Vegan and vegetarian eating in [Toronto]

I noticed that we didn’t have a topic specifically dedicated to vegan and vegetarian eating, so I thought I’d start one.

We are not vegetarian, far from it. But the majority of meals we eat throughout the week at home are either vegan or vegetarian. We’ll cook meat or seafood once per weekend and when we eat out or take out, we’ll order meat or seafood. However we do enjoy ordering vegetable dishes, which are sometimes among the best on the menu. We have had excellent vegetarian meals out, such as at Shook last summer. And when go out with vegetarian or vegan friends, we’ll usually pick places that are either exclusively plant-based or mainly so.

So we ended up at Planta Yorkville yesterday for lunch as we had friends in town, some of whom are vegan. We ate there once before when it first opened and found it mainly OK, with some bright spots. We had been more impressed with Planta Queen a year or two later, but our friends had been to Planta Yorkville before and wanted to go again.

Our server was friendly, attentive, and fairly knowledgeable about the menu. The kitchen was a little inconsistent with the timing of sending out dishes, for which our server apologized. Food remains good, though not necessarily what we would seek our regardless of a friend’s dietary preferences.

We started with an oat milk latte, which was nice but not particularly warm. The pineapple, sage, agave, and lime agua fresca (off the March menu) was better, nicely balanced and refreshing.

The Dragon Roll included lightly fried broccoli, spinach, avocado, and a “spicy unary” sauce. The rice could have used a bit more seasoning, but otherwise this was nicely done.

1000 layer crispy potatoes (also off the March menu) featured little towers of finely sliced potato, seaweed caviar, sour “cream”, and chives - good execution overall, although the vegan sour cream had a coconut flavour that made it seem a little more like dessert.

Shakshouka - split pea fritters (instead of egg), tomato sauce, tahini, sumac, nice flatbread - piping hot and pretty well-flavoured.

Spaghetti vongole (March menu) - chickpeas, white wine, parsley, crispy garlic - simple and delicious, with perfectly cooked pasta; the best dish of the meal. Calling it vongole though takes away from the dish though as you expect something seafood-y in flavour.

Our second round of drinks included a Cucumber Mule - seed lip garden 108, cucumber water, simple syrup, lime juice, ginger beer, rosemary, and dried lime slice - not bad, maybe it needed more mixing. The Very Dark and Stormy was better - activated charcoal, vanilla chai syrup, lime, Fever Tree ginger beer.

Sticky Toffee Pudding (March menu), with excellent vanilla ice cream and sesame crunch was very sweet and had a lovely texture. It went well with coffee (to offset the sweetness).

Granola, chia pudding and strawberry/blueberry compote was a main on the brunch menu, but we ordered it as we really liked the chia pudding last time we visited. This rendition was pleasant enough, but the chia part actually a little bland this time.

All in all, we still prefer Planta Queen and will at some point try Planta Cocina.


Ha! I was there yesterday too for lunch: my best friend keeps kosher, so this is one of the few places that we can go to ( that isn’t specifically kosher). We both had the shakshuka this time…


If you don’t mind venturing north, there are some acceptable kosher places to go to with your friend. Marron is pretty good French-ish food. Bistro Grande is OK for pastas and other casual stuff. Tov-Li and Dr. Laffa are good for casual eating.


Udupi Palace is a favourite place of ours, whether or not we are going with vegetarian friends. The uthapams and dosas are great.

Buddha Vegan has been an old favourite for Chinese vegan food. They were best when they were a bit decrepit and had some more unfamiliar dishes (e.g., black moss, which was some type of seaweed), but are still a good bet for mock meats, soups, and noodle dishes.

If we want to take a vegetarian or vegan friend out for a special meal, George will do excellent tasting menus that are just as interesting.

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Personally I don’t seek vegan or vegetarian food. However, I do go out of my way to eat tasty food. Veggie D’Light is tasty. So what if it’s vegan… it’s damn tasty. I was debating whether to post about him because some days the line is long enough as it is.


I’ve been eating vegan or vegetarian food a little more frequently lately.

I like the mushroom udon at Planta on Queen, which is also on the Planta Yorkville menu.

I have been happy with the tofu & mushroom banh mi at Rustle & Still.

I think the mushroom soup at County Style Hungarian is vegetarian (not sure)

I like the Brussels sprout/parm salad and gnocchi alla Gorgonzola in the refrigerated section at Eataly.

I’d like to try Gia.

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I’m guessing that Country Style might use a meat stock as a base for even their mushroom soup. However, the soups at United Bakers use no meat and are great.

Rose used to have a very nice vegetarian banh mi that I ordered preferentially. I need to find my new banh mi go-to.

Ryus does a very good vegetarian miso ramen. I was surprised at how good the broth was.

I forgot to mention the Ethiopian is a good option for vegetarian, though for vegan you have to seek out places that don’t use butter as a base.

Gia is on our list to eventually try.

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I’m not sure . Some Catholics avoid chicken broth during Lent, and it’s currently Lent, so Country Style may keep some vegetable soups vegetarian (at least during Lent) for the clients who are observing Lent, or on Fridays for the Catholics who abstain from meat and chicken on Fridays during Lent.

Hungarians tend to be Catholic or Jewish. I will ask next time I visit.

Ethiopian vegetarian at Toronto restaurants is way way way too salty for me.

I haven’t had Ethiopian food at a Toronto restaurant since Feb 2014. That was my last Vegetarian Ethiopian meal, that I shared with 2 Chowhounds. I returned Blundstone boots the next morning, because I thought they were too small, to realize 2 days later that my feet had swollen 2 sizes after the vegetarian dinner.

@Kare , what are your current favourites?

I haven’t found many Ethiopian places that are too salty for my taste. I’m not surprised that the dishes can have too much sodium though. That’s probably the case for many of my favourite dishes. (Makes me wonder how much sodium a dish has when I find it tastes too salty.)

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I think that she likes the change? But I have wanted to try Dr. Laffa for a while!


Aish Tanoor


This place looks good!
Thindi Indian Café , 400 College St. I haven’t been yet.

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I haven’t tried it yet, but there is an vegan Ethiopian restaurant east of the Danforth called La Vegan that is supposed to be very good. Fat Choi is another amazing vegan restaurant. It’s on Ossington and it’s from the same people behind Soos. There is also Rosalinda for Mexican. Another recommendation is Tenon for Vegan Sushi and Asian food. Revelstoke Cafe is supposed to be amazing for brunch.


Thanks Kare. We haven’t yet tried La Vegan, but have noticed it. We did go to Rosalinda once pre-pandemic and thought it was pretty good.

There’s also Green Earth on the Danforth. When it was on Broadview, we ate there a number of times and found the Asian-ish dishes pretty good. At the original location, there was a slightly weird cult-y vibe as they constantly played videos of their spiritual leader. Not sure if that happens at the Danforth location.


Have you tried OddBurger?


Yes. I love it!


Halloumi and eggplant toast with tahini at Emmer. Quite good.


Burning Fingers and Syrian mezza at Zezafoun