On Sunday afternoon I braved the crowds and went to sample intriguing – and delicious - vegetarian and vegan foods at Vancouver’s third annual Veg Expo, held at the Convention Centre.

“Discover the benefits of a plant-based diet, sample and discover new products and services you can implement into your lifestyle and to meet others that share the same passion,” the event advertised.

The event, which features more than 130 exhibits from vegan to vegetarian companies across Canada, is even endorsed by the mayor.

“Vancouver prides itself on being a vibrant and health conscious community and is the perfect backdrop for Veg Expo,” Mayor Gregor Robertson wrote in support of the event.

With this in mind, I entered the massive venue packed with so many people I thought Justin Bieber might be attending (he wasn’t).

Dozens lined up for tastes of coffee leaf tea and veggie pate; crowds gently jostled each other to sample locally-brewed kombucha.

I saw many fascinating and sustainable things during my time at Veg Expo – but for me the food took precedence. (Full disclosure: I am not a vegetarian, but I don’t eat mammals).

Here are six of my favourite foods and drinks of the day that all Vancouverites – vegan or not - should try.

• It’s not bacon!: Bacon and coconut may not seem like they have many similarities, but a B.C. company has somehow found a way to make savory bacon-flavoured coconut flakes work. Made in Richmond, this vegan product comes in flavours such as Candian maple, zesty cheddar, and holy jalapeno. 

Vegan bacon

• Veggemo: When a non-dairy milk substitute is advertised as having “the smoothness and creaminess of two per cent milk”, I tend to get skeptical – but this product was delicious. Made of potatoes, tapioca and pea protein and coming in several flavours, this is a fake milk I could get behind.

Veggemo

• Brussel Bytes: Featuring ingredients such as Brussel sprouts, cashews, kale and pumpkin seeds, this salty snack was surprisingly delicious alternative to chips. 

Brussel Bytes

• Moonshine Mama’s: I am a huge fan of turmeric, known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects – but my method of drinking a teaspoon mixed in water every day has been getting old. Enter Moonshine Mama’s, a Salt Spring Island-based company that has created tasty elixirs featuring turmeric, “the queen of health and vitality.” 

Moonshine Mama's

• Gojoy: Did you know superfood Goji berries were grown in B.C.? I didn’t – but my world has changed now that Gojoy, a Fraser Valley company, is in it. Try fresh or frozen Goji berries, or a convenient smoothie mix featuring six different berries.

Gojoy

• Standard Kombucha: I love Vancouver - and kombucha - and anything that combines the two gets my approval. Standard Kombucha only distributes locally, making this organic tea based beverage an awesome choice. Tip: try the blueberry green tea flavor, my personal favourite.

Standard Kombucha