Best Vegetarian Restaurants in Vancouver
Vancouver is an extremely health conscious city, with a strong workout and yoga culture, environmentally friendly values and a plethora of plant based locals. The city chefs and entrepreneurs have certainly started to take notice (can I get an amen!?) Vegetarian restaurants have popped up all over Vancouver in the last few years! Other restaurants are following suit by adding more and more plant based options to their menus. I have been pescatarian for a few years, and slowly began eliminating fish and dairy products from my diet. I’ve rounded up the best vegetarian restaurants in Vancouver for ya. Grab a fork and let’s do this. . .
Heirloom has made a name for itself as one of the go-to dinner spots for vegetarians and carnivores alike. The space itself is bright and trendy, and the menu boasts a variety of vegetarian takes on the classics. Large salads, stone bowls, and comfort foods like the “not butter chicken” (SO GOOD!!) make up the diverse menu. There are also a plethora of fresh juices and vegan wines. I haven’t been for brunch yet but I’ve heard nothing but good things!
Must try appetizer: KFC – Korean Fried Cauliflower *drools on computer*
Chickpea recently made the switch from vegetarian to full vegan, eliminating eggs from their menu. I think this showcases how rapidly our food choices are changing and how a few people can make a big difference through supply and demand. Chickpea has a fixed restaurant on Main street, and a food cart that usually resides on W Cordova St between Burrard and Howe.
Order the chickpea fries with one of their many main courses (Recommendations: Falafel salad or the Hatzil Baladi platter in you like eggplant like me!)
Buddha-full prides itself on sourcing out local, organic, fresh ingredients and believes in transparency when it comes to serving their customers. Built around a desire for connection and community, Buddha-full filled a large void in the market. So many people are just looking for good, wholesome food they don’t have to make at home. Everything is vegan (and delicious!!)
I love visiting buddha-full in North Vancouver on weekends (great after a hike up Quarry Rock!) for an acai bowl and tumeric latte. They also have incredible wraps and nourishing bowls that will keep you going all day.
The Wallflower Diner for Brunch
The Wallflower Diner is a Mount Pleasant favorite. The menu has meat, vegetarian and vegan options, so it’s a great spot if you’re with a group or nursing a hangover with friends. For brunch, I love the green curry hash, polenta omelettes and if I’m feelin’ dirty, the vegan breakfast poutine. It opens at 9:00am, so get there early as it can fill up quickly on weekends!
Tip: After breakfast, head to the new Blue Heron Plant Based Cheese Shop a few doors down to stock up on some “cheese”. If you’re in the shopping mood, there is a great thrift store across the street and a few doors up called F as in Frank)
Ko Pang Chinese Restaurant
I discovered this place on Kingsway after working in South Burnaby for 5 years and driving past it on numerous occasions. When I became vegetarian, one of the toughest things to give up was dim sum and Chinese food. I LOVED the dumplings and sticky rice wrapped in banana leaves. I was also very hesitant to order Chinese food even if it was “vegetarian” because I just didn’t trust that it was actually vegetarian (ie. made with beef or chicken stock etc).
This discovery rocked my world. Go between 10:30am-2pm for dim sum or head there for dinner for a Chinese food feast. They utilize meaty vegetables like eggplant and mushrooms, and incorporate tofu, tempeh and bean curd into the other dishes for a vegetarian take on the classics.
Can you really do a post on the best vegetarian restaurants Vancouver without including The Naam?! Open in 1968, this place was a pioneer for vegetarian food in Vancouver. It’s open 24 hours a day (It’s only closed once a year on Christmas!!). They have stayed true to their roots and focus on quality food that will have you leaving full and satisfied.
Set in a cozy house in Kitsilano, the vibe reminds me of the quaint places in Thailand and Bali that serve up fresh raw ingredients. Go for dinner, stay for the desserts and live music.
The Acorn opened a few years ago, and they have already been voted #1 Best Vegetarian and Vegan restaurant by Westender Magazine AND Vancouver magazine. Even more impressive, Scout Magazine also included them in the list of 25 Best Restaurants in Vancouver (veggie or not!).
Needless to say, this place is worth the visit even if you aren’t living that plant based life. What I love about Acorn is that you still get the high end, beautifully presented dishes with a variety of flavour profiles, without the meat. This type of dining is normally reserved for upscale restaurants that focus on meat-based items like patés and carpaccio, therefore alienating vegetarians from the experience. I love the creativity and thoughtfulness of the dishes at the Acorn.
Great date night spot! You can bar hop along Main St after for a few aprés dinner cocktails!
Meet (two locations: Meet on Main and Meet Gastown)
I love the cheeky name of these vegan restaurants! It really says a lot that vegetarian and vegan restaurants in Vancouver are thriving in such a way that multiple locations are popping up. Virtuous Pie is opening another spot at UBC, The Acorn opened a sister restaurant called The Arbor a few doors down, Plant Based Cheese shops are opening, Vegan Supply Co supermarket opened it’s doors, Spud delivery is thriving. The list goes on! Chicka, Chicka, yaaaaaa (fake ID, fake ID..bonus points for those that get this reference).
Tip: I love the poutine, thai dishes and the burgers at Meet!
First we work out, then we eat the foods. This is a great spot to spend a Sunday morning. Turf is located in a workout studio, and is a one stop shop! The owners describe Turf as “the foundation of all the things they love: healthy food, thoughtful apparel, a conscious sweat, the best coffee and building community.” This is such a smart and creative idea, and perfect for Vancouver as so many people value the pillars of their mission statement.
The mushroom ricotta toast will make even the macho-ist men utter “I just can’t even.”
Virtuous Pie Pizza
Who doesn’t love pizza?! Honestly. It’s the ultimate food. Add a side of hot sauce and your worries disappear faster than the vegan red wine that accompanies them. You don’t have to be vegan or vegetarian to enjoy it either. A ton of my non-veg friends prefer it to other meat heavy alternatives. A big meal here doesn’t leave you feeling regretful, bloated or like you need to go run 10km.
Tip: Stranger Wings is the cult favorite (order with all the dipping sauces!!). I’m a sucker for mushrooms so I love the Superfunghi too!
I loveeeeee me some Mexican food. While it’s very easy to do Mexican food as a vegetarian, it gets tricky as a vegan. When you think of enchiladas and quesadillas, you just cant really picture it without cheese oozing out the sides. Enter Lucha Verde. Go for happy hour and grab a few margaritas, the jackfruit nachos and a few different tacos. Walk it off exploring the wonders of Davie Street.