Interested in a weekend getaway to Vancouver? Why not make it a vegan foodie adventure?
While Vancouver’s diverse dining scene definitely has something for everyone, the vegan and vegetarian options are off the hook these days. With new plant-forward restaurants and menus popping up all over town, it can be tricky to decide where to go, especially during a short visit. Thankfully, we’ve taken the guesswork out of it for you. Read on for our top ten picks of some of the best vegan (and vegan-friendly) restaurants in Vancouver!
Nightshade is a fully-vegan restaurant that opened earlier this year. Located in the heart of Yaletown, this farm-to-table establishment focuses on local and seasonal ingredients for an elevated culinary experience. The pakora and the Blue Heron cheese plate are both lovely appetizer options. We tried the Agnolotti which is not currently on the menu but can confirm that their stuffed pasta is certainly something to write home about (try the Cappelletti instead). Be sure to save room for dessert as well, because the crème brulée with lavender custard is not to be missed either.
Nightshade is a great option for a weekend brunch or a sophisticated date night out on the town. This is also the perfect place to stop in for a skillfully crafted cocktail or mocktail in a romantic atmosphere.
Having opened up over the summer, Folke may be the new kid on the block in Kitsilano, but it has quickly gained a reputation as one of Vancouver’s most innovative vegan restaurants. In terms of creativity and presentation, the whole-food plant-based dishes at Folke are nothing short of mind-blowing. Their rotating seasonal menu features a variety of fantastic options, each designed to be shared. The chefs are truly passionate about their work, taking the time to carefully explain the ingredients in each dish to every table. We loved the zucchini dish, the corn, and their tequila cocktail (think cherry margarita made with Amaretto), but would suggest trying the tasting menu to get the full Folke dinner experience. Reservations are recommended.
Mount Pleasant is where it’s at for delicious food and drinks, and the competition is fierce all the way down Main street! Serving up traditional-style Neapolitan pizza with a vegan twist for the last two years, Pizzeria Grano is up for the challenge. We love the Caesar Salad and Capricciosa Pizza, made with seasoned Beyond meat crumble, artichokes, mushrooms, olives, basil, and their legendary in-house cashew mozzarella. They also feature wonderful local brands such as Plant Base (try the bacon crumble) and Dolce Amore gelato (you need the Peanut Butter Paesano in your life) for dessert. You’ll be sure to enjoy their fun cocktail options, such as a Spritz made with limoncello or a bellini made with peach basil kombucha.
Wild Thing Snack Bar
Yet another fantastic locally owned restaurant popped up in East Van over the summer. Wild Thing Snack Bar is a vegetarian restaurant with plenty of great vegan options. We love the vegan cheese plate featuring a spread of Blue Heron cheeses, apple-based vegan honey, pickled asparagus, and dried fruit. Each night, they also serve a limited selection of their (not-so) secret menu item: the vegan Big Mac! This is a must-try if you are lucky enough to get your hands on one. Due to a commitment to using fresh local ingredients, their menu is constantly changing, so keep an eye on their social media for what’s new. Wild Thing Snack Bar also prides themselves on having a gorgeous wine selection.
This is an intimate space with limited seating, so reservations are highly recommended. They are open Thursday to Sunday evening and on weekends for brunch.
Now I know what some of you may be thinking, Craffles is not a vegan restaurant. But hear us out! Their brand new vegan menu is so amazing we just had to include them. This is a trendy all-day brunch spot in Yaletown that serves craffles: the perfect mix between waffles and crepes. They offer a variety of sweet and savory options, including the highly recommended Chicken and Craffle—made with Beyond Chicken tenders. If you’re feeling really cheeky or need a sweet pick-me-up, try the Craffles and S’mores or a monster shake (complete with vegan vanilla ice cream, an ice cream sandwich, Dandies marshmallows, coconut whipped cream, and chocolate syrup).
You didn’t think we’d forget about MeeT, did you? We know that the vegans of Victoria are already excited about MeeT’s upcoming location on Hillside (opening this fall). MeeT has reigned supreme as one of the most popular vegan establishments in Vancouver for a reason, they do pub grub right. We love their funky light fixtures and colorful artwork, but the Mighty Mac (mac and “cheeze” burger) and the Crispy “Kalamari” Caesar Salad made with oyster mushrooms and topped with tzatziki) are the real reasons we keep coming back.
MILA is a well-known vegan restaurant in Chinatown. They offer up delicious sushi rolls such as the Lemongrass Futomaki (made with soy curls) or the Ocean Roll made with watermelon akami tuna. We enjoyed the Strawberry Fields cocktail, which is kind of like a strawberry-flavored Aperol Spritz. Beyond sushi and cocktails, their eclectic menu has a variety of other options such as “fish” tacos made with celeriac, a smash burger, and even fattoush salad. MILA is open for brunch on weekends as well, mimosas and all.
Ogenki Sushi is yet another fabulous Mount Pleasant spot with a vegan menu, operating alongside their regular sushi restaurant. We absolutely adore their friendly service and creative take on seafood such as their vegan crab meat. Although vegan sushi is often limited to yam tempura, Ogenki Sushi takes it to the next level. Try the vegan crab nigiri or the mango avocado oshi and you won’t be disappointed. If you’re looking to go all out, the Vegan Tray B is the way to go. This platter features 43 delicious pieces including the vegan Crab Oshi, Yellow Dragon Roll, Summer Roll, Ogenki Roll, California Roll, and Dynamite Roll.
Vegan Pizza House
By now you are likely exhausted from galavanting all around town. If so, this budget-friendly hidden gem is the perfect takeout or delivery option for you. Vegan Pizza House has been open since 2011. While they may be modest in size with limited seating, that doesn’t stop them from cooking up some legendary Greek and Italian-inspired dishes. Although the word pizza is right in the restaurant name (we do love the “All Dress” because we say yes to pineapple on pizza), you need to try their amazing Souvlaki Platter, the Spanakopita Platter, and the vegan Chicken Donair Pita as well.
Veg Out (Food Truck)
This next option is a little trickier to track down as they are a food truck always on the go. It is, however, worth it to find them and meet them where they’re stationed for the day. We love their soy-based buffalo “wings” (Happy Veggie World), as well as their seitan-based Crispy Chick’n burger and the poutine. The real crown jewel of the menu is the Veganator. We must warn you, this burger is not for the faint of heart. This is a gigantic Beyond meat patty and housemade Chick’n burger in one bun, with Chao cheese, Veg Out sauce, onion, and Happy Veggie World bacon. Yes, please!
We must say that beyond this list, there are so many other fantastic local vegan-friendly restaurants to try (we only had so much space in one article!). The places listed here are just a snapshot of what’s available and should get you started on the right track to your vegan adventure in Vancouver. We hope that this list inspires you to go out and explore YVR’s foodie scene for all it has to offer.