When you live somewhere, it’s very easy to get caught up in the little things and forget what a great place you live in. The other day I met a friend downtown for lunch. I don’t work downtown, and most people I know work in Burnaby, so I rarely have a reason to visit. Luckily, there have been a ton of new restaurants and cafes that offer vegan options, so I took the opportunity to do a bit of wandering and also visit some old favourites.
Field and Social is a relatively new cafe, serving freshly made salads in downtown Vancouver. While they do serve meat on their salads, they currently have 3 vegan options on their menu, with one featuring a local vegan cheesemaker, Blue Heron Creamery. My friend and I both opted for the Market Bowl, containing the vegan cheese and crispy kale… so good! This was my first visit here, but I’m already looking forward to going back!
This small storefront is easy to walk by, but definitely shouldn’t be missed. They make many flavours of custard pudding, with optional sauces. There are suggested pairings on a chalk board outside, but I’m sure you could mix and match. They also have amazing crème brûlée! They do sell their product in the local grocery stores, but I always prefer coming to their downtown location if I can 🙂
Pure Bread started in Whistler as a small family bakery. They now have 2 Whistler locations and 1 in Vancouver! They can also be found at many of the local farmers markets in the summer. While they don’t have a large selection of vegan goodies, they always have at least a few (unless they’re sold out!). I lucked out on my visit with a chocolate coconut almond scone! Most of their bread is also vegan, if I recall correctly.
Started by the same people who own Wallflower (a cafe on Main St. with many vegan options on their menu… including mac and cheese), this gluten-free cafe serves mainly vegan items; there are a few that will have real dairy in them, so it’s best to double check with the staff. The guy at the counter was super nice and brought out a Naniamo bar to sample. (These are a typical Canadian treat, if you’re unfamiliar.) I ended up getting a pizza pretzel/bun thing and an orange grain bar, which were both delicious. They also have cinnamon buns, and even have them for sale frozen so you can take them home and bake them yourself! In addition to the cafe, they have a small retail section, with a number of vegan items.
Meet in Gastown in the restaurant’s second location in Vancouver. They have a nice space with lots of natural light and even a courtyard patio when the weather is nice. Meet serves up vegan comfort food, like burgers (with fries AND salad… no need to choose!), spinach and artichoke dip, onion rings, fried cauliflower, kale caesar salad… and the list goes on! I opted for their special, oyster mushroom “calamari,” and I was slightly disappointed as most of the pieces seemed to contain more batter than mushroom. Next time I might stick to my tried and true favourites (which are basically the rest of the menu).
Vegan in Vancouver
This is just a small sample of things to do in the city, and they’re all within walking distance of each other. We are lucky and have had restaurants popping up everywhere recently. Even though we have lost a few good ones (Graze and the Foundation pop to mind), there are still so many to enjoy. If you have any questions about things do to, or where to eat in Vancouver, just let me know!
For more tips, tricks, and fun times, follow my travel adventures!