Durham Region’s Veg-Friendly Restaurants:
Ajax – Vegetarian/Veg-friendly restaurants, cafés, other services:
619 Kingston Road West, Ajax [905-239-4077]
This frequent favourite of DurhamVeg members is located in Pickering Village (Ajax). If you are vegan, be sure to specify no “paneer” and ask about the Naan (bread) to be sure this is dairy-free. Special dishes not on the menu can be made on request, such as Sag Aloo.
325 Westney Road South, Ajax [905-427-9933]
Mazza Garden brings to Durham an array of Middle Eastern dishes. Many standard appetizers are vegetarian and vegan.
Courtice – Vegetarian/Veg-friendly restaurants, cafés, other services:
1414 King St. E., Courtice [905-576-3377]
This edgy, fusion Thai restaurant with its onyx decor offers many vegetarian and vegan options. Remember to ask for any fish sauce to be omitted. Mango sticky rice is a treat.
Oshawa – Vegetarian/Veg-friendly restaurants, cafés, other services:
17 King Street East, Oshawa [905-404-8040]
This picturesque downtown restaurant offers an abundance of vegetarian options and several vegan offerings. Vegans should inquire about which pastas of the day are egg-free. The avocado salad with artichoke hearts and pine nuts is a favourite.
Simcoe and Taunton
Formerly of Ajax, this great Greek restaurant is back and provides Oshawa with some of the best vegetarian and vegan Greek meals in Durham!
38 Simcoe Street North, Oshawa [905 436-1704]
Looking at this small restaurant from the outside, you would think they only server artery-clogging full breakfasts, but it fact, they offer some of the best traditional Indian food in the Durham region. Disregard the posters advertising breakfasts and wait to see the menu. The owner can re-make vegetarian dishes without ghee, paneer or yogurt on request.
563 Ritson Road South, Oshawa [905-448-0892 ]
Falafel as well as a smoked eggplant entrée were favourites. The owners will make specials. This cozy family-owned eatery is a great find in Oshawa and gives us another option for delicious and healthful restaurant eating.
2 King Street East, Oshawa
Quite small but same menu and hours as previous location.
285 Taunton Road East, Oshawa, inside the Five Points Mall [905-433-0848]
This family-owned popular spot is well-known to locals. One wrap (around $6) can be enough for two meals. There is another location in Whitby.
The Table by Carol
20 Simcoe Street South Oshawa, Phone: 289-240-8720
The Table is a whole foods-based restaurant in mid-town Oshawa. The daily soup menu offers vegetarians and vegan variety as does the huge salad/appetizer menu. The Table’s proprietors bring their global travel experiences to the menu and that is always a treat!
12 Centre Street North, Oshawa, 905-240-8482
Excellent black bean, rice and grilled veg burrito (veg or vegan available) at this small cafe. The owner is a vegetarian and plans on having more veg options available. Cozy eating area in front of large window onto to Centre Street.
Yola’s Caribbean Cuisine
9 Bond Street West , Oshawa (near Simcoe)
This family-owned lunch/dinner/take-out spot specializes in traditional Caribbean food, including vegetarian options. Yola makes her own vegan “meat” products too. Check out the delicious chickpea and potato roti.
Zack’s Sandwich Shop
13 King Street West , Oshawa [905-433-2095]
Great falafel and veggie wraps in downtown Oshawa. A favourite hideaway for downtown workers.
Pickering – Vegetarian/Veg-friendly restaurants, cafés, other services:
Whites Road Shopping Centre, 705 Kingston Road, Pickering [905-985-6980]
Look closely for this tiny restaurant. The logo is difficult to see, especially at night, and parking is congested. Beware that shrimp sauce, oyster sauce or fish sauce is used in almost every dish, even those marked “vegetarian”. The staff is very happy to remake any dish, even at peak times. The food is delicious and unique so well-worth the inconvenience and preamble.
1450 Kingston Road, Pickering [905-837-5044 ]
Another small restaurant in a mall along Kingston Road. The main attraction is the variety of fine Malaysian and Thai dishes available here. Beware that shrimp sauce, oyster sauce or fish sauce is used in almost every dish, even those marked “vegetarian”. The staff will remake most dishes on request. Tofu Satay and Tofu Goreng are available.
Port Perry/Scugog – Vegetarian/Veg-friendly restaurants, cafés, other services:
182 Queen Street, Port Perry [905-985-6980]
Delicious dark chocolates suitable for vegans and diabetics are available here.
180 Queen Street, Port Perry [905-985-6980]
This coffee house partners with P’lovers to offer veg-friendly snacks and eco-friendly products in a bistro-style environment. Many gluten-free and vegan grocery staples are also available.
1821 Scugog, Port Perry [905-982-0109 ]
The owners and staff offer many veg-friendly and vegan options. One of the few Port Perry restaurants where vegans have options.
Uxbridge – Vegetarian/Veg-friendly restaurants, cafés, other services:
1 Main St. S, Uxbridge [905-852-1011]
This entirely wheat-free restaurant and bakery offers many veg-friendly and vegan options. Reservations recommended.
Whitby – Vegetarian/Veg-friendly restaurants, cafés, other services:
The Jasmine Garden (Closed fall 2013)
10 Meadowglen Drive, Whitby
Cup of Tea Bakery and Cafe
25 Thickson Road North, Whitby [905-429-2448]
Cup of Tea Bakery and Cafe is in a drive-in mall just north of Dundas and on Thickson. It is a nut-free, organic and gluten-free bakery and take-out cafe. They offer over 80 different loose leaf teas and usually a selection of vegan baked goods.
25 Thickson Road North, Whitby [905-668-1967]
This Thai restaurant is in the AMC Mall is a favourite with Durham lakeside residents. There are several vegan and vegetarian entrees and DurhamVeg has held a few meetings there. Be sure to remind them “no fish sauce”.
1101 Brock Street South, Whitby [905-668-0778]
This familiar spot has several options for vegetarians. For vegans, speak to the staff about modifications to entrees.
117 Brock Street North, Whitby [905-668-8839 ]
This cozy piece of southern France in downtown Whitby is a destination for special events. Owners, Bernard and Manon, are very familiar with vegan and vegetarian cooking and are happy to alter the menu. Fresh, locally-grown foods are important to this couple and their crew. Reservations are recommended.
30 Taunton Road East, Whitby [905-655-9900]
A popular place with a casual atmosphere and quick service. A lot of choice within “Hakka” cuisine menu, a fusion of Indian and Chinese traditions. Tucked in the mall on the northeast side of Taunton and Brock/Baldwin.
1600 Champlain Avenue, Whitby [905-725-8152]
This family-owned popular spot is well-known to locals. One wrap (around $6) can be enough for two meals. There is also another location in Oshawa’s Five Points Mall.
Veg-Friendly Restaurants: Farther East & North
at 74 King Street West, Cobourg [905 372-7777]
Daizies is unique in eastern Ontario for offering an organic approach to its menu. Vegetarian-friendly, the staff will make accommodations for vegans. Pleasant indoor or outdoor casual dining.
Sleepless Goat Cafe & Workers Co-op
91 Princess Street, Kingston [613-545-9696]
The Sleepless Goat Workers’ Co-operative is a collectively owned restaurant which strives to make a social statement as well as provide vegetarian and vegan options. The meals are excellent but you may need to stand in line to order and wait for a table. The staff adhere rigorously to a lunch and dinner schedule. You may have to wait but it’s worth it!
Bulai Taste of Thai
at 108 Walton St., Port Hope, [905 885-1300]
On the main street with numerous shops, this oasis caters to those seeking a leisurely meal. Several vegetarian and vegan options available, but be sure to specify “no fish sauce”.
Fenelon Falls Inn at 36 Helen Street
A surprise for vegan travelers is this traditional Ontario inn which serves primarily Indian food and is very vegetarian and vegan-friendly. Unfortunately, it is open only for dinner.
Sweet Bottoms Coffee
19 Colborne Street [705-887-7506]
Fenelon Falls’ only cafe with soymilk as of summer 2011, this relative newcomer to the mainstreet offers bagels and veg-friendly sandwiches. The owners are very welcoming and accommodating. Soy and almond milks available.
Nolan’s Restaurant and Coffeehouse
24 Francis Street West [705-887-3329]
In downtown Fenelon Falls, Nolan’s offers mostly lacto-ovo options but the grilled vegetable panini can be altered for vegans. Be sure to check the soup base and dressings. No dairy alternatives for tea or coffee or desserts. Otherwise, a friendly and welcoming old-cottage atmosphere.
Durham-based Nutrition Coaching
Choose a Lifestyle
Helen Northcott, MA, CCC [905-448 9240]
Helen is registered with the Ontario College of Nurses as a Registered Practical Nurse and a Canadian Certified Counsellor through the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association. Learn the importance of vegan meals that are cholesterol free and low in protein. This kind of food is highly beneficial to those recovering from addictions to alcohol and drugs. A vegan lifestyle will produce the best blood for good health and increased healing time. Workshops include handouts, educational videos and samples. No hands on cooking. Workshops are limited to 10 and are held in Oshawa and Toronto.
Deborah da Silva, CNP [905-239-3485 ]
Deborah is a Certified Holistic Nutritionist and educates people about the foundations of good nutrition and enjoy teaching, preparing and sharing delicious & nutritious food. Come out and have some “Play Thyme in the Kitchen” -or- classes including Mediterranean, Mexican, Carribbean, Healthy Comfort foods, Heavenly Heart Healthy foods, Crazy about Quinoa and many others.
For a listing of global food stores and specialty spice shops in Durham, checkout the Durham Immigration Portal: Global Foods!