I just spent 7 weeks in Canada. It's home, sort of. Almost half of my time was spent in Toronto, where I made sure to visit family and friends AND the new Harry Potter-themed bar. I also made sure stuff my face with a veritable smorgasbord of wicked good vegan food. After being away from the city for a while it was nice to see that there are a whack of new vegan places cropping up (and staying in business!) which is awesome and inspiring and dangerous. Why dangerous? Because I dropped A LOT of coin (and likely notched up my belt) gorging on some of TO's finest veg offerings. No regrets.
So without further ado, here is my list of Toronto's Best Vegan Restaurants. Stuff your face at your own risk, friends!
The Hogtown Vegan
This place has become my new go-to restaurant in Toronto. They make delicious comfort food, with specific reference here to their Unchicken & Waffles and their Southern Combo. They have a solid brunch offering on the weekends, and make one heck of a fried apple pie. Definitely make this a priority of you're visiting Canada's Big Smoke.
Just down the street from Hogtown is a cozy little cafe/restaurant. While they rock a full-on menu (and drinks!) the strength of Bloomer's is in their desserts and baked goods. Bloomer's was the cafe I worked out of for a few weeks, and I pretty much ate a donut a day during that time...sometimes more. From simple Blueberry or Lemon, to more interesting flavours like Rose Pistachio or Peppermint Mocha, Bloomer's is a great place to chill out grab a bite. They have a decent selection of gluten-free items, too!
Bunner's Bake Shop
Bunner's was a new one for me, and I was not disappointed. Located in Kensington Market, Bunner's is a grab-and-go kind of place; it's a bakery, not a restaurant or cafe. Their options were amazingly overwhelming: donuts, cake, cupcakes, cinnamon buns, brownies, bread, pizza buns...the list goes on. The cinnamon buns are DEFINITELY a must, and their pizza buns were surprisingly delicious. I may have even liked them more than their desserts – that's how good they were. With killer savoury AND sweet options, consider Bunner's a mandatory stop.
Urban Herbivore has always been my standard Kensington stop. Historically, it's where I would stock up on cookies and muffins for my long drive out of the city and back to Kingston. They also make some delicious salads, hearty soups and stews, and healthy sandwiches. If you're getting your sugar kick from Bunner's and Bloomer's and your comfort carbs from Hogtown, Urban Herbivore is where you may actually get some nutrients – hardly a bad thing.
If we're going to talk nutrients, we have to talk Fresh. While on the pricier (and busier) end of things, Fresh delivers some wicked juices and healthy bowls. Don't get me wrong, you'll get your money's worth for sure, it's just Fresh isn't really a “budget” destination. Because of that, I don't go every time I'm in the city but when I do I make sure to stuff my face. Over the years they have become quite popular, and now have 3 locations around the city. I suggest calling for reservations if you're planning to go during lunch or dinner hours.
Annnnd if we want to talk pricey, we need to mention the Haven. Again, this is not a budget place to grab a quick bite. Like Fresh, Vegetarian Haven is best enjoyed for a proper, ye olde fashioned sit down meal. With it's cozy atmosphere and impressive daily specials, Vegetarian Haven is a great place to go if you want a legit meal – and legit dessert – in a wonderful, intimate atmosphere.
Apiecalypse Now! Vegan Pizza and Snacks
I can't tell you how good the pizza is here. I just can't, there are no words – it's beyond delicious. With titles like “The White Walker” and “The Pig Destroyer Destroyer” you just can't go wrong. Oh, you want pizza with vegan mac 'n' cheese on top? Boom. Done. You want an order of donuts with your pizza? They've got you covered. Friends, this place is a definite must whenever you visit TO, whether you order a whole pizza or just snag a slice. The icing on the cake here is it that it's just a short walk from both Bloomer's AND The Hogtown Vegan. Triple Win.
A vegan pub, Porter House is a solid addition to the TO vegan scene. With it's selection of over 50 craft beers, and staff that can tell you about all of them, it's no wonder this place is full every night. If you're like me and not into beer, don't worry, for the food itself makes a visit worthwhile. The menu features some interesting takes on english-pub standards, and since there is no fake meat on the menu some of the dishes are surprisingly creative. Their chana masala-topped fries were epically delicious, as was their hearty lentil and ale pasty. My only complaint – and it can hardly be considered one – is that the place itself is too small. Porter House fills up quickly, so you will want to make sure you arrive early in the evening in order to snag a seat.
Through Being Cool
More baked goods! If you haven't yet had your fill of cookies or donuts then you'll have to hit up TBC. While it is more of a shop than a cafe/restaurant, it is still a charming little place to visit. There is a freezer of frozen pre-made meals you can purchase to re-heat later, as well as home-made sauces and pickled...well, they pretty much have pickled everything there. If TBC tossed in a couple chairs and tables this could be a perfectly cozy little joint. Nevertheless, it's still worth checking out as their donuts might just be my favourites so far! I mean, a reverse Boston cream? Sign me the eff up.
Have any places to add? Disagree with my culinary perspectives? Leave a comment!