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Restaurants

Fresh

Posted by Staff / Listed on October 18, 2007 / review policy

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This is the Green Goddess, one of the many amazing rice bowls served at Fresh. Fresh now has three locations - 326 Bloor Street West in the Annex, 894 Queen Street West (at Crawford) and 147 Spadina Avenue (just south of Queen).

Discussion

36 Comments

ecoveg / March 11, 2008 at 10:42 am
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Personally, I don't think there's anything all that special about fresh. It's basically just the same way I eat at home --except there was a time that I went and the sweet potato fries were just tiny little nibs. When I asked what's up? The server replied that it wasn't potato season. Potato season???
Jesse / May 7, 2008 at 01:16 pm
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I'm going to have to agree with the prev comment....This restaurant is ridiculously over-hyped. Virtually nothing there is organic. That being said, the prices are too high. Besides, I make better veggie sandwiches myself and don't have to deal with snooty staff when I do.
mika / July 14, 2008 at 10:23 am
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had the green goddess with cold soba noodles. wtf? it was SO incredibly bad. tasteless, overpriced, somewhat reminiscent of cardboard. can't, for the life of me, understand what others see in this crap.
don't get me wrong. fresh has some decent grub (seed, grain based burger with peanut sauce was great..can't go wrong with sweet potato fries) but stay the hell away from the overrated green goddess.
Tina / August 22, 2008 at 12:45 am
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I fully agree. I tend to go because along with being vegetarian I also have some food allergies so it's somewhat safe. Nothing is savoury and really tasty here. You can have tasty vegetarian healthy food - I do it all the time and so do other restaurants. The two pieces of tofu you get with the salads or rice bowl is crazy. The fries always hurt my stomach after and yes why are they always little nibbles? What happened to the french fry?

Most of all, the staff drive me crazy. I wish I had a hidden camera to show the owner (if she cared) how the staff socialize with eachother, flirt and are illusive to the hot orders and drinks that are ready sitting at the counter. Not all of them - but many of them. I have recently seen a shift in at least some eye contact and some smiles - I'm wondering if they are were actually given a talk or some training.

I don't want to undermine her idea and concept - just wished there was better service and some more tasty food.
mhs / August 27, 2008 at 10:28 am
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TOTALLLYYYYY agree I had the, I don't even remember the name but I was expecting a lot more vegatables basically I got sauce three pieces of tofu and soba noodles and I found a hair in my noodles to top it off it was highly over priced. Will not go there again.
mmmmmmmmmmmmm / September 24, 2008 at 01:30 pm
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hmmm... i actually really like fresh (I've only ever ordered a couple of the different rice bowls though) THAT photo of the green goddess bowl at the top of this review does NOT look appetizing (why are two of the "grill marks" not dark? please change it)...
Dunit / September 29, 2008 at 04:04 pm
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I went with my girlfriend a week ago and we both got SICK. We think it was from the wheat grass shots. She puked twice right after lunch, it was not a pretty sight. The waitress was nice enough to give us a refund. I had their vegetarian burger and it was great, but we both didn't feel right regardless of the wheatgrass. It sucks that their food isn't organic.
Jessica & Eric / January 13, 2009 at 01:17 am
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My boyfriend and I (he whom eats meat) went there recently to the Spadina location and found it to be some of, if not the best vegan/veg food we have ever tasted. We both ate the fries and a wrap with tofu steak.
The prices are not bad though not great and the staff could be a bit more attentive but the meal was great and very filling!
BATTLESAM / February 9, 2009 at 12:40 pm
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I LOVE FRESH

I went with a bunch of friends in the summer and we all loved everything we had! The veggie burgers with a pile of sweet potato fries was my order. It was the BEST veggie burger I've ever tasted and the fries were perfect. This place isn't expensive at all, it doesn't cost any more than any avg restaurant so I'm not sure what everyone is complaining about.

I love fresh and will be going back soon!
Ashley / March 1, 2009 at 06:15 am
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Fresh is not that bad u guys! u just have to be in a great mood to not notice all that.
Yes there's really not too much taste but at least it's vegan, yeah!

Like vegan burgers?
Go to Karine's by Maggie's in the Village by the Grange.

Vegan Burger and side of garlic fries or salad or soup for only $6.00?

These ladies know what to serve. A delight!
kimber / May 5, 2009 at 11:43 pm
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Fresh has tasty tofu wraps and a good enough bean soup but the prices are not so friendly,kinda like the staff.Everything else is kinda like why non-vegans/ vegetarians think that the food we eat tastes like cardboard.The sauce here is the only thing flavouring bland meals not worth the money. I am vegan and cook my own vegan food a lot tastier and cheaper that here, there are also lots of other vegetarian restaurants tastier and cheaper than fresh.
Jaded replying to a comment from Tina / May 16, 2009 at 12:06 pm
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I used to work at Fresh. They actually encourage impersonal service because then the tables get turned over faster and they make more money. The reason the servers are so miserable is because the management is extremely sketchy and two-faced.
C-Dawg / September 17, 2009 at 08:09 am
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I ate at Fresh recetly and there was a bug in my bowl. I looked cooked so I think it got in there before they made it. It looked like maybe they forgot to wash their veggies. Nice concept though, but does little to dispel the myth that vegan food is bland. The staff don't care and just look like their hanging out. I think I will stick to Freshii.
vivyruest / September 17, 2009 at 12:46 pm
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I work just beside Fresh on Bloor and I always order the same thing there but they keep screwing up my order everytime! And when I tell them, I always get the attitude. Over-priced too. It's the 4th time that they screw up my order and That's it, I won't going back. And you can be sure that I will bad-mouth that place. $14 for a wrap that take like DRY grass, it's criminal. And pre-ordering over the phone is a nightmare, they keep forgetting that they have people on hold.
Ed & Linda / October 19, 2009 at 12:33 am
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Four thumbs up from the two of us: great atmoshpere, delicious food, sweet service people, outstanding values ! recommended to anyone who likes to consciously enjoy flavorful exotic food with all their senses should make sure to visit this cozy, dimly lit hub of downtown Toronto - an epitome of well-being!
Thanks Team Fresh!
Valerie / November 6, 2009 at 08:33 pm
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I'm an objective person and usually go to a restaurant several times before making a final opinion on it, and let me tell you I absolutely agree with those people who gave it thumbs down. Fresh is so overhyped it's not even funny, the food is DRY, fries are over baked, waiters are snotty and food's quality in general doesn't justify the high prices. The only good thing in it are their soups and sweet ginger tea, but that alone doesn't make a restaurant great, it's a wonder how did they manage to expand into several locations. Those who gave it positive reviews were either lucky or somehow affiliated with Fresh.
Jenny / December 24, 2009 at 12:13 pm
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I think it's way overpriced for the lack of organics or local food. Most of their ingredients are shipped fro very far away, why should I support that? I can buy local organic at the farmers market, make a meal for my friends and it will still be cheaper than one of their bowls (almost $15!)
Liz / December 30, 2009 at 05:43 pm
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I like Fresh. I don't like the prices and some of the attitude. I've never had a horrible experience and I have had some amazingly friendly servers there who are super attentive-but only when the place is empty. The food is pretty flavourful and uses some new ideas. And as much as I love LA's Real Food Daily, I find that Fresh still has more zip to their food.
Recommendation would be to buy the cookbook. Best purchase ever. As a vegetarian for 15 years, it gives some new ideas and refreshing changes.
Vanessa / January 11, 2010 at 12:22 am
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Fresh is overrated and overpriced, but why is it always busy? Perhaps because there are not too many restuarants that serve okay vegan food. On top of this, the staff are horrendous! It is hard to get a smile out of any of them, and from the past three visits, I feel like every time I ask for their help, it is as if I am interrupting a conversation amongst them. On one occassion, I had ordered drinks to go, and the waitress kindly asked me to sit while I waited. 10-15 minutes later, I enquired about them, only to find my drinks sitting on their lonesome. I wasted my $6 on mediocre and cold pear/apple cider. It didn't satisfy me on that winter night. Go to Fresh once - for the food, since there are few vegan restaurants, but definitely not for the crap service.
O / March 7, 2010 at 09:01 pm
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Fresh doesn't wash half of the produce they use. These prices for non-organic veg food? Get with the times or stay back in the '90s.
barbara / March 18, 2010 at 02:33 am
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fresh isn't the best, but their smoothies are pretty amazing. i always get the shamrock... minty, banana-y goodness.

also, i'm quite partial to their black bean burrito... but i agree with a lot of the comments that the food is easy enough to make at home... and cheaper!
Yvonne / August 9, 2010 at 10:01 am
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I've been to the Fresh at Richmond st several times, and I've always liked it and planned on coming back for more delicious vegan food. The service there is good too, although sometimes it takes a while coz there are so many customers. The food is healthy and yummy too, but a little bit too pricy. For food that's not organic, i think they should lower their prices a bit, or else start to serve organic food. Overall, it was a great experience eating at Fresh. its perfect for vegans who are too lazy to cook on weekend evenings :)
Kinga / February 28, 2011 at 04:36 pm
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I love Fresh! They're food is great for people with food allergies.

They also have a great, great cheesecake at the Crawford location that is made from tofu, but does not taste like it.
Sportster / April 8, 2011 at 10:04 am
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Thank you all for these reviews... I have never been to this restaurant and after reading this... I never will. Thank you for sharing and by so doing... you saved me some money.
dy / June 8, 2011 at 10:10 am
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fresh is amazing.

its expensive but you're clearly not ordering the right things if you're not liking fresh.
Ty / June 14, 2011 at 01:51 am
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Fresh is overrated and overpriced for non organic. Dry, tasteless, small portions. The service was so bad that I will never eat there again. Manners are free and should be used at all times in any service industry.
Katharina / June 29, 2011 at 11:34 pm
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I'm visiting from the states and I'm quite partial to how I choose to spend my money when I go out to eat because... I am a cook. I don't order things that I can make myself UNLESS the restaurant is known for something... say they have the best hummus on the east coast or something like that. Tonight I went to Fresh since it had been recommended to me by many locals, and I got it to go. Since I had my dog with me I couldn't go in, but that didn't stop me from being able to order. Someone came out and helped me make an order while at the door. He also brought the take-out menu, and made some personal recommendations of his own. I ordered the quinoa-battered onion rings with their housemade BBQ sauce, and their monthly special salad with the recommended ginger dressing. I took a walk around and sat down for a bit to rest me and my dog's tired feet AND paws. After 15 minutes my order was ready. I went to a nearby bench to try the onion rings. As I was totally immersed in how amazing these onion rings were, someone walking by exclaimed to me how incredible they are and that she eats them every single day. I had to agree! These were awesome!!! The salad was so eclectic and had such an array of ingredients. I loved how colorful it was, and was such a treat since I had been craving a variety of veggies and even sweet potato in awhile. Yes, there wasn't a ton of tofu, but I didn't mind. It was just enough. When I go out to eat, I don't justify a meal by getting my "money's worth" based off the amount of food I get. I base it off of the overall experience and the FLAVORS. Tonight I got to try something unique, and I also have to say that my experience with the service was awesome. Maybe I'm just a positive person... but I think what you put out into this world is what you get back. So cheers to going out to eat and bringing a nice attitude along with you. I can say that my belly and mind are very happy right now.
Daniel / October 16, 2011 at 09:11 pm
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When you go here you have to realise a couple of things. Fresh is a factory that bangs out meals and smoothies to make a profit. They dont care about customers or staff (the turnover is ridic). If there was any other option for the same type of food I would never go, but there isn't; so I go! Also, over priced and unpleasantly packed.
Grank / December 13, 2011 at 05:32 pm
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It's good, but a little overpriced. I also strongly dislike how they promote all these magic potions that they claim to have beneficial (and possibly vague) health effects, despite there being nowhere near enough evidence -- if any -- to back up these claims. Stuff like those blue-green algae and wheatgrass shots. It's wishful thinking combined with dishonest marketing by the producers. Think critically about these things. Don't blindly trust the people trying to sell you them.
Julia / January 11, 2012 at 12:18 am
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Fresh is nice, but overhyped. Their wraps are really good. Burgers, not so much. They should make a soy beef burger? I can't believe no one in Toronto, offers a delicious vegan soy burger. They're sweet potato fries are good, but very oily. They should consider wedges or baked sweet potato fries to their menu (something more healthier). They should also offer a Tofu Club, with seitan bacon (similar to Candle Cafe, NY), simple yet delicious. I added $2, worth of pickles but I received basically nothing. I've been here many times. This place, is not really healthy, other than salads and such - they over fry everything. As for pricing, I believe the pricing is reasonable. This prices are low compared to other vegan restaurants out there. Toronto needs to get better vegan restaurants. Big Carrot's Food Bar is a favourite but the vegan selection is low, but they have really good ratatouille.
Lila / September 23, 2012 at 07:19 pm
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We go out to eat often but I am done with Fresh forever!! I have never experienced staff as boldly rude and arrogant as at Fresh anywhere else. We were wondering why the staff gets away with how awful they are, are they not supervized by anyone. Only once did we get a very nice waitress but I am sure she couldn't survive in that place! The food is only so so, nothing outstanding and the seating is deplorable, packed like a bunch of sardines.
Come on T.O. Someone must be able to put together something better and train staff to be nicer,
I'm waiting,
Niki / January 29, 2013 at 06:00 pm
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I go to fresh all the time--I do really enjoy the food. That being said, the food is YES overpriced and YES the waitstaff are not the friendliest :/ I wish so much that they would pull a few tables out so that you can have in intimate conversation with the one you love, or the one you love to be with and not have a hipster girl sitting 2 inches from you spouting off the word "like" a million times!!!! Side note: order for pick up and get the Quinoa onion ringsmmmmm :)
Sarah / April 22, 2013 at 12:42 pm
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While Fresh is totally vegetarian fast food, it's a good place to meet up with friends for lunch or a casual dinner, or a mixed crowd of people with varying dietary restrictions. I've never been blown away by the food, but I've always been satisfied. I've had the Beach Bowl (on brown rice) and the All-Star Salad and loved both of them. I've also ordered the Detoxifier and All Green juices before -- both good. Service has always been fine; impersonal, perhaps, but efficient and consistent.

As for the prices, I feel they're pretty standard for downtown. Actually, I think Fresh is cheaper than most chain restaurants, especially for the quantity of food you get. If you're looking for a date place or somewhere to take out-of-town guests, Fresh isn't it, but to meet up with friends or to grab a quick bite it fits the bill perfectly.
Daniel / May 10, 2013 at 10:23 pm
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A sewage pipe that runs through the basement of the Fresh on Bloor location is faulty, and the restaurant periodically smells of raw sewage. Rather than close the restaurant to fix this problem, Fresh remains open, simply closing its basement to customers. Much of the food supplies are kept in the basement, and thus exposed to the leaking sewage. This is hazardous and repulsive. Otherwise, the food is acceptable, yet wildly overpriced.
Ali / May 15, 2013 at 02:55 pm
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I really like Fresh. Especially if you get a free Live Green Toronto card http://www.livegreencard.ca/ and receive 15% off take out!
Overhyped replying to a comment from Ali / May 30, 2013 at 09:42 am
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Fresh is not so fresh anymore. Even at 15% off, non of their bland GMO food is worth it. Bad service and small, overpriced portions. A "bowl" that had a couple of cubes of GMO tofu and unwashed sprouts on some dry, hard brown rice cost me $16!!! Never going back.

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