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The Naam, Vancouver

April 21st, 2009 · 1 Comment

The Naam, Vancouver The Naam, Vancouver The Naam, Vancouver The Naam, Vancouver
So, a post about the Naam is long overdue. It’s one of the oldest vegetarian restaurants in the city, and is an establishment. Your friends that have been to Vancouver may not have seen much of the city, but chances are good that they’ve been to the Naam.

How do I feel about the Naam? This place is just fine. And it’s certainly reliable.

M was in town, and as he’s actually a vegetarian, we decided to head out and hit up the Naam – one of Vancouver’s oldest, most loved, and definitely casual vegetarian restaurants (aren’t they all casual here? where is Vancouver’s “most formal” vegetarian restaurant?). And I’ve been here tons of times, and I keep coming back to the same order – the Naam Thai Noodles. M had the Naam burger platter.

Both are good – and both are way more food than you can…well, may more food than you should eat (in one sitting). The food is typically vegetarian – lots of vegetables, sauces like peanut and miso, with lots of carbs like potatoes, noodles, and/or breads. They’ve actually got a pretty wicked breakfast (the Naam Special Breakfast – “Super hearty & popular. Two eggs any style, two whole-wheat pancakes, your choice of veggie sausages or Sam’s strips & our home-made fries”). What I like about the food at the Naam – is that the food is fresh, and no matter how many times I go – it always tastes the same. We went to Rebar (Victoria’s big vegetarian restaurant), and I had an enchilada that had been under a heat lamp for far too long – made in advance, or for somebody else – this just doesn’t happen at the Naam. While all-vegetarian cuisine some folks may find lacking in flavour or repetitive in ways that omnivorous cuisine isn’t, you still have to take it for what it is and recognize the chefs are working with a more limited palette of flavours and textures.

The decor is your very natural, neutral, comfortable “restaurant that’s been open for a long while” kind of look with beat up old tables you could probably carve your name into without too much guilt – but it’s clean and well-lit, so even while it gets crowded sometimes, it never feels dirty or stuffy. There’s a patio but I can never seem to make it to the restaurant when seats are available.

Service at the Naam is first come, first serve, and all the food is made fresh – expect to wait. I’ve always found the servers at the Naam are somewhat more bright and sprightly than the all-too-frequently-seen West Coast apathy that I’ve come to expect in many Vancouver restaurants. And while you and your server might not see the world through the same lens, it won’t influence your food or service, and the service team has always been polite. Clearly, with the service being pretty darn good, the place being always clean and the food being reliably good, this place is well managed.

Again, as it is a comfortable restaurant that nobody would rush you out of, and it’s been open for years, it’s a very popular place – so when you come, expect to wait for a table. You’ll find that the atmosphere, and the food – and the service – are worth the wait.

So again – things at the Naam are just fine. Go, relax, and enjoy a good meal – but bring a paper to read while you wait.

The Naam
2724 4th Avenue West
Vancouver, BC V6K 1R1, Canada
Tel: (604) 738-7180
www.thenaam.com

Reservation policy (from their website): “We take reservations for parties over 6 people during the week with 48 hours advance notice. We DO NOT accept reservations on Friday evenings and weekends. A 15% pre-authorized gratuity is required, and tables are held only 15 minutes.”


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Tags: Vancouver · Vegetarian

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Ady // Apr 22, 2009 at 2:22 pm

    Well written article.

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