Unlike money and newborns, many of the healthy ingredients featured on The Chopped Leaf's menu of salads, wraps, and sandwiches do grow on trees. At the health-minded eatery, the staff fills bowls and wraps with eight chef-designed salads as well as build-your-own combinations, whipped up quickly for dining in or taking out. They mix spinach with crisp apples, juicy oranges, and creamy feta cheese, topping flavourful medleys with filling proteins such as grilled chicken or smoked tofu. The Chopped Leaf also improves upon the basics with flavoured Chopped water, cool iced water infused with chunks of real fruit.
It's safe to say all living things like food, but maybe not as much as Chef Victor Bongo does. Recently transplanted from Africa, a young Victor worked as a dishwasher, but the siren call of the culinary scene lured him. He navigated from one kitchen to another, learning to cook, achieving the position of head chef, and eventually studying with three-star Michelin Chef Edmund Liew-On.
Today, Chef Bongo helms Daniel's Restaurant, where he puts his considerable talents to work blending internationally beloved spices into local seasonal and organic ingredients. He places pan-seared scallops into seas of pureed parsnips or submerges bison filet mignon in blueberry-port-wine sauce. His culinary ministrations earned his new restaurant the accolades of local press, including Straight.com's 2012 Golden Plate award for Best New Restaurant Outside Vancouver.
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.
Tiny Karmavore Organic Juice Bar sends the scent of fresh fruit and vegetables wafting throughout the River Market at Westminster Quay, tempting busy shoppers to stop and indulge in a glass of puréed produce. Following the same health-conscious philosophy that fuels Karmavore's café location, the juice bar uses only fresh, organic ingredients in its vegan offerings. Alongside glasses of fruit and vegetable juice, the shop serves up a variety of handmade wraps and salads, each of which blesses diners' hearts for their healthy choices on the way down.
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.