Végan Rapide
By YP Contributor

A Fast Food Revolution

Vegan Rapide advertises itself as “the revolution of fast food.” The family-owned NDG neighbourhood eatery has an all-vegan menu filled with comfort food classics that can be enjoyed on the spot or delivered to your home.

One of the restaurant's most popular dishes is the deluxe veggie burger, a soy-based patty--made with organic soy-- stuffed in a pita bread and topped with non-dairy cheese and a secret sauce. “It is similar to a Big Mac in taste,” says co-owner Liza Hatem, who believes the key to making vegan food accessible is to keep recipes simple and stick to fast food favourites.

The menu features various takes on the veggie burger ― from classic to spicy. Cooked fresh daily, the patty resembles meat in taste and texture. Other dishes include vegetable-topped pizzas made with unbleached flour (also available gluten-free with advance notice) and various sandwiches featuring ingredients such as hummus, marinated tofu or seitan (a wheat-based meat substitute).

Along with these mains, homemade fries and coleslaw round out meals as tasty sides. Also available are freshly baked cookies and muffins as well as desserts such as fruit tarts and chocolate cakes.

It’s about giving people the opportunity to make a healthier choice. - Liza Hatem, co-owner
Vegan Rapide - Vegan, fast food, delivery, food, pizza, veggie burger, baked goods
The co-owners of Vegan Rapide pose for a photo (from left to right: Jamie Miller, Liza Hatem and Khalida Azzouza). Photo by Anouare Abdou.

A Healthy and Humane Take on Comfort Food

“I have rarely met anyone who doesn’t want to eat healthy,” says Liza, who founded the business with her mother Khalida Azzouza and her stepfather Jamie Miller. Together their mission is to bring a healthier and more humane alternative to the array of fast food options available on the market. “It’s about giving people the opportunity to make a healthier choice.”

And healthy does not have to mean boring. Liza recalls a time when she asked for a vegan dish at a regular restaurant and she was served a tasteless pile of greens. That is the stereotype that Vegan Rapide is trying to break away from. “Food is one of life’s pleasures. I am not going to eat chickpeas and rice all the time because I am a vegan.”

Vegan Rapide - Vegan, fast food, delivery, food, pizza, veggie burger, baked goods
Freshly baked vegan muffins are just one of the sweet treats available at Vegan Rapide. Photo by Anouare Abdou.

A Family Affair

Liza and her mother moved to Montreal from Algeria in 2001. In the city Khalida met her husband Jamie, who has been a vegan for over 30 years. Both mother and daughter eventually transitioned to a diet free of animal products.

Interestingly, the idea to create Vegan Rapide first came up during dinner. From there the entrepreneurs tested the waters by offering a catering service and distributing flyers. As NDG residents, they thought that the community aspect of the area made it an ideal location for their project.

The restaurant opened its doors in the summer of 2014, when Liza was still a teenager. Nonetheless she did her part by putting together a business plan that was awarded a bursary from the government. Of the socially responsible vision the family has for its business Liza simply says: “I wanted to do something positive with my life.”

Vegan Rapide - Vegan, fast food, delivery, food, pizza, veggie burger, baked goods
Vegan Rapide is an NDG family-owned vegan restaurant. Photo by Anouare Abdou.
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