Last month, some friends and I took a trip to Guelph for Kazoo Fest. I had never been to this unassuming riverside town. It definitely wasn’t on my radar and I must admit that my expectations were low. Turns out Guelph possesses its fair share of small town charm. Highlights included lazing by the water, The Cornerstone, live music, a print-makers market and The Common.
I’ve spent a lot of time in Kensington Market lately. It’s one of my favourite spots in Toronto. This might have something to do with the high concentration of vegan food options. My last stop was Blackbird Baking Co. More recently, I conquered Bunner’s Bakeshop. I always frequent an establishment at least three times before I feel qualified to write about it. On my last visit, I had a cinnamon bun. I don’t think I’ve had one of these since going on a vegan diet. It was pretty amazing.
But not all bread is made equal. There are still bakers out there carrying out the long-held tradition of making the simple yet practically divine food that compliments so many meals. Blackbird Baking Co. does this better than most.
I recently decided to go on a hunt for the best vegan donut in Toronto. Other foodie magazines, vegan blogs and culinary writers are always going on “a mission for the best (insert food here)”. Why shouldn’t I? Well, probably because a hunt involves going to more than one location. There is sampling involved, comparisons drawn, contenders cast aside and from the pile of crumpled up review notes on napkins, emerges a victor, one food to rule them all.
Last week, I went to brunch four times. That is too many times for someone who is unemployed. Before you judge me, however, or assume I’ve won the lottery, please note that my fridge was broken. The only solution was to dine out for every single meal. I know. Sounds terrible, right? Just kidding it was the best thing ever. In my foodie-frenzy I discovered three sweet brunch locations that you should check out if you’re in Toronto.
The first thing I did upon Will’s return was hop in an uber with him and take him straight to Kettleman’s Bagels in the Glebe, Ottawa. I had a sesame bagel with vegan cream cheese. He had the vegetarian. I used to get it all the time in high school. That spicy eggplant rocks my world.
Last month, I sampled the vegan burger at Holy Chuck. It’s a fast-food burger joint that reminds me of America. The food is intentionally greasy. The fries are served in massive piles. The only vegetables in sight are the single piece of lettuce and that a couple slices of tomato used as garnish on your burger.
A cozy restaurant with a tiny open kitchen awaited us on the other side of the door. I would guess Luna seats no more than 30-40 people. All the staff we’re kind of whimsical-edgy-hippie-ladies except for one dude carrying a large slab of meat. It was definitely my vibe.
Pressed café is located downtown Ottawa on Gladstone. They serve sandwiches, coffee, cheap beer and pub fare. Given that I haven’t really been anywhere in Ottawa for the past seven years I wasn’t expecting much from this café. My knowledge of the city is limited and last I checked there wasn’t a whole lot of vegan food on offer. It was a pleasant surprise to discover Pressed has quite a few vegan options on their menu.
When I announced my newfound vegan lifestyle to my best friend about a year ago she decided we would never dine-out together again. For some people, the words “vegetarian” or “vegan” denote healthy lifestyle and environmental awareness. For others, the words are synonymous with “pretentious, top-knot wearing, yoga loving, aggressive hippy who doesn’t eat bacon or anything else delicious in this world”.