I recently travelled aboard Rocky Mountaineer, a world class and award winning luxury train company offering journeys through the Canadian Rockies. My train route, First Passage to the West, ventured from Vancouver, British Columbia to Banff, Alberta. Guests on the train are served breakfast and lunch daily, plus a variety of snacks and beverages. This Rocky Mountaineer vegan guide will show you exactly what I ate on board while following a plant-based diet.
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It’s really easy to travel with Rocky Mountaineer as a vegan. The culinary team exceeded all of my expectations in preparing delightful vegan meals. There weren’t any boring or typical vegan eats in sight, only thoughtful, chef-prepared dishes. In some cases, the chefs were able to mimic and veganize the meals that usually had animal products to create similar dishes for us vegans on board!
Food and Drink That’s Included on Rocky Mountaineer
The train journeys aboard Rocky Mountaineer operate during the day. Generally, you board the train early in the morning and depart each day in the late afternoon. This allows guests to enjoy optimal views of the scenery during daylight hours.
Gourmet meals are included on Rocky Mountaineer. They vary depending on whether you travel with Silverleaf Service or Goldleaf Service, but they are all delicious, chef-prepared dishes. Goldleaf Service receives their meals from an a la carte menu in the restaurant dining car, and Silverleaf Service receives their meals at their seat.
When I travelled on the First Passage to the West route from Vancouver to Banff, I received breakfast, lunch, snacks, and complimentary beverages throughout the day. It depends which rail route you choose, but you’ll generally enjoy two meals on the train.
Dietary Preferences and Restrictions
Do you have any food allergies, dietary preferences, or dietary restrictions? Rocky Mountaineer makes it really easy to navigate these food choices when travelling on their trains. The good news is that the regular Rocky Mountaineer menus already offer a variety of choices to cater to different tastes and preferences.
I’ll post copies of some of the menus from my trip in this blog post. On the menu, there are already notations for gluten-free (GF), vegetarian (V), vegan (VG) and dairy-free (DF) items. If you have any other preferences beyond those, it’s really easy to ask your hosts about the menu.
I always recommend letting Rocky Mountaineer know that you’re vegan ahead of time. You can notify them if you have any food allergies or follow any special diets. They’ll be able to accommodate you, no problem.
The staff knew that I followed a vegan diet and went above and beyond to prepare extra special dishes. The culinary team on Rocky Mountaineer are phenomenal. In many cases, I was able to choose items right off the breakfast and lunch menus and they were already vegan.
In addition, I was given extra options on top of those. It was nice to have even more choice! Furthermore, I was surprised in many cases by the vegan versions of dishes and creative off-menu desserts for lunch each day.
Rocky Mountaineer Vegan Guide
In this Rocky Mountaineer vegan dining guide, I’ll show you everything that I ate and drank on the train. I travelled for two full days on the train, eating breakfast, lunch, and snacks. Both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages are all included, too. Please note that these are my experiences travelling on Goldleaf Service, though I know that you will be fully accommodated in Silverleaf Service, too.
Rocky Mountaineer Vegan Breakfast
If you’ve signed up for Goldleaf Service, you eat your meals in the first level dining room. The passengers are divided into two seating times. As I was in the second seating on the first day, our hosts brought around coffee and a sweet treat to tide us over to breakfast. I had a special vegan muffin, as well as coffee with oat milk. The muffin was warmed up and it was melt-in-your-mouth delicious!
After a short while, it was time for breakfast in the dining room. The above shows a typical breakfast menu for the First Passage to the West train journey from Vancouver to Banff. We were offered the same breakfast menu on both days, though there were a few small differences.
The majority of the guests were offered croissants to start their meal, which unfortunately were not vegan. But, they didn’t want me to go without anything to munch on before breakfast. So, the staff brought out some toast with some really yummy raspberry jam. Straight off the menu, I selected the avocado toast, which was already vegan to start. The avocado toast was topped with a fresh, homemade pico de gallo that truly elevated the dish.
On day two, I started the day with a vegan scone, raspberry jam and coconut cream (not pictured, but it was awesome). That was a really nice surprise! On the first day, the staff members mentioned that they were bringing some “Just Egg” product on board the following day to make vegan eggs.
To my delight, the Just Egg was ready to go in the kitchen. The culinary team created a vegan breakfast skillet with Just Egg, roasted potatoes, spinach, mushrooms, and tomatoes. This was one of my favourite meals on board. The hosts also brought some fruit smoothies to the table, and ensured that mine was made with plant-based milk.
Rocky Mountaineer Vegan Lunch
For lunch on day one, I was delighted to see even more vegetarian and vegan offerings. There were two on the menu: the tofu udon bowl and the power bowl. I was informed that the power bowl would make another appearance on day two’s menu, so I made sure to choose the noodle bowl this time around. To start, there was an appetizer with salmon, pita bread, and roasted red pepper. The chef created a vegan salmon made out of carrots that mimicked the original dish! It was amazing!
The tofu udon bowl didn’t disappoint. The tofu was nice and crispy, the noodles had just the right amount of sauce, and I loved the seaweed bits sprinkled on top for that extra bit of umami. There were also some sesame seeds, sprouts and slices of cabbaged tucked in there, too.
Dessert was a complete surprise. The chef whipped up this vegan coconut lime pudding topped with a little bit of blueberry sauce. It was divine. This option works for those following a vegan diet or a dairy-free diet.
For day two’s lunch, there was a tasting platter listed made out of sausage, cheese, etc. The culinary team made a vegan version of this charcuterie board with veggie sausage, hummus, and sourdough bread. The veggie sausage tasted so good with the grainy mustard on top.
For my entree, I had the yummy Power Bowl as the main course, with lots of tofu, sweet potato, edamame, veggies, and pumpkin seeds. This is a great healthy choice as it’s densely packed with lots of veggies, seeds, and protein from the soybeans and the tofu.
For dessert, I was amazed by this freshly baked chocolate peanut butter blondie with a scoop of sorbet. I think that this dessert might have made the non-vegans a bit jealous!
Vegan Snacks and Treats
To be honest, I didn’t eat too many snacks on board. I was pretty full after breakfast and lunch. I believe that your hosts can bring you some snacks to nibble on if you find yourself hungry between meals.
On one of the days, our travel time went a little bit longer than expected. Of course, the culinary team didn’t want us to go hungry. They whipped up some freshly baked cookies for everyone, and she made some special vegan cookies, too. The staff really goes the extra mile to make sure that everyone is accommodated.
Beverages on Rocky Mountaineer
Throughout the day, you can order any drinks from the menu in your seat pocket. There’s a huge selection of beer, wine, cocktails, and non-alcoholic beverages. You can also ask for coffee or tea anytime you like. I sampled some beer, cocktails, and had my share of coffee throughout the trip.
The Peach & Orange Blossom Spritz is a fine choice if you love light, fruity beverages. It has Ketel One Peach & Orange Blossom Vodka, San Pellegrino Blood Orange, soda, and lemon. There’s also a great selection of local craft beers on the train, too. I chose the “Locomotive Lager” by Iron Road Brewing because it only seemed fitting.
And of course, you can order coffee and tea anytime you like. I drank lots of coffee on the Rocky Mountaineer train because I tend to drink lots of coffee in my daily life. The hosts always prepared my coffee just as I liked it, with a little bit of sugar and oat milk.
No matter which diet you follow or the food allergies you have, Rocky Mountaineer is super accommodating to its passengers. If you are vegetarian or vegan, you are going to enjoy so many delicious eats. I hope you enjoyed my Rocky Mountaineer vegan guide and that you’re able to book your trip on the train soon!
Thank you so much to Rocky Mountaineer for hosting my journey. These are my honest opinions of my trip.