restaurants

Vegan Round-Up in Thornhill

Care of Barbi Lazarus, Donor and Volunteer Resources Coordinator Updated June 2018 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. Read More


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

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


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Vegetarian Discounts Around the GTA

TVA’s Toronto Veg Card gives Toronto Vegetarian Association members discounts at over 100 vegetarian and veg-friendly businesses across the GTA. Many are located downtown but there is also an ever-expanding list of places in the suburbs and beyond that offer discounts to TVA members. Check out some highlights below! West of Toronto Brar’s Bakery in Mississauga and Brar’s Indian Buffet in Brampton Arvinda’s Indian Cooking Classes in Mississauga Veggie Paradise in Mississauga Zen Gardens’ locations in London, Missisauga, Guelph and Cambridge North of Toronto Tenon Vegetarian Cuisine in Markham The Vegan Danish Bakery in Thornhill Wu Tai Vegetarian Restaurant in Markham Gourmet Vegetarian Restaurant in Richmond Hill The Bleeding Carrot in Owen Sound East of Toronto Nourished on the Go in Oshawa… Read More


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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


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

Discount Profile: Loving Hut

Care of Sonal Batavia Sandwiched between urban veg foodie favourites Fresh and Freshii — on the corner of Spadina and Richmond, The Loving Hut had come into my peripherals many times in the past few years, but admittedly I had written it off for years on account of an uninviting appearance (I’m a marketer, what can I say). As per my premonition, the interior left much to be desired, the menu was confused about its ethnicity — stir fries, tacos, curries, noodles, soups, sandwiches, burgers — and generally the place prompted memories of the veg places I used to frequent during my university days in Waterloo; cheap, fast, and healthy-ish. On the flip side, I was surprised to find that it was all organic and not expensive. After a quick look at the options I opted in for the tofu club sandwich ($11.25). Mainly because being able to actually order a club sandwich was a dreamy prospect, the visual aids were quite convincing, and if it was a complete disaster there was a side fries to save the day. Ten minutes later it arrived…. and it was the real deal. Golden toasted triangle slices… Read More


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Discount Profile: Truly India

Care of Susan Nobleman Photo care of Trip Advisor If you enjoy authentic Indian cuisine – head over to Truly India restaurant in the east end of the GTA. One is greeted warmly with the questions “Is this your first time here? / Are you vegan or vegetarian?”  The majority of the delicious offerings are vegan, with dishes that are vegetarian clearly indicated. Only fresh ingredients are used in the dishes. Next, one is treated to a multi-item tasting consisting of a couple of tablespoons of rice, topped with samples of the many and varied dishes available. I tasted (among several) a chana masala, a baingan bartha (eggplant), mixed lentils and vegetable kofta, each served with a fresh dollop of rice to allow a unique taste of each.  The selections are divided between ‘dry’ and ‘wet’ curries – the latter having delicious sauces. There was not one dish I didn’t like and so I decided to order one ‘wet’ and one ‘dry’ for takeout. Oh, the challenge of choosing! Solved, graciously, by having my ‘dry’ selection a half order of 2 different dishes, one of which was the methi aloo (potato and fenugreek) and the other… Read More


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Discount Profile: Just Falafel

Care of Lisa Blonder-Ohlenkamp This newcomer on the Toronto vegetarian scene is a welcome alternative to the many non-veg falafel joints around the city. Head to Just Falafel at 831 Bay Street (just north of College) for a wide variety of meat-free choices. The space is clean and contemporary, and is welcoming despite its modest size. The name, Just Falafel, is actually misleading, as the menu features such items as quinoa salad, sweet potato fries, burgers, lentil soup, chick’n burgers, mezze, and potato and falafel bites with breakfast dip. In addition to a traditional falafel wrap, you can order wraps inspired by Mediterranean, Italian, Indian (I tried this one and really enjoyed it!), Mexican, or Canadian cuisines, or build your own wrap. Not in the mood for anything deep fried? You can order baked falafels instead. Not in the mood for a falafel at all but still want a wrap? Order one with vegan Chick’n Tenders. Vegan items are clearly marked with a (v), but many non-vegan items can be modified by leaving out cheese or certain sauces, so just ask when you’re ordering. Portions are generous, and most entree sized items are between $6… Read More


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Daytripping Around Toronto: Easy as 1-2-Pea

By Barbi Lazarus, Donor and Volunteer Resources Coordinator There’s definitely a stereotype that when travelling to small towns, there won’t be any veg-friendly restaurants on offer and that when taking a day trip or overnight weekend getaway, it’s best to pack your own food. We must have reached some sort of turning point, because I’ve had the pleasure of going on an overnight jaunt or day trip the last three weekends in a row, and all three times, have found vegan-friendly offerings just like I would in downtown Toronto. Crunchy thai salad at the Annex Room in Stratford Here are some tips on where to grab a tasty bite or an elaborate dinner if you’re headed to one of these nearby destinations this summer. Week 1: Stratford. http://www.annexroom.com/menus.html Much thanks is owed to my mom for discovering The Annex Room in downtown Stratford, which happily states at the bottom of the menu “Ask us about our vegan options.” In fact, it wasn’t even necessary to ask because they’ve got a wide selection of clear vegan options right on their menu. There were three different stir fries/noodle dishes to choose from, a delicious tempura avocado stack or a… Read More


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Discount Profile: Yam Chops

Care of Sonal Batavia and Izzy Ahrbeck A little Yam Chop came knocking on our door last week. That is, TVA board member Michael Abramson (recently turned local celebrity as Toronto’s very first vegetarian butcher) generously offered to send us lunch from his newly opened restaurant, YamChops. The news alone elicited a few shrieks…maybe even a jump (if you’ve ever visited our office, you can imagine the havoc that ensued). 12 pm on the dot during our weekly staff meeting, a little “Yam Chop” came knocking on our door, with three large paper bags, stamped with the words “Bite off more than you can chew”. And boy were we ready to bite in. (The ‘YamChop’ was actually a lovely woman in a black branded apron, who even agreed to pose for a little photo sesh!). Some of the delights we got to enjoy included: ‘Tuna’ & crackers: I can’t say I’ve ever had tuna-less tuna so when I read the label on the container I was rather intrigued. It’s been a long time since I enjoyed this classic childhood favourite, and I was not disappointed. Who knew smashed chickpeas and spices could be such a great tuna substitute?… Read More


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A Tale of 2 Vegan Cities: Toronto vs. New York

By Barbi Lazarus, Donor and Volunteer Resources Coordinator New York City, so I’ve heard, is famous for it’s cornucopia of vegetarian restaurants. So, when my partner suggested he’d like to take a vacation there with one purpose in mind, to eat, I was up for it (although it doesn’t take much to convince me to go on vacation anywhere). Veggie Cajun chicken at Red Bamboo I found planning our 5 night trip quite overwhelming at first. With literally over 400 listings coming up for New York City on Happy Cow, in a city so vast and huge, I had no idea where to start in terms of narrowing down restaurant options and selecting a neighbourhood to stay in. Enter the beloved Toronto Vegetarian Association Facebook group community. Suddenly I had reliable sources of people with like-minded food preferences making recommendations for their favourite places and even sharing their personal google maps to help me get a sense for where the hot spots were. Despite everyone telling me 5 nights is a long time to spend in New York and plenty of time to get in the best restaurants and popular tourist attractions, I STILL felt overwhelmed and quickly came… Read More


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