Even though Calgary is famous for its beef (it’s not called Cowtown for nothing), the city also has an impressive selection of vegan delicacies to choose from for foodies. So leave your steak knife at home and check out these 14 must-try vegan dishes in Calgary.
1. Melon Poké from The Coup
Say Aloha to this vegan Poké from one of Calgary’s favourite vegetarian/vegan restaurants. This dish incorporates Hawaiian marinated melon and cucumber salad served on chilled brown rice with crushed macadamia nuts, serrano chilies, pickled watermelon rind, fried garlic, dulse flakes, and micro greens in a togarashi citrus flax dressing.
Address: 924, 17th Avenue SW
2. Vegan Chocolate Cupcake from Bliss & Co
Vegan chocolate cake with vegan chocolate icing – simple and delicious. Bills & Co also has a variety of other cupcakes that can be made vegan upon request in advance.
3. Fig Pizza from Earth Cravings
Voted the best gluten free pizza in Calgary, Earth Cravings knows how to make a stellar pie. This za has a gluten free vegetable-based crust with fig sauce topped with caramelized onions, mozzarella cheese, soft goat cheese, and fresh organic greens.
Address: 14555 Symons Valley Parkway NW
4. The Buddha from Cafe Koi
Head to Koi for a quality vegan meal of a coconut curry bowl with mushrooms, broccoli, seasonal vegetables and pan-seared tofu, while enjoying an open mic night as your soundtrack.
Address: 100, 1011 1st Street SW
5. Smoked Tofu from Bento Burrito
The smoked tofu topped with a mango sauce and fresh veggies rivals even the best meaty burrito in the city. This item is extremely filling and satisfying – the perfect lunch on the go between meetings.
6. Arepas from Heaven Artisan
This traditional Venezuelan restaurant may specialize in gluten free dishes, but it also serves up some great vegan options as well. Try the Arepas from this neighbourhood gem and choose from three vegan fillings options: 1) Black beans, guacamole, and romaine 2) Roasted red pepper, tapenade, and arugula, or 3) Tofu, sesame seed, tapenade, and arugula.
Address: 1013, 17th Avenue SW
7. Pad Thai from Hearts Choices
Hearts Choices is a Thai vegan cafe that offers a quality vegan pad thai with rice noodles, bean sprouts, shredded carrots, zucchini, and soybean protein cooked in tangy sweet tamarind sauce.
8. The Aristotle Pizza from Avatara
While Avatara offers a vegan option for all of the pizzas on its menu, the Aristotle is definitely one of the best you can get. Replace regular cheese with with vegan mozzarella and enjoy a winning combination of tomato sauce, spinach, organic sweet peppers, organic red onions, green olives, and housemade bruschetta.
Address: 3406, 3rd Avenue NW
9. Sweet Curry Vegan Burger from Veg-In YYC
Veg-In YYC is all about pure vegan and vegetarian homemade cuisine. This delicious creation is one of many vegan burgers the Veg-In makes oh so well. With a curry patty, masala chickpeas, a layer of crispy slaw, and the cafe’s signature tamarind binding it all together, you may give up traditional burgers altogether.
Address: 215, 6th Avenue SE
10. Dragons Garden Salad from Fork And Salad
This salad is vegan and gluten free and contains baby spinach, shredded kale, spicy quinoa, spicy broccoli, raw beets, carrots, sprouts, basil, roasted sesame tofu, sriracha, and a carrot chili vinaigrette.
Address: 120, 880 16th Avenue SW
11. Mango Pineapple Sorbetto from Fiasco Gelato
Made with mangos from Mumbai, the dairy-free Mango Pineapple sorbetto from Fiasco is a great vegan dessert to grab a pint of.
Address: 221, 19th Street SE
12. The Linguine from Raw Eatery & Market
The Linguine is just as tasty as it is beautiful. It has julienned raw parsnip and carrot in a Brazil nut “mozzarella” and roasted red pepper sauce and it served with chickpea “meatballs.”
Address: 1145 Kensington Crescent NW
13. Vegan Scramble from Blue Star Diner
A mix of maple and coconut curry, diced tofu, sun-dried tomato, basil, bell pepper, red onion, mushroom, avocado, grilled tomato, with a side of fresh berries and your choice of Tres Marias corn tortillas or toast.
Address: 809, 1st Avenue NE
14. Hard Days Night Cookie and Blue Jeans Cookie from Cookie Mama
Cookie Mama proves vegan and gluten free baking can be done very, very well. Hard Days Night is a vanilla cookie with chocolate chunks, while Blue Jeans is a double dark chocolate cookie with chocolate chunks.
Address: 1508, 14th Street SW