A hoppin’ new vegetarian restaurant in Toronto

By Barbi Lazarus, Donor and Volunteer Resources Coordinator Just when I thought Toronto really had it all in terms of vegetarian options, yet another restaurant has opened up. This one brings unique menu items you might be more likely to find on a food truck, and since Toronto has been slow to catch up with other North American destinations in terms of the food truck craze, this is surely exciting news! You may not have heard about Grasshopper just yet because they’re currently in their “soft-launch” phase. In fact, they’re still testing out their menu and adding or subtracting items, so if you want to give them some feedback and help shape their menu before the official opening date on February 13th, head over soon! That’s exactly what the Toronto Vegetarian Association staff did earlier this week, and my mouth is still watering from the fantastic items we tried. Allow me to share: Pulled Pork Bahn Mi Sandwich: This soy-based pulled “pork” sandwich comes on a perfectly toasted sub bun and has such a wonderfully sweet, gooey sauce. It comes with your choice of side, of which I chose the fries. They were classic fast-food style skinny fries… Read More

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Discount Profile: Tenon Vegetarian Cuisine

We have profiled Tenon Vegetarian Cuisine in the past, shortly after they first opened, but with the new all-you-can-eat menu there is so much tasty news to share! The price for the all-you-can-eat menu is $20.99, but you will pay less with your Toronto Veg Card, which gets you 10% off. That price tag gets you unlimited orders of a wide variety of amazing dishes not found on their regular menu. My father and I each ordered the all-you-can-eat special so we were able to share and enjoy a wide range of dishes including sesame “chicken” (that was our favourite!) and orange “chicken”, seaweed salad, tofu with peanut sauce and mango salad. We also sampled a few different sushi dishes which were just as beautiful in presentation as they were in taste. Our favourite was the King Dragon sushi you see pictured here: it was coated with avocado and stuffed with sweet potato, cucumber and something crispy too! It was a difficult decision because Tenon’s regular menu also offers so many enticing Thai and Japanese dishes, including vegetarian shrimp in red curry and coconut milk, won tons with peanut sauce, thai basil “beef” and Bento boxes… Read More

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Discount Profile: Free Times Cafe

  How silly that I work so close to Free Times Cafe yet hadn’t in all these years taken the time to check out the amazing vegetarian food they have to offer. I suppose that is what Veggielicious is all about – inspiring people to try new restaurants that serve great vegetarian options. During Veggielicious I made it out to Free Times Cafe twice and both times I was absolutely floored by how delicious the food was. On day one, I had a delicious vegan shepard’s pie that came with soft, whole grain bread and a salad filled with tomatoes and red onions and a nice balsamic vinaigrette. The shepard’s pie was filled with bulgar, corn and carrots and was comfort food at it’s best. On day two, I had a mediterranean wrap packed with eggplant, hummus and other veggies, along with a side of ginger and sweet potato soup. It was perfect for one of the first cold days of winter. When it’s not Veggielicious, there’s still plenty of vegetarian options on Free Times Cafe’s menu, (including their house made veggie burger and a great falafel plate) that TVA members can take 15% off of with the Toronto… Read More

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Toronto Has it All

By Barbi Lazarus, Donor and Volunteer Resources Coordinator If you’re vegetarian, follow social media, and like to eat, by now you’ve certainly heard about the newest vegan bakery to open up, Through Being Cool. Blog posts and instagram shots galore have been spreading like wildfire, so I won’t go into too many details that others have already described oh-so-well about how fantastic their goodies are (you can just do a quick google search for Through Being Cool Vegan if you want the drool-worthy details). I had the pleasure of stopping by on my day off a couple weeks ago. As I sat on the subway home just staring at my bag of food in anticipation, I was suddenly overcome with a sense of awe, wonderment and excitement about where Toronto’s veg scene is at, and the fact that certainly this must represent a growing demand for vegetarian options. For those who think that vegans live with any sort of deprivation, let me just summarize where we stand here in Toronto: Donuts, apple fritters, pretzels and ooey gooey pizza buns? Check. (That would be the delicious spread from Through Being Cool you see on the right). Read More

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Discount Profile: Hibiscus

Care of Carly Ingram Hibiscus is a cute and cozy cafe in the Kensington Market with a vegan and gluten-free emphasis, including dairy-free ice cream and gluten-free crepes. I’d passed it many times on my way home from class and finally stopped in for lunch. I couldn’t resist the salad after reading about its healthy status and array of colours in the Toronto Star (click here to read the great review!). This rainbow salad includes marinated tofu, broccoli, carrots, kale, beans, quinoa, red beets and lentils, among other delicious flavours. And my was it delicious! The soup and salad combo is served with a delicious and crispy raw vegan cracker and a mug of super-hot squash soup. I loved that the soup came in a mug; I felt as though I was sipping a decadent and savory drink. During dinnertime, Hibiscus also offers a new and exciting soup of the day. The entire meal was extremely filling and delicious, and I couldn’t resist the fudgey brownie for dessert. I felt justified in my decision since it is made with chickpea flour. “This was great!” my dad exclaimed, after enjoying his buckwheat crepe with tomatoes, basil, and cheese. Read More

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Discount Profile: Fresh

  Care of Carly Ingram Picture this: it’s a gloriously sunny day and your body is craving some nutrients while your tongue wants flavour. As the last days and weeks of summer roll by, it’s all the more important to soak up some rays. The answer: grab some take-out from Fresh and hit the nearest park for a picnic! My cousin was recently visiting from California and her sister and I, avid Fresh-goers, soon realized she had never been! We walked to the nearest location (Fresh on Crawford) and surveyed the menu. Some of the old classics were there, but it also seemed as though new creations had been added. The newest Fresh-goer decided on and greatly enjoyed the Green Goddess on brown rice, while I was uber-satisfied with the Ace of Kales salad. We also each tried a different Green Smoothie and had trouble deciding which we liked best. The ginger in the Electrolyte Green makes for some awesome flavour. If it’s an especially hot day I would also recommend the Grapefruit Glow; an incredibly delicious and refreshing drink. With our biodegradable containers and cups in tow, we headed to Trinity Bellwoods, the glorious park that Fresh backs… Read More

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Discount Profile: Superfood Eateries

Care of Karin Thomas What’s the perfect food for summer in Toronto? Superfood! Superfood Eateries, that is. When you don’t want to spend your days slaving over a hot stove, run down to Superfood Eateries to savour the delicious raw, vegan, gluten free, organic, non-GMO gastronomic delights from Luciano Losiggio and Amy DeWolfe. Who says healthy can’t be gourmet quality? Don’t worry about placing your order and waiting anxiously for your food to be prepared (while checking your watch every 30 seconds). Superfood knows you’re in a hurry. Simply walk over to the cooler, grab whatever tickles your fancy, and go! Or, if you’ve got some time, pull up an ottoman in the cozy eating area, kick back, and enjoy your meal in house. Choose from a wide menu of decadent smoothies, nourishing juices, superstar salads, and mouthwatering mains like zucchini manicotti, tacos, Pad Thai, nachos, and pizza! Just because this food is healthy, doesn’t mean you have to skip dessert. With remineralizing chocolate cake, mood-elevating hemp balls, and their daily cheesecake, Superfood has your sweet tooth fix (without the nasty sugar crash an hour later)! These desserts are totally decadent, yet overflowing… Read More

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Discount Profile: Dukem Restaurant

Care of Karin Tomas Located on the Danforth, just steps from Donlands subway stop, Dukem Restaurant offers a casual, relaxed setting to enjoy all the rich flavours of Ethiopia. As you enter the restaurant through a thick set of curtains, you’re met with the wonderful aroma of spices, the sounds of African and Reggae music, and a warm, friendly greeting from the owner. Start your meal off with a delicious bowl of lentil soup or one of two salad options. The best way to experience Ethiopian cuisine is with a communal combination platter. A portion for two people (which would easily serve three) features a large variety of vegan dishes and a plate of neatly folded crepe-like bread (Injira) served alongside your platter. As is tradition, your meal is eaten by hand using the Injira to scoop up the delicious, perfectly spiced offerings. The vegetarian combo platter offers a huge selection. You’ll get chickpeas in a spicy garlic berbere sauce (Shuro Wat), a mild lentil stew (Misir Alichah), yellow split peas in a mild turmeric sauce (Yekik Alichah), beets and potatoes (Keyser and Dinitch), collard greens (Gomen Wat), lentils in a spicy hot berbere sauce (Yemiser… Read More

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Discount Profile: Jean’s Vegetarian Kitchen

Care of Karin Thomas Get ready for the best Thai-Malaysian food in Toronto! As the name suggests, Jean’s Vegetarian Kitchen’s entire menu is vegetarian and if you hold the egg on a few dishes, you’ve got a completely vegan experience (no fear of fish sauce in these dishes). You’ll be hard pressed to choose a favourite from Jean’s extensive menu. Starting with the appetizers, the Crispy Spring Rolls are deliciously crunchy, stuffed with glass noodles and fresh vegetables, served with a perfectly balanced sweet and sour dipping sauce. Don’t skip the soup course! Jean’s Pumpkin Soup is velvety perfection. Coconut cream, pumpkin puree, and curry spices blended together and served with toasted onions for topping. It is heaven in a bowl. Hot & Sour Soup lovers rejoice! This tangy bowl is so good you’ll want seconds. The Mango Salad is so fresh and flavourful you’d be happy to eat just that for dinner… long slivers of juicy mango, red onion, red peppers, cashews, cilantro, and a wonderfully tangy dressing, all topped off with fresh shredded coconut. A fantastic twist on a traditional Thai salad. Jean offers several Curry dishes, all with your choice of mixed vegetables &… Read More

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Discount Profile: Udupi Palace

Care of Karin Thomas Photo care of MSN Travel Known for their annual spicy dosa-eating contest, Udupi Palace can be found just west of Coxwell and Gerrard, a few steps below ground level, in Little India. Udupi Palace is a South Indian vegetarian hot spot, specializing in vegan, fusion, and Jain cuisine. From the moment you open the door and are hit with the intoxicating smell of curry spices and basmati rice, you know you’re in for a treat. The servers are friendly, welcoming, and attentive; more than happy to answer any menu questions you may have or to recommend a dish. You’ll find all the standard Indian favourites here, including pakoras, samosas, curries, and naan (Sat & Sun only), but the specialty at Udupi Palace are their dosas. The “Special Rava Masala Dosa” is not to be missed. A tender, chewy, spiced dosa (similar to a crepe) is filled with a spiced potato and onion mixture… reminiscent of samosa filling. This dosa is served with Sambhar (a thin vegetable stew) and the most amazing coconut chutney you will ever eat. Ask for extra chutney when placing your order; you’ll be glad you did. Another favourite… Read More

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