The creators of Karmavore Cafe + Dessert Lounge believe that, if you are what you eat, you should eat healthily, sustainably, and compassionately. As practicing vegans themselves, they know that such feats are not easily accomplished and can often mean steering clear of favorite foods. But they also know that, unlike convincing a toddler that broccoli is a special treat for good children, finding tasty vegan food is not impossible.
To prove it, they enlisted the help of vegan baker Ashley McLean. McLean's desserts may be egg-free, lactose-free, and cholesterol-free, but many customers don't even realize it, Karmavore's manager said in a New Westminster News Leader article. They're drawn into the shop at the sight of the cakes, apple pies, and peanut-butter bars on display. These treats satisfy sweet teeth after heartier vegan wraps, burgers, soups, and salads from the deli.
Colabs Cafe and Bake Shop blends a cosmopolitan European vibe with a homey, handmade sensibility while treating guests to feasts of baked goods, including a variety of gluten-free options, coffee, and toasty paninis. The chefs panini-press PB&J sandwiches, roast beef sandwiches, and tofu-scramble wraps, paired with quinoa salads and chickpea bocconcini. From behind a shiny glass display case, jumbo cookies, breads, muffins, as well as dozens of cupcakes beckon to rumbling stomachs, slathered in creamy frosting, cookie crumbles, and marshmallows. Unlike most breakfast and lunch cafés, Colabs Cafe and Bake Shop stays open until midnight, helping diners fuel themselves with the energy to stay up late enough to tuck in the sun.
Milo Bigler traces the origins of his passion for food to a childhood spent in the kitchens of his parents’ resort and spa in the tiny Swiss village where he grew up. He went on to pursue a culinary education, eventually winding up in Canada, where he has prepared meals for politicians and royalty. He has opened multiple restaurants, including Calvin’s Café in 1991.
At Calvin’s, Bigler prepares everything from breakfast platters to steak dinners. He crafts sandwiches, makes soups, and tosses salads, each with a tasty little twist thrown in. He enhances his spinach and goat cheese salad with pickled mustard seeds, and polka-dots his open-faced smoked salmon bagel with caper berries. To keep things interesting, he cooks completely different menus at different times of the day, offering unique morning, lunch, afternoon, and dinner menus.
At Indigo Food Cafe, vegan chef, café owner, and Ukrainian polyglot Lovena Galyide orients taste buds toward uncooked fruit, nut, and veggie dishes in an effort to jump-start the body's natural healing process. A high tea menu pairs organic, fair-trade teas with bite-size treats including collard rolls, kale chips, and berry cheesecake, and a dinner menu includes collard roll-ups and stuffed portabella burgers. Desserts range from healthy indulgences such as coconut cream pie or lemon goji bars that are also served at breakfast. Lovena also leads classes to help raw foodies bring her café’s nourishing dishes into their own kitchens. During intro classes or more focused sessions on desserts or beauty, Galyide unveils the health benefits and top-hat-decorating potential of figs, coconuts, nettles, and other vitamin-crammed superfoods as her students make and eat kale chips and almond milk and learn to use vital appliances from food processors to dehydrators.
Since serving up one of their signature wraps to their first customer 20 years ago, Fit For Life’s staff has continued to uphold their dedication to the speedy yet thoughtful preparation of healthy, nutritious food. At each outpost across Canada, kitchen teams whip up healthful alternatives to fast food, forging a menu of low-fat and vegetarian options made using fresh ingredients selected for their high nutritional value and ability to inflate Popeye’s muscles. Morning options include omelettes and breakfast sandwiches, and a roster of burritos, pitas, and paninis fills out the lunch and dinner menus.
Nestled in a cozy brick building in Kerrisdale, Avenue Grill Restaurant has served a menu’s worth of diverse food since the 1920s. The head chef honed his knack for Mediterranean cooking in Europe—reflected in the eatery's Mediterranean sandwiches, with grilled eggplant and zucchini on focaccia—but also crafts pastas, fresh seafood, and three-egg omelettes. An ample wine selection complements Avenue Grill's sundry dishes, and seasonal specials incorporate only the freshest and most polite ingredients. In the dining room, vases filled with flowers top tables and vibrant paintings of blooming floras and lolling hills adorn the walls.