CLOSED: The Foundation Lounge

  • Vegetarian Vegetarian
    ( 29 reviews )



2301 Main St (at 7th Ave), Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, BC V5T 3C9

Menu is extensive and varied, and portions are large. Casual atmosphere, full liquor license. Not totally vegan, serves dairy in some dishes and honey in sauces (can be substituted with maple syrup for most items). Reported closed, Feb 2017. Open Mon-Sun 12:00am-1:00am, Mon-Sun 12:00pm-12:00am.

Category: Vegan-friendly, Lacto, Ovo, Western, Beer/Wine, Take-out

Reviews (29)

First Review by philjdomm

Loud and yet chill - Edit

Loved the service, food and the music. Server was relaxed...made some great vegan recommendations. She knew her food and beer. I will return.

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Nice Find - Edit

We had to go to the train station to buy some rail passes, and this place was sort of on the walk back to our friend's place. We got a table right away, but I can see how it can get busy even with them having lots of seating. The staff is very friendly and the portions are massive. I wish is I would have known that there was a separate vegan menu...should have read the reviews. I ordered a tofu salad with broccoli and a satay sauce. It was really good. There was a generous amount of tofu, and the peanut sauce was properly spicy. It was also topped with spicy chopped peanuts. My husband ordered a bean dish with bananas...unusual, but it was really delicious. I think it had coconut milk and lime juice. We could see massive plates of nachos being delivered to other tables...not sure if they offered them with vegan cheese, but if they did one has their work cut out for them. Like others mentioned, the music is quite loud. It didn't bother us, but I can see how it would for some people.

Pros: Massive portions

Cons: Can be a bit loud

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Not the best place - Edit

The food was generous but a bit dull. It was a salad made with only two ingredients and a sauce and it was impossible for me to eat all of it (after a while it just becomes tasteless). My friend got a vegetarian burger which, according to him, was better than my choice. It was more expensive than expected (before entering), which is ok with the quantity, but not the quality.

The place is underground, I really like that, but it was also very noisy. We were lucky because we were only two and quickly got a table, but there was a lineup for bigger groups (lots of them just left). However, the service was good (but slow). Also, vegan options are not identified on the main menu, but they gave me an alternative menu with only the vegan and/or gluten-free options; I appreciated that.

Pros: Nice service, Underground atmosphere, Big portions

Cons: Noisy, A bit dull, Slow

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Will stop coming here for a long while... - Edit

We've been here many times since 2009. We used to always enjoy the food as the portions are generous and the sauces employed on each dish were very tasty.

However, after our last visit in July 2015, we are going to stop coming here for a good long while. The meal was SO "meh" -dull and not tasty at all. Given how much the prices have increased here, it just isn't worth it to eat here.

Again, one has to wait to get a table, which is a pain. Don't show up after 7 pm...UNLESS you enjoy waiting in a lineup.
Another negative feature for me can be the TOO loud music.
If you want to talk to your date or friends, it can be tough.

The servers are very good here, friendly but not obtrusive. Our meals arrived promptly too.

But overall, disappointing experience now. So, me and my spouse have decided to stop eating here, for at least one full year. Hopefully the quality of the food will improve.

Updated from previous review on Thursday November 19, 2009

Pros: Central location, Generous portions, Good beer

Cons: Too loud music, Not as flavourful as in the past, Price to value ratio is poor

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Prices raised - Edit

The food was pretty good but the prices have gone up quite a bit. Servers were very friendly and there are quite some options also for vegans.

Pros: Lots of vegan options, Friendly staff

Cons: Pricy, Medium size portion

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Excellent, Interesting and Satisfying Food! - Edit

I ate here just tonight with a vegetarian friend who is attempting veganism - We were overwhelmed with the interesting options! The kitchen is a creative one for sure! We were both very satisfied and pleased with our colourful meals, and the staff were attentive and friendly. The prices were reasonable, too!
The bathroom, however, was sketchy and unclean... So hold it if you can!

Pros: Lots of vegan options, Creative menu, Flavourful and colourful

Cons: Dirty bathrooms , Vegan items not noted

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Overrated - Edit

I have been to the Foundation countless times. Some good some bad. The food is inventive which is nice and the portions are big and it's pretty cheap considering it's the epicentre of Hipsterville. Usually every time I'm there they play horrendous, blaring gangster rap (not a fan) and the service is not only super slow but often surly and even non-existent. I've been there in the middle of the day before when it was empty and the server didn't put in my order. I sat there for almost an hour trying to figure out where he went so I could say "hey, where's my food?" My friends finished their meals before mine finally arrived and it was presented in a way that was obvious the cook couldn't care less that I waited so long. They gave me a staff discount but it still wasn't worth it. Before I went vegan I would give major props to their nachos. They are the best in the city and you cant beat the price. Get some vegan cheese in there and I might come back!!

Pros: original menu, fair prices

Cons: terrible ambience, terrible service, terrible attitude

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Decent food / Old School Feel - Edit

It was a rainy day in Vancouver, and we decided to eat at The Foundation Lounge, as we are staying in the Mount Pleasant area, and this place was a close walk.

The decor of this place is quite dated, and it smelled and looked like we had walked in to an old 50's restaurant. The waiting staff was attentive.

I didn't expect much food-wise, as most reviews I read suggested that the food was average.

The first thing i noticed is the quirky and confusing menu. They tried to be a bit to clever with the menu in my opinion, and it is difficult to find what you are looking for.

Our waitress mentioned that her favorite burger on the menu was the Persistent Pnut Burger, and that was what I decided to order. I was pleasantly surprised. The burger was filling, tasty, and something I would definitely order again. The side order of quinoa with blueberries, however, was on the blander side.

Vancouver prices aren't cheap as compared to other cities I have traveled to, so if you are looking for an inexpensive, yet tasty lunch, this place seems to be a good choice.

Pros: Tasty vegan burgers, Good Value

Cons: Interior could use a facelift

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Mediocre experience - Edit

I remember eating here as a new vegetarian and was delighted at the selection. I've had the Peanut Pesto Pasta (oppp) once before and remember it being delicious.

This time I had the Foundation Burger and was very underwhelmed, as well our server didn't check in on us, so I had to hunt him down for some mustard for flavour. The salad on the side was really boring as well. I remember thinking, if you had an all-veg restaurant, wouldn't you want to make the side salad just spectaular, since that's something vegans get so boring at regular restaurants?

Try it out, but go for lunch when the prices are cheaper and it may be less busy.

Pros: Varied menu, Serves alcohol, Large portions

Cons: Grungy decor, Poor service

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Decent menu with some inventive dishes - Edit

I liked this place - the menu consists of a decent range of burgers, sandwiches and salads, plus some rather more inventive dishes. There are lots of vegan options.

I had the black beans and papaya with coco lime sauce and rice - it was pretty good.

Most main dishes cost $8-10 including tax.

Pros: decent value, good food

Cons: toilets

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hype - Edit

The food at Foundation is actually ok, 9 times out of 10. But the place is grungy, the wait can be terrifying (we are usually not prepared to wait in long lines), the service is hit and miss. The sesame society and spicy peanut are very tasty. I have heard the urban legend about the grimy bathrooms so I have made a point of avoiding them. Frankly, I don't go out of my way to eat there but sometimes it's convenient. But they use a lot of quinoa and the sauces are quite tasty. Most of them contain honey though. Why they don't use agave I don't understand but they are prepared to substitute honey for maple or agave syrup. I only hope they remember... Not all of them can be substituted so be sure to ask if you are a strict vegan like us. Don't go there if you are in a hurry, because the staff there is not. Also, for those who don't mind eating out of chipped plates and drink out of jars.

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  Contributions +25

Love this place - Edit

Kids and I ate here and loved it. The menu has something for everyone. The Maple bean Chile was a big hit at our table. The cooks are cranking the food out on GE kitchen ranges that you would have at your home. The decor is funky 50's and there are great art pieces on the wall with lots of good advise from favorites like Steve Jobs etc. We rate this restaurant A+

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Make sure you have plenty of time... - Edit

The food is brilliant and the portions huge but the long wait puts me off - I only go there when I have plenty of time, which isn't often. Great local beer!

Pros: Great food, Good value

Cons: Very noisy, Long LONG wait, Unpleasant washroom

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It'll do - Edit

I know lots of people that absolutely love this place(during peak hours prepare the wait in a line that goes out the door). I am not one of them. It's okay. the food is decent. The general attitude and ambience leaves just so much to be desired. It's loud, dark, and just a little gross(the bathrooms kinda scared me). The service fluctuates between kinda helpful to not indicating whether my order was heard.

The food sometimes makes up for it though. I do still go if it's the only option or if my friends, who love it, want to go.

Pros: decent food

Cons: loud, attitude, could be cleaner

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Vegan fondue! - Edit

The vegan dark chocolate fondue is delicious! It's only at dinner though. Also, their pasta dishes are great (also only a dinner). The chipotle sauce on one of their veggie and rice dishes is amazing. I would highly recommend going here for dinner, but not for lunch.

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Great food! - Edit

Four of us arrived on a Thursday night and joined a small line up of people (which quickly grew into a very long line behind us) waiting for a table. We were seated shortly and started the process of going through the very extensive menu. I was pleased with the large number of vegan options and good beer selection.

The service was leisurely, but despite what others have written here, the staff were friendly, stopped by our table often and were able to answer questions about the menu on the spot. The restaurant got louder as the evening went on, but we were able to carry on a conversation quite easily.

If I lived in Vancouver, I'm sure that this place would quickly be added to my regular rotation of restaurants to eat at.

Pros: tasty food, friendly staff, huge portions

Cons: noisy

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A fun evening! - Edit

We just finished a rock climbing session, and decided to go and try the foundation.

We sat down, and received a menu full of goodness. To my pleasant surprise, most of the dishes were actually vegan! I wish I could find an online menu, so I'd be able to write about the dishes we ordered. But I do remember a starter with yam mash and hummus (awesome) a salad with a mangoi dressing (also great but only for those who like sweet dressings) and a pasta dish with peanuts and fresh basil, which was the crown jewel!

For dessert, we ordered a vegan chocolate fondue, which was just great.

All in all, it was all good. I'm left with no choice but to rate the Foundation a 5!

Pros: Variety, Taste

Cons: Has non vegan dishes

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Grimy with good food - Edit

The location is easy to find, but the inside was a bit grimy. Nice and informative staff, lots of vegan options. BLT-ish was good and warm. The Persistent Pnut burger was disappointing; too dry, with no sauce. Sasuma salad was good and hot with tofu and garbanzos. The salad with mango-lime dressing was good, but not for everyone.
DO NOT USE THE MEN'S BATHROOM!! It was dirty and claustrophobic. I, as a female, made the mistake of using it, and it was scary; look around the corner for the Ladies toilet. It is cleaner, but not terribly.

Pros: informative staff, good food, good vegan options

Cons: grimy, dirty bathrooms, cold

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