Toronto is the most populous city in Canada and the capital of Ontario. With a population of 2.7 million, Toronto is the fourth most populous city in North America. Toronto is an international centre of business, finance, arts, and culture, and is recognized as one of the most multicultural cities in the world.
Three quick facts about Toronto
- Nearly 50% of Toronto residents belong to a visible minority population group and over 200 distinct ethnic origins are represented among its inhabitants, with over 160 different languages spoken.
- Toronto is home to tallest free-standing structure in the Western Hemisphere, the CN Tower.
- Some of the many nicknames that Toronto has include T.O., T-Dot, Hogtown, Hollywood North and The 6ix.
Since I’ve spent most of my life in Toronto, and many of my friends are also from here, I have so many options for Eat Like a Local posts. So, to spread things out a bit, I’ve asked my Toronto food friends to focus on specific areas of the local food scene. First up is Adrian, who is going to look at some of his favourite vegan places in the city.
the local: Adrian Berg
the location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
how long have you lived in Toronto? Most of my life
a quick intro about yourself
I’ve lived most of my life in the Toronto area and have enjoyed a relatively typical ‘North American’ diet all these years, including too many cheeseburgers and fries. About 7 years ago, however, I started a new journey to improve my health through lifestyle changes. I’ve made these changes incrementally, gradually adopting new habits to the point where my lifestyle now revolves around whole plant-based foods. While not a strict vegetarian or vegan, I have gained a much greater appreciation for all of the great vegetarian and vegan eateries in our great city of Toronto!
While not a strict vegetarian or vegan, I have gained a much greater appreciation for all of the great vegetarian and vegan eateries in our great city of Toronto!
WHERE TO EAT:
Doug McNish’s Public Kitchen
561 Marlee Avenue, North York, ON, M6B 3J3 | http://dougmcnish.com/
I was fortunate to learn about Doug’s Public Kitchen early on in my plant-based journey and I credit Doug for showing me just how good vegan food can be. Not only is the food delicious, but he also uses the highest quality organic ingredients, which are locally sourced where possible. His weekend brunch is incredible. My go-to is the Vegan Benedict which features an amazing vegan egg with runny yolk. He offers dinner service on selected weeknights in the fall and winter or you can take-out from his fully-stocked fridge 7 days a week year-round. Pro tip: pick up a tray of his famous vegan mac & cheese or try my favourite dish, the eggplant parmesan. You can also find Doug at Evergreen Brickworks in the summer months where he is a regular at the Saturday morning market food court (one of my favourite places in the city for fresh, organic, and local eats).
4 locations in Toronto | https://freshrestaurants.ca/
Fresh Restaurants have 4 locations in Toronto, including downtown and midtown, so it’s easy to visit from different areas of the city. This is the place to come for lunch or dinner if you’re new to vegan cuisine as the menu is expansive and they have something for everyone. The quinoa onion rings are out of this world (IMHO, the best in the city) and are a great starter to one of their grain and nut burgers. They also have many delicious bowls and interesting salads on the menu including my favourites, the Ace of Kales and Falafel Salad. While there, pick up a bottle of The Healer, a cold-pressed juice featuring turmeric and ginger that packs a sharp but delicious bite.
One Love Vegetarian Restaurant
854 Bathurst St, Toronto, ON, M5R3G2 | http://oneloveveg.tel/
A vegan restaurant that you can feel comfortable taking your non-vegan friends to. I only discovered this place last year as it has an unassuming store front just off the beaten track on Bathurst, north of Bloor. But don’t let that fool you, as the offerings here are delicious and the people are very friendly. My favourite dish is the BBQ Tofu Stir Fry with mouth-watering flavours including plantain and avocado. Their roti is also delicious, with just the right amount of spice and filling. My pick is the pumpkin. Note that seating area is rather small and stop at the bank machine on the way as they take cash only.
Of course these are just a few of the places where you can find good vegan eats in our city. I would be remiss if I didn’t include Live Organic Food Bar in this post. With locations in the Annex and Liberty Village, they offer delicious dishes such as their Alkaline Salad and Pulled Burdock Burrito in an inviting setting and are a must-visit for anyone searching for great plant-based cuisine in Toronto. Honourable mentions also go to Kupfert & Kim, Hogtown Vegan, Hibiscus Cafe, and Grasshopper.
Finally since you can’t forget about dessert, head over to Harbord Street and pick up a double chocolate vegan cupcake from Almond Butterfly Bakeshop – the best in the city in my books – or the newly opened Sweet Hart Kitchen, located in Kensington Market.
Thanks for helping us Eat Like a Local (Vegan) in Toronto, Adrian!
The Eat Like a Local series is a unique look at good places to eat in various town, cities and countries around the world. This isn’t your usual tour book guide list and it definitely isn’t paid for by any restaurants or tourism boards – this is just a local resident sharing their favourite food recommendations. You can check out all the places we’ve covered on and find out how YOU can get involved on this page.
Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post. However, I am part of the Amazon affiliate program and the product links shared in this post are affiliate links – if you click on them and purchase something, I will receive a tiny commission fee (at no extra cost to you) which helps me keep this site running. Please read my disclosure policy for more information.
All photos in this post belong to Adrian Berg and are used here with permission. Please do not copy or reproduce any part of this post (written content or images) without obtaining the proper permissions.