After working at Banff’s oldest steakhouse – Melissa’s Missteak – for nearly 2 years, and having enjoyed more steak than any man should ever be allowed, it’s only natural that I’ve become a near-vegetarian. On my days off, I rarely eat any meat or dairy.
Being a happy Mt. Pleasant resident, let me give you a peak of a few Main Streets eats from the standpoint of a sensitive omnivore Chef that leans towards vegetarianism.
2301 Main Street | Vancouver
Before saying anything, I must admit that I have had a guilty old crush on these guys. When I first got here – when conscious hip-hop (where else can you hear “Gimme The Loot” in its entirety while eating in public) and ill-fitting second hand clothing was more a part of my public visage – Foundation was like an oasis to me. It was cheap-ish, plentiful, decorated with quotes that I couldn’t help but copy down now and then, and it was open late.
Do not – I repeat, do not – go to Foundation looking to get service fit for kings. Do, however, go there for good vegetarian food, or to see hip-ster/pie cooks working with old electric stove ranges from the 70’s. Go there with groups for the nachos, solo to satisfy a veggie burger craving (of which they have 3 made in-house), or on a date if you want to use the quotes on their walls as conversation points. My only critique of their menu is their over-dependence on mangoes, chickpeas, and papayas. Also – they haven’t changed it in nearly half a decade, but, you know how that old “if it ain’t broke” saying goes.
I must say that I once loved them for their $4 highballs, and their vegetarian options, but I broke up with them a while ago after a series of disappointments that saw me boycott them up until yesterday. For the highballs, the cute flowery wall décor, and the pleasant service – go. The food? From a vegetarian standpoint – is unpredictably satisfying. Their meat-centric items are all fail-safes (burgers, nachos, wraps, salads, etc.), so don’t worry about the food if you’re a meat-eater. If you go, as a vegan or vegetarian, and order anything other than the vegan “Mac and Cheese” (should it be spelled cheez?) or the “Thunder Fries” – be prepared for anything from a 2 to a 9 on the impression scale.
4328 Main Street | Vancouver
A shout-out for Grub – up just past King Edward (25th), still on Main St. These guys work with an electric range too, though you’d never know it. You have to reserve a table in advance with them – they don’t do walk-ins. The place is minimalistic, but adequately sophisticated, and the prices are good for the self-evident skill that goes into the food. I would recommend Grub to anyone, but, I must also say that I’ve had some of the best vegan meals in Vancouver there. They always have a few vegan options, though much of the base style of the place is French. Go there for a pleasant surprise – call in advance.
44 Kingsway Street | Vancouver
Last but not least, is Budgie’s Burritos, on the Northeast side of that little triangle East of Main – North of Broadway but cut angularly by Kingsway. When it comes to Vegetarian Burritos, or just Burritos in general, they own Main St. $8 will get you more burrito than you’ll be able to handle. They serve beer, including that gluten-free beer called “New Grist” (not bad; there are definitely worse beers out there by the hundreds), and they’re now open until midnight!
If you remember one thing about this article, it should be that Budgie’s is open late now. Ask for Daniel or Jill and tell them Hunter sent you.
~ Hunter J. Moyes