Visiting Toronto’s Raw Restaurants

On Thursday I tasked myself with the job of dropping off Rawstock Niagara postcards and posters to Toronto’s raw restaurants. Well if this is work, I’m sure that everybody would want the job! Eating and drinking my way across the city, I made a fun and delicious little adventure out of it and I look forward to repeating the pilgrimage again soon.

Starting in the East End, my day began at Belmonte Raw. This is the newest of Toronto’s raw vegan restaurants. I picked the perfect blisteringly hot day to kick things off with a mint watermelon juice which I enjoyed while chatting with the staff about our plans for Rawstock this summer. I had also intended to grab something green like a nice kale salad to get things rolling for the day, but once I saw the beautiful little chocolate thimbles, all I could think of was our friend Marlie Centawer’s of Barefoot and Frolicking’s blog post about Belmonte Raw and what she said about their chocolate. “Without a doubt, this was the most sumptuous, whipped raw cacoa experience I have ever had,” wrote Marlie, and she’s absolutely right. I’m not sure how she replicates that milk chocolate creaminess but it’s superb. Thursday’s option was only partially raw since the flavour was peanut butter with chocolate, but it was worth every bit of the indulgence.

Next I zipped over to St. Lawrence Market on the streetcar for a visit to Cruda Cafe.
If you haven’t been to Cruda, it’s conveniently located downstairs just past a great organic produce vendor and near a little seating area. This is a great go-to spot for “fast food” style raw.

I like that Cruda is advertising a 30-Day Raw Challenge because I’m planning to do 30 days completely high raw in August myself in honour of Rawstock.

The people at Cruda were really nice and I picked up a bag of raw enchilada wraps to take home with me. I’ve really been enjoying these with my two savoury raw nut butters the past few days. They’re really yummy with Curry Cashew butter and Moroccan Almond butter and great when you’re in a hurry. I would definitely pick these up again.

Ok, hop back on the subway and head North for stop #3 – Live Organic Food Bar! Oh Live, how do I love thee… I’m quite a dessert hog when it comes to raw vegan treats but with Live there are just so many delicious savoury creations to choose from. I remember when
I first tried their raw ravioli – it really blew my mind. But this time I was in the mood to relive some of the sushi bliss that I experienced at the Toronto Raw Vegan Festival a few weeks ago.  And Live didn’t disappoint in the least! The sushi was A-MAZING. So full of flavour with a fantastic texture and I loved the sauce and fresh pickled ginger. Yowza, that was yummy! After gobbling down this delectable appetizer, I had a little meeting with Jennifer who is so lovely. She expressed some interest in swing dancing so maybe I’ll get her out on the dance floor sometime.

No rest for the raw-loving wicked! Back on the subway and heading West to Bloor St. West for the larger of Rawlicious‘ two Toronto locations. Rawlicious is very close to my heart. It was at their original junction location that I experienced my first completely raw meal, shared with my father, and it was really life changing! Since then, I’ve been to their Yorkville location dozens of times and I’ve enjoyed this new location a couple of times too.

Quite recently opened – in the late fall I think? – the biggest of all the restaurants in the GTA.  The new spot is contemporary with airy high ceilings and tons of space. They even have live music on Friday and Saturday nights.

By this point I was getting pretty full, and overheated from all of my traveling around the city. I had a nice to chat with the staff picked up a refreshing Lean Green fresh juice to take for a little stroll along Bloor before getting back on the subway to hit the last of my stops, Rawlicious Yorkville.

Rawlicious Yorkville, my home away from home. My Toronto dance studio is right across the street so I visit these guys pretty often. The restaurant is small but stylish with a great vibe, the staff is friendly and welcoming, and the menu offers the perfect selection of beverages, appetizers, snacks, meals or desserts.

That said, I’ve been trying to eat out less often so I hadn’t been since they kicked off the summer menu. And what does that summer menu have on it but the mind blowingly delicious strawberry tart that I enjoyed so much last summer! Well, I was just so full and it was getting to be near time for my evening dance classes so I made the executive decision to get one strawberry tart to go as a treat for after my dance classes. Here’s a photo of the tart wrapped to go, and also a photo of the original tart that I remember so very well from last summer.

Many Rawstock Niagara postcards were dropped off, adventures were had, raw foods were sampled. It was a perfect adventure. So who’s in with me next time?

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2 thoughts on “Visiting Toronto’s Raw Restaurants

    • Hey! I have such fond memories of my first ever raw meal with you as our lovely waitress! Back at the Junction location! What a pleasure it is to see you here. I’ve gone pretty raw crazy since then and you were there when it all started. Thank you for being part of that experience. I have a little raw food business and everything now, http://www.healthnutrawfoods.com – I originally made non-raw almond and other nut butters but now it’s evolved. I’d love to send you something to try, on the house, in thanks for you being part of my journey. XO

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