I have been gluten-free for years but still have a hard time going out with friends. This weekend is my turn to pick the place and I’d love to know what restaurants you recommend in Vancouver?
GF in Vancity
You have no idea how happy I am to be asked this question! Had this question been put on the table five years ago, I would have been hard-pressed to offer a satisfying response. I am pleased to not only be able to share some of my favourite gluten-free restaurants, but am able to say that they are all terrific, going above-and-beyond gluten-free, and are all even celiac-safe!
For those of you who have read my book, you know how close to my heart Indigo Age Café is and why it is on this list. The co-owners, Lovena Galyide her daughter Kate Galaida opened up my world forever with their entirely organic, plant-based, gluten- and sugar-free cuisine. In fact, it was largely because of Lovena and the delicious food that she served at her restaurant that led my daughter Alex and I decided to go to Northern California and attend Living Light Culinary Arts Institute to become certified raw food chefs, instructors and advanced raw food nutrition educators! There is a part of me that wonders if YUM ever would have come to be, had Lovena never touched our lives.
Like Indigo Age, Zend also offers entirely organic, plant-based, gluten- and sugar-free food that is out of this world delicious. Every Tuesday they have “Zend Talks” and 100% of their profits are donated to charity. What first drew my attention to this restaurant in the heart of Yaletown was my partner’s discovery of “The Zend Way” which is so much like my “YUM Living” philosophy. Given that the owner, Steve Curtis, has a story of recovery from his diagnosis at age 25 of terminal stage four cancer by using “food as medicine”, his perspective about life that infuses his restaurant is truly inspirational. In addition to appreciating the wonderful vision of this wonderful restaurant, the team there, headed up by the General Manager Ashleigh Vogstad, will also be sure to steal your heart.
The Green Mustache is another entirely organic plant-based, gluten- and sugar-free juice bar and restaurant in Vancouver that I love. However, this restaurant has also has wings that extend beyond Vancouver—having restaurants also in Squamish and Whistler. In addition to their delectable juices and nutritious vegan cuisine, they are also committed to making a difference above and beyond serving great food with their anti-cancer food as medicine events and retreats, as well as their Eat to Beat High School Masterclass. This initiative teaches high school kids “the healing power of whole foods and how to eat to beat and prevent disease.”
If you are a fresh juice lover like I am, you will want to know about The Juicery Co.! This family-owned juicery and nut mylk shop is wonderful. In addition to offering convenient home delivery, serving all of Metro Vancouver, their awesome cold-pressed organic plant-based juices and other nutritious menu items make healthy eating and cleansing suitable for a wide range of needs.
You have no idea how excited I was to discover this gluten-free Kitsilano gem recently! With a plethora of sushi bars in Vancouver, I had to do a double-take when I walked past IKI one day and saw their “Gluten-Free” sign. Being conscious about the risks associated with gluten cross-contamination, IKI makes it a point to not only ensure the food that they serve on-site and for take-out orders is celiac-safe, but they even have a sign requesting that anyone who enters the establishment avoid bringing any food with gluten with them into the restaurant.
The Gluten-Free Sign!
I have to say that while I am super happy to be in Germany right now representing YUM at the Frankfurt Book Fair, I am sure missing my favourite and trusted Vancouver gluten-free restaurants!
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