While we’re a lot better off being a vegetarian in the Tdot than in other places around Ontario, the struggle is still Very real. Below are the worst things about going Veg in Toronto!
1) You are surrounded by bacon.
Sure you might think that the very concept of Bacon Nation is disgusting but there’s at least a tiny part of you that wonders what it's like on the inside every time you’re waiting for the Spadina Streetcar.
2) You can only try one item per food truck, if you're lucky...
Food Trucks are awesome but unfortunately vegetarian food trucks are pretty rare. While there are some great trucks that hang around Vegan food festivals, you'll never really know the joys of Caplansky’s.
Photo cred - Pinterest
3) You're not always keen on sports bars.
Torontonians love to jump on the bandwagon when a team starts to do well and we vegetarians are no exception. GO JAYS! Unfortunately most sports bars are not vegetarian-friendly. If you're lucky you might find some mozzarella sticks at the local Firkin but if you're headed to The Loose Moose after game you'll just have to sustain yourself on sweet-potato fries.
4) You have to trek to the West End for any specialty products.
While the never ending war between the west and the east end continues, we vegetarians have to admit that all the best veggie stores are in the west end.... Someone please grab me some YAM Chops' Caesar Salad dressing?
5) You have to trek to the East End for all the best restaurants.
The east end is where you will find vegetarian restaurants with items on the menu that do not sound like Hippies just discovered tofu. Scarborough is full of hidden gems including a vegetarian wings place and Lotus Pond, the best veggie Dim Sum on the planet but convincing people to go to those places is like asking a guy on Tinder for a commitment. It’s pretty damn rare.
6) Your date nights can get a little repetitive.
Every guy wants to take you to Fresh on your first date. News flash: it’s not trendy anymore but you can appreciate the time it took them to Google "Toronto Vegetarian Restaurant".
7) You love the idea of the Hypocrite Burger.
It's a well known fact that Burger's Priest has some of the best burgers in the GTA, especially if you order from its secret menu. Tons of snarky and hipster vegetarians around the city struggle with the urge to buy The Hypocrite burger, a veggie burger with real bacon on top.
Photo cred - Pinterest
8) You struggle with campus food.
Why is it that whenever you're pulling an allnighter all the cheap and late night eats are packed full of meat? If you're lucky you might find a stale cheese sandwich in the main dining hall but I wouldn't get your hopes up. It's too bad all the good food is at Guelph.
9) Sometimes you have to deal with a people who are a little...extreme.
A lot of borderline cults capitalize on vegetarianism. If you do find a good restaurant in the core of the city that isn’t Fresh you probably have to endure some strange occultism. Don’t worry, although Loving Hut comes on rather strong, the food really is worth it.
10) Everyone else is a trendsetter.
Toronto is full of trend setters and followers and because of this almost everyone in the city will tell you about that time they tried being a vegetarian for a while. For those of you that do eat meat, we've heard it all and we' don't care. You do you.
11) Everyone else is a trend-follower and face it, part of you wants to be one too.
Between Toronto's huge foodie-culture and its collection of trend-followers, each month there's a new restaurant that every Torontonian HAS TO TRY. Most of them are not vegetarian but the Lockhart has some super skewers.
12) You can't afford a salad
If you do make it to Fresh without a date, good luck paying for this month's rent. Places like Rawlicious or Kupfert and Kim, have amazing options but there's a reason they are found in the wealthier parts of the 6ix.
Photo cred - Loadinng
13) You just left the club and you're starving!
The worst thing about being a vegetarian in the Tdot is probably right after a good night out at The Addison's or even TJ’s. It seems like all of the corners in the Entertainment District have a hotdog stand or cheap shawarmas. There’s nothing for you there (especially when it’s so late at night they don’t even care about leaving a part of the grill meat free).
14) When you leave Toronto.
The worst thing about being a vegetarian in the Tdot is having to leave the Tdot. For all it's struggles, Toronto is home to a lot of great vegetarian and vegan restaurants. Traveling the world is exciting but realizing how hard it is to get vegetarian poutine or a solid but also fake 'stake' salad will always make you appreciate what we have here in Toronto.