I love, love, love going out to eat. I do love cooking my own meals and having that control of what I’m putting in my body (#sensitivestomachproblems)…but there is just something about trying new restaurants and eating new things. I thought I put together a little round up of some of the places (old and new) that I enjoy eating at here in Toronto. I feel like new restaurants are always popping up and even better, vegetarian and vegan menu options are becoming more common. This makes me HAPPY!
Excuse the quality of some of these photos…I tend to snap as quickly as possible when I’m out to eat because (a) I’m hungry (b) I don’t want the food to get cold and (c) I don’t want my friends sitting there waiting for me to be done photographing.
I recently went to a new spot in Yorkville called Planta. The menu is entirely plant-based and to be honest, everything sounded good so it was really hard to decide what to order. I knew I wanted to try the cauliflower tots as soon as I saw the table next to us chowing down on them. They absolutely did not disappoint. How these are vegan, I don’t even know.
Me and my eating partner in crime also decided to share the Planta burger (with fries). I always try burgers whenever I go to vegan restaurants. I’m on a mission to find the best and I really think Planta is currently in first place. The server told us that the chef won’t reveal all of the patty ingredients but she did say there were black beans and beets somewhere in there! What makes this burger over the top is the vegan queso. It. Was. Divine. Oh, and the fries. THE FRIES. They were so good! I know what you’re thinking – how can you mess up fries? The seasoning on these made them extra tasty.
We also got the The Frenchie pizza – mushrooms, squash, eggplant, olives, mozzarella, basil, and olive oil. This was good but I’d say my least favourite out of everything, but that’s because I don’t like mushrooms. I picked them off and loved the rest of the toppings though!
Seriously can’t wait to go back to this place. So many other things I want to try. It is slightly overpriced [$17 for the pizza (which wasn’t very big at all…more like a flatbread) and $19 for the burger] but not astronomical considering the quality of the food as well as the wonderful service. Plus it’s in Yorkville sooo…I kind of expected it.
I absolutely love pierogies so I’ve been busting to go to Loaded Pierogi ever since I heard about it. I finally got to try it and while there aren’t many vegetarian options on the menu, the pierogies are really, really good. I ordered Baba’s Classic – slow cooked caramelized onions, cheddar cheese, sour cream & chopped green onions.
The also have The Cabbage Patch Kid – crispy fried brussel sprouts, caramelized onions, cheddar cheese, sun dried tomatoes, creamy ranch dressing, sour cream & green onions. I really want to try these ones next time. You have the option of getting them boiled or fried, or you can do half and half. One order comes with eight pirogies so you could do four boiled, four fried. I only tried them boiled (really good) so I can’t speak for the fried version. Prices range from $8- $16 depending on what you order.
I had Bareburger in NYC twice…and also have gone a couple of times to the location here in Toronto. It’s not vegetarian but is very veg-friendly.
There are three burgers on the menu – sweet potato & kale, black bean, farmer’s quinoa – that are completely vegan. You can build your own burger and choose from the super extensive list of toppings. They even have vegan cheese! Aside from burgers, they’ve also got a lot of salads, sandwiches, and sides. I love the onion rings…and the fries…and the pickles!
Revitasize is my favourite smoothie place…ever. They’ve got acai bowls, salads and vegan desserts as well. I used to go multiple times a week after a run but I’ve scaled back as it costs nearly $10 for a smoothie. I guess it’s pretty comparable to other smoothie/juice places in the city…but still. My favourite is the Maca Power – raw cashew, maca, banana, cocoa, cinnamon, date, almond butter.
You have the option of getting peanut butter instead (I like to do half and half) and you can also add vegan protein powder. I’m not sure what brand they use and I can’t say I know what it tastes like with protein. I always get it without.
If you want vegan junk food, Doomie’s is the place to go. This new-ish restaurant in Parkdale has found a way to make a vegan version of just about every comfort food you can think of. I’ve tried the Big Mac, animal fries, jalepeno poppers, and “chicken” sandwich (not all at once – hah). I’ve seen people order chicken and waffles, chilli cheese dogs, pulled pork tacos, mac and cheese – you name it, they have it.
I can’t promise you that you will feel good after leaving Doomie’s, but the food is awesome for those days where you just need to indulge in ALL the greasy things.
Kupfert and Kim is fairly new to Toronto. I’ve only been twice as all of the locations are downtown and not super easy to get to for me. UberEats won’t even deliver because I live too far. Boo. Anyway, every thing on their menu is meatless and wheat less. I’ve tried both the First Canadian Place (quinoa, tempeh, kale, yam, pomegranate, beets, carrots, rainbow radish, purple cabbage, white cabbage, sprouts, sunflower and sesame seeds with maple chia sauce) and the Oaxaca (brown rice, black beans, kale, beets, corn, daikon, hemp seeds, tortilla chips, lime, pico de gallo, guacamole, and cashew cream). Both of these bowls/salads were incredible and so flavourful.
They also offer smoothies, breakfast (granola, waffles, oats), sides, and desserts. I’m hoping I can make it back there soon because there is so much that I want to try!
Along with Mexican food and pizza, Mediterranean food also ranks at the top of my list. There are so many great places in the city to get this kind of grub but I thought I’d highlight Fat Pasha. It’s a really cool spot and I’ve been twice. ordering the exact same things both times! They have the best falafel I’ve ever tasted, hands down. They’ve also got a great selection of dips/spreads that you can get with pita. Side note: they bring you never ending pita which can be both a good and bad thing. I always fill up on bread because I love it so much and then I have no room for anything else!
They also have a great dish that they usually make with cauliflower but the last time I was there, they made a substitution and used squash instead. It was around the time when cauliflower cost like $5 per head at the grocery store….do you guys remember??? Anyway, it’s topped with tahini, skhug, pine nuts, pomegranate, and halloumi. Really, really tasty.
Fat Pasha is a great place to go with a group so that you can get a bunch of different plates and share. There’s just so much to try!
Last but not least, Fresh! I’ve been going to Fresh for years and it remains one of my favourite go-to spots when I don’t feel like cooking. It’s also where all my out-of-town friends want to go when they come and visit! It’s even more convenient for me now that they have a location in midtown Toronto. It’s also the biggest so I never have to wait to be seated. The other three locations downtown are quite a bit smaller so during peak times, it can take a while to get a table.
Fresh has a HUGE menu so there is a lot to choose from. I’ve been a million times and have yet to try everything on there. What I love about this restaurant is that they have everything from super healthy salads and juices…to not-so-healthy burgers, fries and onion rings. When I’m feeling for something clean and nutritious, I’ll usually get the Powerhouse Bowl or Tangled Thai salad. On days where I want to indulge a little, the BBQ Burger or Butternut Squash Tacos usually win (with fries).
They’ve also got amazing smoothies and desserts on the menu. The carrot cake is incredible! I’ve pre-ordered entire cakes from them for special occasions before. Even my non-vegan friends/family members have said it’s the best carrot cake they’ve ever had. YEP, THAT GOOD. Fresh gets their cakes from Sweets from the Earth, which I’ve seen in the frozen section at grocery stores before. I’ve never bought the frozen variety so I’m not sure if they’re as good…but I can’t imagine them being bad!
There you have it. I know I’ve mentioned some of these places before but I thought a roundup was necessary! I often get questions about where I like to eat in the city/where you can find good vegetarian meals, so I thought I’d put together a little list. A lot of the time I will also just hit up Whole Foods because they’ve got a lot of great options at their salad/hot bar (and I am just a short walk from there so it’s super convenient).
If you’re from Toronto, is there anything that I missed?
If you’re not from Toronto, where do you live and what is one of your go-to restaurants?