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.

Ahem.

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.

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Sarina @ Earthgiven September 18, 2012 at 07:27

I love hearing of accommodating omni restaurants! That Singapore Cashew Curry looks ahhhhmazing! I love Montana’s veggie burgers, which are vegan, when I am up for gorging on calories and sodium. Surprisingly tasty from a rib joint. The Harvey’s veggie burger is also pretty decent. But it would be nice if places could do more than just a fake beef veggie burger.

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Ainslie September 18, 2012 at 12:12

Whoa, I never would have guessed Montana’s would have ANYTHING vegan, nevermind a delish burger. I used to love Harvey’s veggie burger, it’s been aaaaaages since I’ve had one. There’s a burger place in Victoria that does a black bean, and a Moroccan chickpea veggie burger, plus they can sub vegan mayo, very impressive for an omni place!

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Sarah September 18, 2012 at 11:05

Yay! Nice to see you blogging again :) You crack me up.
FYI: went back to the Fruition Paletas on Sunday – ’cause it was still stinkin’ hot, not that I’m complaining – and had their AMAZINGLY yummy roasted peach and blackberry popsicle. SO good. ALso some of the burger places have some pretty great vegan options too. We should do some more culinary exploring the next time you’re over (i.e. let’s hang out soon!). Hugs!

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Ainslie September 18, 2012 at 22:27

Omnomnomnom those paletas were SO GOOD, I’m glad you did more *ahem* research! And yeah, I had a kind of amazing black bean burger at the Pink Bicycle a while ago, their vegan options were pleasantly surprising too. I’m even thiiiiiinking I might come over again this weekend? If you’re free/up for it. I’ll FB you!

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Sarah September 18, 2012 at 11:06

Oh ya. SSSLLLLLLLOOOAAAANNNNNN!

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Ainslie September 18, 2012 at 22:28

SLOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAN. The chant is permanently stuck in my head ;p

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MeShell September 18, 2012 at 12:21

Mmmm. I had some good eating times in Victoria. I didn’t really do vegan secrets though, there were too many overtly vegan friendly places!

I did eat way too much sorbetto while I was visiting/schooling. om nom nom noodlebox. yes.

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Ainslie September 18, 2012 at 20:08

Haha, yeah there are some good vegan/veggie places in Victoria for sure, I just love being surprised by unexpected options! Where did the sorbetto come from?!

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Allysia December 29, 2012 at 16:22

Ahh, Victoria is an awesome food city – I really need to go back and visit! Famoso is one of my favorite restaurants ever (they have ‘em in Alberta, which I visit fairly often) – I love that they have Daiya at no extra cost. And, you know, their pizzas kick ass in every other possible way too. There’s this place in Victoria called Hernande’z, it’s kind of in a mall, but their burritos are seriously delicious. We also ate really great food at The Reef, which is a Caribbean restaurant with huge portions.

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Ainslie February 12, 2013 at 22:10

Ohhhh Hernandez is one of my favourites in Victoria, best tacos ever! For a small-ish city it has a lot of great eats, and seems to be just getting better and more vegan friendly by the day. Famoso scores BIG points for their free Daiya. If only everywhere would cancel their vegan tax!

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Amelia April 11, 2013 at 21:27

I’m in NSW and a newly minted vegan, thanks for sharing your findings, surprisingly you Can find some great eats at typically carnivorous places, I know that when I was just vego my partner and I went to Hog’s Breath and stuffed ourselves on their crumbed mushroom salad, nachos and potato skins, we’ll see what we can do next time we go there.. I wonder how some places would go if you took your own soy cheese in?

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