The 7 Best Places to Eat Vegan in Toronto, Canada
The world is shifting and it’s becoming easier for vegans to find delicious plant-based meals around the world. In addition to the many mainstream restaurants now offering vegan menu options, there are multiple new and exciting all-vegan dining establishments catering to anyone that is vegan-curious or simply wants to enjoy a healthy meal without animal products.
Toronto, the capital of Ontario, has become the go-to Canadian city for all things plant-based. The vegan restaurants on this list are scattered among unique and eclectic neighborhoods of Toronto, or “The Six” as it’s fondly nicknamed. After your meal, explore this bustling city and learn why Toronto’s motto, “Diversity is our Strength”, is true. Learn more about vegan-friendly Toronto at Toronto Vegetarian Association, Toronto’s resource for all things veg whose mission is to inspire people to live compassionately through plant-based eating.
1. Virtuous Pie, 611 College Street
Plant yourself: Come alone and sit at the counter to people watch on busy College Street or bring a friend (or three) and sit in a cozy booth and share multiple pizzas. Virtuous Pie takes vegan pizza to a whole new tasty level of goodness. Their handcrafted 10-inch pizzas are made on-site with healthy ingredients including artisanal nut-based cheeses and three-day hand-stretched dough. They aim to create positive change in the world, once slice of pizza at a time. Virtuous Pie originated in Vancouver by passionate vegan foodies and Toronto is their first east coast location.
Must-haves: My son Noah and I loved the Superfunghi pizza topped with truffle almond ricotta, wild mushrooms, arugula, cashew mozzarella and herbed potato cream. We also split the unique Street Corn pizza topped with garlic paprika butter, cashew mozzarella, cilantro lime, fresh cilantro, Feta and of course charred corn. Wash it down with a tangy ginger Kombucha. They are licensed to serve beer on tap and red and white wine that is perfect to toast a night out.
Leave room for: Their small batch plant-based ice cream is just as exciting as their pizza. Using seasonal ingredients the mouth-watering flavors include Cookies + Cream, Chai Tea, Salted Caramel, and Tiger Tail. (No tigers harmed in the making of this fab dessert). Love it so much? Take a pint home with you!
2. Hello 123, 1122 Queen Street West
Plant yourself: While you wait for your reservation, head over to Toronto’s funky Queen West neighborhood with your friends before shopping in the trendy nearby stores. Hello 123 is known for fabulous brunch and it’s the perfect restaurant to relax with friends on the weekend. Their menu includes innovative cocktails such as Not A Big Dill and Hot Toddy.
Must-haves: Vegan brunch takes on a whole new meaning here. Sip on a healthy green smoothie packed with nutrients or a perfectly Instagramable Blue Smoothie Bowl with cashew butter, avocado and house granola. Arrive hungry and order the Omelette and Greens created with chickpea and kale in ranchero sauce served with a small salad and seed-oat crackers. On your next visit, order the Savoury Waffles topped with curry, coconut yogurt, olives, tomato, mint and dill. If you prefer something sweet order the Almond and Banana French Toast or Hello Pancakes with rich chocolate sauce. Don’t worry - you can walk it off along Queen Street.
Order for the table: Pesto or Kimchi Wedges are a sure crowd pleaser and the Spicy pulled Pineapple Sliders with aioli will have you ordering round two. Hello 123 is siblings with vegan restaurant Kupfert & Kim with multiple locations in Toronto. They serve minimally processed local and seasonal foods and respect the planet and animals.
3. Fresh on Front, 47 Front Street East
Plant yourself: At Fresh on Front Street's juice bar. Not only do they craft fresh cold-pressed juices but have also evolved into a full-service energetic restaurant. Fresh on Front welcomes the Toronto business scene at lunch, date night when the sun goes down, family brunch, or go alone and sit at the bar sipping craft cocktails and enjoying vegan cupcakes.
Must-haves: You absolutely must order their signature Quinoa Onion Rings. Hands down they are the best in the city and are Instagram famous. Their food is made in house from whole natural ingredients. Other favorites include their new Cobb Salad with tempeh bacon, crispy chick’n, avocado, marinated faro, vegan feta and fresh veggies and the crispy Squash Tacos. Burger lovers rejoice with a huge Beyond Cheeseburger packed with 20g of plant protein, Chao cheese and tangy pickles.
Order for the table: Keep the Quinoa Onion Rings to yourself but share their famous Dragon Fries topped with miso gravy, banana chilies and scallions. Split the huge order of Nachos with cashew queso, mushroom & artichoke chorizo, pico de gallo, avocado, crispy corn tortillas and veggies. You can purchase their Super Fresh cookbook to recreate meals at home.
4. Planta Burger, 4 Temperance Street
Calling All: Burger lovers to the new Planta Burger, a spin-off from the original Planta in the upscale Yorkville neighborhood where people dress up to be seen and drive-by in fancy cars. This more laid back quick-service burger joint will satisfy all your burger cravings with several burger options and veganized old school favorites.
Must-haves: Obviously order a burger! There are six to choose from and they come with delicious truffle fries. The yummy California Burger is packed with mushrooms and lentils topped with pickled peppers, lettuce, avocado, onions and pickles. Wash it down with a thick strawberry and cream milkshake made from oat ice cream. Should you want to indulge further the double chocolate brownies are soft and moist.
Order for the table: Many lunch meetings are often held here on weekdays. Order a round of Buffalo Cauliflower with shaved carrots, pickled onions and herb aioli or a famous Canadian treat, Poutine, topped with miso mushroom gravy, cashew mozzarella and caramelized onions. Or spice up your meeting with Firehouse Fries.
5. Urban Herbivore, 64 Oxford Street
Plant yourself: Head to Toronto’s famous Kensington Market for Urban Herbivore's fresh plant-based goodness at a restaurant that cares about health, the environment and animals. Their biodegradable takeout packaging consists of cutlery, cups and straws made from corn; lids and bowls from sugarcane and boxes with post-consumer recycled material.
Must-haves: Order at the counter and create your own rainbow salad from fresh local veggies (tomatoes, cucumbers, avocado, peas, corn, cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, greens), special grilled vegetables, sweet potato, proteins such as tofu, beans, chickpeas and tempeh; and salad toppers such as nuts, seeds or granola and your choice of healthy dressings.
Leave room for: There are a variety of rotating scrumptious desserts including chocolate chunk cookies, rich chocolate brownies, fruity muffins and colorful cupcakes with icing that melts in your mouth. Save time after your meal to walk around the eclectic neighborhood in search of unique vintage treasures.
6. By Chloe, 3401 Dufferin Stree
Plant yourself: At by Chloe after shopping in Toronto’s bustling Yorkdale Shopping Centre. This popular vegan restaurant is known for delicious, nutritious and sustainable plant-based meals. Their fresh cold-pressed fruit and vegetable juices are made in small batches and are the perfect drink to sip while shopping.
Must-haves: Signature menu items include their famous Mac N’ Cheese with sweet potato-cashew cheese sauce, shitake bacon and almond parmesan; Quinoa Taco Salad with black beans, sweet corn, avocado, tortilla strips, quinoa, spicy seitan chorizo and tofu crema. If you have room order their famous New York-style carrot dog on a potato bun with yellow mustard and sauerkraut with an order of air baked fries and kale artichoke dip.
Leave room for: Choose from birthday donuts, tiramisu cupcakes and cinnamon espresso cookies. Get a doggie bag for your dog – that’s right, your pooch can indulge on house-made organic peanut butter dog bones or K9 oat pupcakes, with some of the proceeds going to the Humane Society.
7. Rosalinda, 133 Richmond Street West
Plant yourself: Located in Toronto’s Financial District, Rosalinda is bright and beautifully decorated with lots of green plants and a stunning vintage décor including a sparkling chandelier. To avoid the busy lunchtime office crowd head over for dinner or weekend brunch.
Must-haves: Picture perfect entrees will not disappoint. The Tijuana-Style Broccolini with jalapeno caper salsa, aioli and crispy garlic is delicious. Or my favorite, the Rosaburger, a hearty black bean patty with pickles, avocado, salsa and chipotle mayo with vegan mozzarella. If you are celebrating a birthday or special event (Or even if you aren’t!) they serve refreshing and bubbly cocktails. The Rosa Margarita hits the spot with tequila, orange agave and lime.
Order for the table: Sharing is caring and your biggest dilemma here is what to order. The friendly servers offer suggestions or start with Corn Fritters and Multigrain Chicharron and Totopos with guacamole. Then go for the Jicama & Citrus Salad with pepitas and pickled onion followed by Young Coconut Ceviche with apple, celery and pickled shallots. Families dining with kids can choose special menu items just for them such as French Toast with berries and Quesadilla with cheese and pico de gallo. It’s the perfect time to practice your Spanish – Vegana para todas!