Category Archives: Lists

Vancouver’s Best Veggie Burgers

Lentil Burger at Splitz Grill in Vancouver
Splitz Grill lentil burger. Photo by SweetOnVeg

Splitz Grill – Main and 26th
Splitz is a burger bar reminiscent of a Subway – you choose your patty and then choose your premium (with a cost) additions or your regular ingredients. Their spicy lentil patty is fantastic and makes for a huge burger – you probably shouldn’t order fries, as I have never even finished the burger itself, no matter how hungry I am. For spreads, you are not just restricted to mustard – they have babaganoush and hummus for us vegans. Add onions, mushrooms, and an array of veg, plus other sauces, for one of the most satisfying, massive veggie burgers in town.

Sweet Cherubim – Commercial and Napier
Sweet C’s is an Indian vegetarian place. They serve some cheese, but other than that are completely vegan. And their veggie burger is the best one in town, in my opinion. It takes about 15 minutes for them to make it for you, but trust me, it’s worth it. Have it with avocado and their exceptional tofu-dill cream dressing. It’s a patty chock-full of veg and spice.

Roundel Cafe – Hastings and Nanaimo
The Roundel Cafe has only two vegan options – a tofu scramble and a veggie burger. Both use essentially the same flavour palate, teriyaki and black sesame with tofu. Both are exceptional. Order their veggie burger with avocado instead of mayo and cheese, and delight in its texture and flavour. This burger is mostly tofu and veg, with a unique flavour.

Fine Vegan Dining in Vancouver: Where to Take a Date

There are plenty of vegan-friendly spots in Vancouver, but most of them are on the casual, “funky” side. Sometimes, you want a fancy meal – maybe it’s your anniversary, or you want to impress your parents. Kaylie and I are asked fairly often where a vegan can take a date for a good meal and a decent drink. We promise that all of the following restaurants won’t play obnoxiously loud hip-hop, have terrible service, or smell like nag champa.

The price points noted below are for, approximately, a complete meal including a shared appetizer and dessert, and one entree each, plus a bottle of wine or some cocktails and tip.

Radha – Main at Union – $80

Note: RADHA IS CLOSED for the time being. Visit their website for updates.
Radha has a seasonally changing menu as well as a menu of constants. They have a raw special every day and always have a raw dessert as well as two non-raw dessert options. Their menu is primarily made up of organic, seasonal vegetables. Every dish is delicious, creative, and beautifully presented, and the beautiful brick-and-hardwood space has a gorgeous view of the city from its Main Street facing windows. For a set price, you can mix and match one appetizer, one entree, and one dessert. They also have a great organic, vegan wine list, as well as kombucha and some other fancy mixed non-alcoholic beverages. On Fridays and Saturdays expect chilled out live entertainment.
The catch? It’s only open 6 – 10pm, Wednesday through Sunday.

Grub – Main at 28th – $80

This incredible concept restaurant is a tiny hole in the wall with a patio. They have a decent drinks list and one of their selling features is three different types of Pimm’s punch. The thing that makes Grub so special, however, is that they offer one appetizer, entree, and dessert daily from each of a number of categories – seafood, chicken, beef, vegetarian, and vegan, for example. So if you visit Grub, you will only have one choice, but it’ll be creative and beautifully presented. You won’t have the same thing twice there, plus your dining companions can choose to eat non-vegan if they’d like to.

Nuba – Cambie and Hastings, or at The Waldorf Hotel, McLean and Hastings – $50+

Easily the least expensive establishment on the list. Nuba has multiple locations but it is their Hastings Street restaurants that are best for a date. Service is impeccable and non-intrusive, and the menu is very vegan friendly. The food is Lebanese-style. For a date, I’d recommend getting mezze platters of three of the vegan options and sharing – there’s something about sharing food that facilitates conversation and connection. Their drink list isn’t cheap but is very creative. The baklava here is loaded with butter, but they do occasionally have vegan desserts, as far as I know.

Wild Rice – Pender at Abbott – $60+

Wild Rice has quite a few vegan options, and while their menu changes every so often, they have a commitment to a dairy-free kitchen, so their vegetarian options are always vegan – they’re clearly marked. They also serve fish and chicken. They provide for tofu substitutions on some chicken dishes. This place is pretty hip and has a drink list to match; it’s also a bit more upscale than the other restaurants on this list, as far as clientele goes.

Vij’s – West 11th Avenue at Granville – $100+

Vij’s is an upscale Indian restaurant that is called the best Indian food in Vancouver by anyone who’s eaten there. There are several vegan items on the menu, and the staff is extraordinarily knowledgeable about vegan options. Most of the amuse bouche items that are passed around to waiting patrons are vegan as well – which is a good thing, because Vij’s doesn’t take reservations, and arriving any time after their 5:30pm opening time guarantees a wait of up to a few hours. Trust us – it’s worth it. The food is carefully, beautifully prepared. Each dish is a work of art with years of expertise behind it. If you want to save a little bit of money and time by sacrificing a bit of quality, visit Vij’s Rangoli next door.


Photo from Nuba at The Waldorf Hotel

What Kind of Tofu Do I Buy?

When I first made the switch to veganism, I hated tofu. It was a flavourless, jellylike mass with all the bad and none of the good qualities of desserts served at daycares. And for a vegan, not liking tofu can be a serious problem. Over time, as I learned about the different types of tofu available, I learned to love it. So, if you’re new to tofu, if you’re cooking for a tofu-eater, or if you’re trying to learn to love tofu, you might find this guide useful.


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Where to Get the Best Vegan Nachos in Vancouver, BC

loving hut nachos
Pictured: Loving Hut nachos

The definitive list of places to get vegan nachos in beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia.

Perch – Powell St at Commercial Drive
Served atop a bed of homous and covered in toppings and Daiya, these nachos are probably my favourite in the city. They’re served with salsa and the homous makes even the last few chips, after you’ve eaten all the cheese, delicious and not worth wasting. This tower of nachos is not cheap, however; it’ll cost you $14 (HST included) for this feast, but it will fill you and two friends up.

The Naam – West Fourth Ave at MacDonald St
The Naam will always be well-attended, but it’s not because their nachos are amazing. First of all, I don’t like the chips – they’re similar to the really cheap, flavourless ones that my thrifty parents always buy. Secondly, these nachos are piled high but not layered, so after you eat the top layer you have a bunch of dry, boring chips. Skip them and order sesame fries with miso gravy for your appetizer instead.

Bandidas Taqueria – Commercial Drive at East 12th Avenue
Also not cheap, but fairly massive, Bandidas were my favourite nachos in town before Perch came along. Bandidas is the only place where you can get three different types of nachos. Their vegan sour cream is delicious, and the savoury crumbled tofu they use on one of their nacho incarnations is great too. It fools omnivores who think it is some sort of ground meat, though we vegans know it’s far, far tastier.
Note: I’ve ordered nachos at Bandidas three times and each time they came out non-vegan before we sent them back and got vegan ones made. I don’t know if they’ve corrected this communication issue because I haven’t gotten nachos there in about a year, but it’s something to watch out for.

Loving Hut – West Broadway just west of Cambie
LOVING HUT IS CLOSED :(
These nachos, pictured above in size small, have potential – they include the classic vegan nacho flavours of sundried tomatoes and come with a vegan sour cream, guacamole, and salsa. The sour cream is more like a mayo spread – it doesn’t have the lightness of sour cream – and there wasn’t nearly enough guac when I ordered them, nor enough cheese, but they are okay.

A Vegan Traveler’s Guide to Victoria, BC

cardboard cutouts
It’s kind of pretty there.

Victoria! It’s only a quick ferry ride over an island-dotted strait from Vancouver, and yet it feels like an oasis far away from home… I love Victoria and even used to live there, which I’d do again if only there were jobs… and people who lived there all year. Anyway, Victoria’s a pretty vegan-friendly city, even if it’s tiny. The people who choose to live in Victoria do so for a reason – often because they love the slow pace and liberal politics of the province’s capitol.

It’s also a beautiful town, and you can ferry directly from downtown Vic to downtown Seattle, or to Port Angeles. It’s a bit more of a pain to get to Victoria from Vancouver, but it’s doable on either a bicycle or on public transit. Look it up online or ask me. I love helping. It makes me feel smart. Continue reading

Tofu Scrambles and Vegan Breakfasts and Brunches in Vancouver, BC

breakfast 3

Just in time for you to make a weekend brunch date..
This is the hopefully definitive list of tofu scrambles available in Vancouver, BC. If you know of any that we haven’t included, please let us know and we’ll sample them and add them to the list as soon as possible.

West Side

Kitsilano

The Naam – West 4th Ave and MacDonald
The Naam offers a tofu scramble as well as Daiya and some other delicious breakfast options like a tempeh benny-type thing with miso gravy. You can sub tofu in most of the breakfast foods, but beware that your food will probably have been baked beside something with cheese. They also forget to bring tofu instead of eggs every once in a while, too. It is a flavourful tofu scram, which is nice.

Sophie’s Cosmic Cafe – West 4th and Arbutus
Sophie’s is a long-line type of breakfast diner that offers a tofu scramble. I haven’t had it, but I did sub tofu in the huevos rancheros, which I wouldn’t suggest. It was another case of floppy, medium-firm, unflavoured tofu covered in a sauce that was originally designed to go with more flavourful non-vegan foods.

Sejuiced – West 4th and Cypress
I have never managed to make it to Sejuiced early enough to eat their tofu scramble. They stop serving it at 11am or so and I live across town… but I’ve heard good things and everything else I’ve eaten at this little vegetarian place has been fantastic.

Cafe Zen – Yew St and York Ave
Passable tofu scramble in a cute diner-style restaurant that’s very popular for brunch. They offer bottomless coffee and tonnes of different brunch options for omnis and vegetarians as well.

East Side

Roundel Cafe – East Hastings St and Nanaimo St
This is definitely one of the best tofu scrambles in the city and it’s a great place to bring your omnivorous friends too – they have a breakfast special every morning and they’re always very creative. This place is awesome. Their tofu scramble is to die for. They also have a veggie burger that’s simply perfect.

Perch – Powell St and Commercial Drive
Perch offers an all-day flavourful baked tofu scramble with mushrooms, tomatoes, and spinach, topped with Daiya, invented by Vegan Mischief’s very own Kaylie (who works there). They also do an all-vegan brunch menu on Saturdays. Note: not open Sundays (yet).

Commercial Drive

Cafe Deux Soleils – Commercial Drive and East 5th Avenue
This is one of my favourite tofu scrams in the city. It’s a great hangover breakfast. It’s a teriyaki-flavoured scramble with big chunks of medium-firm tofu, peppers, zucchini, and mushrooms, served with delicious potatoes. They also include toast but the bread isn’t vegan and they will butter it unless asked not to. Get French bread instead if you want toast. Their veggie sausage is delicious, too.

Cafe Du Soleil – Commercial Drive and Kitchener St
This is not the same place as the other Cafe! It’s much smaller and posher. Their tofu scramble is delicious, full of veg, and served with great potatoes and English muffin. When I went there they knew not to butter the English muffin, but you might want to mention that just in case.

Sweet Cherubim – Commercial Drive and Napier St
This vegetarian restaurant does have a tofu scramble but I’ve never ordered it because there are so many other delicious things on the menu. Their veggie burger is one of the best I’ve ever had.

Bandidas Taqueria – Commercial Drive and East 12th Avenue
Bandidas is a Mexican-inspired vegetarian restaurant that can sub tofu (and butternut squash – a delicious mix) for eggs in most of their breakfast dishes. You can have a vegan benny – but it’s not a traditional benny. Corn muffins, salsa, red cabbage, and guacamole are staples at Bandidas. It’s a great breakfast joint, though, with bottomless coffee.

Theresa’s – Commercial Drive and Charles St
This little co-operatively owned and run joint on the Drive has mix and match breakfasts and a fun atmosphere. Unfortunately their tofu scramble resembles vomit in texture and appearance, and doesn’t have much flavour. I have found it difficult to finish on occasion, which, if you’ve ever eaten with me, should indicate to you how blah this tofu scram is.

Main Street

Rhizome Cafe – East Broadway and Scotia St
Rhizome is a queer- and family-friendly space that serves some truly delicious and ethical food. They are not a vegetarian restaurant but do have vegan and veg options. I love to support this little community cafe. There are four vegan breakfast options, including pancakes and a breakfast polenta, plus two tofu scrambles.

The Wallflower Modern Diner – Main St and East 8th Avenue
The Wallflower offers two tofu scrambles. One’s a hash and the other is a Mexican-style scramble with corn and black beans.

The Whip – East 6th and Main
I was terribly underwhelmed by this scramble. Tomatoes and mushrooms with unflavoured tofu. Maybe they used salt and pepper? It seems like omnivorous chefs think that vegans eat tofu for the pure unseasoned flavour of it. They did remember to serve our toast unbuttered and it does say “vegan” right on the menu.

Sunny Spot Cafe – Main St and East 10th Avenue
I would not recommend this place for breakfast. Their tofu scram is warm tofu flavoured with soy sauce and the potatoes are cooked on a very meaty grill. They do serve their tofu scram with rice, though, which is pretty cool.

The Foundation – Main St and East 7th Avenue
This isn’t technically breakfast because Foundation doesn’t open until noon, but if you’re a late riser, they have three scrambled (on spinach) tofu dishes on their lunch menu. Choose from pesto, peanut, and sweet (mango) – all delicious, though I’m partial to the p-nut. It’s a decent amount of food for a good price, too. If you are not a bee-gan, make sure to ask whether they use honey in their sauces, though I’m pretty sure the pesto scram at least is honey-free.

Downtown

Templeton Diner – Granville St and Helmcken St
This fifties diner is pretty much the only place to get a vegan breakfast when you’re on the downtown peninsula. Their tofu scramble is passable and they serve Yves veggie bacon if, for some reason, you like that stuff.

Central Bistro – Denman St and Nelson St
Central Bistro offers a pesto tofu scramble. For $11 it’s surprisingly bland. We did get excellent service, however. Watch out – their “West End Hipster Benny” replaces egg with tofu, but the tofu’s crust is held on with egg wash and there’s egg and dairy in the sauce. Not vegan!

Dim Sum

Whole Vegetarian Restaurant (formerly Bo Kong) – Main St and East 14th Avenue
Colloquially referred to as “Faux Kong”, this recently renamed Main Street institution offers vegan breakfast dim sum on weekends.

3G Restaurant – Cambie St and West 18th Avenue
This friendly vegan Chinese restaurant offers weekend dim sum.

Vegan Pizza in Vancouver, BC

vegan pizza from the joint
A “personal”-size vegan pizza from The Joint in Victoria, BC

This here is the definitive list of restaurants that offer vegan-friendly pizza in Vancouver, BC. If you know of any more please let us know in the comments.

Local, Independent Restaurants Serving Vegan Pizza in Vancouver

Vegan Pizza House – Kingsway and Victoria – Eat-in, Take-out, Delivery
VPH offers many of those meaty favourites you remember, but made vegan. We tried their “all dress”, which is a ham, pineapple, and mushroom pizza, as well as the “vegetarian special” – your typical olive and veg pizza. The crust was thick and doughy like I remember pizza being like when I was a kid, and they used a lot of Daiya – but it was great. They charge you extra when you order delivery, so if you’re on a budget, visit their location. We ordered 2 large pizzas and it came to almost $40 before tip.

The Perch – Powell and Commercial – Eat-in or Take-out
The Perch offers a variety of gluten-free pizzas with Daiya. They use the same crust as The Wallflower but with more topping options. You can order a small pizza, which is enough for one hungry or two semi-hungry people, for $9, or a gigantic pizza for $21. They also have tofu ricotta if you want a really bulky cheesy pizza.

The Naam – West 4th and MacDonald – Eat-in; Take-out during non-rush times
The Naam makes “pita pizzas” with Daiya. They have a good variety of toppings and they really pile on the cheese. I’ve had some issues with dairy contamination here; they tend to bake them side by side with dairy pizzas so you might get dairy crust on your pizza.

Rebellious Tomato – North Van or Cambie & 16th – Pick-up, Delivery
Rebellious Tomato offers vegan cheese. They also offer a spelt (not gluten-free) crust. Their pizzas are very thin with only a bit of cheese, but delicious.

The Wallflower Modern Diner – Main & 8th – Eat-in or Take-out
The Wallflower has a pizza night every Tuesday where a 3-topping pizza of your choice with Daiya costs $12. The pizza is served on a gluten-free crust.

Not-so-Local Chain Restaurants Serving Vegan Pizza in Vancouver

Hell Pizza – North Vancouver – Eat-in, Take-out, Delivery
Hell is a New Zealand restaurant chain that made its way to Vancouver. They make a vegan pizza with refried beans that’s like a burrito on a pizza and is totally delicious. They’ve also recently added Daiya to their menu!

Raw Pizza

Gorilla Food – Richards St between Pender and Hastings, downtown – Eat-in or take-out
Three varieties of pizza are offered here. This is a lunch-only restaurant, but a great, healthy, vitality-encouraging place to eat lunch if you’re downtown.

Organic Lives – Quebec St and East 2nd Avenue – Eat-in or take-out
The pizza at this raw vegan restaurant is served with caesar salad. Delicious. Not cheap.

Chains for Cheeseless, “Vegan” Pizza in a Pinch

Uncle Fatih’s – Commercial and Broadway, Broadway and MacDonald, or Denman – Pick-up, Delivery
Uncle F’s is super cheap and they put a lot of toppings on their pizzas. They don’t offer vegan cheese but the potato pizza is delicious without cheese, and they’re open late. They’re a Vancouver pizza company with three locations.

Pizza Hut – Multiple locations – Pick-up, Delivery
My little brother worked for Pizza Hut and apparently they train all their employees in vegan sensitivity. If a cheeseless pizza is ordered they will clean their equipment so it doesn’t even touch cheese. Most of their crusts aren’t vegan but I think one of them is. I’ve never gotten very many toppings, though, so it kind of sucks.

Note: Panago Pizza used to offer vegan pepperoni, but Merissa informed me that the pepperoni they use now contains eggs.

Across the Pond

The Joint Pizzeria – Wharf St and Yates St, Victoria, BC – Eat-in, Take-out, and Delivery
In Victoria, you can get vegan pizza at The Joint on Wharf St, right beside where I get my (vegan!) tattoos (Tattoo Zoo). They have a variety of crusts and cheeses – I think they make their vegan cheese themselves. They also make calzones and have many different vegan meats.

Pizza Pi – Douglas St and Johnson St, Victoria, BC
I haven’t been to this place – I’ve just heard about it! Your reviews are welcome!