It’s amazing to see more and more plant-strong restaurants popping up around the city. This is a good sign of our collective desire to eat better and support more sustainable businesses. Here, I’ve mapped out some of the best vegetarian restaurants in Toronto to get your veggie on!
Again, the restaurants I chose favour fresh, unadulterated food with an emphasis on seasonal and local produce when possible. The list runs the gamut of fine dining to quick, grab-and-go eateries. There are other top vegetarian restaurants in Toronto that aren’t on my list as they aren’t necessarily health-focused. Simply put this list is all about real food done right.
Big Carrot Deli
I love love love shopping at the Big Carrot in Danforth Village. For a holistic nutritionist, it’s like a playground of goodies. I could spend hours in there and sometimes I do, which is why I love the vegetarian deli section. There are so many fresh, organic options to choose from; made in house daily. You can get your tasty morsels to go or sit in for a bite. As an earth friendly cooperative, the Carrot reduces waste with Earth Choice containers, but also encourages customers to bring their own take-away containers and will credit 25 cents for any container you bring for take away! Bonus!
A – 348 Danforth Ave, Toronto
Ruth Tal at Fresh has been making vegetarians happy all over Toronto before vegetarian food started trending. The website proudly boasts their trailblazing efforts “since 1999”. Since then, they’ve taken their whole foods approach to 4 different spots throughout the city. I’ve been going here for years. It’s hard to pick a favourite thing on the menu, but I do love me a Tangled Thai salad with spiralized carrots, beets, jicama and napa cabbage with peanuts and cilantro and a perfect peanut/lime dressing. Ruth has made it her mission to “prove that vegetarian food can be satisfying, energizing, and crave-able.” Mission accomplished! If you love a healthy meal, there’s no doubt Fresh has made it onto your personal list ofbest vegetarian restaurants in Toronto.
B – Annex: 326 Bloor St West, Toronto
C – Queen West: 894 Queen St West, Toronto
D – Spadina: 147 Spadina Ave, Toronto
More than just an organic coffee shop, Fuel + in the Village at Church and Wellesley, is on a mission to serve and educate its consumers about nutrition! They believe “healthy eating should not cost more and taste just as good”. On top of an extensive smoothie/juice menu, they offer an assortment of Fuel Balls, soups, vegan wraps and fresh, organic, salads. With your health in mind, the ingredient selections deliberately include foods expressly high in protein, vitamins and minerals, anti-oxidants, essential fatty acids, dietary fibers. They even have an app to show you the nutritional breakdown of the foods you choose. Bonus!
F – 471 Church St, Toronto
I included this Caribbean, creole vegetarian roti shop (just north of Bloor on Bathurst) because they support local organic farmers and have a small, but mighty menu of tasty rotis and vegan bowls. Even though you can’t get a gluten-free roti, they do have whole wheat options and a few delicious gluten-free curries and bowls like Callaloo – Jamaican Greens with boiled green banana, yellow yam, and avocado. I love callaloo! Show some love and check this place out.
As a nutritionist and a personal trainer, Pulp Kitchen owner, Marie Crawford, knows a thing or two about real food that fuels the body. Her restaurant has been operating in Leslieville for almost 15 years now and became so popular she opened a second location on the Danforth. Her mission is to make healthy food more available to everyone and to help educate on the benefits of healthy eating. She does this by offering a super-tasty selection of smoothies and fresh-pressed juices as well as other vegetarian goodies like her delicious, dairy-free, version of a grilled “cheese” with melted Daiya cheese, roasted peppers or tomatoes on flax bread. You can watch me and Marie making her signature Vitality green smoothie here.
H – 717 Queen St East, Toronto
Just north of Kensington Market on College near Spadina, this vegetarian restaurant prides itself on offering tasty meat-free morsels but doesn’t actively promote the health angle. Instead the Grasshopper hightlights their tasty and innovative dishes. Their creative menu includes burgers, bowls, soups and salads with gluten-free options. You can get everything from vegan, quinoa mac and cheese, to a tempeh Sloppy Joe to a Kale’n Cabbage salad with toasted pumpkin seeds with a choice of dressings like plum, ginger garlic soy sesame or house.
This sprawling vegetarian restaurant on Lake Shore West is not only plant-based, but also super health conscious, offering a 70% raw and 30% cooked meals. They have a resident certified holistic health coach who ensures the menu provides optimum nutrition. Their mission is to promote a healthy, vibrant lifestyle and use local, fair-trade and organic ingredients when available. They have a substantial brunch menu including quinoa pancakes and several egg or tofu options with sides like vegan sausage or tempeh bacon and their open-faced sandwiches are served on homemade, sprouted bread like the Latin with guacamole, spinach, sautéed onions & mushrooms, sprouts, tomatoes, and chipotle cashew sauce. And that’s just the beginning. Go check it out!
J – 3473 Lake Shore Blvd West, Toronto
Vegan with an Asian twist in a bistro atmosphere on Baldwin Street! This popular resto offers a wide range of lunch and dinner menu items like fresh veggie rolls, kale salad and things like avocado salad mixed with apples, nuts and raisins on a bed of greens with a creamy vegan dressing. YUMMY!
This Dundas West, plant-based, take away café specializes in chef-crafted, non-GMO and organic foods. They believe that everyone deserves to be “strong, calm and live long.” Although the shop is small and casual, the dishes are as vibrant and well-crafted as any you’d find at a fine-dining establishment. In fact, chef/owner, Ren Mercer, left his post at The Spoke Club to open this health food hub. You’ll find everything from grilled sandwiches, to vegan soups and stews and hearty salads.
L – 1199 Dundas St West, Toronto
Love the play on words at this Little Italy “vegetarian butcher” shop where you can snag a plethora of veggie burgers and meat alternatives. The thing I really love about this place is that instead of being chock-full of preservatives and processed junk, their veggie burgers are made from real, nourishing ingredients like their beet burger, for example, that includes beets, carrots, turnips, zucchini, potatoes, brown rice, parsley, tarragon. They also have plenty of boxes/bowls to choose from and a great selection of fresh organic juices.
M – 705 College St, Toronto
I’d love to hear which hotspots make it onto your personal ‘best vegetarian restaurants in Toronto’ list. Let me know in the comments below and we can marvel together over how this list will grow and grow. Happy good food outing!