The omnivore's other dilemma
January 13, 2010 4:26 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for good restaurants in Toronto where vegetarians and omnivores can eat happily together.

I'm an omnivore who enjoys trying new restaurants and generally being an adventurous eater. My friends are vegetarians who tend towards the fussy. They get frustrated by restaurants that only have one or two veggie options on the menu (often carb-heavy, boring, or unreasonably priced). I get frustrated eating at crappy places just because they're known quantities.

Can you give me some advice on 'nice' restaurants where we could all eat happily together?
posted by sevenyearlurk to Food & Drink (9 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Jean's Vegetarian Kitchen near Danforth and Greenwood would be my first suggestion.
Vegetarian Thai food, but the seitan and tofu in the "meat" dishes are like the real thing. We take my sister here when she's visiting.

In the same part of the city, there are a lot of Ethiopian places, and a few Moroccan restaurants, but the menus may vary between them, so vegetarians may be back to the "one or two" options. Little India is a short distance away though.

Annapurna at Bathurst and Dupont might be worth a look too, but it's been a long time since I went there, so I can't vouch for quality.

I'm sure Chowhound might have some other ideas, if you're willing to hunt through the threads.
posted by Chuckles McLaughy du Haha, the depressed clown at 6:09 PM on January 13, 2010

Seconding Thai - any restaurant really: East, Java House, the several places on Bloor street. You can get excellent vegetarian and meat dishes in Thai cuisine. Indian is also really good that way: check out the places in Baldwin Village... lots of options there.
posted by ndicecco at 6:48 PM on January 13, 2010

Best answer: Mezzetta (St.Clair and Christie) is an old standby for this sort of thing. Groups usually share from lots of little plates, many of them vegetarian.
posted by bonobothegreat at 6:53 PM on January 13, 2010 [1 favorite]

It really shouldn't be that difficult. Toronto is one of the most vegetarian friendly cities I've come across. The vast majority of restaurants offer vegetarian options (occasionally, you might have to ask). Is there a specific area you're interested in? That might determine the level of difficulty.

You should check out They provide a list of vegetarian friendly restaurants broken down by specific areas. The symbols next to each entry specify whether the restaurant is full vegetarian/vegan or simply provides some options.
posted by purephase at 7:12 PM on January 13, 2010

Response by poster: Hey, thanks all for the suggestions thus far. We do go for Thai and Indian pretty often and they're fine, but they don't usually satisfy my 'foodie' urge the way the Black Hoof or Foxley or Sidecar or Delux might. I'm also okay with eating vegetarian myself from time to time, but it's not the way I'd prefer to spend my eating-out dollars.

I guess I'm looking for more 'upscale', or maybe just WASPier restaurants. For example, I was looking at the list of places participating in Winterlicious and while some of them are offering veggie option, many of them seem to be pastas... and I'm wondering if their standard menus are any better.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 7:30 PM on January 13, 2010

Best answer: 93 Harbord (it's on the winterlicious list) is upscale middle eastern, and also Waterfalls on Augusta St., near College, is an Indian/tapas place (though with a variety of other food styles) that is nice and vegetarian-friendly.
posted by scribbler at 7:46 PM on January 13, 2010

Best answer: You could try Splendido. They have a vegetarian/vegan tasting menu option. Mention it when you make a reservation.
posted by purephase at 3:56 AM on January 14, 2010

I don't think you're going to find a place with a better variety of vegetarian food than an Indian restaurant. And most will have a good selection of meat dishes as well. Downtown I like Trimurthi on Queen, though i've been told Babur is quite nice since they renovated and changed up their cooking staff.
posted by chunking express at 8:41 AM on January 14, 2010

I know nothing about the answer, but I wanted to express my appreciation that you're willing to try it. I am NEVER fussy about going to places with few vegetarian options. Becoming a vegetarian was a choice I made for myself over 16 years ago, and I have never imposed it on others. I tend to avoid steakhouses and seafood places, obviously, but I don't mind places that have few options (chains like Chili's and Applebee's come to mind).

That said, it's nice to have the consideration go the opposite way once in a while. I'm lucky my wife is willing to have vegetarian food now and then. Attitudes like yours are especially welcome.
posted by etoile at 5:53 PM on January 14, 2010

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