Best raw restaurant - recommendation? (Live, Raw Aura, Rawlicious, Naked Sprout...)
I love raw food and am taking my mom out to dinner for her birthday this week. She also loves raw food. In the past, we have eaten at Live (about 4 years ago... we don't live in Toronto so don't get there too often), and Raw Aura (last summer).
We are going to be in Toronto but Raw Aura and Naked Sprout are on our way home, so location doesn't matter.
Our guidelines are:
- wheelchair friendly (so basically Live is out)
- we would eat raw food, even if the menu has cooked as well
- we always get nachos to start
- we are big eaters so if the portions are smaller, let us know so we can order more!
- we aren't picky
Out of Raw Aura (which we loved), Rawlicious, and the Naked Sprout, what do you recommend and why? If there is one I am missing, please let me know. We'll be near the Rawlicious Yorkville location, if that makes a difference.
I wasn't a huge fan of Raw Aura when I first had it, but, I think the chef has changed since then. I was there when it first opened up and I had something with dried thyme or some other spice in it and this dish tasted horrible as a result. Supposedly some people have a bad reaction/taste to dried thyme but my friend also thought the dish was gross and it didn't "need" the thyme...
Couple other raw spots that I know of
Cruda - basement of St. Lawrence market, hours after very limited, wheel chair access via elevator.... But, I am boycotting this place for really bad service on a few occasions and an unpleasant owner. I enjoyed it when it opened but they really tried to screw me over when using a voucher a few times and the staff was not pleasant about it, I have had enough. Friends I recommended to check it out pre-having issues myself also received poor/unfriendly service (mainly from the owner). Regardless, the hours of SLM would limit you on this one
Rawlicious, I haven't been to the Yorkville location but have been to the other one a handful of times. I have enjoyed all of my meals there and my desserts but I have also heard of people having bad service experience there. Not sure how the yorkville one is.
There is a place in downtown Oakville called Nyzme. It is pretty decent but again I wasn't a fan of the service (the owner decided to not honour a voucher and charged more, I didn't end up arguing at the time but after words I felt ripped off). The menu didn't change much between the few times I went there so it was kind of getting boring to me. The issue you will have visiting this place is that it is second floor with a steep stairwell and no elevator. If you wanted to go and visit in the future you could get takeout (assuming one of you could use the stairs) and then find a spot down by the lake to have a bit of a picnic.
Naked Sprout - I went there twice and I really enjoyed my meals both times. Not to hype it but I think it is my favourite of my raw meals in the GTA. My ultimate favourite is Crudesence in Montreal.
The thing is, if you live closer by Burlington and are in Toronto for a special occasion, I would suggest trying Rawlicious as it would be easier to reach Burlington on a non-special day. Again, not sure about the Yorkville location but I would say it is worth a shot!
Thanks for your detailed reply!
As for Raw Aura, we did really enjoy it last summer and I am not sure which chef that was. It might have been what we had to eat, too.
For Cruda, I wouldn't be able to make it, and because I am a celiac, I had contacted her regarding gluten-free and she said that I shouldn't eat there if I was a celiac in case of cross contamination. I'm not sure what they use with gluten, but I decided her abrupt reply was enough for me.
Unfortunately, Nzyme has closed. It was on my to do list for awhile, but given your experience, I'm not sure I mind!
Excellent regarding Naked Sprout.
About being closer to Burlington, that was the exact conversation my mom and I had yesterday. I mentioned that we go to Burlington and Oakville all the time for various things, but seldom do we just go trouncing around Toronto. I had heard a lot of mixed reviews about Rawlicious so it is good you've had a good experience.