Conscious and Delicious Eating at Vancouver’s Planted Expo and Plant-Based Establishments

Surrounded by natural beauty, Vancouver lends itself to a lifestyle that focuses on health and sustainability. People’s commitment to wellness means there are many ways to eat plant-based in the city, ranging from attending the upcoming Planted Expo to visiting diverse vegetarian and vegan restaurants and food trucks.

Planted Expo

Planted Expo returns to Vancouver June 1-2, 2024, from 10am to 5pm at the Vancouver Convention Centre West. Everyone with an interest in learning more about plant-based living is invited to this two-day expo, which showcases over 200 plant-based brands, businesses, and organizations who will be introducing visitors to their food and lifestyle products and services. Planted Expo highlights all the exciting innovations happening in different plant-based industries, as well as shows how easy it is to shift to more plant-based consumption, for the good of the planet, well-being, and animals.

Exhibitors are diverse and represent a range of different global cultures, including Me’s Marketplace by Anh and Chi (Vietnamese artisanal sauces and provisions), The Indian Pantry (spice mixes and sauces), Caps Mushroom Jerky, and ChiKhuya (self-care products; the business is half Latino-owned). At each booth, you can chat with the individuals representing the brands and businesses, learning more about their goods and services, their core values, as well as how they fit into a healthy plant-based lifestyle. Many of the companies offer samples of their juices, snacks, baked treats, and protein options, as well as sell their goods on site if you want to take them home to enjoy. You can also find out what retail outlets stock their products.

In addition to browsing the many exhibitors, you can listen to one of the many speakers who will share their expertise on a range of interesting and illuminating topics. The line-up includes Robert Cheeke, author of The Plant-Based Athlete (June 1 at 1:55pm); vegan chef Doug McNish (June 2 at 11am); and Dr. Michael Greger, founder of (June 2 at 1:30pm). The schedule also features The Vegan Fashion Show with Vikki Lenola (June 2 at 12:10pm) and Best in Show Awards (June 2 at 4:10pm). In short, they’ll be something for everyone at this year’s Planted Expo.

Further info and tickets can be found here.

Photo: Past speakers at Planted Expo

Plant-based Restaurants and Food Trucks

Photo: Do Chay

There is no shortage of restaurants and food trucks in Vancouver that specialize in plant-based eating. These food establishments represent a wide array of cultures, evidencing an ethos in the city related to openness, sharing, health, and sustainability. Moreover, most establishments in town will include vegetarian/vegan options on their menus given the many Vancouverites who follow a plant-based lifestyle.

The Acorn has been around for over a decade for good reason. This Michelin-recommended restaurant interprets vegetarian and vegan dining in a way that is creative, refined, and local/seasonal. Diners can opt for the family-style multi-course chef’s menu, or choose from changing à la carte selections, such as stinging nettle alkaline noodles with mentsuyu broth, Lance’s wild greens, and smoked seaweed; or rutabaga with Cropthorne Farm beans, confit garlic, pickled shallot, preserved fig, and charred leek oil.

Vietname cuisine’s emphasis on fresh greens and herbs lends itself really well to plant-based cuisine. Do Chay in East Vancouver offers some really flavourful vegetarian and vegan dishes, such as crystal dumplings filled with wood ear mushrooms and veggie round; Uncle Hing’s wings (crispy oyster mushrooms) tossed in sweet and spicy sauce; and a vegan pho with bean curd skin, avocado, pea tips, broccoli, oyster mushrooms, daikon, and rice noodles.

Founded in 1968, Vancouver’s grandfather of vegetarian restaurants, The Naam, soldiers on in Kitsilano. Long-time fans flock to the restaurant for nostalgic bites such as their oven-baked sesame, turmeric fries with miso gravy; chili deluxe; and dragon bowls, such as the Naam, with steamed veggies, brown rice, miso gravy, peanut sauce, tofu, and grated carrots and beets.

Folke, Michelin-recommended and named one of Canada’s Best New Restaurants in 2023 (Air Canada), is a gem of a place, starting with the gracious service of its staff (tip-inclusive pricing).The vegan restaurant serves lovely dishes meant for sharing, such as heirloom corn croquettes with salsa borracha, parsnip, and preserved plum; and strozzapreti with walnut pesto, rapino, and oyster mushrooms.

Originally a food truck (which still operates), Chickpea specializes in easygoing, tasty plant-based food that goes beyond falafel. While the falafel are delicious, they have other tempting options, ranging from a red beet salad to a spicy halloumi burger with sauteed oyster mushrooms, truffle oil, and spicy harissa mayo—served with salad or fries with chipotle mayo.

MILA draws from global inspiration for its vegan menu, with dishes such as cacio e pepe with cashew miso cheese, dan dan noodles, a kebab pita, and aburi lox oshi sushi. Meanwhile, three locations strong in Vancouver, MeeT serves satisfying comfort food, like butter chikkin poutine, a crispy BBQ burger, and whipped feta gnocchi.

Photo: MeeT on Main

With the gorgeous spring weather, now’s the time to take advantage of the sun and Vancouver’s awesome food trucks, many of them featuring plant-based selections. Popular vegetarian/vegan food trucks include Chickpea; Planted Love, with Middle Eastern-inspired dishes like a falafel bowl with pita; and Varinicey Pakoras, which sells a range of pakoras, such as beet and broccoli ones, as well as beverages like chai.

In short, there are so many ways to eat plant-based in Vancouver!

Tagged: , , ,

Say Your Piece

Please be nice, we delete offensive and mean spirited remarks.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.