- New West Anchor
- The vegetarian and vegan options you need to try in and around New West
The vegetarian and vegan options you need to try in and around New West
From pho to margherita pizza, there’s lots to choose from to satisfy your cravings
The interest in vegetarian and vegan food has grown significantly in the past couple of years. As a result, the plant-based food market is expected to skyrocket to $162B by 2025—up from $25B in 2015.
It’s hard to believe that even a decade ago it was tough to find vegetarian or vegan options on a restaurant menu—that is no longer the case, especially thanks to New West’s flourishing food scene.
Here are some of our favourite spots to get vegetarian and/or vegan food in the city.
I couldn’t start this list without mentioning Piva because it has a separate vegetarian menu with options to suit every taste.
Fried eggplant, margherita pizza, and mushroom pizza are three noteworthy items on the menu, all of which can be made vegan. There is also vegan pasta and gnocchi.
If you haven’t tried red borsch yet,it’s a must! This flagship Eastern European soup contains red beets and a variety of other vegetables including cabbage, onions, carrots, and more.
The hand-rolled cabbage rolls are also a must here. They are usually filled with ground pork, but Kozak has a vegan option which includes red kidney beans and mushrooms. The rolls are then covered in tomato sauce.
Cottage cheese pancakes are a must for vegetarians looking to try something new. Served with jam and sour cream, they are the perfect combination of sweet and savoury.
While this restaurant is in Burnaby, it is extremely close to the New West border if you fancy a little adventure.
They have a great vegetarian platter which includes a combination of split peas, lentils, chickpeas, cabbage, collard greens, and vegetables. Fun fact: Injera, the traditional Ethiopian bread, is also part of every entrée.
Indian cuisine offers many vegetarian options and Kalash is no exception.
Starting with appetizers, you can choose from vegetable pakoras, honey garlic cauliflower or samosas.
As for the main dish, one of my favourites is the palak paneer, which consists of fresh cottage cheese cubes with spinach, onion, garlic, ginger and cream. I’m basically a fan of any dish that has paneer. I also recommend the dal makhni, which has pan fried lentils and mixes great with basmati rice. If you want to make your dish vegan, make sure to ask them to substitute the cream for coconut milk.
The best part about empanadas is that they are very versatile and can be made with many different types of fillings, some of which are vegetarian and vegan. One of my favourites is the veggie and feta option, especially when it’s paired with mango sauce.
Nam Vegan Express has vegan and MSG-free menu items. And, if you’ve been craving pho like I have, but want a vegan option, this is the place to go. The broth is steeped with star anise, cardamom, cinnamon, napa cabbage, carrots and daikon radish with flat rice noodles.
You will see beef and chicken on the menu, but it’s imitation meat and it’s worth the try, especially when it comes to the sweet and sour chicken or the sautéed garlic beef.
Thank you to our amazing New West Anchor readers who chimed in with some of their favourites. Here's what they had to say about additional vegetarian and vegan options to try.
"V Cafe on Carnarvon at 8th is totally vegan and is my go-to for Vietnamese food. They have a good variety of offerings. They have been around for a couple of years now." ––Betina W.
"I would include V Cafe on Carnarvon. Been there many times and it's delish. I believe AKD also has vegetarian ramen that folks rave about."––D. Heel"Craft Cafe serves an amazing vegan grilled cheese sandwich and a chickpea of the sea sandwich, not to mention other vegan delights. V Cafe is a vegan Vietnamese restaurant. The lemongrass "chicken" salad roll is out of this world. L'Onore offers vegan cheese for their pizza. Pho Chan has a spicy peanut vegetarian pho that will knock your socks off. The vegetable maki at Hyack Sushi is delightful." ––Trudi G.
"Massawa has a delicious vegetarian combo and a chick pea stew on injera among their Eritrean food offerings as well as Mediterranean vegetarian foods such as ful and shakshuka (both ovo-vegetarian). Also in Uptown, Zaaki Cuisine makes excellent falafel. Courtyard Indian Restaurant has many vegetarian offerings, and they do them well."
"At Wild Thyme, some of the man’oushe (flatbreads) are vegetarian or vegan.
"At D Roti Shak, you can stuff yourself on doubles, delicious Trinidadian chick-pea-based street food."—Vero B.
If you know of any other great vegetarian or vegan spots, or restaurants with plant-based alternatives, drop us a line at [email protected].