The Naam is a vegetarian restaurant located in the heart of Vancouver’s Kitsilano district. It is the city’s oldest natural foods restaurant, with over 30 years of cooking tradition.
I thought it was ridiculous that they charge 15% to reserve seats, but I did so anyway, knowing the long lineups.
Food: I had The Naam Dragon Bowl, which was really delicious, but I thought it was overpriced for the ingredients given. Everything's vegetarian, everything should be a lot cheaper. Also, my friend ordered a juice, which was about 3$, and it was SUCH a pitiful size. I could finish it in one gulp.
Ambiance: Really old, I think they need to renovate it a bit. Not clean either, being a restaurant that opens for 24 hours.
On my second time there, I went there at 11am intending to eat lunch, but they don't serve lunch till 1pm! Ridiculous. I left.
I don't care how good the food can be but if the service is awful then I can not enjoy the meal. Came here w/ a girlfriend and we were quite excited about the place cuz it's quite popular. When we arrived, it was a total disappointment. The service was slower than a turtle and a lot of times we felt invisible. I ordered the miso soup but it tasted like soya sauce. I also ordered this soy milkshake but the glass was so small that I almost burst out laughing. And the taste was diluted. Overal, it was a terrible experience. I saw other people ordering these huge salads and it looked appetizing but I guess that's all they're famous for.
Went for a weekday breakfast with my kid. Apple juice was good, non filtered and the coffee could have been worse.
Homefries were good but not spectacular. Toast was weird. You only get one piece with an order and it has weird caraway seeds or something nasty in it. There is only one kind of toast. And the jam was TERRIBLE had a weird background flavour.
Breakfast burrito was very good and not totally covered in 2 inches of cheese like some places do when they have poor quality.
The food here is good, we had no waits, servers were excellent and superfriendly and the food came in good time.
The only thing is they should know that being good and veggie, food doesn't have to have odd flavours like the toast and jam. Just make them great adn normal.
If it's still a 24hr establishment. They're a tad on the "cozy" side with the tiny place filled up with tables. And then the crowd that frequents there and the wait. Nice vegetarian variety, a bit slow on service and serving. A little on the noisy side even without the live music. But not many vegetarian and vegan places out there with nice aromatic herbal teas to choose from.
My boyfriend is vegetarian, and everyone and their brother told us to go to Naam. The food was so dissapointing, very healthy but just too "granola" for us. We ordered 4 things, and the taste of ginger pervaded everything. I like ginger, but not in EVERY BITE of EVERY DISH I eat. I think the place is severly overrated and haven't been back since.
Went to the naam very later (around 3) for food.. obviously no one was there so seated quickly.
Nachos were pretty good but the cheese was a bit too dry in my opinion. The quesadillas were good, and the tea was warm. However, seeing that these were all vegetarian, I thought it was pretty yummy, even for people who would like meat.
Really nothing much to say about the service, just average. I would have wanted to try out their sesame fries, or their soy shakes but didnt have the chance.
Ambience was very warm, but it was a jumbo mumbo of all kinds of posters and paraphernalia.
Really an average restaurant in my opinion, good for late night vegetarian food. Would like to visit during the evenings to see if it is better.
First of all, my friends and I waited at the door for at least 10 minutes before anyone acknowledged us. Then, when someone finally came by, we asked if we could get the booth. The server walks away and never comes back!!! When we do get seated, the server was in a horrible mood and we were almost scared to ask her anything. The food was quite good, but the service completed turned me off.
This place never changes-the food is uniformly awful, the staff always slow and rude and the physical condition of the place beggars belief.
I was recently dragged in by some veggie friends and regretted being 'Mr Nice' as soon as we sat down on chairs that needed replacement years ago.
Waited seemingly forever even to get a menu and that was just the beginning.
The waitress seemed to have trouble speaking English-I don't think she was on drugs just had little idea how to communicate with other people.
Ordered a simple Naam salad and some bread-when I got the meal I didn't know whether to laugh or cry-it was a mess ancient wilted greens and a greasy foul tasting dressing the bread was antediluvian as well-essentially inedible.
It was hopeless trying to get any relief from the waitress who seemed afraid to come near our table-not only was the food my friends as bad as mine we had a whacked out weirdo working our section.
Somebody else paid-I won't go into details but we left no tip and the veggie lovers weren't just PO'ed there were shaken that some place that eschews fine vegetarian food could be such a disgusting sham I know they were going home hungry since no one finished what they ordered it was that bad.
Don't check the toilets-one of our party did and just shook her head upon rejoining the table-apparently it was not just grubby but disgusting.
Luckily we arrived at the restaurant, at 6pm, just before the multitude of crowds arrived, I guess for the live entertainment. Around 6.45 there was a large line of people outside the restaurant.
The food was very good and imaginative, quite a lot on the plate, and could only eat half of it! I had one of their veggie burgers and it was pretty good with loads of stuff on the side, the sauce was the most memorable. The amount of food did put me off a little bit.
There was certainly a lively atmosphere in the restaurant, quite noisy. I had some problem hearing the waitress. The service was good, our waitress was a little power house and fell of energy, very quick.
The one negative thing in this place was the heat, it felt very humid in there and was starting to get a headache.
The live entertainment had problems kicking off at 7pm because there was some problems with the equipment. When he finally got going 15 minutes later, 5 minutes before we left, we couldn't hear the act because it was actually too noisy in the restaurant.
I would likely go again...every now and again, not too restaurant.
Over the years I had heard of the Naam and numerous friends recommended I try eating here as I am a vegetarian. I had been a bit hesitant as drive-by sightings of this place had put me off - it looked like an unkempt dive. In its current state, I suddenly realized what the place's exterior reminded me of...with the creeper growing over most of the frontage of the restaurant, it looked as thought it might not be out of place in Tolkien's Shire. I fully expected to see small, furry footed pointy-eared folks inside...
On Sunday I let myself be persuaded to try the Naam at last. My first impression was of a run-down, rickety place that had a dirty unswept floor full of debris and a general air of lack of cleanliness. I really wanted to back out of the 'adventure' at this point but as my friend was keen we go there, I went along with it.
The service is casual and not particularly attentive. I did not like that the staff did not have a more professional dress code. People were dressed in all kinds of outfits, whatever they like to wear, clearly. I don't particularly like to eat in a place where there are staff with mohawks and both arms sporting 'tattoo sleeves'.
We were handed grubby menus and brought lukewarm water in unappetizing worn plastic glasses. I couldn't drink mine, not out of a glass that looked like that. I also prefer water with ice in it.
The menu is extensive but though I do not eat meat, it was hard to find something that actually appealed to me. I saw plates arriving on various tables that looked appetizing so I hoped the food would be good. I decided to try the same item my friend ordered, a Veggie Burrito, with mushrooms, zucchini, onions, green peppers, tomatoes, yogurt, melted cheese and salsa, served with a green salad. I selected a lemon thyme dressing for my salad.
Our meals arrived within a reasonable time frame. They were served on plates that were full to the rim so it made eating them, without dropping food all over the table, very challenging. They need to serve them on larger plates. The Burrito was a brownish tortilla covered with a thick layer of melted cheese which was drooping over the edge of the plate, almost touching the table. It was bulky looking and the salad was large, consisting of chopped lettuce, finely julienned carrots, what appeared to be raw beets, a pile of sprouts and topped by a slice of unripe tomato and a slice of unpeeled cucumber.
Though it was difficult to begin to eat the overcrowded plate, my friend and I dug into our Burritos. My friend commented it seemed to be filled entirely with large chunks of onion and I have to agree. Seemed to be mostly onions, a few scraps of mushroom, zucchini, traces of green pepper and a few fragments of tomato. The taste was nothing to rave about, it was just OK but once the Burrito was cut into, one had a soggy mess on the plate. There was too thick a layer of cheese melted over the Burrito.
Both my friend and I found the green salad had a peculiar taste, I ascribed it to my choice of dressing but she had a different dressing (poppyseed, which she said was watery and not much flavor) and also found the salad had a strange taste. She managed to eat her meal but I left half my meal as it wasn't enjoyable at all.
Very disappointing experience. The service is lacking as well but the worst is the dirty condition of the front of the restaurant so that makes one have uneasy visions of what the back, and hidden, parts such as the kitchen must look like. I wasn't brave enough to use the bathroom - this always being a reflection of the overall cleanliness of a place.
My friend commented she had been to the Naam a number of years ago and that the menu had changed since that time and that she used to have these fantastic meals back then...well, that was not what we had this time. Neither of us enjoyed the meal and it was disappointing.
Won't be going back, it was uncomfortable eating my mediocre meal in this dirty restaurant.
Especially when I'm hungry, seeing that big, beautiful tempeh burger arrive alongside a heaping salad with good dressing and sesame fries is such a rush, and it does not disappoint. On the other hand, stay away from their veggie steak. Great idea, but guys, you gotta find another recipe. Desserts taste as good as they look, so I just get the same thing every time + dessert, and I'm happy. The place is very easy-going. I think those who are complaining on this site about the service should not expect a hop-to-it mentality here, and just relax.
1. Food rating = it is bland, my fries had no gravy.
2. Value = for a pile of sprouts and shredded carrots, that is not a salad. It took up all the plate. Hardly worth the 12.95 for the platter.
3. The restaurant needs an over haul. There are ants on the patio. The washroom was a disgrace. The bench we seated on was falling apart and splintering.
4. SERVICE is non-existent. On the hottest day of June, we did not get water after we got our meal. 30+ minutes later we had to ask TWICE to have our bill and leftover packed, at which time we were called as*holes by the busgirl who claimed they were too busy and we'd have to wait even longer.
There were empty tables, no line up at the door, hardly busy at all. We've been there many many times, we've seen it busy.
During the 30 minutes we waited to be helped, we witnessed the busgirl clean another table which remained empty after, the water girl seat a table and take drink orders from another, we saw our server take meal orders, bring a menu and deliver a drink to another table. Not once did they come to our table during all that to clear our dishes, or bring more water.
The busgirl then told us that is we didn't like it to never come there again.
We suggested she should be fired for rudeness.
TERRIBLE FOOD AND VERY RUDE STAFF.
As a Kits resident, I have been to The Naam several times before. Over the past year especially, I have noticed a steady decline in quality and service. This past Sunday morning was the final straw and a total deal breaker.
I showed up at 9:30am and of course it was packed. Due to the number of people, I can live with the 35 minutes it took for our breakfast to arrive. I do like the atmosphere, so it was fine.
What was not so fine...? When the breakfast did arrive, it was stone cold. I called the waiter over and she took the plates away without saying a single word. Again, without a word, the plates came back literally one minute later and they were piping hot. They had MICROWAVED it!!! To make things worse they now had my HALF-EATEN sausage on my girlfriend's plate and they also had the toast switched. I called the waitress on it and she admitted that they had been MICROWAVED. What kind of restaurant does this...? This an atrocious approach to food prep. I cannot understand why this place is still so popular. West Kits is in desperate need of a real breakfast spot like Slickety Jims.... Someone please help us.!!!
Like many folks have already said, the service is consistently wanting, but the food is consistently pretty decent. It can take a long time to get a table and the menu and your food are sort of plunked down without ceremony. However, if you have good company and are in the mood for a tasty veggie-friendly meal with a little live music, stop by.
THE FOOD ITSELF:
The Dragon bowl is great, quite filling, and I love the Naam salad dressing. Also, the chocolate raspberry cake is a vegan miracle. A good selection of beer on tap and the relaxed atmosphere makes the Naam a casual favourite.
Oh come on people, we know there are long lines and the service isn't great, but the food is fantastic, and I am not a veggie! The avacado enchaladas, budah's feast, dragon bowl are all awesome and the miso gravy OMG so good! I know the decor is nothing to write home about, but they are trying to keep it the way it has always been and I think if they changed it, it just wouldnt be the same!!! So everyone just get over your selves and find your inner hippie!!!!
50 things on the menu, 50 of them made with tofu. Hey, cooks: This might come as a surprise but there are vegetarian dishes that are not made from tofu. Add a handful of non-tofu-based dishes (ever heard of lentils?) and I might consider returning.
My first experience with The Naam was a breakfast meal. I can't recall much except we were happy there was a restaurant open so late. The food was passable, nothing stunning.
My second experience involved the plastic wrapper from the tofo package in their version of "Pad Thai". I pointed it out to them and they didn't offer to replace it, or to cover the cost of it or anything.
My third and final experience was when I took my family there. They felt it was overpriced,and poorly done. I had to agree.
I am not sure why they have all those awards. It is a great concept, but poorly executed.
I'm not a vegetarian. I'm not the complete opposite, but if I had to choose, a nice steak, a leg of lamb, or even a nice and healthy plain chicken breast would top an all-veggie meal for me.
I was taken here by my girlfriend, a couple of years ago, an ex-vegetarian. I tried to be open-minded, but this was my experience, as I recall it..
Atmosphere: None. It's cramped, crowded, loud, and bustling. It's kind of nice if you're a people watcher, or enjoy a really upbeat setting, but I prefer my dining experiences to be more tranquil and relaxed.
Service: Service was passable, but these people just struck me as... snobby. They weren't terribly polite and took great pride in telling me the virtues of vegetables, as if I was ignorant.
Food: For vegetarian food, it was passable, but without meat, and without many of the more contemporary fixings of a meal, I could not shake the feeling that I was scarfing down a meal of "health food". Too much tofu (bland at that) and a lot of bean sprouts. It was well prepared, for what it was, but I don't find re-fried vegetables and nothing else to be terribly exciting.
I'm sure Vancouver's numerous hippies love this, but for a non-vegetarian, I really have nothing to recommend about this place - simply having a vegetarian salad at any other restaurant would give you a similar culinary experience, without the busy-ness and noise.
I liked the hippie/retro environtment, but the service, OMG!
We were seated and tossed the menus on the table and then we were waiting forever to get the orders taken, and not only that, the waiter was a numb guy with this non-higienic trashy look that will scare you, (I don't know if was on purpose or he just woke up).
Warning: You won't get any help from the waiters at all so don't even bother to ask, because the answer that I got was "everything is explained on the menu".
The food isn't bad. I order the Sam's Five Stars burger and it was good, a lot of nice stuff on it. The mocha is better than other places and the regular size is enough. Very good prices as well.
But what a bad service!
The Naam is an old favourite, but I am usually prepared to get in a quick order for sesame fries (with mandatory miso gravy) and settle in for a long, long wait.
Friday, December 1st, we were impressed with quick, efficient and attentive service!
The food was as great (Thai noodles and a Buddah bowl) and piping hot!
Did I say the service was fast?