Happy New Year! 2018 is off to a great start with so many new and upcoming veg-friendly places and options to try. Check out the GTA’s newest openings and offerings!
Hello 123 (1122 Queen St. W., 416-532-3555, www.hello123forever.com) is a new vegan restaurant along the Queen West strip. Brought to you by the same vegan food pros behind Kupfert & Kim, Hello 123 is a full service, licensed restaurant with an amazing, vibrant menu. While some dishes have been taken from the Kupfert & Kim menus, there are many new additions, including a smashed avocado burger, a pulled pineapple slider (pictured), and a loaded sweet potato with chili sin carne, chimichurri, cashew cream, scallions, radish, arugula and coconut. There is also a beer list and unique cocktails like the Kombucha Thyme with tequila, amaro montenegro, and kombucha. Hello 123 is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and has a special weekend brunch menu. Check out the full menu on their website.
Parka Food Co. (424 Queen St. W., 416-603-3363, www.parkafoodco.com) is a new vegan comfort food spot that recently opened on Queen, just west of Spadina. “Our philosophy is to keep it simple and high quality. For us, it’s about using fresh ingredients and letting natural flavours shine. We live for flavours. We live for textures. We live to eat well but don’t believe in sacrificing taste.” While comfort food may be associated with junk food, Parka’s minimal menu focuses on high quality, fresh ingredients while not sacrificing any of the flavour. There’s a smoky portobello burger, a potato burger with crispy potato slices, tartar sauce, coleslaw and pickles, an eggplant burger with crispy batter and marinara, and a truffle mushroom mac ‘n cheese (pictured), also available in garlic onion and sundried tomato olive versions. On the side you can order seasoned, crispy fries and onion rings, as well as homemade soups and sodas. Follow Parka Food Co. on Facebook and Instagram for updates and more delicious menu items!
Mary Be Kitchen (21B St. Clair Ave. W., 416-887-3718, www.marybekitchen.com) is a new veg-friendly spot at St.Clair and Yonge, an area in much need of more vegan choices. The new restaurant specializes in offering great coffee and whole foods, including Masala Roasted Cauliflower, Kale and Red Cabbage Caesar, and Red Lentil Dahl (pictured). The menu, loaded with vegan and gluten-free options, gives customers the ability to mix and match sides, proteins, and stews. There is also a breakfast/brunch menu available every day. Check out Mary Be Kitchen on their website, and on Facebook and Instagram.
Mythology Diner (1265 Queen St. W., www.mythologydiner.com) is a new vegan diner in Parkdale. Started by Doug McNish (Public Kitchen) and Hellenic Vincent De Paul (The 5700 Inc.), Mythology features diner classics made vegan like calamari, wings, and poutine, as well as mains like a Reuben sandwich piled high with thinly sliced seitan (pictured), and a seitan striploin dinner. There’s also a weekend brunch menu loaded with amazing vegan versions of traditional dishes, like the Vegan Benedict (with vegan hollandaise sauce), and Doug’s Slam Platter, a take on the Denny’s Grand Slam, but obviously infinitely better (sorry Denny’s). Many may have already sampled Doug McNish’s unparalleled skills in the kitchen at his Public Kitchen on Marlee Ave. His in-house made cashew-based butter, multiple kinds of vegan cheese, and “eggs” with “yolks” that run are all featured in Mythology’s menu, plus many more. Check out Mythology Diner’s website to view the full menu, and them on Facebook and Instagram.
The Vegan Hippie Chick (195 East Main St., Welland, 905-9780-1536, www.theveganhippiechick.com, firstname.lastname@example.org) is a new vegan restaurant in Welland, in the Niagara area. “The Vegan Hippie Chick is always up for a challenge, creating vegan meals even the most devout meat eater would love!” Some favourite menu items are the tacos, brownies, quiche, pizza and cauliflower wings with hot sauce, and the newest addition, chili “cheese” fries (pictured). Aside from their new storefront location, The Vegan Hippie Chick has been in the vegan catering business several years, can be found at the St. Catharines Farmers Market on Thursday’s and Saturday’s, weekly. Visit the Vegan Hippie Chick website for more information.
New Vegan Food Store
The Plant YYZ (2745 Dundas St. W., 647-865-7985, www.theplantyyz.com) is a new shop in the Junction neighbourhood offering an extensive line of plant-based foods, delicious heat-and-serve meals, fresh pastas, small-batch sauces, soups and condiments. “We will be your go-to shop for everyday eating or elegant entertaining.” In addition to being plant-based, The Plant YYZ focuses on sourcing local, sustainable products and ingredients from Ontario farmers. They also offer catering upon request. Open Wednesday – Saturday 11-6, and Sunday 12-5. Follow The Plant YYZ on Facebook and visit their website for more information.
Fresh Restaurants (4 locations, 416-599-4442, www.freshrestaurants.ca) has a new location opening soon! “We’re thrilled to announce the opening of our fifth location next summer! The launch of Fresh on Front, just east of Union Station, will be our first foray into the downtown core. Finally we’ll be within delivery reach of customers desperate for healthy options in the emerging east end neighbourhoods of the city!” The Mineral Mint Chip Ice Cream Shake, Pitaya Ultra All Day Smoothie Bowl, Rose Botanical Latte, Nashville Hot Cauliflower and the Flying Cashew Burger are among some of the new additions to the menu. Look for the new location at 47 Front St. E. Stay tuned to Fresh on social media more details!
Love Mondays (318 Richmond St. W.) is a new vegan all day eatery set to open downtown in early 2018. A vegan spin off from the same company that started the growing chain, Calii Love (367 King St. W. and soon to open a second location in Yorkville), Love Mondays will feature “plant-based diet options to take customers from breakfast through to lunch and dinner… healthy snacks and grab-and-go meals offering nutritious takeout options to Torontonians.” Stay tuned to Love Mondays’ Instagram page for more details on the imminent grand opening!
D-Beatstro (1292 Bloor St. W., 416-53D-BEAT, www.facebook.com/dbeatstro/) will sadly be closing its doors in February. “We are endlessly thankful to everyone who has ever put their energy into making D-Beatstro what is it today and are proud of what we have built. This won’t be the last from us, but for now – we celebrate.” Business hours for January and February are: Mon-Fri, 10am-8pm, Sat-Sun, 10am-5pm. February 1st-19th they will be open for lunch Mon, Wed, Thurs, Fri, 10-4 and full brunch Sat/Sun, 10-4. The last service will be Family Day Brunch, so make sure to get some last meals and hang outs in before then! From February 17th-19th is D-Beat FOREVER FEST. “If you want to play the last fest please get in touch, we hope to share the stage one last time with all of the bands who have made this place a home to a flourishing community.”
The Steady (1051 Bloor St. W.) has closed its doors after over 4 years in the Bloordale village. The vegan-friendly, inclusive cafe and bar held it’s last party on Halloween this past fall. Their vegan brunch options and famous vegan donuts will be missed.
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.