Toronto’s Best Vegan Restaurant Dishes

July 2nd, 2014 · Lisa · Fun with Friends, restaurant review, Vegan · Comments

Thinking of visiting Toronto? If you’re like me, you’ve been searching “Toronto’s best vegan restaurants” and scouring lists looking for reliable reviews, in order to make your must-eat itinerary. Lucky for you, I’ve curated a list of Toronto’s 100 most amazing vegan offerings.

If you live in Toronto – or the area, then let this be your go-to resource for answering the “what’s for dinner” question.

Although not often cited as the ultimate vegan destination (like San Francisco or New York), Toronto may surprise you. HappyCow  has a 127 Veg listings for Toronto and the Veg Directory lists 113 Veg restaurants in the area. Those numbers sound impressive – but they barely scratch the surface of the amazing vegan discoveries found on restaurant menus across the city. For that kind of true data you’d need a dedicated group of passionate plant-based eaters prepared to find the very best and tell the tale. Which is exactly what we’ve got here.

Hibiscus Salad Sampler

Toronto’s Vegan 100 is a curated list of unbelievable vegan dishes suggested by discerning local vegans who shared their favourite dishes, memorable meals and unforgettable finds.

Toronto’s Vegan 100
1. Apiecalypse Now’s Chili Mac n’ Cheese
2. Apiecalypse Now’s Dunkeroos
3. Apiecalypse Now’s Pulled Not Pork
4. The Atlantic Vegan Tasting Menu
5. Bahn Mi Boys’ Tofu Tacos
6. Bello Bio’s Tiramisu
7. Belmonte Raw’s Peanut Butter Chocolate Thimble
8. Belmonte Raw’s Strength Juice
9. The Beet’s Grilled Cheese with Apple Butter (with Daiya)
10. The Beet‘s Vegan Mac n’ Cheese
11. The Bickford Flexitarian’s Fried Vegg Sandwich (closed) new 11. Boreal Gelato‘s Vegan Salted Caramel
12. Boreal Gelato‘s Strawberry Sorbetto
13. Buddha’s Vegetarian‘s General Tao’s Chicken
14. Bunner’s Cinnamon Buns
15. Bunner’s Double Chocolate Brownie
16. Bunner’s Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
17. Canoe’s Vegan Tasting Menu
18. Café 668’s Vegetarian Pho
19. ChocoSol Traders’ bike blended Xocolatl
20. Cut the Cheese’s Harvest Grilled Cheese with Butternut Squash and Caramelized Onions (with Diaya)
21. Disgraceland’s Vegan Butter Chicken Burrito
22. Earth and City’s Vanilla Bean Macaroon
23. Ethiopiques’ Vegetarian Platter
24. Fresh‘s Ace of Kales Salad
25. Fresh’s Panko Crusted Squash Tacos
26. Fresh‘s Picnic Burger
27. Fresh’s Quinoa Onion Rings
28. Grasshopper’s Chick-un Bahn Mi
29. Grasslands‘ Guacamole Grilled Cheese
30. Grasslands‘ Monster burger
31. Grasslands’ Snickerdoodle French Toast
32. Greenhouse Juice’s pink milk
33. Green Earth’s Authentic Hue Noodle Soup
34. Greens Vegetarian’s Lemon Chicken
35. Greens Vegetarian‘s Sweet and Sour Mock Chicken
36. Hawker Bar’s Vegan Laksa
37. Hello Darling‘s Chickpea Scramble
38. Hello Darling‘s Mushroom Wellington
39. Hibiscus’ Ice Cream (especially earl grey or black sesame or pistachio)
40. Hibiscus’ Salad Sampler
41. Hogtown Vegan‘s Fried Apple Pie
42. Hogtown Vegan‘s Fries Supremacy
43. Hogtown Vegan’s Philly “Cheesesteak”
44. Hogtown Vegan‘s Unchicken & Waffles
45. Hot Beans’ Big Bill’s Dick Burrito (secret menu)
46. Hot Beans’ Mac n’ Cheese Burrito
47. Ital Vital’s Bbq Gluten
48. Jean’s Vegetarian Kitchen‘s Malaysian Curry
49. Jerusalem’s Vegetarian Dinner
50. Just Falafel’s Indian Falafel Wrap
51. Khao San Road’s Vegan Three Flavours Pad Thai
52. King’s Cafe‘s Kung Po Soy-Fritters
53. Kingyo’s 9 Course Shojin Buddhist Monk Meal
54. Korean bi bim bap stone bowl riceteria’s Mushroom Bi Bim Bap
55. Kupfert and Kim’s Oaxaca bowl
56. Le Ti Colibri’s Le Nassau with Avocado
57. Live Organic Food Bar’s French Toast
58. Live Organic Food Bar’s Pulled Burdock Burrito
59. Live Organic Food Bar’s Raw Joe Louie
60. Live Organic Food Bar‘s Raw Tacos
61. Magic Oven’s Tropical Magic Pizza
62. Mela Cafe’s Eggplant Sandwich
63. Nazareth’s Vegetarian Platter
64. One Love Vegetarian’s Corn Soup
65. One Love Vegetarian‘s Pumpkin Chana Potato Roti
66. The Public Kitchen‘s Scramble Platter
67. The Public Kitchen’s Triple Decker Brunch Club
68. The Public Kitchen‘s Vegan Benedict
69. Pizza by the Slice‘s Gourmet Vegan Pizza and “Wings”  (closed) new 69. Disgraceland‘s Ribwich dinner
70. Rancho Relaxo’s Deep Fried Ice Cream
71. Rancho Relaxo’s Faux Chicken Chimichanga
72. Rancho Relaxo’s Faux Chicken Fajitas
73. Rancho Relaxo’s Vegan Enchiladas
74. Ryus Noodle Bar‘s Vegetable Miso Potage
75. Sneaky Dee’s Vegan Burro Favorito
76. The Steady‘s Vegan Eggs Benny
77. Superfood Eateries’ Granola Parfait
78. South Indian Dosa Mahal‘s Vegetable Masala Dosa
79. Sweets From the Earth‘s Chocolate Chewy Nut Bar
80. Sweets from the Earth’s Chocolate Pecan Caramel Bar
81. Sweets from the Earth‘s Cinnamon Apple Loaf
82. Sweets from the Earth‘s S’mores cupcakes
83. Tabule’s Fattush Salad
84. Tori’s Bakeshop’s Buttertart
85. Tori’s Bakeshop’s BLT sandwich with coconut bacon
86. Tori’s Bakeshop‘s Cake Doughnuts
87. Tori’s Bakeshop‘s Pizza Pockets
88. Through Being Cool‘s Boston Cream Doughnut
89. Through Being Cool‘s Breakfast Pockets
90. Through Being Cool’s Pizza Rolls
91. Through Being Cool‘s Scalloped Potatoes
92. Through Being Cool‘s TVP Pot Pie
93. Udupi Palace’s Masala Dosa
94. Urban Herbivore’s Bbq Tofu Sandwich
95. Ursa‘s Cashew/Walnut Foie
96. Ursa‘s Stinging Nettle Noodles
97. Vegetarian Haven’s Apple Fritters
98. Vegetarian Haven‘s Blueberry Pie Milkshake
99. Vegetarian Haven‘s Singapore Seitan
100. Vegetarian Haven’s Tofu Drumsticks

Tori's Bakeshop DSC_0027

Through Being Cool Doughnuts

In order to make a top 100 list from all the amazing suggestions, I followed the following criteria:

  • No chain restaurants (a few locations in the city is okay but not something available in every city around the world)
  • Restaurant must be located in Toronto
  • Must be interesting/different/unique – I removed the numerous suggestions for tofu scrambles and bean burritos because so many restaurants do it so well and I wanted this list to be about those amazing unpredictable finds.
  • Yes, there are a few things on the list that are products rather than restaurant dishes (e.g. Sweets from the Earth products) but they are available in lots of cafes and some restaurants around the city.

Must mentions:
Toronto just got its first vegan butcher shop – YamChops. Since it just barely opened its doors we don’t have specific suggestions, although the restaurant reviewers have been raving about the Carrot Lox.

If you’re planing a trip to Toronto, may I suggest early September? This year is the Toronto Vegetarian Food Festival‘s 30th anniversary. It is North America’s biggest vegetarian festival. You can join 40,000 like minded friends for free food, free demos and free entrance to an incredible cornucopia of the best vegan products on the market.

If you’re a regular reader, I’m sorry my posts have been few and far between. I’ve missed you. But you may have guessed that I’m writing a cookbook. It’s true, and it is actually starting to feel like I’ll make the manuscript deadline. With most of the recipe development behind me I’ll be back soon with more information, fun summer recipes and whole stack of cookbook reviews very soon.

If you’d like to contribute to the next edition of Toronto’s Vegan 100, let me know what you’d add in the comments. And, I’d love to know your score – I’m only at 29. 

xo

34 Comments

  1. Nicole
    Posted July 2, 2014 at 11:51 am

    What a fantastic list! Although I’ve lived in Toronto for over 16 years, I have yet to try many of these dishes. The vegan Caesars you mentioned sound amazing. Thanks for curating, Lisa! xo

    • theveganlisa
      Posted July 2, 2014 at 11:26 pm

      You’re invited to the Caesar party.

  2. Posted July 2, 2014 at 12:19 pm

    This list is incredible and I have a lot of giddy tasting to do over the next six weeks. Oh, and I know we’re in Calgary right now, but the Vegan Caesars are happening asap once we’re back. xoxo

    • theveganlisa
      Posted July 2, 2014 at 11:26 pm

      Everyone is coming to that party!

      • Posted August 14, 2014 at 1:40 pm

        Worst. Party. Ever. 😉

  3. Posted July 2, 2014 at 12:42 pm

    Boreal gelato makes a vegan salted caramel which is out of this world. I’ve lived in Toronto coming up on 4 years… and I’ve done most of these. Yup. Yup. Thanks for putting it all together, there are some solid options on here.

    • Posted July 2, 2014 at 12:43 pm

      Oh, and Disgraceland’s Ribwich dinner is A+

      • theveganlisa
        Posted July 2, 2014 at 11:26 pm

        MeShell, you are amazing!!! Boreal gelato just got added to my personal list.

        • theveganlisa
          Posted August 3, 2014 at 7:11 am

          Okay, MeShell, now that Bello Bio has closed we need another incredible dessert.

  4. dawe_nl
    Posted July 2, 2014 at 2:11 pm

    Vegan Caesars? Just over a month til I’m back for good. Reunion drinks?!

    • theveganlisa
      Posted July 2, 2014 at 11:25 pm

      Definitely. I haven’t tried them yet but I’m really excited about it.

  5. Lisa
    Posted July 2, 2014 at 7:45 pm

    So glad to see the familiar Hibiscus salad as your feature photo; it is my favourite! I’ll aim to try most of the rest of your suggestions but I will always leave Toronto with a Hibiscus salad to-go for the train home!

    • theveganlisa
      Posted July 2, 2014 at 11:24 pm

      That is one of my favourite meals in the city. 🙂

  6. Posted July 3, 2014 at 8:38 am

    Congratulations on the cookbook! I can’t wait to get my hands on it. I know it’s going to be gorgeous and full of amazing recipes!

    Thank you for this must-eat list of Toronto. I have never been, and now I have 103 reasons to visit (including you, Hannah & Nicole)!

    • theveganlisa
      Posted July 4, 2014 at 1:17 am

      Absolutely! We’d love to have you come for a stay. Hannah and I are currently on a little adventure in the Rocky Mountains.
      And thank you for the kind words about the cookbook. It is a lot of work and has made blogging pretty impossible, but I am really looking forward to sharing it with my friends.

  7. Purpleandsilver
    Posted July 3, 2014 at 6:13 pm

    Great list! Also Pizzeria Libretto makes a really good vegan pizza. It’s called Marinara and it has no cheese. It’s just tomato and some fresh herbs and garlic. Sounds simple (because it is) but it’s amazing.

    • theveganlisa
      Posted July 4, 2014 at 1:15 am

      I do love that dish. Often a go-to when I have non-vegan friends in town.

  8. Vivien
    Posted July 3, 2014 at 8:45 pm

    What a small world. I went to New Central with you! I stopped eating meat at 12 because of factory farming – wish I had known you were veg back then. What an awesome blog – I stumbled across this page due to the link from Through Being Cool’s FB page 🙂

    • theveganlisa
      Posted July 4, 2014 at 1:14 am

      Amazing! Hi Vivien, yes, I’ve been vegan since about age 6. So fun to connect like this over amazing, compassionate choices.

  9. Posted July 5, 2014 at 11:06 am

    Congratulations on your upcoming cookbook, Lisa! I can’t wait to see it. This list makes me so happy to be returning to Toronto. So many great options! I think I have only had 13. Other recommendations are the corn chips from Superfood Eateries, the sweet potato kimchi poutine (hold the mayo) from Banh Mi Boyz and the raspberry filled, chocolate glazed donut from Through Be Cool. The un chicken salad from Yam Chops is also stellar 🙂

    • theveganlisa
      Posted July 10, 2014 at 3:30 pm

      Thank you Janet! It should be out fall 2015. Nicole and I are working on it together.
      I love your suggestions – I’ll definitely update the list in a few months.

  10. Dale_anglo
    Posted July 9, 2014 at 9:31 am

    This list is incredible! I’d love to tick these all off one day.

    • theveganlisa
      Posted July 10, 2014 at 3:29 pm

      Time to get started!

  11. Clare
    Posted July 9, 2014 at 10:41 am

    pizza by the slice is closed. Tried to go yesterday.

    • Clare
      Posted July 9, 2014 at 10:43 am

      I would replace it with Gandhi’s chana roti 😉

      • theveganlisa
        Posted July 10, 2014 at 3:29 pm

        Great suggestion!

    • theveganlisa
      Posted July 10, 2014 at 3:29 pm

      So sad. I will add a note. Sorry! Things become out of date as soon as you put them up.

  12. Elizabeth Levesque
    Posted July 11, 2014 at 10:46 pm

    i’m trying to eat more vegetables. My Mom told me to. cheers!

  13. Brandy
    Posted September 4, 2014 at 7:42 pm

    I very much loved the vegan 4 (or was it 5?) course meal at Cafe Belong. Plus, the setting cannot be beat. It is super expensive but wow, what a meal.

  14. Alaina
    Posted October 29, 2014 at 10:53 pm

    Latkes at Cardinal Rule. Great list!

  15. the goods
    Posted January 26, 2015 at 3:20 pm

    Try the Goods! All clean vegan, soups, smoothies and salad bowl!

  16. wcw
    Posted August 2, 2015 at 7:03 pm

    Jerk seitan at Veggie D’Light in Kensington – very very good.

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