From exclusively plant-based menus to veg-friendly options, eateries across Toronto are dispelling the myth that vegans live on salad and bird food. Running the gamut of fine dining delicacies to greasy comfort foods, there’s a vegan dish on offer for every taste and occasion. Whether you’re a practicing vegan yourself or have a first date with one and want to impress him/her with your plant-based know-how, here’s a comprehensive list of the best places to eat a vegan meal in Toronto…
Grasslands, 478 Queen Street West
Formerly Fressen, this reincarnation of Toronto’s haute vegan hotspot offers upscale dining with a plant-based twist.
Hogtown Vegan, 834 Bloor Street West
From shiitake fried “clams” to poutine with dairy-free cheese that really melts, this west-end eatery serves up the ultimate in vegan comfort food.
Live Organic Food Bar, 264 Dupont Street
Live Food Bar puts a raw spin on classic dishes. From zucchini noodle pad thai to raw manicotti, these piles of vegetables are anything but your typical salad. And for plant-based takeout that doesn’t disappoint, visit their newest establishment, Live Market, in Liberty Village.
The Living Room at Windsor Arms, 18 St. Thomas Street
With a separate menu section dedicated to gourmet vegan fare, the newest restaurant at the Windsor Arms is perfect for lunch with your favourite carnivore who just won’t compromise.
King’s Café, 192 Augusta Avenue
A cornucopia of mock meats pepper the Asian fusion dishes at King’s Café. Although not strictly vegan, items containing dairy are clearly marked on the menu.
Cafe 668, 885 Dundas Street West
Another all-vegetarian restaurant with many vegan offerings, Cafe 668 puts a modern spin on many traditional Asian favourites.
Hibiscus, 238 Augusta Avenue
A well-kept secret nestled away in Kensington Market, Hibiscus sells a tantalizing array of sweet and savoury buckwheat crepes. Pair your pick with a soup or salad, but be sure to save room for a scoop of their fantastic dairy-free ice cream.
Hot Beans, 160 Baldwin Street #1
Vegans haven’t been left out of Toronto’s booming burrito trend. Just stop by Hot Beans to have your favourite fixings wrapped up in a tortilla, or give them a call and they’ll deliver one right to your door.
Cruda Café, 93 Front Street East (inside St. Lawrence Market)
From their biodegradable packaging to the local ingredients in their food, Cruda Café makes raw, vegan food that you can feel good about eating and that will make you feel great.
Rawlicious, 2122 Bloor Street West and 20 Cumberland Street
The menu at Rawlicious offers an array of artfully prepared raw dishes that are heavy on flavor and creativity.
Kale on Yonge, 2366 Yonge Street
The big brother of Bloor West’s Sunny Café, Kale offers sit-down dining with nourishing, stick-to-your-guts dishes like perogies and stews, that are as satisfying as a dinner in mom’s kitchen.
Urban Herbivore, 64 Oxford Street, 967 College Street, and in the Eaton’s Centre Urban Eatery
Urban Herbivore’s whole foods menu allows you choose a crowd favourite or mix and match ingredients to create a combination that’s just for you.
Feel Good Guru, 917 Queen Street West
Their healthy recipes might be designed to make you feel good, but this vegan takeout joint’s healthy take on comfort food also packs a powerfully tasty punch.
Belmonte Raw, 1022 Queen Street East
Belmonte Raw will clean your insides with one of their famous juice cleanses, but they also offer a delightful dining experience and an array of meals you can enjoy at home.
Pulp Kitchen, 717.5 Queen Street East
Pulp Kitchen is back, back again – still in trendy Leslieville, but with a new, takeout only location. Don’t worry, they’re still serving up the same comforting vegan favourites and lots of healthy options that you can take home.
And, of course, Fresh Restaurants, 326 Bloor Street West, 147 Spadina Avenue, 894 Queen Street West
One of the pioneers of vegan-friendly eating in Toronto, Fresh Restaurants are just that: fresh as can be, wholesome food. Don’t be fooled, not everything is necessarily ‘healthy’, but everything on Fresh’s menu has nutritional advantages, and that’s more than we can say about a lot of comfort food spots in the city.