Campus Life

The best vegan restaurants you need to check out this summer

by Sulvey Polanco

Say goodbye to meat!

When people think about vegan food, the first thought that pops into their heads is likely bland, tasteless salads and plain tofu. Luckily, that’s not the case. Whether you’re a meat eater who wants to go out to eat with your vegan friends, are trying to cut down on meat and see what the meatless Monday hype is about, or are a full-out-animal-loving vegan, these restaurants have options for everyone to enjoy.

It’s important to be mindful of our planet and the lives of millions of animals, so if you’re able try to cut out meat for at least one meal a day it can help. If you are looking to cut out meat, know that it’s not as hard as you think it is. Nowadays, there are a ton of meat alternatives and I HOPE we all know that meat is NOT the only possible source of protein. Whatever little steps you make to cut out meat matter and make a BIG difference!

Trust me on this one, once you try these restaurants I don’t think you’ll be missing the meat:

 

1. Vegandale Brewery

Vegan food doesn’t always have to mean healthy food. Formerly known as Doomies, this vegan restaurant proves that just because you’re vegan doesn’t mean you have to miss out on your guilty pleasures! Vegandale Brewery specializes in breaking the “healthy” stigma surrounding veganism by providing the BEST vegan junk food! Burgers (including the AMAZING vegan “Big Mac”), mac and cheese, jalapeño poppers, a variety of LOADED fries—you name it. You’re sure to satisfy your cravings at this Parkdale restaurant!

While you’re there, check out the vegan craft beer available on tap! The hype around this place is REAL.

Cup of beer in cup reading "Vegandale Brewery / Morality on tap" with french fries and sandwiches in background
Image Courtesy of BlogTO

 

2. Hogtown Vegan

THREE WORDS. VEGAN. SOUL. FOOD. Need I say more? This restaurant is the go to spot for all the vegan comfort food you need. Being vegan does not mean you have to give up on flavour. With southern inspiration you can find everything you could ever want and need here. Check out the southern combo and indulge in fried un-chicken, ooey-gooey mac and cheese, garlic collard greens, AND house-made BBQ sauce! Is your mouth watering yet?

As an added bonus, they also cook up a mean brunch with all the works you’re used to in traditional brunch spots. Enjoy scrambled tofu “eggs”, omelettes, waffles, UN-CHICKEN & WAFFLES, and french toast. Best part? They’re all 100% vegan!

Vegan chicken and waffles, collard greens and sweet potatoes on plate with basket of nachos and mug of beer in background.
Image Courtesy of BlogTO

 

3. Animal Liberation Kitchen

This new restaurant started off as a stall at food festivals, like the Toronto Underground Market years ago. Luckily, the ALK has finally found a home at 717 1/2 Queen St E. Try tasty comfort food classics at affordable prices at this quaint restaurant. From jackfruit pulled pork sliders to kimchi mac and cheese, they have a little something for every taste.

Craving some healthier food? You can also find yummy salads, avocado sandwiches, energy balls, and a variety of smoothies!

BBQ pulled jackfruit bun in carton with kimchi mac and cheese in background
Image Courtesy of BlogTO

 

4. Planta

With locations in Miami and all over Toronto, all your food cravings can be fulfilled here. This restaurant takes inspiration from a ton of different cuisines. Craving a gourmet burger? Check out Planta Burger. There are a ton of different burger options to indulge in. Patties come in a variety of different options like vegan “crab” cake, mushroom and lentil, mushroom and farro, and even jackfruit pulled pork.

Missing out on your favourite Asian dishes? Check out Planta Queen for your one-stop shop to enjoy a ton of Asian cuisine! Nigiri, dan dan noodles, dumplings, and dim sum are all available. You want it? They got it.

tables and chairs in Planta restaurant with checkered floors
Image Courtesy of BlogTO

 

5. Grasshopper Eatery

Yet another fusion restaurant on this list. Grasshopper Eatery skips out on the meat, but not on the flavour. If you’re ever craving chicken but are trying to cut meat out of your life then this is the spot for you. This spot has so many “chick’un” options that won’t make you miss the feathered bird. Their menu is packed with all the essentials including popcorn chick’un, teriyaki chick’un burgers, chick’un wraps, and chick’un and waffles!

Other than that enjoy Asian delights like Japanese curry, fresh Thai spinach noodles, okonomi-yaki, and Japanese fluffy pancakes. Brunch and dinner at the same place? You’ll catch me there.

Outside view of grasshopper restaurant during winter
Image Courtesy of Grasshopper Restaurant

Convinced yet? No need to thank me. You know where to find me this summer.


Have an itch to get your foodie on this summer? Check out the Toronto food festivals you can’t miss!

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