Eat vegetarian at these Toronto's Little Italy restaurants

Ah, Italia! Little Italy may not be the ethnic enclave it used to be but the area’s legacy of good food happily remains intact. A satisfying vegetarian meal is possible any day of the week with these places at the top of the list.

Yam Chops

1
705 College St, Toronto, ON M6G 1C2

You’d expect a “butcher shop” to be jam-packed with all things animal but that’s not the case here. YamChops is entirely vegetarian and vegan, right down to the faux meat counter. It’s also a vegetarian and vegan grocery store with self-serve sections devoted to prepared foods and a product line of juice cleanses. And if you want to venture over to the other side of the counter, they offer a certificate program in recipe prep.

Kalendar Restaurant & Bistro

2
546 College St, Toronto, ON M6G 1B1

There’s no doubt that buying groceries and cooking at home is far less expensive than going out, but when a place whips up salads, sandwiches, quiche and burgers the way Kalendar does, the supermarket can wait. The bistro-style menu is loaded with vegetarian options for brunch, lunch, dinner and dessert. The black bean quinoa salad is a highlight.

Utopia Cafe Grill

3
586A College St, Toronto, ON M6G 1B3

It’s a cozy little café for family members of all ages and food preferences. In business since 1995, it’s kept ahead of dining trends and eagerly caters to vegetarians with meatless alternatives throughout the expansive menu. Make it your stop for brunch, lunch or dinner and accompany your meal with beer or wine from a worldwide list of choices.

Marinella Authentic Italian

4
640 College St, Toronto, ON M6G 1B4

The real Italian neighbourhood in Toronto may have migrated northwest of Little Italy but as long as places like Marinella remain, the identity will endure. Vegetarian starters include Giardiniera all Romana (pickled vegetables) and Friulano (sweet cow’s milk cheese). Follow with a meat-free main of wild mushroom risotto, gluten-free pasta or the Funghi (mushroom) pizza. Visitors rave about the dessert menu which changes regularly.

San Francesco Foods

5
10 Clinton St, Toronto, ON M6J 2N8

They haven’t moved from Clinton and College since they opened in 1954, but now they also showcase their food at the CNE, Royal Winter Fair and other local events. Vegetarians have plenty to choose from on the sandwich menu, with either mixed veggie or eggplant, topped with a variety of grilled options including zucchini, mushrooms, onions, jalapeños and more. You can’t beat the flavour or the price.

Woodlot Restaurant

6
293 Palmerston Ave, Toronto, ON M6J 2J3

This restaurant and bakery has an entire section of the menu set aside for vegetarian dishes, which include starters, pastas, mains and sides. Prices are about average for high-quality dining and just one taste will leave you feeling satisfied. With a focus on local ingredients, some of the best options to come out of the kitchen are the ember-grilled mushrooms, russet potato gnocchi and stone-ground polenta fries.

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