Vegan ginger beef and wonton soup. Charity Slobod
Veggie Garden Restaurant
10582 100 Street
Oops. I excitedly gobbled my wonderfully warming hot and sour soup and forgot to take an iconic photo of my beautiful meal. Perhaps I was too impatient, hungry, or maybe I knew the food was too good to wait to eat. Despite missing my soup’s “photo-op,” I still took a few pictures of another’s order, which properly displayed the aesthetics and portion sizes of several meals served at the Veggie Garden Restaurant (10582 100 Street)! This restaurant is honestly the most amazing vegan/vegetarian establishment I have ever frequented. When I say, “frequented,” that’s an understatement – it is the only restaurant where I spend my money. It is always truly special to understand the story of the two sisters who made such a deliciously warm bowl, even during such a cold day in January.
Ky and Luang Nguyen – sisters, and Veggie Garden Restaurant’s owners – have the most outstanding and savoury food for vegans and general foodies alike. New to their menu? Try their “hot and salty crispy tofu” to start, and then enjoy their rich curries with bamboo shoots, mushrooms, and sate sauce to share. Chances are whatever you order will be extraordinary. Everything is always made freshly, served in an environment designed to support relaxation and authenticity.
Interestingly, the two sisters opened the restaurant in November of 2011, after they both lost their jobs within six months of one another. Ky – who had two very young children at the time (aged one and three) – said that the flexibility of establishing their own business was good for their family. In the early days, it was quite common to see her kids playing in the restaurant. When we spoke last, she told me how both her kids – now nine and 11 – are now vegans (quite passionately so).
This inviting, tasty, and affordable establishment is unfortunately dealing with the hardships of being situated in a neighbourhood right next to the Hope Mission on 9908 106 Avenue. They’ve experienced vandalism, smashed windows, and the need to often lock their doors to ensure the safety of their restaurant. If you arrive during business hours only to find the door locked, just knock and you will be welcomed. At times, the exterior of the Veggie Garden Restaurant seems uninviting, but please know the food and the company inside is one of Edmonton’s best.
Their lease is for two more years, and this amazing and kindly establishment needs to maintain its business so it can potentially open its doors elsewhere in the community. Family owned, affordable, and a friend to all animals, it’s always a unique restaurant. Together, let’s ensure they stay here, while bringing warmth and compassion – just like their soup does.
Charity Slobod volunteers in the community and is not lying when she says she only frequents Veggie Garden Restaurant.