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.
Cuisine Type: Japanese tapas (appetizers)
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Number of Tables: 11–25
Parking: Parking garage
Most popular offering: Izakaya
Alcohol: Full bar
Delivery/Takeout Available: No
Outdoor Seating: No
Do you adhere to any sustainable or eco-friendly practices?
Most of our food ingredients are locally sourced and delivered fresh daily. The true success of an izakaya dish is based on the freshness of the ingredients.
Is there anything else you want to add that we didn't cover?
Our izakaya lounge is the perfect place to relax and enjoy superior appetizers that are not available in mainstream lounges.
Décor can say a lot about the type of food a restaurant serves. How does your décor inform or reflect your culinary practice?
Our lounge décor is based on an old-style Japanese country inn [and it has] a contemporary flair to allow our guests to enjoy an open, but well laid-out seating area.
In your own words, how would you describe your menu?
We hired a master izakaya chef to train our chefs on the secret recipes and techniques involved in the fine art of authentic izakaya dishes. The typical experience is to order beer or wine, and then select several dishes that are meant to be shared, in true tapas style.
As far as Chef Noudine Majdoubi is concerned, dining is a time for sharing, not for cramming. That's why, as executive chef at Ten Ten Tapas, Chef Noudine exclusively serves small, shareable plates. In the morning, those include crepes filled with seasonal berries and brandy maple syrup. As ante meridian gives way to post meridian, Chef Noudine turns to dinner options such as organic cauliflower tossed in bechamel sauce and pairs of housemade, pan-seared crab cakes served with harissa mayo.
To complement Chef Noudine's many housemade bites, bartenders mix libations from a stock of spirits and wines. Communal feasts can unfold on an outdoor patio, which overlooks the scenic waterfront of the English Bay Seawall, or inside Ten Ten's dining room. There, diners can relax amidst cushy leather seating and a chandelier assembled from wine glasses and champagne flutes.
Rainbow-coloured blankets splayed on the walls signal that Ponchos Mexican Restaurant is a great place for a feast to become a fiesta. Arrive on the weekends, and a guitar-wielding entertainer plays festive music to boost the celebratory atmosphere. Since 1988, Kaeta Vasquez and her crew in the kitchen have crafted traditional Mexican dishes, such as paella for one or two, a steak-and-enchilada plate, flautas crisp from the fryer, and fajita platters sizzling with peppers and onions. To keep the party alive, diners can order Ponchos Coffee spiked with Kahlúa and Grand Marnier, which Kaeta herself escorts to each table and lights on fire.