7 places to get great vegan muffins in Toronto
Vegan muffins in Toronto are, as with many vegan snacks, a bit hit or miss. While breakfast may or may not be the most important meal of the day, a morning meal free of dairy, eggs and meat, presents another challenge entirely.
To ease your morning commute, here are seven great places to get a vegan muffin in Toronto.
Bunner's is not only completely vegan but gluten-free, and the bakers also steer clear of common allergens such as soy, wheat and refined sugar. While best known for their cupcakes and gypsy cookies, they also offer muffins ($2.75) in unexpected varieties such as sweet potato cranberry and pumpkin chocolate chip. With a rich cake-like texture, even the most unwavering omnivores fall for these muffins.
Urban Herbivore's muffins ($2.66) are renowned amongst the vegan set. Baked fresh daily at their 3 locations--Kensington Market, College St. and Eaton Centre--the eatery offers fruity combos such as apple cranberry, apple walnut, raspberry apple, pear walnut as well as their popular sweet potato date. While their Kensington shop serves mainly vegan customers, their outpost in Eaton Centre's Urban Eatery sees a generally health-conscious crowd, and the generously proportioned spelt-based muffin boasts a uniquely crunchy top.
This all-vegan bakeshop has a largely non-vegan customer base and a dedicated muffin ($3) following. Mainstay varieties including morning glory and the bestselling currant bran, both crafted in-house without wheat or soy, as well as gluten-free banana chocolate chip. Tori also bakes up seasonal flavours such as spelt peach. The shop sells up to 70 freshly baked muffins on an average weekday but those in the know stop in regularly for the half price day-olds.
Fresh is a well-established destination for vegan dining but tasty takeaway treats are available too. Supplied by Toronto bakers Sweets from the Earth, the restaurant's featured vegan muffin ($3) changes monthly. With an 11:30am opening, the breakfast crowd may miss out, so stop in for a midday break and take advantage of their weekday 16oz drink and muffin offer ($6.50) between 2:30 and 5:30pm.
Kale Eatery brought organic, vegan fare to the fast-food-centric Yonge and Eglinton area when it opened two years ago. Their oat-based muffins are baked in-house with organic spelt and tofu and lightly sweetened with maple syrup. Blueberry and banana walnut are bestsellers amongst the mainly vegan clientele but the apple flavour is the staff favorite. You won't mistake this muffin for a piece of cake, so it's a good bet if you like your baked goods more healthful and savory than sweet.
Balluchon Raymond Inc.
Tucked away on Sorauren Avenue, this gem of a café introduced a delicately proportioned gluten-free vegan muffin ($3) to satisfy clientele looking to take a break from dairy. Baked in-house with almond flour, which lends an almost pastry-like texture, the muffin flavor changes daily but it's always soy-free and often stuffed with saucy in-season fruit or topped with maple roasted walnuts. When available, day-olds are offered at a discount.
You would expect a vegan option from Whole Foods and their street level café on Avenue Road delivers. The vegan berry muffin ($1.99), containing both wheat and soy, is on the sweet side and makes a decadent breakfast. Try the well-sized mini ($0.99), plain or iced, for a mid-afternoon snack.
Writing by Cheryl Kozoriz. Lead photo of vegan carrot muffins from Fresh by Alexandra Grigorescu