Inside Scoop: The best healthy restaurants Toronto has to offer for any diet preference and taste.
We’ve been on the hunt for the top digs in Toronto that promote healthy-ish eating. Now, we love food, and we aren’t the kind of gals who would tell you to eat anything boring or tasteless, but it’s always refreshing to get the low down on some lighter, trendy fare.
So, here’s to one of our first round ups. We have gathered 8 nutrition and wellness experts (whom we adore), and asked them to let us in on the best of the best healthy restaurants in Toronto. If you live in Toronto, or The Greater Toronto Area (or if you plan on visiting- which you definitely should!), then this one is for you.
Eat good. Feel good. Do good.
Who doesn’t love California? Good weather, good people, good vibes. Most of all, though, GOOD FOOD! I think it’s the only place in the world where the average population cares as much about healthy food (and is willing to pay the price) as I do…and that’s saying something.
Thankfully, for all of us Torontonian folks, we can still embrace in a little piece of the Cali magic, by visiting Calii Love! Walking into one of their humble (yet totally poppin’) abodes (King St., Yorkville, and The Path), and you’re instantly transported into the bliss of Californ-i-ay living! Best of all, they’ve got a menu to cater to however you’re feeling – literally: charged, dream, immortal – you name it!
From smoothie bowls (made with 100% unsweetened acai!), to custom poke bowls (sustainably-farmed fish only) and so much more. The diligence these folks have put into their ingredients selection is seriously impressive. Blue majik, ashwagandha, and even fresh (seriously, they harvest them right in-front of you) sprouted micro-greens to top your already heavenly bowl of nourishing goodness.
If that wasn’t enough to make you #bowlsohard, they’ve even started rolling out an epic Mindful Day Series – inviting wellness experts to lead the community through workshops and events to foster the beautiful holistic health community they are manifesting.
Kiki Athanassoulias is a holistic health advocate and passionately spreads her enthusiasm & knowledge for all things superfoods, superherbs, and supercharged – crystals. She is the founder of Mindfully Edible, a resource for learning how to consciously upgrade your life through recipes, readings, videos, as well as indulgently fabulous (yet educational) retreats. Kiki is also Director of Community at Meal Garden, a health-focused digital recipe app, & she is a fellow in Venture for Canada, a not-for-profit with the mission of fostering entrepreneurship. Follow Kiki on Instagram and Facebook.
MERRY BERRY CAFÉ & BISTRO
A little-hidden gem in Cabbagetown.
If the name of this place isn’t adorable enough for ya, wait until you see their cute décor and chill private patio. You could spend forever just looking at all the charming design details and bright happy colours.
Merry Berry is a perfect quintessential brunch spot, but they do serve dinner too (Thursdays through Saturdays only). There’s a little bit of something for everyone, so if you’re a flexitarian or dining with someone who has totally different tastes in food than you, this might be your new hot spot. There are some meat options, but also tons of veggie and vegan options.
I personally LOVE this place because of its focus on healthy ingredients that I don’t have to worry about causing acne breakouts. The plethora of veggies, fruits and other foods bursting with skin friendly nutrients like sprouts, quinoa, fish, herbs, and spices.
They’ve got some apps, a couple of burgers, salads and a “street food” section where you can choose from six bread options (including a gluten-free as well as a lettuce alternative) to pair with an international “street food” dish (from Mexico City, Beirut, Bamako, Athens or New Orleans).
If you have a hard time choosing from all the tasty options, try using Merry Berry’s “Mood Inspired Menu” – they’ve categorized most of the menu items based on your mood!
Jodi is a Holistic Nutritionist from Date With Your Plate, who helps those with acne to clear up their skin so they can feel confident, beautiful and just plain wonderful. Her clear skin solutions are natural, easy to incorporate into your everyday life and focus on restoring nutritional imbalances to regain and maintain optimal skin health. The holistic part means that she considers not only food and diet, but also your lifestyle, mindset and overall wellbeing as it relates to acne. Stop by Date With Your Plate and meet Jodi! Increase your self-confidence and love your skin! And check out the blog, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter for tons of natural skin care tips & tricks. Check out her free downloadable guide “10 Best Foods to Clear Your Skin”.
THRIVE ORGANIC KITCHEN & CAFE
Don’t just survive – Thrive!!!
Thrive Organic is my favourite GTA spot for healthy dining! Not only do they include many superfoods in their meals, but they also practice healthy cooking methods, no frying! On this occasion, I joined my sisters on a Sunday, which meant brunch menu items were included!!!
My favourite brunch item is the chocolate-almond pancakes. These decadent pancakes are made with quinoa flour so perfect for those of you that may be gluten intolerant. The chocolate sauce is made with raw cacao and coconut oil. In keeping with their no fry policy, it is imperative to keep the griddle at just the right temperature to create the perfect pancake.
We also sampled the Fresca Pizza, a close second for me. Made with a sprouted grain crust, a coconut garlic sauce, plenty of delicious vegetables and a chipotle cashew cream topping. Bursting with flavour. Definitely, a must try.
Lucia is a graduate from the University of Western Ontario, Canada with a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry, BSc. After spending many years working in the corporate world, she began to notice how stress, lifestyle, and diet affected the wellbeing of herself and those around her. With her scientific background, she had a natural curiosity to learn how those factors affected our wellbeing and what we can do about it. This brought her to CSNN and her journey to Simply Healthy Living began. Check out her Blog here and follow her on Facebook. Join her Yoga & Wellness Retreat in Isla Mujeres, Mexico (February 24 – March 3, 2018).
KUPFERT & KIM
If you have a food restriction or are simply craving a delicious and satisfying healthy meal, pop by Kupfert & Kim and breathe a sigh of relief. Wheatless and meatless, K&K’s six Toronto locations cater to the busy grab-and-go downtown crowd.
The menu is diverse (but not overwhelming) and consists of a variety of nutritionally balanced meals – robust salads, colourful bowls and hearty soups. Minimally processed food made with as much local organic ingredients as possible; veggies are fresh, dressings are zesty, and almost everything is prepared in-house. Breakfast is available all day with gluten-free waffles and house-made granola. Rounding out the menu are smoothies and smoothie bowls, espresso, tea, turmeric lattes and bottled juices.
My favourite dish is the K&K Paleo which includes 3 baked hemp and sunflower seed balls (with a horseradish chimichurri) and served with roasted yam, fresh greens and veggies, sauerkraut, fennel slaw and sprouts. Lemon tahini dressing (served on the side) brings it all together. The dish is both satisfying and easy to digest, making it a perfect mid-day meal. The detail that goes into creating the nutritional profile of every K&K dish makes me a very happy holistic nutritionist. As a food lover, K&K delivers delicious meals that will satisfy even your non-restrictive lunch dates.
Gillian Ferrier, R.H.N. specializes in a simplified approach to healthy eating for busy professionals, creatives, and freelancers. With a focus on delicious, whole and sustainable foods, Gillian empowers her clients to make practical nutrition choices that match their unique lifestyle and health goals. A graduate of Concordia University and the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition, Gillian coaches clients online and at the MISFITSTUDIO Wellness Collective in Toronto. Check out her website here, and follow her on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
My first experience with Impact Kitchen was at the 2016 Wellness Business Summit, where they were serving up bone broth and raw chocolate chip cookies. It might have actually been my first taste of real bone broth too! I remember how energized I felt drinking the bone broth (and the cookie was delicious) so the next morning of the conference, I planned the bone broth and raw cookie as my breakfast and opted out of having my usual coffee.
Co-founder Josh Broun was also part of the Health Expert Panel and I was really blown away by his business ethics and story and made it a point of visiting Impact Kitchen the next time I was in the city.
I love the freshness and quality of the ingredients and that the menu items are well-designed for athletes. For anyone with specific macro goals, it’s so easy to put together a delicious meal that they can actually eat and enjoy. Plus, they’re entirely gluten free with paleo and vegan options. I’ve run into a few NHL players at Impact Kitchen, which has also been a neat experience.
Some of my favourite menu items include: Hero Power Bowl, bone broth, raw chocolate chip cookie, and golden turmeric latte.
When someone asks me where they should eat, my first best healthy restaurant in Toronto recommendation is always Impact Kitchen.
Living food, drink and dessert options that satisfy all palettes.
Raw Aura Restaurant in Port Credit is a haven for the ultimate health foodie and those with dietary restrictions. Their ingredients are fresh, locally sourced, organic, gluten-free, dairy-free, raw (not heated above 43C/110F), vegan and they never use refined sugar. Everything is made from scratch and they also have nut-free options! What more could a nutritionist and yogi like myself ask for?
The décor has a chill, yet upscale vibe. What I love is that I can actually see the chefs making everything fresh right in front of me! The owners are amazing and truly care about the entire process from choosing raw ingredients to the final product of each dish.
Their menu consists of a variety of original dishes, bursting with freshness and flavour. My favourite item on the menu is the Pad Thai Noodles. This was my first introduction to zucchini noodles and I was NOT disappointed. The tamarind sauce is amazing, and the shredded carrots, green onions, and spiced almond tie the dish together perfectly.
Now once you’ve indulged in the goodness of a raw vegan meal, you HAVE to try their rich desserts. My personal favourites are the Chocolate Avocado and Chocolate Mint Ganache. Their smoothies and juices are delicious (and organic!!) and they also carry organic wines, beers, and tea. The kale chips, ravioli, and living bread are also note-worthy items.
Christina Rosso is a Yoga Instructor, Holistic Nutritionist, and Bio-Energetic Practitioner currently travelling the world. She specializes in helping her clients create a positive, healthy and harmonious lifestyle. As a Holistic Wellness Consultant, she understands that the foundation of health begins with homeostasis and energetic balance of mind, body, and spirit. Christina believes that with the proper guidance we can all achieve optimal health. Check out her website, and follow her on Instagram and Facebook.
And, the last 3 spots have been chosen by us at Naughty Nutrition…
Quality is at the heart of everything we do.
It’s no surprise that Tabule made our list for the best healthy restaurants Toronto edition, we’ve practically set up an office there! If you’re looking to go out for a healthy-ish meal, but still feel like you had a naughty one, Tabule is your place. Inspired by Middle Eastern cuisine, almost everything on their menu is a must try, not just the hummus (btw, we’re hummus fanatics, just check out this homemade Spinach and Artichoke Hummus).
Tabule has 3 locations in Toronto, each with their own unique Middle Eastern inspired design. Their latest Souk Tabule offers ‘fast casual’ meals and healthy sharing plates and dips that remind us of authentic Beirut street food with a modern twist. The beet mutable and muhammara (roasted red peppers & walnuts with pomegranate molasses & olive oil) are a must try. They also have a market offering Middle Eastern teas, extra virgin olive oil, za’atar, sauces and preserves.
Now, if you want to try a truly traditional breakfast at the Souk, you can go for Shakshuka (eggs with a roasted tomato/red pepper sauce), or be extra naughty and grab yourself a Saj Pita with melted akaawi cheese (Lebanese soft unripened cheese) or za’atar (dried thyme, oregano, sumac, sesame seeds & olive oil). This breakfast definitely reminds us of after party college nights and we love to grab one once in a while.
Tabule (especially on Queen) has a lovely atmosphere and is perfect for an evening out or even a celebration. They offer local beer, organic wine, and exotic cocktails. The best part is that there’s something for everyone!
IQ FOOD CO.
Seasonal kitchen, sustainably sourced.
Out of all the healthy foodie places in the city, IQ Food is probably our favourite. The guys at IQ Food focus on fresh, whole and locally sourced ingredients by partnering with local farms and producers. You can even find a list of all their local suppliers on their website. Their menu changes seasonally, which means that you can never get bored eating there (although we do miss some old faves!).
The thing we love most about this place is that it can satisfy our naughty taste buds. While they do have many vegan and vegetarian options and most of what’s on the menu is gluten-free, there’s also the good stuff: the cheese (feta, goat, and cheddar – all local), the toast, and hearty grains like farro.
And of course, you absolutely cannot miss their delicious desserts which are mostly made with our favourite- spelt flour (the sweet potato brownie, crack cup and ginger molasses cookie are a must try).
BONUS: you can download IQ Food’s full ingredient list and nutritional data on their website here as well as get some pro tips if you’re looking to keep things on the lighter side.
Entirely good for you.
When we recently paid a visit to this little hidden gem on Dundas West, we had to add it to our list of faves. Not only is the food seriously gooood, it’s also crafted with functional, healing ingredients in mind. Yes, everything is vegan, and don’t we all need to eat more vegetables? It’s the perfect place to grab a veggie-packed lunch or get it delivered anywhere in the city through UberEats or Good Foot, a non-for-profit delivery service employing people with disabilities. In addition, people with allergies and sensitivities can benefit from the fact that everything’s gluten-free and nut-free.
All menu items are made in-house from scratch with organic and fresh ingredients, from the sprouted mung beans, to soaking/cooking the chickpeas and their heavenly dressings that make even the most boring vegetables taste absolutely delicious. The Goods menu offers breakfast, smoothies, salad bowls, warming soups and bottled dressings and sauces. And forget juice cleanses, you know we don’t believe in them, so we were so excited to learn about the Goods Mindful Meal Package– a realistic and healthier alternative to a traditional cleanse or juice fast. You get one day’s worth of organic healing, whole foods to nourish the body including a ginger shot, breakfast bars, a green smoothie, a cacao/chia smoothie, 2 salad bowls, 1 soup and some popcorn. YUM!
In the words of Lisa Labute, Founder of The Goods “Food is at the root of everything. We build relationships, cultures and communities around it. The food we have access to directly affects the way we live. If we have access to little or no food, we starve. If we have access to nourishing whole food, we thrive. If we only have access to processed fake food, we wither.”
It’s us gals at The Naughty Nutritionists, Jenni & Mimi, and we are set out to get you to lose weight by ditching all those new funky diet trends and by eating MORE delicious foods! Yep, you read that right, we want you to eat more food to lose weight. And naughty ol’ us wants you to eat your FAVOURITE foods. We’re talking pizza, pasta, burgers, tacos, chocolate, ice cream, wine… The catch is that everything you desire, can be made healthier, and that’s where we come in. We will teach you how to balance it all properly, how to substitute your favourite things for much healthier ingredients, and how to enjoy life without ever having to think about calorie counting or ditching carbs again. Because who wants to live without pasta and chocolate? You can follow us on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and Pinterest.