Vancouver Vegan AdVenture!

Oh Vancouver – what a treat! I don’t think I can ever visit a place anymore without planning all my meals and writing about them. I just want to share the joy of food and travel with anyone who will read, listen, watch, or scroll! Oh how I love food…

The adventure began way before crossing the border – more like it began in the tiny, crowded greyhound station 100 miles south of the border. My bus was delayed, meanwhile Rob’s company-sponsored 40-minute flight went off without a hitch. 5 hours later…we eagerly ditched the Vancouver station on the hunt for our first veggie restaurant of the weekend. We agreed that this was a complete culinary ‘treat yo-self’ trip, and treat ourselves we did! Good thing the US dollar is so much stronger than the Canadian one at the moment! Scroll down to admire our food choices!

Other than eating (although that didn’t leave time for much else), we tested out our definition of FUN. I believe you can enjoy many things in life but only certain things are FUN. Things/moments that make you belly laugh, get your adrenaline pumping, or anything else that gives you a thrill are what I define as FUN.

So in order to appease my need/definition of FUN, we rode the Fly over Canada ride, enjoying a virtual tour of the entire country from a “small plane;” attended a stand-up show at the Comedy Mix where we laughed so hard, and rented bikes and rode around Stanley Park, the salty wind kissing my face. We even watched one of our former ships peace out toward Alaska – such a relief to NOT be on it!

Oh and we also happened to stumble upon “Canada’s Premier Vegan and Vegetarian Expo” – So of course we went and I have to say…Seattle’s veg-fest was way better with more samples and less people. We were packed in there like plant-based sardines! It was pretty miserable actually. So grateful for the turnout – yay veggies, but they need a MUCH larger space next year!

As for the food…

MeeT in Gastown

This buzzing restaurant is located in a cute little courtyard in the cute little neighborhood of Gastown. The line extended out the door yet our wait was brief, thank goodness because I couldn’t stand seeing all the amazing food and not being able to eat some myself! We ordered:

  • SWEET-CHILI CAULIFLOWER – house beer-battered with our tamarind chili-ginger glaze finished with scallions & sesame seeds *warning: these are super-addictive!

Zend

This little health-conscious sanctuary was a WONDERFUL surprise! I had no idea what to expect but I am thrilled we made it a goal to eat here on this trip. They are an alcohol-free establishment but they do serve Kava, which comes from the root of a plant native to the Pacific Islands – I had tried it in Fiji before and this sip confirmed my memory – it tastes kind of like dirt and makes your tongue go numb!

As I’m writing about this restaurant I found the “Our Roots” section of the restaurant website which details a bit of their backstory:

Our story comes to fruition when our founder, Steve Curtis, was battling against a shocking diagnosis of Stage 4 Lymphoma Cancer. He struggled to change his lifestyle to incorporate mindful choices. His commitment to eating plant-based foods and his discovery of Kava, our founder was able to overcome this battle & is currently cancer-free!

How cool is that?! Anyway, on this delightful stop along our food journey, we had:

  • Gluten Free Burger-sprouted nut patty, guacamole, cashew cheese + house made ketchup and sauerkraut on toasted gluten free bread. Soup or salad included
  • Tacos – three rawsome veggie taco shells filled with ground sunflower “beans” + red cabbage, fresh guac, pico de gallo + cashew queso
  • Lemon cashew cheezecake

Indigo Age Cafe

Hallelujah my faith in raw food is RESTORED! Not that it had ever particularly been tarnished completely but even if it had, the raw burger here would have reversed me. And to top it off we had the wonderful opportunity to try some veganized Ukranian food so that was fun! The server was so kind – we couldn’t decide between the pirogies and the cabbage roll so she gave us a half order of each and even split the pirogue flavors right down the middle so we could experience both the mash potato and sauerkraut. We indulged in:

  • Fresh Addiction Burger – Sunflower-pumpkin veggie patty, fresh cucumber, Guacamole, mango tomato salsa, fresh greens, eggplant bacon, marinated red onions, and fresh sprouts with cashew sauce. (if you have time/appetite for just one thing, go for this!)

  • Ukrainian Pirogies – You will really enjoy a delicious serving of Ukranian Pirogues. (cooked and not gluten free) Wheat, olive oil, salt. With Mash-potatoes, Sauerkraut, Cherry, Blueberry.

  • Ukrainian Cabbage Rolls – An Indigo Age Cafe house specialty. The Ukrainian Cabbage Rolls are homemade and cooked from cabbage, brown rice, carrots, onions, tomatoes with creamy cashew dressing and fresh dill.

Kokomo

The final stop on our vegan foodie adventure! And only just – the doors closed just minutes after we arrived. If we had missed this, I would have ridden the entire bumpy bus ride back to Seattle with a rumbly tummy and a firm scowl painted across my face. Luckily we ducked in with enough time for the friendly staff to take on our to-go orders to be enjoyed at the lovely (not being sarcastic – Pacific Central Station is surprisingly nice) bus station. Both of the bowls were lip-smacking, speechlessly delicious:

  • Coastal Macro – A local obsession! Brown rice layered with greens, marinated tempeh, roasted squash, cucumber, ginger pickled cabbage and edamame hummus. Served with Thai ginger dressing.
  • Hemp Caesar Salad- Crisp greens tossed in a protein-rich hemp seed dressing, topped with nutritional yeast, hemp seeds and crispy shallots. Served with marinated chickpeas.

The best of the rest..

Snacks we picked up along the way

As always, thanks for reading!

The weekend following our Vancouver adventure, I popped down to Portland for a couple meals – YUM!!

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