5 great Edmonton eateries that cater to dietary restrictions

by Athena Raypold

Eating out in Edmonton on a restricted diet is becoming easier and easier, with a wealth of interesting and eclectic spots to choose from. Whether you’re looking for a classic restaurant, a pub or a steakhouse, these Edmonton restaurants offer some of Edmonton’s best cuisine catering to dietary restrictions. [Image credit: iStock.com/nata_vkusidey]

5 great Edmonton eateries that cater to dietary restrictions

Noorish Café

Celebrating raw vegetarian food and holistic health, Noorish Café is noted for its bohemian, neo-hippie vibes and their impressive menu that accommodates both vegan and gluten free appetites, while also filling up the most gluttonous meat eaters. Local blogger, Let’s Om Nom, says that the atmosphere is incredibly relaxed, but that could’ve been from knowing she “was entering an establishment where food seemed almost sacred.” Using a whole food, conscious eatery approach, Noorish offers foodies a surprisingly delicious, healthy spin on eating within dietary restrictions. Fan favourites include the Buddha bowl (green curry), the truffle mac n’ cheese and the pad Thai. Plus, Noorish scored first place in Avenue Magazine’s 2016 Best Vegetarian category. Noorish also earns some hefty applause for their spectacular desserts and their retail shop offering unique food items like ghee, spirulina and medicinal mushrooms.

Café Mosaics

Recently renovated, expanding their originally teeny room to a completely transformed, larger and brighter space with a modern and airy decor, Café Mosaics is Edmonton’s original vegan and vegetarian restaurant, operating on Whyte Avenue for more than 20 years. With a solid menu chock full of simple, often local, but always responsible fare, Café Mosaics serves up healthy, gourmet comfort food for the animal conscious palate. Explore Edmonton praises Café Mosaics: “Their motive is simply to do things that feel good and genuine for the environment, for the animals, and for the human soul.” Blogger Stephanie Gonzales raves about their delicious pho: “The broth in this vegan pho had a lot of depth and was really tasty ... just as good as the broths I've previously had at other joints (which contain beef).” High praise, indeed.

Padmanadi

Continually landing a spot on Avenue Edmonton’s Best Vegetarian lists (2014, 2015, 2016), Padmanadi’s uniquely vegetarian food blends Indonesian, Chinese, Thai and Indian cuisine, using faux meat that’s so good, you won’t miss the real thing. While their faux meat is simply mind-blowing in how it rivals actual meat, according to Avenue Magazine, “Padmanadi takes special care in preparing its vegetable dishes, and the effort is no better showcased than in the chili green beans. The beans, cooked and coated in a chili black bean sauce, are exercises in simplicity, but showcase how seasoned, spicy and delicious your greens can be – with a little care.” From spring rolls, satay, roti and prawns to curry, General Tao’s chicken, soups and side dishes, Padmanadi offers a wealth of options, true to their region and always vegetarian or vegan. They also offer gluten free menu items. Plus, Padmanadi serves a brunch that Let’s Om Nom deems “quite far from its Indonesian roots and quite adapted to Westernized brunches with granola, hot cereals, French toasts and omelets with Asian-inspired hits here and there.”

The Buckingham

Wildly popular, The Buckingham on Whyte is Sailin’ On food truck’s pub endeavour, also self proclaimed “All Vegan All the Time.” But that vegan menu is anything but boring. Known for their vegan renditions of classic pub fare (e.g. chicken wings, fries, fried chicken, nachos, tacos and corndogs), The Buckingham gives patrons healthy pub food in a unique venue boasting comedy shows and live music. Just this year, The Buckingham secured first place in Vue Weekly’s Golden Fork Awards for best chicken wings – and those wings aren’t even meat! They’re vegan. Amping up the vegan game (big time), The Buckingham is a unique restaurant for those on restricted diets (e.g. vegan, vegetarian, gluten free).

Narayanni’s

Bringing hot and spicy to a whole new level, Narayanni’s home cooked South African-Indian cuisine is handmade daily using only the freshest local ingredients. Mama Selva’s dishes are continually unique, ingredients being dependent upon seasonal vegetable offerings. One day you might grab dinner at their scrumptious, generous buffet and eat traditional chana masala; the next, you’ll discover zucchini in your chana masala. While Narayanni’s consistently offers customers meat (masala chicken), they also host a vegan night (and even vegan cooking classes!). Snagging third place on Avenue Edmonton’s 2016 Best Vegetarian restaurants list, Avenue notes a vegan night buffet featuring melt-in-your-mouth butternut squash, a fragrant carrot-ginger soup and braised kale and cabbage.” Cooking with traditional techniques, Mama Selva’s food is dairy free, gluten free, with a wide array of vegan and vegetarian buffet items. And if you can eat dairy, you can’t go without partaking in one of Youmashni’s outstanding pistachio Chai lattes, and The Salty Almond simply raves about Papa Daya’s cinnamon infused rice pudding.

Catering to meat-free, dairy-free and gluten-free restrictive diets, these Edmonton restaurants go above and beyond with regard to flavour, service and atmosphere. Not only are they great restaurants for those with dietary restrictions, but they’re also just wonderful restaurants showcasing Edmonton’s fantastic food scene.

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