Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Eating Our Way Through Vancouver

While in Vancouver we had some delicious food (both vegetarian and vegan). In case you plan on visiting the area any time soon (whether it be for a race like SeaWheeze or Rock 'N' Roll Vancouver or just a family vacation), I thought I’d share some of our favorites spots. (I also thought if I did a blog post I would be more likely to copy and paste the ‘reviews’ into Yelp so two birds, one stone ;)) PS Although these restaurants are mostly meat-free, I promise that if you stop in for a meal (or treat) you will not be disappointed or feel as though you are missing out on anything. 

**WARNING: I am NOT a food blogger. I realize that my pictures are less than stellar, but I still thought the info was worth spreading. Please don't judge me on my food pics ;) **

We were told about this restaurant by Christina. She said that last time she was in Vancouver she went to Heirloom maybe 4 or 5 times. Well, if it's that amazing, we had to give it a go! It was about a mile and a half from our hotel, so once we checked in and dropped our bags, we put our walking shoes on and made our way over to the spot.

Heirloom is an awesome restaurant with both a vegan and vegetarian menu. It is a bit pricey, but we felt as though it was worth every penny. The ambience was nice (although after just getting off of a plane and train and then walking for a mile and a half we felt slightly under-dressed).

The hubby and I started with an order of the Avocado Frites (the Yelp reviews seemed to constantly be mentioning them) and they were delish! Crispy coated avocado slices with a creamy cilantro sauce (and fresh limes to squeeze over the top). They weren't greasy or overcooked, just the perfect bit of crunch and warm to start the meal.

I ended up deciding on the Ancient Grains salad, while the hubby got Auntie's Curry (he wanted The Royale with Cheese Burger but they had sold out of the burgers prior to us arriving). Both meals were large and yummy. I ordered the half size of the salad and although I was scarfing it down it seemed to never get smaller.

We would definitely give this restaurant four thumbs up (two from each of us). If it wasn't as pricey as it was or far away from the hotel we probably would have stopped back for another meal or two.

The Templeton

While looking for something to eat near our hotel, we typed "Vegetarian" into Yelp. The Templeton popped up and it was literally right down the street so we figured we'd give it a try. We stopped in for lunch and although the inside is pretty tiny, we didn't have to wait long (but then again, we went around 2pm for lunch so we probably missed the rush). 

We loved the hometown diner feel (some of the decor was even from the 50s) and that they offered vegetarian diner food. Ryan decided on the BLT with fake bacon and I got the veggie chili dog. When we saw they had vegetarian poutine we HAD to get it (normally it is a meat-tastic brown gravy poured over a mound of fries, but for the veg-heads they make the gravy with mushrooms and although it isn't super "healthy" it was finger lickin' good!). And, OF COURSE, Ry had to start the meal with a strawberry milkshake! 

Not only were our meals delicious, but the waitress we had was amazing! She sat down with us for a while to chat it up and tell us some great spots to check out while we were in town. We love getting intel from the locals, and definitely took her up on a few of her suggestions! 

Meet in Gastown

This was hands down our favorite restaurant - so much so that we ate there twice even with multiple great restaurants to try out. It was one of the recommendations that we received while dining at The Templeton. Our waitress told us that it was the best vegan comfort food she has had (and couldn't believe it was all plant-based food) - so with a review like that we HAD TO give it a whirl!

The first time we ate there I ordered the Whiskey BBQ Caesar (I always order the dressing on the side so the greens aren't doused in it) and the hubs got the Southern BBQ Burger. Everything tasted so fresh and healthy. You left feeling satisfied, but not like you were weighed down, overly stuffed or lethargic from all of the crap you just ingested. 

The next round I ordered the Mac 'N Cheez and Ryan scarfed down the Angry Burg (but started the dining experience with a Dark & Stormy drink that had fresh ginger beer). Obviously using vegan cashew 'cheez' isn't going to taste like the Kraft stuff that you ate as a kid, but it was still yummy (although I was secretly dreaming of the salad I had the day before). The hubby loved his burger, even with the heat of the buffalo hot sauce.

PS If you can sit 'outside' we would highly recommend it. When we were in Vancouver they were having an unseasonable warm weekend (apparently summer had "ended" a couple weeks prior but came back with a vengeance when we arrived), so the patio area had an amazing breeze. PPS (or is it PSS?!) This place is not on the main street, so keep your eyes peeled and don't walk by it! 

Soft Peaks

Now who can pass up sweet treats?! The hubby obviously looked up about 'must have' ice cream while in Vancouver and with Soft Peaks being right down the street from Meet it was an obvious choice for a post-dinner dessert. 

We ordered the Snowberry, which was organic strawberry and organic strawberry agave syrup with cereal. We decided to share a regular size (but let's say deciding on the flavour was super difficult because we wanted to try them all!).

Not only was the ice cream scrum-didily-umptious, but the company does some awesome things too! They try to use all local ingredients, like a fresh piece of Okanagan and Fraser Valley honeycomb, which have been crafted for perfect pairings. All of their milk comes from Avalon Dairy, a local dairy farm known for its uncompromising quality. Their ice cream cups, spoons, and napkins are from local suppliers (some of them are also compostable). And last but definitely not least, they also support the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation by donating partial proceeds from their sales. 

Earnest Ice Cream

If you read my post about "Adventuring in Vancouver" then you saw we took a 20 mile bike ride while there (PS I would definitely suggest this as a great way to see the city). On said bike ride, we decided we had 'earned' some ice cream so made our way to Earnest Ice Cream (another one of the shops that the hubby researched and heard was amazing). 

I don't know if it was because we were warm from our ride or if the ice cream was just 'that' good, but we loved it! I had a cone of the vegan strawberry coconut and the hubby devoured his Bourbon Peach. If I didn't have a half marathon the following day I may even have went back for a second scoop because it was so yummy! It definitely hit the spot! And if we weren't riding bikes I would have easily talked Ryan into grabbing a to-go pint for the hotel freezer. 

Small Victory

If you know me, you know I'm not a coffee or tea drinker. Growing up we never had it in the house (my dad used to take two Pepsi's with him to work in the morning) and I never acquired the taste. Ryan, on the other hand, needs his coffee to wake up. He did a little research and found a coffee and bread company near the hotel that he wanted to try.

He ordered a mocha and cinnamon roll. He legit says that it was the best cinnamon roll that he has ever had. (Two weeks after the fact, he is still talking/ dreaming out it.) We took the goodies to go because we were on our way to explore the city, so I can't really comment on the seating, but I can guarantee you that if we are ever back in Vancouver this place will be a MUST on Ryan's list (he is even trying to talk me into another trip JUST FOR THE ROLL!).

Tartine Bread & Pies

Although this restaurant came up on Yelp as 'vegetarian' I would say that it is more of a coffee/ cafe shop that offers a few sandwiches (one of which that doesn't have meat on it). With that said, it was still delicious! Ryan and I both grabbed a Mini Egg (an egg salad sandwich with arugula on delicious bread). The location that we went to was the smaller of the two, so I was bummed that they didn't have the full size sandwich because it was so tasty!

Ryan also grabbed an Americano here and I was eyeballin' the pies (this post makes it seem like we get desserts or sweets all the time which is so not us {okay, it is so not me and although it is so Ryan we try to make healthy decisions 95% of the time and limit sugar intake}, but 'when in Rome...'). The one in the picture below is the Elvis (made of banana, peanut butter, chocolate, and meringue).


I mentioned this in my "Adventuring in Vancouver" post, but it bears repeating ;) While hiking the Grouse Grinder, we heard there was a pastry shop at the top called BeaverTails - with pastries that are a Canadian MUST. Well, sign us up! After sweating through our clothes and getting in quite the workout, we decided we had deserved a sweet treat.

I would consider them to be like a Canadian 'elephant ear' with toppings. Hubby went with the Reese’s option (with a Nutella spread) and I decided on Cookies & Cream. They were both super yummy (but oh so sweet!). I ended up only being able to eat about half of mine (due to the extreme sugar overload), but it did not go to waste because the hubby demolished it as soon as I offered it to him. They also have a cafeteria and a few other dining options when you get to the top of the mountain, but since we had a pretty tight schedule we scarfed our beavertails, grabbed some quick photos and made our way back down the mountain (it’s funny that it only takes the slow moving gondola 4 minutes to cover the same amount of distance as we hiked in a little over an hour, but hey, it was worth the sweat equity!).

I swear we did more than just eat on our trip to Vancouver, but this post sure doesn't make it seem that way ;) We were stoked to see so many awesome vegan and vegetarian options around Vancouver (and we didn't even begin to scratch the surface). If you are in the True North, you should definitely give a few of these locations a try!

How do you research places to eat while on vacation?


Breathe Deeply and Smile said...

I didn't eat at any of these places (although I heard Heirloom was good). I must go back!!

SD Mom said...

What a great foodie review! For a non-food blogger, your pics are terrific! And I would need coffee. I am in extra awe of you not being a coffee drinker.

Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table said...

Food blogger or not, I want to devour all of this! I can't wait to go to Vancouver... one day soon, I hope. I'm 100% getting that cinnamon roll!

Chelsea B. said...

This is way off topic from all the food....But your husband has a tshirt on that says "sock game..." what brand is that? My husband would love a shirt like that!

BTW I should not be reading this blog post so early in the morning, its making me hungary! lol