Many of us are trying to eat healthier these days. Changing our diet can help us feel better, look better, have more energy, and can even be better for the planet. It’s not always easy to make healthy choices, especially when dining out. When we are at home, in our own kitchen, we can control what goes into every meal, but who wants to eat at home for every meal? If you’re looking for guilt-free, gourmet meals out on the town, the Greenrock blog team has you covered with the best healthy restaurants in Toronto. We connected with the owners of three amazing healthy restaurants to get their recommendations on what to order. Let’s dig in!
Hibiscus Cafe (238 Augusta Avenue) feels right at home in the heart of Toronto’s hip Kensington Market neighbourhood. It was created with the idea of providing a unique menu of gluten-free, vegetarian entrees. Andrey Malkov and his family bought Hibiscus four years ago. They “loved the menu and started to use organic, and, when in season, local ingredients”, expanding and strengthening the cafe’s original mission to provide great tasting, nutritious food.
The soup and salad combo is a quick and delicious, nutrient dense meal to try. If you’re coming for brunch, Andrey recommends the vegan mozzarella, mushroom, tomato and basil crepe ($15). Be sure to save room for their coconut sea buckthorn ice cream for dessert.
Andrey and his family are committed to creating healthy and nutritious food “made of sustainably grown ingredients, with attention and love”.
Live Organic Food Bar
Live Organic Food Bar was created by Jennifer Italiano and her brother Christopher in 2000. It began as an organic juice bar. The siblings “were highly into organic food and supporting local farmers and believed in wholefoods. Nothing from a package or with a label that we could not pronounce”, says Italiano. Jennifer started getting into raw foods around the same time and says “we took our café from only serving cooked vegan foods to specializing in raw foods too. We were the first in the city to offer such cuisine.” Considering how popular raw food is in Toronto today, they sort of started a movement.
If you are new to Live and the raw food experience, Jennifer highly recommends the Raw Combo ($22). It’s been on the menu since day one and it gives you a taste of Live’s manicotti, tostadas, teriyaki noodle stir fry, and pierogis.
Live serves a delicious array of raw and cooked menu items, and even sells their own line of products. They have been committed to working with sustainable organic farmers since 2002. The entire menu is organic, vegan, gluten and wheat free with no refined sugars or GMO’s and is locally sourced whenever possible. There are two Live Organic Food Bars to choose from — the original Annex location at 264 Dupont and 134 Atlantic Avenue in Liberty Village.
Planta was created by the Chase Hospitality Group. The group partnered with Chef David Lee to fill a void. In the words of Steven Salms, president of CHG, the “inspiration was to provide a full service, experience based restaurant that gave diners an option to dine out that didn’t include the use of animal products”. They are committed to using high quality ingredients from ethical suppliers so that they can be proud of the food they serve.
You can taste the pride and commitment to quality in every dish at Planta. From spectacular salads and impressive pizzas (gluten-free crust available), to Mr. Salms personal favourite menu item, The Planta Burger ($18.75). The burger is loaded with queso, mushroom bacon, pickles, tomatillo mayo and served with spiced fries.
Planta is located in the vibrant Bay and Bloor area of Yorkville, at 1221 Bay Street and fits in perfectly in the neighbourhood. They passionately provide an upscale, plant based dining experience that celebrates innovative cuisine in a beautiful environment.
Living and eating healthy is it’s own reward. We hope that these delicious healthy restaurant suggestions help make sticking to your goals a little easier this year.