As a vegetarian, there’s a little thrill I get when I look at a menu and have more than two options at my disposal. Vegan restaurants have become quite trendy in the past few years in Toronto as more people adapt to plant-based diets. Whether you don’t eat meat, dairy, or both, this city is full of bakeries, cafes, and restaurants ready to accommodate your every dietary restriction. These six spots aren’t just about serving you lettuce on a plate and calling it a salad. From mini donuts to tacos, behold some of my favourite vegan eateries in Toronto!
Due to the size of both crowds and price tags, I try to avoid the Eaton Centre at all costs. Yet, from time to time the tempeh bacon sandwiches tempt me at Urban Herbivore, a vegan eatery located in the food court. Urban Herbivore has salads, bowls, fresh juices and all that health jazz, but it’s those dang sandwiches that beckon to me, forcing me to make the one-minute walk over from campus. After you fill up on a delicious sweet chilli chicken & avocado sandwich, polish off your balanced meal with a wide selection of vegan cupcakes! I recommend the chocolate chai or the salted caramel to really treat your tastebuds. With such close proximity to campus, you’ll definitely keep coming back!
If the sound of cupcakes got you excited, you’ll love Bunner’s! This bakery is 100% vegan and gluten-free, so feel free to bring all your plant-based gluten-hating friends. Their cinnamon buns are a personal gift from the gods, and their dairy-free soft-serve never hurt anyone! Bunner’s has two locations, but their Kensington Market location is only a 25-minute-ish walk from campus, making for a nice break between classes, depending on how fast you want to run for their vegan cheesecake.
Another staple of Kensington Market, King’s Cafe serves vegetarian Chinese food. If you’ve been missing dumplings or dim sum since becoming a vegan, then this is the place for you. I loved the spicy eggplant and the kung-po soy-chicken, and I’m sure any meat-eater would too. Not everything on their menu is vegan, so be sure to read carefully or ask the friendly staff for help.
Bloomer’s is an all vegan cafe and restaurant just outside of Ossington subway station. Unlike other veg eateries, Bloomer’s doesn’t serve fake-meat substitutes, but rather focuses on serving delicious vegetarian food. The pulled jackfruit sandwich is my favourite, which comes topped with gluten-free onion rings, but their donuts alone are to die for. Before you leave, you definitely won’t be able to take your eyes off the baked goods. I would highly recommend getting a frosted carrot cake to go, because you won’t find a better one anywhere else!
Fresh is my go-to place to take my parents when they’re in town because they aren’t broke students like I am. Fresh is a vegan haven- think squash tacos, bok choy poutine, and buddha bowls. Fresh also has a juice and smoothie selection that is just as extensive as their food menu, which is the real cause for running up my parent’s bill. I highly recommend their green candy juice and any one of their avocado-topped rice bowls, because they are seriously delicious and full of ~health~.
Doomie’s is out to prove that vegan food doesn’t have to be boring. You might have seen them on Instagram with their outrageous vegan Big-Mac or maybe their skillet-sized chocolate chip cookie. This vegan restaurant in Parkdale specializes in junk food, quite the contrary to the salads you’ve come to expect of a plant-based diet. Doomie’s is a bit of a trek from campus, but can you really resist the sound of vegan mac ‘n cheese or mini donuts?!
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