Vegetarian options in seafood country?
June 9, 2009 2:38 PM   Subscribe

Does anyone have any recommendations for vegetarian options/restaurants in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and Charlottetown, PEI? We love seafood, but have a vegetarian teenager. I hope someone can prevent her from starving.
posted by m0kingb1rd to Food & Drink (9 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I'm not a vegetarian (far from it) but I do enjoy good vegetarian food. I live in Halifax. Here are my personal experiences:

One option is the "Wooden Monkey." Winner of the local alternative weekly's "Most vegetarian-friendly restaurant". They do serve meat dishes but they're best known for their vegetarian meals.

"Satisfaction Feast" is nice, a pure-vegetarian place, with a strong emphasis on Indian-style food. Slightly down-market feel, but in a nice way.

"The Heartwood Bakery and Cafe" is very well-regarded also - another pure vegetarian place, very vegan-friendly.
posted by standbythree at 3:41 PM on June 9, 2009

There is delicious vegetarian Chinese food to be had at the Formosa Tea House in Charlottetown.
posted by bewilderbeast at 3:46 PM on June 9, 2009

What price range are you considering? Most fancy places will have great salads and rolls, of course.
Here's a local vegetarian society's guide for Halifax. I can't recommend Tarek's Cafe enough (it's in both the downtown and central pages on that site - absolutely delicious fairly inexpensive Middle Eastern food, with a proprietor who reminds me of the soup nazi (only in reverse - he often pushes small 'taster' bowls of soup on the customers). And there are quite a few sushi spots in Halifax now - you can certainly get vegetarian food there. For faster food, Harveys and Burger King have veggie burgers. If you end up at the Historic Properties area in downtown (harbourside) Halifax, there is a multi-outlet food court where you can all be happy.
posted by fish tick at 3:59 PM on June 9, 2009

fish tick, as a vegetarian myself, one who tries to go with the flow when people want me to go out with them, I feel obliged to make you aware that a roll and a side salad is not a proper meal. Certainly not nutritious unless the salad has lots of beans, eggs, or whatever protein. Otherwise it's just carbs and a little fiber.

I get tired of getting salads pushed on me, but I try to remember most people don't know a lot about food and lettuce is the only option they can think of, and don't realize how very very tired of salads many vegetarians are.

Does the food court have something healthy and robust like a Chipotle or Qdoba or something? If not, unless it is nice and high end, it is unlikely to have many options.

It's not that vegetarian food is hard to find per se, it's that food is. Most restaurants are pretty weak on actually offering nutrition and throw in some meat for a semblance of protein and texture.
posted by vsync at 4:38 PM on June 9, 2009

Sorry, I thought the term "great salad" implied more that a bit of iceberg lettuce and a shred of carrot. There are some lovely salad bars at many of Halifax's restaurants, which include legumes, eggs and the like. I am a vegetarian most of the time (occasional seafood lapses), and frankly in the summertime I am happy to have snazzy salads often.
posted by fish tick at 4:59 PM on June 9, 2009

Last September, my wife and I had good luck with the Happy Cow's listings. I wasn't entirely veggie then (am now), but my wife was.

The Wooden Monkey was great for dinner one night, and Annie's Cafe on Birmingham just off Spring Garden was a nice lunch.
posted by mendel at 8:13 PM on June 9, 2009

Paper Chase on Blowers St. is a fantastic coffee place with great veggie chili, lasagna, spanakopita, and other options, if you're looking for lunch or a light dinner.

Also, note that the Historic Properties food court that fish tick mentioned is currently closed for renovations, though there are certainly many other places to eat in that area. You might try poking around the Food section of The Coast's website.
posted by oulipian at 8:57 PM on June 9, 2009

Seconding the Formosa in Charlottetown.

It's very near the waterfront and the charming shops. I had the cold sesame noodles ("cooler noodles") and water dumplings, and my friend had spring rolls and something else, and it was all delicious.

For a vegetarian breakfast in Charlottetown, I'd recommend Cora's. They have wonderful omelets and crepes, and their fruit sides are not the anemic sad lumps from a can that many restaurants loose upon you. Cora's also has some meaty things for other members of your party. It's a chain, but you'd never guess it.

In Halifax, try Talay Thai downtown. Pretty much everything on the menu is available prepared as a vegetarian dish. I had the Pad Thai and it was great. Their menu states "vegetarian" and not "vegetable" or "with tofu" so I trust it is not prepared with fish paste (I did not taste any).

If you end up having fast food and have to decide among A&W, Harvey's or Burger King veggie burgers, Harvey is your man. I don't know if you're familiar with Canadian fast food, but trust me on this. The others are like kitchen sponges, or plasticine.

I was the only person at Peggy's Cove who did not have a lobster jammed in her maw. Seriously, there was melted butter on EVERYTHING. The door handle. The sink. A dog tied outside. I am sure you will have a grand time on your trip, and I hope your vegetarian does too.
posted by Sallyfur at 12:12 AM on June 10, 2009

Response by poster: vsync is right. Salads won't cut it. Thanks to everyone for the suggestions. Unfortunately, she won't eat Chinese food, so hopefully we can find a Harvey's veggie burger!
posted by m0kingb1rd at 10:06 AM on June 10, 2009

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