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Eat & Drink

The top 10 vegetarian brunch in Toronto

Posted by Liora Ipsum / August 9, 2014

vegetarian brunch torontoVegetarian brunch in Toronto seems like a fairly simple proposition, thanks to the meal's egg-centric qualities. Yet all too often, it seems like a meat-free brunch is doomed to a single omelette selection or a less-than full breakfast with all the good stuff withheld. Vegans are worse off still.

This list is all about offering variety - places where meatless morning meals are offered in abundance. These spots offer ample selections on spectrum of brunchy goodness, covering everything from greasy spoon grand slams to "unchicken and waffles".

Here are my top picks for vegetarian brunching in Toronto.

Doug's Public Kitchen
The organic, gluten-free vegan kitchen serves Sunday brunch from 10am to 4pm, and while the menu changes seasonally, a recent summer edition featured wood-fired bagels with smoked carrot lox ($12), berry waffles ($16), and omelettes served with tempeh bacon and sweet potato corn hash.

Hogtown Vegan
Brunch at this exclusively vegan Bloordale eatery is served on weekends from 11am to 3pm. The menu focuses on comfort foods, featuring satisfying selections like hearty tofu rancheros ($12), syrup-slathered unchicken and waffles ($14) and peanut butter, banana and tofu bacon french toast ($12).

E.L. Ruddy
The charming vegetarian cafe on Dundas West offers fluffy spelt waffles ($13), rustic granola bowls, and egg breakfasts ($10-$12) with the option to sub in house-marinated tofu. Better still, the cafe does mimosa and caesar specials for $4 with brunch served on weekends from 11am to 5pm.

Sadie's Diner & Juice Bar
Satisfying vegetarian cravings for good ol' greasy spoon fare, this diner replicates traditional two-egg breakfasts ($9.50) with home fries, toast and veggie bacon or sausage. Vegans will find at least half the menu suited to their needs, with rancheros ($12) offered with tofu scramble instead of huevos, and buckwheat pancakes ($9) made dairy-free.

Hello Darling
This cozy neighbourhood brunch spot on Lansdowne at Wallace isn't really a vegetarian place, though the brunch menu is 95% meat-free. Served week-round, the ever-changing selection has recently featured poached eggs on polenta, shakshuka, breakfast tacos, and lemon curd blueberry pancakes, all of which are entirely meatless. Side orders of bacon or sausage can supplement omnivorous diets if necessary - or opt for the coconut bacon, just 'cause it's tasty.

Cardinal Rule
Brunch starts at 10am this omnivore-friendly restaurant on Roncy. Meatless options are clearly indicated on the menu, and the selection doesn't disappoint. Vegans will find half a dozen choices, while vegetarians can enjoy huevos quesadillas ($11), bennies ($11) and coconut pancakes ($11).

Grasslands
Nouvelle vegan cuisine is the niche at this slightly more upscale Queen West vegan restaurant. On weekends at brunch, expect to find indulgent fare like Snickerdoodle French toast ($12) and colourful plates of seasoned tofu scrambles ($14) that come packed with fruit, salad and multi-grain toast.

Fresh
Multiple locations span across the city, making this chain of vegetarian eateries a household name when it comes to accommodating special diets. Brunch, served weekends and holidays from 10:30am to 3pm, features full breakfasts ($13) composed of scrambled tofu, baked beans, home fries and a choice of tempeh bacon or vegan sausage. Gluten-free pancakes are great too, but skip the classic ($8.50) and have them upgraded with banana nut ($10.50) or blueberry almonds ($10.50).

Disgraceland
A divey bar on Bloor where the brunch menu is omnivore-friendly but can almost entirely be made vegan on request. This place makes greasy hangover-soothing comfort foods its specialty, offering shortstacks of pancakes ($8), veggie bennies ($11) and breakfast burritos ($11).

Easy
While Easy's two locations don't cater exclusively to vegetarians, the expansive brunch menu offers ample variety for meat-free eaters. Omelettes ($13-$15), granola bowls ($7), mini waffles ($13) and various Mexican breakfasts fortified with refried beans are all on the menu. Vegans should sit this one out.

Did I miss your favourite vegetarian brunch spot? Let us know in the comments.

Discussion

22 Comments

Andrea / August 9, 2014 at 08:37 am
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The Bickford Flexitarian is also wonderful, especially if eating with folks who aren't veg.
Tim replying to a comment from Andrea / August 9, 2014 at 08:58 am
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Unfortunately the Bickford closed last month
Alice / August 9, 2014 at 09:05 am
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That dryish, crumbled looking egg substitute in the photo doesn't look too appetizing. Was sorry to see Le Commensal close but it was getting pretty pricey.
Michelle / August 9, 2014 at 09:08 am
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The thing is? The majority of vegan/vegetarian restaurants are focussed on recreating the typical North American breakfast (eggs and pork products, for the most part) with soy, and primarily, tofu. Soy is a high-allergen food, most of it is not organically grown, and the majority of it is genetically modified. What would be amazing to see in Toronto are brunches that bring in the breakfast foods of other cultures, which are far less centred on animal products. There are cultures that don't eat animal products, and they eat breakfast. I just don't get why the veg community has yet to evolve beyond a need to mimic meals that are based on animal products.
Mjp / August 9, 2014 at 09:43 am
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The Bickford Flexitarian went deadpool..
Joy / August 9, 2014 at 09:45 am
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Try District Oven for non N.American tratidional breakfast.
Sadie's Diner replying to a comment from Michelle / August 9, 2014 at 11:30 am
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Guilty as charged. Recreating vegan and vegetarian versions of typical North American diner food and a diner atmosphere is what we're all about.
Steven / August 9, 2014 at 02:47 pm
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The faux bacon strips on the picture explains why vegans have no imagination to make their meals look appetizing. Yeah, right, copy the appearance of meals from REAL food. Crazy.
greg replying to a comment from Alice / August 9, 2014 at 07:28 pm
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Certainly not as appetizing as a Chicken's Period.
Dan / August 9, 2014 at 07:45 pm
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Didn't realize Toronto ended at Bloor Street. Poor effort as usual, blogger.
Dan / August 9, 2014 at 07:47 pm
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Also, you may want to proof read the headlines in the future.
Sunny / August 10, 2014 at 05:06 am
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Nothing East of Spadina?
VS replying to a comment from Steven / August 10, 2014 at 08:35 pm
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That's not "faux bacon", it's strips of tempeh. Grow up.
Sarah / August 11, 2014 at 10:30 am
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Lola's should definitely be on here.
Charmaine / August 11, 2014 at 02:48 pm
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Surely there must be SOMETHING east of the downtown core! What about all the nice veg options at Lady Marmelade or Edward's (formerly or formally Edward Levesque's Kitchen)?
Lech / September 13, 2014 at 09:02 am
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The fact that Grasslands made this list either speaks to the list's credibility or the lack of vegan options in Toronto. An absolutely terrible dining experience. That said, Vegetarian Haven, although not serving traditional brunch, needs to be a must stop for any veggie foodie
niki / November 16, 2014 at 09:27 am
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Wow, enough of the negativity! Sharing new places and suggesting dishes is more helpful! I've had awesome vegan brunch at nearly every place on here, and in my searches have never found a good place east end or too far north of the core. I don't think the blogger is leaving too many great places out, I think most of the specialized food places (like vegan restaurants) stick to the core as there are more of their target market in those areas! I would love to know of any other places if east-enders have suggestions!! Now that I'm dairy free I find it harder to eat when heading east!
Cynthia / November 16, 2014 at 09:57 am
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Lola's. Not a vegan/vegetarian place, but lots of options.
lynn / November 16, 2014 at 12:39 pm
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I just finished eating at Doug's public kitchen and its was amazingly delicious!
EM / November 16, 2014 at 03:57 pm
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Sadie's makes hands-down the WORST tofu scramble ever. Tried their huevos with the "tofu scramble" and it was just crumbled tofu with a bit of salsa tossed in. Bland and tasteless. So disappointing. I hope they've changed their recipe since I last went.
Arlene / November 16, 2014 at 04:48 pm
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Fran's has tons of options and even has veggie sausage for those occasional cravings.
Derek / November 16, 2014 at 07:16 pm
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Beachside Grill at 1922 Queen St. E. offers a host of vegetarian and starting last this week, new and delicious gluten free options for each meal of the day!

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