Maybe you’re full vegan. Maybe you call yourself a flexitarian. Maybe you’re just like me, and refer to yourself as a vegan but are known to binge attack foreign cheeses at 4am under duress or lack of sobriety (my BFF Micha knows what I’m talking about. It isn’t pretty).
Or maybe you just need a little inspiration.
Without further ado, here’s how to live a modern day vegan fairytale in the vegan-friendly city I used to call home.
Wakey, wakey, tofu scramble and vegan bac-y.
You wake up – flawless – in your cruelty-free cotton jammies (no silk allowed). You catch a glimpse of your glowing skin in the mirror. Maybe you’ve been using the all-vegan luxury skin-care line from Arbonne. Maybe you’ve opted for the budget friendly Yes To drugstore brand. Or, maybe you just wash your face with coconut oil (which conveniently doubles – nay, quadruples – as your makeup remover, moisturizer and exfoliant when you mix it with organic unrefined sugar).
You grab a Clif’s Bar and make a green smoothie– toss in some kale, a banana, a dollop of almond butter, coconut water, a sprinkle of spirulina. You throw in half an avocado for the perfect creamy texture. You might add some ginger or coriander for an extra kick.
After rinsing out your Vitamix, you head down to the local Tau supermarket or Rachelle Bery. There are a bunch of tiny mom and pop vegan stores around town, but if you’re an almond milk latte sippin’ basic vegan like me (who still drives a car and doesn’t bike), you might wanna head over to Tau for slightly better prices (supermarket style, yes) to stock up on Gardein and Ezekiel bread. S’all good.
When you walk through the doors of Lumiere, you’ll be greeted by Maria Modicamore, a friendly restaurateur who knows all her customers and sits with you to convey just how excited she is for you to taste everything on the brunch menu. Django Reinhardt plays faintly in the background, and you feel as though you might be in a Woody Allen movie. In the summer time, head towards the back, past the open-concept kitchenette, to step onto a magical terrace, akin to a hidden oasis in Montreal’s urban jungle.
Side note: This particular terrace is so imbued with positive energy (think unicorn level) that I refuse to bring any dates here. As I’ve solemnly sworn to Maria, the day I bring a mancrush to Lumiere is the day she meets my future husband. Can’t have no boys tarnishing the immaculate experience that is Lumiere de Mile End. You’ll understand once you experience it yourself.
Now back to our vegan fairytale.
Once you’ve enjoyed a raw vegan brownie and slurped the last of your soy latte, grab your Matt and Nat bag and saunter down the haute vegan chic Bernard Street. Hop on your bike, jump on your pink Vespa or power up your Prius to get your vegan tush downtown to spend the afternoon distributing vegan burritos to the homeless.
When you’re done spreading vegany goodness around town, you head over to Crudessence for a raw vegan cooking class. You just might learn how to make zoodles today with a lovely sun-dried tomato ragout. Yum!
Later that evening, you meet with your yoga buddies to grab a quick bite at Panthere Verte. You grab a falafel sandwich or veggie burger, depending on your whimsy. Or maybe you indulge in the Veganomane over at La Banquise.
Or, maybe it’s date night.
You’ve met the perfect vegan triathlete. His idea of a perfect getaway is his annual voluncation to an animal sanctuary in upstate New York. He consumes Vega protein shakes and makes the best homemade hummus you’ve ever tasted.
For this special evening, your vegan spirit manimal makes reservations at Chu Chai, the finest vegan Thai restaurant in town. Together, you marvel over the taste and texture of the faux crispy duck.
As the clock strokes midnight, you make your way home – with or without your vegan manwich – to get some shut eye. You thank the green faeries for another beautiful day of vegan living in #Montreal.
What are your favourite vegan haunts in Montreal or abroad? Share your love or haterade below.