A Spending a Sweet Sunday at Tori and Carol’s

May 21st, 2012 · Lisa · restaurant review, Review · Comments

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?

  • http://profiles.google.com/a.delbuono AngelA Del Buono

    I love how Tori’s is set up for you to get a sampling of things…. nothing is too big that you don’t also want to get a little of this, and a little of that.

    • theveganlisa

      We are so lucky to have Tori’s in the city. I was really impressed the menu and the feeling of her space.

  • NancyD

    It’s been a couple of years now since I’ve had a cinnamon bun or a chocolate croissant. I know where I’ll be heading someday soon! Hmm… Treats for my defense perhaps? And the grapefruit spirulina–yes! I did a Belmonte Raw cleanse this week, and that was one of my surprise favorites!

    • theveganlisa

      During my 5-day cleanse that juice stood out. I still think about it often. If you need a date for your trip to Tori’s, you know who to call. xo

  • http://tahinitoo.wordpress.com/ Amy

    I am so happy that you wrote this post. My partner and I will be in Toronto during mid-July and Tori’s sounds like a wonderful place to fill out bellies!! Toronto has such an extensive list of vegan-friendly eateries, I am quite overwhelmed.

    • theveganlisa

      I’ve been living here 5 years and there are still places on my list to try. I hope you’re able to fit in a stop at Tori’s when you’re in town. Definitely check out veg.ca for the Toronto directory – it is a great resource.

  • http://cupcakesandkale.blogspot.com/ jess

    now *this* is the way to celebrate a long weekend!  tori’s sounds wonderful.

    • theveganlisa

      I would be happy to take you there next time you’re in town.

  • http://www.tiedyefiles.com/ Kaitlyn

    There’s just something about vegan baked goods that makes me feel like I deserve them when I happen upon them. Fortunately, they seem to be appearing more often these days!

    • theveganlisa

      Kaitlyn, I very rarely buy vegan baked goods anymore but Tori’s is free of refined sugars and all made from scratch in house. That combination was just too good to pass up. 

  • Arlene

    Tori’s looks incredible. I can’t wait to try it. Everything looks so yummy. I don’t know how I will choose…. Maybe it will mean I will have to try one of everything!!!!

    • theveganlisa

      My Mom took home everything she wanted to experience. You could follow her lead and weeks of bliss.

  • Lungesandlunch

    If this was gluten-free I’d be in a coma right now. I really miss chocolate croissants :( 

    • theveganlisa

      The whole top shelf of their cabinet are all gluten-free but not made in a gluten-free facility. I wish I could make you an amazing gf chocolate croissant – I will add it to my bucket list to learn how.

  • http://peaceloveandgreens.com/ Lolita

    Wow, that looks amazing. Next time someone asks what a vegan can eat I’d love to show them this blog post. 

    Anyway, I wanted to say how much I love your blog and  so I have nominated you for a ‘Versatile Blogger Award’ (http://versatilebloggeraward.wordpress.com/).
    The Versatile Blogger Award is a great way of meeting other like-minded bloggers and share blog love.
    The rules for the Versatile Blogger are as follows:
    If you are nominated, you’ve been awarded the Versatile Blogger award.
    -Thank the person who gave you this award
    -Include a link to their blog
    -Select 15 blogs/bloggers that you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly
    -Nominate those 15 bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award by letting them know
    -Finally,share 7 things about yourself

    Hope you have time to do it. Would love to hear some of the great blogs you read .

    xxx Lolita

    • theveganlisa

      Lolita,

      Wow! Thank you so much for your kind words. I am so touched. I will plan to post my response soon. xoxo

  • http://wayfaringchocolate.com Hannah

    The top of my list of Must-Visits in Toronto is still that place called Lisa’s Kitchen Haven of Wonderment, but I think there’s a chance you could convince me to stop by here every now and again. Just a small chance. xo

    • theveganlisa

      I’m very happy to hear you have your priorities right – especially because Lisa knows how to find her way to Tori’s with you in tow. xoxo

  • http://www.seitanismymotor.com/ Mihl

    Oh wow, you are so lucky! Chocolate croissants are best.

    • theveganlisa

      Absolutely amazing. I have never tried the butter-filled variety so this was a special treat. 

  • Teresa

    And it all tasted every bit as good as it looked. I had one of the chocolate-covered salted caramels for dessert tonight and it was was wonderful. Perfect mix of sweet caramel, dark chocolate and just a little salt. 

    • theveganlisa

      Thank you for coming to me for your Mother’s Day celebration. I hope it was wonderful for you too. xoxo

  • Dano

    It was the best cinnamon bun I’ve ever had, vegan or not, and it was huge!
    Good thing I still had room for that wonderful mole salad.  Such a good day, I only wish Guelph had as many amazing vegan options.

    • theveganlisa

      Luckily you have a good excuse to visit Toronto often. xo

  • http://madcapcupcake.com/ Marika

    Good grief, everything looks amazing. That cinnamon bun! Must have!

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