TOP PLANT-BASED EATS IN TORONTO AND GTA
I love my plant-based food!
"Foodie" might as well be my middle name – as I LOVE to eat and try new food. With that in mind, I'm also a picky eater. I've been vegan for about 2.5 years and I'm constantly scouring the city for the most delicious plant-based food. My favourite restaurants are shown here in no particular order. Note: not all of the restaurants are 100% plant-based, but offer vegan options. With so much variety, I can pretty much guarantee that you won't miss eating meat.
I'm sure that there are many restaurants worthy of being included in this post, but give me a chance to go try them! Feel free to recommend some places to me 🙂 I'll admit that some of my photos are not the greatest, but conditions don't always allow for more artistic shots. Thank you Sabai Sabai for your resto food pics – I couldn't find mine and can't go eat there yet because of the pandemic.
Check out my favourite salivation spots. Your taste buds will thank me!
The COVID pandemic has affected businesses big time. Unfortunately one of my favourite plant-based hotpot restaurants has closed their door forever.
Please support our local restaurants by ordering online/by phone/by email (whatever method they use) for contactless pick up.
Business hours may be different during COVID times, so be sure to call ahead or check online for their current hours.
Fat Choi (Toronto) – 100% plant-based
Asian inspired dishes with divine taste and textures. A culinary delight and gourmet dining experience. I would say that because of the serving size-price ratio, it's a wonderful splurge and especially great when someone's treating you for your birthday. My last birthday dinner was there of course…
Their sambal oil is "oh so perfect"! I've purchased many a jar to enjoy at home. Fat Choi's is often experimenting with twists on classic dishes – so be prepared to delight your taste buds. Because I don't live in the city, I stock up on oil whenever I'm downtown.
Due to COVID, Fat Choi is currently offering set menus for takeout. Check out their website for details and help them out by pre-ordering via email. Also because of COVID, Fat Choi's is currently operating out of their sister restaurant "Soo's", which is not plant-based.
TVX (Toronto) – 100% plant-based
Indian inspired dishes. A trip to flavour heaven. Dishes with an exquisite blend of spices and textures that will leave you wanting more. Their oyster mushrooms, Nonya and biryani are sublime. Jeff is constantly experimenting with new dishes, so be sure to follow TVX on social media for his latest creations. Like typical Indian style food, the portions are not huge, but they are very filling. Plus it's hard not to be full when you try every dish on the menu.
I had the pleasure of eating in the restaurant pre-COVID and enjoyed their beautifully plated dishes and "downtown" ambience. I was waiting for COVID to end before heading downtown, but couldn't wait anymore. TVX's dishes even look amazing in take-out containers! Don't forget to say hello to the very lovely Jeff and Jesse when you go – and tell them Monica sent you 🙂
The VegItaliano (Vaughan) – 100% plant-based
Italian food. It's true – you can enjoy plant-based calamari, meatballs, parmesan sandwiches and traditional baked goods. You can also purchase Italian products and vacuum sealed "meats" such as BBQ ribs and sausages. Maria and her family own and run the restaurant with love. Honestly, the calamari (oyster mushrooms with perfect batter and seasoning) and fresh pasta are what keep me going back again and again. This place is a treasure.
Sabai Sabai (Toronto) – plant-based options
Thai food. I love that Sabai Sabai has a separate menu for vegan dishes. It makes ordering so much easier than trying to customize non-vegan menu items (vegans – you understand what I mean). Enjoy Tom Yum soup, Panang curry, Green curry and so much more. The food is amazing and will tease every bud on your tongue with the delightful textures and flavours. I love the vibe and atmosphere inside this restaurant. This is a great spot if you're eating with non-vegans looking to eat meat/fish – at least you can eat together.
Copper Branch (franchise with many locations) – 100% plant-based
This is the place to go if you like power salads, burgers, wraps, hot sides (like chili and soup), smoothies, lattes/hot drinks and desserts. Their sauces are their secret ingredient, making burgers and wraps succulent. The food is always fresh. My personal favs: spicy black bean burger, scrambled tofu wrap and General Copper bowl.
You can also collect loyalty points when you eat there.
The Veggie Thali (Toronto) – 100% plant-based
Indian food. Enjoy authentic slow cooked spice-infused dishes such as chana masala, dal, aloo gobi and sabzi. Grab some samosa and mango juice at the same time. They offer Thali combos ($13) (pictured above centre) which includes salad, rice, roti and your choice of 3 items. You can also get a Mini Thali if you want a lighter meal.
I found out that some other Indian restaurants sneak milk ingredients into their vegetarian dishes, when l I discovered that my refrigerated eggplant was solidified and milky the next day. I'm so happy that The Veggie Thali is completely plant-based. I can eat anything on the menu without worry.
Now with two locations (1712 Queen St. East, Toronto and 1410 Victoria Park Ave., Unit 4, Toronto) to serve you.
Freshii (franchise with many locations ) – plant-based options
Salads, bowls, soups, wraps, smoothies, cold pressed juices. If you're looking for a lighter meal on the go – swing by this place. You have the option to add tofu as a protein. This restaurant isn't completely plant-based so you should mention your preferences to the staff when ordering. They have a nifty chart behind the counter that details the ingredients for each menu item.
My personal favourites are the Buddha Satay bowl (rice noodles with a spicy peanut sauce topped with an assortment of fresh raw veggies) and the Fiesta salad minus the aged cheddar. If you're looking for a good juice cleanse – you can purchase a 3 or 5-day cleanse. I suggest calling ahead to make sure they have enough juice available before you show up. I've personally done the cleanse three times. You can read my most recent review of the 3-day juice cleanse. Even if you're not "cleansing" you can buy the juices right off the shelf for a quick energy pick-me-up.
Gourmet Vegetarian Restaurant (Richmond Hill) – plant-based options
A twenty-year-old treasure in Richmond Hill. Eating dim sum like hargow and "loh bak goh" was a huge part of my childhood. I get nostalgic thinking about the dim sum dining experience including the food carts being pushed around the restaurant. Boy, did I miss eating dim sum after I became vegan. Now I can eat Gourmet Vegetarian Restaurant's meatless versions of my favourite dim sum, including "Joung" (sticky rice lotus wraps), "Chi fan" (glutinous rice wrap), "loh bak goh" (white radish cake), hargow (shrimp dumplings), veggie dumplings and so much more in addition to their traditional Buddhist gluten "fake meat". I no longer missing eating dim sum thanks to this resto. They are always experimenting with new dishes, so visit them often to try new things. If you're pressed for time, they have some ready-made items available for purchase. They also offer an extensive menu of noodles, rice, vegetables and mock meat. Some dishes contain eggs, so specify in advance if you don't want eggs.
Mamma's Pizza (franchise with many locations) – plant-based options
Pizza. Sometimes I get hit with a pizza craving. You can order a specialty pizza such as "Spicy Vegan" or "Vegan Classic Sausage" right off their menu or you can customize one with your favourite toppings. After I became vegan, I missed Mamma's Pizza's thin and moist crust. I was ecstatic when they introduced plant-based options with dairy-free cheese. Mamma's makes mean pizza.
Planta Queen is on my list but still looking for my food pics!