Meatless in Hogtown: The Top Vegetarian Restaurants in Toronto
Toronto’s vegetarian scene is a lively one. Home to the largest Vegetarian Food Festival in North America, an international vegan bake sale, and many new and old meatless restaurants, the city is well-equipped to serve a hungry vegetarian population.
Here are six of the most well-loved establishments among local herbivore foodies.
Grasslands: This upscale vegan bistro has all the indicators of a hip Queen West haunt: trendy crowd, sexy ambience, and a menu as curated as the bill of fare at an art gallery. The selection of Northern Mediterranean-inspired menu offerings consists of such refined items as a house cured “charcuterie” board, crispy oyster mushrooms, and herbed seitan roast. Spend an evening in one of Grasslands’ pleather-upholstered booths and experience how decadent a vegan dinner can be.
Location: 478 Queen Street W.
Hours: 10 am – 3 pm, 5:30 pm – 11 pm (Sun – Sat)
Sadie’s Diner and Juice Bar: This unassuming haunt on a quiet corner of Adelaide and Portland is best known for its traditional diner-style brunch. Its menu is full of options that will appeal to all kinds of breakfast lovers, and most can be veganized and made gluten-free. Tuck into a tofu scramble served with chunky home fries and veggie sausage or no-nonsense buckwheat pancakes and some fair trade organic coffee. If a hearty and healthy brunch is what you seek, Sadie’s will satisfy.
Location: 504 Adelaide Street W.
Hours: 7:30 am – 10 pm (Mon – Fri), 9 am – 10 pm (Sat – Sun)
Woodlot: A cutting-edge presence in Toronto’s culinary scene, Woodlot aims to serve vegetarian and non-vegetarian foodies exactly what they want. The Canadian-inspired restaurant and bakery specializes in creative, locally-sourced comfort food and features two seasonally evolving menus: the first, showcasing offerings from local artisanal meat suppliers and the second, dedicated to vegetarians. With an emphasis on quality, simply prepared local ingredients, Woodlot’s offerings make expert use of a signature hand-built, wood-fired oven after which it is named.
Location: 293 Palmsterston Avenue
Hours: 5 pm – 11 pm (Sun, Tues – Sat)
Hogtown Vegan: If you thought vegan food was all about roots and shoots, one glance at the Hogtown Vegan menu will serve up a pleasant surprise. Down-home comfort food classics like unchicken & waffles, phish and chips, and chili “cheese” fries make Hogtown Vegan a trusty destination for a full-flavoured, hearty meal. From the same restaurateurs who brought the city its first vegan doughnuts & burrito joint in Kensington Market, Hogtown Vegan has gained an equally passionate following of meat-free eaters with a deep appreciation for deep fried.
Location: 834 Bloor Street W.
Hours: 12 – 11 pm (Mon – Fri), 11 am – 11 pm (Sat), 11 am – 10 pm (Sun)
Hibiscus: Hibiscus Café is a popular lunch staple for Kensington Market’s health-conscious crowd. Known for its sweet and savory crêpe selection, the small café offers a welcoming spot for a light lunch or afternoon snack. Crêpes made with vegan buckwheat batter are stuffed with generous amounts of cheese (vegan or not) and sautéed vegetables, or fruit and dark chocolate. Pair with a soymilk smoothie and perch at the sunny window ledge to people-watch in one of Toronto’s most character-full neighborhoods. Save room for a vegan baked treat for dessert.
Location: 238 Augusta Avenue
Hours: 11:30 am – 6 pm (Sun, Tues – Sat)
The Big Carrot Vegetarian Café: Since 1983, this co-operative owned and operated business has functioned as Toronto’s city-wide destination for all things vegetarian. Here, you can stock up on organic produce, take a workshop or a cooking class, shop for natural bath and body products in the herbal dispensary, or sit down to a hot vegan meal. The vegetarian deli offers over 50 in-house made organic dishes, from Southwest potato salad to roasted eggplant jambalaya. A visit to The Big Carrot is sure to be a passionate vegetarian’s idea of a fun afternoon.
Location: 348 Danforth Avenue
Hours: 9 am – 9 pm (Mon – Fri), 9 am – 8 pm (Sat), 11 am – 6 pm (Sun)
No meat is no problem in Toronto! With tasty plant-based options for all tastes, our numerous vegetarian restaurants are sure to appeal to both strict herbivores and occasional carnivores alike.