As someone who calls herself a holistic fooodie, I definitely love food and think about it far too much, in a good way of course. Whenever I make plans to go to a new restaurant, I research it like I would a project, I put in work. I look at what the critics say, what reviewers think and the best items to order off the menu. It is serious business, I tell ya. So when it dawned on me that I have never posted a Toronto foodie review, I knew that needed to change. So here are my favourite places to go to when you are in the city. I have included both the ones that cater to a more healthy lifestyle and those that don’t (part two). I live in the downtown core in King West, so my focus is primarily in this area. Enjoy!
It would be impossible for me to please everyone with this list and I am sure I am leaving out someone’s favourite, but this is my list. These are places I have been to time and time again and they never disappoint.
Fresh: My go-to spot for fresh food that is right up the street from me. Everything here is vegetarian/vegan and like the name suggests, it’s pretty fresh. I also own one of their cookbooks and I love it! Favourite menu items: phytosalad (pictured below), mushroom burger, ace of kales, quinoa onion rings and any of their fresh juices. You really cannot go wrong with this place or anything on the menu.
Kupfert & Kim: When I discovered this place a few years back, I couldn’t get enough, it was fresh and healthy and tasted sooo good, bonus they use amazing house made sauces and you know I love it saucy. They are also completely gluten free as well, which is great for those that need to follow a gluten-free diet. I also like that they use organic produce when it comes to anything on the dirty dozen list from EWG. Favourite menu items: hemp burger (pictured below on salad), paleo bowl (those balls!), oaxaca and the waffle with coconut ice cream (also pictured).
Impact Kitchen: This place is in the east end of King Street but whenever I am in the area I hit this spot up and am always impressed with whatever I get. I love how they place a strong emphasis on not counting calories and work with local farmers to bring in the best of the best. Favourite menu items: bone broth (seriously its delish!), any breakfast option is good and the brownie or raw cookie (OMG). Here is a pic from an event I went to that was catered by Avocados From Mexico, where they made sure to use avocados in every dish they prepared, yup, also known as heaven!
Photo below, courtesy of Bettina.
Flock: This is a new(ish) chain that opened in Toronto that focuses on chicken as the main with some pretty great salad options and sides. I am seeing it more and more throughout the city in different locations and was really impressed with the meal when I ordered from there. Favourite menu items: classic chicken or full chicken and barbary flock salad.
iQ Food Co.: This seasonal inspired kitchen uses high quality and sustainable food options and I love how the menu is always changing, plus it’s pretty affordable too! This is definitely one of my absolute faves and if you only want to try one option, try iQ! Favourite menu items: lima, sababa and spicy salmon are solid choices but most of the time I go for the new seasonal ones and they are always super tasty. For dessert, the crack cup is also pretty yum!
Hibiscus: This gluten free, vegetarian and organic cafe in Kensington Market is adorable and also very tasty. I love going there in the summer and hanging out. Favourite menu items: legit the only thing I get there is the salad, it has 42 ingredients and trust me it’s that good.
One Love Vegetarian: This is a super cute little spot that makes vegan Jamaican food and it is pretty good. It’s out of the way for me to get to, but if I am in that area, I stop by. Favourite menu items: chickpeas and potato in a roti and that corn soup.
Urban Herbivore: This completely vegan spot offers some tasty bowls and sandwiches in Kensington Market and at The Eaton Centre if you find yourself in the food court there. Favourite menu items: I always get the bowl and customize it with what I want or get a sandwich like the avocado one, the bread is seriously delish!
Bare Burger: This is my go-to spot for a good burger and it never disappoints me plus I love that they use different kinds of meat like elk and bison in addition to beef and turkey. They don’t like GMO’s and use primarily organic everything, which is obviously something I can get behind. Favourite menu items: rings and sweet fries (this is a big portion- be warned), crispy brussels sprouts, County Fair (on a collard wrap or sprout bun) or The Standard burger on a collard wrap or sprouted bun.
Tori’s Bakeshop: A natural and organic bakeshop that actually tastes amazing. They do have gluten free options as well if you need to go that route. Favourite menu items: you can’t go wrong with a donut or a cupcake, or get both 😉
Village Juicery: There are more and more juice shops popping up in the city every day, which is kind of funny considering how there weren’t a whole lot even five years ago. I for one am pretty happy about it, because as much as I love fresh, cold pressed juice it is one of those things that I just don’t have time or the right appliance to make myself. As with any juice, you need to make sure that they use organic ingredients, do not rely on HPP and taste good. Luckily, this place fits that bill and I am a big fan of their concept, their juices and the whole store and vibe in general. You can find their juices at different spots in the city, but if you can, go and visit one of their stores, they are so cute! Favourite menu items: ginger fireball (in the winter, this warms you right up), Be Clean (juice), Be Radiant (my fave juice!) and Be Happy (cashew mylk) or their Matcha Latte. They also have the cutest breakfast jars for on-the-go and salads. Apologies for the grainy photo, this was before I learned about lighting hehe. Greenhouse Juice: My other favourite juice spot and nope, I can’t choose which one I like more so don’t ask me! I love Greenhouse as they are one of the pioneers of the juice world here in Toronto and they also use the same high quality standards, like organic produce and no HPP. They have the most stylish Instagram EVER and I think their cookbook looks super cute as well. As with Village Juicery, they also use glass bottles which you can reuse (like I do) or return in store. Favourite menu items: The Good (the BEST green juice. Period.), Rabbit Run, Genius, Wake Up and East of Eden. Plus their Choco-Maca Milk is insanely good (I don’t know how they do it) and their coconut water is the best I have ever tasted.
Woodlot: Probably the most upscale dining choices on this list (don’t worry, I have another part to this guide coming soon). I love this place! They have a hand built wood-fired oven which makes some delicious sourdough bread. Plus they have an amazing vegetarian menu in addition to their regular menu.