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.
Although in past years this restaurant has been a favourite of mine, lately it has opted for sloppy, uncaring staff who look right past you. I never got a chance to order the last 2 times of trying to eat here because it took 10 minutes just to get a menu and after another 10 without any employee coming around, I decided to bail and never set foot in there again. The concept is good but with wait staff who couldn't care less, why would anyone patronize this place?
I have eaten here many times and enjoyed it. Unfortunately, my latest experience has left me so disappointed that I don't think I'll be back, at least not for a while. We went to the Naam for Sunday brunch. The restaurant was full, as it always is on the weekend. We ordered our food and waited. And waited. And waited. For 40 full minutes. There is no excuse for making patrons wait 40 minutes for pancakes. Our server wasn't even the least bit apologetic. When we asked if order would be coming up soon, she just said the kitchen was very busy, and asked if this was our first time. The restaurant was no more busy than on any other weekend that we've been there. Also, I was never offered a refill of coffee, and no one came to refill our water glasses until we were paying the bill.
The food was good, but not worth the wait and neglect from the server. I think the kitchen must have been understaffed, because we have never had such bad service. That's probably the fault of management. Our server though . . . I can't think of any good excuse for her.
The Naam is one of my favourite restaurants EVER, and probably one of the most unique (and oldest) in the city.
While I do love my meat, a meal at the Naam well outdoes any vegetarian joint and makes you realize you don't really need meat to feel satiated (even my carnivorous boyfriend says so).
My favourites on the menu include:
- Any one of their soups (their daal is amazing) [esp. as a soup combo with bread/veggie butter + salad]
- Chili burrito (or as a platter. People love the miso gravy - though it's not my fave)
- Croissant melt
- Santa Fe enchilada
- Naam salad (*disclaimer: the Naam dressing is an acquired taste so be careful when ordering. I always go for the poppyseed dressing instead - delicious!!)
- Noh Pie and apple crisp (though you can't go wrong with ANY of their desserts)
The ambiance is fantastic (rustic, great live music, boho paintings on the walls, and very cozy).
You may read reviews below saying the service is slow and the servers are lazy and/or stoned. However, this is one of the appeals of the Naam. It's one of the few places where you can sit for 2 or 3 hours chatting with your friends without feeling rushed. You never get a manufactured smile and you always feel like you're dealing with real people (even if they are reminiscent of the 60s, when the restaurant was first opened).
I recommend trying to arrive before or after the dinner rush. And the line always looks longer than it is, so don't get discouraged and do give it a try!
I absolutely love The Naam. The food is delicious, a refreshing change from your average burgers and fries. Every plate is full of delicious fresh veggies and piled sky-high with food. Considering the low prices, I was astonished the first time I went and was served a mountain of incredible food. Who could ask for more?
The service is pretty standard, nothing to write home about but definitely nothing to complain about either! I never felt like I was being ignored or forgotten, and the staff is friendly and knowledgeable about the menu.
Value, as I mentioned, is outstanding. Prices range from about $7-$12, and for that much you get so much delicious food that you will only be able to finish if you are a competitive eating champion.
The atmosphere in The Naam is relaxed and refreshing. The salvaged furniture works well, the colours are neutral and warm, and the music isn't too loud or too quiet. Each evening I've gone there, I've been delighted to find decent live music.
And it's open 24 hours. It's the perfect place to hang out after a movie or show, when no one else is open and you need something tasty and vegetarian in your belly. I expect they're quite crowded with students pulling all-nighters during exam season, too!
The only problem I have with the Naam is making my way through the crowd of people at the door when I'm trying to leave. I guess they can't help being popular though! I've only lived in Vancouver a month, and so far this is my favourite restaurant. I have a hunch it will remain my favourite restaurant for quite a long time.
This is the place to go if you love healthy, environmentally friendly, body friendly and mind friendly food! I've seen some people's posts on here and they are just obviously not open to the idea of a vegetarian restaurant to begin with.. yes, there are lots of vegetables.. yes, some of them are raw.. the gravy isn't going to taste like A&W gravy.. lol.. as I said, it's a healthy restaurant!! The service is slow but friendly, but really.. once you love this place, you don't care about the poor service! You love it because of the food, the energy of it and it's open 24/7!!! Whether it's breakfast, lunch, supper, or dessert... there are amazing choices here. Some of the best desserts I've ever had, whether they are organic or not!
I cannot even begin to express my disappointment for this place. First off I waited in line and I was thinking this place must have something good to offer since there's so many people waiting to eat her - I was wrong.
- My party started off with the potato wedges which were terrible; burnt, over-salted and we also ordered their gravy...oh my I cannot even begin to describe the disgust: it was sour and tasted like vinegar.
- I then ordered some tofu salad and honestly it felt like I was paying for a heap of alfalfa sprouts and beats. Their house dressing they are known for (supposedly) tasted like grass - no flavor whatsoever.
- With a full restaurant there was probably 3 people waiting tables which was terrible and in return the service suffered greatly.
- I paid like $15 for sprouts and veges that I can at home for maybe one fourth of what I paid. For the price I paid and the food/service I got this was a joke.
- They have live music on the weekends I think or they did the day I went which was on the weekend which was not bad.
- The decor and furniture is so outdated and rickety. This place is a hole.
I would never go back. If you want to try a better all vegetarian place go to THE FOUNDATION.
My number 1 favorite restaurant in Vancouver. Such a great hippie atmosphere.. it is open 24 hours, the menu is incredible. I've tried every dessert here.. my favorites are the apple crisp with ice cream, chocolate cashew cake and the pecan pie. Insanely good. For food I always get either the Gold Dragon Bowl or the Naam Bowl.. so simple, healthy and delicious. If you are wondering whether go to here or not... GO!!!
The Naam has everything going for it: great food, good service, insane hours (24/7 - rare in Vancouver!). The only thing you need to know before going to The Naam is that it serves a wide range of customers and this is reflected in the menu. So besides vegetarians, The Naam also caters to health food junkies, the raw food crowd, and so on. The few people I've met who have disliked The Naam invariably made the mistake of trying the most experimental, far-out thing on the menu and then complaining that it didn't taste like anything they'd had before. Please don't get me wrong: I'm all for taking chances, but if you don't like beets and carrots then don't order a veggie burger made from beets and carrots! Some items I can definitely recommend: the Vegan Breakfast (served before 11 a.m. if memory serves me), the Thai Noodles, the Deep Fried Tofu, the various Burritos, the Blueberry Soy Shake (even if you're not a "soy person"), and anything with their Miso Gravy. Drop by anytime but be prepared for a long line-up: The Naam has many loyal customers!
I went to the Naam with my vegetarian partner who found it a refreshing change opening a menu and not having to skip over most items to find the two or three veggie things on there! In fact, for the first time we have eaten out, she took longer to decide what to eat than I did! There is a lot of variety to suit your mood - burgers, tofudogs, Mexican, Thai, traditional appys with a twist, salads, soup, light bites and more. Prices pretty decent too, and excellent portion sizes, we both took leftovers! My dish could have had more flavour, teriyaki sauce a bit boring. Lots of people mentioned wait time, ours was around 20mins, but young boy kept our water glasses filled up so we weren't complaining, plus at least that means the food is freshly cooked not microwaved! Will definitely visit again.
It was nice to find a 24/7 place in Vancouver that wasn't a fast food drive thru. Have yet to visit at odd hours. I'm not a vegetarian but I do like vegetarian grub once in a while. Ambiance is pretty cool if you're into the (for lack of better terms...don't hit me!) hippie/hipster thing. A bit stuffy inside during the summer so my friend and I asked to be seated on the patio.
Their miso gravy is amazing. I ordered the Thai Gado salad even though I am always a bit skeptical with Western restaurants and their thai food but the dressing/peanut sauce was really good! Really authentic. My friend had the soup of the day which was some pumpkin curry thing. I tried some and that was pretty awesome too. We shared an apple crumble for dessert. It wasn't bad but I've had better. It was also not thoroughly heated. The Mario's ice cream that it came with was really good.
The thing about this place though is...the service. It wasn't horrible and the food came on time. It's just that people who work there look very bored and secretly inconvenienced. They've memorized the waiter script all right, but they just looked...a bit sad or something. Must be the stress of having to be open 24/7.
When I lived in Vancouver and found the Naam, I knew everything would be ok.
What happened next was seemingly endless trips for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and late night snacks (they're open 24 hours!). One night, we got the last bus from downtown to Kits, at at the Naam and then walked home.
One of our binges lasted for several weeks. We spent over $3000 there on blueberry milk shakes, fries with miso gravy, Thai noodles, grilled cheese sandwiches, buckwheat pancakes, and on and on...
Always left full and satiated. Highly recommend.
Post Script: If you get queebed out around hippies you should probably stay away.
I'm still curious as to why the Naam is so popular. The food is okay, but not great. The atmosphere is cozy, but cramped. The service is just sub-par. *shrugs*
It provides a reasonable amount of variety in the vegetarian category, I suppose. Still, I've never really left the Naam thinking "I'm glad I just ate there".
The first time i went to Naam i was pleasantly surprised, I ordered a bowl and it was quite good and filled with veggies, the sauce i chose complimented the bowl nicely and the portions were bigger than i thought. And the friendly vibe of the place with the live music is nice. It was good enough that i went again about a week later...
This time I ordered something else and so did the rest of my family, but unfortunately it all tasted the same. Comparing one of our bowls with the Thai noodles, we could obviously see that most of the ingredients were the same. Along with that we could taste that the sauce for one of our dishes was the same as the one in the bowl we had previously. If we hadn't been there so recently it would have been more enjoyable, the food was still good, just not different.
Like many veggie restaurants, the Naam uses many of the same things to create different dishes, but many of their dishes are pretty delicious. So i'd say the Naam is a pretty good vegetarian restaurant to frequent, just make sure not to frequent too often or else you'll get bored.
The Naam was my favourite restaurant when I became a vegetarian. Since then, I have discovered many other excellent veggie restaurants, but I suppose that since this is my first fave, it has a nostalgic place in my heart?
The decor is great, and the place has such wonderful character. I have generally received good service even when it's been insanely busy (and it does get quite busy!).
If I had only one complaint, I would say that even though the menu has a wide variety of different types of food, most of it has a very particular overall flavour. Perhaps they use a lot of the same spices?--and of course, the shredded carrots and beets which come with every dish.
That said, it is a great comfort-food flavour and one that I crave often, so it works out fine. But I'm not in the mood for it all the time.
I took my omni family here once and everyone found something they enjoyed, so it was a hit with them, too.
I've been to Naam at least 3 times. The food is super delicious for Vegetarian. Very healthy. They have great salads and so many varieties! The service is great. However, if you're hungry, you may want to go somewhere else because typically you have to wait 20mins at the door. Once you're seated, you have to wait another half an hour or more before the food arrives. This place is ALWAYS packed and is definitely worth the wait. Again, just don't be too hungry when you arrive and anticipate that you'll have a long wait time.
Almost everything on the menu is delicious. They have different foods for breakfast and lunch. I don't know if this place is good for dinner but definitely awesome for brunch and breakfast! Healthy and hearty!
Being a vegetarian i always wanted to visit naam , i heard a lot. so i went when i was very hungry for lunch , arround 3.30 pm , but i have to wait for 15 min b4 get seat ,
but waitress was very polite and said we are very busy. menu was big and lots of dishes, but i ordered a pizza and my friend some noodles, it took 15 mins to give orders , had to look her but server was really busy. after order it took 30 min plus to get food. but pizza was big and filling , could have more flavor, still it was nice and hot. i think knife need to be change because i could not cut my pizza slice with the knife provided , may be safty knife ,
all the time server was running and doing all work very effectively, well done , may be they need more staff , its obvious ,
but not keen to go again , too much time for normal food
Went to Naam a little before midnight April 19. Waited 15 minutes before the waiter took our order. We waited for a long time. My daughter went to ask the waiter at the counter, when would the food be coming. (just a very normal question). Half a minute later, the same waiter marched toward me at the table and talked down to us that the order was taken only 24 minutes ago, they were very busy with all the people coming to the restaurant from Leonard Cohen concert. Asked the other waitress if the waiter was manager or owner, she just kept repeating that they were very busy. Well, clearly too busy for my business. Too bad, the food is decent, I I will not go there again.
it's always fun coming here when you have at least two hours to kill. it's not their fault that there's always a line up out the door; i've actually come to enjoy the wait, getting hungrier and excited for the food. the selection is good and they even have a binder full of every ingredient in every single dish, great for those of us with food allergies.
the service has been really bad every time, but once or twice, and i've gone tens of tens of times. the last time i was there, the service was incredible though! we couldn't believe this guy, he was so great. i think we tipped him double just because the standard there is so low to start with.
so yes, go there, it's fun and the food is pretty good, but don't make strict plans around the timing of your meal.
The portions are decent and the food is really filling! Their dishes have a lot of beans, cheese, root vegetables, and firm tofu. I know that doesn't sound appetizing but it's actually pretty flavorful and tasty.
I do have to complain about the servers' dirty clothes though - stains on their jeans and t-shirts... made me lose my appetite. Maybe the granola-types that frequent there don't mind but I do! I'll go again but if I see dirty clothes, I won't stay.
To be honest, I was disappointed by my first experience at Naam and this after having heard good comments about it!
First of all, I don't understand why this restaurant says that they are kids friendly?! The only thing I noticed was that they had high chairs! Big deal....If every restaurant with high chair could call themselves "kids friendly" restaurant, imagine what it would be like!
So if you are thinking of bringing kids, think twice and take claims of family friendliness with a grain of salt!
Secondly, the service was not good. As a matter of fact, the waiter we had was so impatient, irritable and made us (my friends, family and I) feel bad. We felt pressured to sit down and order as fast as possible while we were still waiting for some friends to join us. Not only that, the other waitress who did not say a word to us, still managed to make us feel she was bothered.
Thirdly, the place is so packed that there is barely enough space for kids to move around without hitting themselves. In addition, I should say that the Naam is not a good place for groups of more than 4-5 people because you can not reserve, and coming earlier does not guaranty that you all seat together, although we were told otherwise on the phone.
Finally, it was impossible to enjoy their fairly good food under these circumstances. Well too bad for them because they just lost a decent bunch of customers!