We all need vacations! Especially parents. And vegan vacations are fantastic. Lots of time focusing on relaxing and not on where to find the next vegan meal. Some cities are better at this than others and sometimes a fully vegan experience is possible (and amazing). I previously wrote about Deer Run B&B in the Florida Keys. Such an incredible trip that included an amazing vegan breakfast each morning. There are other vegan getaways in the United States and across the world. Happy Cow is a great resource for finding such gems. The Stanford Inn by the Sea is on my bucket list!
I was recently approached to talk about family friendly vegan vacations. In general, family holidays that are also vegan can be that much more challenging because when a new layer of sorting is added, fewer choices become available. Luckily, sometimes others have been kind enough to share their research. Here are what look to be six great options.
Sometimes we seek alternatives to family gatherings that normally involve eating animals. For example, this year I am going to Thanksliving at Indraloka animal sanctuary and can’t wait to spend a day with rescued animals, vegans, and great food! Sometimes there are even resorts that meet all these desires; vegan, family friendly, and over a holiday. Really? You bet! I just learned about La Maravilla in Costa Rica. It looks like a wonderful way to be thankful for our vegan lifestyles with our families.
Let me know what vegan holidays you have experienced so I can add them to my bucket list. The photo above is from a trip to Maui many years ago.
I have wonderful family in South Haven, Michigan and visited briefly in January. South Haven, right on Lake Michigan, is a vacation town and thus has much less hustle in the winter. But funerals happen all year round and I got to be there in the snow.
One afternoon my brother and I were hungry for lunch and Happy Cow indicated Julia’s had vegan options. My aunt had shared it was one of her favorite places in all the other seasons, but had not been in winter. So we tried it and I’m glad we did.
Upon entering I quickly noticed that vegan chili was the soup du jour. Hallelujah! A cold day needed warm chili.
In addition, there were several clearly labeled vegan bakery items.
I was so happy. It can be very challenging to eat out in small towns and previous visits to South Haven had not had as much to choose from.
I got the vegan chili and a blueberry almond power cookie.
Yummers! My brother also got something he enjoyed, but it wasn’t vegan and so I don’t remember the details.
The space was clean and I was so thankful during a cold and sad day. I probably came off as a weirdo to the staff, but they took it in stride and just smiled at my enthusiasm. Julia’s gets four out of five vegan cupcakes for being there when I needed them. If ever in South Haven, Michigan, a very cute town, stop by Julia’s and experience for yourself.
Our last day in Montreal we headed to the Mile End neighborhood to explore. It is not known as a tourist area and we wanted to experience a bit of what life in Montreal is like for residents. In addition to a coffeehouse that has live music almost every hour, we stopped at Delicieux for lunch.
I hadn’t done any research to know what we were in for, but the food was wonderful. Everyone orders inside and then the food is brought to you if the place is slow or you pick up from a counter when busy. It was slow during our visit and we sat outside.
We decided to begin with elaborate smoothies.
They were yummers! Next we each picked out a signature bowl.
Again, yummers! We were very pleasantly surprised by the food, which was our consistent response to the food in Montreal. Everything was incredible.
Delicieux gets four out of five vegan cupcakes. The food was wonderful, if a bit challenging to know what we were ordering. For example, the “smoothies” are not exactly smoothies, so we were not sure what we were getting. They are more like bowls in elaborate glasses. But the place is worth visiting if ever in Mile End Montreal.
There are croissants all over Montreal, but not many vegan ones. As soon as I figured out there was a vegan bakery, I had to figure out how to fit it into our itinerary. The yumminess was not disappointing!
Sophie Sucree is adorable and the person helping me was incredibly patient while I figured out what I wanted right before closing.
How could I pick between so many yummy options?!? I couldn’t and got several things. I picked out two truffles, a croissant, and a spanakopita. Hubby picked out a chocolate chip cookie, a peanut butter cookie, and chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream.
Everything was yummers! When in Montreal, definitely make your way to Sophie Sucree. It will be worth the planning.
Our first night in Montreal we wanted to eat at Invitation V recently moved to Old Town. We could have too, but it was a prix fixe menu as a fundraiser for Sea Shepherd. I adore the work of Sea Shepherd, but we really wanted to explore the menu and decided to make a reservation for a different night.
The place is open and airy with a cafe-like area upstairs that is adorable.
The waitstaff was very kind and offered to move our table to one with a window as soon as it opened. We didn’t even ask for that!
I decided to try the Katsudon bowl and Hubby picked the Cesar salad and minestrone soup. All was yummers.
We also picked out the chocolate cake for dessert.
I wasn’t crazy about the cake, but it was beautiful.
The food was beautifully presented and we had such a nice experience. Invitation V gets five out of five vegan cupcakes and I very much recommend a visit to this restaurant when in Old Town Montreal. Yummers!
We just had to try the restaurant called Vegano! Loud and proud, with that name, about being vegan.
The space could use a spruce up and deep clean, but we took a table at the window to get more light.
French menus arrive on clipboards and are covered in plastic. Luckily the owner was happy to translate for us and the waitress was great at helping make sure we got what we wanted.
I picked the chickpea omelet with sweet potatoes and greens. Hubby picked a pizza and asked for a spinach salad to be made special.
It was so much food! My omelet was tasty, but a bit dry. This may be normal with chickpea omelets, I had never had one before. The pizza was good. A typical vegan cheese pizza.
We could not finish our meals with so much food, but enjoyed everything.
Vegano gets three out of four vegan cupcakes. The food is tasty, but not amazing and the space is not as clean as other vegan restaurants close by. The staff is wonderful.
One night while in Montreal we decided we were not ready to go back to the hotel and that we wanted dessert. A quick search led us to Lola Rosa.
The menu includes things like poutine and quesadillas, but we headed straight for the dessert case and picked out a slice of lemon custard pie with meringue and raspberry sauce and a slice of chocolate and banana cream pie. Yummers!
Hubby was excited to try vegan custard and meringue. The lemon custard was really delicious. The chocolate and banana was also yummers, but a poor second to the lemon.
The space is cute with a few small tables and each has drawers with notes of gratitude to the restaurant in them.
Lola Rosa gets three out of five vegan cupcakes. The desserts were nice, but the space dirty and the staff rude. I was surprised by all the gratitude notes based on our experience. But I would go back for the dessert.
I fell in love with Montreal, in part because there is so much great vegan food!
We stayed near Old Town, so most nights we explored a restaurant in that area. Hubby’s favorite was LOV.
It has a sweet and quirky dining room. For example, two tables have swing chairs hanging from the ceiling rather than traditional chairs. I’m glad we didn’t have those because I am certain my clumsy self would have put most of dinner in my lap.
We started with the cheese plate and kale mac’n’cheese.
Both were yummers! I had the lasagna that comes with a Cesar salad and hubby got gnocchi de casa.
Seriously yummers! Hubby even enjoyed my lasagna that was only layers of vegetables. He feels real lasagna has pasta in it, so this means a bunch.
LOV gets five out of five vegan cupcakes. We really enjoyed it. Make sure you have a reservation to make certain you get to try it when in Montreal.
Our first day in Montreal we had a bicycle tour of the old city. It was wonderful and we were starving once it was over. The first vegan place that popped up on Google was Copper Branch and we made a beeline. Copper Branch has several locations across Montreal.
I ordered the South West Wrap Scramble (yes, Southwest is two words on the menu) and kombucha. Hubby picked out the Smoked Maple Tempeh Sandwich and Revolution Smoothy. We also had to try the nachos.
Most was yummers. The sour cream on the nachos was extra sour, so I wasn’t used to it. Hubby was not fond of his smoothie and ended up not finishing it. But the portions were large.
The space could have used a wipe down and the employees seemed like they would have appreciated a break.
Copper Branch gets three out of five vegan cupcakes. If needing something quick, it’s worth a try. And it was fun to try, of course.
When researching where to eat in Toronto, I remember reading about a dessert place I wanted to try. I promptly forgot where it was or its name. My superhero power is that I forget everything.
While walking around Kensington Market, I saw a sign for vegan treats and had to explore. Walking in reminded me of the photos I had seen online. Score!
The place is adorable and the dessert case very temping. It was a hot day and they offer vegan soft serve ice cream. Yummers! I got a chocolate and vanilla swirl and picked out a double chocolate marshmallow cookie for later.
I’m happy to share that both were yummers. When in Kensington, my favorite Toronto neighborhood, stop by Cosmic Treats. Unless, of course, you are trying to avoid treats.