Crunchy Kickoff Mozzarella Sticks: Game-Day Goodness
Vegan Maple Sesame Game Day Cauliflower “Wings”
You’ve Gotta Try this in February 2024
Choosing Connection: A BC Family Day Pledge to Prioritize Presence Over Plans
Embracing Plant-Based Living this Veganuary and Beyond
Heal Your Gut, Naturally
Inviting the Steller’s Jay to Your Garden
6 Budget-friendly Holiday Decor Pieces
Dream Home: $8 Million for a Modern Surprise
The People’s Open Just One Reason to Visit Some Classic Scottsdale Golf Courses
Scottsdale In the Fast Lane
Why You Need to Make Penticton Your Next Winter Getaway
10 Places to See Holiday Lights in Metro Vancouver
Vancouver Adventures: Our Picks for December
What to Watch This Week: December 3 to 8
Are you getting the most from your expertly cultivated and perfectly aged wine collection?
The Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide for Him
The Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide for Her
New vegetarian café breathes fresh life into otherwise sleepy Point Grey.
After two years of living in Point Grey, I’ve come to appreciate this functional albeit somewhat sleepy neighbourhood and have accepted that it just isn’t a Vancouver area likely to develop a rich and unique sense of community. Recently, however, some new additions in the form of cafés and choice yoga studios have altered my staunch perception of Point Grey as a dull but comfortable place to live.
3770 West 10th Ave, Vancouver
When a place opens up four blocks away from you and calls itself My Local Café, one has expectations. Under new ownership, the recently opened café formally known as Lavender Lotus is an all-vegetarian establishment with options for celiacs, vegans and anyone who appreciates food made from quality ingredients.
As you might expect from a “café,” My Local Café has a full list of espresso drinks as well as some sweet options, but it also offers much more—a selection of full meals made of exceptional ingredients.
Situated near the Alma/Broadway B-line bus stops, My Local Café is an ideal place to stop en route to or from UBC. Choose between at least three weekly special entrees, two soups or create your own delicious sandwich, and find myriad gluten-free and/or vegan baked goods that are as decadent as they are healthy.
As a vegan myself, I am utterly elated when an establishment understands the concept. When I expressed this to the owner, Shafique Shivij, he explained that he wanted to open the café partially due to his own quest for a good lunch in Point Grey, and he clearly recognized the demand for gluten-free and vegan offerings. That said, I’d actually be surprised to discover anyone who actually notices that My Local Café doesn’t serve meat, with so many hunger-satiating, revolving menu options.
Right: Lia Miekle, the official “ingredient enthusiast,” dishes out her grandma’s
Most likely you’ll enter the café to be greeted enthusiastically by the smiling Lia Miekle, the resident “ingredient enthusiast,” as declared on her business card. Lia learned my name after just a couple visits, and though I usually prefer to remain anonymous when dining alone, the friendliness of the café embraces me into feeling as though this actually is my local café. They remember what you like and are eager to offer recommendations for the daily specials tailored to your own tastes and/or dietary preferences.
The décor is understated with somewhat-retro tables and furniture, a collection of records to browse and a classy deli/bakery case. My Local Café doesn’t (yet) have Wi-fi, nor are there many power outlets available, meaning you won’t find the long-parking UBC students with their heads buried in laptops so ubiquitous to the area. Instead, the atmosphere is decidedly lo-fi, with a large pile of magazines and newspapers for you to peruse while taking a welcome break from your computer screen.
Right: The classic soup and sandwich combo never dissappoints (they even serve it with homemade gluten-free bread!).
The rotating entrées can be anything from spring tacos, cabbage rolls, house-made veggie burgers, quiches and more, while the soups generally include a dahl along with the seasonal selection of the week.
I often opt for a sandwich, simply because the house-made gluten-free bread is so delicious and the staff are not afraid to pile it high with fresh veggies, avocado, grainy mustard and hummus. The sandwiches come with a side salad selected from the three daily offerings. The roasted veggie salad seems to be a mainstay, but I’ve tasted delicious Asian slaw, white bean and arugula, Vietnamese noodle, and more. Everything is always exceedingly fresh and made daily.
My Local Café could improve by expanding their hours beyond 6 p.m., given that the more hearty entrees like the veggie burger and cabbage rolls are fully satisfying for a dinner on the go. Otherwise, the café is a precious addition to Point Grey and the kind of place that brings a neighbourhood together and attracts appreciative and loyal customers.
The offerings for special diets, the focus on fresh and organic ingredients, and their attention to ecologically-minded business practices are just icing on the vegan cake!
Gabrielle Pope blogs about the vegan lifestyle in Vancouver. Dividing her thoughts between literature and the Vancouver Canucks, she is currently writing a novel for her thesis at UBC’s MFA Creative Writing program.
Monique Cheung is a freelance commercial photographer who is returning after a decade away living on Vancouver Island and in Seattle. Vancouver’s amazing food scene has lured her home and she’s having a fantastic time rediscovering the city and capturing it all on film. Website | Twitter