Where to Eat Vegetarian/ Vegan/ Gluten- free in Central Alberta?

More and more people are deciding to cut meat and dairy altogether from their diets. Others are deciding to simply add a few more meatless dishes to their weekly intake. Gluten-free diets are becoming increasingly common for health reasons.

Whatever the reason, there is a growing need for restaurants and cafe’s to become more accommodating in their menus. Considering Central Alberta is in the middle of “Alberta Beef” country you may not think that there are options for you if you want to eat less meat, dairy or gluten. If you have a different diet or food preferences when going to a sports bar, lounge, grill, pizza joint or bakery in Central Alberta you’ve likely thought that there won’t be something for you. Or if you do find something it will inevitably be bland, have weird textures, or leave you feeling hungry.

This summer I’ve partnered with some of my favorite spots to highlight some items on their menu that may go unnoticed. They are locally owned places that care about their customers diets and want to impress and accommodate without fuss or complaint. They are lovely cafe’s and bakeries that are entirely gluten-free that make AMAZING food. I’ve compiled a list of my fave spots that are killin’ it and I think you’ll love it too. Continue to check back often, as I find new spots I’ll add it here. Go give them a try, and tell them “Red Deer Eats” sent ya.

Famoso Neopolitan Pizzeria

Do you think that since becoming Vegetarian or just making more meatless meal choices that you have to give up delicious mouth-watering pizza?  NOPE. Famoso Pizzeria in Red Deer is killin’ the game with this INSANELY delicious Cauliflower Bombay Pizza. Not kidding friends, every bite is SO GOOD, you won’t want it to end! While this choice is seasonal, they have many veggie and gluten-free options year round.

Not to be outdone by its menu counterparts, this Citrus Avocado Salad will have you singing its praises. You know how sometimes it’s a bit of Russian Roulette when ordering a salad at a restaurant? Often you’ll get a plate of greens and a few toppings and by the end you’re like ” OK, I guess when I get home I’ll make something to fill me up”. Well that is not going to be the case at Famoso. This is a hearty, healthy and tasty salad that doesn’t cut corners.

A delicious and accommodating menu, accompanied by friendly, attentive service makes Famoso Neopolitan Pizza, Red Deer a must visit.

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Bombay Cauliflower Pizza
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Citrus Avocado Salad

T’S Bakery and Cafe

Whether you’re gluten-free, vegetarian or just trying to eat less meat, T’s should be among the list of frequent stops in Central Alberta. With daily vegan soups, keto snacks, veggie salads and vegan desserts you’ll be sure to find homemade deliciousness here daily.

The wasabi crunch salad is one of my fave salads in Red Deer. Homemade dressing on top of rice noodles and fresh veggies and wasabi peas, this salad has just the right amount of kick.

Oh and by the way, at T’s you can still enjoy frozen treats on these hot days of summer with their vegan “Ice Cream” Sandwiches. We had the salted caramel and oh boy! It was so close to the real thing but without the tummy troubles later in the day!

T’s is conveniently now on “Skip the Dishes” so you can enjoy your kind of meal right at your door. If you’re looking to pop in they are in the Big 105 building North of Bower Mall. They have a lovely spacious patio that is perfectly shaded to enjoy a glass of wine or even gluten-free beer. The service is very cheerful and friendly.

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Salted Caramel “Ice Cream” Sandwich
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Wasabi Crunch Salad

R&R Grill

 Fresh veggies and tofu in a flavorful sesame hoisin sauce makes this a hit and at $10, this may be the best deal in Red Deer! A little gem in the Sheraton Hotel, the R&R Grill may not strike you as vegetarian friendly, however, there are many items here for gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan diets.  There is always a daily veggie sandwich feature and their gluten-free corn and potato soup is rich, thick, and perfect for a chilly day. They are very accommodating and will adjust most menu items to suit your needs. We haven’t had a bad meal here and the atmosphere is lovely and relaxing.

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Rice Noodle Bowl
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To The Lost

Charcuterie boards are currently all the rage, and the vegetarian version at To The Lost is a lovely shareable snack to accompany their innovative and deliberately crafted cocktails. Crisp vegetables, olives and bread slices along with deviled eggs that were full of flavor and cooked to perfection.

Taco Tuesdays are the time to pop by for $2.50 mushroom tacos with fresh chopped salsa. We also recommend their spicy flavorful buffalo cauliflower with blue cheese dip.

With a knowledgeable and thoughtful staff, and an atmosphere like no other in Red Deer, To The lost is a must visit for an enjoyable night out.

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Mushroom Tacos
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Vegetarian Charcuterie Board
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Buffalo Cauliflower with Blue Cheese Dip
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Original Joe’s

There are many choices at Original Joe’s for gluten-free and vegetarian diets. We have many favorites it’s hard to choose. One go-to is the Mediterranean Pita Wrap with soy chicken. The flavors work so well together and the soy chicken has a perfect texture and taste. With large portion sizes and great options like the quinoa salad as a side there is no way you’ll leave hungry. Another is their Brushetta Fettuccine. It’s just a perfect and rich comfort meal. Within walking distance to Red Deer’s downtown, it’s a perfect option for lunch or dinner followed by a walk through city hall’s gardens.

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Mediterranean Pita Wrap with Soy Chicken
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Brushetta Fettuccine

Bo’s Bar and Grill

We’ve featured these new menu items from Bo’s recently but honestly, they are so great it’s worth repeating. The Beyond Meat Veggie burger is so close to the real things you’ll feel guilty! Honestly, it looks like meat and is close to the texture of meat but it’s a plant based patty! They have many other items on their menu such as the Crispy Cauliflower, Deep Fried Brussel Sprouts and Butternut Squash Ravioli. Everything is so good we have to stop ourselves from eating there several times a week.

Friendly, attentive service and a large craft beer selection on tap makes this a must stop in Red Deer. Honestly it’s among our very favorites when we just want a great meal every single time.

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Bo’s “Beyond Meat” Veggie Burger
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Deep Fried Brussel Sprouts in a Soy Ginger Sauce
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Crispy Cauliflower with a Creamy Ancho Drizzle
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Cilantro and Chive

By now you know this is one of our favorite stops in Central Alberta, but did you also know they are Vegetarian friendly? The Beyond Meat plant based patty is ALL the rage right now and honestly you can hardly taste the difference between it and a meat patty. I went to Cilantro and Chive and found a creative use of the patty in a mouth-watering Greek souvlaki style pita with homemade tdziki. This was AMAZING and I left feeling SO FULL.  Cilantro and Chive changes their menu with the seasons so you may not find this when you venture in, however there are always great vegetarian choices on the menu. A fun atmosphere, vast drink menu and great food…what more can you ask for?

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Veggie Souvlaki
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Butternut Squash Linguine

Maple Tree Bakery

Recently voted Red Deer’s favorite for “Best Health Food”, the Maple Tree Bakery has you covered when it comes to different diets.  The Maple Tree Bakery has perfected gluten-free everything!

One of the most common frustrations when you have a different diet requirement is the lack of choices.  This is not an issue at The Maple Tree Bakery.  Hearty breads, bagels, english muffins and a vast assortment of goodies won’t leave you wanting.

They’ve recently closed their storefront: however, you can find Maple Tree Bakery at many other local places like Stella Bean Sweets and Meeting Waters as well as at Timber Coffee Co. in Sylvan Lake.

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Gluten Free Bread
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Gluten Free Cinnamon Bun
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Gluten Free Everything: Bread, Cinnamon Bun, Nanaimo Bar, Brownie, zucchini Loaf, Bagel, English Muffin, Peanut Butter Bar.
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East Side Eatery

Think that you’ll inevitably end up hungry after eating out at a restaurant if you’re making meatless choices? Not at East Side Eatery in Lacombe, their “Veginator” sandwich is STACKED.  Fresh, thickly sliced bread with ALL the veggies, this is a two hander folks. Not to be out-done, their “Oueflala” salad is overflowing with crispy lettuce, tomatoes and cucumber and topped with a generous dollop of egg salad.

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The “Veg-inator” Sandwich
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Oueflala Salad

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