Vancouver’s Vegan Restaurants for Veganuary

Image Credit: The Acron

Vancouver is foodie heaven for anyone who is vegan, trying Veganuary, or cutting down on meat (hello meatless Mondays!) According to Chef’s Pencil, the international food magazine, Vancouver is one of the top cities in the world for a plant-based lifestyle. To celebrate, here’s a round-up of top-notch plant-based spots.

 

Until February 5, 2021, in line with the public health order issued on November 20, non-essential travel into and out of BC is not recommended. BC residents let’s do our part by continuing to stay local and support local, with your immediate household or bubble, in accordance with the latest guidelines

 

The Acorn Restaurant

The jewel of Vancouver’s vegetarian and vegan dining scene, The Acorn Restaurant (3995 Main Street), has consistently been lauded for its refined approach to seasonal plant-based eating. Big Seven Travel listed them as the #1 vegan-friendly restaurant in the world. A tour of the menu reveals many beautifully conceived and executed items, such as pan-roasted North Arm Farm black salsify with burnt grand fir brown butter, Mount Pleasant magnolia vinegar, parsley root purée, ox-eye daisy capers, and crispy salsify skins. The dishes at Acorn exude a passion for this local environment, drawing on ingredients that speak to the earth and sea and their shifting abundance throughout the year.

Image Credit: Acron

Nuba

Nuba’s Lebanese menu includes a range of vegan dishes that prove flavour is not sacrificed when it comes to plant-based cooking. Many diners go specifically for Najib’s Special: crispy cauliflower tossed with lemon and sea salt, and served with tahini, pita, and pickled cabbage. Also popular is the falafel plate that comes with hummus, salad, pickled cabbage, olives, and your choice of base (e.g. roasted potatoes). With 4 locations to choose from and plenty of option on the menu, it’s clear, plant-based eating is incredibly satisfying at Nuba.

Image Credit: Nuba

Davie Dosa Company

Dosas, a South Indian delicacy, are wonderfully showcased at Davie Dosa Company (1235 Davie Street) where owner Sharv Ramachandran will enthusiastically guide you through the bold flavours of South India. The dosa itself, a delicate savoury lentil and rice crêpe, is vegan (as well as gluten- and nut-free) and can be filled with a range of vegan ingredients, like curried cauliflower, eggplant, and spiced potato. The texture of this restaurant’s dosa, delicately crisp, perfectly complements the heartier, spiced fillings. The restaurant also offers some highly flavourful vegan curries, like one with chickpeas, or another with yellow lentils.

Dal Vada lentil patties. Image Credit: Davie Dosa Co.

East is East

Anybody who’s travelled along the ancient silk road will know of the quaint dhabbas (eateries) that have served adventurous travellers through the centuries. Today, these dhabba’s have transformed into charming little street vendors that dot the silk road from Mongolia through Tibet, India, Persia, to Istanbul. East is East captures the vibrant energy of these charming dhabbas that represent the beauty and diverse flavours of this ancient region. On the menu, you’ll find dishes such as alu gobi (Cauliflower and potato in a tangy tomato coconut sauce), ango butternut squash (Butternut squash and mango cooked with coconut milk, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon and curry leaves), creamy mushroom and eggplant, plus Eastern roti rolls and rice bowls.

Chai Feast. Image Credit: East is East

Do Chay

Vancouver has fallen hard for Do Chay (1269 Hamilton Street), a vegetarian Vietnamese restaurant that recently launched a second location in sleek Yaletown. Flavours are lively and inventive, drawing upon the best of Vietnamese cuisine and plant-based flavours. Most of the items are vegan, including crispy spring rolls that are accompanied by mustard greens and herbs for wrapping as well as Do Chay’s very popular ish sauce, an umami-rich vegan replacement for fish sauce. The vegan verm is also popular, featuring lemongrass chili, a spring roll, oyster mushrooms, king oyster mushrooms, wood ear mushrooms, carrot, fresh herbs, greens, and peanuts – all on vermicelli. Do Chay has also created a vegan pho with avocado, yuba, yo choy, broccoli, oyster mushrooms, and rice noodles in their vegan pho broth. It’s a go-to autumn warm-up meal. Basically, you can’t go wrong with anything you order at Do Chay.

Crispy mushroom wings with sweet & spicy ‘ish’ sauce glaze. Image credit: Do Chay.

The Naam

The Naam Restaurant is Vancouver’s premier vegetarian restaurant. Begun as a small café in 1968, it has grown into a Kitsilano landmark, consistently winning “Best Vegetarian” year after year in various publications. The menu is extensive, vegan dishes and vegetarian options that can be made vegan. Starters include quesadillas, Tuscan nachos, and organic hand-cut Yukon Gold fries with the famous miso gravy. For mains, there is a selection of enchiladas, stir-fries, veggie burgers, and combination platters. There’s also a full dessert menu: try the vegan raspberry chocolate cake or the Dutch apple-cranberry pie topped with Mario’s premium Italian Ice cream. Did we mention… there’s also a breakfast menu!

Image Credit: The Naam

The Belgard Kitchen

Located in the beautiful Settlement Building with its soaring ceilings, The Belgard Kitchen (55 Dunlevy Avenue) specializes in craft beer and small plates that evidence a commitment to the local and the seasonal. Lunch features vegan items like a smashed avocado super toast consisting of grilled organic sourdough, smashed avocado, toasted seeds, hemp hearts, pickled red onion, shaved radish, micro greens, and confit oil. Other vegan selections are a Dragon Bowl with sweet sesame tofu, avocado, seasoned brown rice, and an array of veggies with garlic tahini dressing.  The dinner menu features the Emerald Bowl, in addition to a vegan roasted cauliflower with romesco sauce, crispy capers, toasted almonds, and fresh lemon; as well as a ruby beet salad with sous vide candy cane beets, pickled ruby beets, sunflower seed pesto, seasonal greens, herbed cashew cheese, candied walnuts, and white balsamic vinaigrette.

Dragon Bowl; Sourced from Belgard Kitchen

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