Vancouver was the last stop on our trip so I’d done less research into where we were going to eat. Like all our other stops, we left with many options untried. 3 nights in Vancouver definitely wasn’t long enough.
We can’t get Vietnamese food near to us so we wanted to get some here. Chau had been recommended so we headed off in search of our favourite Pho. Both of the starters we picked were just OK – spring rolls and ham rice paper rolls. Nothing to complain about but not mind blowing.
The mains were far better, with a big steaming bowl of pho, heavy on vegetables so light yet comforting
And a stuffed Banh Xeo pancake. I know how hard these are to make after my total fail and this was good and crispy if a bit sweet
We enjoyed Chau but nothing like as much as the only other time we’ve eaten Vietnamese food, in Seattle, but given that that was in an all vegan restaurant (can’t remember the name, sorry), it’s hardly a surprise.
For breakfast the next day we went to The Na’am. The Na’am appears to be a Vancouver institution. I’ve spoken before about the strange american tendency to serve sweet food with savoury at breakfast time and it clearly extends across the border too. My breakfast was a strange mix of sausages, coconutty pancakes, potatoes, fruit, maple syrup and miso gravy! Highly tasty and filling though.
The highlight foodwise of Vancouver was our trip to Nuba. It was certainly up there with anything we ate the whole trip, which tells you just how good it must have been. It’s a lovely dark intimate restaurant which is great for atmosphere but sucks for photos. We asked for the vegetarian feast to be served vegan, but when we were told it only involved removing some feta, we went with it vegetarian and Matthew ate the feta. It was amazing.
The cold course was hummus, baba ghanoush, tabbouleh and pickled red cabbage. All were perfect examples of their kind.
The hot course was even better, though the photo was even worse.
Olives, falafel, mjadra (green lentils and rice), fattoush salad, aubergine stew with chickpeas, and, the best part of the meal, crispy cauliflower with tahini. How anone can make cauliflower taste as good as that is beyond me. I have never tasted better cauliflower, and unless I go back, I doubt I ever will.
The other evening meal we had was at 3G, partly because we were craving chinese mock meat, and partly because a group of Vancouver PPKers were meeting there anyway for a Vegan Bakesale. Of course, that meant that the place was especially busy so despite having booked a table we were waiting ages to sit down and it was hours before we ate.
The chicken drumsticks were wonderful, but none of the other dishes really stood out. It wasn’t a good evening to try them though, because the queues were winding round the block and they didn’t have enough staff. It might be better when it’s less busy.
The other non food (ish) related thing I got to do in Vancouver was meet Carla. I got to know her as a fellow tester but recently I’ve tested for her own book Vegan Bakesale, and it’s going to be well worth getting. I was worried it’d be full of sweet things, and although of course they are the main focus, there’s a good amount to satisfy savoury cravings too.
So that was the end of our trip. As you can see it was closely focussed around food but we also managed to meet up with some amazing people and even see some sights too. Across 4 cities we ate a huge amount of vegan food and even now 2 months later (shame on me!) our clothes are still a bit tight around the waists. I know of course that there are some parts of America which are vegan wastelands but we haven’t found them yet and can’t wait to return.