The Golden Stars of the Golden Plates: 2015 Vegan Highlights

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Every year, The Georgia Straight releases the annual Golden Plates. The Plates reward the city’s best restaurants, cafes, markets, and hidden gems; the icing on the (vegan) cake is that the awards are voted for by the patrons, readers, and food seekers, making them one of the most anticipated and coveted honours for a restaurant to receive.

The Golden Plates feature a selection of vegetarian/vegan awards, however nestled amongst the other categories are some of the best vegan eats that Vancouver has to offer. Here’s a summary of our top picks:

Mexican: La Taqueria

Boasting two convenient locations and an unbeatable price point ( $2.00 each or $7.00 for 4), this Vancouver institution features the tingas de hongos (sautéed fresh mushrooms in spicy chipotle sauce), and de picadillo (sautéed ground tofu in a secret recipe). Go early or late to avoid the mid day lunch rush, and make sure to investigate the magic of “taco Wednesday”.

Latin American: Cuchillo

Cuchillo holds a special place in our hearts, as it was the first restaurant featured in our collaboration with Vancouver is Awesome, The Veggie Option: ( One of our favourite spots for visiting with fellow vegans, vegetarians, and “other” alike. Request the grilled husk baby corn to be “veganized”, and get a sweet, satisfying treat flavoured with olive oil and chili. A trio of house guacamoles can’t be missed, Jicama, Cucumber Y Asian Pear salad, and the Roasted Cauliflower with almond date butter.

Caribbean: Calabash

Calabash is a home away from home. It’s cozy, inviting, and one of the most welcoming and accommodating restaurants in the city for patrons with any dietary specifications. The Calabash salad, and jerk fries with homemade ketchup are on the table every time, and the Ginger Plantains can be “veganized” upon request. Veggie curries, roti, and platters are staples, and Chef Cullen never turns away an opportunity to create unique, new dishes with a wide range of ingredients and flavours. Bonus: vegan options on the brunch menu.

Hotel Restaurant: Yew

Also featured on The Veggie Option (, the man behind the vegan delights of the downtown hot spot is the one and only Ned Bell. Refer to the website for a full vegan lunch menu and a full vegan dinner menu. Cashew cream pasta with cashew puree and woodland mushrooms is one of the most satisfying, creamy vegan dishes in the city (if not, world), and the rotating vegan desert (currently chocolate mousse), is a perfect cap to the meal.

Last but not least, many congratulations, and much respect to some of our favourite restaurants in the city who took home the vegan and vegetarian honours this year. These businesses have helped cultivate the community in the city, and they help to consistently redefine and challenge what vegan food is, and how people perceive it.
The Naam (fries with miso gravy, dragon bowls, and Tuscan nachos with Daiya and sundried tomatoes)

The Acorn (Mac and Cheese Mondays, anyone?)

Heirloom ( vegan eggs benny, avocado everything, and cozy memories of a vegan jambalaya)

The Wallflower (vegan brunch for the win, and extra points for the wide range of unique coffee cups)

Juice Truck ( The Base, Avocado Pineapple smoothie, raw chai brownie, cacao coconut bar.)

Earnest Ice Cream (vegan ice cream, for the win. Say no more.)


*An honourable mention to the crew at Meet on Main- you’re in our hearts, stomachs, on our tables, and we’ll be seeing you in the Golden Plates next year!*


– Compiled by Zoe-

@zoemarg //


  1. Veggies are so lucky to live in Vancouver lately! Don’t forget the Parker, the Foundation and Graze! All putting out great veg food.

  2. Hi!
    Just wondering where the feature photograph is from? It looks delicious!!!

  3. Also, don’t forget Bandidas Taqueria! Such delicious food. It’s my favorite in Vancouver.

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