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Jun 9, 2010 06:44 AM

your fave vegetarian/vegan spot in or near Kensington Market?

Just wondering what peoples' favourite vegetarian restaurant (with vegan options, or all vegan) is in or near Kensington Market. I have a couple I go to but I'd like to hear other opinions.

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  1. Vegetarian Haven on Baldwin.

    Vegetarian Haven
    17 Baldwin St, Toronto, ON M5T1L1, CA

    3 Replies
    1. re: stet

      Hibiscus, in Kensington....Rancho Relaxo, near Kensington (for their veggie/vegan efforts).

      1. re: jeffs101

        Sorry for the thread necromancy, but I just had to say that I am definitely seconding Hibiscus!! I -finally- went there today and tried their salad & soup combo (unbelievable deal!!)

        I loved that the salad wasn't a 'traditional' greens one, but was made of a variety of different things...A lovingly prepared bowl of quinoa, tiny cubed marinated tofu, grated beets, carrots, steamed broccoli, sweet potatoes, with a sprinkling of sunflower seeds and cranberries. They only had their miso soup today (the guy said it was hot so they didn't think people would be wanting a whole lot of soups today, which was totally true!) but it was marvellous!! I unfortunately didn't have any room for their soy ice creams, but from the flavours that they had available, I'm definitely tempted to head there again!

        Sadly, they're closed on Tuesday it'll have to be :(

      2. re: stet

        This is mine as well. I love the tempura style mushrooms and "cheese cake" so good!

      3. Urban Herbivore



        Urban Herbivore
        64 Oxford St, Toronto, ON M5T1P1, CA

        3 Replies
        1. re: Dimbulb

          Third crappy experience in a row at Herbivore, it's off my list.

          1. re: Bubs

            Yeah, I've had issues there staff-wise before. In particular is one girl who always seems to have some sort of attitude problem going and likes to take her time with coming over to take your order (even when the place isn't busy and there's only like 2 people in line!!).

            I gotta say though, I'm absolutely in love with their sesame tempeh sandwich! I'd kill for the recipe...but, until then, I'll still keep returning for the food. Won't ever leave that lot a tip though *shrugs*

            1. re: Sheikah

              It's not the service so much which I can overlook...the food's been a real letdown and the portion size I got last time for the cost was laughable. I thought I was in Rice Bar for a minute there (I once paid a lot at Rice Bar for a large container of steamed rice with about 2 tbsp of vegan stew on wonder they're out of business).

        2. Buddha's Vegetarian, 666 Dundas. I have yet to have a dud dish there

          19 Replies
          1. re: frenchcustard

            Buddhas vegetarian for me too. Urban Herbavore- I seem to remember having a probleme with the attitude there as well. I remember thinking it was overpriced as well. I also vaguly remember seeing some preachy signs in the place. I am done with trendy vegetarian restaurants. I always leave feeling as if I could have made it better myself. So I do.

            1. re: food face

              Would you be thinking of the 'No FUR' signs? :P

              edit: I've heard mixed things about Buddha's Vegetarian before...but I'm getting more and more tempted to take the dive tomorrow and give it a shot for lunch!

              1. re: Sheikah

                Yea...the no fur sign. That's the one. I don't wear fur, but if I did, it's slightly offensive.
                If you like hot and sour soup, buddhas is a must. I like their curry noodles. The Buddha's special mixed veg on fried noodles is probably their most famous dish. The spring rolls...greasy goodness-chalk full of shrooms, cabbage and HUGE. worth the calories. Expect no MSG but lot's of oil. Tasty, healthy but not fat free. For the price....good eatin. Report back.

                1. re: Sheikah

                  Oh yea the portions are MASSIVE at buddhas. One mixed veg on noodles could probably feed 3 semi-hungry people.

                  1. re: food face

                    I've heard so many good reports about Buddha's I have to get myself there soon.

                    1. re: food face

                      Reporting back as requested! I went there earlier today for lunch and was VERY impressed! Atmosphere-wise, the place was a down, to put it lightly :P But the goodness, you weren't kidding when you said they gave out massive portions!! I had enough leftovers to last for dinner and breakfast! Not only that, it was ridiculously tasty stuff!

                      A most excellent recommendation - I'll definitely be hitting it up again real soon :)

                      1. re: Sheikah

                        Yes there is no atmostphere to speak of. The complete lack of atmosphere actually IS an atmosphere! The trendier and more expensive restaurants become, the more appreciate places like Buddhas. Good healthy food with no drama. The flourescent lights, the shocking white painted walls, the buzzing display refridgerator with mock meat.....aaaah Buddha's. Like an ex-boyfriend that I still make out with once in a while for old times sakes.

                        1. re: Sheikah

                          Shikah. I'm so pleased you liked it. What did you order? do tell?

                          1. re: food face

                            I tried the curry noodles, as you mentioned you liked them so I figured that was a recommendation to try out :P Absolutely delicious...I'm actually having some of them for dinner right now!

                            My friend tried their special mixed vegetables as that appears to be one of their more popular dishes as well. I tried a bit of his' and it was just as good! I'm kicking myself for not trying this place out earlier!!

                            And the best part? No attitude or crap service from any of the staff there :)

                            1. re: Sheikah

                              can i also suggest trying the imitation duck, made from bean curd sheets. i'm pretty sure a small order is $2.75 so if you hate it you didn't lose a big chunk of change

                              1. re: frenchcustard

                                I'll give that a shot next time I'm in and will let you know! It certainly peaked my interest when I saw it on the menu, but I figured we'd already ordered more than enough...given what I had heard about portion sizes there!

                              2. re: Sheikah

                                The staff are efficient. Eve, the owner is a sweetie pie. She is the older lady who stands at the till. She is very good to loyal customers. She has kept a lot of the same staff for over 10 years. Sheikah, make sure you go for a spring roll with their sweet and sour saucy next time.

                          2. re: food face

                            Is Buddha's still a dive? I thought they closed for some renovations a couple of months ago.


                            1. re: mrsleny

                              they did close for "renovations" a while back but it looked exactly the same when it reopened

                      2. re: frenchcustard

                        Since this recommendation, I've been to Buddha's four times! I'm never buying groceries again.. I love this place!

                        So far, my favourite is the Buddha's Special Chow Mein.
                        Singapore Noodle (Curry) was very good as well.

                        1. re: frenchcustard

                          OK FINALLY tried this place out. I'd been meaning to for years. The portion sizes are MASSIVE. I wish I checked back here to remind myself of that. I got a couple of dishes because I wanted some dinner for tonight too - well I've got dinner, plus breakfast, lunch and dinner tomorrow as well. I ordered the Singapore curry noodles, the mixed veg on fried noodles (with tofu added) and the imitation duck. Not loving the imitation duck, but it's ok. Overall the food is "OK" but I was expecting more quality I think. My veggies are totally swimming in a congealed liquid (I have to pour it off to get it home) and honestly, they're pretty bland looking - it's a really beige dish. It needs more broccoli, bok choy, carrot, snow peas etc. i.e. mixed veg. The Singapore noodles are ok, but I didn't realize they would be just noodles. Again, was hoping for some veg. All in all I probably won't go back because it's fairly out of the way for me. Glad I tried it (and I will eat the leftovers) but I'm looking for more "fresher" (brighter, less or no congealed sauce) food.

                          1. re: Bubs

                            I felt the same about this place. Wanted to like it but felt the flavour and mix of veggies was lacking. I'd rather have smaller sizes and better quality. Some nice veg and vegan alternatives at (believe it or not) Burger Bar:


                            1. re: Ediblethoughts

                              Yeah in the end I couldn't even deal with the leftovers. I HATE throwing food out, but it really wasn't palatable. I also realized that the lack of garlic really affects the flavour (and I'm with you on less/better quality).

                              Is the Burger Bar the same people who had the Rice Bar? If so I won't be going. The Rice Bar was the biggest rip off. I posted somewhere else here that when I ordered the vegan stew I got a large container of plain rice with about 2 tbsp of stew on top. It wasn't cheap either. Never went back.

                              The Burger Bar menu does have some interesting things on it though...Hmmm...maybe I will give them a chance.

                              1. re: Bubs

                                Oh I know! I'm so annoyed that so few veg Chinese will do garlic. Veg Chinese NEEDS garlic!

                                I'm not sure if they are the same people or not. I really enjoyed by vegan stew--much more flavour than the Rice Bar. I liked the salads at RB but last time I was there, the rice dish left me less impressed so I hadn't gotten back in awhile. The people with me had the curried rice noodle bowel and they liked it too. The argula salad had some of the same crispy, chewy garlic that RB used to do. Not as many other neat ingredients included as RB did but still, lovely argula and nicely dressed. We also had sweet potatoe fries that were pretty good--and huge portion.

                                Two things I would recommend against getting: the rapini (the bring out a steak knife because it is really tough) and the bread pudding for dessert. That is the least interesting bread pudding I've ever eaten.