Several weeks ago, we visited Vancouver to catch up with some family members now living there. Anyone who heard that we were travelling there was very enthusiastic and spoke very highly of the city and its people. We were excited for our trip and even more excited to test the vegan options of the city.
The journey did not start as planned with our first flight delayed departure from Dublin meaning that we missed our connecting flight to Canada so a night in a London Airport hotel was required. That did not dampen our spirits and we landed in Vancouver on Saturday afternoon. We were staying 7 nights and we have broken down our trip into the restaurants we visited and some food shopping that we did as we were staying in an amazing Airbnb.
On arrival we stocked up on our essential for the week so that we did not have to eat out for every meal. We were pleasantly surprised to see the range of Vegan food, much more of a choice than we have in Ireland. A vast selection of meatless meats, dairy free cheeses, spreads and milks.
The stores also had a wide selection of treats and snacks including our favourite dark chocolate coated cherries. Another great trend was the way that loose produce was on offer and you bagged it yourself, only taking what you need, and paid by weight. We are starting to see a bit more of this in Dublin with the Dublin Food Co-Op a fitting example. We also noticed the focus on green cleaning products. We understand that a lot of this would be lip service, but it was noticeable compared to the Irish market. We were shopping in main street supermarkets with aisles of eco cleaning products and not just health food stores like in Ireland.
With all the choice above we were able to cook breakfast such as pancakes, flax seed buns avocado toasties, meatless patties with cheese, pickles ketchup and mustard. Cinnamon cereal with almond milk and fresh fruit to name but a few. We also prepared a few dinners such as the Happy Pear One-Pot Tomato Pasta dish and some very tasty meatless tacos. Not all healthy but as we were on holidays, a treat from now and then is allowed in our opinion.
Vancouver and its environs really impressed us from the minute we landed. On arrival we were very impressed with the greenness of the city. Plenty of rooftop gardens, parks, trees planted around the city and street level waterfalls (because of the previous mayor vision to make the city this way with planning foresight). Vancouver is certainly a dog friendly city. We were delighted to see so many people walking their dogs, playing with them in parks and bringing them for a swim at the local beach.
We will now try to list most of the restaurants and eateries that we visited during our stay. Thank you for all those who messaged us with recommendations and a special thanks to Mark and Paula in Vancouver who gave us some of the best.
On the Sunday we had lunch in Pitchfork. A 100% vegetarian restaurant and any of the dishes with eggs or cheese they can easily convert to vegan with either an egg substitute or chickpea scramble. We chose the chickpea option and thoroughly enjoyed it. A little desert of their vegan custard and rhubarb puff pastry finished off the dish.
On Monday we visited our friend Paula (Mentioned above) in her place of work Purebread. Those on a diet need not attend. So tasty and a nice vegan selection too. You can see why this place is so busy. We also popped into Virtuous pie on Monday. A plant-based pizza joint but you wouldn’t think it. It doesn’t shout about it and Mark who joined us (a non-vegan) said he wouldn’t be able to tell the difference. During the week we also visited the highly acclaimed Heirloom Restaurant where we got to sample our very first “Beyond Burger”. We understand that some vegans have issues with this but if you are transitioning to a plant-based diet and missed the flavour, this burger would give you all of that and not suffering of animals.
Our last 2 destinations were Meet in Gastown and Cartems. Meet have 3 locations and describe themselves as “veggie friendly comfort food” with the likes of Mac & Cheese, poutine and more burgers. So so good. Finally, it wouldn’t be a trip to Vancouver without a visit to Cartems Donut shops where they have as good a selection as the Rolling Donut in Dublin.
All in all, we had an amazing time in Vancouver. Vegans will not go hungry there and we look forward to our next vegan holiday soon. Be sure to follow us on social media with our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.