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Best of Toronto

The Best Vegetarian Restaurants in Toronto

Posted by Liora Ipsum / May 15, 2013

vegetarian restaurants torontoThe best vegetarian restaurants in Toronto offer up meatless meals that are satisfying, comforting and familiar. While clean eating and spa-like offerings have typically been the norm, Toronto has recently seen a recent influx of eateries that give herbivores the option to indulge in greasy fare, cocktails and even charcuterie boards.

Honourable mentions go out to Sadie's Diner, The Feel Good Guru, E.L. Ruddy, and every raw food, Ethiopian and Lebanese restaurant out there.

Here is the list of the best vegetarian restaurants in Toronto.

See also:

The Best Veggie Burger in Toronto
The Best Salad in Toronto

Photo by AndreaBriceno in the blogTO Flickr pool

Fresh

Fresh

With multiple locations across the GTA (and a new one soon to open at Yonge and Eg), Fresh is well loved for its fresh juices, healthy bowls and salads ($10-$16), but also various high-protein burger and wrap options ($10-$11). Brunch is offered weekends and take-away orders are welcome. More »

Kupfert & Kim

Kupfert & Kim

Meatless and wheatless, this vegan take-out spot located inside First Canadian Place specializes in vegan and gluten-free rice or quinoa bowls as well as healthy breakfast options. Start the day with steel cut oats or sweet quinoa, or stop in at lunchtime for the Kim, a brown rice bowl with organic tofu, bok choy, edamame and more ($11 with tax). More »

Urban Herbivore

Urban Herbivore

Three Urban Herbivore locations situated in Kensington Market, the Eaton Center and inside the Octopus Garden on College at Dovercourt, serve up soups, sandwiches and customized-counterside salads and rice/quinoa bowls. Prices vary per location but hover around the $10 mark. More »

Woodlot

Woodlot

While not exclusively a vegetarian restaurant, the meat free menu at this upscale spot on Palmerston and College never feels like an afterthought. Though most of the offerings change seasonally, the Russet Potato Gnocchi ($16/$23) is so good I suspect that they dare not take it off the menu. More »

Live Raw Food Bar

Live Raw Food Bar

This longtime fixture at DuPont and Spadina now boasts a second Liberty Village location. I credit this place (and that Woody Harrelson docu) with my own introduction to raw foods and where I first discover spiral sliced zucchini noodles (not currently on the menu). In addition to raw foods, the eatery does hot dishes too like the noteworthy pulled burdock burrito ($14). More »

Hibiscus Cafe

Hibiscus Cafe

This charming little cafe in Kensington Market offers excellent value for soups, salads and best of all buckwheat crepes ($5.65-$9) wrapped around sweet or savory fillings. Also of note are non-dairy ice creams ($3/one scoop) in flavours like raspberry and Earl Grey. More »

Hogtown Vegan

Hogtown Vegan

This cash-only spot on Bloor near Christie Pits reimagines classic diner staples for vegan sensibilities. The licensed dining room does a weekend brunch as well as daily lunch and dinner when they offer crave worthy, comfort foods like the Fried Unchicken & Waffles ($13) and a delicious Reuben sandwiches ($11). More »

One Love Vegetarian

One Love Vegetarian

Situated just across from the Bathurst subway station, this meatless Caribbean flavoured take-away spot is known for its Corn Soup ($3/$5), Roti ($5.50/$9) and Curries ($11) along with a selection of daily juices and vegan cupcakes. More »

Grasslands

Grasslands

What was formerly known as Fressen, this new bistro and bar on Queen West offers vegan mains like the Mustard Crusted Tempeh Steak ($18) along with bar snacks like shareable plates of sliders ($11) and a meatless riff on the oh-so-popular Charcuterie Board ($18). More »

Pulp Kitchen

Pulp Kitchen

Pulp Kitchen at Queen and Broadview is mainly a juice and smoothie bar but also has vegan to-go menu full of soups, salads and sandwiches like the P.K ($6.50), a gluten free breaded tofu, roasted tomato and avocado sammie served on flax bread. More »

Big Carrot Vegetarian Cafe

Big Carrot Vegetarian Cafe

The Vegetarian Cafe inside this Danforth grocer offers up a daily spread of certified organic deli selections, baked goods and desserts. Mostly priced by weight, the offerings include cold salads like a quinoa chimichurri (vegan), as well as, hot prepared foods like potato, fennel gratin. More »

Discussion

50 Comments

Martina / May 15, 2013 at 02:27 pm
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I would add King's Cafe (in Kensington Market) to this list - the food is divine! Absolutely delicious Asian food, serene decor.
janet @ the taste space / May 15, 2013 at 02:38 pm
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I also highly recommend Belmonte Raw, which is my favourite veg resto by far. And Hot Beans!
James / May 15, 2013 at 02:38 pm
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IMHO Fresh is the McDonald's of vegetarian restaurants in Toronto. It's pretty okay, but it's not very interesting, and its many locations are quite convenient.

Kupfert & Kim was exceptional, and I highly recommend.

Woodlot is pretty snazzy, it has two menus: an omnivore and vegetarian menu, both of which are quite extensive. Pro tip: book a few weeks in advance if you want a table, it's a busy joint!
Heather / May 15, 2013 at 02:39 pm
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I second Kings Cafe, I'm not a vegetarian but I love everything I've tried there!
Marie / May 15, 2013 at 02:45 pm
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You forgot Annapurna on Bathurst !!!! It's zen, cheap and so delicious !
Welshgrrl / May 15, 2013 at 02:47 pm
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I third King's Cafe. I've also had some nice meals at Vegetarian Haven on Baldwin Street.
Kat / May 15, 2013 at 02:57 pm
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I agree with James, Fresh is really nothing special. Every other vegetarian meal I've had anywhere else seems to blow everything off the fresh menu out of the water.

Cardinal Rule at Queen and Roncesvalles is brilliant. Mainly vegetarian, vegan, and loads of gluten free. Service is super friendly, true comfort food, so delicious.
SW / May 15, 2013 at 03:04 pm
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I do like Fresh; however, I find it quite expensive for what it is. $16 for a bowl of soba noodles with some green veggies? Errr..
Jerks / May 15, 2013 at 03:05 pm
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Stop stealing all the birds food, hippies.
Kurt / May 15, 2013 at 03:23 pm
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Oh man, I wish I saw the voting page for this. Fresh is so disappointing every time I'm forced to eat there. Then I don't eat there for so long and think it'll be ok, then disappointment again.

I love King's Cafe and get frozen stuff to take home from there as often as I can (try the bbq buns, they're ridiculous).

I recently went to Graceful Vegetarian in Markham and it was SO GOOD. Veggie dim sum to the max. Definitely worth a trip, and you can hit up Pacific Mall.

For other places like Woodlot that are very veggie friendly and higher priced, I enjoy The Atlantic, Ursa & Yours Truly.
Kick / May 15, 2013 at 03:27 pm
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Kat, you have no idea what a good vegetarian place is. It is well known that McDonalds has the best gluten free veggie burgers in town. So delicious
KD / May 15, 2013 at 03:39 pm
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where abouts is the second live raw food bar location in liberty village? i work here and haven't noticed it. i can't find it on their website either. thanks
FitMeTraining / May 15, 2013 at 03:46 pm
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I would like to add rawlicious, located yorkville. Great RawVegan food, reasonably priced, and they just got their pizza back on the menu.
Beta / May 15, 2013 at 03:51 pm
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No Cafe 668? I haven't been there in a while, and aside from NOW I don't hear people hyping it much these days. Has it gone downhill? Used to love it, but I live too far away now.
Kurt / May 15, 2013 at 04:07 pm
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Cafe 668 has gone way downhill in my experience. Last time it wasn't that great & I had 6 flies in my soup. It was that time of year so I get it but they didn't deal with it very well & we were totally nice about it. It was weird.
Marie / May 15, 2013 at 04:08 pm
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No Cardinal Rule?!
Lola / May 15, 2013 at 04:15 pm
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for the love of the Lord....no Jean's Vegetarian?
Vegan Lion / May 15, 2013 at 05:04 pm
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Just a few additions worth mentioning for anyone who is interested:

Green Earth on Broadview just north of Gerrard - Nice variety of food, fresh juices & desserts, great for vegans. Prices are very reasonable.

Rawlicious - amazing food, smoothies & desserts, all raw, especially love the flaxseed flatbread and the taco wrap.

Vegetarian Haven on Baldwin - love their tofu drumsticks on edible sugar cane, nice seitan dishes & the desserts (gluten free chocolate cake!) are incredible.

Crude Cafe - in the basement of the St Lawrence market, nice selection of raw vegan take out.

Prime Steakhouse Bloor & St Thomas just west of Bay - although this is a steakhouse, their head chef has put together a fantastic gourmet vegan menu! More of a fancy atmosphere & is pricey, but Prime is great for a special night out with anyone who isn't vegan/vegetarian.

+1 for Pulp Kitchen, Sadie's Diner & Hogtown Vegan, they are absolute gems for any Toronto vegans or vegetarians!
Vegan Lion replying to a comment from Vegan Lion / May 15, 2013 at 05:07 pm
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* Cruda Cafe, not Crude.
Steve / May 15, 2013 at 05:11 pm
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Fresh is a yuppie palace. If you looking for overpriced, stinky, and pretentious food. This should be your number 1 go to.
Sean / May 15, 2013 at 05:36 pm
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Please, please, PLEASE, do not stick you chopsticks into you bowl like that.
X / May 15, 2013 at 06:12 pm
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Thumbs-up for Hogtown Vegan. That place is BALLIN'.
CB / May 15, 2013 at 06:22 pm
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I vote for Simon's Wok on Gerrard. Excellent vegan Chinese Food. Dead cheap.
Nahbhantuktuk / May 15, 2013 at 07:52 pm
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South Indian Dosal Mahal is all vegetarian now and is really great.
soda / May 15, 2013 at 09:07 pm
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this list is for the most part good, but I was disappointed not to see kings, greens, or bhuddas on there. all three are stellar vegetarian Chinese restaurants. much better than fresh...
Scott M2 / May 15, 2013 at 09:17 pm
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We always have a good experience and good food at Cafe 668. Love it - and the aquarium.
Shawn / May 15, 2013 at 10:40 pm
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As someone who's not close to being a vegetarian, King's Cafe is definitely missing. I still remember a popiah I had; it was awesome. I'm not sure if they make it anymore (I don't see it on the menu) but I had it years ago and still remember exactly what it tastes like.
leyla / May 15, 2013 at 11:10 pm
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Vegetarian Haven should have definitely been on the list, way better than fresh. And King's Cafe.
TRG / May 16, 2013 at 10:54 am
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I also would love to mention Rawlicious...

Also, Karine's All Day Breakfast at Village by the Grange is great!!
+.+ / May 16, 2013 at 11:44 am
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+1 for making the drive to Graceful Vegetarian Cuisine, just outside of Pacific Mall in Markham.

Disgraceland has some great vegan junk food, although their service is often times questionable.

No love for Indian? The new Siddartha has a great Veg buffet and Udupdi Palace has both vegan and gluten free options. They're pretty much across from each other in Little India.
Gerry / May 16, 2013 at 01:01 pm
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The eggplant sandwich at Mela is easily one of the best sandwiches in the city.
p / May 17, 2013 at 09:59 pm
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I don't get the love for King's Café -- had a couple dreadful meals there and never went back.
Brenda / May 21, 2013 at 11:44 am
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Shocked that Fresh made the list! 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! My opinion.
Dan / May 31, 2013 at 06:34 pm
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GLAS WIne Bar 1118 Queen East has many veg items on the menu plus a 4 course veg tasting menu every tues evening for $35.

www.glaswinebar.com
mar replying to a comment from James / June 7, 2013 at 11:52 am
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completely agree. Fresh wins based on the fact its a chain so its accessible all over the city. the fact that Kupfert came in second with one small underground location says alot. I'm eager to try.
Ronald replying to a comment from mar / June 10, 2013 at 10:42 am
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"Fresh wins based on the fact its a chain so its accessible all over the city"? So is McDonalds.
Pete / July 7, 2013 at 02:34 pm
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Rawlicious, definitely! I couldn't think of a better vegan/vegetarian restaurant. I'm not much into this kind of food myself, but my wife is. And she loves to go to Rawlicious every once in while. And you know what, the food is actually pretty great. The first time I went, I was expecting uncooked grass or something, but it's really tasty! For example the Rawlicious taco saladis awesome!
Italian Restaurant in West Kensington / October 7, 2013 at 02:01 am
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Hi Friends,

Nice blog. This blog is very informative and helpful to find a best restaurants. Thanks to sharing the best vegetarian restaurant in Toronto.
caroline / October 25, 2013 at 12:22 pm
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Yes, there is a Rawlicious in Yorkville, but there is ALSO one on the eastern edge of Bloor West Village (moved from the Junction a couple years ago). Great smoothies and sweets.
AA / November 15, 2013 at 02:03 pm
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Nothing ethnic on this list at all. What about the likes of Jean's Vegetarian (1262 Danforth) or Udupi Palace (1460 Gerrard E)?
Paul / November 30, 2013 at 04:41 pm
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Khao San Road has an AMAZING vegan menu!! Only thing is, they don't take reservation.. so I've seen waiting 30 min. to 1 hour for a table... but well worth the wait!
namastaey jaipur / December 28, 2013 at 07:34 am
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Ys..Really Your Restaurant have yummy yummy veg dishes.i am coming there tomorrow :):)
Chantal / March 6, 2014 at 08:58 pm
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Someone needs to make start a vegan white table cloth restaurant. I miss those classy romantic nights! Come on now!
Beth replying to a comment from Chantal / March 22, 2014 at 04:22 pm
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try Doug McNish's Public Kitchen in Toronto - it's vegan and ORGANIC!
Pat / May 1, 2014 at 04:35 pm
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New Organic vegetarian restaurant just opened in Etobicoke called Thrive Organic Kitchen & Cafe.
3473 Lake Shore Blvd W. They serve vegetarian, vegan and gluten free food as well as smoothies and juices. All Organic.
Tim / May 21, 2014 at 01:54 pm
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I agree...King's Cafe - Kensington Market really needs to be on this list. Amazing food.
Coulda, shoulda, woulda replying to a comment from Tim / May 21, 2014 at 02:04 pm
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I agree you should have voted for Kings Cafe when the voting was open and maybe it would be on the list. Coulda, shoulda, woulda
Sarah / May 25, 2014 at 11:22 am
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I second Khao San Road. For Thai food, this is some of the best I've had in Toronto. I've lived in Thailand, and the food there is incredible! It's a struggle to find anything half decent over this side of the world, especially vegetarian. Khao San Road restaurant is definitely worth the long wait! :)

Jean's Vegetarian Kitchen...not so good at all. I don't understand the hype at all. Worst food I've had in a long time. Maybe it was an off day??
Jan / June 20, 2014 at 10:05 am
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Times are changing! Could you imagine that there is actually a steak house that was transformed into a veggie restaurant? I was there :) In Thornton (45 minutes north of Toronto). They offer delicious vegan, gluten-free, organic meals and elixirs. There is also a yoga centre next door.

Vidya's Veggie Gourmet
238 Barrie Street (Hwy 27 or Essa Road) Thornton, ON — L0L 2N0
Nel / September 15, 2014 at 01:27 pm
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Does anyone else want to cry about the Commensal closing? The veggie scene in Toronto got so much smaller on that day!

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