The healthiest diet is also a very accessible diet.


The Mediterranean Diet is the healthiest for preventing cardiovascular disease and more accessible than what you might realize. According to the National Institute of Health [NIH], the diet helps to prevent Cardiovascular disease which is the leading cause of death globally.


The diet is not a contrived diet designed to help you shed pounds. It consists of foods that are readily available and habitually eaten in Mediterranean climates such as fish, olives, fresh fruit and vegetables, nuts and legumes, whole grains and herbs. Modern supply chains have made all or most of these foods accessible in your local grocery stores and restaurants.


Where to find Mediterranean food in restaurants


Many restaurants are serving food consistent with the Mediterranean Diet but are marketing it by ethnicity. The ingredients in Italian, Greek, Lebanese, Syrian, Spanish and Californian food are consistent with the diet. 


When dining out, the trick is to select authentic restaurants that are adhering to the key principles of the diet which means the menu emphasizes plant-based food, olive oil and fresh seasonal food.


Five Vancouver restaurants serving mediterranean food


There are so many other good options around the city at different price points but the menus of these restaurants are good examples of how the ethnic restaurants adhere to the Mediterranean Diet. Whether you live in Vancouver or not, the menus are worth a peak.


1/ Giovani Bacaro 


Bacaro is a modern Italian restaurant located in the Fairmont Pacific Rim building. It’s one of my favorites because everything seems so authentically Italian in the best sense. The bread is made fresh daily and served with olive oil, the vegetables are in season, the pastas are simple, the mains are also fresh and seasonal and everything can be shared. If you’re dropping in for happy hour, try the the crostinis with anchovies or the potato chips with fresh herbs for a treat.


2/ Yasma 


Yasma is a fairly new restaurant on the Coal Harbour waterfront. It’s another favorite because the food is authentically Syrian and Lebanese. The pita bread is made fresh daily and served with most of the dishes whether a simple hummus or something off the grill. The portions are perfect so that you feel satisfied and nourished but not stuffed. If you walk in without a reservation, the bar is a nice place to sit and enjoy the scene.


3/ Nuba


Nuba offers feel good Lebanese and has multiple locations around the city. The menu is consistent but each location reflects the vibe of the neighborhood. The Vegetarian Feast gives you the opportunity to taste many of the popular plant-based dishes on their menu. It’s more than enough for 2 people and worth taking home what you can’t eat. The fresh dips will keep for a few days.


4/ The Sandbar Restaurant


The Sandbar Restaurant located on Granville Island is a seafood restaurant that follows the key principles of the Mediterranean Diet. The clip board of fish highlights what’s fresh and available on the menu each day. Each meal is served with rice and fresh seasonal vegetables. Share a few starters and a main meal to leave feeling nourished and good. It’s also a good choice when you have time to also shop the Granville Market.


5/ Kev’s Epicerie 


Located on Denman in the West End, Kev’s has everything you need to take to the beach or make a meal at home. Fresh juices, smoothies, salads and sandwiches are ready to go but there is a lot more to choose from whether you want to heat up a premade meal or make a delicious meal from scratch. The European inspired market takes the guess work out of shopping.


Where to shop


If you’re not sure what to select at your local grocery store, visit a store like Kev’s and go to your local farmer’s market. Farmer’s markets often have the freshest ingredients including fish, seasonal fruits and vegetables, bread, nuts and olive oil. The farmer’s often have good tips and simple recipes for you to create the most delicious and nourishing meals at home. 

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