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Which is Better - Fressen or Calico?

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I am coming to Toronto later this week for several days and have not tried either restaurant. I eat vegan food and am interested to hear opinions which is the better choice for dinner- Fressen or Calico. Also which brunch is the best bet- Fressen, Calico, or Karines. Any other suggestions for vegan dinner or brunch? Thanks

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Fressen
478 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M5V2B2, CA

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  1. My fave vegan brunch is at Fresh; love their tofu scramble. I've never really liked Fressen's brunch though I wanted to; enjoyed dinner there though. I haven't been to Calico but I did get some of that food delivered from that place as prepared food for the week and it wasn't as good as other places I've tried--some of it made me a bit queasy. Restaurant might be different. Oh, meant to say if you mean Karines in Village on the Grange, they have some good stuff but it's about as far from Fressen as you can get re food court vs. near-fine dining.

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    Fressen
    478 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M5V2B2, CA

    4 Replies
    1. re: Ediblethoughts

      Our plans changed and Brunch was out. Glad you mentioned Karines was in a food court, else it would have been quite a surprise. We did go there for a quick breakfast. Servings were large, lots of fresh fruit, bottomless coffee. Good amount of vegan choice. Good value. Owner lovely lady. Quite busy too. Across the street from OCAD, down the street from AGO.

      1. re: whatdidyoueat

        OCAD is what? I like Karines for a fast lunch--totally agree with your whole assessment of that.

        1. re: Ediblethoughts

          Ontario College of Art & Design. Used to be just OCA.

          1. re: Herb

            Ah, not food. OK, thanks!

    2. Fressen would be my pick for gourmet small plates for dinner. The flavours are great and there is lots of variety.

      -John

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      Fressen
      478 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M5V2B2, CA

      2 Replies
      1. re: Dr. John

        Went to Fressen for dinner. Dinner was lovely, quite nice enough. Service was charming. Restaurant was VERY busy for a Wednesday evening. Reservations are a MUST We arrived at 5:30 opening and there were only a couple tables still available. There were three celebration parties- a table of 12, table of six,and another arriving. I noticed the hostess turning away quite a few customers that evening.

        The filo pastry appetizer was outstanding! Mains were good, only comment was that all the mains had the same array of veggies, so really not much choice. We shared a really nice dessert, an avocado-chocolate mousse on chocolate pate with fresh fruits. We will go back again next trip!

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        Fressen
        478 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M5V2B2, CA

        1. re: whatdidyoueat

          I went there on Sunday for a 6pm dinner. I haven't been there in ages and I was asking myself why not!? Everything was lovely and some truly inspired vegan tastes. Service very nice also. I think that avocado dessert is the only one---yeah, beautiful dark chocolate taste.

      2. I've been to all three: Calico, no contest. The owner chef there used to cook at Fressen. Lovely backyard garden, too.

        http://www.calicocafe.ca/

        And Karine's isn't exclusively vegetarian.

        1 Reply
        1. re: curnonsky

          Unfortunately did not make it over to Calico this trip, but it is at the top of mygo to list on the next trip to Toronto. Will be very interesting to compare to Fressen. I am looking forward to it!

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          Fressen
          478 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M5V2B2, CA

        2. There's also Urban Herbivore in Kensington market. SUUUCH good curries!

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

          1. For dinner - Fressen - if you have the time. I had the portabello steak and the avocado choclate cake.

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            Fressen
            478 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M5V2B2, CA

            1 Reply
            1. re: lovemysweets

              Calico has closed since the OP posted.