Maple Thai Cuisine - Vegan Options

Previously the location of a mediocre sushi joint, the little cafe in Aldergrove on 272nd Street has new owners and is now called Maple Thai and serves, you guessed it, Thai Food. I was impressed because there is a vegan section on their menu with 6 items (including 2 mysteriously located elsewhere on the menu).

We decided to give them a try and ordered takeout. 
The takeout containers do not give the greatest impression in photos but this was a pretty decent Papaya Salad. Shredded green papaya, cherry tomatoes, perfectly crispy green beans as well as the dressing featuring lime, chillis, salt and sugar. And don't forget the roasted peanuts. Very nice.
Also, not so impressive in the photo (all the veggies kept sinking!) but very tasty! This vegan Tom Kha Soup was coconutty with just a hint of sweetness and mild spice.
The Broccoli with Peanut Sauce was excellent and featured tofu. We made some rice at home to make sure that none of the slightly sweet peanut sauce went to waste!
Finally, we had the vegan Drunken Noodles. This was another very nice dish with lots of perfectly cooked veggies. We certainly got our veggies for the day. The noodles were just chewy enough to keep us interested.
Since the time that we placed our order and enjoyed our food until I started writing this thing, the vegan section of the online menu at MTC has expanded to 10 items! As we live just around the corner, you know that we will be back! I dropped in a day later to meet the new folks, check the place out and find out why they had decided on vegan items! They were very friendly and I was told that they had people asking for vegan items and so they responded. One thing about Thai food is that many dishes are easily veganized. Thanks, MTC!
Food                          4 out of 5
Vegan Options           4 out of 5
Comfort                      4 out of 5
Service                       4 1/2 out of 5
Value                          4 out of 5

Leopold's Tavern - Vegan Options!

We got so excited when we read about Leopold's Tavern coming to Vancouver, that we almost showed up a week early! In our defense, there were certainly mixed messages on social media and Google was no help as there was no info prior to their opening. Neither do they have a phone number where you could ask someone (I tried calling the Victoria restaurant but no phone!). Fortunately, someone did respond to my Instagram message and let me know before we made the trip from Aldergrove (its not like we wouldn't have found someplace to eat if we arrived to find them not yet open).

Still it turned out to be worth the wait! Located on West Broadway at Fir, this was an easy transit trip that will be even easier when the skytrain extension is completed. We arrived at around 1:30 on their first open Saturday to find the place hopping.
We started with their Plant-Based Wings with Salt and Pepper. At first bite, we both had an "Oh my God! Am I eating dead bird?" moment! I'm not sure what this was but I am leaning towards seitan. These were amazingly crispy and savory. They came with a few veggies and a tremendous vegan ranch. 
The Plant Based Breakfast Sandwich is available all day and you can order it with Poutine (vegan of course). It wouldn't be the healthiest breakfast but for some reason it seemed ok in the afternoon! I think the sandwich was made with Just Egg and the vegan cheddar was excellent. It was melty and rich. Get this: they make their own buns in house! Remember that this is a tavern but they do their own baking! And the buns were very good! The Poutine was also very good with skinny fries that didn't get too soggy while the gravy was salty and "beefy." Too be honest, there could have been more cheese but that is like the only thing that we found to gripe about.
We had to have the Smash Burger with veggies and dip. They used and Impossible Patty which really lends itself to being smashed! More melty cheddar and that great bun with the usual accoutrements (pretty impressive word for a blog, right?). Also more of the amazing ranch! Again, we brought our own containers for our leftovers and my intention was to fill the container with their ranch if there were no other leftovers (there were...we are not gluttons!). 
So the food was amazing but so was the service and surroundings. To start with, under the heading of above and beyond, our server (should have gotten her name!) arranged for the lighting in the back room to be turned up, just for a minute, so I could take a couple of pictures!
Then, there were my endless questions about what they used for the great food! Also, around every corner were the results of a huge effort to create a fun space. Hey! Do I know that guy in the red bow tie from back in the 70s?
The walls and ceiling of the back dining room that we were in were covered in the work of local artist Will Phillips.
Leopold's Taverns are already going concerns in many locations all the way to Manitoba. Their plan is to open more Vancouver locations in the future and we endorse that plan! They could easily ignore the vegan minority and sell lots of beer and regular pub food  but they have stepped up! There are so many more vegan options on the menu that we would like to try. This is a great place!
Food                       5 out of 5
Vegan options        4 1/2 out of 5
Comfort                  4 1/2 out of 5
Service                   5 out of 5
Value                      4 1/2 out of 5


Appy Avenue Street Eats - Vegan Options

Once again we find ourselves picking up food from the Core Kitchen in Langley. This commissary kitchen has had quite a few successful food providers move on to their own storefronts, such as Vada Pav Mirchi and Mr. Siopao!
We kind of feel like Appy Avenue Street Eats might follow suit as we were more than a little impressed with what we tried.
We knew that the beverage wouldn't make it all the way home so we took a quick picture on the picnic tables outside the kitchen. This Bombay Masala Soda was indeed an amazing drink and we struggled to identify the sweet and salty elements. Soda, like it says, with a bit of salty, lemony, sweet, cuminy flavour and even (and Google means never having to wonder) black salt! I would literally drink this all the time!
We got home and spread out our windfall on the table and realized that we had a lot of food for only $57 including the soda!
Of course, there were pakoras. Always better right out of the fryer, we gave these a bit of a reheat to crisp them up a bit. Tasty and with a nice tamarind sauce on the side.
The Ragda Samosa Chaat was impressive. Under cover of a warming chickpea curry were veggie samosas. Be sure to ask for it without yogurt and you will be happy with the results. A generous serving of delicious and substantial eats.
Various burgers seem to be the centrepiece for the modern Indian street eats. We chose the Tikka Burger at our host's suggestion and it turned out to be a fine suggestion. This was basically a potato patty and like all burgers, the condiments and accompaniments made the thing. There was some sort of tasty chutney and a nice thin slice of red onion on a sesame seed bun. Very nice!
We love Gol Gappe. They seem like a vegan mainstay. Little crispy pastry shells with potatoes and chickpeas inside that you fill with a green, flavoured (chutney of some kind?) liquid. They stay crispy that way (when you add the liquid yourself) and are delicious.
We ordered the Aloo Poori for our final dish. The poori are the puffy bread which had collapsed by the time we saw them but were tasty just the same. I didn't take a photo other than they are shown in the first photo of all the food we had ordered. The only time you will get fully puffy poori is if they are delivered fresh to your table. The aloo part is a warm and creamy potato curry and it is served with pickles, onions and some fierce chillis! Also, very nice.
The food was great and well priced and everything was ready on time. We found ordering to be a problem, at least online on our phone and being slightly technically challenged. We did better when we showed up in person to order and had things clarified and suggestions made. There are a few more things that we would like to try and we will be back. Thanks, Appy Avenue!
Food                             4 1/2 out of 5
Vegan options               3 1/2 out of 5
Comfort                        NA
Service                         4 out of 5
Value                            4 1/2 out of 5

JJ Bean - Vegan Options

So, Starbucks doesn't really knock itself out for vegans. I like their coffee but there are other places where one can get something to eat that is plant-based to go with one's coffee. JJ Bean is one of those places. YouTubers, Vegan Twosome put us on to this place by, reviewing it a few months ago. 

Of course, there are many JJ Bean locations and they don't necessarily serve all the same things. We did visit the website however and what we found on the menu at the Bidwell and Davie location was pretty similar. I kind of remember this place being a Mexican restaurant about a hundred years ago.
We started with just really good coffee. They had oat, soy and almond milk all available. I'm a black coffee guy but I do like a drop of something once in a while and I decided to try almond milk for a change. Very nice!
JJ.B, has a selection of vegan muffins which they run out of as the day goes on. I think this was the Chocolate Zucchini and it was rich and tasty. Muffins are the epitome of health food as far as a lot of people are concerned but they can be surprisingly high in calories, vegan or not. This was a pretty nice treat though! There are a few other baked goods as well that are plant-based.
The Yoggu! Coconut Yogurt Parfait was a nice treat also. We had never had Yoggu yogurt but it was really velvety and rich. The topping was crunchy and a little sweet. Breakfast of champions!
Finally, we had the Impossible Bulgogi Burrito. Again, we would say that this was a tasty and satisfying item. We both thought it could do with a little stronger bulgogi flavour but I you have to be able to make the majority happy. The toasting was a great thing. With a few veggies, this is an all round sandwich that would be perfect anytime.
This location of JJ Bean seems to be in what is either an appendage on the neighboring tower or maybe it is a completely separate building that predates the tower. It would be interesting to find out. Either way it is a pretty interesting space with some varying seating choices including outside. The staff were helpful and patient with the vegan. We thought the prices were reasonable overall. If there were more JJ Beans around, I could easily kick my Starbucks habit.
Food                          4 out of 5
Vegan Options           4 out of 5
Comfort                     4 out of 5
Service                      4 1/2 out of 5
Value                         4 ouot of 5

Trading Post Brewing - Vegan Options

Now here is a place that has gone above and beyond! Their vegan options are several and interesting and we could see ourselves being regulars... if we had a regular place!

Located in Abbotsford on Gladwin Road between George Ferguson and Maclure Roads (there are Langley and Fort Langley locations as well), we arrived on Saturday in mid-afternoon and found the place relatively quiet. We were seated right away. I wished that my car needed charging as they have one of the few remaining free chargers available for customers. Nice!
I know it's just a pretzel and to be honest with you, I don't even know if pretzels are naturally vegan or not. It was there on the menu so we decided to try it. It came with a garlic dill dipping sauce and the thing was quite tasty! 
Next up was Harvest Bites. These were chickpea fritters and came with the same garlic dill sauce. They were crispy and substantial. Delicious! We love the dill sauce but we would be impressed with having a second dipping sauce choice.
We ordered a Harvest Club with Sweet potato fries and they kindly cut it in half and served it on separate plates as they knew we were sharing everything. Nice, right? Based on the same chickpea patty as the fritters, we think, it made a great sandwich. Lots of places will just serve an Impossible or Beyond patty and call it a day, which is fine. We are always impressed when someone builds something like this from scratch. Good fries too!
The star of this show was definitely the Vegan Power Bowl! They make their own hummus! Its not that difficult a thing but lots of places will just phone it in and use the store-bought stuff. There was a nice mix of greens and seeds and nuts, as well as crispy chickpeas and roasted corn. They top it with what they call North West Dressing which I'll admit, I didn't pay attention to. Still, the whole bowl was impressive. 
We brought our own containers for leftovers of which there was quite a bit. This was mildly confusing to the serving staff but they liked the idea when we got it all figured out. Just trying to do another small bit for the planet. The restaurant is spacious and interesting with several dining areas and high ceilings. Our servers were friendly and knew their way around the menu. There are several more vegan items on the menu including tacos, other bowls and soup, that we will likely return to try another time!
Food                         4 out of 5
Vegan Options          4 out of 5
Comfort                    4 out of 5
Service                     4 1/2 out of 5
Value                         4 out of 5

Vegan Festival - Kits Beach - Sept 9, 2023

Well, that was fun! Not only was it a beautiful day in Vancouver but many people showed up for the Vegan Festival at Kits Beach. There were food trucks, vendors, and information galore.

It was an easy transit trip from Burrard Station and Bus 2 to Cornwall and Yew. While the bus was a bit crowded it spared us having to bring our car and struggle with parking and traffic. Nice choice of venue.
We arrived hungry and jumped right to something to eat. I lined up for Lita's Mexican Food while my partner lined up at House of Yee (which was right next to Lita's as you can hardly tell in the first of several crappy photos).
From House of Lee, Mharie got some vegan dumplings and noodles. House of Lee is not a vegan company. In addition to the 2 kinds of plant-based dumplings they served at the festival, they have dumplings with chicken and pork. The good thing is that they are widely available all the way out to Abbotsford. That is, I hope the vegan dumplings are available. I kind of hope the chicken and pork are impossible to find.
From Lita's, I got the combo with a Chipotle Chick'n Taco Salad, cornbread and hibiscus iced tea. It was great and even mildly spicy. The chicken made me pause for a second (you know that, am I eating real chicken moment ?) but I have faith in this all plant-based company and we have tried their products before. The cornbread was very good and just wanted to be bigger. I have never had this type of iced tea and would love to make it.
You may have noticed the metal serving cups and containers. The whole festival was an almost completely non-waste affair and you returned your containers to locations around the site. The advantage was 2 fold as I feel like the servings were larger than what you might usually expect from food trucks and carts. We scored! Check out for info about restaurants which use their containers for delivery.
Anyway, having staved off starvation, we were able to check out some of the many vendors both familiar and unfamiliar before diving back into the eats.
We are big fans of the Plant Curious coupon book and have discovered plant-based eats that we would not have found otherwise. There may be a few more books available even now of this second year, second edition bigger and better book. Also, if someone forces you to go to Toronto, they've got you there too!
The victim of my second crappy photo (sun backlit is terrible) is K So. We have so far been unsuccessful at finding K So in stock at Vegan Supply in Chinatown so we were happy to find her here. Go to YouTubers "Vegan Twosome" to see better pics and a good idea about how to get this amazing new product which will doubtless be available everywhere soon! It is so good! I will be posting nacho pics with K So soon on Insta!
But on to more eats! Nona Vegan markets 5 vegan pasta sauces and to be honest we did not try them but we did try their secret combination of sauces and vegan parm in a dish that was only available for the day!
Their Smoky Mac N Cheese with Garlic Parm was some of the best we have ever had! Seriously, this was just amazing and so smoky!
And then dessert! People seemed to know this man and his Insta shows pics from at least 3 years ago. So he has been around and has a following. We want to be part of it!
And our man was working hard! What he needs is an assistant or another truck as waits were stretching out under the sun (of course the lineups for Chickpea and Veg Out were stupid too!). It was worth the wait in this case.
This was amazing and I have only ever seen it made with dairy, resulting in cruelty and damage to the planet! The same can clearly be done with coconut ice cream and we loved it! Flavoured with strawberry and mango it was refreshing in the heat! We felt a little bad about throwing the coconut bowls away and left them with the "reusable" containers.
Those with a little more self-control when it comes to the food, were able to participate in uplifting activities such as yoga. I was barely able to get up! I'm not sure why we had so much fun here even compared to the Plant-Based Expo. Maybe the casual atmosphere and the beautiful day contributed.
Let's do this again!

Halal Guys - Vegan Options

Falafel is a port in a storm for many vegans. If there is nothing else available, you can always find it and it can be pretty tasty! We had heard that New York City's Halal Guys was coming to Vancouver and the day had arrived! Actually, we were in the area looking for Rollzzy having recently become fans of Dilli Heights Bistro their parent restaurant. Unfortunately, we didn't pay attention to the "coming soon" part of the Rollzzy post. Or maybe it was fortunate, as we ended up a few doors down at Halal Guys!
Despite the fact that YouTube New York expert "Here Be Barr" has gyro/falafel places that he rates above Halal Guys, we thought the vegan option at least, looked pretty good. Located at 570 Robson, we arrived mid Saturday afternoon and despite the fact that things were humming, service was quick and efficient. We had occasion to speak to the manager who told us that he spent a month training in NYC, so these people are serious!
Your vegan choices are a falafel platter of a wrap (or French fries, I guess)and we chose the small platter for $15.99 with Baba Ghanoush for an extra $1.79. We thought it was a pretty good price and Mharie and I actually shared it. Its a surprising amount of food! There was a base of tasty basmati rice seasoned with, I'm not sure what, rendering it orange. It comes with a pita which was good for the baba ghanoush (which could have been smokier in our opinion), tomatoes, green peppers and jalapenos. The falafel itself was crispy on the outside and quite decent. Watch out for the hot sauce as when our server said it was hot, he was not kidding. We left with some mildly warm lips! Watch out for their signature white sauce which is not vegan. 
Its a bright and colourful place and we found the staff friendly. Halal Guys is doing OK as we can see that they have expanded to locations all over the States and a few in Canada. They are a preferable fast food option even for carnivores as near as we can tell.
Welcome to Vancouver!
Food                         3 1/2 out of 5
Vegan Options          2 1/2 out of 5
Comfort                    3 1/2 out of 5
Service                     4 1/2 out of 5
Value                        3 1/2 out of 5

About Us

Are you guys eating again? At some point Marie and I became the kind of people who take pictures of everything we eat, whether in a restaura...