Category Archives: Vancouver

Vegan Vancouver: Budgie’s Burritos Restaurant Review

Budgie's!
Paul Galipeau photo

Budgies Burritos is a vegetarian burrito joint on Kingsway near where it splits off from Main Street, at about 8th Avenue. It expanded a couple of years ago and now offers a downstairs area with tables; recently they got licensed and are now selling alcohol as well. They offer burritos (my favourite), tacos, chips, and some other items too – but I always, always get the burrito.

When you order a burrito vegan at Budgies, they sub fresh, delicious guacamole for the normal cheese and sour cream. Having accidentally ordered a non-vegan burrito, I can say that they are better vegan.The freshness of the guacamole really makes a difference.

My favourite burrito is the Jame-Dog. It’s garlic potatoes and it’s delicious. The chipotle tofu is just marinated chunks of tofu and it tastes like… tofu. It’s firm tofu with a good texture, but I wish it were fried or roasted. The Tofurky burrito contains Tofurky sausage, which I’m not a personal fan of, but if Tofurky rocks your boat then I bet this is a great burrito. They also added a ground round burrito to their menu that I haven’t tried.

If you want a truly delicious burrito, here is what I always order:

10″ Vegan Jame-Dog on whole wheat with refried beans and mix salsa (all three).

I definitely think that they should have breakfast burritos, of course with a tofu scramble option. And if they were to crumble their chipotle tofu, marinate it in the same sauce, and then panfry it a bit, it’d be about ten million times better. Still, this is a reliably cheap and delicious place to get a burrito that will fill you up and give you the energy you need to continue being a vegan warrior. For $7, you just can’t beat the amount of food that comes in one of those.

The Vegan Project and Sejuiced Cafe – Vancouver Vegan Love

Our new internet friends over at The Vegan Project reposted one of our recipes (my chicken salad – and yes – I have some in the fridge right now, sounds great to me). They’re three Vancouver vegans who I’ve never met, which I find really strange… but hopefully we will. We don’t seem to know enough vegans!

Speaking of Vancouver vegan, I brought Kaylie to Sejuiced on West 4th in Kitsilano yesterday and she, picky picky foodie Kaylie, really liked it! It’s healthy, delicious vegetarian food and smoothies. Hard to go wrong. I wish I’d had stomach-room for that vegan Nanaimo bar.


Carrot Coconut Soup and Veggie Burger Wrap from Sejuiced

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.

Daiya in Canada is Still Hard to Get

Pssst… The Perch is now selling 5lb bags of shredded Daiya in both mozzarella and cheddar for $40 including tax – that’s cheaper than Karmavore, and there’s no trip to New Westminster required.

The Perch is located at Commercial Drive and Powell Street in Vancouver, BC – it’s the cafe in the ARC building. They also serve vegan and gluten-free food along with non-vegan and gluteny food, coffee, and alcoholic beverages. Kaylie is their new vegan chef (yay Kaylie!).

Here’s a Google map of the location.

NOTE: The Perch is open Monday – Friday from 9am to 9pm.

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!

Vancouver Restaurant Review: The Cambie Hostel & Bar’s Vegan Options

145/365. 02-01-10

I know that you’ve all been waiting with bated breath to hear what vegans eat when they visit a dive bar like The Cambie. Believe it or not, this shithole has a GREAT veggie burger – it tastes like a pakora on a bun. Deep fried and full of veg, this is one fattening, disgusting burger that goes really well with a beer. I always make sure to order it “without cheese or mayo”, and they always make sure to tell me “it doesn’t come with cheese or mayo.”

Best thing? The Cambie offers a little-known burger-and-a-beer special. It used to be $5.50, and I think it might be $6.50 now. You get a burger (no fries) and a cheap can of beer, but for another $1 you can usually get the bartender to upgrade you to whatever beer is on special that night. We always hit it on Mondays when Granville Island pitchers are $10 and pints are $3. Sure, the lines at the Cambie haven’t been cleaned since 1974, and yes, you will be gassy and miserable the next day, but you’ll get fed and watered in great company.

Unfortunately, The Cambie just changed ownership (or management) and they’re assholes about letting you write on the tables. In fact, we were told by our young server (an SFU student) that if we wrote on the tables he’d have to stay late rubbing it off with a powerful chemical solvent. Seriously?! This once lovably grungy Vancouver institution is trying to match the rest of Gastown in gentrification, perhaps forgetting that what we love about it – what’s kept it hopping every night since I’ve lived in Vancouver – is that it’s NOT an uptight establishment. It’s disgusting, it’s a dive, and we love it.

P.S. If you’re planning to come visit Vancouver some time, The Cambie is also one of Vancouver’s longest-running hostels. It’s a rowdy, run-down place in the heart of Gastown. If you’re not too worried about quiet at night and you’re fairly social I might recommend The Cambie experience.

Vancouver Vegan Restaurant Review: Organic Lives Living Food, Quebec and E 2nd

Oh man. Food coma. Raw (excuse me, “living”) food coma. This afternoon we were invited to a 7-month-young raw, vegan, organic restaurant at Quebec and 2nd called Organic Lives, where the owner, Preet, treated us to a five-course meal on the house. We ate entirely too much (you can do that with raw food?!) and now I feel like either napping or running a triathlon… I’m not sure which.

This is an incredibly long review so if you don’t want to read it, here’s the nutshell: It’s really good, the food is amazing, their trading practices are A+, I want to shop there for groceries all the time, but the atmosphere is a little too sterile for my tastes. Get the Oh My God Coconut Cream Pie. Or read more: Continue reading

Vancouver Vegan Restaurant Review: Robson Street: HON’s House of Noodles (and White Tower)

Hon's
Jeffery Simpson photo

The Robson Street HON’s has a vegetarian kitchen. Hurrah, right? Well, maybe. The place is a giant cafeteria with weird noises and fluorescent lights. The service isn’t bad, but unfortunately, the food is.

I’ve been there a total of four times and each time I visit the food is overpriced, bland, and filled with rehydrated mushrooms instead of anything worth eating. The vegetables are obviously frozen-and-boiled or canned, with very little texture or flavour. The faux meat is scarce. I can’t believe I paid $11 for rice noodles, dried mushrooms, and 3 pieces of hydrated bean curd. The spring rolls are okay, but it’s hard to go wrong with deep fried wheat product. Their dim sum is passable – if you get there during lunch hours.

Honestly, if you’re on Robson and you’re wondering where to get some vegan food, skip HON’s and walk 1/4 of a block further to White Tower – a Greek restaurant that’s been around forever and is open until 3am on weekends. They have some of the most incredible homous I’ve ever tasted, and they serve it with fresh, hot pita, kalamata olives, and cucumber. Other than homous, their vegan offerings are pretty pitiful (there’s a vegetable pasta that’s vegan-friendly and is okay, but not incredible) – but truly – the homous is worth a visit. Especially late at night after you’ve had a bit to drink.

An Open Letter to JJ Bean Regarding Their Vegan Chocolate Zucchini Muffin


Brooks Reynolds Photography

Dear JJ Bean,

Thank you for faithfully selling what has come to be my favourite vegan muffin in the world. Your chocolate zucchini muffin is almost without exception sold out unless I come very early in the morning (which is rarely), but whenever I do manage to buy one, I enjoy it thoroughly, in all its greasy, oversized, holy-unhealthy delight. Yes, I know, people like to mislead themselves by thinking that vegan = healthy, which is probably why those fuckers eat all the vegan muffins. This may well be your best muffin, not that I would know because I’ve only tried it and the very berry. It’s incredible with a soy macchiato or fresca medici (as if I needed more sweet). I appreciate your institution and the run-down, torn-clothes, too-much-coffee-not-enough-sleep hipster look of each and every one of your employees.

Too bad you discontinued the vegan sandwich.

Love,
Malloreigh