By Anthony Savonarota
What is the difference between vegans and vegetarians, you might ask? A vegetarian excludes meat, poultry, and seafood from their diet. Vegans also avoid meat, poultry, and seafood, but they also take it a step further by eliminating all animal products from their diet, including any type of dairy and eggs. The great thing about living in a city like Toronto is that there are several places for both kinds to enjoy.
1. Kupfert & Kim
Not only does Kupfert & Kim have the highest customer approval rating on Yelp out of the three listed (4.5), it also has the additional aspect of allowing vegetarians to enjoy a niche food market, and explore another culture, without compromising their dietary principles.
Kupfert & Kim is a plant-based, quick-service restaurant that specializes in traditional Indian cuisine, provided of course the dishes can be modified to suit common vegetarian guidelines. Fresh produce arrives every morning in its whole form and is prepared in each location throughout the city. Workers make almost everything in-house from scratch, including their sauces, pickles, curries and patties.
The only downside to Kupfert & Kim would be for patrons who enjoy a restaurant by visiting it in person. As a quick service restaurant, Kupfert & Kim specializes in maximizing its efficiency and efforts into its takeout and deliveries. That being said, customers can still sit inside the eatery, yet the hours available to do so are only between Monday-Friday, with a closing time at 7:30 PM.
With a four star Yelp rating, this eatery is considered vegetarian despite not inputting any kind of animal product into its dishes. That being said, it has still become a favourite for vegetarians and even won many non vegetarians over, largely in part for its
and very chic, casual setting.
The bright plant imagery from the restaurant’s wallpaper, outdoor section and free wifi throughout makes it easy to see why vegetarians from all walks of life can make themselves unanimously feel at home. That being said, the most common negative aspect if Planta appears to be the difficulty in reaching the place. The hours can be a bit sporadic, and if you don't have access to parking in the area it could cost you 20$ to get a space.
3. Apiecalypse Now
The best thing about Apiecalypse Now is that its specialty food is one of which it seems everyone no matter their dietary preferences loves in one way or another; pizza. Some of their well known pizza dishes include Bundock’s Christie Pits, which holds a special place in the hearts and dark, dark souls of Toronto vegans.
The vegan mac-topped pizza is another cult fave, and Pig Destroyer, topped with five kinds of fake dead animal, will satisfy even the most ardent meat lovers – plus, there’s fun frosted vegan donuts and soft serve.
With a 4.5 Yelp customer approval rating, the only downside for the restaurants is its space available. That being said, there is a beautiful public park a stone’s throw away from the establishment, so that's always an option provided the weather allows it.
4. Hogtown Vegan
Just because veganism is typically an organic lifestyle doesn't mean that all those who follow it aren't welcome to indulge in a bit of great tasting, unhealthy food like the rest of us. As what's considered by many to be Toronto’s OG source for vegan junk food, Hogtown Vegan is still going strong, serving fried un-chicken and waffles, soy wings, Reuben sandwiches and piquant mac and cheese that have been stripped of all dairy, meat and eggs.
Please note though that for those looking to come for a post celebration of sorts, luck is the only factor in securing a spot, since the eatery does not take reservations of any kind.
Regardless of whether one chooses to go the vegan or vegetarian root, both types have to be sure the complete spectrum of their nutritional needs are met. For a brief primer on some of the changes expected when transitioning to either lifestyle, check out this short video!