Outstanding Vancouver Restaurants That Serve Locally Grown and Sustainable Dishes
The new year is a great time reconsider how you decide where you dine at and explore Vancouver restaurants that serve locally grown and sustainable food. Choosing to eat at restaurants that use B.C. grown ingredients is healthier, better for the environment, and helps keep the 20,000 local farmers and producers stay in business. You’ll feel better knowing you made a wise dining decision by helping the province’s economy thrive. With the city’s great geographical location, abundance of fresh seafood, and native produce like blueberries and apples, Vancouver is home to impeccable locally sourced food that you should be mindful about.
Here are some notable Vancouver restaurants that have made a commitment to sourcing their food locally and support food sustainability within their walls.
Located on the busy Robson Street in Downtown Vancouver, 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 a part of nature the main element is created from. The locality of their plates are 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) towards garden enhancements at 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 the restaurant for you if you have an interest in trying something inventive, from our home of B.C.
Location: 1300 Robson St., Vancouver BC
2. Fable Kitchen
The name “Fable” is a clever play on the phrase farm to table, a nomer crafted by Chef Trevor Bird as he competed on season 2 of 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.
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. They are a proud member of the sustainable food movement, as well as a supporter of local artists, charities, and non-profits. This cafe is devoted to 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
4. Virtuous Pie
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 are 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 card every Tuesday for 20% off!
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.
UBC Wesbrook Village - 3339 Shrum Lane, Vancouver BC
Chinatown - 583 Main Street, Vancouver BC
5. Edible Canada
Imported, foreign food chains and trends are attractive, 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 the photogenic Granville Island, sources local and seasonal products that showcase the best of Canada and what Canadian food is all about. Everything on their menu sounds Canadian-inspired, from their Duck Poutine to their Elk Tartare. Their Bison Poutine - local favourite and signature dish - was recently featured on Buzzfeed Tasty’s show “Friend in Town”.
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. So why not try a locally-made jam or some truly Canadian smoked salmon after dinner?
Edible Canada is the place to go for a reminder of the quality local food has to offer. So sit back, embrace your city, and enjoy some truly Canadian goodness.
About The Author
Sophia is a Noms Mag contributor whose passion and hunger for the developing Vancouver culinary scene fuels her writing. Outside following food, her interests include cooking and the fine arts.