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Vegan in Toronto Part 2: Fresh on Spadina & Hot Beans

Part 2 of eating Vegan in Toronto. Fresh was at the top of my list of vegetarian restaurants to visit while I was in Toronto. The truth is I almost didn’t make it at all. Although I had no plans for the weekend when I arrived in Toronto, my schedule filled up pretty quickly. Friday was lunch at Urban Herbivore with my uncle and then Saturday we ended up grabbing a bite at the St.Lawrence market which I am writing about in another post.

Dinners were all booked for the weekend and none of them at restaurants. Friday night’s dinner is worth mentioning. I made a delicious pasta dish with my uncle, made with onions, peppers, fennel, cooked slowly until they were nice and sweet, and then mixed with white beans and pasta. I will be recreating this recipe to share here and most likely adding some kale.

That left me with Sunday lunch to try another vegetarian/vegan restaurant in Toronto. I had plans to meet up with my friend Christina for lunch. Although I really wanted to try Fresh, I also really wanted to try Hot Beans, which is a vegan burrito spot in Kensington market. What a dilemma! Christina was down to try Fresh again. She hadn’t been often.

She met me at Kops records on Queen St. one of my favorite places to buy records in the city. On my walk down to Kops I couldn’t help but stop in a few grocery stores in Chinatown. That will be another post. I have never seen so many different types of greens in my life.

By the time I got to Kops I didn’t have much time to dig for records before Christina came to meet me. The guy working at the store asked me if I was looking for anything. Since I didn’t have much time but wanted to find some good stuff I asked him to show me some records that he really liked that I wasn’t likely to know. He showed me A LOT of good stuff in a short period. I didn’t want to leave.

Thankfully Christina is awesome and chilled with me listening to some amazing records for a while. I ended up getting a few, one of them being a movie soundtrack called Charleston Blue by Donny Hathaway and supervised by Quincy Jones. Need I say more? It features the studio version of Little Ghetto Boy.

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Vegan In Toronto Part 1: Urban Herbivore Review

I spent this past weekend in Toronto visiting friends and family. It had been almost 3 years since my last trip to Toronto. That was when I was first starting to eat more plant based food, but long before I had the idea of starting Health is Happiness. I didn’t really make any plans for the weekend. My plan was to just play everything by ear and see what happens. Of course I was hoping to be able to visit a few vegan restaurants while in Toronto to see what they are all about. What is it like being a vegan in Toronto? My sense is that you have a lot more choice than being a vegan in Montreal!

Fresh has been on my list of places to visit since I found out about the restaurant chain through one of their cookbooks called reFresh. Hot Beans, a vegan burrito spot in Kensington market area, was also on my radar. I got a few other suggestions from friends and the Health is Happiness community.

Friday was my first day in Toronto, and I headed out with my uncle for lunch and a visit to the AGO (Art Gallery of Ontario). We did not have a specific lunch destination chosen. As we walked through Kensington Market I spotted, out of the corner of my eye, a place called Urban Herbivore. I suggested we go take a look and see what it’s all about.

Upon inspection of the simple but enticing menu, we decided to stick around and eat our lunch there. Urban Herbivore has a selection of sandwiches, a couple bowls, and a couple of stews not to mention a soup of the day. They also have a selection of freshly made juices and sweets. I have included pictures of the restaurant menus so you can get a better idea of what they have to offer. Continue reading

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