Top 10 Vegan Junk Foods in Halifax
I’ve always noticed that vegan & vegetarian restaurants seem to serve healthy food. Even a standard burger is likely to have some sort of sprout on it, and I’ll bet ya anything it comes with roasted potatoes or a kale salad! Look – plant-based diets are generally pretty healthy, and the people who follow them are generally into self/world-improvement. But even a staunch vegan with a 7am yoga class and a protest this afternoon must desire some greasy, gut-busting comfort food at times! Where’s the vegan junk food at?!
Here are my top 1o:
10. Heartwood: Green Poutine
This is an old schoolish vegetarian dish from Halifax’s oldest vegetarian restaurant (1995), but it’s a good vegan junk food for those who still want some nutrition while they indulge. We’ve got kale, we’ve got roasted potatoes, and we’ve got a classic mushroom gravy. So 90’s! (Except for the kale, which was still an obscure garnish back then, and questionably edible).
The Green Poutine is great because if you are lacto-vegetarian you can get it with cheese. If you are vegan you have the choice of vegan cheese or the house vegan topping: vegan Caesar dressing with nutritional yeast.
Sure, it’s not really a poutine… but it’s warm, filling, tasty and nutritious. A safe bet.
9. Johnny K’s: Doner Kebab
5246 Blowers St, Halifax
Johnny K’s is serving up vegetarian donairs every night on Pizza Corner! Their donair seitan is perfectly spiced, sliced thin and a fantastic rendition of donair meat.
Unfortunately, they don’t have vegan donair sauce … which is why they’re towards the bottom of the list.
The good news is that Johnny K’s honours the history of the kebab by making gyros and doner kebabs in addition to donairs. I don’t like the roll they use for their “doner kebab” (it should be Turkish pide bread) but if you order a “donair” you’ll get it wrapped in pita bread like a donair, and then you can more or less dress it like a doner (just hold the yogurt!).
May I suggest: onions, tomatoes, purple cabbage, hummus, and chili sauce? Yum!
8. Nayya Pizza: Tofu Shawarma
540 Southgate Drive, Bedford
Nayya Pizza may be best known for their Pictou County Pizza, but they also carry vegan cheese, so you can get your favourite pie – hold the cruelty!
They also make a lovely tofu shawarma!
Spiced and marinated tofu is wrapped up with lettuce, tomatoes, pickled turnip, banana peppers and pickles. Oh, and let’s not forget that garlic sauce! Shawarma on point!
7. M & J’s: Vegan Clubhouse
813 Bedford Hwy (Mon-Fri 10am-8pm, Sat/Sun 11am-7pm) &
2182 Gottingen Street (opening soon!)
M&J’s is the friendliest little restaurant that basically specializes in dietary restrictions. Party of 5: one vegan, one celiac, one dairy allergy and a couple omnivores? No problem!
The vegan clubhouse is served on thinly sliced, perfectly toasted bread, spread with vegan mayo and stacked with obvious care. Coconut bacon shares a deck with tomato and lettuce, while smoked tofu is partnered with avocado. A damn tasty sandwich.
6. Stone Pizza: Garlic Fingers
79 Alderney Drive, Dartmouth
Stone Pizza specializes in customized pizzas (8″ and 13″) in Downtown Dartmouth. They cook the pizzas on a pizza stone in a conveyor belt oven (not a traditional stone oven) but the ingredients are fresh and local and there are plenty of dietary options!
Perhaps the piece de la resistance is the garlic fingers! Just the right amount of vegan cheese and a potent garlic spread make these garlic fingers taste just like the real thing!
Stone Oven is working on having a steady supply of vegan donair sauce, but for now you can enjoy it with their flavourful pizza sauce.
And yes! They deliver!
5. Indochine Banh Mi: Veggie Ball Sub
1551 South Park St, Halifax
Indochine is Halifax’s one-and-only banh mi shop, specializing in high quality, local, house-made ingredients. They also do fusion tacos, salads, noodle soups, and phorritos – and for everything they do, they also do it vegan.
The veggie ball sub is my favourite. A crispy baguette is filled with Indochine’s house-made veggie balls, vegan citrus mayo, cucumber, hot peppers, pickled carrots & daikon and cilantro. It is hearty and fresh, and sure to fill you up. Grab it to go with a bubble tea smoothie and you’ve got one of the best lunches in Halifax.
4. EnVie: King Wings
5775 Charles St, Halifax
EnVie is the most upscale of the vegan restos in town and it’s not exactly a place I associate with “vegan junk food”. But here you can kick back with a local craft beer and an order of King Wings: panko crusted king oyster mushroom cutlets tossed in your choice of Buffalo or BBQ sauce and served with a side of vegan ranch dressing. EnVie nails that killer combination of spicy Buffalo and creamy ranch that I love so much!
The coating has a great crunch and the mushrooms are meaty.
Unlike actual chicken wings, you’ll probably have to fork ‘n knife these. But hey – what kind of vegan wants to recreate the experience of eating off the bone? These are delicious just as they are.
3. El Nino: Suadero Tacos
I recently debuted my Halifax Taco Quest with El Nino, and I was super impressed by the TVP (textured vegetable protein) meats, warmed corn tortillas, and wicked condiments.
That Mad Brittany sauce, tho!
Vegans are not being left behind in the oncoming taco craze! These tacos are worthy competitors and I’m excited for El Nino to blossom into something bigger.
2. Real Fake Meats: Breakfast Sandwich
2278 Gottingen St, Halifax
Real Fake Meats is Halifax’s first vegan butcher shop, specializing in all kinds of meat alternatives. They also have a small regular menu and specials menu known to feature some epic vegan junk food.
The breakfast sandwich might just be perfection. The tofu egg is like the softest egg white, and it is complimented by a thick, meaty layer of “ham”, an ooey gooey cheeze slice, and vegan butter.
The ham is mindblowingly good.
Put a little hot sauce on there and you’ve got the perfect breakfast for on-the-go, or sitting at the window, leisurely people watching.
$6.75 (+$1.50 for a hashbrown)
1. Wild Leek: Donair Wrap
2156 Windsor St, Halifax
The donair wrap at Wild Leek is the vegan junk food I crave the most. Their seitan donair meat is more chunky than Johnny K’s, but also more crispy and charred. Combined with sweet coconut donair sauce in a grilled pita – we have major success! The taste profile really captures the spirit of the donair.
Of course, a real donair would not involve a stuffed and grilled pita filled with lettuce. I realize that. But this is a “pita wrap” and it’s damn good. Hold the lettuce if you want. Get a side of Dragon Fries if you’re really hungry!
I didn’t include burgers, pizza, Indian or Mediterranean foods because each one of those could be a whole quest/post in their own right. I also have a strict “no cauliflower” policy.
What are your favourite vegan junk foods?