Try to track down Sailin’ On during the winter and, aside from the occasional pop-up, you’ll be sorely out of luck. Of course, that only makes the return of Edmonton’s only vegan food truck an eagerly anticipated meal option each spring. Owners Mike Brennan and Garrett Kruger can reliably be found manning the truck at the 124 Grand Market on Thursdays, but don’t expect the menu to be as easy to depend on – it switches up weekly.
Still, each crowd favourite is sure to be found on at least one visit. The BLT is made with homemade raw organic coconut “bacon” – coconut chips coated in maple, marinated in liquid smoke and baked until crispy – and is a crunchy wrap delight packed with smoky flavour. The curry chips – fresh-cut crispy fries engulfed in a creamy homemade curry sauce – are a welcome departure from the ever-present poutine. And don’t let the name fool you: The drunken chicken – a sandwich packed with deep-fried lemongrass tofu, caramelized onions, shredded carrot, cucumber, cilantro and a homemade spicy chili mayo – is just as flavourful when you eat it sober. –Cory Haller
There are a lot of places where you might not feel so good about yourself after you eat. Noorish is not one of those places.
The “conscious eatery and superfood elixir bar” on 109th Street is unapologetically vegetarian, rarely trying to mask Mother Earth’s ingredients by trying to shape them into the form of a cutlet or make them taste like something they’re not.
The mac ‘n’ cheese is a delight to even the most strident non-vegetarian, with a creamy sauce and just enough basil- or jalapeno-infused oil to give it a good kick. For something heartier, the Bodhi burger is chock full of goodness, from the chickpea patty to the tahini-ginger drizzle. –Glenn Cook
8440 109 St., 780-756-6880, noorish.ca
Vegetarian diets are much easier to accommodate these days; it seems every diner and restaurant has at least one option on its menu. And though Padmanadi was one of the first establishments in Edmonton with a strictly vegetarian menu, it’s still one of the best.
Testaments to this fact are the photos of regulars and patrons that grace the walls of the restaurant. They speak volumes about the friendly vibe at Padmanadi – that of a community celebrating the benefits of a vegetarian lifestyle.
And while the novelty of the faux-meats, such as the chicken-like bean-curd drumsticks or Padmanadi curry mutton, may be old-hat for the eatery’s regulars, they’re still impressively similar, both in flavour and appearance, to their namesakes – as any Padmanadi diner will gladly tell you. It’s just that kind of place. –C.H.
10740 101 St., 780-428-8899, padmanadi.com