Toronto Veg Blog

Toronto’s Veg Village

By Moreen Murray, TVA member and volunteer At Barbi’s request and in the spirit of her guide to Vegan Alley about Bloor West, I am following up with my own little guide to what my husband and I call the Veg Village…Kensington Market. A popular spot for tourists and locals alike, we consider it our “supermarket” – where we go to get fresh fruits and vegetables and everything we need to make delicious vegan meals. After working up an appetite shopping, it’s great to have somewhere to stop and let someone else do the cooking. When we travel it’s not often you have the convenience of many veg restaurants in such a small area without having to travel partway across the city. The only example I am able to come up with is perhaps on the Upper West Side of New York City, on Columbus and Broadway avenues. Approaching the market from our home base of King and Bathurst we usually enter off Dundas at Denison and one of our favourite spots on the corner is… GREENS VEGETARIAN – 638 Dundas Street West. **Greens gives TVA members 10% off We started going here during previous ownership and now… Read More

Filed under: Eat Veg News News from the Toronto Vegetarian Association Restaurant Guides Toronto Veg Blog Uncategorised

Getting Fancy: Adventures with Zengarry’s Artisanal Cheese

By Barbi Lazarus, Donor and Volunteer Resources Coordinator In last week’s Toronto Veg Blog post about vegan cream eggs (I hope you had a chance to try some!) I mentioned the plethora of recent Blog TO articles about cheesy vegan comfort foods in Toronto, such as mac n cheese and poutine. Another area of expanding cheese options in Toronto is artisanal cheeses. No longer is vegan cheese just for topping your pizza or throwing into your burrito. You can now also serve it up all fancy at a party, sliced atop a salted cracker or some crudites. I was ever so fortunate recently to find myself with an abundance of two of Fauxmagerie Zengarry’s new artisanal flavours: raw brie and gruyere. To be honest, I didn’t grow up eating fancy cheese so I didn’t know exactly what to expect. I quickly realized what decadent, salty deliciousness I’ve been missing all my life! As I wasn’t accustomed to using artisanal cheese, I started by asking around for suggestions on how exactly one should eat brie or gruyere cheese. I started by spreading some grueyere on toast and tried it on carrots too, and yes it was delicious. But I didn’t shy away… Read More

Filed under: Eat Veg News News from the Toronto Vegetarian Association Toronto Veg Blog Uncategorised

Welcome to Toronto’s Vegan Alley

By Barbi Lazarus, Donor & Volunteer Resources Coordinator When my partner and I are planning a visit to a new city, it usually goes a little bit like this: Create a Google earth map of all the vegetarian restaurants we want to go to, then look up hotels near the biggest concentration. More often than not, this is relatively easy, with several must-visit restaurants clustered in one neighbourhood. I imagine this would be somewhat difficult for people visiting Toronto. It seems that the largest concentration of vegetarian and veg-friendly restaurants, bakeries and cafes is emerging not in any sort of tourist hot spot with hotels and attractions nearby, but instead it’s happening off the beaten path in the west end of the city, where accommodations are few and far between (or maybe non-existent?). Well, move over Kensington Market! Someone recently referred to the stretch of Bloor Street between Christie and Lansdowne as “Vegan Alley”, and I’ve made it my mission to make this phrase catch on. When I imagine myself as a newbie tourist in Toronto, I envision being overwhelmed by the vegan options in this neck of the woods and wishing there were a nice Hampton Inn & Suites nearby… Read More

Filed under: Eat Veg News News from the Toronto Vegetarian Association Restaurant Guides Toronto Veg Blog Uncategorised

Where to Get Vegan Cream Eggs in Toronto

By Barbi Lazarus, Donor and Volunteer Resources Coordinator Easter is almost upon us. For many years vegans have subsisted on whatever dark chocolate they could get their hands on in place of traditional giant, hollowed out chocolate bunnies or ooey gooey cream eggs. But, things have changed a lot these past few years. You know the explosion of vegan food options has hit a tipping point when there are so many places to get vegan poutine, vegan mac and cheese and vegan pizza that BLOG TO publishes articles naming the top five for all of them. Enter: the vegan cream egg. Now available in so many places it will likely be difficult for you try them all this season. Here are the ones we’ve heard of so far, in alphabetical order. If you know of more, don’t hesitate to share! Bunner’s Bake Shop: Kensington Market and the Junction Home of the first vegan cream egg, these ones are giant and decadent. D-Beatstro: Lansdowne and Bloor (featured in the photo at the top) Take your chance at finding them available in the case for $2 each, or place an order by the dozen by emailing or phoning… Read More

Filed under: Eat Veg News Toronto Veg Blog Uncategorised

Girls Day In at the TVA Office

By Barbi Lazarus, Donor and Volunteer Resources Coordinator Staff at the Toronto Vegetarian Association are fortunate to work for a great boss, David. He had arranged a fun potluck lunch this week so we could get to know better our relatively new Festival and Events Coordinator, Alyssa de Hoop. However poor David wound up falling sick this week, which meant it was just us girls at the potluck on Wednesday: myself, Alyssa and our stellar veg directory coordinator Andrea. Andrea brought impeccable vegan “crab cakes” from Post Punk Kitchen ( and I brought super creamy “chicken salad” from one of my favourite cookbooks, The Best Veggie Burgers on the Planet and a new recipe for cocoa-avocado truffles I came across in the newspaper. It turns out Alyssa is not only a great addition to the team because of her keen skills in event coordination, marketing and customer service, but she’s also got a way in the kitchen too! Inspired by this recipe she found online, Alyssa surprised us by showing up with two bags full of groceries so she could put together on the spot a 6 layer dip for the nacho… Read More

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Vegetarian Options at Ski Resorts

After a day on the slopes, you’re bound to work up an appetite. Luckily, vegetarian options aren’t just becoming more frequent at ski resorts these days, but sometimes they’re even the star of the show. Below is a list of vegetarian options to be found at some of Canada’s biggest ski resorts. Please note this list is a work in progress and we welcome any updates, additions or subtractions you have. Please email updates to Raven’s Nest at Whistler Blackbomb. Photo care of Vancouver Sun Ontario Blue Mountain Mile High Poutine has a vegan poutine Thonburi Thai Food is reported to have a vegetarian owner and they are adaptable to make most of their menu vegan if you ask! Mount St Louis Moonstone We’ve been told they have a black bean burger, chilli and fries that are vegan. Quebec Mt. Tremblant The Lodge at the top has a vegan soup and a vegan chili with tofu British Columbia Big White near Kelowna The Woods Restaurant no longer has a vegetarian menu but does have two vegan dishes: tomato basil penne and gnocci. Gunbarrel Grill has veggie samosas, a ginger soy stir-fry, and green coconut curry. The… Read More

Filed under: Eat Veg News News from the Toronto Vegetarian Association Toronto Veg Blog Travelling Uncategorised

A Fond Farwell to Grasslands

This may seem like old news now to some, but to anyone who ever experienced the amazing food and fine dining experience at longtime Toronto staple Grasslands (formerly Fressen), you will understand why we are still mourning the loss! By Diane Burgin, President of Toronto Vegetarian Association It was 2001 when I discovered Fressen, one year after its opening. It was love at first bite. I took so much food home the first time. Then I decided the easiest way to enjoy the food was to keep going back! I remember the very first item I ate there. It was a Swiss chard salad with miso dressing, a border of long strips of cucumber, and topped with sesame seeds. I also remember the side dish of button mushrooms served in a mini cast iron skillet. By week two, my favourite item was locked in – the polenta appetizer on a bed of garlic-spinach, surrounded by tomato sauce. With all the menu changes to follow, the polenta dish managed to be represented on all menus. Even with my love of polenta, the veggies were the star attraction when the main dishes were served. Do you remember the zucchini shaped like a… Read More

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A Very Veggie Time in Costa Rica

By Barbi Lazarus, Donor and Volunteer Resources Coordinator Before I went to Costa Rica, I was told vegan food might be relatively easy to come by but that it would be bland and repetitive. I was expecting to subsist on rice and beans and fruit for breakfast, and a standard pasta dish at our hotel restaurant for dinner. So I did a bit of research on potential restaurants before we went away, but not nearly to the extent that I normally do when planning a vacation. I had just accepted this fate and reminded myself, this trip isn’t about the food. So imagine my surprise and delight to find vegan options around every corner and right in my face, without any effort at all. Here are some of the places vegan food just showed up on our doorstep. I encourage you to take notes and make them part of your Costa Rican itinerary when you venture to this spectacular country! P.S If you want to skip the small talk, scroll to the end of this post for a quick list of vegetarian options in Arenal, Manuel Antonio and Alajuela. Day 1: We arrive at our… Read More

Filed under: News News from the Toronto Vegetarian Association Toronto Veg Blog Travelling

Another Bittersweet Goodbye

By Barbi Lazarus, Donor and Volunteer Resources Coordinator At first glance, it’s been a rough year for lovers of vegan comfort food. In February, Toronto lost Hot Beans, a favourite of many for their Mexican take out joint that included jack fruit tacos and mac and cheese burritos. Earlier this year, we also said goodbye to Sadie’s Diner, a longtime staple in Toronto’s vegetarian scene that featured all day breakfast and always served up impressive prix fix meals for Valentine’s Day and Veggielicious. Along the way we bid them sorrowful goodbyes (click here for a past blog post recapping the sadness), and now it’s time to say farewell to another popular and delicious vegan restaurant, Grasslands. I found out about their closure with literally less than two weeks notice. I squealed and was border line teary eyed as I scanned my agenda and tried to search for a chance to go back for one last meal. I’m also just about to leave for vacation so my schedule is really tight and I didn’t think it would be possible. Later that night, I made the decision. I was going to make the time no matter what, and I can’t tell you how… Read More

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Changing Seasons But Not Desserts

By Barbi Lazarus, Donor and Volunteer Resources Coordinator Six months ago, we introduced you to a new staff team at the Toronto Vegetarian Association. With the end of the summer, the TVA is once again going through a transition. Our two summer assistants, Charlotte and Kara, have now completed their contracts, and the office has become a much quieter place (which also means I no longer have enough people around for bringing in weekly batches of baked goods to share; sad face). David, our Executive Director, has just returned from paternity leave, which means our Interim General Manager Lucas, is completing his contract as well. Never ones to pass up an excuse to go out for a celebratory meal at one of Toronto’s many amazing vegan restaurants, the current TVA staff team decided to visit the newly opened Cosmic Treats in Kensington Market to thank Lucas for his great work over the past 6 months and to welcome back David to the office. Before stepping out of Cosmic Treats after our meal I literally uttered “my life just got so much better”, and I meant it. I was literally giddy with excitement like a kid in a candy store, except that I… Read More

Filed under: News News from the Toronto Vegetarian Association Toronto Veg Blog Uncategorised