Many people avoid gluten. Whether it is the due to celiac disease, gluten sensitivity, a wheat allergy or for other reasons, there are a growing number of people actively looking for great tasting alternatives. If you’re avoiding gluten, you’re in luck! It has never been easier to find delicious gluten free food. The chances are, no matter where you live, you can find a restaurant that has at least one meal option for this dietary restriction. The tricky part can be finding a place that has more than one. We want to give you a few solid options, so here are three of the best restaurants with gluten free menu items near Yonge and Bloor in Toronto. These establishments won’t make you feel like you’re missing out on anything.
Lola’s Kitchen is located in a charming Victorian mansion at 634 Church Street. It’s easy to get to, but just far enough away from the hustle and bustle of Bloor Street. A visit to Lola’s feels like you’re coming home, or to a friend’s place. The interior is elegant and understated, but still warm and inviting. The chairs are comfortable and you get the feeling that you’re being taken care of. “Lola’s Kitchen has always offered gluten free options because our community is diverse and has complex needs!”, says General Manager, Spencer Reynolds. Lola’s Kitchen is a “from scratch kitchen”.
We pride ourselves on using small batches. With the exception of bread and desserts, we make everything in house! We even make our own ketchup.
Spencer recommends trying something from Lola’s gluten free fryer. “Our tortilla chips are hand cut and fried, and there are lots of amazing garnishes (like crispy leeks, capers and chickpeas) that aren’t often accessible to people with gluten intolerance.”
When we dine gluten free at Lola’s we love to order The Sante Fe Bowl ($16). It features organic brown rice, black beans, guacamole, roasted corn, grilled sweet potato, romaine, green onions, pico de gallo, crispy tortillas and yogurt lime drizzle. If you’ve never experienced Lola’s kitchen before, you owe it to yourself to give it a try.
Urban Herbivore is a vegetarian restaurant that started out in Kensington Market. It has grown to open locations on College Street, the Eaton Centre and has another on they way in Union Station. They are a trusted source for gluten free and vegan meals and an incredible option for people on special diets looking to enjoy a meal close to home or on the go. General Manager Angelo Filaccio tells us:
We have offered gluten free items from the beginning. We realized that we could serve the largest number of vegans by making our entire Fresh and Custom Bowl menu gluten free. The grains we offer pack a great protein punch while being safe for gluten sensitive guests, and we only use gluten free soy sauce.
They have an entirely gluten free salad bar, custom bowls, baked goods, as well as soups and stews. Try their perfectly seasoned, hearty Moroccan Stew with tomato, sweet potato, tofu steaks, brown and black rice, and lots of chunky veggies – just hold the breadstick! Angelo adds:
Our kitchen is actually gluten free. All of our baked goods are made in our bakery which is on the second floor of our Kensington Market location. We make our breads there so while we have wheat flour in our bakery we do our best to keep any gluten out of our cupcakes and other gluten free treats. We make almost all of our food from scratch in our kitchen and bakery at Kensington Market.
At Urban Herbivore, they take gluten free seriously and their menu was designed with gluten free top of mind, not an afterthought. Drop by any of their locations for fast, fresh and delicious gluten free fare.
If you are looking for an elegant and upscale option for gluten free and plant-based dining, look no further than Planta in Yorkville (1221 Bay Street). As Steven Salm, President of Chase Hospitality Group (owners of Planta) told us recently: “Our inspiration was to provide a full service, experience based restaurant”. As soon as you step inside Planta, you know that you are in for a special experience. The high ceilings, loads of natural light and elegant decor provide the perfect setting to enjoy some fabulous food.
Planta offers a wide selection of gluten free options. All of their pizzas are available with gluten free crust. Their salads are amazing! You have to try the Habibi ($17.25) with cauliflower couscous, split pea fritters, lentils, parsley, mint, coriander, currants, sumac, za’atar and tahini dressing. Their No Noodle Lasagne ($21.50) is also something special to experience, featuring butternut squash, eggplant and smoked vegan ricotta.
Going gluten free no longer means going without. We hope these exceptional restaurants with gluten free options expand your healthy horizons.
Check out Greenrock’s blog to learn about more ways to experience the best of what your neighbourhood has to offer. Greenrock Property Management is proud to be a part of the Yonge and Bloor community. For information on the Village Green Community, please see our website.