In case you haven’t noticed, being active and eating healthy is a big thing to in Vancouver, especially in the summer. Even as a die-hard foodie, I will admit that I attempt to make healthier choices like running (to the ice cream shop), stretching (before eating), and healthy choices (see below) during the summer season.
When we talk about vegetarian restaurants, there is often a stigma about what they are and what they are not. We think they serve raw food. We think everything is bland. We think we’re getting a pile of steamed vegetables that we could make at home if we had the patience for meticulous peeling and chopping. Yet, as I become more acquainted with Vancouver’s food scene, I’ve found that the places to eat in Vancouver have embraced the abundance of local produce and have seamlessly included creative and delicious vegetarian options as staples on their menu.
This being said, I understand. I too, love bacon. Porchetta is one of my most favourite things.
So, I know your grief – when you look at a menu, nothing can quell your carnivorous hankerings other than meat, no matter how good the veggie options may sound. But, if you ever feel like living on the edge and appreciating what the good earth hath grown, here are 5 vegetarian items to eat in Vancouver that I’ve found to be worth the while:
1) Famous Beet Fries from Le Tigre
Goodbye carbs. Hello beets. If you can track down this bustling yellow truck, these nuggets of earthly goodness are fried on the spot! They’re surprisingly flavourful, especially with the Asian-inspired Togarashi Mayo! Plus, if you’re a Food Network fan girl like me, it’s always fun to say hi to owner, Clement Chan (from Top Chef Canada Season 3) and his crew of “Thundercats!”
Hint: If you book our World’s Best Food Truck tour for a Thursday, Le Tigre might just be one of our stops! I can’t quite promise, but Thursday is certainly your best bet!
2) Butternut Squash Ravioli from Duso’s at the Granville Island Public Market
Butternut Squash Ravioli might be a vegetarian’s most compelling argument. The ravioli at Duso’s is made fresh each day and jam-packed with a smooth butternut squash filling. Most recently, I bought a cup to-go and ate it cold, but it is doubly-divine when it’s hot.
3) Veggie Sandwich from Hubbub Sandwich Bliss
If you’ve been on our Guilty Pleasures Gourmet Food tour, you might remember the spicy, slow-roasted Pulled Pork Sandwich from Hubbub Sandwich Bliss. It’s their best item and you can trust me on that – one night, the VFT team sat down and tried every item on the menu at Hubbub just to make sure. But, what surprised us was that the Veggie Sandwich (red peppers, eggplant and zucchini baked with a chili-lime marinade) came in at a very close second! The hearty flavours all come together in the crusty baguette. It’s one of those sandwiches that just hits the spot on a cold and rainy evening.
4) Main St. Monkey Sandwich from Gorilla Food
If we’re being honest, this is more for wow factor than taste factor. I just wanted to show you one of my especially committed days when I fit this whole plate of veggies in my belly. Did I eat a demi-loaf of Terra Bread a few hours later? Maybe. But that’s besides the point. This is Curry Squash “Bread” with olive tapenade, avocado, zucchini, hummus, tomatoes, cucumbers and sprouts! It was just as much of a mouthful to eat as it was to describe. For any vegans and raw food lovers in downtown core, there’s a whole menu of goodness to be found at this underground (literally – you might miss it) joint!
5) Avocado Fries from Heirloom Restaurant
MMMMM….as if I needed another excuse to eat avocados! Heirloom is well-known for their avocado fries and trendy dining room, but I’ve actually been successful at making these at home! The key is to cut the avocado into generous, chunky wedges. I found the the seasoning at Heirloom to be quite light, so I opt to double-bread the avocado (toss in egg, toss in flour…twice) and am always pleased with the result!
Hey, I didn’t exactly promise that we’d be slimming down this summer. But, we all have to eat our veggies and you might as well eat ’em the way you like! I’d love to hear your recommendations on the topic – leave us a comment below!