Victoria is “a real vegan paradise,” in accordance with a brand new report lauding B.C.’s capital as the very best metropolis in Canada for foodies preferring a plant-based eating regimen.

BonusFinder Canada launched the findings final week after gathering knowledge on the variety of vegan eating places, common meal costs and common rankings “to plan a point-based last rating throughout every metropolis,” it says in a information launch.

It collected knowledge from Journey Advisor, a web site that posts customers’ restaurant, lodging and exercise critiques, and in the end gave Victoria the highest spot with an 8/10 on the “vegan-friendly scale.”

An area vegan meals aficionado is impressed.

“It’s nice to see Victoria getting recognition for all the good vegan locations we now have. I believe one of many issues that makes Victoria metropolis from a vegan perspective is that it’s simple to get round to all of the locations,” stated Jordan Reichert with the Vancouver Island Vegan Affiliation (VIVA).

BonusFinder says Victoria has 141 vegan eating places, or 49 eating places per 100,000 individuals, with a median meal worth of $22.79 and score of 4.31/5 on Trip Advisor.

“For the dimensions of our inhabitants, it’s fairly good,” stated Reichert. “We may at all times use extra (eating places), but it surely’s getting higher on a regular basis.”

Hamilton, Ont., scored second place with 7.62/10 on the dimensions, whereas London, Ont., obtained third with 7.53/10 and Vancouver and Winnipeg tied for seventh with 6/10.

“I’d say Toronto and Vancouver, locations like that, they’ve a lot extra variety and so many extra choices for vegan and vegan-friendly locations, however you actually should journey round to them to get to them,” stated Reichert.

Right here’s the total checklist:

Whereas Reichert finds that extra vegan and vegan-friendly eating places are opening in Victoria, he’s remembering those who have closed in recent times.

“Over the pandemic, sadly, we misplaced some main-stays in the neighborhood. The Very Good Butchers and Lotus Pond, which had been round for about 30 years. And we misplaced Bliss Cafe as properly,” he stated in an interview Sunday.

On Feb. 27, 2023, workers at Very Good Butchers took to social media saying they have been closing their doorways for good, whereas Lotus Pond noticed its final day of service on April 30, 2023. Cafe Bliss closed again in March of 2020.

“However there have been new locations opening up, like Softys Ice Cream and MeeT on Blanshard and Frickin’ Delight Donuts,” stated Reichert.

The homeowners of MeeT on Blanshard, the primary MeeT Restaurant on Vancouver Island, opened in late 2022 after working a number of eating places on B.C.’s mainland.

2022 STORY: ‘Excited to be here’: Vegan restaurant chain MeeT puts finishing touches on Victoria location

Together with “a big, eclectic menu” that includes about 70 per cent consolation meals and 30 per cent more healthy selections, the restaurant on Hillside Avenue presents some nostalgia, co-owner Jason Antony advised CHEK Information in November 2022.

“Our philosophy, typically, is we attempt to reuse what we will, simply from an environmental perspective,” he stated on the time. “There may be lots of new and lots of used items and lots of parts that we’ve had from different areas.”

Reichert can be recognizing Inexperienced Delicacies on Johnson Road, which “has been right here for over 30 years, so it’s actually an establishment down in Market Sq. there.”

Inexperienced Delicacies has been “dedicated to sustainability” because it opened in 1990 and is a daily contributor “to environmental and vegan organizations,” it says on its website, including that it “serves solely sustainable plant meals.”

Reichert recollects a 2019 study that discovered greater than 40 per cent of individuals in B.C. underneath the age of 35 had transitioned to a vegetarian or vegan eating regimen.

VIVA “is all about ending the struggling and exploitation of animals, appreciating the setting, and residing wholesome, completely satisfied lives,” reads a publish on its website.

In accordance with HealthLinkBC, a vegetarian eating regimen doesn’t embody meat, whereas somebody who’s vegan solely eats plant meals. “This implies no milk merchandise, eggs, honey, or gelatin,” which comes from bones and different animal tissue.

Right this moment, Reichert says extra companies in Victoria are catering to this demographic, even when they don’t completely serve vegetarian or vegan meals.

“Within the final 5 years or so, I’ve seen much more vegan-friendly locations. They’re experimenting extra and providing extra vegan choices. When you’re out with your mates and all you possibly can eat is fries and salad, properly, that’s not very attractive to everybody else,” he added. “So it turns into a viable possibility for individuals.”

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