I am back to the blog after a 6 glorious vacation days. Eric and I decided to celebrate our 2nd wedding anniversary in Seattle and Vancouver.
We take our “urban hiking” seriously, so we cover a lot of ground in a short time. We hunt for juice bars, vegan restaurants, markets, coffee shops and do whatever gets the endorphins going – like, hiking, biking, and stand-up paddle boarding.
I may not be your guide for museums or art galleries, but I have a good round-up of Seattle’s and Vancouver’s vegan eats and outdoor activities.
I had so much fun eating, exercising outdoors, and snapping photos, so I can’t wait to share!
Think of this as a mini Trip Advisor + Yelp kind of post on some of the BEST food and adventures I have ERER had.
Part I – The Eats
There were so many “good” places to eat, and I was spoiled with all the vegan options, but these were my absolute favorites. There was not a ton of raw food, and I must admit I was not close to my 80 (raw) to 20 (cooked) diet as I am at home, but I did taste some unbelievable flavors.
Poppy – Capitol Hill, Seattle
Our first night started on a very good note. Wandering around different Seattle neighborhoods, going into shops and scoping out the Seattle scene (especially when you’ve been up since 4:00 am for a 6:00 am flight), works up an appetite. We found this restaurant in Seattle’s Capitol Hill area.
They have spin on the presentation. An entree is served as a “thali” – a platter of small dishes. Similar to tapas, but even smaller, they come as one large platter – so no picking and choosing. No thali option for vegans on the menu, but the chef creates a special vegan “thali” upon request. I’ll tell you, it’s by no means an after-thought. My thali was a plate of really delicious soup, golden beet and blueberry salad, turnip simmered in a cashew cream sauce, fermented radishes, kale potatoes, and a couple of bean dishes.
Balanced, with good spices and flavors. Fun place to if you like small plates and enjoy sharing.
Sutra – Wallingford, Seattle
This is by far my favorite restaurant of all time. Yes, folks, it is that good. Eric researched this place ahead of time and made reservations as soon as we got to Seattle. Sutra accommodates 35 people, and serves dinner once a day during the week, and twice on the weekends. So make reservations to make sure you don’t get turned away. Believe me, you do not want to be turned away.
And since it was my favorite place, I’m going to
brag go into detail about this one.
First I love the high quality food – second, I love the commitment to and passion for high quality food. Sutra is committed to locally sourced and organic ingredients, sustainable agriculture, community-style dining, and a seasonal menu. The dinning experience is an experience.
The chef serves a four course dinner that is prepared right in front of you – and he explains everything you are about to eat and where it comes from. Sutra has a garden out back where they get some of their flowers and herbs and bit of food. Everything else is from local farms.
I can go on and on, and these pictures don’t do it justice since they were taken with an iPhone. My first and second course was a peach and apricot coconut cream soup with a salad of romaine, baby fennel, sea greens and candied pumpkin seeds with a lime-hempseed dressing. The sea greens were a nice touch. They are quite popular in Seattle, but sadly, not as widely available here (as far as I know).
The third course was a zucchini mung bean pancake with a salad in a sorrel truffle sauce and blue potato crisps. The truffle sauce had incredible flavor, and the zucchini pancakes had a soft texture with a crispy top.
The next course was my favorite meal. Still dreaming about it. Maitaki-peacan cream tamales with grilled broccoli raab, and mole roja. I have no words. No words. Simply the best.
Eric had words – he said that it was “the best tamale he has ever had”. I second that.
Dessert was good – raw cheesecake. It was similar to my Blueberry Cream Tart, less crust and more cheesecake.
Basically, my favorite dinner, ever.
The Juice Truck – Gastown, Vancouver BC
I was in juice heaven in both Vancouver and Seattle – at first, I was almost overwhelmed by the number of juice and smoothie places to try, but most of them were just “ok”.
There was at least one smoothie/juice option in each neighborhood, but this juice truck was my favorite.
Vij’s – Vancouver BC
Due to a recommendation by Eric’s aunt, a Vancouver native, and with dozens of akolades from notable sources like the New York Times and Food and Wine Magazine, we could not pass it up. Far from fresh or raw, this Indian food is extremely flavorful, spicy and authentic. Vij’s is a full night dining experience. If you are trying to grab a quick bite, this is not the place.
Because it’s so popular, the wait times are commonly an hour to an hour and a half. No reservations, so you get there at 5:00 pm or 6:00 pm sharp to eat dinner an hour later.
The wait is less of a drag and more a part of the experience. The waiting area is not a stuffy bench in the walkway. There is outdoor seating and an indoor bar, exceptional service, and a wonderful cocktail list to enjoy while mingling with locals and tourists. We had a great time chatting with other local couples and looking through the menu. Not to mention you won’t go hungry – delicious appetizers are passed around “on the house” while you wait and mingle. We needed this one after our adventure-packed day earlier that day. More on that later.
Not a ton of vegan options, but what they do have is top notch, including their vegan naan.
Overall, I was very impressed with the quantity AND quality of vegan options both in Seattle and Vancouver. Practically every restaurant offered at least one or two vegan meals that were equally as thought-out and creative as their meat dishes, and there were quite a few high-quality vegan restaurants.
Pikes Place Market, a Seattle tradition.
Rows upon rows of beautiful flowers and produce.
Vancouver, Granville Island. A ton of indoor food stands, shops, and the home of the Granville Island Brewery, where we tried some of the local brews. The market was my favorite.
Hike up to a park with a gorgeous view of the city and the mountains. Check out the huge maintain in the background.
Catching the sunset at the Vancouver waterfront.
Part II coming soon. The endorphins were as good as the eats