The Hearty Hooligan (368 Main St. W., Hamilton, 905-807-0577, www.theheartyhooligan.com) is now open! You may remember we reported on the upcoming opening of this vegan, comfort food location back in October last year… Well it’s finally open as of this February! The Hearty Hooligan is a punk-themed take-out spot serving up hot and ready to go vegan comfort food. “We have all kinds of wild flavours of pizza pockets, like Mac n’ Cheese, Poutine, Butter Chicken (pictured), Philly Cheesesteak, and more. We do nostalgic treats like Dunkaroos (called Punkaroos) and S’mores pop tarts. We really try to capture all the snack foods we loved as kids!” The Hearty Hooligan has also teamed up with Rescue Dogs in St. Catharines and uses their seitan. There are also events in support of animal-friendly charities which will happen throughout the year, like the recent Valentine’s Day promotion where all the proceeds from their Valentine’s Day chocolate boxes went to Cedar Row Farm Sanctuary. And as if it couldn’t get any better, there is also an in-store section of vegan grocery items! “Our shop is only 550 square feet but we have a wall of vegan goodies like GoMaxGo chocolate bars, vegan magic, soy curls, jackfruit, all specialty vegan items that are hard to find!” Check out the full menu on their website, and follow on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. After seeing the menu, I don’t know about you, but I’m planning a trip to Hamilton.
New Vegan Bakery Opening Soon
Sweet Hart Kitchen (68 Wales Ave., www.sweethartkitchen.com) will be opening a storefront location in Kensington Market as of April! Sweet Hart Kitchen specializes in decadent desserts made healthier with natural, nutritious ingredients. “Sweet Hart offers a wide variety of plant-based, gluten-free, raw/no-bake treats that are incredibly healthy and beautifully crafted. Everything from bite-sized treats (like cookie dough bites and macaroons), to the new and improved versions of snacks you already know and love (like our “snickers” bars), to fun little cake cups, to full-sized cakes that are perfect for any occasion.” These treats look and sound so amazing (like the pictured No-Bake Snickers Cake), it’s hard to believe they contain healthy ingredients. Click here to view the treats currently available for order, and stay tuned to the Veg Directory Updates and Sweet Hart Kitchen’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages for updates on the grand opening! Interested in helping out this awesome, all-vegan business start-up? Click here to visit their Kickstarter page.
New Vegan Locations
Thrive Organic Kitchen & Café (3473 Lake Shore Blvd. W., Etobicoke, 416-252-7700, www.thriveorganic.ca) has recently opened a second location downtown Toronto at 409 College St. (at Bathurst)! Thrive’s menu includes delicious and nutrient-packed vegetarian and vegan options for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert, as well as a weekend and holiday brunch. “Our vision is to revolutionize the way people eat and drink. We believe health is our most precious asset and that we deserve the best foods and best nutrition.” Try options such as Chaga Magic Salad with mixed greens, walnuts, sunflower seeds, cranberries, pear, beets, with a chaga balsamic dressing, the Power House Bowl (pictured) with baby arugula, chick peas, avocado, sweet potatoes, carrots, red cabbage slaw, tempeh, sprouts, with a lemon basil vinaigrette, and breakfast options such as the Warrior Smoothie Bowl with avocado, lime, vanilla, maca, spinach, kale, mint, pear, coconut milk, maple syrup, blueberries, hemp granola, goji berries, shredded coconut, or the Bavarian Waffles with fresh fruit (pictured above). If that doesn’t get your day started on the right foot, nothing will! Thrive is open Sunday to Thursday: 8:30 am to 9 pm, Friday to Saturday: 8:30 am to 10 pm, and serves brunch on Saturday, Sunday & Holidays from 8:30 am to 2 pm. View their full menu here, and follow Thrive College Street and Etobicoke on Facebook for updates.
GOOD Grains (4134 Dundas St. W., 416-617-8490, firstname.lastname@example.org) is a brand new plant-based, quick serve café that recently opened in Etobicoke (Dundas and Royal York), featuring delicious and nutritious international-themed cuisine. The menu includes daily customizable appetizers, mains, soups, stews, salads and desserts (try their homemade Dream Freeze frozen dessert- dairy-free, gluten-free, nut-free, sugar-free, and soy-free!) for dine-in or take-out. They also package their in-house made foods in the form of jarred sauces (including their amazing “uncheez” sauce) and soups, spreads and dips, as well as sauce & noodle/grain packs. Good Grains also provides catering service. “All we need is a day’s notice at a minimum, so that we can help you share the goodness of freshly prepared plant-based cuisine with your special guests! We handle events of any size… just let us know what you’d like and the number of servings.” Drop by Good Grains to dine on some delicious, healthy home-cooked vegan fare, or take home some prepared ingredients and meals to cook at home. Open from 11:00 am-7:00 pm, Monday through Friday. Follow Good Grains on Facebook for daily updates, and to find out what’s on the menu today!
Ital Vital Vegan Take-Out & Juice Bar (741 Pharmacy Ave., 416-599-9141, www.italvital.ca) has opened a new second location in Kensington Market! Ital Vital has taken over the former site of Vital Life Vegan, at 14 St. Andrew St. (416-302-6299). Ital Vital offers daily changing menus which include delicious options such as BBQ Soy, Rice and Peas, Callaloo Stew, Fried Plantains, Curries with Eggplant, Squash, or Chick Peas, and much more. There are also scrumptious Caribbean desserts, and a variety of healthy juices, all made in house. Click here to view their menu based on the day of the week, and follow Ital Vital on Facebook for updates, including regular additions to their menu.
New Vegan-Friendly Café
Nutbar Café (1240 Yonge St., 416-519-2700, www.nutbar.co) is a new “superfood snack café” that opened recently in the Summerhill area. Nutbar features superfood balls and bars in flavours like cookie dough and key lime pie. There are also smoothies, toasts with a variety of sweet and savoury toppings, and bowls, as well as an extensive drink list of coffee beverages, hot specialty drinks like turmeric and matcha lattes, teas, and detoxifying cold drinks. Nutbar makes their own non-dairy milk from a blend of organic cashew, almond and coconut milks. Stop by Nutbar and try some of these nutrient dense treats that taste like they shouldn’t be good for you! Click here to view their full menu.
New Pop-Up Location
Cardinal Rule (5 Roncesvalles Ave., 647-352-0202, www.cardinalrulerestaurant.com) has opened up a pop-up within Glad Day Bookstore at 499 Church St.! For those who have never been to Cardinal Rule, their amazing menu consists of a ton of vegan options, as well as items that can be made vegan. Some of the options include Nacho Pizza with “Pulled Tofu”, black beans, corn and “cheddar”, “Phish Sticks”, a Baked Mac ‘n “Cheese” and many more. Click here to view the menu for the Glad Day location. Also visit the original location at Roncesvalles and Queen, and click here to view the full breakfast/lunch, dinner, and brunch menus (they have an entire vegan section of their weekend brunch menu!).
Special Discount Offer for TVA Members!
Disgraceland (965 Bloor St. W., 647-347-5263, www.disgraceland.ca) is offering TVA members a 10% discount! Right now, for the month of March from Sunday-Thursday from 4-7 pm, Veg Card holders receive 10% off of their order. Disgraceland offers up the most delicious, decadent vegan junk food imaginable. If you’ve never tried their huge number of vegan options, get yourself to Disgraceland and try options such as Poutine Supreme, the Vegan Rib-wich, and Vegan Butter Chicken, just to name a few. Everything on the menu can be made vegan, as they have incredibly satisfying vegan burgers, bacon, and cheese replacements. Click here to view the full menu. Just show your server your card, and receive the discount! Not a member yet? Click here to join TVA and get your Toronto Veg Card to receive a huge number of discounts at business across the GTA!
New Vegan Menu
Doug McNish’s Public Kitchen (561 Marlee Ave., 647-341-1736, www.dougmcnish.com) has announced a new dinner menu! The new menu features items such as the Ramen Bowl (pictured- with heirloom wheat or gluten-free buckwheat millet ramen noodles, rich mushroom broth, crisp egg white with vegan egg yolk, charred scallion, wilted baby spinach, shiitake mushrooms, nori strips, sesame, ginger and miso drizzle, and pickled ginger), and the Chimichurri Tenderloin (chimichurri marinated grilled seitan tenderloin, caramelized onions, crispy red potatoes tossed with fresh chives, olive oil and sea salt, shaved brussels sprouts, smoked paprika oil). There are also a variety of amazing weekly dessert and cocktail options. Dinner is served Thursdays and Fridays from 5:30 – 9pm (and don’t forget, there’s also brunch on Saturday + Sunday from 10-4pm, and daily lunch options available 7 days a week, 11am-6pm for dine-in or take-out. View the full new dinner menu here, and find Doug on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for more updates.
New Vegan Menu Items & Products
Pizza Pizza now has a vegan cheese option! While not every location provides the option yet, you can ask at a specific location, or if ordering take-out or delivery by phone or online, ask for/select the vegan cheese option, and your order will be placed through a location that provides the option. Since there are so many Pizza Pizza locations around, you’ll never be too far from one that stocks vegan cheese. The vegan cheese is made by Violife, a UK vegan food company. The North American distributor is owned in part by vegan advocate and four-time NBA champ John Salley, who met Pizza Pizza Chief Marketing Officer, Pat Finelli, during the 2016 NBA All-Star Weekend in Toronto, and then worked with the Pizza Pizza team to bring the product to its pies. “The rich flavour and creamy texture of our vegan cheese makes it the perfect substitute for any pizza,” Salley said in a statement. “More and more consumers are moving towards a plant-based diet and eating less meat, so I applaud Pizza Pizza for providing consumers with options that are not only healthier, but also taste great.” The fact that so many large pizza chains are adopting a vegan cheese option is such a promising movement in right direction! Consider contacting Pizza Pizza to applaud their efforts to provide delicious options to those who prefer not to eat dairy!
Ben & Jerry’s Dairy-Free Ice Cream is now available in Canada! Check out their website for retailers that stock their new Diary-free flavours made with almond milk. There’s currently three flavours available- Chocolate Fudge Brownie, Coffee Caramel Fudge, and PB & Cookies. Find this amazing new vegan option anywhere Ben & Jerry’s products are sold, and visit the Ben & Jerry’s Canadian website for more details on their non-dairy products. Also consider contacting Ben & Jerry’s to applaud their efforts to provide delicious options to those who prefer not to eat dairy!
Do you have your Toronto Veg Card yet? You could be receiving discounts at hundreds of veg-friendly businesses in the GTA, while supporting a great cause! Become a TVA Member today and get your Toronto Veg Card! Click here for the full list of businesses that offer discounts and for individual discount conditions.