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Restaurants

One Love Vegetarian Cafe

Posted by Charlotte Johnstone / Reviewed on July 9, 2009 / review policy

One Love DoorwayOne Love Vegetarian Cafe adds to my belief that we're pretty spoiled for choice in Toronto when it comes to vegetarian/vegan food. With everywhere from Cafe 668 to Rawlicious offering meatless incarnations of most types of food, trying to decide where to go can turn into a coin-tossing dilemma.

As someone who didn't partake of the flesh for 15 years before switching back to carnivorous ways, I have a pretty healthy respect for any restaurant that can put a new spin on vegetation-based eating - and that's what One Love Vegetarian is doing.

This lo-fi spot, serving Caribbean-influenced vegan meals, opened at the end of May in the Annex (and is extremely visible from Bathurst Subway station thanks to it's huge, vibrant green mural).

One Love started life as a soup kiosk in Harbourfront Centre's World Cafe food court and the no-frills, unadorned interior of the new location reflects this. One Love SodaOwners Ikeila Wright and Ras Iville Wright had so many customer requests for more selection that they moved to a larger capacity space on the corner of Bathurst and London.

As the menu is still pretty small we manage to order everything on it except for the Funky House Pizza ($3 per slice).

One Love Menu

One Love Smoothie MenuWe're served by Ikeila, who is one of the most friendly, radiant people you're ever likely to meet. As she is one of only two people doing all the serving and food preparation, it takes a little while to order but it's definitely worth the wait.One Love SoupThe corn soup ($5) that made the original kiosk so popular contains whole sections of corn from the cob and enough spice to decongest our cold-ridden photographer, Emma.

A tasty, medium hot curried bean curd ($10) is made with ribbons of tofu and comes complete with organic salad and rice on the side.One Love RotiMy large roti with spiced pumpkin filling ($8) is mild with enough creamy pumpkin onion filling that I have no trouble finding volunteers to help me finish it.One Love Stir Fry
We all agree that the Love Sun Stir Fry ($10) is the best choice. Its unusual mix of rich sun-dried tomato, roasted red pepper and mushroom reduction over tofu chunks, spiced rice with lentils and topped with plantains has to be tried to be appreciated.

A sweet berry smoothie ($5) takes a while to arrive but cools everything down nicely and comes with the option of soy or rice milk. One Love Stir FryWith everything on the menu coming in at $10 or less, One Love is a great deal for the quality of food on offer and deserves to become a neighbourhood fixture.

Photos by Emma McIntyre.

Discussion

34 Comments

ali berkok / July 9, 2009 at 12:54 pm
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I am already a tremendous fan of this new spot and can't wait to go there every excuse I get. Great for vegans who like Carribean food. I'd be sad to see it fail so go there already!
John / July 9, 2009 at 02:45 pm
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Ate there a week or so ago and it was tremendous. Welcome addition to the annex, and super low key.
brixton / July 9, 2009 at 04:13 pm
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wow

i'm from the caribbean and i'll definately have to take a peak. it seems interesting!
Mike / July 9, 2009 at 05:55 pm
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One Love as at the Harbourfront? Are they doing the corn there? The same way? If so, I will be there on the regular!
rick / July 9, 2009 at 09:25 pm
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"... on the corner of Bathurst and Bridgman."

Great review, great food. But the address is not right: it's at the corner of Bathurst and London St., a short block north of Bloor. (And the pizza is great!)
bocov alfred replying to a comment from Mike / July 10, 2009 at 08:24 am
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i love you pls can you contact me immedeaitly pls i have issue with you.
b_barristeralfred@yahoo.com
bocov alfred replying to a comment from Mike / July 10, 2009 at 08:25 am
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can u marry some one like me
bocov alfred replying to a comment from Mike / July 10, 2009 at 08:26 am
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i am very serious to u and giveme ur mail phone number and photo.
bocov alfred replying to a comment from Mike / July 10, 2009 at 08:27 am
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and u tell me howcan we see face to face or how can i meat you bye.
bocov alfred / July 10, 2009 at 08:28 am
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if u are ok about that u shule let me know bye.
bocov alfred / July 10, 2009 at 08:30 am
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i love u come nad marry me byeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.
Sam / July 10, 2009 at 09:21 am
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"I have a pretty healthy respect for any restaurant that can put a new spin on vegetation-based eating... This lo-fi spot, serving Caribbean-influenced vegan meals..."

Why is it a "new" spin? Or "caribbean-influenced"? It IS Caribbean food! Oh right, I must've forgotten, vegetarian/vegan food is white! Of course, it's white and raceless. How could I forget? And any vegan/vegetarian food that has more than mere salt and pepper (and rosemary, perhaps?) has some "ethnic" influence!
MKB replying to a comment from Sam / July 10, 2009 at 11:44 am
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@ Sam
Absolutely - the "whiteness" of what people think is vegetarian/vegan food - especially shown in this review - is just so ignorant and frustrating. Tons of implicit assumptions about the people who are "conscious" enough to eat vegetarian/vegan - regardless of thousands of years of vegetarian culinary history around the world (I mean have the Chinese developed tofu/fermented soy products, and Indians have not been eating meat FOREVER).

There is a ton of vegetarian Caribbean food, from vegetarian west indian/trini food, to rastas eating only 'ital' food (in some cases).

Thanks for keeping "whiteness" as the invisible standard we must measure everything by BlogTO.
Charlotte replying to a comment from Sam / July 10, 2009 at 11:45 am
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Sam,
One Love serves Italian baked pizza slices and sun-dried tomato stir-fry so it would have been misleading to label it Caribbean food and leave it at that.

The 'new spin' is just in reference to them incorporating disparate, hybrid influences into their dishes (and doing it very successfully).




























Tom / July 14, 2009 at 02:32 pm
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@Sam
You're a total idiot. Have you even been there? Pizza is not caribbean food. Sundried tomato and mushroom stir fry is not Caribbean food. At least read the review before you open your mouth amaze us.
@MKB
You're a coward for just hopping on Sam's misdirected wagon. Go do something useful instead.

Tired of all the pointless complainers on this FOOD blog. Should be moderated. Far too many ppl with too much time on there hands.
anders / July 17, 2009 at 09:58 pm
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Had dinner at One Love tonight. Everything was fresh and delicious. I'm so glad to have it in the neighbourhood-- and the service was amazing. It is dangerous knowing that I can have access to vegan coconut lime cupcakes at any time! I know I will be a regular.
Savitri / July 27, 2009 at 09:42 am
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Big congrats to Ikeila and Ras Iville!

Their love infused corn soup and roasted corns are heavenly and loved by Harbourfront Centre regulars. I believe that anything they prepare will have the same divine qualities.

Theirs are not just vegetarian food, it's sanctified food and the price is very reasonable! What can be better than that?!

For some reason, I found this blog today (I don't believe in conincidence). I know where I'm going for dinner tonight! :)

I wish them the very best in this new endeavour.

One Love~
Chris Orbz / August 21, 2009 at 04:21 pm
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LOL at the accusations of racism in the comments here, besides being just plain wrong as stated above, readers ought to expect blog posts on a blog to be blogged from the perspective of - wait for it - the blogger!!

It's very exciting that One Love has found a home and nice that it's downtown rather than crammed in somewhere on Egg West. I haven't had a chance to go in yet but wanted to check for a bTO review while waiting in this ludicrous CNE streetcar line at Bathurst. I thought this reviewer did an excellent job, as I've now got a pretty thorough idea of the additions to the menu and the pricing, and I'm not even on the streetcar yet.
Rose / October 7, 2009 at 12:51 am
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Finally had a chance to try ONE LOVE today with my fiance. Loved it! Absolutely loved it. There was one table occupied and we were the only ones there for take out, so it took no time at all to receive our large corn soup and 2 rotis. We got the Chana/Potato in a whole wheat roti and the AMAZING curried TVP roti in Dhal Puri roti. The lovely lady behind the counter suggested the different flavoured roti wraps to compliment the fillings. We split each roti in two and were able to get the full on ONE LOVE experience. It was so much food for $22.00! DELICIOUS!!!
Kam / October 24, 2009 at 12:49 pm
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Can't recommend this place enough! Spiced pumpkin roti in THE BEST roti shell I have ever had is my favourite.

A Toronto treasure.
Mariam / November 21, 2009 at 03:09 pm
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I have not had the time to go there yet but I've eaten the meals when my customer does a take out,I send in my order.
delicious!!. They will be in business a long time because they are right on time. Healthy meals for the right price I still have to taste the wheat roti. ONE LOVE
Elaine / March 21, 2010 at 11:06 am
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I do not recommend this place. I got violently ill from their food.
Richard / June 2, 2010 at 11:55 pm
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I've been telling my friends about Ras Iville's corn soup since 2001, when I ran the security at a club called Base Complex. Ikeila and Iville used to back up their blue van and bring out the biggest stock pot I've ever seen. They set it up not far from the front door to the club and people would line up for the next 90 minutes, if the soup lasted that long. That's how great it is.......

Now that I know how to find them I'll have to take my wife for some of their fantastic eats. She's had to listen to me talk about the corn soup for 9 years now.

Congrats to both Ikeila and Iville, you are some of the nicest people that I've had the pleasure of meeting and I'm excited to hear of your success.

For those of you who are focused on labels, leave it alone and try a bowl of their corn soup. It doesn't matter what you call their food, just try it out and you'll agree that it's incredible!
Sonia / July 30, 2010 at 08:14 pm
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It's amazing I've been there once a week tastes so good and I'm always wanting more :) It started with having corn and corn soup at Harbourfront and when they opened the cafe even better people need to go it's so yummy!!

:)
Tanika Chambers / January 28, 2011 at 07:17 pm
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Went to One Love for the first time today and was very pleased with the fast service and most importantly the food. I had the callilou yam, green banana and advocado. Delishhhh!!
Michele / May 23, 2011 at 06:24 pm
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Had Ras' One Love corn soup at Harbourfront today and I've found my soup God! This is the best soup I've ever tasted. He makes a mean roasted corn cob too. Yummmmmm.
dnr / October 31, 2011 at 12:15 pm
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BTW - Rawlicious is closed
Julia / December 18, 2011 at 08:57 pm
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The only problem I have with this is place is, they are so slow! all the food is already made yet I can show up...order a roti, be the only one there and still have to wait 10 minutes...

also, one more problem: their hours are ridiculous..closed at 6pm on a Sat? Not open sunday...C'mon!

If I didn't like the food I wouldn't go back!...:P
mike / January 13, 2012 at 08:22 pm
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I like One Love, and I find their dahl puri to be fantastic, but their roti's don't have enough filling in them. For $10 I want more than 1 cup of filling and a whole lot of bread. And I also want more that JUST pumpkin, or JUST tvp... but it's still good food :)
Trendsetters Photography / March 9, 2012 at 11:51 pm
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I had the fry tofu with brown-rice and peas, fried plantain and avocado. LOVELY!!!...ohh yeah, there's music too...!!!!
Andrew / September 6, 2013 at 02:30 am
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My problem with the place.
Things the restaurant needs to work on.
1) Little seasoning/spice in the food, each vegetable component is a separate one note as oppose to having deep flavor.

Positives.
1) The use fresh vegetables as oppose to buying frozen / and they use an array of vegetables to keep things interesting.
2) Low in salt, you can be assured you're eating healthy here... as it gets.
3) The outside looks just as good as the inside. Very warm and welcoming.

This place caters to vegans who want to ensure they are keeping on their diet. But a regular omnivore might find something missing in the food (and it isn't meat.)
Fin / July 28, 2014 at 08:26 pm
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Best soup in the city.
Double-U / August 7, 2014 at 02:04 pm
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Lovely Atmosphere and great meal... I had the Dhal Puri Roti with Pumpkin, Chick peas and potato and a small homemade Ginger Beer. This was the most satisfying lunch that I had had in a long time.
vegetarian recipes / October 12, 2014 at 01:48 pm
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wonderful points altogether, you simply received a new reader.

What would you suggest about your publish that you made a few days in the past?
Any positive?

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