147 Spadina Ave.
Toronto, ON M6J 1G3
A world city like Toronto is certain to draw its share of eclectic dining, but it’s a progressive place too, and so its vegetarian dining options often fill up pretty quickly during meal time. And yet, of all of the options in town, this one will probably impress you for the sheer size of the menu. Noted a person sitting next to me, being a vegetarian often is about “choosing to go with the pasta or with a salad.” It can be very tough to find a place that genuinely experiments and tries new things, even in a city as big as this one. Anything you will try on this menu was certainly a new take that will inspire new ideas for vegetarian dining.
Cauliflower, shwarma, tofu and other ingredients form the backbone of many dishes on the menu, but good vegetarian food is often about finding good seasonings, and that’s where Fresh really shines. Some things worth trying:
- Fried cauliflower tacos: Three enormous fried cauliflowers tucked in a wheat tortilla that includes other sides like avocado, red cabbage, jicama and some other things that add a little bit of texture. It’s wonderful to see the end result, a crunchy, sweet and savory taco.
- Falafel tacos: Stuffed with falafel, lettuce, and a couple other vegetables to balance things out. Falafel can easily get overwhelmed with other flavors, this manages to avoid that problem.
- Big Green Smoothie: A lot of flavors hang in the balance here, a hint of banana and strawberry maybe, and some green tea. But nothing overwhelms any other flavor, and it comes off satisfying without being too sweet.
The atmosphere of the place is wonderful, it’s bright and cheerful, while still being in the middle of a city and therefore a little bit packed. The service comes pretty quickly, and so does the food, and the staff was very attentive to making sure water was filled and people had with they were looking for. While at the same time maintaining their Canadian sense of politeness where they don’t hover too much over you.
Fresh would be a good word to describe the place. It does offer something that is delightfully unusual and still flavorful, which can be a struggle in the vegan world. I highly recommend this as a place to visit especially if you have company with a very specific diet. It was just delightful.
- This is a pretty good place to take someone who is an experienced vegan, because a lot of the ideas on the menu are fresh and haven’t been out there widely in “casual” circles.
- Probably best to make a reservation, at meal times it can get pretty crowded. Particularly later in the evening as the younger crowd comes for dinner.
- A lot of things on the menu here can be packed to go pretty easily. And the hot sauce is for sale.