Meatless Monday is a great excuse to grab a tasty meal at one of these five great vegan friendly restaurants in Vancouver.
The vision for Meatless Monday is more than reducing people’s meat consumption: it advocates for sustainable food production practices that lessen our environmental footprint. These restaurants go above and beyond to support environmentally friendly food production and are creating a new way of dining in Vancouver that values quality meals that are thoughtfully sourced and environmentally sustainable.
The Parker (vegetarian / vegan)
Chef Curtis Luk serves beautiful vegetarian and vegan cuisine from the small restaurant on Union Street near Main. The atmosphere is warm and simplistic, and it is the perfect spot for a date night or catching up with a good friend. The tapas style menu changes seasonally, depending on what produce is available locally, and the dishes are always innovative. This restaurant takes vegan dining to another level – and is sure to impress even meat eaters. Not only does The Parker support local farms and have to die for food, they are committed to restaurant waste reduction and have set a truly remarkable example to other restaurants with their less than one pound of waste per month.
They have an impressive wine list and an astute bartender. See more about The Parker’s chef, Curtis Luk, here.
Dishes to try: degustation menu – a five course meal selected by the chef.
Burdock and Co (vegetarian / vegan friendly)
Chef Andrea Carlson serves up vegetable-focused fare from Vancouver farms and urban gardens. The menu changes seasonally with the availability of different produce and there are always vegan items. The atmosphere is welcoming with whitewashed brick and wood accents. Get to know other Vancouverites by sitting at the communal table or grab a seat at the bar to watch the kitchen in action.
Dish to try: caramelized sunchoke terrine, nasturtium salad, pistachio, gala apple vinaigrette
Harvest Community Foods (vegetarian / vegan friendly)
Located a few doors down from The Parker, Harvest Community Foods is a vegan friendly restaurant that is the best place in town to eat noodles. Their vegetables are straight from the farm and the vegan broth is homemade (and definitely without MSG). On a sunny day, it’s perfect to grab the table outside and sip on your soup while people watching. While you’re there, check out the local artisan goods they stock or inquire about their Community Supported Agriculture program.
Dish to try: udon with shiso, greens, tofu and shiitake (pictured below).
Bao Bei (vegetarian / vegan friendly)
Found in Vancouver’s historic Chinatown is one of the best restaurants in Canada – Bao Bei. The Chinese brasserie serves up tapas style dishes and many of them are vegan or vegetarian. Bao Bei sources local ingredients where possible and supports sustainable food practices. Tell your server you’re vegan and they might be able to modify other dishes to meet your needs.
Dishes to try: fresh made vegetable potstickers and sichuan cucumbers
SMAK Fast Food (vegetarian / vegan friendly)
SMAK serves gluten-free and vegan friendly breakfasts and lunches in the financial district in Downtown Vancouver. On the menu you can find everything from smoothies and juices to salads and curry. They’ve cornered a niche market in this location by serving business people quick and healthy meal options while minimizing the amount of waste that is generated from fast food outlets – all their items are served with compostable containers and cutlery that can be composted on site. SMAK is striving to be a zero waste restaurant.
Dishes to try: downtown dahl, a lentil curry with asian slaw served over rice or quinoa, and the vegan hot chocolate made with raw cacao (pictured below).
Honourable mention (they’re not open on Mondays):
The Acorn (vegetarian / vegan / raw)
The Acorn just recently won one of Canada’s Best New Restaurants of 2013 by Air Canada’s EnRoute Magazine, and it is a must-try. Chef Brian Skinner sources his produce locally and always has a ‘harvest’ special that regularly changes depending on what vegetables are in season.
Dishes to try: leek and sunflower seed pate, watercress emulsion, pickled pearl onions and smoke served with homemade taro chips; the daily harvest.
Farmers Apprentice (vegetarian / vegan friendly)
Chef David Gunawan at The Farmers Apprentice on south Granville receives deliveries in the morning from local farms and prepares original menus for that day’s service. Reservations are recommended.