Some of the finest plant-based fare comes from innovative chefs re-imagining plates and palates. At the same time, globally inspired classics—like Greek spanakopita and Indian navratan korma—are cultural mainstays. Veg-centric dishes can be hearty, nourishing and full of contrasting flavours and textures, and we’ve compiled some of the city’s best.
East India Company
East India Company‘s signature navratan korma mixes a medley of nine vegetables in ginger-garlic cream gravy to wow meat-eaters and vegetarians alike. Rich and nutritious, korma is the ultimate comfort food.
Location: 349 York Ave
Falafel is a popular street food all over the Middle East and Mediterranean. The mixture of herbs and spices used in Falafel Place‘s dish gives it robust, satisfying flavour, especially when dipped in hummus, hot sauce and tahini.
Location: 1101 Corydon Ave
The Grove, known for its elegantly plated British pub fare, also offers a quinoa salad that is simply too good to be a side. Sweetly satisfying, this dish comes with sour cherry and pistachio crumble, and is rounded out by cucumber, tomato and red pepper dressed in a lemon garlic vinaigrette.
Location: 164 Stafford St
Stuffed into a flaky, butter envelope, cheese and spinach meld together, transforming bitter leafy greens into a decadent snack. Homer’s Restaurant emphasizes the dill and mint in this spanakopita dish, the generous use of herbs brightening the spinach filling and adding layers of potent flavour.
Location: 520 Ellice Ave
As one of the city’s top steakhouses, Hy’s Steakhouse is an unexpected but delightful addition to this lineup. Chef Jackie Hildebrand brings a variety of veggie selections to the upper-class menu. The meatless loaf offers an unexpected mix of veggies, walnuts, tofu and oats resulting in a hearty and savoury version of the timeless classic.
Location: 1 Lombard Pl
Marion Street Eatery
Sandwiches: the ultimate grab ‘n go meal and a lifesaver for navigating those busy schedules! Traditionally stuffed with meats and cheeses, Marion Street Eatery switched it up and created a protein-packed sammie for all the herbivores out there. Hearty garlic cashew spread mimics the consistency of cream cheese, apple slices add crunch and pickled veg complements with punches of bright acidity.
Location: 393 Marion St
Using a funny-looking vegetable to create vibrant, beautiful dumplings is exactly the sort of thing that makes The Oxbow such an exciting place to eat. Kohlrabi is a versatile vegetable from the cabbage family that pairs well with a filling of earthy goat cheese and cranberries and dressed with yogurt poppyseed and tart green apple.
Location: 557 Osborne St
Resto at Thermëa
Head Chef Thomas Stuart of Restö at Thermëa has spear-headed the venture of creating delicious and healthy meals to complement the urban oasis’s relaxing and rejuvenating atmosphere. The beet bowl uses the hearty root veggie in four different ways, including sliced, puréed and even powdered. One extra large bowl makes a fun and colourful starter for sharing.
Location: 775 Crescent Dr
Get the satisfaction of a savoury bar snack in the form of a plant-based bao. Steamed buns are a staple at The Roost, and in this veggie take on hot wings, the bao provides a fully pocket for fried tofu tossed in a spicy, creamy sauce.
Location: 651 Corydon Ave
Stella's Cafe and Bakery
Unlock the flavours of nature’s bounty with a dragon bowl from Stella’s Cafe and Bakery. This dish is heaping with heart-healthy ingredients like eggplant, mushrooms, red peppers, and cabbage bathed in a spicy sauce.
Locations: 1895 Grant Ave, 204-488‑7810; 166 Osborne St, 204-453‑8562; 110 Sherbrook St, 204-783-1453; 116 Sherbrook St, 204-477-5556; James Armstrong Richardson International Airport, 2nd Floor, 204-779-1415; Plug In Gallery, 460 Portage Ave, 204-772-1556; 340 Provencher Boul, 204-477-8393; 1463 Pembina Hwy, 204-275-2001
Verde Juice Bar
One of the best ways to get your greens is along with a healthy dose of natural sugars! The raw spinach 887 smoothie from Verde is sweetened by a blend of mango, pineapple and the dense, caramel impact of just one date.
Locations: 887 Westminister Ave
Middle Eastern eateries like Yafa Café are a primo spot for healthy and inspired vegetarian options. Try the veggie za’atar, a chewy baked flatbread smeared with tomato paste and sprinkled with thyme, marjoram, sumac and sesame, finished with a topping of fresh slices of cucumber, tomato, radish and mint.
Location: 1785 Portage Ave, 204-221-1636