Care of Terri Coles

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Fresh is a Toronto landmark at this point. They were on the vegetarian train before a lot of other restaurants caught on, and their concept has been copied endless times. It’s still worth coming to the original source though; I’ve yet to have a juice or smoothie in the city that beats the ones you can get at Fresh. My favourite is Singing Grasshopper, and that’s the one I got with my meal on my most recent visit to Fresh for a friend’s birthday. We arrived at 5:30 pm on a Friday and had no trouble getting a table for four, but be prepared to wait if you go during peak times.

Fresh on Bloor provides a great atmosphere for a relaxed dinner with friends, with a nice amount of light coming in from the big window facing Bloor Street. The spot is busy but not cramped, and you can still hold a conversation without any difficulty. We really dug in for the birthday meal — each of us got one of Fresh’s signature bowls, including Buddha, Beach and Warrior. And then there were the smoothies, of course. I love that Fresh is now offering two vegan smoothie powders as options for the drinks, and the flavour combinations are endless.

If you’re looking to end the meal with something sweet, I can recommend the pastries from Sweets of the Earth, or perhaps one of their coffee-based smoothies. It’d be hard not to find something on Fresh’s large menu for even the most devoted of meat eaters.

TVA Discount? 15% off take-out (excluding baked goods)

Veg Status? Vegetarian

Where? Three locations: 326 Bloor St W, 894 Queen St W, 147 Spadina Ave