The following places offer vegetarian fine dining with full table service or a fancy buffet. They all have elegant dining rooms and are open for dinner until at least 9pm. Many have dim lighting or candlelight. Some of the vegetarian restaurants listed below do not serve alcohol, but they make up for it with other exotic beverages.
Annapurna – k c d
1085 Bathurst St, 416-537-8513
Annapurna is the oldest vegetarian eatery in Ontario opened in 1974. Expanded seating with a clean fresh look after a recent renovation. South Indian specialties, many vegan and macrobiotic entrees. Soy, fruit, yogurt shakes, over a dozen bottled natural juices/drinks, and desserts include vegan selections. Alcohol-free.
Full course for two including taxes – under $30.
Hours: Mon-Tue 11:30am- 9pm, Wed 11:30am to 6pm, Thu-Sun 11:30am- 9pm. Closed Sun and also for 2 weeks in August and April.
v Cafe 668 Vegetarian Restaurant – L
885 Dundas St W (at Claremont), 416-703-0668
In August 2007 they moved to a larger, newly renovated restaurant with a patio, at 885 Dundas St, west of Bathurst at Claremont. The space is beautifully designed using lots of glass, high ceilings and a stone wall. A perfect setting to enjoy their innovative pan-Asian vegan cuisine. In the Sept 21 issue of NOW, they received the highest rating from the food editor, five N’s. “Yes, prices have increased somewhat. But when the setting’s this gorgeous, the welcome this genuine and the food so often delish, what’s another buck or two?”
Hours: Tue-Sun noon-11pm. Closed Mon.
v Fresh on Bloor – k o L ç d
326 Bloor St W, 416-531-2635
Innovative, healthy, and colourful dishes inspired by cuisines from around the world. Extensive gourmet juice bar with fresh squeezed fruit and vegetable juices, power shakes and energy elixirs. A favourite haunt for visiting celebrities. Weekend vegan brunch specials. Open 7 days a week until 10:30pm.
Hours: Mon-Fri 11:30am-10:30pm Sat-Sun 10:30am-10:30pm.
v Fresh on Crawford – k o L ç d
894 Queen St W, 416-913-2720
Award-winning location for architectural design featuring the same colourful and diverse menu as Fresh on Bloor and Fresh on Spadina. Beautiful full-service garden patio at s.w. corner of Trinity Bellwoods park in the West Queen West gallery & loft district.
Hours: Mon-Fri 11:30am-10:30pm Sat-Sun 10:30am-10:30pm.
v Fressen – O L c
478 Queen St W (w. of Spadina), 416-504-5127
Fressen defines Modern American Herbivorous cuisine. Chef Stephen Gardner combines mouth-watering creations with elegant presentation to produce one of Toronto’s finest vegan restaurants. The tapas-style menu allows guests to sample a variety of dishes, all prepared with the freshest ingredients available and made to order. Unique items range from exotic salads to creative takes on traditional favourites. New selections include zucchini and Portobello rawzanga with pesto and hemp butter, hand-made fettuccini, and seared King mushrooms on sesame spinach with lemon garlic sauce.
A warm, inviting atmosphere and an extensive wine list are the perfect companions to this delectable menu. Fressen has garnered numerous awards and outstanding reviews and is always evolving. Open daily for dinner at 5:30pm and also offering Toronto’s best vegan weekend brunch.
The whole front opens up in the summer for an airy view of Queen Street.
Hours: Mon-Thu 5:30pm-10pm, Fri 5:30pm-11pm, Sat 11am-3:30pm, 5:30pm-11pm, Sun 11am-3:30pm, 5:30pm-10pm.
Graceful Vegetarian Restaurant – k ç
7131 Kennedy Rd, Markham, 905-479-8381
A large 150 seat Hong Kong Chinese vegetarian restaurant with excellent food and a good choice of items on the menu. Dim Sum is available all day. Nightly specials. A visitor reports: “This is one of the most elegant dining rooms in the city. The food is wonderful.”
Hours: Daily 10:30am-10:30pm.
Jean’s Vegetarian Kitchen – c
1262 Danforth Ave (at Greenwood), 416-778-1388
This Thai-Malay vegetarian restaurant is a welcome addition to the meat-centric Danforth. NOW magazine rates them NNNN (out of five) in a recent review. They recommend the spring rolls, Szechuan hot and sour soup (”virtuous veggie broth, crunchy Chinese ‘shrooms, silky tofu”), pad thai, Pad Kee Mau (pad thai plus “crisp cauliflower and broccoli flowerets, Thai-basil-scented sesame oil and surprisingly convincing faux shrimp”), and green curry with “duck” (”a dizzying mix of ersatz bird, baby bok choy and cubed bell pepper in light coconut broth”).
Note: all the faux meats contain the dairy product, whey.
Colleen enjoyed the Malaysian Curry (“really really good”) and the Tom Kha Thai soup made with lemon grass, coconut milk and veggies.
Egg and nut alert – most of the noodle dishes contain egg, and some dishes are garnished with cashews and crushed peanuts. The kitchen will gladly leave them out if requested. Open for dinner only. Cash only.
Hours: Tue-Sun 5pm-10pm. Closed Mon, holidays.
v LIVE – Organic Food Bar – O
264 Dupont St (at Spadina), 416-515-2002
Live, Toronto’s premier organic raw food restaurant. Our specialty, raw food gourmet, with other cooked options in macrobiotic and Aryuvedic cuisine. Most menu options are gluten-free! Specialize in pure, non-processed, and sugar-free foods. Spectacular liquid menu as well as scrumptious desserts to soothe your body, mind, and soul! Let Live cater your next special occasion. LIVE it UP!
Open late. Menu changes seasonally with selection of daily specials. Brunch is served on Sundays from 10am-3pm followed by regular menu. Chic back yard patio.
Hours: Tue-Wed 11am-10pm, Thu-Fri 11am-11pm, Sat 11am-10pm, Sun 10am-9pm. Closed Mon.
Lotus Pond Vegetarian Restaurant – ç d
3838 Midland Ave, Unit 121 (s. of Steeles), 416-412-3140
Vegetarian Chinese cuisine: over 60 dishes – Szechuan, sweet & sour, some spicy. Dim sum in the morning. “…my favourites are the Dim Sum, steamed taro buns, red bean cake, mock lemon chicken, who needs meat?” –Wendy.
Hours: Mon-Fri 11am-10pm, Sat-Sun 11am-10:30pm.
v Vegetarian Haven – o c d
17 Baldwin St, 416-621-3636
Asian Fusion cuisine. Over 100 flavourful vegan dishes. Inviting summer patio partly shaded by trees overlooking Baldwin Street. Cozy dining room and friendly service.
According to NOW Magazine review: “Best: charbroiled organic tofu burger topped with grilled bell peppper on whole wheat bun along side blue corn chips and piquant kimchee-style cabbage salsa; starters like tofu faux turkey drumsticks complete with sugar cane handles, or Fried Crispy tofu with sweet ‘n’ sour sauce; humongous meal-in-one Souper Bowl noodle soups with Chinese veggies and faux pastrami; cayenne-fired nutty tempeh strips sided with turmeric-tanged chow mein.”
Note: Toronto Vegetarian Association rents the 2nd floor for our office and resource centre.
Hours: Mon-Fri 11:30am-3pm, 5pm-10pm, Sat-Sun 4pm-10pm.
Romantic vegetarian-friendly restaurants
Butler’s Pantry Cafe – k L
591 Markham St, 416-535-9868
813 Queen St W (at Niagara), 416-203-0222 – c
371 Roncesvalles Ave, butlerspantry.ca, 416-537-7750 – c
Popular neighbourhood spot with a good variety of vegetarian options – spinach nut pie, vegetarian lasagna, zucchini pancakes, & veggie curry pie. There are also two vegan entrees. Amazing selection of desserts (most contain dairy). Large outdoor patio. Smoking is allowed only when the canopy is rolled up.
Hours: Mon-Fri 11am-midnight, Sat 10am-late, Sun 10am-11pm
Commensal – k o L ç d
655 Bay St (n. of Dundas, enter on Elm), 416-596-9364
Excellent selection of salads, entrees and desserts – over 100 exotic and traditional dishes. Pay by weight. Two hours validated parking after 6pm at 38 Elm St. garage. Weekends and holidays free parking anytime. Commensal has renovated the restaurant and made the west room their music area. Every Friday and Saturday night there is live piano jazz from 6:30pm to 9:30pm. No cover charge! South-facing patio open for lunch and dinner.
“I love Commensal! Their vegan pates, soya cheesecake, nuggets, basically everything is vegan!” –Wendy.
Hours: Mon-Tue 7am-9:30pm, Wed-Fri 7am-10pm, Sat Sat 9am-10pm, Sun 9am-9:30pm.
Kama – L d
214 King St W (at Simcoe), 416-599-5262
Elegant upscale restaurant serving modern North Indian cuisine. Large buffet with over 20 vegetarian items. Small patio on King Street with five tables.
Magic Oven – O L d
6 Wellesley St W (w. of Yonge), 416-929-7888
New (Feb. 2008): Magic Oven’s latest location is a full service intimate restaurant with added appetizers and organic wine and beer. There trademark gourmet pizzas, pastas and salads are still the focus, with 12 pizzas on the menu listed under “Vegan & Vegetarian” – many with organic ingredients and alternative grains. The new appetizers include: Green-Tea infused Organic Tofu Fingers; Garlic Steamed Greens; Edamame; Spinach, artichoke and goat cheese dip with spelt crisps; and more. There is a weekend brunch menu and a $10 lunch special everyday.
Hours: Mon-Sat 11am-11pm, Sun noon-10pm, Holidays 3pm-10pm.
Rikishi – L d
833 Bloor St W (w. of Christie), 416-538-0760
Traditional Japanese vegetarian menu. The miso and noodle soups contain bonito fish flavouring. A visitor writes: The most delightful Japanese restaurant with good veggie options, is Rikishi. Their veggie bento box comes with seasonal delights, such as okra or asparagus, their brown rice is genuine and their fruit platters are masterpieces of design.”
Hours: Closed Mon.