Ready, set, eat! Dine OutSide Vancouver runs August 21 through September 21, 2020. The month-long "festival" finds Vancouver restaurants offering specially-priced multi-course menus to be enjoyed on their permanent or temporary patios, with some offering special to-go picnic packs, and other enticing offers.
Announced earlier this summer, Dine OutSide is in the spirit of Dine Out Vancouver, the shoulder-season dining fest that draws thousands of guests to hundreds of restaurants across the Metro region for special prix fixe menus. The "OutSide" version, however, was designed in response to COVID-19, and timed for restaurants and guests to make the most of the sunny season in the city, particulary as Vancouver has allowed for temporary and pop-up style patios at hundreds of eateries.
With over 160 participating restaurants, Dine OutSide has plenty offer locals and visitors alike. Need to narrow things down? We're rounding up our picks for the best options on deck. For those opting to keep it meat-free or totally plant-based, here are the best vegetarian or vegan menus on offer during Dine OutSide Vancouver. Ranging from dedicated all-vegan spots to restaurants that have an exclusive Dine OutSide vegetarian menu or easy-to-make veg choices on their omnivore menu, there are lots of terrific dishes and places to try during the fun new fest.
Kitsilano's Chi has recently transformed into Chi Vegan, with a fully plant-based menu - so it's almost like having an entirely new plant-based eatery to check out. They're on board for Dine OutSide with a dinner menu showcasing some stars of their new dish roster, with three to five options for each course. Tuck into their Fried Cauliflower Wings, Lemongrass Chick’n or Coconut Kabocha Curry, and save room for dessert...and it's 100% animal-free.
Plant-based diners in Vancouver likely need no intro to the award-wining Acorn on Main Street. The all-veg and easily-adapted-to-vegan spot is a cherished destination. Among the best of the higher-end Dine OutSide options regardless of diet, The Acorn's $45 prix fixe dinner is a worthy special occasion spot, and there's no better time to try it than right now.
This West End spot opened up late last year, dishing up fresh vegetarian/vegan dishes found in traditional Middle Eastern cuisine. They've got a great $15 lunch option featuring two Sabih or Falafel in pita with two drinks, or a $35 three-course starter-main-dessert dinner menu, which comes with a beverage. As a special additional offer, Ofra's has a deal on falafel: Buy one Falafel in a pita and receive the second half off.
The casual neighbouring sibling to The Acorn, The Arbor is a reliable pick for vegetarian and vegan comfort eats. They've got a $25 Dine OutSide menu available at lunch or dinner, and you can enjoy your choice of their signature fried oyster mushrooms or Caesar salad to start, followed by their beloved Southern-fried Artichoke Sandwich, and chocolate mousse for dessert. You can also request vegan versions of each dish, too.
Nuba: Gastown, Kitsilano, Mount Pleasant, Yaletown
All four of Nuba's Vancouver locations have a three course meal with vegetarian/vegan options including dessert for $35. Enjoy their fresh summery watermelon salad, roasted and grilled butternut squash with chickpeas and tahini sauce, and finish with rice pudding or cheesecake for dessert.
This new, modern Chinese restaurant on Granville (cheekily named for the staple late night order that would get you a pot of after hours beer) specializes in dim sum and delicious share plates in an open, vibrant, and beautifully renovated space. Their Dine OutSide menu is $35 and is for dinnertime, and can easily be customized for a vegetarian diet. For your starter, choose a veg spring roll (with taro, carrot, onion, mung beans, tofu, cilantro, bean thread, sweet and sour soy dip) or their tantalizing Vegan potstickers (made with kombucha squash, coconut cream, lemongrass). All of their three main course options are a veg base: Fried Rice, Coconut Noodles, or Crispy Chow Mein. Desserts are also meat-free (though you'd want to check with your server if you can make the dishes vegan).
Chickpea has been serving up their Israeli fare from their Main Street restaurant for a few years now, but a while back they quietly switched from veggie to totally vegan. During Dine OutSide they've got a $25 brunch and a $35 dinner option worth checking out, each with plenty to choose from for each course. Just be sure to save room for your choice of style of vegan baklava for dessert.
Gurkha Himalayan Restaurant
Enjoy a veggie Nepalese feast thanks to Gurkha Himalayan's $25 Vegetarian menu. Kick things off with their momo - Tibetan style dumplings - followed by a main of jackfruit and potatoes cooked in tomato ginger, garlic sauce and spices plus rice or lentils. Finish on a sweet note with your choice of two desserts.
Afghan Horsemen Restaurant
This Vancouver veteran has been dishing up their authentic Afghani food for 40 years near the iconic Granville Island. Now, for Dine OutSide, they have a lovely three-course all-veggie dinner menu. For $25, feast on your choice of three options each for starter and main, and finish off with their baklawa and ice cream for dessert.
Beetbox is 100% plant-based, and 100% delicious comfort eats. For their Dine OutSide promo, the West End eatery is doing an awesome picnic pack with a branded tote bag - perfect for heading straight to the beach or park. The Beetbox Beach Bag is a picnic for two featuring two main course options (their plant-based burger or Chick-Un sandwich) and two side dishes, plus two drinks (Biota Kombucha, Bridge PrimeTime, or Lone Tree Cider).
Eating a bountiful meat-free pizza dinner or lunch is a breeze at Bufala's og Kerrisdale outpost. Their beautiful handmade Napolitana style 'zas with those perfectly blistered crusts come in a few veggie options, as does a starter salad and of course the desserts.