Stealth Vegan Eats in Victoria, And So Can You!

by Ainslie on September 18, 2012

You know what I love? Restaurants that let you veganize the holy CRAP out of their dishes.

And omnivorous establishments that offer more than one token veggie “here’s your salad with some lettuce and some nothing and some air and did you want a glass of water with that?” option. I’ve definitely upped my vegan-option-hunting stealth skills, and most restaurants tend to be better than that now, but I hear it still happens. And no, “just a little butter” doesn’t make your soup vegan.


What I’m trying to say is, I ate a bunch of vegan food from a bunch of omni restaurants in Victoria over the weekend, and it was awesome and made me feel very un-like an alien.

And it made me want to remind everyone that eating vegan is easy, it just takes some attention, a willingness to ask questions, and maybe a simple request to leave the fish sauce or whatever out, thanks.

I realize as I’m about to write this up that most of these options are seriously carb-tastic, but you can just make like an Everyone Is Vegan pro and stuff yourself with veggies and fruits at home and save the grain-o-rama for when you eat out. Or, like, order something with more vegetables than I did. Do what I say, not what I do. Easy peasy.

Most of my eats this weekend were gobbled up on the fly before/during/after hang outs with friends, some fun times at Rifflandia, and running to the ferry. So. We’re a little short on pictures, but trust me – if it didn’t last long enough to make an appearance in front of the camera, that means it was crazy delicious. We consider “not pictured” a compliment around here, ok.

One of my favourite go-to’s for veganizing when eating with omni friends and family is The Noodle Box. They’re all up in the greater Victoria area, plus some Kitsilano and downtown Vancouver locations. Ask for vegan, and they’ll do it. The rice noodles (or white/brown rice) are egg free, and almost any dish can come sans fish sauce, with tofu or extra veggies.

Actually pictured here is my precious Singapore Cashew Curry – no fish, sub rice noods, with tofu, plus extra cashews if I’m feelin’ fancy, medium spicey. OMNOMNOM.

Next up: There’s a new vegan pizza option in town, huzzah! I mean, most pizza options can be vegan with no cheese, but Famoso just opened up on the side of Market Square and they have Daiya! Also, nom-y Neopolitan thin crust pizza cooked for something insane like 90 seconds in a 900F woodfire oven. Everyone is town is cuckoo for Pizzeria Prima Strada, but until they get Daiya…I’ll favour these guys, just ‘cuz I like the option sometimes. Also of note, The Joint just around the corner does Daiya too, and usually has vegan AND vegan/gluten free slices ready to go. In the words of Joey Lawrence, whoa.

But the best discovery of the weekend? Far and away the chocolate-dipped coconut ice cream bar from Fruition Paletas that I grabbed while sweating my face off on Saturday afternoon at Rifflandia. It’s hard to eat an ice cream bar, dance to celtic punk rock, and take a picture – so alas, the evidence remains in mah belly. But know it was crazy delish (and the Stanfields were crazy awesome). I can’t wait to pop into their shop (get it? I’m gonna pop in for a popsicle?) for another flavour, since summer seems to think it should hang around a while. And after that June-uary we had? I’m not complaining.

Something tells me Victoria has a few more vegan secrets for me to uncover, and I’d be a big liar if I said I didn’t enjoy the challenge and triumph of the hunt.

I’d love to hear about your vegan secrets in unexpected, odd, or just omnivorous places. I’ve certainly been spoiled in recent years by the all-vegan-all-the-time choices in Toronto, NYC, PDX, and California. It’s a nice reminder here that smaller places can be just as friendly and rewarding!

The non-food highlight of my weekend? Was totally seeing Sloan play all of Twice Removed live at one of the Rifflandia park stages on Saturday. Holy mid-90s flashback, Batman. Also, still one of my favourite live bands ever. Slooooooo-oooooaaaaan.