When my friend Linda, aka Lindork, asked if I would like to join her for a hosted trip by Discover Surrey for a culinary adventure along The Spice Trail, I expected to be taking more photos of food for her than actually tasting much of it. As a Celiac, I was hopeful that maybe one of our daily restaurant stops would have a gluten-free option, but I never expected the abundance of choices presented to me during our three-day tour.
Surrey’s Spice Trail is a new marketing initiative aimed at inspiring a tasting adventure through Greater Vancouver’s most culturally diverse restaurant scene. Their interactive map features profiles on a diverse range of ethnic restaurants in a variety of price points, from hole in the wall joints hidden strip malls to fine dining restaurants with chic decor.
You can watch the Lindork Does Life YouTube video to see everywhere we went and everything we ate along the Surrey Spice Trail in Surrey,BC. (I was very excited to get the gluten free shout out.)
Here are a few of the places and bites I was able to enjoy along the Spice Trail. Please note that this list is not exhaustive of all gluten free options, and that new restaurants will continue to be added as the Spice Trail continues to grow. Check out The Spice Trail website for an updated list of participating restaurants.
Afghan Kitchen South Surrey
Clove – The Art of Dining
Woo Korean BBQ House
I have a hard time eating at most Korean restaurants as I find that many things are pre marinated and/or made with soy sauce, and accommodations are difficult or bland. I was shocked when we arrived at Woo Korean BBQ for lunch and I was able to have a modified bibimbap with gluten free soy sauce. I was overjoyed when the fire cracking hot stone bowl arrived and I was able to mix the egg into the crunchy fried rice.
Union Latinos Food
When we arrived to find Union Latinos Food located in a busy strip mall, next to a Latino grocery store, I had a good feeling. When we opened the door the Colombian restaurant was packed and the energy was electric – Colombia had just finished playing a World Cup qualifier and the tv was blaring the conversation of two commentators speaking rapid-fire Spanish. Having travelled through South America, including six weeks in Colombia, I was overjoyed to find seats in this authentic eatery. Their online menu identified gluten free items – I indulged in cheese filled empanadas, and Arepa Rellena – a traditional corn patty that was stuffed with meat, cheese and sauce.
ChaCha’s Tandoor & Grill
The name, Chacha, the Punjabi word for uncle, highlights the importance of family in this locally run restaurant highlighting the flavours of northern India. The menu, decor, and vibe in the restaurant (which included Punjubi rap) is influenced by a first generation Canadian playing homage to his heritage with a twist. I devoured the daal makhani and chicken kalami kebab dishes.
Guacamole Mexican Grill
We stopped by Guacamole Mexican Grill for a quick bite. I love when restaurants allow you to mix and match tacos, and we tried the chorizo, carnitas and el pastor. I loved the decor and wish we had more time to taste more items as I know they had more GF options on the menu.
Mi Shanti – Vijs
We didn’t have enough time to dine at Vikram Vij’s popular south Surrey restaurant Mi Shanti, but I know that GF options are clearly labelled on the menu and Vikram’s food is delicious. * As indicated on the menu, items made in the fryer may be contaminated and should not be ordered by Celiacs.