Happy (Canadian) Thanksgiving!

Playlist: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – The Heist; Lana Del Rey – Born to Die

Being from the States, Thanksgiving doesn’t happen for me until the end of November, but I thought I’d celebrate this country’s day of thanks by blogging about some of my favorite food on and around campus (as we all know a big part of this holiday is the food!).

As a student with a pretty busy schedule, sometimes I need a sandwich I can grab-and-go. Bernoulli’s Bagels’ garden bagel on whole-wheat pesto or spinach is THE BEST bagel sandwich I’ve ever had. Ever. Aaaand, stuffed with roasted vegetables with a dash of Dijon mustard, it’s my favorite answer to this on-the-go dilemma. I discovered Bernoulli’s — located on the main floor of the SUB (Student Union Building) — shortly after school started and haven’t looked back since. PLUS: They are incredibly vegan-friendly, especially for a popular bagel joint. Yuuuuumm!

Another awesome grab-and-go place that doesn’t involve sandwiches is Honour Roll, also located in the sub. Fave dishes: yam tempura roll and avocado roll. TIP: Just around the corner from this place is Honour Roll Express, which has both of these dishes and other common, non-specialty dishes – and a MUCH shorter line than the regular Honour Roll during prime hours!

When I want to meet a friend for lunch after or in-between classes, Triple O’s veggie burger and Manchu Wok’s noodles with vegetables are two solid options. The veggie burger is surprisingly good – I get mine without mayo and with mustard, by the way — and the noodles and vegetables are quite tasty as well!

For a weekend girls’ night out or to bring out-of-town friends for a taste of the Kitsilano area (W. 4th in specific), The Naam is hands-down my favorite restaurant. The first four times I went there, I ordered the same Tempeh Reuben Platter – which seems limiting, considering their super expansive and entirely vegetarian (and vegan-friendly) menu, but trust me: with the tempeh steak burger slathered in (vegan) cheese and covered in veggies, plus home-cut sesame steak fries, the best dipping sauce you’ll ever try and a dee-lish house salad, it’s DIVINE. I did change it up last time I went there, ordering the Gold Dragon Bowl with vegan cheese. I must say I’m glad I finally tried something new – which was also SUPER YUMMY! Live entertainment in the evenings is a definite plus, as well. Beware, though: the curry specials can be spicyyyy!

I’ve only been there once, but from what I can remember, East is East has some of the best wraps I’ve ever had. I ordered the Gandhi’s Breakfast and Spice Caravan wraps, which were SO GOOD! (The former filled with spinach and mushrooms and the latter with chickpeas, cauliflower and Afghan rice.) I went there with my dad when he dropped me off at school at the beginning of the year, and I’ve been itching to go back ever since! The laid-back environment and culture-filled decorations makes this is a really great place to take friends/a date who are/is into Indian/other Eastern food. The wrap is vegan, as is their delectable chocolate pudding. The menu is vegan- and vegetarian-friendly – yesss!

Lastly, I am a total sucker for an afternoon (non-alcoholic) drink, and my favorite place to grab one is Pearl Fever in the U-Village, where I can get my usual Taro Slush with tapioca and soymilk, instead of the usual milk that all other bubble tea places on and around campus use. I also love getting a cold Yerba Mate (sort of like an iced tea) from Sprouts – which, by the way, offers free/by-donation lunch every Friday!! – when they have it. Sometimes, I resort to Starbucks in the SUB and get my favorite Mocha Cookie Crumble Frappuccino with soymilk. All options serve as a refreshing pick-me-up when I don’t have the chance to go back to my dorm room and make a smoothie there.

Those are some of my current favorite dishes/drinks – I’ll write about more once I discover more!

Love, Nirel

PS. This past weekend, I went to Seattle to spend time with my family and had so much fun hanging out with them and my friend, Emily, who came along. 😀 What did you do for (Canadian) Thanksgiving this year?