Like many people, and until a few years ago, the delightfully First Nations named town of Squamish, located just north of Vancouver, meant very little to us other than a few shops and gas stations we drove past on the way to Whistler. Back then, it was still thought of as a bit of a backwater, a mostly working-class logging town that happened to be located in a dramatically scenic part of the world. Not exactly the most vegan-friendly place for sure.
WHY COME TO SQUAMISH?
While already famous as a world-class destination for rock climbers and slackliners, thanks to the incredible monolith called The Chief (or more accurately Stawamus Chief Mountain) that welcomes you as you enter the town, it's near incomprehensible why it took so long for this gem to become an amazing destination in its own right. It's hard to disagree with its self-proclaimed moniker as the "outdoor capital of Canada"!
The stunning 360° degree views of thick forested hills and snow-capped mountains is a dream come true for mountain bikers, backcountry skiers, and hikers. Being at sea level on the Howe Sound means you also get to enjoy water sports, especially kite-surfers who drink up the summer winds that Squamish is famous for. The downtown core is prettying up, and fun cafes, breweries and restaurants have popped up all over the place.
Squamish is no longer a secret paradise. I mean, LOOK AT THIS!!:
WHY WE CHOSE SQUAMISH
Several years ago, Seb's sister moved from Whistler to Squamish, with his parents following them in February 2020. A month later, deciding that our time in Thailand had come to a close, we chose to make Squamish our home too. I mean, it had everything: mountains, the sea, Seb's family, and exactly halfway between a world-class city (Vancouver) and one of the world's great winter and summer resort (Whistler).
HOW VEGAN-FRIENDLY IS SQUAMISH?
We thought that Squamish would be a bit of a vegan desert, even though the population was increasing and the town was becoming increasingly developed and gentrified.
We were wrong!
Now in truth, in terms of vegan offerings in restaurants, Squamish is no Portland, New York, or even Vancouver. Still, there are a very decent number of restaurants and incredible vegan professionals and entrepreneurs who are doing fun things to help make veganism more accessible in Squamish. Plus the supermarkets are stacked!
This is going to be an epic post so let’s do some housekeeping. We’ll start with vegan eateries, then move on to vegetarian and finally to establishments that do have some interesting vegan options. Finally, we'll round up the post with some shops (including health food stores), vegan professionals doing vegan things that also call this town home, and lastly, some groups and communities you might be interested in if you happen to be doing more than just dropping by.
We hope this post will be useful, but we know that information like this can be outdated quite quickly. Whether it's restaurants closing down, new ones opening up or vegan options expanding (and sometimes decreasing), we want this to be a resource that will be helpful for locals, visitors and those that are tempted to get off the highway for a bite to eat. Please feel free to let us know in the comments or by contacting us and we will make sure that it is updated.
Another quick note before we get going: Squamish encompasses a dozen different and distinct neighborhoods. For the sake of brevity, we've rounded up the restaurants in 5 different areas: downtown, Garibaldi Estates (the big shopping area you'll see north of Downtown), Brackendale (to the very north), Industrial (across the highway from Garibaldi Estate) and Valleycliffe (east of the highway as you pass the Chief). When a business is located outside one of these neighborhoods, we've listed it in the closest geographical area.
100% VEGAN RESTAURANTS
This lovely food truck is often located on Diamond Road next to London Drugs and sometimes at the base of the Chief. They can also be hired out for events. It's worth checking them out on social media to find out where they will be on a given day. They have a wide range of smoothies (which you can upgrade to a smoothie bowl), a huge range of coffee (for such a small truck), shaved ice and also some cakes and other sweet treats. If you can, support this 100% vegan-owned Squamish business!
BUDDHA FULL - food truck, vegan, healthy
Buddha-Full is a restaurant with a couple of branches in Vancouver and now they have a bus that can often be found in Squamish in the car park in Garibaldi village next to Canadian Tire! It has a limited but delicious menu of wraps, bowls, smoothie bowls and smoothies. We absolutely love the double decker bus and the open air but protected seating on the upper level. The food is fantastic too! We tried the Tuscan Wrap with vegan cheese and field roast sausages but can't wait to go back to try the Nut Thing Better smoothie bowl.ere...
The Green Moustache is part of the same chain that has two branches in Whistler (which we featured in our Ultimate Vegan Guide to Whistler). It's located right downtown and has a small outside seating area with beautiful views of the Chief. It’s a casual restaurant is open only for lunch and can do takeaways. Call ahead and get your order ready to pick up if you are continuing to go to Whistler, or sit in the sun at Junction Park. We love the Kitchari and their Chai Latte.
VEGAN-FRIENDLY RESTAURANTS - DOWNTOWN, SQUAMISH
One of the first restaurants we went to when we moved here. Saha Eatery doesn’t look super special from the outside but do not let that fool you because the food is excellent quality and delicious. And there's a lot of it!! We recommend heading there during the week at lunchtime as this is when they have their incredible lunchtime platters which are often vegan. While the menu doesn’t have marked vegan options, the wait staff are easily able to tell you what is and isn’t vegan without a big drama. Our favorites include:
- Baba Ganooj with pomegranate and Tahini
- Zaatar Roasted potatoes
- Deep fried cauliflower with tahini
- Mujadrah (lentils, quinoa and brown rice with onions chillies, preserved lemon and species
- Nagabbi platter (Falafel, the cauliflower, Mujadara Green Salad, pita bread, tahini and hot sauce
They also have a vegan meal for 4 (take out only) for $68. Highly recommended! It's located downtown, next to Green Moustache.
One of the newest additions to Squamish's food scene is this lovely place. Simple premise (coffee and donuts) but very well executed. The branding is lovely and they have promised that there will always be vegan options - HURRAH! On the day we visited, we were thrilled that there were vegan cinnamon rolls too! There's space to sit outside with incredible views of the Chief and the marina. It's located a little bit outside the big concentration of cafes in Squamish's downtown, but worth the extra block or two's walk.
Perhaps one of the most bustling venues downtown. Zephyr Cafe has a great outdoor seating area right on Squamish's main street, and a number of marked vegan options including some baked goods. Known for their coffee, they have 4 different non-dairy milks. We love Veggie Chilli Cup and the Nude Pad Thai. They also have a number of dishes which are easily veganizable. The tables of Zephyr are often filled with people quietly working on their laptop with dogs outside waiting for their human friends to return. Zephyr has a reputation for their community-building and they often have live music too. It's right on Cleveland Avenue, downtown Squamish's main drag.
If you visited Sunflower Bakery in the past and were disappointed, we are thrilled to tell you that it's worth another look. Under new ownership since October 2019, the news owners have upped the ante for vegan baked goods in Squamish! Ryan and Jamie told us:
“While we were creating all new items we saw a void of vegan baked goods so we started to create to try to fill that void of something that a vegan would not typically see or HAVE to eat, and have usual vegan offerings.”
As well as the excellent coffee, and a delicious vegan chorizo sandwich, they have a number of sweet treats including chocolate truffles, the vegan magic bar and the vegan Homer donut which is also gluten free. It's on Squamish's main drag.
The gang at Joe Pesto's Pizzeria want to make sure that vegans can have their fill of delicious wood fired, New York style AND gluten free pizzas with vegan cheese! While they do not offer particular vegan pizzas, all their pizzas can be veganized with the addition of Daiya vegan cheese and don’t forget the Just Beet It Salad! We have been informed that the beets are no longer roasted in honey! It's in downtown Squamish.
This new addition to the downtown Squamish restaurant scene had only been open a week when we went to visit (December 2020) and they had to deal with us, a group of vegans as well as a picky eater. While there were a lot of options, it did take some time to understand which dishes were vegan and which were not but we are confident that this will improve given some time. It’s well located with parking and an outside patio for when the weather is good.
This Japanese restaurant boasts that it's the first Izakaya restaurant in Squamish. In case you don’t know (and we didn’t), an Izakaya restaurant is like a Japanese equivalent of a tapas restaurant where lots of dishes can be shared at the table. You'll find this large restaurant has lots of vegan options but the menu makes it a little bit hard to see what is vegan without asking questions. Edamame is marked with a ‘V’ but the Agedashi tofu is not, as well as the deep fried vegetables, cucumber and avocado rolls and the gyoza. Definitely go check this place out, but just be ready to ask some questions. It's on Squamish' main drag. At the time of writing, the restaurant was only operating as takeout. Check status before heading here.
It's dangerous having a good ramen place just 3 minutes walk from one's front door, because we love this stuff. It's located downtown with a lovely patio out the back and a very nice interior. While the photo from outside says that it is in soft opening and that only ramen is available, this is not quite right, as many items were available just a few short weeks after opening. We love the fact that they seem dedicated to accommodating those that want to eat more plants with their veggie menu prominently displayed on their website.
We love Green Olive! Not only are they only a few minutes' walk from our home, but they have a wide selection of interesting local and imported products which we have bought as gifts for family members several times. Also, the staff is familiar with veganism and there are always at least 2 options on the menu, as well as a baked good or two. The sandwiches are really good dare we say the best vegan sandwiches in Squamish! Recommended and worth the risk to go despite there being no online menu (that we can find).
Here's what the lovely staff say their business when we asked them!
We love vegan food, we always explore new ideas and indeed we everyday have options for vegan people. This is because our cuisine (Greek and Italian) is naturally vegan and naturally healthy. Our soups are almost always vegan, olive oil based and made from scratch with fresh ingredients, organic vegan broth with Mediterranean family recipes. We make vegan birthday cakes for our vegan customers and have standard 4 items in our menu that are very popular among vegan and not only. They are all made with homemade spreads, fresh and house grilled veggies and extra virgin olive oil. We also use first quality nuts in our sandwiches to add flavor, crunchiness and vitamins! Every 3 or 4 special panini one is vegan made with house pickles, house hummus, olives, roasted veggies, organic bread. Also, our grocer inventory is 70%, if not more, vegan friendly or certified vegan as it is mostly Mediterranean products
This food truck is located just outside a cidery. It is a little bit hidden down a side street, but it's worth seeking out, especially if you like to drink cider. Their Flower Power burger has a falafel patty but the roasted corn and peas make it a bit different. Vegan aioli is on the menu which probably means some of their sides are veganisable too.
This Japanese chain has branches throughout the sea-to-sky region, and have a number of marked vegan options on the menu including a vegetable Donburi, a rice bowl served with a Teriyaki sauce, 4 sushi rolls, 1 kappa maki as well as Agedashi. They have a location downtown as well as in Garibaldi.
We love this café, which is actually inside the impressive tourist information centre (also known as the Adventure Centre). We love to drop in here after walking through the Logger’s Creek Nature Trail or the Little Smoke Bluffs Parks. The coffee is great and they stock Seb's sister’s tea. They have a number of baked options and some veganisable paninis as well.
Finally, The Parkside Cafe is a fairly new addition to the downtown food scene. Located right next to a park, you can grab Potato and Soya wrap and sit in the park. Of course there is sitting space too.
VEGAN-FRIENDLY RESTAURANTS - GARIBALDI ESTATES, SQUAMISH
This little restaurant, located just behind Garibaldi village, is one of the best Indian restaurant in Squamish. One reason we love Essence of India is because it clearly states which items are dairy-free and, even better, they even make items that can be made vegan (marked with a little "F: on the menu). The décor is simple yet evokes a sense of India when you walk in. Have a look at their menu here.
PHO GIVE PHO GET - Garibaldi Estates, food truck, Vietnamese
This food truck with a huge covered patio is located off the highway next to Canadian Tire, which makes it a great option if you need to grab something quickly on the way to Whistler. "Phở" is known to be super quick to prepare so you can be back on the road in no time. The crew at Pho Give Pho Get use all compostable or fully recyclable utensils and containers, and their ingredients are locally sourced. They provide some super vegan options. Their Vegan Five Mushroom Medley Pho with its proprietary mushroom broth is certainly going to be a big hit with mushroom fans, but we also love the Vermicelli Bowl with the Crispy Tofu! The best Vietnamese vegan food in Squamish for sure.
PEPE'S CHOPHOUSE - Garibaldi Estates, steak house
If you are okay with heading to a steakhouse for a meal, then Pepe's can be a good option for you. Sadly, their online menu does not have the vegan options marked, but some good contenders are there for you. The vegetarian spaghetti (with Beyond Beef meatballs) looks veganisable (if it isn’t already) and their coconut and curry vindaloo seems delicious, although check the Nann bread is vegan (they often are not). It's located a minute off the highway.
SQUAMISH VALLEY GOLF CLUB - Garibaldi Estates, golf club, restaurant
Vegan-friendly golf club restaurants are not exactly easy to find, but that's what we have here. And you can thank The Squamish Valley Golf Club having a vegan chef on staff! They have bowls as well as cauliflower fritters, and you can substitute falafel instead of tofu in some dishes. Their pasta nights are also vegan-friendly and they are determined to cater for vegans. Afterwards, you can walk it off on some of the beautiful trails just outside the club. The golf club is located off the highway.
CORK AND CRAFT TAPHOUSE - Garibaldi Estates, local craft beers
A few marked vegan options exist at the Cork & Craft Taphouse, which specialises in craft beers and spirits from the local area. Honestly, there are so many locally brewed drinks here, and we are thrilled to tell you that the couple of vegan options are pretty good. A pomodoro pasta does make an appearance on the menu, and the craft veggie burger has a vegan option. There's also a vegan mac and cheese! There are a few options that are easily veganizable, mostly by skipping the cheese. We would love for them to add a vegan substitute, easily done by switching the goat cheese or ricotta for one of the local produced vegan cheeses. Here's where to find this place.
ALICE AND BROHM - Garibaldi Estates, ice cream
This adorably-branded and very popular local ice creamery is catering to vegans with their plant-based / vegan option. They offer a coconut base option, though do note that the coconut base does get blended in the same blenders as the dairy base and some contamination occurs. This option is great if you are okay with some dairy traces, but not ideal if you are highly sensitive or allergic to dairy. If you’re looking for a 100% dairy-free base, take a look at their Nora's pints.
We spoke to the owners of the shop and they told us that they are looking to widen the number of vegan options in the future, so make sure you check out their website and social media for all the updates. It's located in a cute cafe and shops compound right off the highway.
Locavore Bar & Grill has always been one of our favorites, especially because it has a huge outdoor space and patio with lovely views of forest, hills and mountains. This is a super place for kids as there is lots of space to run around and there is a small playground for them to let off some steam. They have a wide selection of vegan meals from a banh mi tofu sandwich, cauliflower salad and a veggie burger as well as homemade vegan mayo and vegan cheese so you can veganise other items on the menu. The bar also must be the only place in town to have vegan Baileys! Happily, the staff are always looking to introduce even more choices. It's not far from the highway. Locavore will be changing in 2021 to become possibly the vegan hub of Squamish.
Cloudburst is right next door to the Locavore, and indeed they share the same wonderful patio and space that I mentioned above. This very popular spot has lots of different non-dairy milks for your beverages but also some fun food items including a homemade fruit and nut bar as well as a portobello mushroom Sandwich.
From the owners:
“We think it's important to offer a variety of tasty treats for people of all diets. We know that especially for gluten-free and vegan diets it can be hard to find tasty options so we try to do our best to make everything as flavorful as possible!”
Thank you Cloudburst! We appreciate your efforts! 🙂
VEGAN-FRIENDLY RESTAURANTS - BRACKENDALE, SQUAMISH
Located a little way off the highway, this little cafe is adorable and rustic, and known for breakfast, brunch and lunch. The Crabapple Café prides itself on their vegan options and coffee. We love (and are never able to solve) the riddle on the blackboard that appears each day. A reviewer had this to say:
“Not only was the service really fast on a busy morning, but the tofu garden scramble was delicious! The perfect mixture of crispy potatoes below, with warm roasted vegetables on top were just what we needed to fuel our adventure filled day.”
Fergie's Café is generally considered one of Squamish’s favorite brunch spots and yes, it's a bit off the beaten path. But what a location! It's part of the Sunwolf Riverside Resort and a top spot for weddings and events. We love the themed nights which include a Vegan nut and lentil roast, vegan yorkshire pudding, mapled roast root veg, roasted rosemary and garlic potatoes with mushroom gravy, and a vegan dessert (peanut chocolate brownie). In addition, their famous brunch offers two options, the Huevos Rancheros and the Alpha Bowl.
THE WATERSHED GRILL - Brackendale, river patio
The Watershed Grill is superbly located on the banks of the Squamish river with incredible views. You can even spot many Bald Eagles if you visit between November and March. It also has a wonderful terrace to enjoy the outside if the weather is in your favor. The menu has some very clearly marked options (V means vegan and VG means vegetarian) and they have lots of dishes including Agedashi Tofu bites, sweet potato fries, a watershed salad, and a Power bowl (with tofu added). Sadly, their veggie burger is not vegan despite having a Beyond Burger as an upgrade... the bun isn’t vegan! Of course you can still order it without the bun, but come on Watershed!!
VEGAN-FRIENDLY RESTAURANTS - INDUSTRIAL, SQUAMISH
This chain has nearly 20 locations throughout BC and if you like Asian food, but you are a bit picky, you will be really happy as you can customise the noodles as you like. Most of the noodle bowls can be made vegan. Simply choose your noodle sauce, your type of noodles or rice (there are several options including zucchini noodles), your protein (tofu is your option here) and your spicy level. We love the spicy peanut noodle box.
Carly, the manager of Noodlebox, clearly cares about making sure that vegans are looked after in her restaurant. She told us:
"Our goal at Noodlebox is to serve real food, made fresh, and being able to accommodate different dietary needs, like vegan, is important. I am a vegetarian and have many food allergies and Noodlebox was one place I could go and be sure to get a delicious meal, That was one of the driving forces for us bringing Noodle Box to Squamish. Many of our dishes can be made vegan, I recommend that anyone wanting a vegan meal let us know so we can be sure we are taking all precautions to avoid cross contamination and make required substitutions."
Its located off the highway, mid-way between downtown and Garibaldi Highlands.
THE CHOPPED LEAF - Industrial, make-your-own-salad
This new franchise opened in Squamish in 2020 and has been a welcomed addition to the vegan scene. Located off the highway, The Chopped Leaf has a range of chef-designed salads, bowls, and wraps. Some interesting addons for vegans are Beyond Meat beef crumbles, tofu, and avocado. The website and on-site menu both have vegan items clearly marked and some pretty good vegan dressings as well. You can also design you own salad for the perfect meal.
INDIAN MASALA EXPRESS - Industrial, Indian
Indian Masala Express was the first Indian restaurant we tried in Squamish and still one of our favorites. It has a lot of marked vegan options on the menu as well as an enormous patio. It's located just off the highway, next to Noodlebox, but manages to remain away from the traffic noise. We love that there is an option for a soy chicken which makes a nice change from the traditional vegan offerings in Indian restaurants. While the vegan options are not marked on their online menu, they are one the ones in the actual restaurant.
NORTHYARD CIDER Co. - Industrial, craft cidery, restaurant
Northyards Cider Co. is a craft cidery located in the light industrial area of Squamish, but don’t let that put you off. It's beautifully decorated with lots of comfortable seating. As well as a bar serving their cider on tap, they have an extensive menu specializing in cheesy things! Their vegan mac and cheese is very good and don't forget the vegan cheese platter (!!).
LUZ TACOS MEXICAN FOOD - Industrial, Mexican
This food truck has been voted the best food truck in Squamish and is usually located next to A-Frame Brewing Co. although it can be hired out for special events. There are lots of vegan options for you here as you can veganize nearly all items, including substituting any meats with soya chunks, We just wish they had vegan cheese and sour cream! At the time of writing, this is not available.
VEGAN-FRIENDLY RESTAURANTS - VALLEYCLIFFE, SQUAMISH
This bar is very popular with locals but not as much with tourists, who don’t usually have a reason to head over to Valleycliffe. They have a very popular quiz night and you can enjoy a few marked vegan options from their menu, including hummus and chips, a vegan kale salad, a pizza with smoothed tofu crumbles and a garlic tahini drizzle which sounds different but delicious. As well as an extensive inside area, they have a beautiful patio with views of the Chief.
Do not let the fact that Kululu Cafe is located apart from the other commercial areas of Squamish stop you from checking out this lovely place. With probably the best views in town that show the Chief in all its glory, you can enjoy some healthy vegan choices from their clearly marked menu. A favorite is the Tofu Poke bowl and their Vegetable Udon, and you ‘supersize’ your meal by adding avocado or adding some sides like Seaweed salad, Goma-ae (Cooked bok Choy and green beans with housemade Sesame Sauce). Check opening hours before you head over there and it’s a small place so make sure you book to avoid disappointment!
VEGAN-FRIENDLY LARGE CHAINS, SQUAMISH
We don’t actively encourage people to stop at chains when they are travelling, while it is true they do provide local employment for the people that work there, there are so many more atmospheric spots to try where all the the profits are more likely to be invested in the community. However, for the sake of being as comprehensive as possible, we have included a few here.
PANAGO - downtown, pizza
We would be lying if we said we never ordered from Panago, The truth is we love it! We love that they have vegan cheese (daiya) and Beyond Meat. Of note is their five plant based pizzas as well as Gardein Breaded Tenders. It's located in a shopping square right downtown.
White Spot is probably one of the closest restaurant to the highway, so definitely a good stop-over dining option. They have quite a lot of vegan options, including the Impossible Burger. We like the website which allows you to filter for vegan food. They also include nonvegan items in their filter that can be veganised by removing an ingredient.
VEGAN SHOPPING AND DELIVERY, SQUAMISH
PLANT X - Garibaldi village, grocery store, speciality products
We were incredibly surprised to hear that Plant X the online marketplace that also has a meal delivery service was also going to open up their first shopfront in our town! Plant X on Squamish has everything that is available in the local supermarkets as well as a lot that isn't. It also seems to have a education centre attached to it too and is a great place to pick up snacks and food to sustain you while you go out adventuring.
This small shop, located close to Canadian Tire, has a range of vegan products, although to be honest, there is nothing that we have found here that is not available at the bigger supermarkets in town. However, they do have a range of prepared items like salads, dressings, sandwiches and smoothies that you can pick up.
If you are an extremely busy person or someone that just wants a couple of nights off a week from cooking, Turmeric Trailer is worth checking out. Previously a food truck, they now focus on meal delivery and they have a huge range of vegan items that just made eating easier and healthier. The different packages vary between those wanting to eat fewer calories, frozen meal packs, fresh ones, smoothie packs and packs for athletes. With items like BBQ Tofu, Brown rice and vegetables, and Bangers and mash with peas and mushroom gravy, there will be something that you’ll love.
There’s a reason you will see Solfeggio’s products as the vegan option in cafes and restaurants in the Sea-to-Sky region. It's because they are just so good! Their chocolate treats and desserts are simply delicious and contain wholesome ingredients. We love the salted caramel bar pictured above.
Newly opened in 2021, The Grounded Grocer is where you can buy a huge range of items that are vegan and cruelty-free, from toiletries, pantry stables and even glass jars of burger mix.
This little store has a range of items to help you make your house a little more sustainable. As well as soaps, household products, teas and toiletries.
VEGAN-OWNED BUSINESSES / VEGAN PROFESSIONALS IN SQUAMISH
Will is a very experienced mountain bike repairer and he is available to fix your mountain bike! Contact him through email (preferred, walleater@ ) or phone 604-375-0085. You can also find him on Instagram.
GROUPS AND COMMUNITIES
The Facebook Group Squamish Vegans is fairly active and they share interesting grocery finds, favorite restaurants and sometimes hold events.
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We'd love to hear from you! Do you have any questions? Ideas? Do you know of any more awesome spot for a vegan meal or snack that we might have missed? Let us know and we might add them to a future article update!
Let's have a discussion in the comments below. We'd love to hear from you!