I was heartbroken to discover the closure of Green Cuisine last year because of a fire. Notes scattered the doors with requests for them to please re-open soon. I even saw a note from a couple visiting from Seattle who had come all the way to Victoria just to eat at Green Cuisine and then had their hopes dashed in discovering Green Cuisine was closed. But now, Green Cuisine is re-opened. And looks exactly the same – I can’t complain. Located in the Market Square on lower Johnson Street, Green Cuisine is an amazing vegetarian restaurant flocked by earthy types and those in search of truly healthy foods. When you walk in, you grab a plate and fill it up with the buffet arrangement of fresh vegetarian, sometimes vegan, foods. There are usually two soups to choose from with fresh corn bread. Next, there is a salad bar with multiple salads– bean salads, leafy green salads, pad thai, the list goes on. Garnishes and dressings are also plentiful – my favourite is the homemade salsa. I definitely load up the corner of my plate with it. I love the big chunks of spicy jalapeños. The ginger salad dressing is also spectacular, on anything (especially heaped on the fresh chick-pea falafels. Then there are the mains- usually a tempeh selection and a tofu choice. There are always house-made, baked samosas. As well as some leafy greens. Following the mains is the bountiful array of chutneys – my favourite is the apple chutney. There is also vegetarian sushi which is surprisingly fresh tasting no matter what time you’re there.
Then there are the desserts. All to die for. Choose wisely. They’re deceivingly rich for being vegan.
After you’ve created your vegetarian/ vegan health wonder plate, you take it to the cashier who appears to have just returned from an enlightening experience at Shambala will weigh your plate and ring you in. Careful, healthy food comes at a price, and a heaping plate can cost you upwards of $20. But, the food is dense and rich and extremely filling. All you need is a sample size of everything and you’ll be full for the rest of the day. And extremely satisfied.
My last visit was with my mother who was visiting from out of town. Upon our arrival at Green Cuisine she ran into a fellow yogi whom she did yoga teacher training with 9 years ago, and serendipitously ran into at another vegetarian restaurant in Calgary – The Coup – with my older, food loving sister, last year. I got the sweet and sour tempeh, ginger gravy tofu, a couple heaping tablespoons of the apple chutney, steamed collard greens (yes, my mother made me put green vegetables on my plate), a couple of the best and freshest falafels I’ve ever had, a couple heaping teaspoons of the salsa, basmati rice pilaf, gingered black beans, and a few pieces of the vegetarian sushi. All of this rang up to $13, but I didn’t need to eat dinner after, and I’ve also never felt so satisfied and refreshed after such a fulfilling meal.
If you’re looking for a healthy option, or looking for a date to Burning Man, or just looking for some delicious food, head down to Market Square (wear your Blundstones and organic cotton tunic) and enjoy some of the best vegetarian food you’ve ever eaten at Green Cuisine. Until next time!