Fresh on Front
Fresh on Front brings one of Toronto’s most popular local vegan restaurants to a historic neighbourhood.
Formerly home to Europe Bound, this Fresh has the largest total indoor capacity out of any at around 100 seats, and is the first with a true cocktail bar you can eat at.
Recognizable Fresh touches include a real live moss wall and geometric print in the front designed by founder Ruth Tal herself.
Buffalo Cauliflower ($10) is addictive, a great take on what has become a fast casual go-to. The cauliflower and breading have a good consistency, crispy yet moist, spicy Buffalo and ranch sauces both delicious.
Hemp seeds sprinkled on top for a superfood crunch take this dish over the edge.
Quinoa onion rings ($8) from here are legendary, and though it doesn’t take much to make them meatless they’re great just compared with other onion rings. The thick slices are coated with a light-but-textured mixture of puffed quinoa and breadcrumbs.
Flatiron Nachos ($17) are only available at this location, hence the name. Corn tortilla chips are heaped with cashew queso, mushroom and artichoke chorizo, jalapeno lime sauce, pico, avocado, lettuce, red pepper, cilantro and pickled jalapeno.
It gets a tad soggy after a bit, but that yummy mushroom and artichoke chorizo shines.
The Phytosalad ($17) sees microgreens, sprouts, a small clump of soba noodles for some extra texture and weight, lettuce, edamame, crispy onions, thick tofu steaks, mixed nuts, napa cabbage and sun-dried tomato inventively layered and finished off with some mint, lime, lemon and dressing. It's above average and creative.
A Banquet Burger ($14) is huge, beefed up further by a thick whole wheat Fred’s Bread bun. Faux cheese sauce, alfalfa, lettuce, tomato, red onion, tomato, tempeh bacon and a giant dollop of garlic mayo set off a house high-protein almond and grain patty.
The Beach bowl ($18 for a regular sized portion on rice, as opposed to a “baby” size on soba noodles) tops brown basmati rice with hefty slices of grilled red pepper, zucchini, sweet potato and avocado as well as sunflower sprouts, mixed herbs, and flavour-packed sun-dried tomato.
A Seedlip Sour is one of Fresh’s “zero-proof” cocktails made with gin-like-but-alcohol-free Seedlip, tangy but refreshing cold-pressed pineapple and lemon, and frothy aquafaba made from beans that imitates a sour’s typical egg white cap.
Never fear, though, health nuts who enjoy a good libation: there are also boozy cocktails like Caesars, Negronis and Old Fashioned's made with cold-pressed Fresh juices.
Around since 1999, the last time Fresh opened a new location was about three years prior to this one.