The food in Toronto was pretty much a dream come true for me; I may as well have died and went to organic, vegan food heaven. There were markets, restaurants, and bakeries all over the city featuring awesome, unique veggie choices, and many were completely vegan. I had the opportunity to try out several of the many veggie friendly places while I was in Toronto, and here is what I thought of the amazing establishments I visited.
While walking on Queen Street West, I stopped to get my first falafel of the trip. I stopped at a place called Me Va Me, which was a pretty standard middle eastern kabob and falafel chain. I loved their fresh made laffa bread, and the falafel was tender and flavored pretty nicely. There was dairy hidden in some of the falafel toppings, such as cabbage with yogurt, and baba ghanoush with mayonnaise, but those were easy to avoid and if need be. Besides wraps, you could get your meal on a plate with rice. There was also a grilled veggie entree with eggplant that sounded good. Overall, this was a nice, central place to stop in for a fresh falafel. Yum.
After walking down Queen Street West, I headed north through Chinatown and then into Kensington Market. Kensington Market is an excellent choice for all of your vegan needs. Besides Hot Beans vegan taco takeout, and Urban Herbivore vegan restaurant, the other restaurants offered vegan and vegetarian choices, and there were several small organic markets. On the advice of Jessica over at North & South Nomads I stopped by Bunner’s vegan and gluten free bakery and got myself a butter tart. I didn’t know it at the time, but apparently butter tart’s are a Canadian delicacy, and this one was particularly delicious. If I weren’t so full, I would have gone back in for another. Don’t miss this place!
For dinner, my friend treated me to a huge feast at Fresh, (thanks again!) a vegan place featuring fresh juices, bowls, sandwiches, and salads. They had a full menu with many more choices than I am used to having at a typical restaurant. So, we decided to go for a little bit of everything. To start we had some Indian Roti stuffed with lentils. There was some delicious spicy sauce to go along with this, and it really made the dish. Then I had a green bowl, with sweet potatoes, kale, sprouts, and rice, and a tahini dressing which was delicious. Finally, for dessert, my friend and I went a little vegan dessert crazy, and tried a chocolate chip cookie, a flour-less cashew cookie, and a vanilla cupcake. They were each scrumptious, and despite being full from our large dinner, we devoured them.
The next day, I met up with fellow traveling vegan bloggers, Justin and Lauren. It was really nice to meet these two in person finally, even though I feel we have known each other quite some time since I read their blog regularly. I also feel that this experience further solidified my commitment to blogging and to this little community I have created online. Before I started blogging, I had no idea that I would make serious connections with others, but it is nice to now realize that I have a platform to make connections with people on the same journey in life as me!
So Lauren, Justin, a friend of mine, and I, took advantage of the Veggielicious special, at Grasslands restaurant. Veggielicious is “Toronto’s annual plant-based culinary celebration” which features a discount or set menu at a variety of veggie friendly restaurants in Toronto. Grasslands offered a glass of wine, an appetizer, and a main course for $25, so I went with that.
For an appetizer, they served sweet potato fritters. I was starving at this point from not eating much earlier in the day, and these fritters really hit the spot. (Sorry for the dark photos, it was so dark in the restaurant.)
The main course offering was a creamy pesto pasta loaded with veggies. It was amazing, but the pasta was heavy and there was no way I could finish it. The menu overall was Italian themed, and almost a little fancy. Oh, and eating a few booths over was Canadian TV and radio personality George Stroumboulopoulos, who is apparently a very well know character, and is also vegan! I still don’t quite know who he is, but that was cool nonetheless.
Toronto was an incredible vegan food destination for me, and I can’t wait to go back and try more! What vegan spots did I miss for next time around? What would you recommend to eat in Toronto? Have you tried any of these places?