When you’re a vegetarian and going out to eat, you often find that menus offer up a single option that, more likely than not, includes the one stereotypically vegetarian food that you just hate. The meat-free soup on the menu was probably made with chicken stock, too. Avoid that no-menu-choice by selecting one of these vegetarian friendly restaurants in Vancouver and proposing it to your carnivorous friends the next time you venture out to eat with a group who still wants to get a meat fix.
Serving up traditional Afghani fare for over 36 years, Afghan Horsemen is a key part of the food scene in Vancouver. Currently, they are located next to Granville Island. The menu includes a dedicated vegetarian section, in addition to vegetarian options and vegan options listed in other sections. The vegetarian speciality platter, for example, includes humus and sabzi mast, salata with feta cheese, whole wheat pita bread, baked rice with kabuli topping, aushak, baked eggplant, dahl, pakawra and chaka. Don’t worry, there are descriptions of everything available and the food is superb! The atmosphere is colourful and a world away from standard west-coast fusion.
A new kid on the foodie scene, Exile Bistro is set to leave a lasting mark. With a tagline of “Plant forward, ethical and wild, indigenous and beyond” this is one of the most vegan and vegetarian friendly restaurants in Vancouver that still serves meat. Boar bacon ought to appease the carnivores in your crowd! Exile serves up artisan cafe fare during the day, a dinner menu through the evening and brunch on weekends. Sit down to oyster mushrooms with bloomed seeds, seaweed & spirulina while your dinner mates enjoy pemmican made of wild berries & cured big game, all with a side of biodynamic wine and a dessert of handcrafted vegan chocolates. Yum!
Another classic Vancouver restaurant, Vij’s serves up excellent modern Indian cuisine. With a menu which changes with the seasons, the vegetarian friendly selections ebb and flow. Now Vij’s even has a small empire of cookbooks, celebrity chef appearances and a retail line of curries. Still, eating dinner at Vij’s Restaurant proves to you why an empire has grown out of a once 14-seater restaurant! Vegetable koftes filled with almond masala in sour cream curry, sang-paneer with Punjabi daal and chapatti and Kalonji sautéed vegetables on coconut curried brown rice and black chickpea pilaf are just some of the aromatic dishes that will satiate all of your senses.
AXUM Ethiopian Restaurant
A group of friends, crowded around a huge platter of injera, as it soaks up a myriad of flavours is a delightful night out – and that’s exactly what you will find in the casual atmosphere of AXUM Ethiopian Restaurant. They cater to all sorts of diets, including vegan and vegetarian with a healthy selection of delicious and varied dishes. You can try the spicy miser wot, split lentils in hot sauce, the tikil gomen, cabbage and carrot simmered in a mild sauce, or the gomen, fresh spinach simmered in mild sauce, to get a taste for the variety of vegetarian friendly food on offer. Sharing with friends means you can try a dozen dishes in a single evening!
Aphrodite’s Organic Café & Pie Shop
The words “Pie Shop” should have you sold on Aphrodite’s Organic Café and Pie Shop immediately! Located in Kitsilano, this café offers locavore grub that keeps you coming back for more. Vegan friendly and vegetarian friendly, you can dine on vegan mac n’cheese or a veggie pot pie made with kale and chipotle miso gravy. Meanwhile, the pescatarians in the crowd can satisfy their cravings with a wild salmon burger and the carnivores can dig into a Big Island pizza made with free range local artisan ham, caramelized onions, pineapple, baby arugula, and house made organic BBQ sauce, all topped with mozzarella . Tuck in! A rare gem, Aphrodite’s serves daily brunch, which is reason enough to make a visit. When you do, devour some Green Eggs and Ham. You’ll have to check it out to know what they’re talking about!