Leading a busy life, full of activities is difficult enough on its own. Trying to stay healthy and eat three meals a day, ideally that consist of something better than a handful of brazil nuts and a Happy Planet juice, is a whole other ball game. I have created a network in my mind of the closest Vegan restaurants, Vegan friendly places to grab a bite to eat, and places to eat if you’re in total desperation
My #1 suggestion to travelers and locals alike, is to check out www.happycow.net for their absolutely invaluable list of Vegan, vegetarian, and veg-friendly places all over the world. This site has pulled me out of innumerable binds in my Vegan life (which makes me think I should drop them a donation!) Below is a list of the Vegan, vegetarian, and veg-friendly places in town that I eat at regularly and would happily recommend:
3G – 3424 Cambie St. They have wonderful service, and feature nearly all Vegan, chinese food (do ask about dairy in the “meat” dishes though.) **I recommend: The “Chicken” Drumsticks, you can’t go there without ordering them!
Bodhi Choi Heung – 3932 Fraser St. This is a wonderful Buddhist restaurant that is nearly Vegan, but again, do ask about egg or dairy in items. **I recommend: The Lemon “Duck” it is in a VERY sweet lemon sauce so please be warned if you aren’t a fan of super sweet food. I find it devine though, and the crispy bean curd “duck” is simply amazing!
Loving Hut – 546 West Broadway. I adore this place because it is smack in between my work and my school, right on a major transit hub (Broadway & Cambie.) They have traditional American food like pizza (with Daiya cheese,) caesar salad, soups, wraps, nachos and the like. **I recommen: The Loving Hut Pizza; it’s got a heavenly garlic sauce and is creamy, cheesy and just a flavour sensation!
Budgies Burritos – 44 Kingsway (Kingsway & Main.) 100% Vegetarian burritos to go, or to stay if you really want. These are typical, Amercian style burritos, with Yves Ground Round, or various types of beans, veggies, and instead of cheese (which is only available as dairy) they can substitute extra avocado for no extra charge. **I recommend: The Poser on whole wheat, with black beans and fresh salsa, done Vegan. Can’t go wrong.
Organic Lives – 1829 Quebec Street. 100% Raw, Vegan place with a somewhat limited menu and hefty prices, but delicious and unique. **I recommend: The Caesar Salad with raw croutons.
All India Sweets – 6507 Main St. This place has traditional Indian food with a $9.95 vegetarian all you can eat buffet every day until 10pm which has a fair bit of Vegan options. They also have samosas, tikkis, and weird little curried things that are grab-and-go for $.75 **I recommend: The Buffet, it’s cheap, and the curries are all delicious (though one looks like tofu, but is actually cheese!)
Banditas Tacqueria – 2781 Commercial Drive. Absolutely fabulous Vegan food! I wouldn’t say that it is Mexican at all rather it is based upon Mexican and they have used the idea to create a terrific, unique menu. They use Daiya cheese and can make basically everything Vegan upon request. **I recommend: The Taco Salad done Vegan. The lime dressing tastes so fresh that I have a theory that they make it fresh for every order.
Cafe Deux Soleils – 2096 Commercial Dr. Great vegetarian late night spot for a beer with friends, or to catch some local music or maybe even a poetry slam? Not much for Vegan options though… **I recommend: The Tofu Scramble, it’s the best on I’ve found so far in town! Seriously, delicious.
Sejuiced – 1958 W4th. This place is a rad little juice bar, with soups, salads, sandwiches and little dessert treats as well. I’m somewhat confident that they are just about Vegan except for honey, and maybe something else that isn’t coming to my mind right now. Suffice it to say, they are chock full of Vegan yummyness! I recommend: The veggie sandwich. It sounds so boring and plain, and it is in the best way! It is a simple, perfectly made sandwich.
Gorilla Foods – #101 – 436 Richards St. If raw food is new to you, Gorilla will ease you in with foods you’re used to but happen to be completely raw. Menu includes devine smoothies, raw pizza, raw fudge, raw soups, raw falafal. Everything is 100% raw and Vegan, and shall I add, made with love <3 **I recommend: Thai Collard Fresh Wraps; I can’t recommend these highly enough in fact! They are absolutely heavenly and come with a beautifully spiced chutney.
Sweet Cherubim – 1105 Commercial Dr. They have Indian food and some American food, but after half a dozen rotten salads, 2 or 3 rotten somosas, and a rancid bowl of stew, I have abandoned their food possibly forever. However, their desserts are to die for, and have (so far) never steered my wrong. **I recommend: The Bliss Ball. Anyone in East Van will tell you that you haven’t lived until you’ve tried them!
The Cafe @ Eternal Abundance – 1025 Commercial Dr. This is a tiny, all Vegan and Organic, half raw, half cooked cafe with soups, raw zughetti, a raw burrito, raw burger, salad, etc. **I recommend: The Gazpacho, but you can only get it during the summer months. It is totally raw, mostly local, and 100% delicious!
Deserts – 905 Commercial Dr. They are totally vegetarian, and have a great Vegan selection. It’s quick, cheap food on the drive, and you’ll enjoy your meal, so I recommend it when you’re in a hurray. **I recommend: The Vegan Falafal, it’s soooo good!
Hon’s Wonton House – 1339 Robson St. This is a huge restaurant with two completely seperate kitchens, one with meat and one that is completely vegetarian. I love the food here, and there’s a terrific variety of veggie chinese food. **I recommend: The Bean Curd Skin Rolls in Black Bean Sauce, always a hit.
The NAAM – 2724 W 4th. I’m fairly confident that this is the oldest vegetarian restaurant in Vancouver. There is nearly always a line up out the door, and they are open 24 hours. The service is iffy, but the food is always good; not a ton of Vegan options, but they do used Daiya! **I recommend: The Thai Noodles. It’s sort of their take on Pad Thai.
Karmavore Vegan Shop – 468 East Columbia St. Karmavore is an absolute must visit for Vancouverites. They have a marvelous selection of Vegan meats, treats, books, shoes & boots, Vegan condoms (that’s right,) clothing and so much more; all 100% Vegan!!! **I recommend the invaluable Vegan Bodybuilding book by everybody’s favorite Vegan bodybuilder Robert Cheeke.
This is by no means a complete list of veggie friendly places to eat in our fine city. I strongly encourage you to check out happycow for the full list. You can also email mevegan.com at email@example.com for personal advice, recipes, feedback, or maybe a home delivered batch of Chocolate Cupcakes with Blueberry Buttercream Icing!