By Kristi Alexandra
Here are five delicious places to go vegetarian and vegan in New Westminster.
789 Carnarvon Street
Set kitty-corner to New Westminster Station, V Cafe takes a cruelty-free approach to Vietnamese cuisine. For those who crave the comfort of a warm bowl of pho while enjoying a meat-free diet, V Cafe has got you covered. A large steaming bowl of vegetable pho in a vegetarian soup base, complete with broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, mushrooms, tofu and meat-free protein will run you $9.95, while vegetarian and vegan banh mi baguettes are $6.60. We tried the vegetarian lemongrass “chicken” banh mi and it was virtually indistinguishable from the real thing. Soup and sandwiches aren’t the only thing vegetarian Vietnamese cuisine lovers can find, though. Explore V Cafe’s 8 different salad rolls, from the vegan California roll to the vegan smoked BBQ rib rolls ($6.60 per pair).
655 Front Street
Vegan and vegetarian options abound at this hip Front Street coffee shop. Java aficionados and art lovers alike flock to this spot for its artsy ambiance, but it’s the food they keep coming back for. Sandwiches such as the veggie muffaletta (provolone cheese and assorted seasonal vegetables on sourdough) and a simple mixed green salad star as a lunch meal, while early risers can cash in on the Negg salad toast or hummus toast. Old Crow Coffee Co also stocks vegan treats from Dipped Doughnut Co, but they’re often gone by the time afternoon rolls around.
800 Carnarvon Street, #352
We’ve said it once, and we’ll say it again: this Royal City poutinerie has a healthy handful of meat-free options. The Spud Shack creates all ten of their poutine dishes with meat-free gravy, including “The Original.” If you’re looking for a few more twists on this classic Eastern Canadian dish, try out The Big V–loaded with vegetarian chili, sour cream, cheese, and green onions. The buffalo chicken poutine also comes with a vegetarian option, complete with Frank’s Hot Sauce, ranch and green onions. Prices range from $5.75 to $16.
810 Quayside Drive, #116
This Thai-centric eatery did a menu refresh in mid-January, bringing a street-style approach to its food. While Longtail does serve up meat, you can’t go wrong with the spot’s vegetarian options. Take, for example, the Singapore fried noodles with tofu ($13). Thin vermicelli noodles are fried up with tumeric, giving you a taste of savoury spices, while puffs of tofu add texture.
810 Quayside Drive, #112
Helmed by El Santo’s Alejandro Diaz and Sam Fabbro, this vegetarian eatery offers up a plant forward, feel good menu. Amaranthus, named after the ancient grain of the same name, is set inside New Westminster’s River Market, taking the place of Freebird Chicken Shack. Now that the spot is meat-free, you’ll find experimental, plant-based dishes such as the wild mushroom risotto ($14), fresh cheese-stuffed Swiss chard ($14) and the Amaranthus veggie burger with roast celeriac, swiss chard, blue cheese, blueberry BBQ sauce, fried shallots and a salad ($14). For a small nibble, try the caramelized citrus salad ($5/$10), or the fried brussel sprouts ($11). On weekends, you’ll find a candied beetroot benny ($14) on offer, with poached eggs, caramelized onions, confit garlic and sherry vinegar hollandaise on a sourdough English muffin.