Located in the cozy hood of Mount Pleasant just off Main Street, The Federal Store is a hidden gem that sells coffee, light bites, freshly-baked rye sourdough and a small selection of quality groceries (think ZIMT Chocolates, Bows X Arrow Coffee, Say Hello Sweets Ice Cream and more). This stylish little space seats about 15 guests and is open 8-6 daily.
Quality over quantity is the philosophy at Fife Bakery, whose menu offers three items: country loaves, 'homemade' chocolate chip cookies and espresso (made with Moving Coffee Beans). Located in the industrial area of Mount Pleasant, Fife's space is 3000sqft, the majority of which is dedicated to roasting beans and baking bread. Their wholewheat flour is sourced locally and milled extra finely just for them - at first glance (and taste), you'd guess it's white.
The Workshop Vegetarian Cafe
296 Pemberton Ave | 604-973-0163 $$ | Vegetarian Japanese
A bright and cheery, modern Japanese cafe serving breakfast and lunch Monday to Saturday from 8-6. This family-run business specializes in ramen (try the mushroom broth with shallot-truffle oil), but offers warm acai bowls, avocado toast, buddha bowls and baked goods, too -- all vegetarian with many vegan options. Short on an ingredient? They might stock it in their mini-market adjacent the dining room.
A veg-forward, family-run cafe specializing in fresh juice. Open from 7am on weekdays and 8am on weekends, Olive + Ruby is my idea of a 'happy place' featuring show-stopping decor by husband-and-wife team Summer and Brad themselves (think plant wall and colourful mural by artist Dana Mooney). Housemade almond milk lattes are served in Three Corners Artisan pottery mug and avocado toast comes on gluten-free or regular bread. You must visit this sweet new spot asap!
1017 W Hastings St | 604-695-9500 $$$ | West Coast
Chef David Hawksworth’s newest project, complete with 7,400 square feet of lavish library-esque furniture and bird-themed decor. The upstairs dining room or downstairs lounge area are ideal for a meal with the fam or cocktails before a night out. The menu is extensive with 53 modern Canadian dishes, including six vegan creations. Try the confit tomato pizza and the oven-roasted cauliflower with green harissa.
Canada’s first 0% dairy creamery featuring over a dozen flavours made with a base of yams and coconut milk. Think Strawberry Fields, Cookies & Cream and Vanilla Rose. Top your scoops with a sprinkling of fleur de sel from the self-serve salt bar, or try your “nice cream” in float form with locally made root beer or cream soda from Capilano Botanical Soda Co. Nice Vice is open every day from 12-10pm.
Latab is an oasis for good food and natural wine in the desert-like area near St Paul's Hospital downtown, owned by two industry veterans, Chef Kris Barnholden and GM Eryn Dorman, who want you to feel good after eating their food. Diners can expect creative small plates, like buckwheat salted-crusted root veg and vegetable egg with cauliflower and chanterelles. Try the full snack + small plates menu for $49 a person (min. 2 people).
Meet on Main (Gastown)
12 Water St | 604-877-1292 $$ | Vegetarian & Vegan
Having seen so much success at their Main Street location, this vegetarian comfort food eatery is expanding. Hooray! Soon, they'll open in the Gastown space previously occupied by Shirakawa and Boneta on Water Street. Their Angry Burg, with guacamole and vegan ranch dressing, is a must try and vegan options are plentiful.