Quite simply put, The Naam is a Vancouver institution, and one the city can be proud of (unlike, say, the Old Spaghetti Factory). Eating a The Naam is one of the mandatory events being a Vancouverite – like doing the Grouse Grind or (at least once) going out so horribly underdressed that you might get shot in another city.
It’s a Hippie Joint, for Sure
The Naam is hippie all the way. The front of the menu proudly declares that their street, West 4th, was once known as ‘Rainbow Road.’ Everything is laid back and super casual.
Unless you’re really late or really early, expect to be waiting. Despite being open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, The Naam is extremely busy at dinner time, especially on the weekend. If you don’t want to wait in line, either go for lunch (when you can sit in the beautiful garden) or go after 9pm.
Don’t be Surprised When Some Stranger Asks you What You’ll be Having
Don’t be put off by the casual clothes and bored expression – that’s your waiter. Same goes for that girl with the dreadlocks and tattoos that asked you how you were doing; she wasn’t hitting on you, she actually works there. It seems unusual at first, not being able to tell your server from the other dinner guests, but it’s all part of the casual atmosphere.
I always feel a little bit bad for the live musicians that play The Naam (nearly every night). It’s just that the food is so good, that you can’t really pay much attention to them. Still, always a nice touch to have live music and it helps the pre-dinner beer go down well.
Don’t Miss the Miso (Gravy)
Whatever you might think of the atmosphere, the food is what gets people coming back. Especially the Miso Gravy. It’s all vegetarian, and can be all vegan upon request. You can’t really assign a specific cuisine to The Naam – it has a bit of everything. Salads, burgers, Mexican, rice bowls… the overarching theme is simply good food
The tempeh burgers are especially good. If you don’t know what tempeh is, it’s time for a visit to The Naam to find out! But whoever you are, whatever you order, make sure you get something with miso gravy. It is so much better than standard restaurant (or packaged) gravy that it’s not even funny. You’ll wonder where it has been your whole life.
Absolutely Mandatory Visit
If a stereo typical Vancouver day would start with going to a coffee shop first thing in the morning and involve climbing a mountain in the afternoon (and yes, we think that is an average day), it would end with dinner at The Naam. It’s just one of those thing that if you are in Vancouver, you’ve gotta do.