Trending Vegetarian Dining Spots in Calgary
We often hear about the many benefits of vegetarianism, such as saving the Earth, reducing carbon emissions, improving heart health, and weight loss. However, the reasons for choosing a vegetarian diet can vary widely. Common reasons include environmental sustainability, health consciousness, religious beliefs, ethical considerations, and specific dietary practices like abstaining from certain pungent vegetables and spices or following a vegan or plant-based diet. In recent years, vegetarianism has become more than just a trend for health and sustainability; it’s gradually turned into a fashionable and popular lifestyle. So, what are the popular vegetarian dining spots in Calgary? If you’re searching for ‘best vegetarian restaurants in Calgary’ or ‘top vegetarian-friendly places to eat in Calgary,’ after our on-site visits and recommendations, here are some options worth trying. But first, let’s take a look at the advantages of a vegetarian diet, a topic that continues to trend in health and wellness communities around the world!
Advantages of a Vegetarian Lifestyle
1. Easing Digestive Burden/Reducing Body Toxins/Avoiding High Uric Acid
Animal proteins coagulate, releasing enzymes that create toxins, which may take approximately five days to eliminate from the human body. Plant-based foods only require about a day and a half.
2. Reducing Chronic Diseases:
According to Asia’s most comprehensive ‘Vegetarian Nutrition Generational Research Database,’ a decade-long study of thousands of people found that vegetarians spent less on healthcare. Switching to vegetarianism can reduce the incidence of diabetes by up to 50% and decrease the occurrence of diseases like fatty liver and gallstones.
3. Lowering the Risk of Stroke and Cardiovascular Diseases:
The death rate from heart disease is 14% for vegans, 39% for vegetarians including dairy, and 56% for non-vegetarians. A vegetarian diet can reduce the risk of stroke. In a study of over 130,000 participants, about 30% were vegetarians. After 6 to 9 years of follow-up, vegetarians had about half the stroke risk compared to non-vegetarians.
4. Reduce Cancer Risk:
Research shows that those who consume large amounts of soy have a lower risk of breast cancer and prostate cancer. People who eat beef, pork, and lamb (red or processed meat) daily have three times the risk of colon cancer compared to those who don’t eat meat within a month.
5. Enhancing Physical Endurance:
Many world champion records in sports history were set and maintained by vegetarian athletes. These athletes outperform their meat-eating counterparts in explosiveness, endurance, and overall fitness.
As the number of vegetarians grows, many restaurateurs are creating high-quality vegetarian dining environments. These restaurants not only cater to the current vegetarian trend but also skillfully make their dishes comparable to regular non-vegetarian meals. Let’s explore some of Calgary’s popular vegetarian eateries!”
1. Mondays Plant Café
208 4 St NE, Calgary, AB T2E 3S2
If you’re in search of a comfortable and relaxed vegetarian dining experience, Mondays Plant Cafe is the perfect choice. It’s an ideal spot for casual gatherings with friends, where the staff welcomes you warmly right at the door. Although the menu options are limited, each dish is filled with creativity. For example, their roasted wide noodles and Thai stir-fried river noodles are made with shredded zucchini instead of starch, making them not only delicious but also nutritious and healthy. Another unique feature is the option to order custom gluten-free cakes, available in 6-inch and 9-inch sizes, with a minimum of two days’ notice required for orders. With an average cost per person of 30, it’s a great fit for budget-conscious vegetarians! They have limited seating, so if you plan to dine with more than six people, remember to call ahead for a reservation.
2. The Coup
24 17 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2T 0A2
The Coup, established in 2004, is a contemporary vegetarian eatery offering fresh, natural, and organic local food and beverages in Calgary. With a commitment to modern vegetarian dining, The Coup proudly supports local farms, and most of their dishes are made entirely by hand from scratch, reflecting a true passion for food. Their menu descriptions are very clear, allowing you to know exactly what ingredients are in the dish you order. It’s worth noting that although almost all items on the menu are purely vegetarian, some may still contain animal products. The focus of their drink menu is primarily on cocktails, developed with delicious and unique ingredients through collaborations with local brewers and distilleries. Non-alcoholic versions are also available upon request.
3. Nan's Noodle House
3103b Edmonton Trail, Calgary, AB T2E 3N7
Founder Thammanatr, originally from Thailand, arrived in Canada in the early 1980s after working in administrative roles at the Canadian Embassy in Bangkok. Along with her husband, she opened Hearts Choices Thai Vegan Café in 2011, imprinting on the people of Calgary the significance of tasty vegetarian options and heartfelt cooking. Later, they launched the localized Nan’s Noodle House, introducing Asian-flavored dishes to the market, prepared with plant-based, rich flavors and satisfyingly large portions. Each meal is crafted with everyone in mind. From ramen and Vietnamese pho to Thai and Vietnamese-styled dishes, there is something to please every palate, catering to those following a vegan diet, a flexitarian lifestyle, or the “Meatless Monday” trend.
4. saVeg Cafe
637 11 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2R 0E1
saVeg Cafe is a small, family-operated 100% vegan café, founded by YouTuber “Cheap Lazy Vegan” and “Mama Lee.” Located in Calgary’s trendy Beltline district, it’s known for providing healthy, quick, delicious, and affordable plant-based meals. The cafe blends traditional Korean cuisine with pure vegan cooking in its menu. From unique Mexican wraps to various rice bowls, their eggless Benedict is particularly loved by many and is available all day.
340 14 St NW, Calgary, AB T2N 1Z7
Eating delicious food shouldn’t be accompanied by guilt, nor calories from refined products, fats, sugars, and oils. WholeLifeGo believes in keeping ingredients in their natural state with minimal processing, free from artificial colors or additives, to offer the best flavors and nutrient-rich dishes. The main components of each dish are organic, providing an abundance of vitamins and essential proteins.
By using plants instead of animal products, WholeLifeGo aims to significantly reduce the impact on environmental challenges such as greenhouse gas emissions, species extinction, dead zones in the ocean, land use, and antibiotic resistance. Their goal is to support every customer in choosing a long-term sustainable healthy lifestyle. Whether interested in plant-based diets or trying to get children to eat more vegetables, WholeLifeGo makes these changes easier.
WholeLifeGo’s mini-cafe doubles as a plant shop, advocating for healthy living. Customers can enjoy the cuisine in the café, opt for take-away ready-made products, or purchase organic groceries and fresh farm produce for cooking healthy meals at home. As a business, WholeLifeGo believes in its ability to improve the local community and is committed to reducing food waste, a significant issue in Canada. They’ve partnered with the Leftovers Foundation, an organization dedicated to diverting quality food from landfills or composting and providing it to local residents who have difficulty accessing healthy food.
6. Tamarind Vietnamese Grill & Noodle House
908 12 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2R 1K7
Founded by the Nguyen family from Vietnam, the restaurant showcases generations-old family secret recipes, sharing their favorite culinary delights through a small eatery. The focus of the menu is on Vietnamese vegetarian fare, producing tofu and noodles without preservatives or genetically modified ingredients.
7. V Burger
819 17 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2T 0A1
V Burger is committed to producing food that appeals to everyone’s taste buds. The process of designing their menu involved several months of meticulous crafting, adjusting, and sampling of each dish, leading to the creation of authentic, handmade burgers. For those accustomed to eating meat, choosing V Burger’s plant-based options doesn’t feel like giving anything up, as they have managed to break down traditional perceptions of vegetarian meat without sacrificing flavor. Their offerings aren’t exclusively for those on a plant-based diet; instead, they aim to please all palates, recognizing that a love for great taste is universal among both meat-eaters and vegetarians.
Calgary’s vegetarian culinary scene is growing and transforming rapidly, marked by innovative creativity and responsiveness to local needs. This shift is enhancing the options available to vegetarians and stimulating broader interest in and acceptance of health-conscious eating.
Whether you are an experienced vegetarian, someone curious about reducing meat intake, or a food lover interested in discovering new tastes, Calgary’s array of vegetarian eateries promises to meet your needs. Vegetarianism in this multifaceted food culture goes beyond a mere dietary choice; it signifies a broader appreciation for well-being, culinary innovation, and diverse flavors.
In Calgary, both vegetarians and non-vegetarians can find satisfying and flavorful options that align with their health goals and taste preferences. The rich diversity of food here embodies more than just balanced nutrition; it fosters mutual respect, understanding, and the communal pleasure of dining, enhancing physical and mental wellness.
As a local or a visitor in Calgary, you are invited to explore this vibrant vegetarian dining scene, where each meal offers a distinct experience that can nourish both you and the community around you.