If you are looking for a nice spot to grab a quick, casual lunch and your dietary leanings are gluten-free and vegetarian/vegan- I enthusiastically recommend The Smallflower.
The Smallflower is a gluten-free, vegan-friendly bakery, sandwich shop and retail space in Gastown (on E Hastings near Acme Cafe and Save On Meats.) Smallflower is affiliated with The Wallflower Modern Diner on Main Street and that menu features many many vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options. See a previous posts on Wallfower here and here.
Smallflower is also a retail space with a wide array of vegan and gluten free products. Gluten free ice cream cones- check. Faux smoked salmon-check. Artisan Kombacha- check. Milkless Milk Chocolate Bars- WHAT?
At the counter, it’s a feast for the eyes with gorgeous, freshly baked gluten free goodies. Apple Crumble Pie, Sticky Buns, Raspberry Chocolate Cake, Peanut butter cupcakes, Krispy Squares….all looked delightful.
This is a small space and the three large communal tables were all full when we arrived so if asked if we could pull up chairs and sit at the counter. The staff said it was no problem and helped to set it up.
I ordered the Veggie Melt Sandwich ($6) with a side of their quinoa salad ($2). I really really liked my sandwich. Made on house made focaccia is was toasted and grilled in a panini press. The bread had a lovely crunch and wonderful herbacious flavour. Eating mainly vegan means I’m not used to eating any kind of “melt” so to have a sandwich with that texture and cheesy taste was a nice treat. I loved the pesto hummus spread. This was nearly sandwich perfection….if the veggies inside (mushrooms, peppers, tomatoes) were grilled or cooked. The raw veggies slipped out a bit and I just think grilled veggies with a softer texture would make for a perfect bite with some added smoky flavour. Just my opinion. But over all a great sandwich. The quinoa salad was light and refreshing, although I found the sesame lime dressing nice…it was a bit mild for my taste.
My dining buddy ordered an Apple Bacon Cheddar Sandwich ($7) and added a soup (for $2 extra- soup of the day was apple carrot ginger). She loved everything!
The staff are LOVELY here. They are friendly and ENTHUSIASTIC about their food and their products. The nice people behind the food made the dining experience even better! Good food, reasonable prices, and nice staff= great lunch.