Today I was lucky enough not only to meet up with a former co-worker of mine who has recently moved from Victoria to Vancouver, but I also got to visit a Vancouver institution of the restaurant scene:
The Naam in Kitsilano was our meeting place of choice. Perfect for a couple of earth loving, health conscious individuals to embrace our inner hippies, and enjoy some good food.
When I say The Naam is an institution, I mean it. Just in case you can’t read it on the picture above:
Vancouver’s Oldest Natural Foods Restaurant
The Naam Café was founded back in 1968 when 4th Avenue was still called Rainbow Road. It began as a gathering place for people who were seeking “the good life.” Naam means “name” – the original name. We hope you enjoy your visit.
The Naam is a vegetarian restaurant, with an extensive menu of burgers, burritos, stir fries, and more. They are famous for their miso gravy, which you can actually buy bottled in various grocery stores around Vancouver and Victoria. Popular with the university crowd, hippies, and Kits yuppies alike, their prices can’t be beat. Oh yeah, and they are open 24 hours. Good to know should you need some veggie eats after a night out at the pub 😉
Inside you are greeted with a homey, rustic interior – wooden tables and floors, eclectic decor, and a tantalizing dessert counter. Too bad I didn’t take any pictures. Oops!
After catching up for a few minutes, we spent some time perusing the menu. Neither of us had been there before, but both had heard good things, so we were excited to try it out. Narrowing down what to order was tough, as so many things sounded delicious. I finally decided upon Buddha’s Feast.
Fresh stir-fried veggies with mushrooms, garlic, ginger, jalapenos, organic tofu, cashews & miso gravy on a bed of organic brown rice.
After a bit of a wait for our food, we were presented with two gigantic, overflowing plates of food.
My friend ordered the Naam burger platter, which included the burger, a salad, and their sesame fries with miso gravy.
Ready to attack that mound of deliciousness.
And my own feast, Buddha style.
We had no fear of going hungry. Talk about value for your money!
The Buddha’s Feast was a great mix of vegetables – broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, onion, zucchini, peppers, mushrooms, and more; a decent amount of tofu, and that gravy. Oh the miso gravy. Love that stuff. And on a stir fry, it’s awesome. I’m buying a bottle the next time I see it.
My friend thoroughly enjoyed her Naam burger, salad, and fries as well. She said the dressing on the salad was light and flavourful, and liked that the mayo and mustard came on the side so she could add them as she wanted. The “fries” were more like baked wedges. I may have nabbed one or two, for quality control purposes, of course.
I think we spent a good 45 min or more devouring our meals while catching up on all the work gossip and whatnot, as well as school. Good company + good food = good times.
We tried our best, but eventually we had to give up hope we would actually finish our meals.
Sadly, this also meant no room for one of those tasty looking desserts we saw when we walked in. Next time.
It was great to catch up with my friend, and great to try out a restaurant I had heard so much about over the years. Another Vancouver “must do” completed! And now I have a new partner to check out hippie veggie restaurants with. We’re thinking Gorilla Food might be next on the list.
The Naam. Go there. Eat miso gravy. Leave happy.