SMAK: Guilt- and Gluten-Free Fast Food

Originally published on Vancity Buzz.

Currently open in  Coal Harbour, downtown Vancouver now has a new option for gluten-free goodness: SMAK Fast Food. The menu is locally-sourced, sustainable, organic when possible, and 100% gluten-free. They even grow their own herbs in-house. Open from early morning until 10 p.m., SMAK offers a variety of eat-in and take-out options for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.

For breakfast, check out one of their hot breakfast sandwiches, made on gluten-free bread, and featuring local eggs and bacon. Pair it with a $2 Americano, or a freshly-squeezed juice or smoothie. For lunch, you can grab a SMAK box to go and head down the hill to enjoy it on the waterfront. You’ll get a combination of kelp noodles dressed with thai dressing, vegetables, and your choice of chicken, salmon, or mango. Finally, for dinner, you can enjoy hot bowls, like coconut pork, or butterless chicken. SMAK also serves baked goods from Lemonade Gluten-Free bakery, and Kangen-filtered water, meant to restore your ph balance.

One of my favorite things about SMAK is how they are walking the talk. One of my biggest beefs with fast-food restaurants is that they are not thinking green–all packaging ends up in the garbage. At SMAK, every container is not just recyclable, but compostable. I took my 9-yr-old son and he remarked at how tiny the garbage can was. I asked him why he thought that was, and he said “because they want people to compost, of course!” 9-yr-olds get it.

You will find prices to be a bit higher than an average fast-food restaurant  You’re looking at about $10 for breakfast, and in the $15-20 range for lunch or dinner. But the food is locally-sourced, and compostable containers are a bit more expensive.

I often feel guilty when I eat fast food, or at least like I’ve indulged in “a guilty pleasure.” Leaving SMAK, I felt downright virtuous.

SMAK Fast Food

Address: 1139 W. Pender Street

Phone: 604-559-SMAK (7625)

Hours: Open 5:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily

Website:  (you can order online)

Twitter: @Smakfood