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You’ll be howling for seconds at 3 Howls Remedy House in Uptown Village Vancouver

Vancouver plant-based restaurant and bar offers cool casualness with stellar menu selections

By Rachel Pinsky, Columbian freelance food writer
Published: June 28, 2024, 6:05am
7 Photos
Pretzel Bites and Beer Cheeze, Bakon Mac and Cheeze, and Girl Dinner are among the delicious plant-based options at 3 Howls Remedy House in Vancouver&rsquo;s Uptown Village.
Pretzel Bites and Beer Cheeze, Bakon Mac and Cheeze, and Girl Dinner are among the delicious plant-based options at 3 Howls Remedy House in Vancouver’s Uptown Village. (Photos by Rachel Pinsky for The Columbian) Photo Gallery

If I didn’t tell you 3 Howls Remedy House is Vancouver’s only plant-based restaurant and bar, you would have no idea that you weren’t eating animal products. You would just want to return again and again for the stellar cocktails and the cauliflower bites that I wish I was eating right now.

Over the years, restaurateurs have wondered how to open a plant-based business in Vancouver. The key seems to be to create a really cool space that people want to visit and serve great food and drinks. 3 Howls Remedy House does this in a way that feels as effortless and cool as the black vegan leather that is used liberally in the decor, giving it a modern gothic aesthetic with Tim Burton vibes.

I’ve visited several times since its opening and each time it seems to get better and a bit more crowded. 3 Howls isn’t full service. Customers order at the coffee bar or the cocktail bar, take a number, and find a table. Food is brought to your table, whether you’re outside, on the main floor or upstairs. I’ve heard the line can be long at times and there’s a bit of a wait to order. I haven’t found this to be the case as I’ve visited at slower times — twice on a weeknight and once for breakfast on a weekday. Both times, I was the only person in line. I’m guessing as word of this place spreads that may become unusual.

Chef D’Marius Johnson, of Scratch Breakfast, developed the menu but left a few weeks after opening. Now the kitchen is in steady hands with Chef Skye Castro and Sous Chef Andréa Anguiano. On my first visit, I met a few friends and we ordered a ton of food including the Bakon Mac and Cheeze ($20), Pretzel Bites and Beer Cheeze ($14), the Cauliflower Bites platter with three sauces — buffalo, maple sesame with real maple syrup and tamari, and Backbeat Bourbon BBQ, made with 3 Howls Back Beat Bourbon ($16). We also tried the Girl Dinner ($16) — a board of pickled vegetables, fruit, housemade crostini and plant-based cheeses. 3 Howls was using Vtopian cheeses for awhile, but to keep the kitchen nut-free it’s now using Violife cheddar and feta as well as Follow Your Heart bleu cheese.

Dining out guide: 3 Howls Remedy House

Hours: 8 a.m. to midnight, Tuesday through Sunday; 3 p.m. to midnight Monday. Ages 21 and older only after 9 p.m. Happy Hour: 3-5 p.m. and 9 p.m. to close

Where: 2014 Main St.

Telephone: 360-729-9007

Web:  @3howlsremedyhouse on Instagram

None of us are vegans. We all loved the food. 3 Howls housemade Beer Cheeze and the Girl Dinner board filled with pickled asparagus and cauliflower, fresh fruit and compote, and a variety of vegan cheeses were both stellar. But the dish that stuck in my mind and has become an obsession is the cauliflower bites. Tender cauliflower florets are coated in a rice flour batter, tossed in gluten-free panko, fried to order, then tossed in housemade sauces. It makes me reconsider my relationship with chicken wings. They now seem inadequate, with all their bones as well as flesh that can sometimes be chewy.

I washed down this feast with a refreshing Bee’s Knees — a Prohibition-era cocktail made with gin, lemon juice and honey. It came with a sprig of fresh lavender attached to the Art Deco coupe glass with a tiny clothespin. I recently had a cocktail at Cecilia’s that featured fresh mint attached to the glass in this manner — a great way to get a whiff of unsaturated herbs before the first sip.

Weeks later I returned for breakfast on a Tuesday morning (3 Howls doesn’t open on Mondays until 3 p.m.). I came alone and wasn’t ready to try everything on the breakfast menu (which is available all day) so I just ordered a Big Ol’ Cinnamon Roll ($12). I was picturing something Cinnabon-sized, but calling the cinnamon roll at 3 Howls merely big is an understatement. It mostly filled a large plate. As with every dish here, the presentation was lovely. The sweet breakfast pastry arrived on a large pale gray plate dotted on top with bright edible flowers, ringed by fresh berries, then sprinkled with bits of cinnamon sugar. This delicious and decadent cinnamon roll is baked here daily and available until they sell out. It went well with my Americano ($4) made with a custom blend from Relevant Coffee that 3 Howls uses for its drip coffees and classic espressos. The coffee bar also offers a rotating single origin coffee from Elevator Coffee.

Later that week, I met a friend for Happy Hour. It was Juneteenth and in honor of this holiday, 3 Howls was offering Happy Hour all day, instead of the typical 3-5 p.m. and 9 p.m.-close. We chose the Happy Hour cauliflower bites with buffalo sauce ($8), the Happy Hour house burger ($12), and a Buddha Bowl ($16) as well as two drinks — a blood orange vodka with blood orange soda ($9) and a gin and tonic from the regular drink menu ($10.50). The bartender warned us that the house gin and tonic is made with Navy-strength gin. (Gin typically contains 35-55 percent alcohol by volume, but this gin is 57 percent ABV, so the drink is strong.) She encouraged my friend to try it, and said if she didn’t like it she would change it.

Again, I was really impressed by the cauliflower bites, but this time my focus was on the burger and the Buddha Bowl. The house burger is an Impossible patty zhuzhed up with 3 Howls secret seasonings, topped with a square of melted “cheddar” and a jaunty hat of soy Bakon as well as house pickles, fried shallot bread crumbs, Russian dressing and leaves of arugula. I have no idea what the chefs add to this Impossible pattied burger, but it’s one of the best burgers I’ve had in Vancouver.

On the menu, the Buddha Bowl is simply described as quinoa rice, roasted veggies, maple sesame cauliflower, avocado, coleslaw and toasted pumpkin seeds. It arrived at the table as a large shallow bowl filled with edamame, long sticks of roasted carrots and asparagus and cubes of roasted beets, covered with strings of pickled cabbage and slices of avocado, then tossed with white and black sesame seeds. It was beautifully composed and delicious. I don’t typically order healthy food when I’m drinking a cocktail, but this dish may change that. The chefs rotate the menu with the seasons, so there will be more changes as we get into summer and then fall.

Another thing that 3 Howls does well is offer a bit of something for everyone. If you want to eat breakfast at night, if you’re seeking healthy food, if you want to just nibble, if you had a rough day and just want booze and decadence, if you want to hide in the nooks upstairs, if you want to sit on the sunny patio — it’s all here waiting for you in this sprawling black Victorian home. The vibe is otherworldly, but I’m hoping it’s a glimpse of things to come for Vancouver’s food scene: elevated dining and unique experiences done with a cool casualness that makes you want to return every day and all day long.

Columbian freelance food writer