Toronto chef Doug McNish has carved out a great niche for himself in the Canadian culinary scene. Mastering vegan cuisine over the years, the talented chef has become buzzworthy--particularly in the Toronto area--for his ability to take comfort food classics and present them as entirely plant-based (and still very much comforting) dishes. His new cookbook, The Classics Veganized, showcases a wide array of interesting plant-based dishes with preparations made approachable for the home cook.
With a penchant for all things vegan in and out of his kitchen, we thought it would be a good idea to ask McNish where he loves to go for plant-based eats and drinks around Toronto. Here's what the passionate food personality had to say...
My breakfast go-to would be Evviva. Not just because the menu boasts my creations, but because I rarely cook such delicious and decadent vegan food at home for breakfast. The vegan "benny" here definitely beats my usual smoothie!
If I want something a little richer, I would choose The Hogtown Vegan. This place has become a Toronto mainstay and I would for sure swoop in at lunch for their soy "pork" nachos. If I’m looking for lighter fair I would head to a Copper Branch location or Fresh Restaurants. They both feature healthy, whole food bowls that are satisfying and flavorful.
[I love] La Bartola. it opened just a few months ago and has some of the best vegan food in the city. The authentic Mexican flavours are so fresh and bright and the dining space is beautiful. I’m still drooling over the pistachio pipian with braised mushrooms and parsnips. The "ceviche" is a must order as well. The couple that runs the restaurant makes you feel right at home and the service is laid back, but impeccable.
I might stay just at La Bartola! The cocktail menu is fantastic, and you could grab a taco sharing plate with go with [your drinks]. The cantarita is where it's at! There is also a small place called Mrs. Robinson up the street from La Bartola that has [great cocktails]. Not much vegan food there, but the fries definitely satisfy.