As with everything in life, balance is key. Luckily, Toronto is brimming with healthy hotspots that satisfy all ranges of diets. If you do want to eat meat, the following health-focused restaurants in Toronto focus on local, sustainable and organic farming practices. They also show mad love for veggie dishes and real food done right. Great spots for omnivores and herbivores alike!
With one location on Front Street (across from St. Lawrence Market) and another almost ready to open on Queen West, B.Good serves “real food fast”. It’s like everything you ever wanted a your old-school fast food joint to be. Their motto is “making food the way it should be, by people, not factories”. They offer seasonal vegetables from local farms including a variety of kale and quinoa bowls as well as smoothies and shakes. For a treat, they offer a handful of locally sourced burgers like turkey and grass-fed beef and of course, a vegan option as well.
A – 100 Front St East, Toronto
This gorgeous and inviting restaurant is part of Evergreen Brick works off Bayview Avenue. You can dine in or snag something yummy from their grab-and-go menu. Café Belong features sustainably, locally sourced dishes and a decadent weekend brunch. Their menu changes seasonally and is adapted daily to feature the best available ingredients, so it’s a smaller selection. But, they always include vegetarian options like vegan coconut cream and mushroom risotto with cider dressed arugula. Boom!
IQ Food Co.
With 3 locations in the downtown core, IQ is doing health food right! Their mission is to create restaurant spaces that celebrate health and wellness and show an appreciation for thoughtful design. They celebrate and support local farmers and even include nutritional breakdowns of some of their most commonly used nutrient-dense ingredients. IQ’s selection of boxed lunches will tempt vegans, vegetarian and sustainable meat-eaters alike. Since it’s summer, try the Pink Panther with strawberries, goat cheese, avocado, cucumbers, red radish, pickled onions, organic quinoa, spinach, and lemon vinaigrette. And if you’re just looking for something light, have a peek at their sizeable snack menu that even includes a simple classic like avocado mash with lime juice and chili flakes on sprouted toast.
C – 18 York St, Toronto
D – 181 Bay Street, Toronto
E – 100 Wellington St West, Toronto
With a tagline like “Meatless and Wheatless” you can bet you’re in for some real food fun. This is a vegan, gluten-free quick-service resto operating from several locations in the financial district of TO. Kupfert and Kim focus on delicious sustainable fare with a goal to provide “fresh, minimally processed and flavourful sustenance to the on-the-go human in our on-the-go age.” The menu changes slightly from location to location, but always includes a substantial offering of dynamite vegan dishes like a Red Lentil Curry with red lentils, organic potato, organic broccoli, onion, cauliflower, on a bed of brown rice with a side salad and pickled vegetables. Hello!
F – First Canadian Place: 100 King Street West, Toronto (PATH)
G – Brookfield Place: 181 Bay Street, Toronto (PATH)
H – Waterpark Place: 20 Bay Street, Toronto
I – Metro Centre: 200 Wellington St West, Toronto (PATH)
This cozy gem in the middle of Church and Wellesley village is one of those places with options for your naughty AND nice side. Sure there’s a burger and fries on the menu (naturally raised and local), but there are SO many other healthy options. I especially like their diverse and substantial salad options like; purple + black kale + nappa cabbage, organic polenta croutons, frizzled leeks, crispy capers + housemade cashew caesar dressing. Damn! Lola’s prides themselves on a their from-scratch menu which uses local, fresh organic products. Vegetarian, vegan and gluten free entrees available.
K – 634 Church St, Toronto
This little gem is nestled away in the pedestrian walkway on East Liberty Street and caters to the busy bee who needs good food fast. Oats and Ivy believes you don’t need to choose between nutrition and convenience so they offer a variety of ready-to-go snack packages and lunch boxes like the Asian Noodle box with kamut noodles, broccoli, bok choy, cured cucumbers, org. coconut curry cashews, green onions, cilantro almond satay sauce and sriracha. Everything is from scratch daily and they’re not joking about the from scratch part; even their almond milk is made fresh every morning and they ferment their own sriracha sauce! Quality is important to this small take-out café so they focus on sourcing ingredients that are wild, organic and sustainable.
You can find this Toronto hotspot in two locations (Davisville and Leslieville) for your fix of mouth-watering Middle Eastern food. Everything here is made from scratch daily with fresh, local ingredients. The chef puts his own unique spin on classic, heart-healthy Mediterranean dishes like tubule, fattush and babaganuj . There are lots of vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options all served up in an inviting, modern Mediterranean atmosphere. The hummus is to die for. Watch me and chef Ronny whip up a batch here.
M – 810 Queen St East, Toronto
When your menu is designed by a nutritionist and a homeopathic doctor, you know you’re onto something good! This cozy organic café in the Junction just west of Keele, is on a mission to support local farmers by providing fresh local produce, whenever possible. The also carry imported items that are Certified Fair Trade and take pride in being a socially responsible business. Their menu is quite substantial and offers everything from Mushroom, walnut and quinoa burger to fully loaded chickpea stuffed sweet potatoes.
O – 2945 Dundas Street West, Toronto
Honest, simple and handmade is the mantra at Woodlot. A staunch defender of local and organic food, David Haman owns and operates things at this rustic restaurant in Little Italy. It’s part bakery (with killer handmade, sourdough, organic breads) and part full-service resto with an incredible menu for carnivores and vegetarians alike. In fact, one of the things I adore about Woodlot is their double menu system. One is completely dedicated to delicious vegetarian fare. And, let me tell you if you’ve never had Hen O’ The Woods mushroom salad, you’re gonna love it. In fact, watch David and I make this signature dish of his here!
P – 293 Palmerston Ave, Toronto