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The Best Vegan Restaurants In Toronto by Cuisine
Good cuisine doesn’t settle for less; the same goes for plant-based options. If you’re anything like us, you’ll be happily surprised that some of the top restaurants in the city don’t need dairy or meat to create great taste.
Going vegan may have you missing your once all-time favourite dim sum, fried chicken or cheesy pasta dishes, so we’ve curated a list of 19 local restaurants that goes to show just how amazing plant-based can be. We’ve categorized them into all your favourite flavours – made the way mother nature intended it to be. For vegan Asian eateries, you’ll find all the home-cooked dishes of soups, dim sum, bao, along with the fanciest, fish-less spring rolls you’ll ever come across. Middle Eastern and Caribbean cuisine also have vegan spots that may make you a regular. In terms of comforting, southern and pub style eats, Toronto has got plenty of vegan fried chicken to go around. If you’re feeling fancy, there are a variety of dining experiences that can’t be meat or beat. And if you’re seeking that authentic, Californian whole foods bowl, there are a few downtown spots that are keto and all-around diet friendly. Whether or not you think dairy and meat-less meals can’t match the original, you’ll definitely be intrigued with this list of some of the best vegan restaurants in Toronto, by cuisine.
Tenon Vegan Sushi Cuisine
When you think of Japanese cuisine, sushi might be the first thing on your mind. But at this sushi restaurant, you can get a full course of salmon a la carte, beef teriyaki rolls, and eggplant soy shrimp without a single piece of meat. If you’re not one for the texture of raw fish, Tenon might turn you into a sushi fan. Their head chef Tony has been perfecting the art of Japanese and Thai fusion dishes for a plant-based diet, and has since been rated a “Top Vegan Restaurant For Sushi” by PETA in 2013. Anyone for a taste of Asian cuisine might opt-out of regular seafood once they try their soy-based crab California Roll and ultimate veggie spicy Salmon roll – cruelty free of course.
Down the Ossington strip, you’ll find an explosion of Asian plant-based flavours at Fat Choi. When we see their 100% vegan menu has got taste – we mean it. This local and family run-business literally translates to “plant-based prosperity” from Cantonese (‘fat’ meaning prosperity and ‘choi’ meaning vegetable). Their dishes are a fusion of Chinese and Malaysian cuisine with signature flavours of savoury spices, as with their Rempah black oyster mushrooms and Char Siu mantou-steamed, Bao.
As a vegan craving Thai and Viet cuisine, Saigon Lotus is the go-to for ‘Banh Xeo’ pancakes, veggie Bun Bo Hue Pho and crunchy fried spring rolls. They stay true to the dishes’ heritage while transforming beloved pho and fried cutlets into fully plant-based classics. Situated in the Chinatown near Kensington Market, you can make this your new favourite evening spot for filling vegan portions of authentic recipes.
Buddha's Vegan Restaurant
One of the best Chinese restaurants and earliest Asian vegan restaurants in Toronto is Buddha’s Vegan, located in the Chinatown core. They serve the community just as they serve a huge selection of authentic Chinese vegan dishes. Their simple seating might fool you as you dive into some of the tastiest mock duck, eel, pork and beef out there. Flavour can’t be beat with items like the Bean Curd Sheet (substitute duck), Ginger Veggie beef, soy Steak and greens, Black Bean fried chow mein, and their drumsticks. Small with a mighty menu, you might miss this incredible vegan gem if you walk too fast.
This sustainably made and sourced Carribean spot serves its customers just as it serves the environment – with care. Chef Peter’s vibrant menu takes on vegan renditions of oven-baked dhalpuri roti with a hot portion of baked greens and seitan jerk with soft beans and basmati rice. Just as their name reflects their menu, you’ll be delighted by the service as well as the flavours once you visit this spot the next time you’re in Kensington.
The main reason to eat at Eat Nabati isn’t just because they’re vegan, but because their modern middle-eastern falafel wraps and shawarma bowls will make you forget they are plant-based in the first place. ‘Nabati’ in Arabic translates to ‘made of plants’ or ‘plant-based’, and their cuisine is not short of taste and heart. Each menu item is priced under or around $10, so there’s no guilt to indulge in their beef-styled Baba Shawarma, Za’atar and tomato Halloumi or chilli and caramelized onion stuffed falafels.
Hogtown Vegan on College
Who can resist chili cheese fries, breaded chicken and butter Belgian waffles, or an ice cream sandwich these days? If you know anything about this southern-style, vegan pub eatery, it’s that their plant-based food tastes even better than dairy and meat alternatives. Mains include beer-battered Phish n’ Chips along with Seitan fried Chicken with mashed taters, gravy, and juicy sauteed bacon and garlic flavoured greens.
The place to go for fried plant-based chicken sandwiches and bowls is hands down Lovebird on West Queen West. Their comforting, soul food-inspired menu is all about the satisfying taste of crispy chicken, without any of the harm. You’ll be surprised at how they’ve been able to perfect a fried chickun parmigiana with mozzarella or chicken curry masala bowl on a fully plant-based ingredient list. If you aren’t able to eat in, Lovebird is available for delivery on major food services such as DoorDash, UberEats, and Skip the Dishes.
Green Earth Vegan Cuisine
This modest family-owned restaurant located in Danforth, specializes in international flavours with a vegan take. Korean kimchi soup, Thai green curry, Italian fettuccine alfredo, and Vietnamese golden “eggless” rolls are just some of the comforting cuisine especially made for a vegan diet. Taking a trip on their menu, you can’t forget to check out their Canadian poutine, beating some of the well-known spots in the city! Their house-made gravy and vegan cheese serve a plentiful portion for only $8.
The LOV restaurant near King and Portland St sends a heart and plant-filled bienvenue to Toronto and Montreal food enthusiasts. Inside, you’ll find stunning white mosaic interiors with hanging botanicals surrounding you and your meal. Mixing Asian and European inspired fine-dining with fast-food comfort, you’ll experience top notch vegan mac and cheese, creamy, cashew-based Mushroom risotto, and a juicy, Cheeseburger Big LOV with fresh greens and signature LOV sauce to name a few. Their plant-based options are more towards a higher price point, making it a perfect spot for special occasions or taking your non-vegan friend for a fancy night out.
For an intimate dining experience, Avelo takes you on a classy night of plant-based tasting. A partner restaurant to the top vegan pizza spot, Pizzeria Du, they serve a 5 to 8 course menu based on seasonal ingredients that will only be revealed once you receive them. If you’re not one for surprises, they offer a chef-prepared takeout of items with localEats.TO, including rich, truffle and cremini Ravioli or creamy Cauliflower Bechamel. As a testament to their stance on supporting plant-based alternatives, Avelo takes part in V Grocery’s local and fully-plant-based grocery service around the downtown core. Even at home, you can treat yourself to their Celeriac Cannelloni for dinner, topped off with browed, home-made Focaccia.
When we say a night out at Rosalinda’s vibrantly chic restaurant is one-of-a-kind – we really mean it. Imagine, dinner in a magical greenhouse at the back of your grandmother’s fairy-lit garden – except your grandmother is the coolest person on earth. Rated highly for the excellent, authentic mexican dishes, you need to try their Chilaquiles verdes or vegan Chorizo along with the sweet potato Flautas. They also serve some tasty burger and pizza options, as with their Impossible Burger made with Russian sauce and juicy meatless patty, which pair great with a photo under the plants, crushed velvet, and naturally lit ambiance.
Another groovy and sustainably-sourced place to eat is Planta on Queen, an Asian-styled eatery with a contemporary feel. Their menu doesn’t fall short to favourites like sushi, kung pao, bao and spring rolls. Their peanut and chili Bang Bang Broccoli, sweet and spicy General Tso-styled cauliflower, and Watermelon “salmon” Nigri hit every time. With the one on Queen, their green and gold backdrop compliment the dark, walnut interiors, but PLANTA also has several others: their sleek location in Yorkville and Brightly coloured PLANTA Cocina and PLANTA Burger in the Financial District.
Fresh on Bloor
Serving a colourful array of “plant-powered” dishes are the Fresh restaurants in Toronto. Fresh at the intersection of Bloor and Spadina is one of Toronto’s original plant-based restaurants with a 100% plant-based menu. They serve classic burgers, cauliflower bites, wraps, pizzas and cold-pressed juices if you’re in the mood for a hearty and healthful date night. For their higher prices, you can’t go wrong with their Goddess bowls and special Dragon Fries dressed with miso sauce and banana peppers to add extra kick. They have a small but gorgeous garden patio at the back of the restaurant In 2019, they expanded to the “Most Vegan-friendly” capital in America – Los Angeles.
Hello 123 is a fantastical, 100% vegan brunch and lunch spot in between Dufferin and Shaw St. on Queen West. Packed with a heaping portion of greens and goodness, you’ll find their large portions well deserving of their prices. For breakfast, why not try the Waffles and Chana with chickpea curry and coconut-based yogurt sauce. For afternoons and evenings, their quaint, white picket patio warmly lights a meal of chipotle adobo sauce, lentils and sourdough with Chipotle Chili, as you savour your cashew creamed Kimchi wedges.
This local joint is a well-beloved health food eatery and takeout that is perfect for that ‘having cheat day 4 days in a row’ kind of feeling. Nuts, fresh produce, lentils, housemade dressings, and of course, grains will accommodate any individual on a health-food journey. On the West end in Etobicoke, Good Grains packs a lot of nutrients with a whole lot of flavour. Take the Thai Medley with a gratuitous serving of carrots, chickpeas, and thick, drizzled peanut-coconut sauce, for starters. As a known community business, they’re also available for order through Skip the Dishes, with free local delivery if you’re in the area.
Another diet-friendly option is the plentiful, whole foods menu at Copper Branch in the Financial District. They have great eats for a busy lunch, such as a General Copper Power Bowl with General Tao and sriracha coleslaw, a deluxe burger menu that includes portobello mushroom with aioli, sandwiches, burritos, soy buffalo wings and chili. All buns can be switched to gluten-free keto options, as well as the choice to double your patty and add some extra oozing cheese to your meal. They even have a great all-day breakfast menu of bagels, specialty avocado toast, wraps and smoothies to power through groggy, work afternoons.
At the heart of these amazing restaurants, you’ll find a passion for the earth just as much as a passion for great cuisine. Plant-based alternatives may be jarring at first, but once you stop by one of these local spots, you’ll probably want to get to know more of what veganism is really all about. For more on everything food and drink, visit our Instagram page for all the best thing Toronto has to offer.