You may think good vegetarian options are few and far between in small towns north of the city, but Vidya’s Veggie Gourmet proves that simply isn’t the case.

Situated in an historical old home on the main street of Thornton (near Barrie), I’ve had the pleasure of visiting this fantastic restaurant more than once. If you live in or near Barrie, it’s great to have a place to go when you want a nice meal out on the town. And if you live in Toronto, trust me when I say it’s worth the drive!

Tart at Vidya's Veggie GourmetThe menu is wide and varied, offering dishes with Asian, Italian, American and Indian influence. There is truly something for everyone! On a recent trip with my mom we shared the kale salad, which came topped with sweet apple, tart pomegranate seeds, and a delicious, creamy maple and tahini dressing. The combination of flavours was divine. They are not lying when they say they are bountiful salads! The portion was nice and hefty enough for us to share as an appetizer.

My mom enjoyed a hearty serving of chana masala which was beautifully plated atop a heaping portion of brown basmati rice. I on the other hand, couldn’t resist returning to a favourite of mine, the Thai-Malaysian noodles. Again, the portion size is generous and the dish is colourful and pleasant on the eyes. Mung bean noodles are topped with a variety of fresh, healthy vegetables, including my favourite, grilled shitakes!

Picking just one dessert was too difficult so we shared two: a raw coconut pie and the warm cinnamon apple crisp. The crisp literally melted in our mouths with the most delicious, warm, sweet and soothing flavour. Topped with oats and stuffed with so much fresh apple, it truly felt like we were eating a healthy breakfast while at the same time satisfying the desire for a sweet end to our meal.

I only wish we had been able to come back the next morning to try their brunch menu too!

Discount: 10% off

Veg Status: All vegetarian, mostly vegan

Where: 238 Barrie Street, in Thornton