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Discount Profile: Upbeet Foods

Care of Barbi Lazarus and Emily Thompson Sometimes you just need to leave the cooking to someone else so you can have a bit more time to yourself for a quiet afternoon on the couch with the cats, or an evening yoga class. Recently, we did just that thanks to delicious meals from Upbeet Foods, a local, vegan meal delivery service that launched in September of 2016. We started off the day with a hearty tofu vegetable scramble with seasoned mini potatoes. The scramble had great flavour with just a bit of kick, and the potatoes were cooked perfectly: crispy on the outside and soft on the inside! For lunch, there was a kale, beet and chickpea salad. It was the perfect combination of fresh and crunchy, topped off with a delicious tahini dressing. It left us feeling satiated thanks to the mixture of greens, and the proteins, to fuel a productive afternoon! To finish off the day, we enjoyed a delicious pumpkin pasta that came with a side of green beans. Not only did we get to enjoy delicious food for a day, it was also great to feel like we were eating… Read More


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Discount Profile: Disgraceland

Toronto’s vegan restaurant scene is booming, with new places opening all the time. No longer is it surprising to find vegan comfort food or bakeries in all parts of the city. You would think with such a plethora of options in this city it would be hard to find something unique, but Disgraceland, now an all-vegan bar and restaurant near on Bloor between Dufferin and Ossington, continues to surprise me with food that literally can not be found anywhere else. When I sat down to look at the menu my mind was swirling a bit trying to decide what to order. Should I go with the Indian poutine, or something even wilder like the perogies topped with poutine? Or should I try their vegan rib dinner that comes with smoky baked beans and coleslaw? Once I saw what was on the dessert menu – fruit perogies! – I decided I would forgo the perogies as part of my main dish and decided to order the popcorn tofu: KFC-style battered tofu that came with a delicious vegan gravy and a side of coleslaw too. It was incredible: the breading was crispy and flavourful and the tofu was chunky… Read More


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Discount Profile: Suup Health Bar

Who doesn’t crave a hot, cozy soup in the winter in Toronto? Well isn’t it perfect timing that Suup Health Bar happens to be Toronto’s newest vegan lunch spot and that they’re giving a free soup to members of the Toronto Vegetarian Association! The first time I went I was overwhelmed with the options. The Enchilada, Bankok Curry and Un-Lobster Bisque were all calling my name. But I decided to give my meal a theme, so I ordered the Thai Butternut Squash Soup and the Thai Crunch Salad. The salad was a real treat: in addition to what you’d expect in a salad like fresh greens, carrots and cabbage, there were little packets of crunchy ramen noodles and almonds to sprinkle on top, and perfectly cooked vegetarian “chicken” strips. The bits of crunch were a perfect match with the creamy peanut dressing. I enjoyed my meal so much that I insisted the whole TVA staff team go back the next week to give it a try, and everyone was just as impressed as I. My colleagues raved about the Bahn-Mi Vietnamese Burrito, while I delighted in the Atomic Sushi Bowl: rice, their signature veggie chicken strips once again,… Read More


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Discount Profile: Thrive Organic Kitchen and Cafe

Care of Kharen In the very south west corner of Etobicoke lives Thrive, a fabulous vegetarian/vegan restaurant. This is especially exciting since vegetarian and vegan restaurants are virtually non-existent in Etobicoke. But even more exciting than the location is the food itself! I have been there about four times now and haven’t had anything I didn’t like. From Mexican, to Thai to Latin inspired dishes, there is something for everyone at Thrive. I brought my family to this restaurant to celebrate my birthday, which was met with plenty of moans and grumbling since I am the only vegetarian in the family – they believe the only thing better than meat is more meat (especially my teen-aged nephews). To my surprise everyone raved about their meal! My Mom wanted to come back and my nephews tried to complain about how gross their vegetarian pizza was but without much success – their plates were empty. On the menu you will find items like squash quesadillas, sprouted burgers, wraps, four kinds of pizza and Thrive Bowls. They even serve brunch: quinoa pancakes, french toast and entrees including eggs, vegan sausages and tempeh bacon. Anything can be made vegan. They have many… Read More


Filed under: Discount profiles Eat Veg elifelines News News from the Toronto Vegetarian Association Uncategorised

Discount Profile: Abokichi

Care of Vinyse Barber Abokichi is a sweet little cafe on Dupont, right by Dupont subway station. They’re very vegetarian- and vegan-friendly, offering sandwiches, soups, salads, sweets, and one of my favourite snack foods, Onigiri. Onigiri originated in Japan, and consists of half-milled rice and a filling, formed into a triangle and wrapped in a piece of toasted seaweed. When I went to Japan on vacation I snacked on Onigiri often, as you can find them in convenience stores, train stations and department stores, and they are easy to eat on the run. Abokichi offers many different types of fillings for their onigri, the majority of which are vegan. By far my favourite is their chili and kelp flavour, but you can’t go wrong with any of them. Being a tiny cafe with only a few seats, I’ve often brought the Onigiri home, and their separation of the toasted seaweed from the rice keeps the seaweed wrapping crispy until you’re ready to eat it. They also sell jars of their chili oil called Ozaku – it’s just mildly spicy and super flavourful – and I put it on rice, noodles…anything, really! Onigiri is also very affordable. They are… Read More


Filed under: Discount profiles elifelines News from the Toronto Vegetarian Association Uncategorised

Discount Profile: Vegebitez

Care of Barbi Lazarus, Donor and Volunteer Resources Coordinator When my dad and I made plans to visit Vegebitez after a spring hike in Oakville (fun day trip tip: the beautiful Lion’s Valley Park is literally around the corner), I knew deciding what to order from their large and unique menu would be difficult. I didn’t realize it would take us almost 15 minutes to finally make a decision and that doing so would require seeking input from our server. After looking through their burgers, sandwiches, bowls, salads and “outside the bun” section (items that don’t fit into any of the other categories), I had narrowed it down to a few options. Would it be the Roma Burger, an Italian twist on your typical veggie burger, topped with marinara sauce, pesto, mushrooms & eggplant? Or, should I go for the Lumberjack, sweet corn fritter waffles topped with chili, vegan cheese & sour cream, and “bac’un” bits? After much hemming and hawing, I decided to go with the Build Your Own Mac. It starts with their super saucy smoked gouda mac and cheeze, and gives you the option to add however many toppings you want from a selection of 24 choices. Read More


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Discount Profile: Vidya’s Veggie Gourmet

You may think good vegetarian options are few and far between in small towns north of the city, but Vidya’s Veggie Gourmet proves that simply isn’t the case. Situated in an historical old home on the main street of Thornton (near Barrie), I’ve had the pleasure of visiting this fantastic restaurant more than once. If you live in or near Barrie, it’s great to have a place to go when you want a nice meal out on the town. And if you live in Toronto, trust me when I say it’s worth the drive! The menu is wide and varied, offering dishes with Asian, Italian, American and Indian influence. There is truly something for everyone! On a recent trip with my mom we shared the kale salad, which came topped with sweet apple, tart pomegranate seeds, and a delicious, creamy maple and tahini dressing. The combination of flavours was divine. They are not lying when they say they are bountiful salads! The portion was nice and hefty enough for us to share as an appetizer. My mom enjoyed a hearty serving of chana masala which was beautifully plated atop a heaping portion of brown basmati… Read More


Filed under: Discount profiles Eat Veg elifelines News News from the Toronto Vegetarian Association Uncategorised

Discount Profile: Vegetarian Haven

Care of Barbi Lazarus, Donor and Volunteer Resources Coordinator Since Grasslands closed last month, we have been getting many inquiries about where people can go for a nice vegetarian dinner with candlelight. Fear not! Vegetarian Haven checks all the boxes and then some. You can come by Vegetarian Haven for lunch Tuesday to Friday from 12-3 for a delicious and casual meal. But you can also come by for dinner Tuesday-Sunday from 5 pm onward when the lights are dimmed and the candles are lit. The atmosphere and decor is sleek enough for a romantic dinner or night on the town without being pretentious. Having worked at TVA, whose office is actually above Vegetarian Haven, for many years, I’ve had the joy of trying almost every dish on the menu such as the Singapore Seitan, the Curry Pad Thai, and their famous drumstick appetizer. But during my two most recent visits I discovered new favourites. The Toronto Veg Team who fundraised for TVA at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon recently met for the team’s post-run dinner. That evening I tried the Spicy Bali Stir-fried Rice Noodles and was blown away. There was a creamy sauce thickened with coconut… Read More


Filed under: Discount profiles Eat Veg elifelines News News from the Toronto Vegetarian Association Uncategorised

Discount Profile: Urban Acorn Market

Care of Andrea De Vries Urban Acorn Market is a fine foods market that sets itself apart from other food markets. First of all, it’s in an unexpected neighbourhood. Located in the Junction Triangle on Dupont Street just west of Symington, Urban Acorn aims to serve the community by supporting local farmers, vendors, and food artisans, and by providing vibrant, healthy options to an otherwise under-served neighbourhood. I also noticed some other pleasant differences as soon as I walked into Urban Acorn Market. The first thing was it’s cozy size. It’s a small, yet beautifully decorated shop, and the owner (and mastermind behind Urban Acorn Catering), Marie Fitrion is there at the counter to greet you with a friendly smile. While the space may be small, the shelves and cases are stocked with specialty items that are often hard to find elsewhere. For example, you can find just about any kind of vegan cheese you could ever want all in one place. The selection goes way beyond Daiya (which they also carry, including new Daiya cheesecakes!) to offer Wood & Water, Field Roast Chao, Pleasantville Creamery fresh Mozzarella, and more. They also carry a selection of fresh, local produce. One… Read More


Filed under: Discount profiles elifelines News from the Toronto Vegetarian Association Uncategorised

Discount Profile: Bloomer’s

Care of Christina Vani Bloomer’s. Aaaahhh. Just writing their name makes me feel like all is right in the world. Bloomer’s have been sharing their baked goods at the Veg Food Fest for years, in addition to making desserts to order. Their relatively recent expansion into a full-service vegan restaurant had loyal patrons singing their praises even louder than before, since Toronto finally had a 100%-vegan café that is also a restaurant. And now, Bloomer’s has another reason to attract new and regular customers: TVA discount-card holders receive 10% off their order! Friendly, attentive service is a constant, and although Bloomer’s is usually packed by noon, each customer is treated as though he or she is a guest in the Bloomer’s home. Bloomer’s is community; Bloomer’s is fresh; Bloomer’s is cruelty-free; Bloomer’s is home. It’s pretty stellar when one has a home whose cooks consistently create delicious, wholesome vegan meals. Their tempeh-wing sandwich is served between buns made in-house (be armed with napkins, because Bloomer’s does not skimp on the number of wings in this succulent sandwich). Newer additions to their menu include the mac and cheese appetizer, onion rings, deep-fried pickles, and the jackfruit sandwich. Read More


Filed under: Discount profiles elifelines News News from the Toronto Vegetarian Association