When it comes to plant-based dining in Vancouver, some would say Vancouverites are truly spoiled. Not convinced? Just visit HappyCow.net and peruse their 522 options for the Lower Mainland! Dishes that forego ‘traditional’ proteins are so popular that restaurants, which are making room in their offerings for them, are reaping the rewards. A well-designed menu lends itself to inclusive dining and makes the experience of dining out so much more enjoyable for those who are plant-based, live vegan, or have dietary restrictions.
Please enjoy this list of five excellent restaurants – perfect for a delicious date night – as recommended by our team members and associates.
M!LA Plant-Based – Chinatown
M!LA is a restaurant that advertises itself as ‘plant-based and flavour-focused.’ Head chef Breanne Smart has created a menu that incorporates internationally inspired flavours that are elevated, approachable, and sure to make even the choosiest dining companion happy. When they opened, MILA’s goal was to bring people together over shared meals while raising the standard of plant-based dining, and they have succeeded. No matter how many times we visit, the dishes are always fresh and satisfying. A hotspot most nights of the week so reservations are recommended!
Nightshade – Yaletown
Nightshade is a fine-dining restaurant with an a là carte style menu that includes a fantastic variety of dishes including sushi, gnocchi, pasta, and more. The fully vegan menu designed by Chef Chanthy Yen is brilliant and utilizes local resources to create a variety of house-made products for dishes that are truly inspired by flavours from all around the world. Nightshade offers creative signature proof and zero-proof beverages made with intricate syrups to create unique flavour profiles. For the daring, try the Angkor Say Wat?, for those seeking a refreshing take on celebratory bubbles, the Last Tango in Paris will tickle your nose – in a good way!
Acorn Restaurant – Main Street
Acorn is an award-winning, vegetable-forward restaurant with a delightful front patio located on Main Street. Founder Shira Blustein began to craft how to open a restaurant that offered high-quality healthy and delicious plant-based food, while she was travelling and discovering the challenges of finding vegetarian food. Acorn is an intimate space that caters to vegans and gluten-free diners with fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Reservations are recommended, especially if you want to indulge in their Brunch menu! You can also make their delicious recipes at home with their cookbook entitled ACORN: Vegetables Re-Imagined.
Heirloom – South Granville & Ambleside
Heirloom is a contemporary dining experience located in Vancouver and on the North Shore. Owners Gus and Yogi aim to create a socially conscious menu with products that are locally sourced and organic. In addition to Heirloom restaurant, they also have Heirloom Juice Co that offers healthy, on-the-go juices, soups, salads and other snacks. While their array of creative desserts is oh so decadent and delicious if you wish to satisfy a sweet tooth visit for brunch and fill-up on their famous high-stacked pancakes!
Aleph – Grandview-Woodlands
Aleph Eatery is making Middle Eastern-inspired cuisine in a casual setting. Owner Haitham El Khatib and the team have been nominated for Best Vegetarian Restaurant annually since its inception. With their menu, they aim to bring the commonality of the flavours of different Middle Eastern cuisines to the surface. At the location, you will find a beautiful minimalistic space, a casual environment with ambient music. Consider Aleph a neighbourhood oasis for a relaxing evening without having to get dressy.
Our feature image is from Acorn Restaurant.
- Helen Siwak is the founder of EcoLuxLuv Marketing & Communications Inc and publisher of Folio.YVR Luxury Lifestyle Magazine and digital women's lifestyle magazine EcoLuxLifestyle.co. She is a prolific content creator, consultant, and marketing and media strategist within the ecoluxury lifestyle niche. Post-pandemic, she has worked with many small to mid-sized plant-based/vegan brands to build their digital foundations and strategize content creation and business development. Helen is the west coast correspondent to Canada’s top-read industry magazine Retail-Insider, holds a vast freelance portfolio, and consults with many of the world’s luxury heritage brands. Always seeking new opportunities and challenges, you can email her at [email protected].
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