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Fresh expanding to Yonge and Eglinton

Posted by Staff / December 26, 2012

Fresh Restaurant Yonge EglintonGood news for vegetarians north of Bloor - Fresh restaurants is expanding its empire to Yonge and Eglinton. Coming in summer of 2013, Fresh is opening its fourth Toronto location at 90 Eglinton East. The news was announced just over a week ago and follows on founder Ruth Tal's promise to us back in 2010 that a fourth and fifth location were in the works.

On behalf of our east-end readers, can we suggest the next Fresh be somewhere east of the DVP? In what neighbourhood would you like to see Fresh set up shop?



Sharon / December 26, 2012 at 03:21 pm
I once visited Fresh weekly, but stopped when they started to lower their food quality and raise their prices. Seems they have become the McDonald's for vegetarian food with dishes becoming assembly line. Some of the menu items are still good, but not great. Much better veg food can be found in Toronto and for a lot less $. A few sprouts, some sauce and mostly rice bowl for $15. No thanks.
Jose / December 26, 2012 at 04:52 pm
I think one more Fresh in uptown to cater the burbs and that's it.

@Sharon is right, too many of these and it will become a chain where the quality goes down.
Carnivore / December 26, 2012 at 05:12 pm
Sushi O is no more?
Stephbeee / December 26, 2012 at 09:13 pm
Open one in little India please! Our forgotten neighbourhood is starved of healthy options!
George replying to a comment from Sharon / December 26, 2012 at 10:29 pm
unfortunately Fresh has become vegetarian junk food :(
Michelle / December 26, 2012 at 11:12 pm
Hospital district (i.e. University Ave.). There is a sad lack of healthy food options in and area that is supposed to promote health. There are so many workers and patients who are desperate for this type of food. Keep it up Fresh. You're just as good as always.
Omnivore / December 27, 2012 at 12:28 am
The food at Fresh is fine, but the prices are a tad high. I'm glad that Fresh has been successful enough to open another location, but what we need are more vegetarian restaurants of a similar design, to create some competition and bring the prices down to something reasonable.

Sure, there are many healthy / vegetarians options in town (in some neighbourhoods more than others), but Fresh has met the kind of success it enjoys because of its format: sizeable dining rooms with lots of tables, expansive fusion menu, and a complete juice and smoothie bar. Believe it or not, this is kind of unique in Toronto: most other veg options are cafes or salad bars with limited seating, focusing more on a quick bite with a hot drink and/or take-out. For instance, Urban seating, small menu, focused on eating quickly and leaving. Hibiscus in Kensington is a nice cafe with fresh veg meals. Again, small menu, small space.

Fresh gets some competition at the corner of Richmond / Spadina (where there are a couple of other similar format restaurants) and there's Fressen not too far away...but across the city, not much competition at all. There need to be more full-service vegetarian restaurants!
Natalie replying to a comment from Michelle / December 27, 2012 at 01:20 am
Sweet potato fries are healthy? The healthiest option is to prepare your own food at home. I highly doubt the food at Fresh is as "fresh" as you think it is. I worked in a similar kitchen and the staff never washed the vegetables, even for juicing. The people in the back are making minimum wage and could care less about your health. Speaking of the hospital district, I would avoid eating any uncooked vegetable from a place like Fresh.

Do you think that they make each of those sauces in the rice bowls custom everyday? It's out of the fridge and into the microwave to get it piping hot to your table so fast. No restaurant (except high-end, with a chef) will ever take the care that you will take in your own kitchen. Pack a lunch if you want healthy food without the high sodium and fats that makes Fresh seem tasty. You'll also save money by not paying exorbitant prices for vegetarian fast food.
Greg / December 27, 2012 at 01:39 am
I don't like Fresh.. its the McDonald of the veg business. Smells like ass.
Just sayin' / December 27, 2012 at 04:52 am
Hate to break it to you all. The food at Fresh is probably not so "healthy". They use whole grains and plenty of vegetables, which is great. But they also use plenty of sauces and dips. What do you think they're likely full of? Salt and sugar. That's where the taste comes from.
Adam / December 27, 2012 at 08:57 am
Fresh needs to be more upfront about the nutrition details of their food. They've been challenged on this in the past and made statements claiming they are an "open book" given that they publish all their recipes, yet they refuse to publish the actual nutritional facts.

This attitude just leaves you to believe they're hiding something.
Erin / December 27, 2012 at 12:32 pm
sure Fresh has some veggie "junk food" options but it's pretty easy to eat healthy there as well. I think the menu is smart sometimes as a vegetarian you want to have fries or onion rings just because you don't eat meat doesn't mean all you want are raw veggies.... stop the hating and support local businesses that are specializing in vegetarian cuisine (it's not easy Fressen is closing).
A / December 27, 2012 at 01:13 pm
I only read up on this article to confirm that the comments would be full of troll-ish "fresh is the new mcdonalds" style comments.
Skye replying to a comment from Carnivore / December 27, 2012 at 03:53 pm
Sadly, no more Sushi-O. It was there one day, closed the next (presumably to bankruptcy). There was a sign on the door, but because the gate on the patio was locked, it was hard to get close enough to see what it said.
Step up replying to a comment from Erin / December 27, 2012 at 07:10 pm
Fressen was also over-priced and arrogant, but their food was almost worth it. Fresh is arrogant, but with nothing to show for it except tired old recipes, phony service, and cliche interior design. Their 'drive-thru service' feels like a visit to McDonald's, so I can see why they are compared to them. They have been riding on past success while they raise prices and lower quality. I am surprised that they are still around as McDonald's actually offers more value. Probably because, unlike NYC, there is not much competition for vegetarian restaurants in TO, yet. When some others decide to go head to head with Fresh, their days are numbered. We do need more choice for authentic healthy vegetarian food in TO. Someone please step up!
David / December 28, 2012 at 12:55 am
I love everything about fresh except the noise level. Some of us with disabilities cannot come there because of the chaotic noise. Any plans to change that?
WEB / December 28, 2012 at 09:02 am
Everyone, everywhere, every time is bashing McDonald's. But yet, they are the most successful restaurant chain in the history of the world, i.e. it is the most frequented restaurant chain in the world. Hmmm....

I am a shareholder of McDonald's and laugh my ass off whenever I read these comments. Thank-you by the way for all of you McDonald bashing/happy customers (I guess?!) because profits and dividends keep going up up up!

Steve / January 2, 2013 at 07:14 am
I have to agree with the majority of the mob here when they say that the quality of the food at Fresh (and, in my opinion, the attitudes of some of the staff) has declined in recent times. However, Fresh may be the 'Mcdonalds' of vegetarian food, or may just have a sliver of credibility above most fast-food options, but the fact that we have easy access to cruelty-free food in the city is nice nonetheless.
Vivian / January 2, 2013 at 09:14 am
On the Danforth, please!
Jeff / January 8, 2013 at 05:17 pm
Why not all quit your moaning and vote with your feet. Hell, if it matters that much then why not put your money where your mouths are and open a veggie restaurant!
Patricia / January 8, 2013 at 06:11 pm
Right enough about McDonalds it doesn't have vegetarian option so it isn't a valid comparison. You're all probably non veggies so stick to your omnivore restaurants!
Rachel / March 26, 2013 at 07:48 am
Does anyone know when it is officially opening?
brenda replying to a comment from Rachel / April 14, 2013 at 10:22 pm
I am shocked that they are opening a new location when the other ones are so bad. I started eating at Fresh 10 years ago when it was half decent. I saw them steadily decline as success of the cookbooks went to the founder's head and they started becoming a vegetarian "franchise." Observe any location and you will see how the complacency and arrogance of management has trickled down to the servers (the staff may be worse than the food.)

Fresh has turned into a noisy factory crammed with tables just inches apart, serving the smallest, overprice dishes of any vegetarian restaurant in Toronto. Beyond a a bad dining experience, two or three pieces of tofu on top of a bowl of dry rice will run you $15! They need to read the numerous complaints on here from once loyal customers and fix their problems before opening up any new locations. My opinion.
TheNext / April 18, 2013 at 04:34 pm
I love that you think Fresh needs to read your opinions and do something about their business because you don't like it anymore. They are obviously doing just fine without you. You all need to realize one simple thing, its a business not a restaurant. Every financially viable restaurant you walk into is not a restaurant at all, it's just a business. The only place to get good food is at home, at a soon to be closed down restaurant or at a mom & pop shop run by people who don't have the sense to ever close down their restaurant due to lack of profit and just keep feeding deadbeats like you who know way too much about food and haven't got the money to actually pay for it.
Fresh was always crap as a restaurant which is a big part of what makes it such a successful business. It's branding. There are 8 to 10 people on here that know fresh isn't actually healthy. Meanwhile there are millions of other people in this city who haven't got a clue. Of those 2 groups, who do you think fresh is targeting?
Duh replying to a comment from TheNext / April 24, 2013 at 12:09 am
oh, I get it. businesses market to idiots. clearly you don't know much about business. next.
MBA replying to a comment from TheNext / April 24, 2013 at 09:12 pm
So deceiving and profiting from the dumb majority is a valid business concept for you? You will make a lot of money in life, but you will not sleep very well.
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Unknown East-ender / June 6, 2013 at 03:04 pm
Open up a Fresh in Leslieville, Beaches or on the Danforth!
The Veggie Foodie / November 3, 2013 at 02:05 am
I would like to preface this by saying that I am a long time and huge fan of Fresh (it is my favourite restaurant). I've been going consistently a few times a month for the past 5 years, and always at the Bloor or Spadina location. When I found out the Eglinton location was opening, I was ecstatic as it would be walking distance from my home (and I could go even more frequently). I ventured out yesterday (Sat Nov 2, 2013) evening to try it out. Unfortunately, I was severely disappointed. I received the absolute worst customer service in my history of Fresh going. When I placed my order to have sweet potatoes fries with no salt, the order taker said "we don't do that here". I have a health condition, and I informed her that I've ordered the "no salt" option at every other Fresh. She tells me to hold on so that she can figure it all out. Then she comes back and is tells me it can be done. After she totals up my order, I tell her I have a student card. I show her that card, and she asks me what the card is for (not even listening to me when I was talking in the first place about the student card). I inform her that it is my student card, and Fresh gives student discounts. She looks confused, and then refers to a sheet of paper for discounts. And then lies and tells me that she didn't recognize the card (although she spent about 2 minutes reading it, and the card says the university name in big bold letters). While I wait for my take out order, I decide to order a cookie. She unhygienically touches the cookie to put it in a bag (after just handling cash). I decide to switch my order to an energy bar due to the unhygenicness (although, I was polite enough not to tell her the real reason for my switch). It takes two co-workers 10 minutes to figure out how to charge me the difference from the cookie to the energy bar, and then a calculator to figure out what approx $3 minus approx $2 is. After the difference is charged, the order taker completely ignores me and doesn't even bother to pass me the energy bar (or suggest that I take it). I Inform her that I am taking the energy bar, she does not even look up at me. I politely repeated it twice with no recognition. I go to sit down and wait for my take out. The place was completely empty. After 30 minutes pass by (which I again is the longest I've ever waited in my Fresh history), and I notice that people who have ordered take out after me have gotten their food, I inquire about the take out order. It turns out, the order had been sitting on the counter beside the cash register for 15 minutes, and the cashier totally forgot about it. All she says "Oh, here it is". I completely understand it being a new location, and the kinks need to be worked out, but the take order person was completely condescending and rude, and did not apologize once for any of the issues (not knowing about the salt or student discount options, not listening when I am talking, messing with the cookie, taking considerable time to void a receipt, ignoring me, the late order, and the fact that my order was just sitting beside her getting cold). I am an extremely patient person, and was quite friendly to the order taker, I didn't say anything to her, but I've decided never to return to this location. To make matters worse, when I came home to my eat food, it was also terrible (nothing like the other locations). I ordered the beach bowl on rice. The cook forgot to put the tamari sauce, and there was barely any olive oil on the rice (two important main ingredients). The taste was extremely bland, who ever made it didn't season it right. It was seriously the worse meal I've ever had at Fresh. And the beach is my favourite rice bowl. I have nothing but fantastic things to say about the Bloor and Spadina locations (great food and great customer service). I am writing this out in sheer disappointment, because I have never been treated so poorly at a Fresh, nor have I ever been so disappointed by the food. I give Bloor and Spadina 5 stars, and this location sadly is 1 star.
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