I have this weird habit of taking photos of my food everywhere I go, fully knowing I’m not going to do anything with the photos. I’m a next-level photo hoarder. Like I’m talking crashing my own phone and having to buy extra iCloud storage each month kind of hoarder. Most of them are 100% useless duplicates because when I take a photo of something I actually take at least ten. Most of them are completely random and seemingly unimportant. But I love going back through my camera roll and looking at all the random things I took photos of because it reminds me of that specific day and what I did and how I felt. And food is one of those things that I’ve gotten in the habit of taking photos of. I love looking back and remembering where I went for dinner and who I was with and what we talked about. So long story short, I decided to compile some of these photos from over the summer, partly because I haven’t been going out much lately so I don’t have many super recent photos, and partly because I’m in the mood to reminisce about my summer. So if you have any interest in looking at pics of my vegan food from various places in Toronto, keep on reading.
Vegan Quinoa + Avocado Power Bowl (Earls on King Street West, Toronto)
Of all the larger franchise restaurants I’ve been to since shifting to a vegan diet, Earls is by far my favourite because of the impressive plant-based section on their menu. Many franchises have several vegetarian options, but only one or two vegan options if you’re lucky. Earls has an entire section of seven dishes that are fully plant-based, and so yummy.
Santorini Salad (King Taps on King Street West, Toronto)
On the other hand, King Taps is unfortunately a pretty difficult place to eat for vegans. This salad was one of the few menu items I could eat, but I wasn’t even mad in the end because it was AMAZING. I had never thought mixing hummus in a salad would be so good.
Buddha Bowl (The One-Eighty: The 51st Floor in Yorkville, Toronto)
I miss this bowl. I think about it often. The One-Eighty was the first restaurant I went to when I was in my first week of testing out a plant-based diet, so I was a little nervous about what I would be able to eat. I looked at the menu ahead of time to make sure there was something for me, and I was excited to try the buddha bowl. Even though this restaurant is hella expensive, it was so worth it because the food was amazing and the view of the city from the 51st floor made me somehow not care that I was paying $17 for a cocktail. (Also pictured is my friend’s non-vegan Ahi Tuna Tartare).
Vegan Thai Lettuce Wraps (District Eatery on King Street West, Toronto)
District Eatery is one of my favourite restaurants in Toronto because they have so many vegan options (about half of their menu is vegan) and they are SO GOOD. Their menu is full of healthy foods and they have a ton of gluten free options as well! I’ve tried a few things such as the pull-apart smothered cauliflower with vegan cheese, the cauliflower curry bowl, and the vegan Thai lettuce wraps that are pictured below. These lettuce wraps with soy “chicken” strips were amazing and I loved the build-it-yourself concept!
P&K Dip (sans sour cream) and California Roll, Lala’s “Where’s the Beef” Vegan Philly (The Goodman Pub and Kitchen on Queens Quay West, Toronto)
The two photos below were both taken at two different visits to the Goodman this summer. I actually really liked this restaurant because a.) it’s located right along the water near Harbourfront Center, and b.) they surprisingly have a good amount of vegan options considering that it is a regular tap-house style restaurant. The hummus dip was easily made vegan by leaving out the sour cream, and the california roll was already vegan as it was. The second time I went was when my family was visiting, and I was clearly in vacation mode because this vegan philly cheesesteak sandwich was everything but healthy. It was pretty good, but I wasn’t a fan of the sauce because it was so salty. Regardless, I was pretty happy to have an option that was new to me.
Vegetable Sizzling Fajitas and Deep Fried Pickles (Fox & Fiddle on Fort York Blvd, Toronto)
This is an example of having to create your own vegan options when restaurants don’t have much to choose from. Luckily, the friend I was with is also vegan, so I didn’t have to feel bad making modifications on the food we were sharing. We got classic deep-fried pickles with regular yellow mustard instead of the chipotle mayo that they are typically served with, as well as the vegetable fajitas. These were made vegan by asking for no cheese and no sour cream on the side. Sometimes menu items that are modified to be vegan can become a little less exciting, but we were both fully satisfied with these pre-Canada Day celebration snacks.
Vegan’achos (Nacho Fresco in Rogers Centre, Toronto)
Not from a restaurant, but these vegan nachos deserve a shoutout. I was so excited to have a couple vegan options when I went to a Blue Jays game at Rogers Centre, where all the classic foods include hot dogs, pizza, nachos, and buttery popcorn. While I also love a good veggie dog, these nachos loaded with vegan cheese sauce, guacamole, black beans, tomatoes, and onions won me over.
Vegan Ice Cream Sandwich (Bang Bang Ice Cream and Bakery on Ossington Ave, Toronto)
This post wouldn’t be complete without ice cream. My friend and I went to Bang Bang not knowing that it was National Ice Cream Day, so naturally, the line was two blocks long. But we had determination and ice cream cravings that helped us stick it out in line for a half hour, and it was so worth it. My ice cream sandwich was made with the vegan “almost everything” cookie and a mix of two of their vegan ice cream flavours, chocolate sorbet (water based) and vanilla coconut (coconut based). They had so many small-batch flavours to choose from, most of them unfortunately being non-vegan, but I was impressed that they still had about five dairy-free options and vegan cookies!
That’s all! If you’ve made it to the end, thanks for giving a damn about what I ate this summer and allowing me to share some of the thousands of photos on my phone with you. And if you’re not already following a plant based diet, I hope that you’ll want to take the chance to try out some vegan options at your favourite restaurants soon!