Overall Rating 9/10
Monday 11:00 am–11:00 pm
Tuesday 11:00 am–11:00 pm
Wednesday 11:00 am–11:00 pm
Thursday 11:00 am–11:00 pm
Friday 11:00 am–Late
Saturday 10:00 am–Late
Chickpea was not next up on our list but it was the closest restaurant to our next one that was participating in Dine Out Vancouver. We thought trying some restaurants’ Dine Out menus would be a great way to try more of a their menu. Since making that decision, however, we made another decision to go on a last minute trip to Bali so Chickpea will be the only Dine Out menu we get to try. We will resume the order once we get back but due to this trip there will not be another review until the week of February 11.
Let us start out by saying that we are not vegan. If you’ve been following along for any length of time you’ll know we eat meat and we really enjoy it. So, when we decided on a vegan restaurant we must admit we were hesitant. Vancouver is a big hub for vegans and it, from what we understand, has exploded in the last few years with high quality vegan restaurants.
That being said, there was a time about 6 years ago when I, Kyle, had to go on a strict dairy-free, wheat-free, sugar-free, alcohol-free diet for some health issues. Veganism, from our understanding holds to the dairy-free aspect of that diet and the others are personal preference. The dairy-free part of the diet was by far the hardest. I mean c’mon, no cheese?! No milk?! That’s a daily thing my body enjoys. Back in 2012, the dairy-free options were not good, not like we have today. I was having cardboard “cheese” and a sad attempt at mimic dairy products. The almond milk, however, has stuck in my diet ever since. So, with that background, you hopefully understand our hesitancy knowing Chickpea, a vegan restaurant, was where we were headed.
Man, were we wrong. This was probably the best restaurant we’ve eaten at so far. We were absolutely blown away. From the second we entered we knew this was gonna be good. We were welcomed by a very friendly gentleman who made us feel as if he was honoured to seat us. He gave no indication he knew who we were or anything about this journey, he just seemed very happy and one of those people who genuinely enjoys his job. He did tell us it was his first day and it seemed like it was a good one.
We were sat at a table that was under a tree with birdhouses hanging from it. A nice table for 5 since we had my mom with us that day. We were quickly waited on by an awesome girl who took our drink orders and brought us waters.
The Dine Out lunch menu (click the link for the dinner menu also) was straight to the point. 3 options for lunch and since there were 3 of us we each picked one. I got the Chicktea to drink and Chickcheese sandwich, mom got the chocolate almond milk (for Nixon) and the Malawach and Sam got the Limonana and French Toast. We got both of the baklavas for dessert.
First off, we were all fighting a cold this day and the chicktea was perfect. It was essentially just lemon, mint and hot water which was perfect for soothing our colds. The Limonana was frozen lemonade with mint which was amazing and on a hot summer day would be ideal. The chocolate almond milk was a disappointment as it came with ice and was super watered down. Nixon didn’t care though.
We didn’t go here for the drink though. We came for the food. And the food was the bomb. Oh. My. God. This food was so good. Remember, in our minds, vegan food was cardboard crap; this place revived our faith in vegan food. The chickcheese sandwich somehow tasted like it had actual cheese in it; I don’t know how they did it but whatever they did to it was perfect. It had so much flavour and was very filling. It tasted no different than an actual grilled cheese, just with more vegetables than we usually put in our grilled cheese. The salad it came with was a nice refreshing element on the plate also.
Of course we had to all try each others’ dishes. Mom’s malawach could be described as a chickpea burrito. A very generous helping of chickpeas accompanied by many other veggies and spice. By now you know how we feel about spice so this was an excellent dish. She couldn’t finish it so we were more than happy to help her out.
Sam’s french toast was amazing. Obviously they couldn’t use traditional egg wash so as you can see on the menu they just do almond milk and sugar. Having sugar in the wash and no egg leaves for the chance to easily burn the toast, but obviously they’ve done this a time or two before and didn’t burn it. The sautéed bananas were delicious with a nice touch of cinnamon and then the coconut whipped was to die for. No idea what kind of dairy-free cream one would use to make whipped cream but they nailed it.
The baklava was tasty as well and it came with the coconut whipped cream we already loved from Sam’s french toast. To be honest, neither of us could tell the difference between the two, they were both good although if it didn’t come with our meals we probably would have skipped dessert since we were so full from our meals.
The service was great also. Constantly coming by to make sure we were taken care of and our drinks were full.Chickpea is licensed for those of you wanting a more adult beverage. Our food did seem to take longer than usual. Neither of us have ever worked in the restaurant industry but from people we’ve talked to the goal is usually to get the food to the customer within about 20 minutes. We waited just over 30. Other than that we had no service issues.
Chickpea was the first restaurant to really cater to families. As soon as we walked in we saw plenty of mothers with their kids and we could see why. There is a whole corner of the restaurant designed as a play area for kids. There is a table close by so we could see that table getting annoying for customers so we assume Chickpea seats the families at these tables. The mats at the kids area were slightly dirty but that is bound to happen with kids coming in on rainy days. As long as they get washed daily we should see no issue letting your kids play here. There was plenty to do and Nixon had a blast there. When the very happy gentleman sat us at our table he also brought a high chair over.
The Dine Out menu was great and we felt $20 per person was a fine price to pay. Not incredible value but not bad enough to complain especially since the food was amazing.
The decor was super cool. Not a style we would put in our house but a style that gave a cool atmosphere for a restaurant. We don’t even know what you would call the style but we found it really cool.
All in all, this is the first place we are excited to go back to and explore the rest of the menu. We had a great time here and we left with our bellies full.
Food 9.5/10 – everything was delicious, no complaints
Service 9/10 – kind gentleman seated us and the girls who waited on us were great
Kid friendliness 9/10 – best place we’ve been to so far, kids play area was great but kinda dirty which was the -1, had high chairs
Decor 9/10 – nothing special but not terrible
Value 8.5/10 – the Dine Out menu was great, maybe a little high at $20 for lunch but the food was amazing so we can’t complain too much
Never stop adventuring!