If you’re vegan, vegetarian, reducing your meat consumption, or even just wanting to eat something new, here’s a few plant-based restaurants for you to try. All of them offer delivery and/or pickup because of the Covid-19 outbreak and social distancing orders.
Virtuous Pie is a trendy vegan pizzeria and ice cream shop. They feature many pizzas from a classic margherita to an adventurous ultraviolet pizza. I recommend the mac + cheeza pizza to anyone who’s a picky eater or just a mac n’ cheese lover. They also offer 100% plant-based ice cream in lots of different flavours from chocolate to chai tea, which they are now offering in pints instead of scoops. Many of their options can be made gluten free with an extra charge and they also have starters and drinks. Virtuous Pie is a little on the pricey side (about 14-16 dollars for a personal pizza) and there are two Vancouver locations that offer pickup as well as delivery – one in Chinatown and one on the UBC campus. The staff there are super friendly if you do opt for pickup. The restaurants themselves are modern and welcoming with cafeteria style dining, if you plan on going back once they’re open again.
Po Kong is a traditional Chinese restaurant with a vegetarian twist. They serve lots of popular Cantonese dishes with meat substitutes made with bean curds, tofu, and black beans. I recommend anything on the dim sum menu which is served until 1:30 pm, and the fresh bean curds in sweet and sour sauce. They offer over 120 different dishes at reasonable prices and are located on Kingsway and Clark. Po Kong also serves “set menus,” which is common in Chinese culture, where you order a number of dishes and share them amongst family and friends. They are also offering free and contactless delivery at this time due to Covid-19. It is quite uncommon for Chinese food to be vegetarian (unless it’s a Buddhist dish), and the creators took this into thought when opening this restaurant. Inside is a very traditional Chinese style with large round tables and lazy susans, great for big families, for when lockdown orders are lifted.
Another popular restaurant is MeeT, a comfort food bistro. They feature western style vegan dishes like burgers, mac n’ cheese and, the Canadian classic, poutine. I definitely recommend the sweet chilli cauliflower appetizer and the artichoke spinach dip. They have moderate prices for vegan food and they have three locations – MeeT in Yaletown, MeeT in Gastown and MeeT on Main (near South Cambie). All the locations offer delivery services through DoorDash as well as dine-in service. They are one of the more popular, established vegan/vegetarian restaurants in Vancouver. If you plan on going for dine-in, their restaurants are very cozy and quite full most of the time. Be careful bringing a large party, as they don’t take reservations.
The final restaurant on my list is the Workshop Vegetarian Cafe, a Japanese-inspired restaurant with vegetarian and vegan options. They serve their signature ramen and udon, Buddha bowls and fresh baked goods which can be gluten free as well. “We wanted to show just how delicious vegetarian and vegan fare could be, while also using organic and local ingredients where possible,” their website says. I would recommend the kansai style udon (served after 11 am) and the smashed avocado toast (served all day). They have two locations – one in North Van and one in East Van – which offer slightly altered menus for more variety. The prices are quite affordable (around $16 for a ramen bowl) and they have partnered with three different food delivery services – SkipTheDishes, DoorDash, and Uber Eats. The staff are very kind and the restaurants are airy, filled with plants and smell delicious, for when they open.
Cooking vegan food at home can be tricky sometimes without the right ingredients. These tasty dishes can be everyday meals, or meals for when you just need a break from washing dishes.
All images: Skylar Evans