The Dishes asks Vancouverites to walk us through a map of their ideal day and night on the town. We’re talking breakfast, lunch, happy hour, dinner and late night cocktails. Tax and tip included.
Desiree Nielsen is a local plant-based registered dietitian, recipe developer, host of The Allsorts Podcast, and author of the cookbooks Eat More Plants and Good For Your Gut. We like the way she thinks and talks about food, so we knew she’d have some good suggestions of what to eat and where to eat it…
Today, Nielson leads us on a day of indulgent plant-based eating and drinking around East Van, where she lives with her husband, two kids and “a very neglected vegetable garden”:
Good morning! What’s for breakfast/brunch?
I’m rolling straight out of bed and heading to To Live For Bakery for an almond croissant before the line starts. I like my sweets not too sweet, and the almond croissant strikes a perfect balance between flaky and chewy that is definitely not easy to accomplish sans butter.
Where should we meet for coffee/tea?
Timbertrain also has a sneaky outpost called The Depot that’s right around the corner from Earnest Ice Cream. It’s a one-two punch. If we’re sitting a while, Platform 7 on Hastings has this lovely little secret garden out back and they make a killer soy cappuccino.
Now we’re hungry again. What’s for lunch?
The Bun Bo Hue at Do Chay. There is nothing that a big steaming bowl of noodles can’t fix, and I like that they serve ample protein in this one because vegans cannot survive on vegetables alone!
Who has you figured out at Happy Hour?
I don’t drink much these days, but I do love a good gin and tonic at Como Taperia, perhaps with some olives and a Pan Con Tomate. I always have a good time there and the food is exceptional – it almost makes me miss my Mt Pleasant era.
What’s for dinner?
If it’s grownups night, then anything they’re serving at Wild Thing Snack Bar on Powell Street, but always their chilli marinated cucumbers. I was a fan of this place from my first visit: super welcoming, vegetarian/vegan food and interesting natural wine. If I’m with the kids, it’s pizza night at Flourist for the vegan pie and an Aperol Spritz or Dickie’s ginger beer.
What’s for dessert?
Tiramisu is my all-time favourite dessert and the vegan tiramisu at Pizzeria Grano is better than many non-vegan versions I’ve tried in the past. And if you haven’t tried it, the peanut butter cup pie at MILA is one of the best desserts in the city, hands down.
Where are you taking us for late night cocktails?
Suyo on Main Street has some of the best zero proof cocktails I’ve ever had. They taste like the real thing, cute ice cube included.