The plant-based movement is gaining momentum worldwide, with more people becoming conscious about how their eating habits impact the environment. A 2020 study reported that 2.3 million Canadians are vegetarian, and 850,000 are vegan, most of whom live in Vancouver. So it only makes sense that the Vancouver culinary scene has adapted to offer an assortment of vegan-friendly options to satisfy all cravings, from juicy vegan cheeseburgers to healthy green bowls on the go.
With the weekend finally here, we thought it would be an excellent opportunity to bring together a list of our favourite vegan brunch spots in downtown Vancouver and the surrounding area. If you’re not already hungry, we’re sure you will be once you take a peek at some of these spreads. From breakfast tacos stuffed with vegan chorizo to your good ole’ avocado on toast (the official meal of the Vancouver Millennial), these banging brunch spots are just a few great reasons to indulge this weekend while supporting local businesses.
The Kind Cafe + Eatery is a family-run plant-based restaurant on South Main Street in Vancouver. They pride themselves on zero waste initiatives, using only cloth napkins, no single-use plastics, and have implemented a “BYOC” (bring your own container) policy for takeout. They offer a colourful assortment of specialty lattes to complement their tasty bagels. One of our favourite things about the Kind Cafe is its patio! They don’t take reservations, so if you want a spot outside, keep in mind that tables are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
If you’re looking for a casual vegan fine-dining experience, MILA offers a lively and aesthetically pleasing atmosphere with a menu to match. Located in Vancouver’s Chinatown neighbourhood, MILA’s carefully curated vegan menu will not disappoint with beautifully plated dishes worthy of any plant-based influencer’s Instagram feed. Whether you’re looking for something savoury, such as their tempeh “rib” hash or a mango cheesecake waffle to satisfy your sweet tooth, they have something for everyone. In addition to a decadent menu, their cocktail list is simply divine. Mimosa flight, anyone?
Located in East Vancouver, Eternal Abundance’s menu is entirely vegan and gluten-free, using only organic ingredients. Ethics plays a large role in the restaurant’s culture, and they put a lot of care into everything they make. Breakfast/brunch is served until 2 PM, and one of our favourite things to order is their gluten-free quinoa waffles. Topped with shredded coconut, vegan butter spread, tasty seasonal fruit, and organic maple syrup, it’s the perfect amount of sweet without going overboard. Eternal Abundance also has a marketplace that offers a wide range of products ideal for a healthy, vegan, organic whole food lifestyle.
Lotus Seed aims to sprout awareness surrounding healthy food choices and how those choices affect our bodies, our community, and our planet. Their menu is bright, colourful, and has diverse flavours ranging from Asian fusion to Mediterranean cuisine. One of the most popular brunch menu items is their Om’elette (*om* get it?), made in-house from mung bean batter, oyster mushrooms, sweet bell peppers, and zucchini. They also have delicious plant milk lattes and organic herbal teas that warm your soul. Their prices are easy on your pocketbook and perfect for people who want to treat themselves on a budget.
Chickpea’s brand is funky and fresh, and in addition to serving delicious, plant-based food, they are heavily involved in the community and advocating for environmental awareness. Their award-winning menu is 100% vegan, with many gluten-free options as well. We highly recommend their Schnitzel Waffle Bena Vechick — salty, sweet, crispy, and soft — it offers a harmony of flavours and textures with every bite.
Heirloom Vegan and Vegetarian Restaurant is dedicated to using organic, fair trade ingredients and sources locally and seasonally when possible. Their two full-service restaurants located in South Granville and Ambleside boast beautiful decor and attentive staff who help create a warm and inviting atmosphere. Their weekend brunch menu offers both vegan and vegetarian options — we suggest trying their vegan buttermilk pancakes — you’ll thank us later.
A hidden gem not far from the very industrial Commercial Drive, Aleph Eatery is a Middle Eastern restaurant that uses culinary staples to cook up an array of comforting and tasty plant-based dishes. Their Zaatar Man’ousheh is a traditional wrap that combines complex flavours ranging from fresh and citrusy to smoky. If you have any intolerances to grain, Aleph offers gluten-free options as well. Keep in mind that not all of their menu items are vegan (some are vegetarian), so be sure to ask your server if you’re eating strictly plant-based food.
MeeT on Main was founded by three Vancouver restaurant veterans back in 2013. Their mission is to help people who are new to plant-based eating discover vegan and vegetarian versions of some of their favourite dishes. Currently, they have three restaurants, including MeeT in Gastown, which offers an all-day vegan brunch menu. They’ve mastered the benny, a brunch staple with a delicious tofu egg patty and creamy cashew hollandaise sauce. Their portions are generous, and if you’re feeling extra ravenous, you can fill up on their “Full English,” which is basically a feast of all of your favourite vegan breakfast items on one platter. You might want to bring out your stretchy pants if you plan on brunching there (we promise not to judge)!
What started out as a “scrappy little taco shop” in East Van, over a decade ago, Bandidas Tacqueria has made its mark in the plant-based community, and it’s rare that you will meet a vegan or vegetarian in Vancouver who hasn’t eaten there. Their Mexican-inspired plant-based fare is primarily vegetarian, but most items can be made vegan upon request. The best part about their brunch menu is that it’s not limited to the weekend! Enjoy breakfast all day, any day of the week. They have a pretty sweet cocktail menu and a shiny new patio as if you needed any more reasons to check them out.
Located in the heart of Vancouver’s vibrant Kitsilano district, Naam offers a truly unique vegan dining experience. They’re open for weekend brunch between noon-4 PM with a menu that has possibly the best vegan croissant we’ve ever tasted. They also have all-day breakfast during the week, so if their four-hour weekend window doesn’t work for you, rest assured, you can enjoy their breakfast items any day of the week.
We hope reading through this list has made you as hungry as it made us. These are only a few of our favourites, so please feel free to let us know if we’ve missed any! We’re always on the lookout for local plant-based businesses to help support within our community — Happy Brunching! 🌱 💚