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It’s clear that healthy living is quickly becoming the only way to really live these days, and Vancouver’s food and beverage scene is rising up to the occasion. Cafes, eateries, and restaurants are striving to be inclusive when it comes to dining out with diets, and paleos have not been left out.
As a paleo eater, it’s in your nature to fend for yourselves. However, sticking to a paleolithic diet can be tough, especially with the explosion of Vancouverites turning to the plant-based side of food. But move over vegans; paleos were here first. That’s why, for you hunters out there, we have gathered some places that cater to your love of ethically treated, real food. When that hunger strikes, you can devour the goods to your heart’s content.
If you’re on the North Shore and you need something more, we suggest you take the quick journey to this paleo paradise. Two Rivers’ 2,500-square-foot palace features a working butchery, a glass-walled dry-aging room, a delicatessen, a take-out counter, a 32-seat restaurant with a 16-seat patio, and, to top if all off, a liquor license. As for the food menu, it had us at Sausage Platter. And from the looks of it, we deduce that the 65-Day Dry-Aged Burger may require some close hands-on research. Yep, it’s possible that all of your paleolithic desires can be met here.
Need a quick, natural, organic, local, and paleo-friendly bite before that Canucks game? It exists! At Caveman Cafe, they kick fast food up a notch by keeping the bloating at bay and taking the post-meal guilt away. This Tinseltown gem carries no bias when it comes to the diet-restricted. Not only does it offer caveman zoodles and paleo pizzas but it also offers menu options for vegetarians and vegans so everyone can dine in unison. Even cavemen can get along with others.
Paleo peeps can get nourished and discuss good fats and grain-free diets with fellow health nuts at this downtown sweet spot — all while eating nut-free. Visionary Andrea Witthoeft offers paleos, ketos, celiacs, and yes, even lactose-intolerants, an opportunity to dine out with excitement. Serving the north end of Granville St., Festal ticks all the boxes when it comes to an inviting space, a clean menu, and complete satiation. Get all hands on deck for a local, organic, non-GMO, and free-range spicy chicken waffle sandwich with wild boar bacon. And yes, a no-grain waffle is very possible.
Sometimes simplicity just wants to be elegant. If that’s the case, step up the paleo game for some gourmet fare at Forage. Indulge and experience the best of BC’s local fishers, foragers, and farmers with some fresh zinc-building BC oysters, fibrous Okanagan apples, and protein-rich Turtle Valley bison. The farm-to-table and pasture-to-plate movements are the name of the game for pioneers like Forage. And if you choose to dine here, be sure to go with your favourite Flintstone (paleo joke), as food is served family-style. Sharing is caring!
Let your next weekend outing be for your one-stop shop for grass-fed meat, pasture-raised eggs, bones for broth, and seasonal, local, and organic fruit and vegetables. Don’t worry — your local farmers market feeds its folk with its paleo-friendly food trucks and meat samples from vendors. On your way out, don’t forget to stock up on some fermented foods. After all, winter is coming.
Since you are now a farmers market maven, you are ready for a microadventure over to the North Shore’s Lonsdale Quay Market for some hearty soups, stews, and chowders. And, for under $10, you can easily gratify that comfort food craving. With a rotating selection of four to five hot soups made daily, in-house, and with the freshest ingredients, German Executive Chef Ralf Dauns’ creations can certainly simmer a stressful day. However, if the SeaBus is calling, just take your pick from his 50+ pre-packaged soups and stocks instead. But remember, no bread for you.
Vancouver has many talented contenders in the poke division, but Gastown’s The Poke Shop wins the paleo award for its unique bowl base option — zucchini noodles. Slaws and salads just don’t cut it sometimes, and since rice is disqualified, zoodles are the runners up. Toppings are endless and taste buds are satisfied with a myriad of colours, textures, and flavours to please any paleo champion. And the Pacific surf-inspired decor and tropical drinks score this underground venue some major poke points.
There’s no place like home, with the exception of Nomad. The seasonal bounty is almost as local as your backyard. Quality game and greens are gathered from close to home to deliver a simple yet stylish menu, featuring Hannah Brook Farm veggies, Yarrow Meadow duck breast, and Shaw Family Farms pork tenderloin. And, for brunch, you can go all in on the Quarter Pound Breakfast Burger with truffled scramble and bourbon onion aioli. Yes, we know; just nix the brioche bun. But, the potatoes are a must.
**Updated by Vimi Sian, October 2018
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