Care of Barbi Lazarus, Donor and Volunteer Resources Coordinator

They say we all want what we can’t have. My parents complain that all the great vegetarian restaurants are downtown, but lately I’ve been finding that there are so many great vegan hot spots in the area where I grew up that when I’m home for a visit, I don’t have time to fit it all in.

Places outside of the downtown core like Thornhill, Burlington, and Oakville, now have a large enough collection of their own vegan restaurants that more and more I’m finding myself planning day-trips (see my post on great hike ‘n dine day trip ideas here) instead of hopping on the subway or my bike to get to some of my favourite places.

If you’re in Thornhill or Richmond Hill anytime soon, your problem won’t be finding a place to eat, but instead narrowing down your options to pick just one or two.

Vegan Danish Bakery: No matter what part of the GTA you are from, the Vegan Danish Bakery is well worth the trip to the corner of Yonge and John Streets in old Thornhill. Their pastries and desserts are absolutely stunning and delicious, and they also serve up some super decadent soft serve sundaes. Not to mention they give TVA members 10% off!

Sorelle and Co.: Further north in the neighbourhood of Thornhill Woods you’ll find Sorelle and Co., an all-vegan and all gluten-free swanky cafe and bakery. You can come for a delicious lunch with items like grilled cheese sandwiches, lasagna, salads and soups, sit down for a fancy high tea, or just indulge in their beautiful desserts.

La Vida Cocoa Craft Bakery and Cafe: Just on the border of Thornhill and Toronto is a new cafe that says they serve “an assortment of items that contain no gluten, dairy, eggs, corn, soy or nuts.” Vegan quiche anyone?

Cafe Landwer: This large, sit-down restaurant with a patio too offers several clearly marked vegan items such as a vegan omelette breakfast platter (served with a hot loaf of bread, jam and coconut yogurt too), vegan schwarma, and a hearty stew. The food is incredibly fresh and the portions are generous.

Gourmet Vegetarian Restaurant and Tenon: These two East Asian restaurants may not technically be in Thornhill but I’m including them in this list because they are close by and SO delicious! You’ll find Gourmet Vegetarian Restaurant on East Beaver Creek and Tenon further East in Unionville on Kennedy Avenue. Both of them also provide discounts to TVA members.