Tori, my friend, I hope you’re ready to be Toronto’s sweetheart.
When I walked through the door of your bakeshop and saw the shelves of vegan pastries, the shiny espresso maker and the whimsical decor I was already under your spell.
It took me a few minutes of standing by the counter, taking in the wafting scent of cinnamon and sugar to realize it wasn’t a dream.
Can you blame me? I’ve never sat in such a beautiful place surrounded by signs that read unbelievable things like chocolate vegan croissants. I don’t want to sound like I’ve been deprived of incredible baked goods during my decades as a vegan, I have no complaints in that department, but up to a few years ago I would have relied on my own baking skills to fulfill those fantasies or would have planned a trip to NYC for a vegan cupcake and shot of frosting.
In just a few years the vegan food scene in Toronto has transformed, with places like Tori’s and LPK’s Culinary Groove wowing crowds with what they can create with plants. Yesterday was my first trip to Tori’s Bakeshop in the Beaches but will not be my last. I’m in love.
Although Tori’s treats were the stars of this visit, the cozy atmosphere of the cafe makes it a place I plan to return to often – hopefully with any friends who still believe veganism is about deprivation. I think this spot has an important role to play in opening minds and filling bellies.
Luckily, for my first visit, I was there to celebrate with two of my favourite people, we all picked something sweet and shared a taste of the others’ orders. Dan’s selection was the biggest vegan Cinnamon Bun I had ever seen. It was light, sweet and beautifully spiced.
My Mom had her eye on the Chocolate Croissant from the moment we walked in. I had one bite of the flaky pastry and immediately understood why people travel to Paris.
I grabbed a Morning Glory Muffin and a Flat White. I felt like I was back in a New Zealand cafe. The muffin had a moist crumb and a hearty dose of cinnamon and nutmeg – the perfect match for my creamy espresso.
Dan also ordered the ham and cheese biscuit. I didn’t get a sample of his savoury selection but the fact that it disappeared so quickly was a definite endorsement.
As if that wasn’t enough of a statement of satisfaction, the three boxes of treats they ordered to take home with them certainly sent the message.
Our love of Tori‘s is now a family affair.
After all that sweetness, I wanted something good and green.
We made our way to one of my favourite places on the city’s east side, Belmonte Raw.
Dan and my Mom shared this stunning Mole Salad.
I sipped my go-to juice on a hot sunny day, a refreshing combination of grapefruit and spirulina. Carol’s elixirs always make me feel fantastic.
What a perfect plant-filled day in Toronto.
How did you celebrate this weekend?