Dharma Kitchen

  • Vegetarian Vegetarian
    ( 34 reviews )
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604-738-3899
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3667 West Broadway (at Alma), Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, BC V6R

Vancouver Buddhist vegan food restaurant. Food is vegan except for honey offered on the side for teas (per report Aug 2013). Quiet atmosphere. Parking on street. Open Mon-Sun 12:00pm-10:00pm.

Category: Vegan-friendly, Chinese, Organic, Asian

Reviews (34)

First Review by PDXVeganFamily

what the fuss? - Edit

not sure what's up with this place and why people on HC give it such glowing reviews. The service is moody at best (ever been scolded by your server, who constantly seems to be in a 'mood'?) and the tempeh isn't tempeh at all: it's seitan, aka wheat protein, aka gluten. celiacs, beware! the food is ok, especially if you like mould on the bun sandwiching your veggie patty.

each bowl on their menu can be found in ruth tal brown's recipe book 'refresh': the tofu marinade, the sauces and dressings, and the lot.

pretty inaccurate that I'm unable to give out one star; two is the lowest allowed?! one star for this place.

Pros: nice decor

Cons: moody server, not the freshest food

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Awesome food...great ambience! - Edit

Wow...I can't say enough good things about this place.
Never disappointed. Atmosphere and decor are above average- very nice interior.
Service is prompt.
The food is so tantalizing, so tasty.
Incredible sauces. My fave is anything with tempeh!!

We've been eating here very regularly, virtually once a week now for almost three years.
The owner Tommy is simply terrific, works hard to keep his guests content and satisfied with their meal.

Strongly recommended.

Updated from previous review on 2008-05-15

Pros: Attentive service, generous portions, Good value for price

Cons: Kitchen can be a bit slow

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Cozy Thai fusion Hideaway - Edit

We have eaten many times over the years at Dharma Kitchen. We enjoy the mellow atmosphere, respectful service and comforting, tasty food. It can be busy sometimes but still feels more relaxing than most other places. Prices have gone up somewhat, but to be fair, so have the price of ingredients.

Recommendations: Spicy - Nu Cao Bowl; Umame with greens - Green Goddess; Warming/Comforting - Tamarind Soup; Salad: Avocado salad. You can also get bowls with roasted potatoes instead of rice. The tempeh doesn't taste like regular tempeh but is good; we sometimes get a side order to go with dinner. We only wish they would consider dropping the honey from their menu so it would be a fully vegan restaurant. Try the chai for "dessert".

Keep your eyes peeled if driving by - it's easy to miss as there is no big sign outside, only a sandwich board on the sidewalk.

Pros: Tasty food, Relaxing atmosphere, Good service

Cons: bit expensive

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Great Food, Friendly Service, Chill Atmosphere - Edit

***Try the Avocado Salad - Freshest Organic Salad in Vancouver! Dharma Kitchen sources organic produce and cuts everything by hand (many restaurants order their produce already cut and bagged). Sauces and salad dressings all made in house. I love the Raw Lemon Tahini! Also a great spot too for juices and smoothies. - Carrot, Ginger Immune Booster is delicious!
If you are looking for a place with healthy food made with love and integrity, check this place out. Also super chill, peaceful vibe with great music hand selected by owner.

Raw Vegan? I am. This is the best Freshest BIG salad in town:)

Pros: Great Music, Best Avocado Salad, Fresh Juices

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Excellent tempeh burger - Edit

Warm and welcoming atmosphere and great service. The tempeh burger almost freaked me out - look, texture and taste was so close to a meat patty and the peanut satay sauce was outstanding. Also very tasty chai!

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Lots of selection - Edit

Huge selection to choose from. Most items have either tofu or tempeh. They claim the tempeh is homemade, but like a previous review of this place, it just looks and tastes like a boca burger cut into eighths. Our server was very nice and helpful. Also a fresh juice selection which was awesome.

Pros: Fresh juice menu

Cons: If you're not a fan of tofu or tempeh

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DELICIOUS - Edit

This is one of my favorite restaurants ever. Its close by to where I live so I come quite often, and all their dishes are super tasty and good quality! I love the flavours and their tofu is the best.

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I had an amazing rice bowl - Edit

This is my second best place to eat in Vancouver. No.1 is Graze.

The staff is very friendly and the chef is a master of food and tempeh.

/Vegan explorer

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Simple food, large portions - Edit

I'm always excited to eat at an all-vegan restaurant. They have a large menu and I love knowing that I could order anything.

I ordered a tempeh miso burger with side salad and my friends got a tofu peanut bowl. The patty on my burger didn't taste like tempeh: it reminded me of a veggie burger. I've never had tempeh that tasted that way! The miso gravy gave it a cheesy flavour which I wasn't expecting but it was delicious. The salad was a typical green salad with a miso dressing. I would have opted for a different side if I wasn't graving greens. I was interested in trying their Green Goddess Bowl bowl, which sounded pretty good.

The bowls were large portions. My boyfriend said the rice tasted old but the flavour of the peanut sauce was fantastic.

It was a little slow the afternoon we visited but we didn't mind because it was pouring down rain and we were travelling by foot.

Pros: Large portions, All vegan menu, Quiet restaurant

Cons: Service was a little slow

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Good food, Chill Vibe - Edit

I don't go to Dharma Kitchen for explosive flavours to touch my palette and have a party in my mouth. The food has flavour but it's buddhist vegan food isn't it? The food is supposed to be calm and chill just like the food at this place. It was empty when I went, which I like. I hate when restaurants get crowded. Keep it Chill.

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Great Place To Sit Down - Edit

The server was very nice and the food was amazing, looks like a lot of time and effort is put into the dishes, definitely going back!

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The Spot for Healthy Food - Edit

There are times where you want to go out to eat, but you don't want to spend a ton of money, and you don't want to eat a bunch of heavy food. If that's the case for you then you need to check out Dharma Kitchen. This is really healthy food at it's finest. There are no 'vegan meats' or 'vegan cheeses' all the food is natural, whole foods. Many of the dishes seem simple in their ingredients but pack a lot of flavor and a ton of satisfaction. The menu is rather wide and varied and I wish we'd had more time to explore all the various options but since we no longer live in Vancouver we don't get the chance.

What we did eat was delicious, comforting and satisfying. My husband had the Green Goddess Bowl which he loved, and I had the Free Tibet Bowl which was amazing. The tempeh here is simply divine, in fact, it's some of the best tempeh i've ever eaten anywhere. It's real home-made tempeh, not the store-bought Light-life kind. Amazing, amazing stuff.

As far as atmosphere this place is cozy, and welcoming. We felt quite at home at our little table and the staff was very helpful, and very friendly. Very willing to take the time to chat with us about the menu and about food prep which we appreciated. Next time I visit my family in Van i'll definitely be going back for more!

Pros: Great food, Great Atmosphere , Friendly Staff

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pretty good - Edit

I've been to Dharma once. The restaurant was empty, we were the only clients. I ordered some red curry which was alright. Nothing amazing but good enough. I think I will come back.

Pros: Very chill place, good food

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OK - Edit

The menu at Dharma Kitchen looks very exciting. Tons of options, all vegan, I thought we were in for a real treat.

First of all, it is not all vegan. They offer you honey with your tea. That discounts their claim of being vegan already. Apparently they don't cook with it but who knows.
We had the basil tofu and the Dharma Dude bowl with tempeh. Both were decent portions.
First, the basil tofu was ok, a little sweet and not very spicy but alright. The veggies were onions, mushrooms and peppers.
The Dharma Dude bowl was a bowl of roasted potatoes with veggies (onions, mushrooms and peppers again...I think that's all they have) and a choice of sauce. My husband picked the miso sauce.
The tempeh was really a soy Boca burger, I don't know how they can call this tempeh. We know tempeh and that was no tempeh. The waiter told us it was home made. Yeah, I don't think so.

All in all though, it was ok. The prices are a bit high for the quality of the food and I don't think we will rush there again.

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so relaxing.....zzzzz.... - Edit

+ serene atmosphere
+ rice pudding was tasty

- food was merely competent in flavour
- service was inconsistent from one server to the next
- non-descript outside storefront (you might miss it if you haven't been back for awhile)

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I don't get it - Edit

I don't 'get' all the great reviews. Had dinner there last night. It is a typical "bowl place" where you can order a dozen or so different permutations of tempeh or tofu in a bowl with rice and veggies. Frankly, nothing looked too exciting, so I went for the signature dish, the "Dharma Bowl". Topping were dry and bland, yet the rice was soaked with miso gravy. I just didn't really care for it.

There was only one other customer in the place, an older couple. The guy at the table kept hollering the owner in mangled, Canadian-accented Spanish, for some peculiar reason. Seems he knew ten words or so, and was quite proud of his ability. Maybe this is why the owner was hiding most of the night. Why it took 45 minutes to put my bowl together. I don't know... it was just, 'off'.

Having said all that, the restaurant itself is beautiful and nicely appointed. This place has the right stuff to become fantastic. I hope they do.

Pros: Atmosphere, Inexpensive

Cons: bland, Need sopme cooking lessons

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Vegan food at its best - Edit

Going into its six year of operation , the quality at Dharma Kitchen remains its priority. I have never had a bad meal here...fresh, qualiity ,organic where practical to keep pricing modest...the atmosphere is serene , music invigorating but peaceful ...a gem of a spot for vegans and mindful eating.

Pros: modest pricing, healthy, fresh ingredients

Cons: busy street, limited deserts

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Delicious - Edit

The atmosphere is nice and peaceful in here, and the staff is really nice. I brought my three year old niece here and they gave her colouring books etc. The basil tofu is my favourite dish, and the tamarind soup and the lemongrass mushrooms are great too. They also make fresh juice.

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Delisious!!! - Edit

A great little find in Vancouver.
Small and cozy, I felt like I was eating at home (a good thing). The staff were SUPER friendly and attentive.
I could eat here everyday and not get bored with the menu.

Every time I have eaten here I was able to take half my meal home or share a meal with my friend and still be sufficiently stuffed!

Pros: Vegan, Atmosphere, Excellent Food

Cons: None!

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Soso - Edit

We had dinner at Dharma Kitchen once while on holiday in Vancouver in June. Maybe I picked the wrong dishes but I wasn't very impressed.

I ordered the Miso soup but only ate a few spoon fulls because I didn't like it at all. It didn't have any Miso flavour at all, it just tasted sour and was laden with coriander. I've had Miso soups before and I've never come across a Miso soup that contained coriander and the menu at Dharma certainly didn't list it as an ingredient either. Unfortunately I hate coriander so I got a nasty surprise...

My partner had a different soup (can't remember which one) and liked it.

For mains we had one tofu and one tempeh potato bowl which tasted soso. The sauce was quite oily and very salty. I noticed that many reviewers mention how fantastic the tempeh tastes at Dharma. We thought it tasted a bit strange and wasn't really tempeh at all.

We liked the fresh juice cocktails and the soy chai latte was incredibly nice.

The atmosphere in the restaurant was very nice and the staff was very cheerful and friendly.

If we ever go back to Vancouver and have time for only one meal we wouldn't chose Dharma. But if we lived in Vancouver we would probably go back to see if we could find some dishes on the menu that we like.

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Great Meal - Edit

Had my first taste of Tempeh, and was immediately hooked. Have now had it elsewhere and I must say that although I still enjoy it, nothing has measured up to Dharma Kitchens tempeh. Mango tapioca pudding is divine, and the fruit smoothies are as good as mine (that means they are great).

1 Response
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Jeffrey 01 Nov 2009 - Hi there T, nice review. Yep, tempeh can either be great or lousy, depending on how you cook it.  


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Tempeh - Wow! - Edit

The tempeh I usually have is pretty bland, usually still with a few large soybean chunks in it, but the tempeh here is amazing. The sauteed mushrooms and chai tea (with soymilk!) are also excellent. The desert selection is small, but delicious.

Pros: good food, large portions, good & fast service , nice selection

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Dharma Kitchen - Edit

We decided to go to Dharma last night for our anniversary after reading the great reviews. I had rice bowl with miso gravy,artichokes,peppers and onions. Compared to Naam the gravy was only so,so. I probably wouldn't go back again.

Pros: friendly staff

Cons: food was ok

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Tempeh to die for! - Edit

The atmosphere is beautiful and chill. I had the rice bowl with tempeh the first time, i wasn't a fan of the rice bowl but the tempeh on top was amazing, i would come here just for the tempeh it's self. The "cocktails" were also delicious and i highly recomend there as well as the coconut miso gravy however i wish there was more on the menu than just rice bowls, veg burgers and salads.

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Wicked Awesome! - Edit

It was so simple and calm in there. And the food was most excellent and well within my frugal spending habits. Thank you Darma. You really made my day.

Pros: excellent food, great value, friendly staff

Cons: none

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my review of this cool little restaurant - Edit

I don't want to build this up too much but imo, I think this is probably the best vegan cooked food restaurant in the Northwest, possibly North America. Their coconut based gravies are rich and velvety and never seperate. The vegetables are fresh, colorful and crisp and never overcooked. The soup ingredients are perfectly seasoned, portioned and balanced. The smoothies are to die for. There definitely needs to be more restaurants in North America serving this fare.

Sometimes some limited-knowledge patrons will come in and ask the waiter in a whining voice "Eww..what's tempeh?" or complain that the "cocktails" don't contain alcohol. Sometimes you will here them whisper to their friends, "Why doesn't this place serve meat?" or "Oh, tofu, this isn't health food is it?" This place is not for these people. This place is for the rest of us who have no where else to eat out because everywhere else insists on animal food fare. And there are no compromises in taste here on top of that!

Pros: superb flavors, reasonable prices, clean presentation, good portions, completely vegan, friendly waiters

Cons: silly patron banter

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great restaurant - Edit

we make sure to stop by dharma every time we are in vancouver. the food is wonderful (we love the tempeh and coconut gravy). the service is excellent. and the restaurant itself is beautiful in a peaceful setting. best of all, it's all vegan! it is by far our favorite restaurant in vancouver.

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