Outstanding Vancouver Restaurants That Serve Locally Grown and Sustainable Dishes
The new year is a great time to explore places around Vancouver that serve and support local, sustainably-minded food. Choosing to support these businesses that advocate for the earth is game-changing if you want to care more for the environment through your power as a consumer. And it’s not just for the environment – you’ll feel better as well, knowing you made a wise dining decision. With its great location, abundance of fresh seafood, and native produce like blueberries and apples, Vancouver is home to impeccable locally sourced food.
Here are some notable restaurants around Vancouver that have made a commitment to sustainability within their walls.
Located in the West End, Forage prides itself on being “casual, comfortable, and affordable” and “celebrating all things BC”. This motto shines through in their locally-focused menu which is creatively categorized as “Land”, “Soil”, and “Sea”, each based on which part of nature the main element is created from. The locality of their plates is emphasized by the names of their dishes, which sometimes include references to the location the meal was sourced from, such as the Qualcium Bay scallops (dinner menu) or the Two Rivers turkey sausage (brunch menu). Their drink menu also features local craft distilleries, breweries, and wineries.
Forage has also committed to donating 50% of the proceeds of the sparkling or still water they sell ($3/person) go towards garden enhancements ar Cheakamus Centre, an ecological reserve and education facility in Squamish that runs programs for students focused on environmental stewardship.
Executive Chef Welbert Choi believes that chefs in Vancouver have the responsibility to help create long-term fishing, farming, and foraging practices in British Columbia by working with local producers. They have an interest in connecting diners to local foragers, fishers, and farmers. Forage is a restaurant for you if you have an interest in trying something inventive, from our home of BC.
The name “Fable” is a clever play on the phrase farm to table, a nomer thought up by Trevor Bird as he competed on Top Chef Canada for a farm-to-table concept. After returning to Vancouver, he turned his idea of creating a restaurant that would “help define Canadian cuisine” into a reality.
The dishes at Fable Kitchen are prepared from scratch from local ingredients. Like Forage, their menu is meant for sharing and changes frequently and seasonally.
The whole concept of Fable is basically knowing where your food comes from and ground-up cooking – getting back to the fundamentals and doing everything we possibly can ourselves and not bring in mass produced food […] it’s all very close to home and very intimate.
If you think eating organic is restricted to plain salads and tofu, you’re in are a treat. Aphrodite’s Organic Cafe dedicates itself to a strong commitment to wild, organic, local, and sustainable food while creating delicious handcrafted pies and other comforting goods. Aphrodite’s is a proud member of the sustainable food movement, as well as a supporter of artists, charities, and non-profits. This cafe is committed do their best to ensure their food has “the smallest ecological footprint possible”.
Aphrodite’s is special because everything is carefully made from scratch in their kitchen, meaning that they are able to cater to many dietary concerns, something other restaurants can’t always do. They don’t use fillers or artificial ingredients, only local organic ingredients from BC.
They also offer gluten-friendly and vegan pies.
Aphrodite isn’t only limited to pies – they also serve brunch and lunch with a menu full of goodness – emphasis on good – like their Green Eggs & Ham (farm fresh eggs scrambled with spinach pesto) and hearty sandwiches and burgers which are served on their multigrain bread and buns which are handmade twice daily from scratch.
Pie Shop Location: 3598 West 4th Avenue Cafe & Market: 3605 West 4th Avenue
You could buy a pizza from this 100% plant-based eatery and never know that everything on the plate was vegan. From their house-made nut “cheese” to their Chorizo or Italian “Meatballs” that have a deceivingly similar texture and flavour to the foods they’re inspired by, Virtuous Pie creates completely plant-based dishes that can appeal to everyone.
Not feeling pizza? (Although, let’s be honest – when is anyone ever not feeling pizza?) Don’t fret! Virtuous also offers small plates, like their Garlic Knots or their Cheese + Pate Board and salads, like their Roasted Penne or Kale Caesar, and they do brunch on weekends.
Don’t forget to round out your meal with their small-batch, 100% plant-based (that means vegan!) ice cream, like their Mermaid: Spirulina +Maca Swirl or Marionberry Cheesecake. An additional plus for students out there: UBC students can show their student cards every Tuesday for 20% off!
Our mission is to accelerate the adoption of a plant-based diet by providing delicious, affordable, and fast plant-based food options in an inclusive environment. We’re out to create positive change in the world—one slice (or scoop!) at a time.
Interestingly, Virtuous doesn’t openly brand itself as “Vegan”. Instead, they opt to call their menu “100% plant-based”, which may be to promote inclusivity in their restaurant and not turn meat-lovers away from trying out what they have to offer. Virtuous Pie is also invested in establishing relationships with local producers or their ingredients, wine and kombucha, and craft beer brewers.
Their packaging, which includes glass ice cream pint jars and cardboard pizza boxes are environmentally sustainable. Oh, and don’t forget to check out their incredibly aesthetically pleasing Instagram, which is worth a follow even without trying the pizza.
Locations: – 3339 Shrum Lane, Vancouver BC – 583 Main Street, Vancouver BC
Imported, foreign food chains and trends are enticing, but let’s not forget the gems that local Canadian purveyors have to offer.
Nothing says local quite like Granville Island’s mix of BC artisans, artists, and food producers. Edible Canada, located in Granville, sources local and seasonal products that showcase the best of Canada and what Canada’s food is all about. Everything on their menu sounds Canadian-inspired, from their Duck Poutine to their Elk Tartare. Their Bison Poutine, a signature dish, was recently featured on Buzzfeed Tasty’s show “Friend in Town” (shoutout to Pearthefoodie, who guest-starred!)
Edible Canada has been driven by the question- what is Canadian Cuisine? – and we have since come to define it as ‘local, sustainable & seasonal ingredients in the hands of many cultures’.
Edible Canada isn’t limited to a brick-and-mortar restaurant – They also sell food products created by local artisans in their retail stores and online at ediblecanada.com, which “showcase the biggest selection of artisanal food products in Canada” so why not pick try picking up a locally-made jam or some truly Canadian smoked salmon after dinner?
Edible Canada is the place to go for a reminder of the goodness the backyards of our province of BC has to offer. So sit back, embrace your city, and enjoy some truly Canadian goodness.
Location: 596 Johnston Street, Vancouver, BC V6H 3R9
Dumplings shine in cultures and cuisines all around the globe from Ukraine China and beyond. They can be big, small, filled or unfilled, sweet, savoury, spicy, or sour - the options are limitless. Here are several Vancouver restaurants you can visit to discover the different varieties of dumplings from around the globe.