Toronto -- Veg Friendly?
- spyturtle008 Aug 1, 2007 11:51 AM
Hello All -- I'm getting ready for a last-minute road trip to Toronto this weekend, and wanted to hit you all up for great spots (from cheap & quick to hole-in-the-walls with 'character' to markets to a spot or two for a nice night out) for two vegetarians (we do eat dairy / eggs, but not fish / seafood). I've heard that Toronto is a great place to eat for the veg-minded, so we look forward to thoroughly testing that out! We'll be staying at The Suites at 1 King West, but plan to be all over the city. I'm going to start searching this board now, but please toss any thoughts / ideas my way. Thanks in advance! PS - We'll be spending a day at Niagara, too, on our way up -- anything that direction worth checking out?
You may already know about it, but in case not, the Toronto Vegetarian Association has a very comprehensive directory of vegan, vegetarian, and veg-friendly restaurants/shops/etc. on their website - http://www.veg.ca/
Also, check out the Toronto pages at Happy Cow - http://www.happycow.net/north_america...
For your "nice night out" meal, I would highly recommend Fressen - http://www.fressenrestaurant.com/fressen
I've eaten at Fresh, I'm no veggie but I do like their food -- I even picked up one of their cook books -- I could do without the sometimes half assed serviced due to we're on queen west cool attitude (I STILL miss Triple X diner!!!)...but I gotta say I kinda feel like I'm being taken whenever I'm in one of their places, they overly boast to be all about health and goodness and quality, but they aren't even using organic produce, I feel they are over charging for standard fruits and veg, and on the tables they have plain old iodized salt, shouldn't it at least a more health conscious sea salt??
OK, so while I'm griping about veggie offerings (which I'm all for, I love Fressen + Utopias veggie burger is awsome), Sadies Diner, I love an indie joint, but again pushing the healthy life style eating thing, I had a salad instead of fries, it was composed of iceberg lettuce chunks and pinkish tomato cubes...about as nutrient rich as say, water?! I would expect mixed greens, & organic at that...the veggie burger was machine formed from a package and dwarfed (and about as dry) as the giant bun, my friends fries were soggy to boot...
IMO, vegitarian food in Toronto is best found, for the most part, at many of the many world cuisine choices we are blessed with having access to...but I'll try anything once if anyone has good suggestions....
little India. Gerrard at Coxwell area in the East End has great vegetarian options. My first thought was of Siddharta - two spots within a few blocks, but the one on the south side is vegetarian. Have to say I can't speak authoritatively on the vegetarian version, but the area is full of choices. Perhaps if you're planning a trip to The Beaches this area could work.
Much love for Jean's Vegetarian Kitchen in this neighbourhood.
Love the cheese empanadas and avocado salad at Jumbo Empanadas in Kensington Market.
re: Julie McCoy
For a lovely quick lunch try the Veggie cafe at The Big Carrot on the Danforth. I really like Fresh and find the service at the relatively new location on Bloor just east of Spadina is always great. Another option, not just veggie, but veggie friendly is The Magic Oven on Dupont east of Spadina. Next to it is a "raw" restaurant called Live. I have never eaten there. Another cafeteria option is Le Commensal on Gerrard (I think) just east of Bay.
I haven't been to Pulp Kitchen in a couple of years... mostly because my experiences were pretty mediocre back then in terms of both food and service, and I haven't seen anything to convince me there's been a significant improvement.
If you happen to be in the Leslieville area, I'd recommend trying Le Cafe Vert instead - it's a great veggie-friendly option a few doors down from Pulp Kitchen. They serve a great brunch with both veggie and vegan items, and their coffee is divine (they use green coffee, IIRC). It's one of the few places that actually seems to have benefitted from the Restaurant Makeover experience.
There's also Get Real on Ossington - a nice vegan/veggie cafe for brunch or early dinner close to the gallery district, in case you were interested in that sort of thing.
Kensington has King's Cafe, which is quasi asian and has fake meat offerings and Herbivore, which I've heard good things about. I still think Kensington's about the best place to hang out on weekends (during the day) to people watch and learn new things about different cultural foods.
Baldwin Village, renowned for its patios, has Veggie Haven, and most restaurants there (or anywhere in Toronto for that matter) have veggie options.
If you get hungry around dinnertime on your way up from Niagara, you can exit on Hurontario (Hwy 10) in Mississauga and drive about 5 min to Brar Sweets, which is a fabulous and ridiculously cheap ($10.99 per person) Indian buffet and sweet shop that serves only veg food. Have the wonderfully seasoned grilled veggies. Mmmmm.
I definitely have to agree with the Fressen (for a nice dinner and ambience too) and Fresh recs too.