Wellness, Food and People Watching in Vancouver
With Vancouver as the last stop on my week long journey across Canada, I was secretly excited to return to my favorite Canadian city. I can’t remember exactly when I last visited, but it had to be 20 years ago. Vaguely remembering any major landmarks, restaurants or where I stayed, one thing I’ve never forgotten is how green and beautiful it can be - rain or shine.
For me, Vancouver equates to wellness. It makes me feel at peace, in tune with myself and overall relaxing. I’ve never been able to pinpoint why, but I’m starting to think it’s due to the waterfront walking trails, overflowing parks where you can find people meditating or doing Tai Chi and maybe just maybe how friendly everyone seems to be.
Not the slightest disappointed this time around, I found myself at the Fairmont Pacific Rim. Towering over the neighboring convention center, Fairmont Pacific Rim is one of Vancouver’s finest luxury hotels. With a bustling lobby filled with languages near and far, guests enjoy socializing amongst friends while listening to daily live bands. My room overlooked the harbor where I easily found myself mesmerized by the sea planes, as they came and went as if no one was watching. I absolutely loved my room. From the personalized iPad greeting, TV in the bathroom mirror to turndown service with dimmed lights and soothing jazz music, I was in hotel heaven. It’s pretty obvious that I am a slight hotel snob in that I love great service, comfortable beds and attention to the the tiniest of details.
Outside of falling for my hotel, Vancouver captured my love of eating by exposing many of its vegan options to indulge in. Within three miles of the Fairmont, Chinatown holds some of the city’s best vegan food. Literally! Something I’m still thinking about today, is the Golden Laksa at Kokomo. I’m pretty sure I ate that entire bowl in 10 minutes and know that if I lived in Vancouver, I’d eat there at least once a week.
Another vegan favorite I was on a mission to try was Umaluma, a plant-based, dairy-free gelato shop located one block from Kokomo.
Not far from there, I stumbled across Cartems Donuts, where they not only have regular donuts but several finger licking good vegan options. I’m pretty sure I people watched for a good 45 minutes before deciding to leave. It’s really the perfect place to do it!
With three hours to spare before heading to the airport, I was warned not to leave without trying Botanist, a contemporary garden inspired restaurant located inside the Fairmont. I was hesitant to order because many, if not all of the items on the menu weren’t vegan. Not to say I’m a picky vegan, but I’m trying to stick to my guns. I was pleasantly surprised when notified the chef could accommodate any dish into vegan. And she was right!
One thing I learned while traveling across Canada is that the number of vegan options are plentiful and delicious. With the plant-based movement growing, along with many billion dollar companies realizing how important it is to live a meatless lifestyle, I’m excited to see what the vegan industry will be like in a year. Experiencing these meals, including those mentioned in my Toronto and Montreal posts reassures me that things will only get better from here.