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Vegetarian (Fine Dining & Casual) for my 30th!

j
jenmp Oct 3, 2008 02:03 PM

Hi everyone,

My first post here.

My bf and I will be going to Toronto for a weekend for my 30th bday. First time visitors! Also we are both strict vegetarians (not vegan though).

I'd love to get recommendations for:
1) a fine dining type place with good veg food (I'm considering Perigee..don't know if there are others)
2) other good casual restaurants for the rest of the weekend -- especially interested in veg dim sum/chinese or any other ethnic places.

Thanks!!

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  1. thought_for_food RE: jenmp Oct 3, 2008 03:38 PM

    Delicious vegetarian Thai at Jean's Vegetarian Kitchen, Danforth just west of Greenwood.

    Vegetarian dim sum at Lotus Pond and Graceful Vegetarian (you can search this board for reviews of each).

    And consider Ethiopian too, where vegetarian platters can be had.

    1. t
      thora RE: jenmp Oct 3, 2008 05:16 PM

      Happy Birthday!

      Being a fairly broke student-type, I'm afraid I can only make recommendations on casual restaurants!

      Thought_for_food is right - for veg dim sum, you will have to go out to Markham! Although King's Cafe (Kensington) does a few dishes, it's very, very minor - though that's a good spot nonetheless. If you're only here for the weekend, you're probably not going to be interested in that long of a trek.

      I've heard brunch at Fressen is tasty, though I've never been myself. The restaurant has a lovely interior.
      ETA: http://www.fressenrestaurant.com/fres...

      For veg Chinese, you could try either King's Cafe in Kensington or Cafe 668 (Dundas West). Both are great spots!
      ETA: http://www.vegguide.org/entry/165 and http://www.cafe668.com/

      You could also head to The Pomegranate (College) for some wonderful Persian food. Though it's not a vegetarian restaurant, they have a few fantastic veg dishes. There was a thread about this restaurant recently - if you decide to go here, do a quick search for some must-order dishes.
      ETA: http://www.pomegranaterestaurant.ca/

      Enjoy! Sounds like fun!

      1 Reply
      1. re: thora
        veganchelly RE: thora Oct 23, 2008 02:21 PM

        You've heard correctly about the brunch at Fressen! Do yourself a favour and try it sometime. For $9.00 you get a huge plate of fresh, amazing food. I personally recommend the tofu scramble griddle. :)

      2. t
        torontofoodiegirl RE: jenmp Oct 23, 2008 04:01 PM

        I'm not sure if it's quite "fine dining" enough, but perhaps Mistura? They have a number of great veggie options. I LOVED the Buffala mozzarella appetizer and the beet risotto (though I should note that I'm not vegetarian, so I didn't inquire as to whether there was any chicken stock in the risotto).

        http://www.mistura.ca/index.php

        3 Replies
        1. re: torontofoodiegirl
          j
          jeffs101 RE: torontofoodiegirl Oct 24, 2008 07:44 AM

          I'm also a strict vegetarian and I have found that in order to be sure you are getting what you want, you are best going to vegetarian or vegan restaurants. There are just too many people that just don't understand your convictions. Saying that, I'd second (or third) the recommendation for Fressen. No one has yet mentioned Fresh but they are a good choice for a casual meal.

          Check out this site for more options.

          Oh, and Happy Birthday!

          http://www.veg.ca/content/view/74/108/

          1. re: jeffs101
            b
            basileater RE: jeffs101 Oct 24, 2008 08:22 AM

            I am not strict veg but am predominantly veg.

            I think Fresh is OK for a quick lunch if you're in the area, but I wouldn't recommend it as a place to try to out-of-towners. I find the dishes there to be hit or miss and the value for money isn't great (I think I posted on here before on the Thai salad that cost $16 and was no less than 50% shredded carrot).

            For ethnic you might try Udupi Palace on Gerrard St. East for south Indian vegetarian. There are people who will say the best south Indian veg is out of town, and they may be right, but I haven't treked out there myself. I haven't been to south India, but two of my friends have and say it's authentic (but they are originally from the north). I am sure there are others here who will strongly disagree. Anyway, I like it.

            Most fine dining places will happily accomodate vegetarians, but it is preferable to call them in advance so they have time to plan. I've often eaten lovely veg food at places without a single vegetarian item on the official menu. No establishment worth its salt will try to sneak meat into your meal. (Unlike Tim Horton's, which I was strong-armed into going to this morning by an obstinate colleague. My vegetarian sandwich was served with sausage. I took it back and asked for vegetarian, and they gave me one with bacon! So needless to say, you can give old Timmy's a miss.)

            1. re: jeffs101
              veganchelly RE: jeffs101 Oct 24, 2008 08:26 AM

              Oh yes, how could I forget about Fresh? The last time I was there, I literally stuffed myself because I just couldn't help it. I started with their homemade spicy tomato soup and cornbread, proceeded with their amazing Buddha Bowl and finished everything off with some delicious vegan carrot cake. Oh, how I miss being in Ontario!!! :)

          2. Ediblethoughts RE: jenmp Oct 24, 2008 07:57 AM

            Definitely try Fressen. As far as I know, it's really the only choice for a "nice" vegetarian restaurant in Toronto and the dinner selection is great and very tasty. However, the one time I tried it for brunch, I wasn't impressed. There are many good vegetarian restaurants in Toronto but they're much more on the casual side, for example, I like Fresh or Get Real for veg. brunch.

            I was just looking at the menu for Perigree and it doesn't look that veg-friendly to me (given that all main courses centre around meat or fish main ).

            1. s
              something_yummy RE: jenmp Oct 24, 2008 08:25 AM

              Fressen and Fresh are both great. Fressen is not a place for a quick meal - but if you like who you are with, dont mind the long wait and want to enjoy a vegetarian feast - it is a great place. Fresh is good too - food is a bit more basic.

              Another great place is Gourmet Vegetarian - they do a great dim sum. Only down side is that it is in Richmond Hill (280 West Beaver Creek Rd. Unit 22-23).

              Happy Birthday and Happy Eating!

              1. TorontoJo RE: jenmp Oct 24, 2008 09:53 AM

                Perigee, Splendido and other fine dining spots will create a vegetarian tasting menu for you if you call in advance.

                1. p
                  Pincus RE: jenmp Oct 24, 2008 11:08 AM

                  I would suggest avoiding La Commensal. In my opinion, overpriced for what you get.

                  1. Dimbulb RE: jenmp Oct 24, 2008 11:11 AM

                    Cafe 668 is even fancier decor-wise than Fressen. Vegan, too.

                    http://www.cafe668.com/

                    Never saw the attraction of Fresh.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Dimbulb
                      veganchelly RE: Dimbulb Oct 24, 2008 01:07 PM

                      I visit Toronto quite often...thanks for the link! I've never heard of it before. It's on my "must dine" list for my next trip. :)

                      1. re: Dimbulb
                        Ediblethoughts RE: Dimbulb Oct 30, 2008 02:57 PM

                        I tried out Cafe 668 on the weekend and I really enjoyed it. I would say though that I think Fressen is more cosy/intimate decor with Cafe 668 being more formal. In any case, I love a vegetarian place that has a greens section to the menu--just reading their menu was very exciting and I will definitely be going back!

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