A middle aged women looking at the camera having black hair; The Best of Vancouver: Tips for Vegan Travelers to this Fantastic City | Nia Seney | Ep 89

The Best of Vancouver: Tips for Vegan Travelers to this Fantastic City | Nia Seney | Ep 89

Introducing Nia

In today’s episode, we’ll be talking to Nia Seney, a long-term vegan from Vancouver and the editor-in-chief of one of the newest and most exciting vegan magazines out there: The Global Vegan Magazine. Nia, a long-term resident in Vancouver is here today to chat about her city (and my closest city) Vancouver! We are huge fans of this city so listen along as we share the best things to do, see and of course, all our favorite places to eat in this fabulous city! As you’re listening, look up the places on your Google Maps and star all these great things to do so you have the perfect itinerary for when you are in Vancouver next.

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Brighde: Hello Nia. Thank you so much for joining me on The World Vegan Travel Podcast.

Nia: Hi, Brighde. Thank you for inviting me. So happy to be here.

Brighde: I have been meaning to do this episode for such a long time it’s basically like a Vancouver-centric episode listeners, so that’s what we are gonna be talking about. But I live in Squamish, which is a little bit far away and I’ve done a few things in Vancouver, but Nia is here, she’s lived in Vancouver for a really long time.

 I invited her on the podcast to help you plan an epic incredible weekend or few days in Vancouver. So make sure you are taking notes or go and have a look at the show notes to get links to all of the places that we talk about. But before we get into that, Nia, I would love it if you wouldn’t mind telling our listeners a little bit about what you do in the vegan space and also a little bit about like Vegan travel, cuz we have a connection there as well.
Nia: Yeah, absolutely. So I’m the editor-in-chief of Global Vegan Magazine. We started as a humble little provincial magazine way back when called BC Vegan Magazine And as the future would have it for us we grew. And here we are as Global Vegan. We’re a fairly new publication, but we’re really enjoying just the process of creating vegan content for our readers.
And you come into this story is you’ve been contributing some pretty amazing travel articles for us that our readers have really been enjoying. And we’re all living vicariously through you on your travels. So this is where it all comes together. Now, here we are on your podcast and we get to dig a little deeper into that Lower mainland Vancouver scene.
Brighde: Yes, that was the autumn season, wasn’t it? I wrote an article for the Sea to Sky and Vancouver as well, like a little sort of travel guide. So there may be a little bit of overlap there, but from what we are talking about today, people who want that article or to just know about the Global Vegan Magazine anyway, where do they need to go? How can they subscribe? Do you have digital subscriptions?

Nia: Yeah, absolutely. They can visit our website and subscribe there is the subscribe button. It’s a very easy process. And what they would get with their subscription is four issues per year. They’re seasonal, so it would be spring, summer, winter, and fall and they can also subscribe to a digital if they’d like. Those are both options for them or they could buy the single issues and back issues to catch up on them. We’ve produced a collectible type magazine and that’s what we’ve been hearing from our readers as well, sending us photos of their stacks of the issues that they’ve been collecting, to refer back on for their favorite recipes and everything that our amazing contributors send in. That’s always good to hear. But yeah, that’s how they can subscribe. Thanks for asking

Brighde: It’s a really lovely magazine. Listeners. I really encourage you to go and check it out. And all of the 2022 issues have a pretty long article from me in there talking about it. Vegan Italy, Vegan France vegan lower mainland BC and I won’t say what the winter one will be. We’ll let that one be a surprise Nia, how did you end up in Vancouver, what brought you here? 

Nia: So non-vegan related. It worked really. I was living on Vancouver Island and nobody knows this. This is something nobody knows. I have a background in archival work, so I was living on the island and I applied for a job at the Law Society of BC here in Vancouver, and they hired me over the phone,

So it was a very quick process of moving from the island to here. Fast forward, a couple of years later realizing that my creative side was starving. I went back to school. I got into graphic design and fast-forward a couple of years forward again and started the magazine.
Brighde: I’m sure Vancouver is on some people’s radars already. It’s, it’s in the Pacific Northwest it’s on the west coast of Canada. But if you were to describe Vancouver in just a few words and maybe talk a little bit about the vegan scene as well, what would you say about that?

Nia: I would immediately go to our scenery cause I love the outdoors. So I would just say it is by mountains and ocean and we have a sprinkling of beautiful little towns around us that can be explored. We have the border very close to the US so it’s, very accessible that way and a lot of everything for everyone. So you can go to the ski hills and enjoy a day there, and then within a couple of hours, you can be walking down on a sandy beach and picnicking and having your vegan lunch. So yeah, it’s just a very accessible place.

Brighde: I absolutely agree with you. I don’t think I realized until I came here just how close the mountains actually are. It almost feels like you can touch them. In fact the outer suburbs of Vancouver, actually are going up the mountains you can see snow all year pretty much. Right? 

Nia: Yeah, absolutely. I’m a bit further out in the Fraser Valley and we have Mount Baker in the background almost year round you’ll see if that’s snowcapped and it just reminds you of the beauty of the area we live in. Forever grateful for what we have here.

Brighde: And how about the weather? How is the weather in Vancouver?

Nia: It’s moody

Brighde: Great adjective,

Nia: So I would say we’re really lucky though like we can’t complain. And I’m sure people in Alberta would laugh at us if we were to complain. But we have such, have fairly short winters that we make the most of. We’re all excited when we see the snow plowing. It’s almost a novelty in our area.
And then we have the most gorgeous springs. mo We had a really long summer this year, which everyone made the most of as well. So by the end of it, we’re all looking forward to changing in season. I know I am my love Fall but we’re just very lucky here.
Brighde: Yeah, We’ve we’ve just had that change in seasons, haven’t we, in the three days. It was very sunny for several weeks and now it’s just like rain. And very often it can be raining for, what feels like weeks at a time during the winter. But you just have to have a good attitude about it, and just dress well for it and just not let it interfere with anything. As long as you’re well dressed it’s pretty much. Okay. And just so it’s clear to listeners like Vancouver, just like Squamish as well, it’s at sea level, obviously, and as a result, we don’t get the snow that you can see in the mountains as Okay. All right, so maybe we can start by about the things that people might like to see or do when they come to Vancouver and then we’ll get onto the like the fun favorite vegan 

Nia: Yeah. Wow. See, this is where I’d be making a list before my guests came because there is so much to see and do here. I know people call it the no-fun city, but from my perspective, that’s exactly what it comes down to is perspective. What do you have an appreciation for? I have an appreciation for the cultures here. Either, for example, you could go visit the gardens down in Chinatown. You can just walk down the street and have an appreciation for the architecture that’s there, the stores that have been there for a very long time. Then again, going back to the outdoors, I would immediately tell someone, You have to go to Stanley Park.

It’s an icon here in this city, and you can’t fully understand how beautiful it is till you’re there walking amongst the big trees alongside the ocean. It’s breathtaking and the many, so many opportunities to stop there and just have a picnic or, just listen to music with friends. So that is definitely of my, one of my top picks for telling people to stop and see.

Brighde: I agree. I absolutely love Stanley Park, and I believe it is the largest city park in North America. Maybe the world. I think I’m not making that up. I’ll double-check that and put it in the show notes if that’s true. But it is absolutely huge. And you have this wall that, or pathway that goes all the way around this whole thing.

And I think it’s 10 kilometers altogether. Plus you have this incredible network of paths going through manicured gardens to the, there’s a collection of totem poles there as well but also like through the forest as well. So it’s really cool. And they do have some wildlife there.

I often see raccoons when I go there. There are lots of swans of ducks and I believe there are coyotes that have been a problem, I believe in recent years, but they are And, yeah, it’s, it’s really cool. And you can hire bicycles to go around as well if you don’t feel like walking around the whole sea wall, electric bicycles as well do picnics and packed lunches and it’s just wonderful.

Nia: Yeah, and this one thing I forgot to mention, that along that sea wall, there are all sorts of restaurants. Now none of them may be vegan, but many of them do have vegan options. And I think it’s because the population of Vancouver for vegans is quite large and it’s always growing. And actually used that loop as a form of I’m gonna call it slacktivism for a better lack of better words, we did a restaurant crawl along a bicycle ride one day.

And at each one we stopped at, we’d ask, Oh, do you have a vegan menu or do you have Vegan options? Most of them did, and the ones that didn’t, we go, Oh, if we changed this and this become vegan. So it was a little opportunity to educate vegan restaurants who weren’t vegan and might not know and could start providing those options. We had a bit of fun with it.

Brighde: Yeah. Yeah. That’s general, I think in Vancouver is that even non-vegan restaurants have a vegan option. Even if it’s not on the menu, they’ll be able to make something. But most restaurants seem to have something that’s either Vegan or easy to make vegan. Would you agree with this? 

Nia: I would, there’s been a huge, I’d say, cultural shift for vegans here in Vancouver in the last maybe 10 years, where the number of options available in non-vegan restaurants has grown exponentially. And really nice when you walk into a restaurant, you’re not expecting anything, I’ll get the iceberg lettuce with the tomato on top, but you find out you’re gonna have three or four very good options to choose from.
Brighde: Yes. Yep. So don’t worry. There will always be food and probably a vegan restaurant not far away as well. Where else would you say people should check out
Nia: I would have to go with Granville Island. I actually used to live right down in Yaletown for a couple of years when I first moved to Vancouver, and that was one of my favorite spots to go. And since we moved from there, they have even more interesting things for vegans there. Like we’re talking about along the sea wall with vegan options and that sort of thing.
But the reason I love going there is just the shops that you can walk in and explore and there’s pretty much I know it sounds cliche, but there really is something for everyone. Have the background, they had a big huge store there called Opus, and they had every art supply you could think of.
So if you’re an artist, it’s definitely a place you wanna go check out. It’s very centered around artists there. And then again, lots of galleries you can go visit if you’re an art lover or just walk along their little sea walk there. I think just one of the joys of going over there is to catch the little ferries that people have come to know here. And for anyone who hasn’t seen them before, they’re like a mini baby ferry as we’ve heard them referred to before and they seat about eight people and they’re just such a fun ride. You get this great view that you wouldn’t get otherwise. Going over to Granville, just looking back at Vancouver and the ferry operators always have some fun stories to tell along the way. So that’s really part of the fun of just taking, catching that little boat, and going over to Granville Island. And then once you get there, you’ll see the houseboats. They’re super colorful and fun and you always find yourself wondering, How can I live there? How can I be there I always think that. And then so once you get there, you’re just gonna. You wouldn’t be wondering where to go, and there are so many shops, you just have to start walking and exploring going into each door. 
Brighde:, I agree. I really love going to Granville Island. I always end up going there if I’m in the area. And it’s a little bit confusing because it’s not actually an island. It’s called Granville Island, but it’s not actually Um, but it is, I guess you would probably more accurately describe it as a promontory in False and The easiest way to get there from the city side is through these little ferryboats, although you can walk there is a bridge. But it would probably be a little bit more of a hassle. Certainly, the ferryboat is the easiest way, but I really like going to the markets there. some quite sort of like gourmet high-end products that are local Um, I’d have to hunt a little bit for some Vegan ones, but there are definitely some there. But I do have a top tip regarding eating when you are at Granville island because there are some very brazen And, um, Even though there are signs everywhere saying don’t feed them, people do.
And I’ve literally been walking with a vegan muffin and I felt this seagull come over and literally just take it out of my 

Nia: I think they’re even YouTube videos of these notorious seagulls. They’re in some sort of stealth mode you don’t even know they’re coming. 
Brighde: Exactly, because so many people go to Granville Island to buy a burger or fish and chips or these kinds of things, and they’ll sit outside. So they’re just so used to getting All right. So Granville Island, that’s definitely something that’s really super downtown. Definitely that you can just do it an in a couple of hours. But Grouse Mountain I think is a really interesting place. So if you don’t know Grouse Mountain is located, would you 
Nia: North
Vancouver. Yep.
Brighde: You can get buses to the bottom, uh, but you could also drive there as well. There’s parking and I think it’s a really cool place. Have you been?
Nia: have and I’d recommend anyone that’s gonna go to carpool cuz it is difficult to find parking there, even though they do have parking. It is a matter of what time you go. Morning is usually best. But my experience with Grouse was somebody had asked us if we wanted to do The Grind.
And for anyone who doesn’t know that is, it’s a very steep hike. So you have to be in, in very good shape, I’d say, to make this hike. Because it does take depending on your fitness level, some people can do it in 40 minutes, some people much faster, and some people take a couple of hours. It’s really just depending on your fitness level, but you’re very much in the middle of the forest and there are some, manmade steps, going up and then at other times you’re just going up levels of rocks. But there are railings up along the way, and at some points, it can be very busy. It is surprising how popular that climb is.
And then for those who just wanna go up and see the scene from the top, I believe you can take a gondola up. 
Brighde: Yeah. you definitely can. If you don’t wanna take the Grouse Grind up, you can take a gondola. And it’s important to know that you can’t go downhill with the Grouse Grind, it’s just one way only. So if you think you’re gonna saving save money by going up, walking up, and then walking down, you can’t walk down.
You have to at least pay to go down. And there can be queues to go down at certain times, but yeah, I agree. This is a very popular hike and there are people that do it every single week and try to beat their time, of extreme fitness people. But it’s not just the hike as well. There are quite a few things to do at the top. There’s skiing for one thing in, in the wintertime.

Is it Grouse that has the um, lighted night skiing? Do you know?
Nia: I believe it is. I’ve only been up a couple of times skiing and it was a while back and it was never night skiing. I was always a day skier. 
Brighde: There are some cool things at the top like you can see, you can go and have a drink. There’s a nice place where you can enjoy the view. There are also some little walks and at the weekends, in the summertime, they have these lumberjack activities as well.
And they even have I’ve never confirmed that it’s super legit, but I think it is. They have some rescued Grizzly Bears there as well. Have you seen those?
Nia: I haven’t, only on TV every time I’ve ever been up, they’ve not been visible. But from what I know, they rescued them and they lived there. That’s their refuge. They’re there. Nobody’s disturbing them. They’re separate from the people. Nobody can get near them. It’s not like a petting zoo or anything like that. It’s just very much you can observe them in their natural.
Brighde: I think I have been able to jump on a little guided visit of that. Every day, multiple times a day, I’m not sure. But it is really cool to learn a little bit about the stories about why the Grizzly Bears are there and this situation with bears in Canada and all of that kind of thing. . I want to go back. Oh, and also in the wintertime at the top there will be snow and they have these beautiful pathways that are all lit up. It just looks like a magical sort of winter fairyland. It’s really nice.
Nia: Yeah. And not only that, but I’ve heard a lot of people saying the snowshoeing there in the winter is really fun for those who aren’t avid skiers, and one of those people. I’d love to think I’m in my head that I’m a skier. I am not, so I’d gravitate towards an activity that’s super family-friendly you can enjoy all of that scenery still.
Brighde: That brings us on to a more sort of cultural activity and it’s definitely something that people could be interested in. And that’s the Museum of Anthropology. I visited a few years ago, but I do wanna include it cuz I think the First Nations’ history is so important in this area. Have you been recent?
Nia: Not recently, no. So I’m gonna let you speak to that, but I am aware of it.
Brighde: So the Museum of Anthropology is basically this incredible world-class museum in regards to all things First Nations history and culture and art. It’s in the eastern part and Kitsilano has lots and lots of beaches. It’s a fancy place. There are a lot of vegan restaurants as well in this area, but it’s actually located at the University of British Columbia.

So maybe a really nice activity to do one day would be, to do a bit of culture. Go to the Museum of Anthropology. It’s really world-class, really worth seeing. And then, hit some of the incredible vegan restaurants that are in the area. And just, there are lots of walking tracks and parks and reserves and beaches to hang out and sit at the weekends.
Kitsilano can be really busy. It’s a favorite place, particularly in summer. The last place that we wanted to talk about was the Capilano Bridge. So when was the last time you went here, Nia?

Nia: I believe it was about, it was a long time ago. It was about 10 years ago when I was newer to Vancouver. And we just decided one day, let’s go visit. We’d never been there before, so we went. And just so many things in Vancouver where it’s something unexpected. You don’t even really realize what’s in your backyard here. Everything really isn’t that far away. But yeah, so the first thing you have is the suspension bridge which is usually lit up in the wintertime and it’s a great place. A lot of people use it for photo ops and in the summer it’s just a beautiful scenic way to spend your day.
So you go over the suspension bridge and then there are some more walking trails on the other side. From what I remember. I believe there are even some little kind of additional suspension bridges within those walking trails that you can go up, almost like mini tree house-type situations where you can take the kids and, enjoy a different view of the park. 

Brighde: I have been in the past few years and this suspension bridge, goes over the Capilano River and it’s really quite spectacular. So it’s not just over a little stream, it’s quite high up over a canyon, and I think they’ve made some interesting additions in the past few years.
Like they have maybe Via Ferrata, which is like a little rock climbing thing. And they also have some extra sort of bridges that sort of Jett out with like glass bottoms, so it feels like you’re walking on nothing. And they also do have lots of other exhibitions. They talk about logging as well. Logging is for better or for worse, it’s a big part of British Columbia’s history and its industry today from what I know. So they talk about that as well. They do have, I think, some falconry stuff going on there, which, not a fan of, but otherwise, yeah, I definitely think this would be a really fun thing to do. You don’t need to have a car to go there. You could go there by public transport, but I believe they also have buses from the city as well. So Yeah. I think it’s a cool thing, to check out for sure.
What about shopping? Where are some really great places where vegans can go shopping? It’s often nice to go to specific vegan places where you can buy things unique to the local area or stuff that maybe isn’t available back at home. So where would you recommend people go?
Nia: I would definitely recommend they check out Nice Shoes. It’s a Vegan shoe store is how it started. Family owned run and I believe now it’s located on Grant Street. It’s just off Commercial Drive, which is a popular shopping area and walking area for summer and that sort of thing.
So now you’ve got this great place just off of commercial to go find Vegan shoes. And it’s not just you. You can get your accessories there, your bags, your wallets. I believe they might have a bit of apparel there, like t-shirts usually the t-shirts they have available there. This is what I love about them, is that the proceeds from those t-shirts always go to a cause, like an animal sanctuary fundraiser that’s something about the animals. They’re very thoughtful about how they do business, always keeping the animals in mind, which is what we love to hear. But on top of that, the styles and the brands that they get in are, are really wonderful. So I’d recommend anybody check them out and get a good pair of vegan shoes there, at least a wallet or something like that, and support them.
Brighde: I agree, and very often it’s hard to get high-quality vegan shoes that you don’t get the opportunity to try on first. So going there and actually being able to try them on and see if they fit, they’re comfortable, and if they suit you and you actually like them. I always love to go and check out that place.
I haven’t bought anything from there yet, but I do love it. I have bought a very nice bag from there before. It’s really nice. Yeah, and it’s surrounded by vegan-friendly places too. That area of Commercial Drive is really quite cool. It’s got ethnic food from all over the world. Vegan tattooists, I got my tattoo there several years ago. It’s really fun. All right. And what about Vegan Supply? Tell us about Vegan Supply.

Nia: I love Vegan Supply. As long as I’ve been in Vancouver, I believe Vegan Supply has been around and they’re of my favorite stores to go to. They do the work for you. So when you go into a regular grocery store, you do a lot of label reading, and you’re like, Is this vegan? I’m hoping this is vegan. And you really have to spend a lot of time just looking at ingredients. Vegan Supply has done all the work for you. They screen everything they order, so there’s no guesswork. You go in there, and you just confidently buy what is on the shelf. They’ve done it for you.
So you can get from your freezer items like your seitan your ice creams, all those sorts of things. And then they have all sorts of goodies, like your chocolate bars and treats and stuff like that. I believe they even have a shop now if I’m not correct. They also have a shop where you can buy apparel. They also have a lot of vegan t-shirts and I don’t know about you, but when I’m a tourist somewhere, always looking for vegan T-shirts I can’t get enough of them. And also just to support those Vegan artists I know how much work goes into creating those designs. Definitely a great place to stop for that.
Brighde: I would definitely say that the range of products in Vegan Supply and other vegan grocery stores, but in Vegan supply is triple, quadruple, and 10 times fold that you would find in your best regular supermarket. And they often bring in some interesting products from Europe as well that just aren’t available in the supermarkets here. Like I’m thinking off the top of my head Vego Bars, which are very, really famous, delicious milk and hazelnut vegan chocolate bars that you can’t buy in regular supermarkets, that’s available there. And also Vegusto cheeses, I think they have a lot of European products as well, so stuff that hasn’t hit yet the regular supermarkets you can find there. So I always really like to go to these places when I’m traveling because it’s great for me to find really cool stuff if I’m needing to make packed lunches or if I want to take back a really unique gift for a friend, or just a way that I can relive my trip when I get home. I just love it. And Vegan Supply is great and it’s in Chinatown as well. And there are some great places nearby, right? What are they?
Nia: Yeah, they have Virtuous Pie, which I believe is right around the corner. And if you haven’t been there I usually take any guests there, whether they’re Vegan or not, they’re gonna end up at Virtuous Pie because they make some of the best vegan pizzas you will ever have. My personal favorite is called Ultraviolet.
I cannot tell you what’s on it at this moment. I just know that I have memorized the name of that pizza I believe Virtuous Pie has vegan ice cream in the summer.
So if you stop there in the summer, go have your pie, have your vegan ice cream, and we walk around and look at what Chinatown is all about. It’s a really cool place to walk around.
Brighde: I agree with you about Virtuous Pie. I love it. And it’s, pizza, you could debate about whether, certain crusts are better in different places, but what I really love about Virtuous Pie is they have really unique topping combinations.
They’re really very well put together.
It’s not just gonna be your, vegan Hawaiian pizza, for example. Just take it to the next level and if I remember they’re ice creams as well. They have really unique and special ice cream flavors that you have never tried before or wouldn’t normally expect. All right, so we’ve done shopping now. Should we get onto the fun best vegan spots to check out?

Nia: Absolutely. Man, some conversations could be had because everybody has their favorites. Vancouver vegans are spoiled We have so many vegan restaurants.
Brighde: It’s really quite incredible and I think that’s partly because generally in Vancouver it’s quite like a progressive city. I would think it has probably the best selection of vegan restaurants in Canada actually. . All right, So I’m going to put a category for you and then you can tell me what your favorite is and then my favorite.
Does that sound okay?
Nia: This sounds fun, Let’s go for it.
Brighde: Okay, cool. All right. Best burger.
Nia: I would go Meet on Main just meet in general. So meet m E T. Its. S they have a couple of restaurants, so they have one in Yaletown, they have one in Gastown and then one on Main Street. So if you have any non-vegans, someone who’s not very familiar, with vegan food, and you want them to have a really good first experience and eat something that’s with that for them, take them to Meet on Main or Meet in Yaletown, wherever get them to try the burger because have so many different styles of burgers. Everyone is gonna find something that just appeals to them, if not through the name, then just through the burger itself, when it comes they’re really well presented, substantial meals and it’s just something that’s gonna really appeal to everyone, vegans, and not alike.
Brighde: No argument for me there. I absolutely love to Meet not just for the burgers, but for just general sort of diner food. There are three, so in different parts of the city. Yeah, it’s really cool.
Nia: Yeah, they’re also just, if I could just jump in again, they’ve got such a cool vibe, like if you’ve never been there when you get there you’re just like, this is a really cool place to hang out have a beverage or whatever, while you wait for your meal. Always good music and honestly, I’ve always had the best service there, even if no one knows who I am when I walk in there.
Brighde: Okay, the next category is Best Brunch. Oh, I know what I want for this.
Nia: Oh man. Okay. So it’s really hard to pick a favorite. My favorite brunch is actually out in Langley, it’d be a bit of a drive outside of Vancouver, so it’s a restaurant called Down to Earth. And it’s just like an overall brunch they have with the tofu scrambles, and the hash browns. You feel like you’re being spoiled there with the vegan brunches, but I also know Meet again also has a good vegan brunch from what I hear. So I’m interested to hear, what experiences you’ve had for your favorite Vegan brunch.
Brighde: My preferred place is Chickpea. I would say that definitely, Chickpea on Main Street is my favorite, and it just happens to be right next to Meet on Main as well. And I just think this place is just incredible. First of all, they have an all-day breakfast, so you don’t need to worry about being late. And I believe it is all day every day. And as well as like your regular sort of brunch things, tofu scramble they also some really interesting things.
For example, Shakshuka it’s like this tangy tomato sauce with like vegetables inside, but also dollops of tofu, ricotta, and sausage, to give an alternative to the egg. And it’s served in the skillet. The servings at Chickpea are just enormous.
Nia: They are.
Brighde: But they also have a Lakes Benechick, which is like a crispy potato with zucchini and dill fritters, which have piled with tons and tons of Chickpeas, take on eggs Benedict, which is like a tofu benedict with tons of Hollandaise sauce. It’s simply amazing. You also have lots of breakfast sandwiches and waffles. Like I’m just scrolling through the menu now. There are completely different vegan brunch items. It’s amazing. What’s your pick?
Nia: I’m gonna jump in with you and give them some kudos because was there and I had breakfast envy cuz I went with some friends and somebody ordered, believe it was the French toast, and it was just this, it was like gorgeous serving a French toast with vegan whipped cream and fresh berries and fresh maple syrup. It was just so stunning and I had a tofu scramble that was so good. But definitely, when you order something, you’re gonna be looking around the table, what other people order and going, Oh, I have to try that next time. So definitely try Chickpea. 
Brighde: Now, in the interest of time, I wondered whether we could put Asians in all one basket, even though those foods are so diverse and interesting. But what is your favorite Asian restaurant in Vancouver? Cuz we have a huge Asian population in Vancouver and we see so many different places. We have very high standards for our Asian food
Nia: I would have to go with Do Chay. I went there a couple of years back with some friends and have been back a few times since then just because the experience there was nothing sort of mind-blowing for the delicious food they serve. Hands down, they have the best vegan dumplings I’ve ever had, spring rolls and they have beautiful eggplant that they make and they’re deep-fried tofu. It’s beautifully served food. It’s like such a cool vibe when you go in there. I don’t believe the restaurant is a hundred percent vegan. I’m wrong on this, I hope someone can correct me. But they do have mostly vegan options and definitely if you wanna go out and have some sharing platters with friends, that is another one I’d recommend.
Brighde: And that’s in a really interesting part of the city as well. In Yale town. It’s like an older sort of area where there would’ve been lots of warehouses and things like that In the past, it’s quite like a gentrified area. It’s a really nice place to hang out and I have been there now.
I remember, and I’m pretty sure it is 100% vegan because it’s Vietnamese food, and Chay is vegan in Vietnamese. I happen to know that because I lived in Vietnam for a while. I’m pretty sure it’s completely vegan, but certainly tons of vegan options, and yeah it’s good.
Nia: Highly recommend them.
Brighde: My pick would be Chi Vegan, which is in Kitsilano the place that I was referring to earlier. And it is a little bit more on the pricey because you usually want to buy lots of dishes to share and then you get the bill and you’re like, Oh my goodness, I didn’t think it was gonna be that much. You have to pay for tips here and you have to pay for tax here as well. So it can be a little bit more expensive for those people coming from outside of North America. But Chi Vegan is 100% vegan, and it’s owned by this incredible Vietnamese woman. But they don’t just do Vietnamese food. They do all sorts of different Asian styles of foods. So if you are somebody, if you are with a group of people, and they don’t necessarily have all that cuisine, that this would definitely be a good place to check out. I really like the Mussaman curry there and the turmeric phish P H fake fish, vegan fish on a hot skillet. They have a crispy Mapo tofu that’s really great and an incredible Laksa so we’ve, we’ve already talked about Vietnamese food. We’ve got Malaysian food. There’s ramen with Impossible Meat inside there. Bun, which is Vietnamese Bun Vietnam. They have a really great wine selection and it’s right in the heart of Kitsilano there’s some really beautiful shopping close by and they even have quite close to that, they have The Cider house, Vancouver, which is a bar that sells vegan food as well. But they have, I think, more than a hundred different ciders on tap. It’s really wonderful in summer. So I definitely think you could just focus on these three things. Oh, and of course the beach there. You’ve got a whole day just in Kitsilano with that restaurant, that bar, the beaches, the museum, and all of that stuff. That would be on a perfect day,
Nia: This is inspiring me for next summer already. I think we need to plan some meetups here.
Brighde: We do. We do. That would be awesome.
Nia: No, it would be fun.
Brighde: Okay. Donuts, do you have an opinion on donuts? I have strong opinions on donuts.
Nia: Okay. I’m gonna let you go first.
Brighde: Okay. So Cartems Donuts, I think they have recently gone Vegan, otherwise, most of them are vegan or a lot of them are vegan. They have incredible toppings on The Maple Bacon Vegan donut that they have, and the Earl Gray donut they have is to die for. What is your thought?
Nia: I second that. So I happen to know that cards, and donuts are like half and half. So they have half vegan donuts and they have non-vegan donuts. And there was that, the Earl Gray donut, I believe. And it even had some gluten-free options They are so good. You go there and you just have a delicious coffee to go with that donut and you’re always wanting to try something new and different when you go in there.
It’s so funny, I have this story to tell one time I thought my husband was being romantic and he came in the door with this really long box and I thought, Oh my gosh, bought me roses. He’s not done this since we were in our early twenties. it was a box of vegan Cartems donuts, there really long box. I’m thinking that’s a happy surprise. I can’t say no to that.
Brighde: What would you prefer? I think I would prefer the donuts.
 Are any honorable mentions that you would like to make?
Nia: Yeah, I think there’s a newer place out in the Fraser Valley and in Chilliwack about called the Veganist. Brian and Logan who run the store are new business owners, I’d love to see the new vegans succeed. And what they’re doing out there is nothing short of incredible.
So they’ve created a vegan store for vegans out in that area where they can go get all of their household items like cruelty-free cleaners and then all of your refrigerated items again, personal care items like your toothpaste, your deodorant, have an apparel section.
So if you ever are out in that area, highly recommend check them out.
Brighde: My honorable mention would go to Grano Pizzeria. I really love that place. They have pastors and pizzas and it’s just a really cool, funky place to go to. I really like the pizzas. I’m very particular about the pizza crust that I like and this one is amazing. And they also have garlic bread knots as well, which are really yummy.
I don’t rate their Tiramisu particularly, I’m sorry to say, but they have some really fun side orders as well. Grano Pizzeria, definitely check it out. I think it’s on Main Street.
Okay, great. Nia, thank you so much. We are gonna have to meet up and check out all of these places. When I’m next in Vancouver. I’m definitely gonna give you a shout, but thank you so much for coming on, the World Vegan Travel Podcast. Just tell us again where people can find you online
Nia: Thanks Brighde again for having me. This was so much fun. I’m gonna take you up on that offer next summer or whenever. I can’t wait. People can find the magazine at globalveganmagazine.com. They can subscribe there. It also links to the digital, if they’re outside of Canada or the US and would like a digital copy. And that’s pretty much it. Thanks again so much.
Brighde: Thank you.

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This trip is still in the planning stage, but you can expect:

Scheduled for September 2025
100% vegan local French cuisine
stay in a château!
Visit castles and medieval villages
17,000 year-old prehistoric cave art
Visit & tasting at a Loire winery

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