough. Since the avocado is so soft and creamy, there needs to be a textural contrast. By grilling the bread, you create a nice contrast between crispy, chewy, and soft ’n’ creamy. The char from the grill adds a little smokiness as well. Then, we brush the bread with confit garlic oil, season with sea salt, and then spread the avocado over the toast. To keep the avocado vibrant green, we fold in a touch of lime juice, which also adds some acidity and brightens up the flavour. Then, we garnish using Sky Harvest microgreens and some shaved radishes.
What makes yours delish? We like to give our guests an opportunity to get creative with their avocado toast. We offer versions that include burrata, soft poached egg, and our house-cured salmon gravlax. We use artisan organic breads made by A Bread Affair and also offer a gluten-free version, presenting our toast on a sprouted-seed bread from East Village Bakery. The char from the grill adds a unique element that you wouldn’t get from simply toasting. And the confit garlic oil adds a subtle, savoury layer of flavour.
You’d love some when? I like it anytime, really. But I find it a nice light breakfast with the addition of an egg or two. All the good fats keep my energy level stable for several hours after eating.
The Dirty Apron Cooking School & Delicatessen, 540 Beatty Street
What’s it got? The Dirty Apron’s avocado toast is served on lightly buttered sourdough toast with a smoky sun-dried–tomato tapenade, pressed avocado, olive-oil-poached cherry tomatoes, fresh watercress, and topped with a soft-boiled egg.
What makes yours delish? Our take is an elevated take on the standard recipe. We found flavours that add to the dish and complement each other.
You’d love some when? For me, it’s a perfect morning meal. It’s my choice for breakfast on the go and works perfectly as fuel for my midday workout.
H2 Rotisserie and Bar, 1601 Bayshore Drive
What’s it got? We use a rustic, toasted sourdough, ripe avocado, two free-range soft-poached eggs, frisée-and-arugula salad, and confit tomatoes, topped with a balsamic glaze for an added flavourful dimension.
What makes yours delish? The creaminess of the eggs and the avocado are a match made in heaven. The balsamic glaze and greens make for a fun twist while contributing to the presentation. (It’s Instagrammable!)
You’d love some when? The best thing about this dish is its versatility. Avocado toast is great anytime! Whether you’re recovering from a run or bike ride through Stanley Park, joining friends for brunch, or are simply craving something nutritious and delicious, avocado toast has quickly become a staple in many fit foodies’ diets. Perfect for any time of the day, it’s quick to prepare and a combination that is tough to top.
Mamie Taylor’s, 251 East Georgia Street
What’s it got? It’s very simple, but delicious, really: we take grilled house-made focaccia and spread it with a mix of smashed avocado, extra-virgin olive oil, lemon juice, fresh oregano, parsley, salt, and pepper, then sprinkle on some soft goat cheese and serve it with an arugula-and-cherry-tomato salad tossed with apple-cider vinaigrette. The arugula and apple-cider vinegar really help to add depth to the smoothness of the avocado.
What makes yours delish? It’s unique because we bake our bread fresh for our avo toast. Our bread is enriched with lots of olive oil. The goat cheese adds richness, and the arugula salad adds sharp acidity and freshness to the dish.
You’d love some when? The ideal time to eat avocado toast would be right before a long bike around the seawall or through the city. The healthy fats in avocados provide an abundance of energy that other vegetarian dishes sometimes lack.
Wildebeest, 120 West Hastings Street
What’s it got? We use a sourdough toast as a base and top it with homemade guacamole consisting of jalapeño, cilantro, green onion, and a generous amount of fresh lime juice. We finish it with a sous-vide egg and a torched slice of five-year-old aged cheddar. We serve our avocado toast with a side of fresh, organic greens tossed in a lemon-lime-grapefruit-and-orange vinaigrette.
What makes yours delish? We pack a whole bunch of flavour into the avocado and take the time to serve it with a perfectly cooked sous-vide egg, which adds a deliciously unctuous texture.
You’d love some when? I’d say anytime between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays—i.e., when you should join us for brunch!