Vegan Guide to Vancouver: Restaurants and Cafes

Woweee! I did not expect Vancouver to be so PACKED with vegan goodness! I had no plans and no idea where I was going to eat when I arrived and just researched and asked around as I went. Turns out, Vancouver is incredibly vegan-friendly, with almost all the non-vegan restaurants offering more than just salad and fries. I was surprised to see numerous amazingly delicious and interesting vegan options at popular non-vegan spots such as Wallflower Diner in Mt Pleasant.

Make sure you check out Vancouver’s vegan supermarket: VEGAN SUPPLY too! They’ve got heaps of delicious snacks and ICE CREAMS! A small list of my favourites at the bottom.

Down below is basically a list of every single place I went to - most are good! If you’re short on time, I have marked what I believe to be a must visit, and if you have extra time, check out my personal favourites too.

Sadly I didn’t make it everywhere that I would have liked to, so I’ve included a BUCKET LIST at the bottom too! Let me know if you go to those spots! Would love to hear how they are and if they’re worth going to!

KEY

* = must visit

^ = personal favourites

QUICK BITES AND SIPS

A delicious duo from   GREENDERFUL

A delicious duo from GREENDERFUL

^GREENDERFUL ($)

FRESH JUICES + TASTY VEGAN SUBS

Go just for the avocado baguette! It might not look like much, but I really loved it here. It’s not very big and not very busy, but the whole menu is 100% vegan! I ordered the avocado baguette that was advertises on an A-frame outside and it did not disappoint! A crispy soft baguette filled with marinated delicious chickpeas, generous avocado, roasted garlic bits and a VERY delicious citrus dressing. Also got a green juice from here and it was so refreshing. Just across the road from Virtuous Pie in Chinatown.

MY RATING: 8.5/10

MY RECOMMENDATIONS: The Chickpea Avocado Baguette, The Exotic Green Juice

LOCATION:636 Main St, Vancouver, BC, V6A 1Z6 (CHINATOWN)

HOURS: M-F 8AM-5PM, SAT 9:30AM-5PM, SUN 9:30AM-3PM

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BUNS AND BOBA   IS LIT. THAT IS ALL I HAVE TO SAY.

BUNS AND BOBA IS LIT. THAT IS ALL I HAVE TO SAY.

^B U N S + B O B A ($)

HEALTHY BUBBLE MILK TEA WITH NO ADDITIVES

Oh my days! I absolutely adored this place and I went every single day for a matcha or bubble tea. They serve healthy bubble tea made from real tea with no powders, no additives and you can choose your sugar level (just pick a percent!) and milk. They have Cashew Milk, Oat Milk, Soy Milk and Coconut Milk! They also serve a selection of freshly baked buns every day with over 90% of the buns being vegan. The space itself is so aesthetic and looks like it’s out of a magazine. Cosy, warm and bright - especially on a cold winter’s day. Also they’ll give you a discount if you bring your own cup! So many delicious options here, but the Taro Boba was my favourite. It is made with fresh chunks of cooked taro blended with your choice of milk and is extremely LIT. I always went with Oat milk.

MY RATING: 9/10

MY RECOMMENDATIONS: Taro Bubble Milk Tea, Matcha Latte, Earl Grey Milk Tea, B + B Milk Tea, Chocolate Chip Bun, Matcha Bun, Blueberry Bun.

LOCATION: 327 E Broadway,Vancouver, BC, V5T 1W5 (MT PLEASANT)

HOURS: M-T  7:30AM-7PM, F 7:30AM-8PM, SAT 9AM-8PM, SUN 10AM-7PM

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GIVE.

GIVE.

ME.

ME.

THE.

THE.

BOBA.

BOBA.

^SWEET CHERUBIMS ($)

WHOLE FOODS CANTEEN, GROCERY AND BAKERY WITH AN EARTHY HIPPIE VIBE

DO NOT MISS THIS PLACE. They’re known for their big delicious samosas and pakoras - baked or fried! If you like the old-school 70’s vegan vibe as much as I do, you will appreciate the heartiness and homey-ness of this place. It’s also in a very cool neighbourhood (walk along Commercial Drive to check out some amazing other bulk-stores and co-op shops.) I can’t explain how AWESOME this place is and for me, it’s definitely a personal fave. Check the menu out to get a feel for the vibes. It’s a 99% vegan grocery and wholefoods restaurant/canteen with an Indian/Ayurvedic focused menu, but you can get so many different hearty stews there too e.g. Russian Goulash! They also has an entire bakery section filled with some of the biggest vegan cookies you will ever see. A very huge menu of fresh juices, ‘live’ and ‘raw’ smoothies and lattes and hot drinks all available too.

MY RATING: 8.5/10

MY RECOMMENDATIONS: Potato and Pea Samosa, Zucchini Potato Pea Samosa, Tofu pakoras, Chappati Wraps, Buddha’s Feast, Subji, Chocolate Macaroon Cookie (as big as your face!)

LOCATION: 1105 Commercial Drive, Vancouver, BC (GRANDVIEW - WOODLAND/EAST VAN)

RESTAURANT HOURS: M-SAT 10AM-10PM, SUN 11AM-10PM

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SWEET CHERUBIMS   - colourful large selection of nourishing stews and curries!!!

SWEET CHERUBIMS - colourful large selection of nourishing stews and curries!!!

Big Samosa and Cookie from   SWEET CHERUBIMS

Big Samosa and Cookie from SWEET CHERUBIMS

Full bakery at   SWEET CHERUBIMS

Full bakery at SWEET CHERUBIMS

PUDS.JPG

VEGAN PUDDING & CO. ($)

TAKE-AWAY ONLY JAPANESE VEGAN PUDDINGS

Cute Japanese puddings from a literal hole-in-the-wall spot! All organic, gluten-free and vegan custard puddings with a creme brulee texture - yum yum! I walked straight past it accidentally. They let you try before you buy and they have so many different flavours. I would recommend ordering for ‘eating now’ and they’ll top it with delicious homemade coconut whipped cream and Black Sesame Sauce!

MY RATING: 8/10

MY RECOMMENDATIONS: Matcha Pudding, Original Vanilla Pudding

HOURS: MON-SAT 11AM-7PM, SUN CLOSED

LOCATION: 422 Richards Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada (DOWNTOWN)

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3B2607A1-F1D1-4C1A-9F5D-FFB0FF780347.JPG

HEY, DUMPLINGS! ($)

RUSSIAN DUMPLINGS FROM CUTE SHOP!

This is such a sweet little shop selling Russian Dumplings, called Pelmini! If you’ve never tried them before, I would definitely recommend! I didn’t know what to expect because I had never had russian dumplings before, but they were delicious! Little pockets of savoury potato covered in sauce, available in lunch or snack size. There are a few different sauces to choose from but I got the Poutine because… well…. #Canada. ALSO if you get the Poutine sauce you get a choice of cheeze! I was impressed because it’s not actually a vegan shop - but Gouda or Cheddar is available. The gravy here is LEGIT. Very moreish and yummy! A good snack if you’re in need of a quick fix snd if hanging around Chinatown.

MY RATING: 7.5/10

MY RECOMMENDATIONS: Vegan Poutine Dumplings

LOCATION: 208 Keefer Street (CHINATOWN)

HOURS: SN,M, W, Th 11AM-5PM, F-S 11AM-7PM

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BRUNCH/LUNCH SPOTS

Amazing Portions at   MEET ON MAIN

Amazing Portions at MEET ON MAIN

^*MEET ON MAIN ($$)

FUNKY VEGAN BISTRO

IF THIS ISN’T NO.1 ON YOUR TO-GO LIST, YOU’RE DOING VANCOUVER WRONG! As soon as I got there I was thought ‘No wonder this is the first thing everyone recommends!’ Holy moly. It’s a ROCKIN’ local fave and is packed out every night. MEET has a few locations but the one on Main is the original one and also supposedly the best. It’s a diner that does very very generous portions of the most delicious burgers, poutine, salads, bowls, hot dogs and has desserts, drinks, booze and specials. One of the best burgers I’ve had in my life was the Crispy BBQ burger. Don’t be surprised if you have to wait, but also - it’ll be worth it. No bookings available.

MY RATING: 10/10

MY RECOMMENDATIONS: Crispy BBQ Burger, Butter Chickk’n Poutine, Mighty Mac Burger, Caesar Salad, Artichoke and Spinach Dip, Sweet Chilli Cauliflower and Mushroom Kalamari! But pretty much anything you get will be A+++!!!

LOCATION: 4288 Main Street

HOURS: SUN-THU 11AM-11PM, FRI-SAT 11AM-12AM

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Bobcat Tacos from   BANDIDAS TACQUERIA

Bobcat Tacos from BANDIDAS TACQUERIA

*BANDIDAS TAQUERIA ($$)

BEST VEGAN MEXICAN

This place is one of the most highly recommended amongst the local Vancouver vegans. Get the Potato Tacos! This place has really good Mexican and almost everything can be made vegan. Real fresh ingredients full of flavour and spice. They’ve got great brunch and all-day breakfast too, along with a great community-vibe going on.

MY RATING: 9.5/10

MY RECOMMENDATIONS: BOBCAT Tacos (Roasted potatoes, pinto beans, purple cabbage, roasted tomato salsa, cheese, and sour cream), Breakfast Burrito add Guacamole, Mexican Breakfast add Guacamole.

LOCATION:2781 Commercial Drive (EAST VAN)

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Best Benedict I’ve ever had at   HEIRLOOM VEGETARIAN

Best Benedict I’ve ever had at HEIRLOOM VEGETARIAN

^*HEIRLOOM ($$$)

UPSCALE VEGETARIAN BRUNCH SPOT

An all vegetarian brunch spot. This place might look too shmancy for you (and it is), but definitely go for brunch and get the Mushroom or Avocado Benedict! Worth it. One of the most delicious vegan benedicts I’ve ever had.

MY RATING: 9/10

MY RECOMMENDATIONS: Mushroom Benedict!

LOCATION: 1509 W 12th Ave

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^*THE NAAM ($)

OLDEST VEGETARIAN RESTAURANT IN VANCOUVER - OPEN 24/7!

THIS PLACE IS AMAZING. And I think it would be best to go for breakfast! The food is cheap and portions are extremely generous and deliciously hearty. Oh. It’s also open 24/7. This place is just one of those places which is so good for the soul! I had one of the best hot chocolate’s I’ve ever had and the breakfasts are off the chain! The TOFU SCRAMBLE IS PERFECT and an prime example of what all tofu scramble should be like. Perfect before a big day out in Vancouver.

MY RATING: 10/10

MY RECOMMENDATIONS: CrossWitch (Crossaint Sandwich), Naam Special Breakfast (EVERYTHING SAVOURY ON A PLATE + PANCAKES!!!), Hot Chocolate, Breakfast Burrito, Carrot Cake, Apple Pie, Pancakes with Blueberry Syrup.

LOCATION:2724 West 4th Avenue (KITSILANO)

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Top: Naam Special Breakfast (add the pancakes for $1), Bottom: Crosswitch at   NAAM

Top: Naam Special Breakfast (add the pancakes for $1), Bottom: Crosswitch at NAAM

A very delicious hot chocolate from   THE NAAM

A very delicious hot chocolate from THE NAAM

THE ARBOR ($$)

OVERRATED SLIGHTLY FANCY BRUNCH SPOT!

I would say to save your stomach space for somewhere else. Don’t worry if you miss out on this spot. I was a little disappointed to be honest. A beautiful spot and restaurant but the food didn’t really match. I’d heard about the Southern Fried Artichoke sandwich being amazing, but it was truly average and a little too salty. The broccoli popcorn was amazing though, but overall we left feeling a little sick because of the amount of oil in the food (and I love oily fried things as you probably know). The Arbor has a sister restaurant called The Acorn just a few doors up, and it’s an upscale, fine-dining sorta place. Haven’t tried that but would be willing to give it a go.

MY RATING: 5.5/10

MY RECOMMENDATIONS: Broccoli Popcorn

LOCATION:3941 Main St, Vancouver

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The good Broccoli Popcorn from   THE ARBOR

The good Broccoli Popcorn from THE ARBOR

The deceivingly good-looking Artichoke Sandwich from   THE ARBOR   (a total disappointment!)

The deceivingly good-looking Artichoke Sandwich from THE ARBOR (a total disappointment!)

WALLFLOWER ($)

COSY HOMEY DINER WITH SOME GREAT VEGAN OPTIONS

Worth a visit! They’ve got a fully vegan section on their menu complete with Vegan Poutine. Great Breakfast and brunch and I went a couple of times. Just a heads up: the vegan ‘sausage’ pattie wasn’t my favourite - it’s made in house but kinda just tasted like coconut oil to me so after returning, I always subbed it out for fried polenta (which was amazing). The Benedict and mcNuffin are delicious.

MY RATING: 8/10

MY RECOMMENDATIONS: Vegan Poutine, Vegan Benny (sub sausage for polenta and add avocado), Vegan McNuffin (sub sausage for polenta and add avocado)

LOCATION:2420 Main St, Vancouver (MT PLEASANT)

HOURS: SUN-WED 9AM-10PM, THU-SAT 9AM-11PM

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Thai Curry Hash and Vegan Benny (No Sausage, add Fried Polenta + add Avocado) from   WALLFLOWER DINER   in Mt Pleasant

Thai Curry Hash and Vegan Benny (No Sausage, add Fried Polenta + add Avocado) from WALLFLOWER DINER in Mt Pleasant

CHAU VEGGIE EXPRESS   at Granville Island

CHAU VEGGIE EXPRESS at Granville Island

CHAU VEGGIE EXPRESS ($)

FRESH VIETNAMESE CANTEEN

100% Vegan Vietnamese. Doesn’t feel very authentic but worth a visit. If you’re going to Granville Island location, bring your own container!

MY RATING: 7/10

MY RECOMMENDATIONS: Diving for Pearls Soup (Lychee Date Broth with Noodles, Tofu and Veg), Rice Paper Rolls, Rickety Rickshaw Bowl (Vermicelli Salad Bowl)

LOCATION: 5052 Victoria Dr, Vancouver,

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JINYA RAMEN BAR ($)

BUSY RAMEN BAR WITH DELICIOUS VEGAN RAMEN

Great vegan ramen! It’s a big restaurant and the experience of going here wasn’t my favourite but the ramen is good. They have two options for vegan ramen here: A creamy soy milky broth or a Tan Tan Ramen too with sesame paste. Vegan Creamy ramen is rare so that’s what I got and it was yummy and great value. (But Danbo is so much better :P - if you have time, go to both)

MY RATING: 8/10

MY RECOMMENDATIONS: Spicy Creamy Vegan Ramen.

LOCATION:541 Robson St, Vancouver (DOWNTOWN)

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@   JINYA RAMEN BAR  , Downtown

@ JINYA RAMEN BAR, Downtown

RAMEN DANBO  . Daym.

RAMEN DANBO. Daym.

^*RAMEN DANBO ($)

THE BEST RAMEN I HAVE EVER HAD - STRAIGHT FROM JAPAN

This place is amazing. It’s small, cosy, intimate and you will probably have to wait to get a seat at this tiny ramen den. They opened in Japan in the year 2000 and now they have spots all around the world, with their ramen still being voted #1 in Japan. One bite of the ramen and you will see why. There are 4 signature soups here, and a vegan version is available in all 4 broths (AMAZING). I also love that you can choose: Noodle Thickness, Noodle Firmness, Broth Thickness, Broth Richness, Umami Level and Spice Level - talk about customisation at the next level! I chose the Classic Broth and had Classic Rekka Ramen (which means I made it spicy) and it was truly life changing. You can also add on Nori, Mushrooms and Pickled Vegetables and I would highly recommend this for an even better experience.

MY RATING: 9.5/10

MY RECOMMENDATIONS: Any vegan ramen but please add all the vegan toppings available.

LOCATION: 1333 Robson Street, Vancouver, BC Canada (ROBSON) or 1833 West 4th Avenue, Vancouver, BC Canada (KITSILANO)

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WINNER, WINNER, VEGAN DINNER!

Oh so delicious at the formidable   VIRTUOUS PIE!

Oh so delicious at the formidable VIRTUOUS PIE!

*VIRTUOUS PIE ($)

CREATIVE VEGAN PIZZAS

Great personal-sized pizzas with lots of great flavours to choose from. Not very authentic, but oh-so very delicious! I wish I had stayed for longer so that I could’ve gone back. Definitely a must visit!!! Apparently brunch is good here too so someone please go and tell me what’s good, I’d love to know!

MY RATING: 8/10

MY RECOMMENDATIONS: Superfunghi Pizza, Chorizo Artichoke Pizza

LOCATION: 583 Main Street (CHINATOWN), 3339 Shrum Lane (UBC WESBROOK VILLAGE)

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^*ANH AND CHI ($$)

AUTHENTIC AND DELICIOUS VIETNAMESE

The Om Bowl with the best spring rolls EVER at   ANH AND CHI

The Om Bowl with the best spring rolls EVER at ANH AND CHI

Holy FLAVOUR! I would say this is in my top 3 meals I had in Vancouver. Go with friends so you can order as many things as possible and SHARE. I was craving Vietnamese so hard (my favourite cuisine) and I actaully thought it would be bad and not very authentic because it looks fancy. Oh BOYYYY I have never been so wrong. Their use of onion and garlic is exquisite, powerful and adds something extra to the normal Vietnamese flavours. Please go here for dinner. Make a booking.

MY RATING: 9.5/10

MY RECOMMENDATIONS: Cay Me fresh rice paper rolls with Jicima and Tofu, Grilled Eggplant Skewers, Vegan Pho, Om Bowl (Vermicelli Rice Noodle Salad), Vegan Banh Xeo, Crispy Spring Rolls (so amazing)!!

LOCATION: 3388 Main St

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^CHUTNEY VILLA ($)

AMAZING SOUTH INDIAN FOOD - DOSAS, IDLI AND A LOT MORE!

Some of the best Idlis ever -   CHUTNEY VILLA

Some of the best Idlis ever - CHUTNEY VILLA

I was so surprised to find such Authentic South Indian in Vancouver. But wow. I eat a lot of Dosa and Idli and often the batter isn’t fermented enough and doesn’t taste authentic, but here it is! I swear the idli was better than what I had in India. This is the only place whose dosa rivals Nalini’s in Sydney. This place is undervalued for SURE and not very busy because I feel like Canadians don’t appreciate Indian Food as much. BUT. There were plenty of Indians eating here, which is a great sign. The idli was just so soft and fluffy oh my GOD. If you like Dosa, please go here. They also have the best tomato chutney ever!

MY RATING: 9.5/10

MY RECOMMENDATIONS: Dosa and Idli, although I wish I could go back and try the Thali and Eggplant curries. Make sure to ask for no Ghee or Yogurt.

LOCATION: 147 E Broadway (MT PLEASANT)

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*NUBA ($$$)

FRESH AND DELICIOUS LEBANESE in SMART CASUAL RESTAURANT

Plenty of vegan options. Usually I don’t get excited about lebanese food, but this was so fresh! I’ve never had hummus so good. The Cauliflower here (Najib’s Special) is some of the best Cauliflower dishes I’ve ever tasted. Go with friends and get Le Feast to share. Oh did I mention UNLIMITED HOT PITA BREAD?!

MY RATING: 9/10

MY RECOMMENDATIONS: LE FEAST (order vegan) (all dips, sides, mains and bottomless Pita) and an extra order of Najib’s Special

LOCATION: Various

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Roasted Eggplant from   NUBA

Roasted Eggplant from NUBA

Second part of Le Feast from   NUBA   (the first is bread and dips)

Second part of Le Feast from NUBA (the first is bread and dips)

First part of Le Feast from   NUBA   - hummus and baba ganoush

First part of Le Feast from NUBA - hummus and baba ganoush

DONUTS & ICE CREAM

Apple Fritter, Candied Nut and Orange, Citrus Glaze, Smokes Maple Walnut, Vanilla Glaze, Chocolate Glaze from   CARTEMS

Apple Fritter, Candied Nut and Orange, Citrus Glaze, Smokes Maple Walnut, Vanilla Glaze, Chocolate Glaze from CARTEMS

^*CARTEMS ($)

AMAZING DONUTS

These are the best donuts I have EVER had. I’m dead serious. This is coming from ya donut girl. So please believe me. Heck, don’t believe me and go and see for yourself. FLUFFY. LIGHT. CLOUDS. PERFECT AMOUNT OF GLAZE. Flavours are on point and these bad boys are CHEAP. Eat one everyday and have NO REGRETS PLEASE. The smoked maple walnut donut is one of the best things I’ve ever had in my life.

MY RATING: 10/10

MY RECOMMENDATIONS: Smoked Maple Walnut, Citrus Glaze, Vanilla Glaze

LOCATION: Various

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UMALUMA ($$$$$$)

DAIRY-FREE GELATO SHOP

A selection from   DIPPED DONUTS

A selection from DIPPED DONUTS

Eh… Overrated and I didn’t like it at ALL. I paid $9 for ONE SCOOP in a waffle cone. I am not in any way a picky eater, and even when things aren’t great I’ll eat them anyway. BUT I ended up pushing the ice cream ball off into the bin and eating the waffle cone. At least the cone was good. But not $9 good, ya know? Way too creamy, too melty, too sweet and NOT ENOUGH FLACOUR. Do yourself a favour and skip it. Cross the road, go to Vegan Supply and pick up a pint of Nora’s Strawberry’s and Cream Ice-Cream or some products by Hello. Also for an ice cream shop, the instagram is kinda weird… (Maybe it’s just me lol)

MY RATING: 0.5/10

MY RECOMMENDATIONS: NONE (shots fired)

LOCATION: 235 East Pender St (CHINATOWN)

MENU: Changing

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DIPPED DONUTS ($$)

100% VEGAN DONUTS

A great range of creative flavours! Love that they are a local small business. They don’t have a physical shop (yet). The donuts are slightly more bready than Cartems but all are 100% vegan. I was lucky enough to visit at a time where they did a pop-up but otherwise Dipped only does delivery.

MY RATING: 8/10

LOCATION: Pop-Up Shop

MENU: Changing

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*BUCKETS ICE CREAM

FRESH, FULL-FLAVOURED ICE CREAM MADE WITH LIQUID NITROGEN

My favourite vegan ice-cream in Vancouver! It’s super fun to watch them make the ice cream from scratch! They use super fresh ingredients and the dry ice means it forms super small particles, making the ice cream super smooth and delicious.

MY RATING: 8.5/10

MY RECOMMENDATIONS: Try the Matcha or Lychee but probably skip the toppings because unfortunately they don’t give you more than a tiny little sprinkle. Other than that, delicious!

LOCATION:

MENU: Changing

INSTAGRAM

Matcha Ice Cream from   BUCKETS

Matcha Ice Cream from BUCKETS

Silky Smooth Lychee Gelato from   BUCKETS

Silky Smooth Lychee Gelato from BUCKETS

EARNEST ICE CREAM

VANCOUVER’S MOST #POPULAR ICE-CREAM SHOP

A couple of okay vegan options! I got the Maple Pecan and it wasn’t terrible but wasn’t amazing. Good after-dniner dessert if you’re at Nuba at Mt Pleasant for dinner

MY RATING: 6.5/10

LOCATION: Various

MENU: Changing

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DON’T BOTHER

CHICKPEA

Go to Nuba instead. It’s better.

BUDGIES BURRITOS

Go to Bandidas instead. It’s better.

BUCKET LIST

What’s Up? Hot Dog!

VEGAN JUNK FOOD - BUFFALO WINGS - WASABI BURGER - HOT DOG

SCANDALICIOUS

WAFFLES

DUNDAS EAT + DRINK

VIETNAMESE + ASIAN FUSION - BUN BO HUE - BAO SLIDERS

WORKSHOP VEGETARIAN CAFE

RAMEN

VEGAN SUPPLY - THE 100% VEGAN SUPERMARKET

LOCATION: 250 E Pender Street (CHINATOWN)

MY TOP RECOMMENDATIONS:

  • Nora’s Strawberry and Cream Ice Cream

  • Dandies - Pumpkin flavoured marshmallows

  • Vegan Rob’s Probiotic Cauliflower Puffs

  • Sweetsmith Gingerbread Peanut Brittle

  • Say Hello Ice Cream Sandwiches

Elizabeth Miu