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Vegan in Toronto: So many good vegan breakfasts

The last time I posted, it was back in June, which means I've been quiet for a whole five weeks.

I love spending a bit of time on my blog, so it wasn't an intentional hiatus, it's just that those five weeks were busy ones. First, I sat my exams - a whole week of being struggling to pull medical facts out of my uncooperative brain - then, a few days later, I got on a plane to Canada, so when the exam results were published, I could at least take solace in being on holiday if the results were bad.

Happily I passed first time around this time (something I didn't manage last year!), so I got to spend two and a half weeks hanging out in Canada, feeling light of heart, knowing that I didn't have any resits looming over me when I returned.

As this is a vegan food blog, let me fill you in on what I've been eating while I've been away.

We started our trip to Canada in Toronto which, to this Londoner's eyes, has a pretty incredible vegan food scene. I spent far too long on Happy Cow browsing the city's vegan options (one of my favourite parts of holiday planning right there).

Our first meal in the city was at Karine's, a place that just does amazing, chaotic breakfasts all day.

Case in point: this plate of fruit, tofu, home fries, pancakes, and salad, altogether. It's like starter, main and dessert all on one plate.


There's a load of good vegan options, so we just asked someone to give us two plates of whatever they recommended. After eating their food, I'd recommend it too. Not only was it gorgeous and creative, it kept us going right up til teatime - bonus money saving points!

The portions here are huge, the food's good, the prices are student friendly, and the lady who runs it is charm personified. The only reason you could possibly have for not going is that you can't find the place - it's not the easiest to find, but it's worth the hunt. It's in the food court of a shopping mall on McCaul Street - you get in through an assuming glass door next to a McDonalds. It's a hop, skip and jump from the Art Gallery of Ontario, so if you're headed this way, grab a plate at Karine's, and you'll have enough fuel for viewing hours of art.

Less exciting but still worth a mention is Urban Herbivore, a small vegan chain with three branches across the city.

The menu's not going to make your head spin - it's soups, sarnies, bowls and baked goods - but it's one of only a handful of places you can get a vegan brekkie earlydoors.

In need of sustenance at 9am, we got ourselves some muffies (aka muffin tops, apparently) and smoothies. No complaints about the eats, but the use of takeaway containers (plant based and biodegradeable though they may be) rather than reusables when eating in seemed a bit unnecessary.


We stopped in at the Kensington Market branch of Urban Herbivore, which is spitting distance from two other vegan breakfast options: Bunner's Bakehouse (an all vegan and gluten free bakery) and Cosmic Treats, an equally all-vegan dessert bar and restaurant.

We pitched up at the latter, and got heavily involved with their heavily carbed options. If you don't think the sight of tofu scramble, home fries drenched in nooch and cornmeal waffles isn't everything you want in a breakfast, I'm not sure what I can do to convince you otherwise.


More bonus point awarded to Cosmic Treats for making breakfasts of such calorific magnitude you can easily take a swerve on lunch. While we may have chosen some of the more straightforward breakfast options, Cosmic Treats has got all sorts of other fun choices to keep you covered: vegan chicken pot pie and Dorito-encrusted tofu are among the other eye-catchers here.

If you're a gluten-free vegan in search of a good early morning feed, let me point you in the direction of Kupfert and Kim, the "wheatless, meatless" chain of vegan eateries with six spots in downtown Toronto.

There's a healthy slant to Kupfert and Kim's food, which beckoned after the previous few days of carb-festing: breakfast options include smoothie bowls, granola and steel cut oats. All of which sound way healthier than that breakfast I eventually got: a massive great waffle with cashew cream and fruit.


I'd say the waffle to fruit ratio could have done with a bit of rebalancing towards the fruit side of things, but other than that, I was one very happy Joey after this. I also managed to inadvertently order a turmeric latte (the server misheard my order, I guess) which was also pretty nice for a warm yellow drink.

My final breakfast in Toronto was of the grab and go kind, from vegan bakery Tori's Bakeshop.

Unlike all my other breakfasts, which were downtown, Tori's Bakeshop is spitting distance from Toronto's Kew beach, so you can get your baked goods and then graze happily looking out over the water.

Which is exactly what we did with this cashew cheese focaccia, chocolate muffin, and banana caramel donut:




They were all gorgeous, and after we scoffed all their goodies, we were debating going back to Tori's for lunch.

That is, until a fierce rainstorm turned up and dumped what felt like a month of rain on top of us -- you know when you're so rained on, even your bra is wet? It was one of those rainstorms! -- so we had to go back to our apartment to go get dry. I could have forgiven Toronto weather for most things, but that was a raindrop too far. Coming between a hungry vegan and baked goods? Unforgivable.

And in related news... did you know that 20th July is World Vegan Travel Day? For more information on what's going on, head over to The Vegan Word. There's also a huge giveaway to celebrate -- go get involved here.

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7 comments

  1. Congratulations on passing your exams!

    Hooray for travel, and what delicious breakfast you encountered! I think it is my favorite meal of the day.

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  2. First congratulations on passing your exams, def. a weight lifted for lighter head and heart.

    Your so funny and its ne of the reasons why I love reading your blog - you inject humour to make some of us smile inside. I loved 'you're so rained on, even your bra is wet?' its been a while since i got that soggy :)
    I do like the sound of Dorito-encrusted tofu. I am a tad surprised that you have not featured vegan poutine, as its something i am wishing to try to make at home someday. Regardless, lots of yummy things showcased.

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  3. congrats on passing the exams and getting out of town so soon afterwards - your vegan eating in Canada sounds wonderful - I really love that first plate of food for the esoteric nature of it! And I think you would have needed a nice warm drink after the rainstorm - hope you got it even if you were too wet to get back to that baking!

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  4. Congratulations on the exam results!

    I remember Urban Herbivore from my brief visit to Toronto a few years back. I clearly didn't do as well as you with advance research though, and now think I need to return to eat more and better :-)

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  5. YAY for passing the exams, and OMG for the Toronto breakfasts! Toronto is one Canadian city I've regretfully never visited, and I see I've missed something grand. The breakfasts look spectacularly unfinishable, and even if the serveware is 100% real, I'd probably be carting leftovers out in a takeaway container. Oh well. It looks like you had a delicious vacation.

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  6. Big congrats on passing the exams! What a relief and a welcome way to enjoy your vacation. I'm sure it meant you could really relax in earnest. It looks like you found some mouthwatering breakfast options in Toronto. We're planning a fall vacation, and Toronto is on the list of options. You sweetened the deal with your pictures!

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  7. Congratulations on passing your exams! Wow, that's quite a plateful of Canadian vegan food, I had no idea of the huge portions or the many all vegan places - awesome for a vegan holiday. :-)

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