Joyous Blog

Best Healthy Restaurants in Vancouver

Note from Joy

Hi Everyone! Due to the popularity of my post on the best healthy eateries in Toronto and many people on facebook and twitter asking me for my advice on the West Coast,  I decided to ask Holistic Nutritionist Annaliisa Kapp for her take on Vancouver. She gladly shared her joyful experiences at her top picks. I can't wait to head back to Vancouver and sink my teeth into some raw pizza from Indigo Food Cafe and delight my taste buds on a slice of lucuma cheesecake from Tao.

Notes:  Organic Lives was the first raw/vegan restaurant I tried in Vancouver. Prior to reading any reviews or even checking out their menu online, I was well aware of their presence in the city because you will see their products everywhere! My first bite of deliciousness came at the Vancouver health show when I tried their Coconut Chocolate Macaroons. Love at first bite! Other goodies they sell at their restaurant and health food stores are chickpea miso, kale chips, young coconut meat (frozen) and loads of superfoods.

What to get: It’s hard to choose. Anything with young coconut milk or meat, it’s kind of a thing here.  The menu is very creative and most dishes I have tried have been memorable. When dining at super healthy restaurants, I usually start out with a green juice. With so many varieties of green goodness at my fingertips, it’s hard to resist!

Two must try dishes are the Masala Dosa, a traditional Indian dish, and the Pad Thai. The Dosa boasts beautiful Indian flavours and is served in a coconut wrap with Meethi and Coconut chutnies and a traditional sambar, leaving your taste buds singing. The Pad Thai is definitely the best I have had, their version made with young Thai coconut meat and kelp noodles. AMAZING!!

Desserts are not something you want to skip out on in this place, with names like The OMG and You Had Me at Hello. Since this place is heavily into young fresh Thai coconut meat, I tried  the OMG coconut cream pie. It definitely lived up to its name!

Location:  Granville Street at W. Hastings

Notes: The space is modern, sleek and inviting with plenty of vintage farm décor.  The staff is uber friendly and make you feel very welcome. Although its not a super child friendly place, with no high chair or change table, the staff was very accommodating and friendly. This is a restaurant where vegans and vegetarians can happily co-exist, with a variety of vegetarian, vegan, gluten free and raw items on the menu.  The focus here is on whole foods and supporting local organic farmers and artisans. They also don’t just substitute soy milk and tofu in place of dairy and eggs, offering tempeh, almond milk and cashew cream as healthy alternatives for strict vegans.

What to get: I absolutely loved my salad, handpicked greens with fennel, ginger poached pear, hazelnuts, roasted brussel sprouts, and orange blossom vinaigrette. Light, creative and delicious. The banana buckwheat quinoa flour pancakes with cashew vanilla cream were a hit with my two year old (and me since its huge and I had to eat the majority).  Other notable items on the menu are the beetroot sunflower seeds tapenade and lentil pecan dips. I skipped the fried sangak chips they are served with and asked for fresh veggies. Even the cocktail menu doesn’t disappoint with  aloe infused tequila, matcha tea ice cubes and blue-green algae! Love it!!

Location: West 12th at Granville

Like the sign on the window states, hard to find, but once you do, it’s worth it! This small and cozy organic raw/vegan gem is tucked away in a courtyard of a big complex. The atmosphere is warm and cozy and though it’s a relatively small space, there are many treasures to find here. You can stock up on superfoods, crackers, kale chips, and take home your very own whole cheese cake. There is also a great little salad bar (pay by weight) that offers loads of healthy fun ingredients like sprouts, raw crackers, nuts and hemp seeds.

What to get: Like with any raw/vegan type restaurant, I opt for a fresh juice to start with. I chose the Immune Boost at Tao because I was in the mood for something gingery and delish, and that it was! I also love a good raw lasagna, and the Real Lasagna did not disappoint. Full of flavour and creamy goodness that is cashew cheese. Since the restaurant offers seven different varieties of cheesecake, it was obviously something of a must try. I usually gravitate towards chocolaty desserts, when I’m indulging in raw goodness, but this time I chose the lucuma flavour. The maple like flavour of the Peruvian superfood on banana walnut crust was oh so yummy.

Location: North Vancouver,  Esplanade West, in the courtyard

Notes: Organic raw vegan restaurant with a small but creative menu with a Ukrainian influence.  High tea and fondue, yeas please!! Like many other conscious restaurants, the lovely and ambitious owner of the café, Lovena, is very community oriented. She offers many cooking classes, live music, theme nights and potlucks. Although the focus is on raw foods, you will find some cooked items on the menu as well.

What to get:  If you haven’t tried a raw version of Borscht soup before, this is the place to do it. It is bursting with flavour and absolutely delicious. The pizza here is also a must try, with the perfect buckwheat crust that is so light and crispy. From the drink menu, I would recommend the coconut kefir, which is fermented young coconut water, a delicious way to get some extra probiotics into your life! For dessert, I would suggest the Trio, which includes the decadent Ganache, Coconut Cream Pie and cheese cake. Heavenly. Or if you really want to indulge, go for the raw chocolate fondue of course…

Location: Kitsilano, 16th Ave.

Notes: If you’re looking for a non-vegan organic restaurant that delivers  local grass-fed goods, then this is the place for you. The menu changes with availability and includes many gluten-free options. You can also do some shopping here for some healing and nourishing traditional foods such as kimchii, sauerkraut and grass-fed ghee. Everything is sourced locally or made in house. You can also pop by next door to do some grocery shopping at the small but resourceful organic delivery service/store Tama.

What to get: Since this restaurant is focused on traditional foods, I tried the Superpower Kvass. Beet Kvass is a fermented beverage known for its digestive aid and immune boosting properties. I did feel my superhero powers kick in after I finished my tonic. I also tried the gluten-free vegetable quiche, which was absolutely delicious. Best crust ever! Desserts are also made in the house and vary daily, with some gluten-free options. This is a great place to stock up your fridge with raw cheeses, fermented goods and ghee.

Location: North Vancouver, Mackay Rd.

 So tell use your favourite healthy eateries on the Canadian West Coast??

9 Comments
vanessa   •   February 20, 2013

I would like to add Gorilla Food and The Acorn to the list! The former is all-raw, and its owner (Aaron Ash) just released a "cook" book; while the latter is vegetarian with many vegan, raw, and gluten-free options, and opened about 6 months ago. Honorable mention to the dearly-departed Radha (now just a yoga studio) :).

Reply
Joy McCarthy   •   February 22, 2013

A lot of ppl have mentioned Gorilla Food to me after I tweeted and posted this on facebook, sounds like I need to take a trip to Van city and check it out! Thanks for writing.


Anne Smithen   •   March 5, 2013

I can really recommend Indigo Food Café to all of you! The food is truly delicious. Raw pizza maybe doesn´t sound too fancy but just try it out, you will love it. Also an advice to all of you who want to adopt a healthier lifestyle but don´t know how. I learnt pretty much by attending cooking classes in RAW Foundation that appears in this list of the href="http://yourvancouverrealestate.ca/vancouver-life/2013/01/best-cooking-classes/">most popular cooking classes in Vancouver. You can meet many experts on raw food there and they will help you make your life a bit healthier. Truly an enriching experience.

Reply

Anne Smithen   •   March 5, 2013

I can really recommend Indigo Food Café to all of you! The food is truly delicious. Raw pizza maybe doesn´t sound too fancy but just try it out, you will love it. Also an advice to all of you who want to adopt a healthier lifestyle but don´t know how. I learnt pretty much by attending cooking classes in RAW Foundation that appears in this list of the a href="http://yourvancouverrealestate.ca/vancouver-life/2013/01/best-cooking-classes/">most popular cooking classes in Vancouver. You can meet many experts on raw food there and they will help you make your life a bit healthier. Truly an enriching experience.

Reply

food delivery vancouver   •   June 28, 2013

What is a Best Healthy Restaurants in Vancouver ? Can you share me some tips or idias related to the Best Healthy Restaurants in Vancouver in your point of view ?

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David - Vancouver Vending Company owner   •   December 9, 2013

These days, more and more people are going for healthy foods. These restaurants are cool recommendations. I think it would be a great idea to have healthy foods readily available in vending machines too, but it is not always practical. Too bad restaurants like this are not near warehouse districts or isolated areas where you usually only get some sandwhich and coffee places nearby.

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Alexandra   •   December 28, 2013

I'd recommend Eternal Abundance on Commercial Drive. It doesn't have great street signage (only on the awning) but is a wonderful all organic vegan grocery store and cafe. They serve fresh juices, smoothies, raw meals, appies, desserts, an amazing kale caesar salad! An East Van gem!

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Joy McCarthy   •   December 30, 2013

Thanks for the reco!


Hanna   •   November 28, 2014

I would probably add to this list SHIZEN-YA, an organic brown rice, sustainable fish based, vegan friendly Japanese restaurant. They have real crab California rolls, no-rice green vegan roles (RAW, if you call seaweed raw), vegan spinach curry and a whole lot more. The store is located on West Broadway street or in Downtown, and the staff are super friendly. You can totally invite your non-vegan friends and they won't feel overwhelmed!

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