10 VEGAN RESTAURANTS IN EASTERN CANADA THAT ARE WORTH THE DRIVE
We’re not gonna lie: Embracing your vegan ways while in Canada can be a bit of a challenge. Between poutine’s dairy overload and those Nova Scotian lobster rolls, the vegan food scene in the Great North often gets the short end of the stick. Of course, that doesn’t mean you should settle for a sad salad or -worse- a tasteless smoothie.
The beautiful country is slowly coming to terms with the idea of cruelty-free eating which is why plant-based eateries become more popular by the day. But, not all vegan restaurants are created equal, and the menus of these top 10 joints are the living proof. If you are ready to hit the road in seek of the perfect tempeh burger (among others), these top 10 vegan restaurants across Eastern Canada are well worth the drive.
Unlike most vegan places in Canada, Planta approaches plant-based eating (a term they insist upon instead of “vegan”) with a gourmet attitude. That’s obvious in multiple ways, from the quality of the ingredients they use to the unique combo of flavors they offer. After all, where else in the world could you get a bite of coconut ceviche?
Treat Yo’Self: The “Planta Burger” and the “18 Carrot Dogs” are absolute must-trys. Using veggies as their primary ingredients, the delicious dishes taste and feel eerily similar to the real deal, making you wanna come back for more.
Located in Toronto’s Chinatown, Urban Herbivore offers a variety of deli-style treats, from comforting sandwiches to hearty stews. Unlike the rest of its peers, the plant-based eatery gives you the chance to pick your favorite ingredients and DIY your own grain bowl. Kind of like Chipotle but with a vegan twist. Cool, huh?
Treat Yo’Self: The coconut curry (which is usually served with tofu steak) is to die for.
If you want to go off the beaten path and explore Montreal’s vegan food scene like a local, the Green Panther is a no-brainer. Situated in five different locations throughout the Canadian city, the diner has a cozy, home-like feel to it which is why it’s so popular among locals. Plus, it’s known for its killer veggie sandwiches. So, what’s not to like?
Treat Yo’Self: If you love chickpeas, you are in luck because the eatery offers the best falafel in town.
4. Aux Vivres
Bringing plant-based dishes to Montrealers since 1997, Aux Vivres is one of the oldest vegan restaurants in Canada. As the menu indicates, the eatery is committed to whipping up healthy meals using nothing but fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Most of the dishes draw inspiration by a fusion of cuisines, including those of India, Morocco, Thailand, and the Mediterranean. The best part? The portions are quite large, satisfying even the hungriest of eaters.
Treat Yo’Self: Made with coconut bacon (yep, you read that right!), the vegan BLT will hit the spot from the very first bite.
With a wow-worthy menu that even top chefs would envy, LOV (as in Local, Organic, Vegetarian) is out to change the way we see vegan fare for good. The bright and airy restaurant offers a wide variety of plant-based dishes courtesy of chef Stephanie Auddet whose creations are known for converting even the most skeptic of gourmands. The eatery also boasts an impressive selection of organic wines and beers for those who can’t say no to boozy brunches.
Treat Yo’Self: The restaurant’s take on the classic Italian gnocchi is out of this world. Swapping regular flour for a combo of buckwheat and sweet potato and goat cheese for almond Parmesan, the vegan dish tastes ten times better than the original version – not to mention that it’s healthier as well.
Even though it’s often described as a quick-serve restaurant, the Copper Branch is miles away from what we know as fast food. The eatery’s 100% plant-based menu focuses on nothing but fresh, good-for-you ingredients which makes the dishes downright healthy. Not only that, but the treats taste nothing less than amazing, proving once again that vegan food is actually tasty.
Treat Yo’Self: The people at Copper Branch finally give poutine the vegan makeover it deserves by replacing the meat gravy and cheese curds with a portobello miso sauce and dairy-free Mozzarella. Yum and yum!
7. Pure Kitchen
Obsessed with fresh ingredients? Then, Pure Kitchen should be your next destination. The Ottawa-based restaurant prides itself on its made-from-scratch kitchen which promotes the use of whole natural veggies and fruits only. The eatery also boasts a friendly environment which makes each visit all the more enjoyable. PS: Even though Pure Kitchen is mostly described as vegan, the restaurant’s menu may feature a few non-vegan add-ons. So, keep an eye out for those.
Treat Yo’Self: If you are a fan of spicy flavors, then go for the Mystical Hot Bowl. You won’t regret it!
Well, you guessed it! Chickpeas, a.k.a. the vegan restaurant that’s located in Ottawa, is a fan of… chickpeas. The one-of-a-kind eatery celebrates its love for the protein-rich bean, and to our delight, hummus is just the beginning. The creative team at Chickpeas also offers a variety of salads, falafels and a unique treat known as fawaffle (check below).
Treat Yo’Self: Head straight for the fawaffle! If you don’t know what that is, imagine a falafel waffle topped with pickles, tomato, parsley, mint, and tahini sauce and you’ll get our point.
From lunch to dinner to weekend brunch, EnVie can do it all. The popular vegan eatery boasts a wide variety of plant-based dishes, all of which prove you don’t need meat, fish or even dairy to swoon your palate. Yummy dishes aside, the restaurant also features a large selection of cold-pressed juices for those of you who love to sip on your veggies every now and then.
Treat Yo’Self: The cauliflower tacos at this restaurant are beyond delicious. And no, they don’t contain anything sourced by animals. Even the sour cream is made from cashews.
10. The Wild Leek
Despite what the name suggests, this vegan restaurant is just the thing to calm your hungry (or hangry) tummy down. And no, we’re not just talking basics. The eatery’s menu goes above and beyond, featuring treats like no-melette, blueberry muffins, and Ceasar’s salad. Well, count us in!
Treat Yo’Self: Pasta lovers, rejoice! The Fettuccine Alfredo at this restaurant is a dream come true. Made with cashew parmesan and a made-from-scratch cauliflower Alfredo sauce, you’re bound to get all the feels and miss none of the flavors.
Which of these vegan restaurants would you add to your Canadian foodie road trip? Let us know in the comment section down below!