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Vegan in Vancouver

May 20, 2019

By Nicole Kirsh

For all you foodies out there.

The mountains, the beach, the rain - you can’t really avoid contact with nature in Vancouver. It’s the type of city that exhales serenity and good energy. Kind of makes you want to be healthier in a way, eh? Or maybe help preserve the natural wonders and creatures found in these Canadian territories. 

British Columbia is the province with the highest number of vegan and vegetarians in all of Canada. According to a research conducted by Dalhousie University, approximately 8% of the province’s population follow a vegetarian diet, and just under 4% claimed plant-based vegan meals as their go-to. No wonder Vancouver has so many amazing options for people who choose to have a more mindful and holistic diet. For vegans and vegetarians alike, Vancouver is food heaven - from Indian food to barbecue, all can be found in ethical plant-based form. However, even with the number of people following vegetarian and vegan diets, and with all the amazing restaurants and treats available out there, non-followers are still pretty skeptical about it.

Going vegan is hard. It's not just a change in diet, it's a life-altering decision that will affect one's mindset and lifestyle. And even though vegans adore the way they live, there are times when they just miss the easy lifestyle they previously had. With that in mind various restaurants and even clothing-stores have been developing products to satisfy these clients. Here in Vancouver, it's easy to find alternatives to burgers, mac & cheese and even leather for clothing made out of plant-based sources. Here are some of them:

MeeT

A known classic for Vancouverites, MeeT has three locations in the Greater Vancouver area (Yaletown, Main and Gastown) and delicious food sure to satisfy both vegans and non-vegans. Creativity is all around the restaurant and different flavours can be appreciated in dishes like the Hot Chiggin' Wings and theMac N' Cheez BowlFor dessert, cronuts with fillings that vary by week and amazing tarts await.

Virtuous Pie

For the pizza lovers, the recently inaugurated restaurant Virtuous Pie serves individual handcrafted pizzas with various toppings, including the classic Margherita and the must-try Ultraviolet. If pizza is the desire of the day, customers can also order Italian-inspired small plates like meatballs and garlic knots. Ice cream is a big part of Virtuous Pie's identity and can be found in many different flavours and even in ice cream sandwich form.

Chickpea

Comfort food with a Mediterranean twist - that's what Chickpea is all about. The owners hail all the way from Israel and began serving their own dishes for friends and family before opening a food truck that would soon turn into a restaurant. With menus for Brunch and for "The Chickpea Experience", customers can try PashootFalafel and Sabishdishes or go for vegan versions of Frittatas or Latkes. Cocktails are also available at the restaurant, as are Baklavas and a secret recipe for Carrot Cake.

TurF

A combination of shop, gym and restaurant, TurF's ideology is based on "good and whole".  The food at the cozy restaurant is made with no refined sugar and and is sourced from local Vancouver farms. The menu includes a variation of toasts with toppings that go from avocado to peanut butter and also a granola crumble and oatmeal sundaes, perfect for a post-workout. Noodles, burgers and smoothies are also available, as are some non-vegan options.

Buddha-Full

An iconic restaurant in North Vancouver that offers bowls (savoury AND sweet), wraps, salads and an amazingly creative menu of lattes. The owners, passionate for healthy and conscious food dreamed about opening a warm light-hearted space that provided nourishment - that's why so many of the dishes allow customers to add more protein and other nutrients.

Not everyone that visits these restaurants and eats vegan or vegetarian meals follow a strictly plant-based diet. But Vancouver has so much to offer, and is still growing so much, it's worth giving them a shot!