Vancouver is bursting with restaurants at every corner. From late-night eats to high-end fine dining, you could easily eat out every night of the week in this city. But not all restaurants are created equal, especially when it comes to good food that’s both healthy and delicious. And let’s face it — no one has ever said, “I’d love to go out for an unhealthy meal”.
With that, here are the healthiest restaurants in Vancouver right now that will have your taste buds thanking you.
When a food truck becomes so popular it opens up an entire restaurant, you know it’s gotta be good. That is exactly the case with Chickpea. This Mount Pleasant Mediterranean joint is about so much more than hummus and it will wow you with its delicious (and healthy) dishes. Oh, and if you’ve never tried chickpea fries, do yourself a favour and go there — NOW.
With fresh ingredients, plates packed with veggies, and deliciously-seasoned proteins, Lebanese restaurant Nuba is one of the most popular places to eat in town. They’ve grown so popular that Nuba calls four neighbourhoods home — Kitsilano, Mount Pleasant, Gastown, and Yaletown. Their menu consists of traditional Lebanese classics mixed with their own modern mash-ups in dishes that cater to your gluten-free, vegetarian, and even vegan needs, so no need to special order your meal here!
Virtuous Pie is putting a whole new spin on your childhood favourites. With a plant-based menu of both pizza and ice cream, you can’t go wrong with anything you choose. Virtuous Pie joined Vancouver’s growing veg-heavy restaurant scene (in Chinatown) back in 2016 and now boasts a second location at UBC. Dine in, take out, or order for delivery — you can really have your pie and eat it, too! And if you have to pick just one, you might want to give the Superfunghi a go. Truffle almond ricotta, anyone?
To be honest, you want to stop by this North Shore cafe simply to enjoy its near-perfect aesthetic, but while you’re there, you might as well grab yourself a plant-based eat or vegan treat. Buddha-Full is a community hub for health-conscious locals, and both their Lower Lonsdale and Northwoods Village locations regularly host community events. Bonus: you can also check out their website for nutritious recipes and healthy food tips.
The Poke Guy
The Hawaiian raw fish dish known as poke has taken Vancouver by storm and the city can’t seem to get enough of it. With so many poke places popping up around Vancity, it’s hard to determine what the best option is. Enter: The Poke Guy. The downtown poke shop does not compromise on quality or taste and this spot is all about food you can feel good about. With a build-your-own-style menu filled with fresh ingredients and Ocean Wise seafood, there’s no need to question the caliber of your meal here.
A lunchtime go-to for the Vancouver lunch crowds, Tractor’s multiple outposts have become a staple in the city’s healthy eats scene. Their motto? “Everyday healthy food.” Whether you’re in the mood for a healthy salad (they have over 10 to choose from) or a hearty stew (give the Moroccan chicken a try), Tractor’s got you covered.
If you’re like any other Vancouverite, chances are you’re ordering sushi at least once a week… or maybe it’s even closer to two or three. Yes, there’s certainly no shortage of sushi joints in this city, but when it comes to a healthy sushi option, the pickings get slim. Shizenyaa, however, is Vancouver’s first natural food Japanese restaurant, and this organic, MSG-free menu does not disappoint. Get your fix of traditional classics like a California or Spicy Tuna Roll (all made with brown rice), and then treat yourself to one of Shizenya’s speciality items like the vegetarian favourite Geisha Girl roll. Find this organic spot on Hornby St. downtown or on Broadway in Fairview.
Heirloom is a must if you’re looking for a vegetarian menu and an atmosphere that perfectly blends homestyle comfort with modern yum. That, or if you’re just looking for organically-sourced food that you can feel good about. Heirloom calls itself a casual dining spot, but their carefully-crafted dishes like the Avocado Benedict (hello, brunch menu) and the wholesome Brassica Bowl have a serious gourmet flare — all without the price tag. They’ve got two awesome locations, one in South Granville and the other in Ambleside.
When the food is prepared from scratch daily and the restaurant is the brainchild of a Top Chef Canada contestant, the fact that it is also healthy and locally sourced makes it a true unicorn. Fable gets its name from the farm-to-table concept (get it?), and the Kitsilano bistro is known to change its menu with seasons to ensure the quality of its locally-sourced ingredients. It doesn’t get better than that.
Field & Social
Field & Social offers one thing and one thing only: deliciously-crafted salads. One visit to this downtown eatery will have you saying “no” to bland salads forever. That’s because all of their salads are made with fresh, local ingredients. And because they’re quick to dish, Field & Social makes healthy eating possible, even when you’re on the go (thank you, online ordering). FYI: Field & Social is only open during weekdays, making it a great option for your lunch hour.
Nestled into the corner of Jervis and Robson, Forage is a West End staple that’s focus is on sustainable dining. Because, when it comes to healthy eating, you can’t get much better than locally-sourced foods. And Forage pulls together ingredients from all over BC, bringing out the best flavour from each item. Come for their family-style plates and come back again for the brunch — you will not be disappointed.
One part fitness studio, one part kitchen, and one part shop, Kitsilano’s TurF is known for its community of people passionate about good living. But if you’re reading this post, you’re here for the food. TurF’s food philosophy is simple — good, wholesome, eco-conscious. Eat in or take out, TurF makes it easy to fuel your body all day long.
Another farm-to-table joint, the Farmer’s Apprentice dining room makes you feel like you’re eating in someone’s cozy home rather than restaurant near South Granville. This set-course dining experience caters to both you omnivores and herbivores, and you can expect the offerings to change with the seasons. Fitt Tip: be sure to come early to grab a drink next door at Grapes and Soda, the sister bar to Farmer’s Apprentice.
Who says fast food can’t be healthy? Certainly not SMAK, a good-for-you fast food concept that’s all about creating delicious and nutritious meals to-go. Grab a green detox juice, a power smoothie and pair it with an avocado breakfast sandwich to get your day started on the right foot. Then, circle back during lunch to hit up their build-your-own-bowl station. The best part about this fast-casual eatery nestled in the downtown core on West Pender (and also on Granville St. and Howe St.) is that everything on the menu is made with locally-sourced ingredients when possible. Oh, and they’ve got plenty of gluten-free dishes, too!
This plant-based restaurant on West Broadway is an absolute haven of healthy eats. Sink your fork into brown rice sushi, almond alfredo spaghetti, a quinoa salad, yam soup, or a baked spring roll (just to name a few) and prepare for a flavor explosion in your mouth. Wash it all down with one of their delicious smoothies, organic teas, or a kombucha and consider yourself fueled for the full day.
If you’re looking for a hearty, healthy meal, then make your way to Heirs Pears on Nelson St. Their menu is chock full of filling breakfast dishes, salads, and sandwiches that cater to every type of eater in your crew — paleo, keto, vegetarian, and meat eaters alike. Want something a little lighter? Order up a refreshing beverage, like one of their organic teas, freshly-ground espressos, a chai or matcha latte, or, everyone’s favourite — kombucha.
**Updated by Meagan Gill, October 2018