Rivière-du-Loup, PQ – Café L’Innocent and Parc des Chutes

After Quebec City, we made a pit stop in Rivière-du-Loup – just to grab lunch and stretch our legs for the next part of our trip. Luckily, Café L’Innocent was there for us. It’s a funky artsy space with indoor and outdoor seating – and it’s conveniently located within a 10 minute walking distance of Parc des Chutes – a beautiful park with a waterfall (that is also a hydroelectric generator) and hiking trails for varying abilities. We started our visit at the cafe and ordered some of their vegan things, they have things labelled on the menu as to what is or can be made vegan, and ordering was straightforward and our server was very helpful. JC went in before us to ask about vegan options and the server was enthusiastic and friendly about it, which made us extra happy to stay. JC really wanted poutine before we, voila, they had a vegan one. It was a different take on poutine, and had VegNature chèvre slices on top (which is based in Quebec city) and JC liked it. I was too focused on my falafel burger to steal too much of his food. I was really feeling the falafel burger, and the kiddo really like the hummus and falafel plate. We had our fill of the delicious food, and then went for a walk over to the nearby Park. We went back to Rivière-du-Loup on the way back as well, and visited the same park – it’s just such…

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Quebec City, PQ – Wandering, History, & Les Gourmandes Louca

While we were in Quebec City, we stayed at a lovely airbnb and enjoyed the sights and sounds of old Quebec. There are some incredible urban climbs in Quebec City, but thankfully you are rewarded by the  accompanying grand views of the city and the St. Lawerence river. We got a lot of exploring done – even during our relatively short visit. On our first day there, we visited the Governors Promenade, which also has a 300 step staircase where you can see a beautiful view of the river, and of Levis, the city across the St. Lawerence. We wandered through Vieux- Quebec, and it’s so easy to enjoy the old and winding streets, full of history and incredible architecture. Just walking around without a specific destination in mind is a pleasure, because you will inevitably stumble upon something that sparks your interest. This area is also home to several National Historic Sites, a UNESCO world heritage site, and the majestic Chateau Frontenac (which is a hotel you can even stay at if you want to be in the middle of everything, and a few hundred dollars a night.) Randomly, there were Dali sculptures being displayed and sold outside (in case you’re wondering… we didn’t buy any of them…) When it was time to grab a meal somewhere, we decided to check out Les Gourmandises LOUCA, a zero waste, vegan restaurant and grocery. They have reusable containers you can take for your to-go items, a variety of bulk foods, and…

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Montreal, PQ – Antidote Bouffe Végane

We were passing through Montreal on a road trip recently, and wanted to try something new. Our usual stop Sushi Momo wasn’t open until evening, and we wanted something we could take with us to go, so we could arrive at our next destination with the option of eating lunch. Voila – Antidote Bouffe Végane saves the day. (that said, I hadn’t heard of the weird stuff going on behind the scenes – hopefully they’ve changed the treatment of their employees for the better, because everyone there was lovely.) Service was friendly and quick, it was also bilingual, though the menu was not. We ordered a few things from their brunch menu, and waited in a lovely front sitting area in the sunshine surrounded by plants. I ordered the bagel au « saumon fumé tsé » which was excellent and came with hashbrown potatoes, a salad, and some fruit. JC got the B.L.T and he really liked it too, and our son really liked the pains dorés with apple caramel, but we didn’t grab a picture of that one. Antidote Bouffe Végane seems like a cool place to sit and eat, but we had to get rolling on to Quebec city.   Antidote Bouffe Végane 3459 Ontario St E, Montreal, QC H1W 1R4 (map) website | facebook | instagram They take cash, credit, and debit Entrance is accessible.

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Montreal – Cafe Dei Campi

I’ve talked about Cafe Dei Campi before, but it’s one of my favourite places to go to eat and have coffee in Montreal. We’ve gone there many many times since they opened in 2016, but only been to Montreal three times in that time. It’s just wonderful every time. They make vegan pastries, but have dairy products for coffee, but also make a damn good soy latte. Since our last visit, they added a nice outdoor patio – but we stayed inside. They also had dinosaurs for our son to play with, which was a great bonus. We ordered a variety of things, including a strawberry tart, cornettos, and a chocolate hazelnut filled beignet. But I was most excited for the cornettos as usual – they’re an Italian croissant-like pastry filled with an orange scented chocolate, and we had to take one of them to go. As an added bonus, especially if you have someone in your party that needs to burn off some energy, or you enjoy eating outside, you can visit Pere Marquette Park across the street – it’s got trees, benches, a skate park, baseball fields and other things to enjoy. Obviously, we will be back again to this wonderful place, and I recommend you try it someday too.

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Cambridge, Ontario – No Udder Vegan Ice Cream

We visited Cambridge and Guelph last month and it was a lovely little drive and visit – I’m not sure how we ended up at No Udder in Cambridge, but I’m glad we did. No Udder has been open since the beginning of June, and is a dairy-ice ice cream parlour with nut-free and gluten-free options. They’re in the front space of Nature’s Vibe, a health food and alternative health type space – but follow different hours. There was a nice variety of flavours, and the very friendly folks inside offered samples of all of them without hesitation. The three of us sampled a little of everything, but when I saw lemon and lavender on the list, I knew I’d be getting them – sample or no sample. The lemon had the most perfect flecks of lemon zest – it was the real deal in every way. Have you tried No Udder yet? (If you’ve ever had the ice cream from Fairly Frosted bakery at markets and VegFests around the province, you might have already enjoyed some!) No Udder 20 Ainslie St. N. Cambridge, ON (located in the front of Nature’s Vibe) (map) Facebook | Instagram They take cash, credit cards, and debit.

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Stratford, Ontario – The Planet Diner

We spent the day at Cedar Row‘s annual Summer of Peace event and it was beautiful as always but on the way home, we were wondering where we could go for a bite to eat. I asked around, and a friend  suggested we visit The Planet Diner in Stratford, Ontario, so off we went to check it out. The Planet Diner opened only a few months ago and it looks great. There is an outside patio, indoor diner style seating (complete with puffy red booths), and a fun kitschy decor. It features casual comfort food. They serve a primarily vegan menu, with a few meat-containing options available. It seems like they are generally dairy-free but if you have allergies, of course it’s best to double check (I didn’t ask). They have coffee, tea, cold drinks, juice, alcohol, and virgin cocktails too. You can take a peek at their menus on their website – they’ve got lots of options for everyone, including stuff for the gluten free crowd. We rolled in around 4ish, and there was street parking available nearby, there is also a green P around a block away. Their brunch menu looks delicious, but ends at 3, so we picked off the regular menu. We started off sharing the fries and gravy (default vegan) and a couple of drinks – I had a soy cappuccino (which was excellent) and JC got the virgin Caesar which was spicy and wonderful (I might have stolen a few/several sips.)   I had the…

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Vancouver – Indigo Age Cafe

The first few times we saw Indigo Age Cafe come up on a vegan-friendly food list we mentally skipped it because we thought it was some raw food place and we’re not usually into that. But after repeatedly seeing it, I got curious – maybe it would hit the spot anyway. I really like salad rolls… so I took a look at the menu. And I’m so glad that I did. Sure, they have raw food, and plenty of it, but in a wonderfully unexpected curveball, they also have cooked vegan Ukrainian cuisine. Surprise! Pirogies! And cabbage rolls! And borscht! oh my. Something else they do that’s pretty neat is a Vegan High Tea. Several of the other tables were doing it while we were there – I kind of regret not going for it, but our small human was reaching the end of his evening tolerance, so we didn’t have much time and we weren’t sure how long it would take – but it looks great. We started with some stuffed tomatoes with a raw fermented coconut-almond cheese, cashew sauce and pesto sauce – these were especially popular with our toddler (who like me, is keen on strong flavours.) And of course, we had to dip into the Ukrainian menu and ordered plates of assorted savoury pirogies and cabbage rolls. The pirogies had an incredible soft and tender dough, and were filled with sauerkraut or potato (they also have a cherry filled one that we didn’t order.) Drizzled with olive…

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Vancouver – Chickpea Food Truck

Back when we were in Vancouver we were staying close to Coal Harbour, there were several options within walking distance of our hotel, and plenty of vegan delivery options too. But what a wonderful find the Chickpea Food Truck was. On our first full day there, we met up with some friends for lunch – I suggested the Chickpea truck after finding out their location via the StreetFoodApp (and you can too.) They were at the waterfront near Canada Place (which is their “usual downtown spot.”) We wandered over, and got in line. Plenty of folks were milling about waiting for their order or waiting to order, but the line moved reasonably quickly. I ordered the Shakshuka platter which was a massive amount of food, but was great to share with JC and our son. Once upon a time this platter would have had eggs in it, but Chickpea recently went totally vegan – so the shakshuka was based around chickpeas and nicely spiced tomatoes, with sliced up vegan sausage, a very delicious hummus. The platter comes with a salad and chickpea fries, and you want the chickpea fries, I promise. I’ve had a bit of an obsession with vegan shakshuka for some reason – which started inexplicably because I neither have a nostalgia for it, or a cultural affiliation. I think the first one I tried was one with Tofu with a recipe from A Virtual Vegan, followed a few weeks later by a recipe from One Arab Vegan where silken…

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We were in Vancouver. Cartems Doughnuts. Get em.

We were in Vancouver last month and it was a lot of fun. Traveling with an infant has had some challenges, but also some benefits. Mostly we’re lucky with a kiddo that’s pretty easy going, and one that enjoys sleeping on the plane as much as possible. One thing I didn’t know about having a baby and flying was that we’d get to skip so many lines – who knew. I guess I knew when I travelled with the little one alone, but I didn’t realize it would apply when we were all travelling together. It is definitely a lot easier to travel as a trio, but we did pretty well just the two of us on our last trip to Edmonton to visit my parents. Anyway, ostensibly, I went for a conference, but as a delightful happenstance, we still managed to get a bunch of walking and eating in while we were there. It’s not the same as travelling alone, or as a pair of adults, but it actually worked out fairly well, since we got some mandatory relaxation time. The fun thing about being in the pacific time zone, when you’re used to eastern standard time is that everyone is still sleeping and you’re all wide awake. So you get to do things like watch the sunrise over the city and get to enjoy hotel swimming pools all to yourself. We took the redeye over to Vancouver and got in on the skytrain. They’ve got a lovely transit…

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Roadtrip 2014 – Yellowstone – The beginning

The drive to Yellowstone from Glacier National Park, and through Montana was lovely. Possibly one of the most remarkable drives we’d taken on this road trip. We started out on US 89, 287, 191 and worked our way up through several National Forests and historic sites, stopping occasionally, but mostly just pushing on, enjoying the rich diversity of terrain and elevations between Glacier and Yellowstone. We stopped in Helena, Montana to pick up a few provisions and grab a bite to eat and drove on. We also, as tradition dictated – stood beside the Continental Divide sign. This time at an Elevation of 8391. We arrived in Yellowstone, through the West entrance, in the late evening just a few hours before sunset. The whole length of the road has inviting signs sending you on to different sites and drives and campgrounds, so we stopped to take a look at Fountain Paint Pots, and Old Faithful before heading to our pre-reserved site in Grant Village Campground. Fountain Paint Pots was a great walk through with amazing colours, bacterial mats, springs, mud pots, steam vents, geysers, and a long stretch of boardwalk. I was happy we ended up there in the evening, in the rain, because the steam was even more dramatic in lower temperatures, and it was just nicer to be outside in the sunset than the sunny +30 C temperatures we’d experience during our subsequent days in Yellowstone. It was our first taste of the incredible alien wonder that Yellowstone…

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