Dining with Dietary Restrictions in Richmond - WestCoastFood

By Tourism Richmond

If you have food intolerances or dietary restrictions, it can often be hard to find a restaurant that accommodates your particular needs. Fortunately, there are many restaurants in Richmond that have menus that are tailored to those who are gluten intolerant or on a special diet, like paleo or keto.

The slogan for Goodbowl (#1630 – 4791 McClelland Road) is “Eat Good, Feel Good, Live Good,” which epitomizes the kind of food they serve. Basically, they offer a healthy version of a Mongolian grill experience, in which you pick the components of your own bowl and then watch it cooked speedily in front of you.

Goodbowl | Tourism Richmond | Tara Lee
Customize your meal at Goodbowl. | Photo: Tara Lee

Every bowl comes with jasmine or harvest wild blend rice. Of course, those on a low-carb diet can opt not to include the rice. After you pick your bowl size (e.g. regular), you then choose from a variety of veggies such as kale, spinach, zucchini, and broccoli, as well as other ingredients, like mushrooms and pineapple.

Then, you’re free to select a high-quality protein: AAA certified Angus beef; free run, grain-fed, and hormone-free chicken; Sakura pork; or tofu. Extras like a free run egg or prawns are also an option. The final step is deciding on a sauce (e.g. gluten-free tandoori). The cooked product arrives steaming from the grill, and ready to dive into.

A made-to-order bowl from Goodbowl. | Photo: Tara Lee
A made-to-order bowl from Goodbowl. | Photo: Tara Lee

In the same plaza as Goodbowl, you’ll also find Pokébar (#1110 – 4731 McClelland Road), which specializes in fully customizable poké. Staff will very patiently walk you through every step of the process, starting with a choice between white rice, brown rice, kale noodles, or mixed greens as the base. From there, it’s a matter of choosing proteins (e.g. albacore tuna, scallops), vegetables (e.g. kale), sauce (e.g. gluten-free soy), sides (e.g. crab salad), and toppings (e.g. masago). The combination you designed is sure to taste fresh and delicious.

Choose from a variety of proteins at Pokébar. | Photo: Tara Lee
Choose from a variety of proteins at Pokébar. | Photo: Tara Lee

Other poke spots, such as Westcoast Poké (#3030 – 1166 Steveston Highway) and Pokey Okey (8060 Anderson Road), offer similar customizable options that would suit many special diets.

Pokébar offers customizable poke bowls. | Photo: Tara Lee
Pokébar offers customizable poke bowls. | Photo: Tara Lee

Pepper Lunch (#150 – 5951 No. 3 Road, and #1625 – 4791 Mcclelland Road) has two locations in Richmond where you can cook your own food on a sizzling teppan. Choose from proteins like dry-aged New York steak or salmon, which come with accompaniments like green beans and carrots. If the accompaniments don’t fit your dietary needs, you can ask for substitutions, like more veggies instead of rice.

Your food arrives on a sizzling teppan plate at Pepper Lunch. | Photo: Pepper Lunch
Your food arrives on a sizzling teppan plate at Pepper Lunch. | Photo: Pepper Lunch

For those wanting a satisfying plate of pasta, BiBo Pizzeria (#1067C – 7899 Templeton Station Road) in McArthurGlen Designer Outlet allows for the substitution of gluten-free pasta for dishes like their traditional carbonara, made with free-range eggs, guanciale, and pecorino cheese.

Besides these establishments that can customize your meals, Richmond has many restaurants that have even developed special menu items that address the needs of those who are gluten intolerant—and do their best to accommodate other dietary restrictions.

Flying Beaver Bar & Grill (4760 Inglis Drive) not only gives you fabulous views of the Harbour Air seaplanes taking off and landing but also has many items that are designated as GA (gluten-aware). The menu also says to let your server know of any food allergies that you may have. The GA items include bacon-wrapped prawns, local mussels in Thai coconut sauce with tomatoes and onion, and pineapple soy steak bites with cracked pepper and sea salt. Their burgers, such as the Wild BC Salmon Burger topped with seaweed salad, can be served on a gluten-free ciabatta bun.

Bacon-wrapped prawns from Flying Beaver Bar & Grill. | Photo: Tara Lee
Bacon-wrapped prawns from Flying Beaver Bar & Grill. | Photo: Tara Lee

CAVU Kitchen Bar (5911 Minoru Boulevard, Hilton Vancouver Airport) is so serious about meeting the requirements of their diners that they’ve created a whole menu of gluten-friendly items. You can begin with chicken noodle soup or a chopped Caesar salad before moving onto bigger bowls like a carne asada steak salad with chilli-spiced seared flat iron steak, greens, manchego cheese, corn, black beans, pickled onion, salsa fresca, avocado crema, roasted garlic-lime vinaigrette, and tortilla crisps. More substantial mains include a seafood curry, as well as a dinner entrée of lamb sirloin with cauliflower tahini purée, du puy lentils, zucchini carpaccio, dukkah, and mint chermoula.

It’s clear that dietary food restrictions don’t have to mean sacrificing flavour and a fabulous eating experience at a restaurant in Richmond.

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