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Vegan food at its finest?

Arguably one of the best things about Toronto is the food. Anyone with a stomach knows that no matter what you’re craving you can find it in Toronto so it should come as no surprise that Toronto is host to some of the best vegan spots. Named one of the best cities for vegans around the world by CNN and Urbanvegan, there is no shortage of great vegan eateries for vegans and non-vegans alike to try.

I like to consider myself somewhat of a (vegan) foodie, so when I heard Yorkville had added an upscale vegan restaurant to their inventory of fine dining I just had to check it out. Planta opened its doors in September of last year and it has yet to lose the momentum that comes with new restaurant openings. Using only the finest ingredients sourced from ethical suppliers to create dishes that are more “than just taking animals off the plate”, it’s clear to see why reservations are necessary if you want to dine on these plant-based creations.

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Watermelon Poke
Photo by B. Bakshi    

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Avocado Cheesecake
Photo by B. Bakshi 

The experience starts as soon as you walk through the door. Decorated with big palm leaves on the walls, contemporary furniture draped in natural daylight during the day and dark wood framing throughout, Planta makes you feel like you’ve stepped out of the hustle and bustle of Toronto and into a tropical oasis. 

The light, bright and beautiful ambience is felt from the relaxing décor, to the friendly staff straight through to the food. With Chef David Lee’s visually pleasing dishes tempting you before you can even take a bite, it’s obvious why this is a popular spot for vegans and their curious carnivorous companions. Offering vegan variations for lunch, dinner and the ever-popular Sunday brunch, there’s something for everyone at Planta. 

My first experience at Planta was for their brunch, because who doesn’t love brunch right? With a menu boasting delicious options like Cauliflower Tots with truffled “parmesan”, Crab Cakes, Banana Pancakes and Land Lox pizza (yes like lox, lox but made with carrots instead of salmon) it’s hard to choose just one or two things to try. I managed to contain myself and ordered the Nachos and the Planta Burger. As I’m waiting for the nachos to come out my eyes wander to the tables around me and take in all the dishes I plan on ordering on my next brunch outing. The Nachos (house made and topped with fire pit beans, queso, pico de gallo and a chipotle crema) arrive looking like they’re just ready to be devoured, and devour I did. The fresh flavours and ingredients pair so well together your mouth won’t believe your brain when it tells it it’s nothing but plants you’re eating. Be aware these are only offered on the brunch menu.

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The Nachos
Photo by J. Lafleur                 

The black bean burger came out piled high with mushroom bacon, pickles, tomatillo and queso. The sheer size of the burger is so impressive it may give you second thought about being able to fit the whole thing in your mouth. Trust me…you’ll find a way. The burger is served with a crispy potato hash that is seasoned to the heavens with a crunchy, salty, mouth watering coating. This is the kind of burger that could turn even the biggest beef lover into a believer.

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Planta Burger
Photo by J. Lafleur

With a 4.4 star rating on Open Table, Planta is definitely one of those vegan restaurants you’ll want to try out if jumping on the #vegancraze is something you’ve been dying to tick off your food (bucket) list or if you’re just curious to find out what all the rage with plant-based foods is about.

By Josette Lafleur