Well, I’ve lived here for just about a year now, and scouted out a number of restaurants around town. Where are the top ten places to get a great vegan meal in Halifax? Here we go!
1. Our kitchen. Fact. We have been on such a roll with making realllly good vegan food lately. Indian, Thai, Mexican, Italian. Even some more traditional North American foods made vegan – like quiche, stuffed squash, macaroni and cheese, pizza, chili cheese dogs, and buffalo “chicken.” Homemade bread, homemade ice cream, and if you look around the blog you’ll see just a few of the sweets I’ve been making. Our apartment is the best place to eat.
2. Mezza (Lebanese restaurant on Quinpool). Our favorite plan of action at Mezza is for 2-3 people to share a Mezzet Sampler (to make it all veg, ask to substitute some extra vegetable kebbe for the kebbe that normally comes with this platter). This plate is a feast for the eyes and the mouth/tummy. Also, the bathrooms have mouthwash and dental floss, which is rather brilliant.
3. Caribbean Twist (Jamaican restaurant on Gottingen, by the Hydrostone Market). The Vegetarian Delight (with ackee or calaloo) is yummy and a great deal. The curry rotis are good too, although not as interesting as the ackee or calaloo. Fried plantains are always tasty too. Wash it all down with a ginger beer. Mmmmmm.
4. Wooden Monkey (trendy-crunchy restaurant on Grafton Street, downtown). This place always seems to be busy, and is the first restaurant that Haligonians bring up when they find out about my diet. The Wooden Monkey isn’t exclusively vegan, but they focus on organic and locally produced ingredients, and they clearly mark the numerous vegan selections on the menu. I’ve had most of the vegan options from the menu, and they’re all good, but none was particularly memorable above the rest.
5. Heartwood (tiny all vegetarian cafe and bakery on Quinpool). Heartwood seemed like the sort of place I should love. There are lots of interesting and delicious sounding foods on the menu, but each time that we’ve gone, the food just hasn’t had that much flavor. Maybe they’re trying so hard to make the food healthy that they’re skimping on flavor. So it’s been a bit of a disappointment, but I will keep going back in hopes of a tastier meal.
6. Economy Shoe Shop (cool cafe and bar on Argyle Street, downtown). There are really only two vegetarian entrees on the menu here (chickpea and veggie curry or vegetable burger), and some appetizers, but shoe shop makes the list because of the unforgettable decor (which has nothing to do with shoes, but is awesome nonetheless).
7. The B-well Sushi and Cafe (cozy sushi cafe on Quinpool). Three words: vegetable sushi pizza. Another three: yam tempura roll. They also have really neat specialty rolls, like the yummy yam dragon roll or super green dragon roll. They usually have some yummy little Japanese desserts available too!
8. Satisfaction Feast (all vegetarian restaurant way up in the North End). Aptly named, Satisfaction Feast has plenty of satisfying vegetarian and vegan meals. I haven’t found any of the food to be remarkably good, but it is satisfying. UPDATE: In September 2011, Satisfaction Feast closed after 30 years of business 😦
9. Pete’s Frootique (okay, so it’s a grocery store, on Dresden Row). Pete’s has an excellent deli that offers all sorts of cold salads, as well as samosas and the like. While I haven’t eaten from it yet myself, there is also a hot bar where you can have panini, sandwiches, soups, and salads prepared for you.
10. Just Us! (cute coffeehouse on Spring Garden Road). Just Us! has nice vegan panini sandwiches and soups at lunchtime. They also have pakoras and samosas, which are vegetarian and probably vegan (vegan enough for me anyway!).
Honorable mention: Halifax farmer’s market (it’s not just produce!) and Cora (delicious breakfasty foods, with an emphasis on fresh fruit…lots of vegetarian options, few vegan ones). Also, Cora’s logo is super cute and you can get free stickers featuring that cute sun while you’re there!
UPDATE: I’ve posted about a few other fabulous restaurants around Halifax on the blog since I wrote this post: Mary’s Place, Indochine Banh Mi (I only mentioned their sandwiches, but their rice noodle bowls are also delicious), Burrito Jax, and Coburg Coffee House.