You could not have picked a better city if you’re looking for vegan and vegetarian fare in Montreal. Every neighborhood, it seems, has it’s cult favourites, it’s undiscovered gems, and it’s well-known veggie hotspots. Here are a few you should definitely check out:
Aux Vivres: On Saint-Laurent Boulevard between the Plateau and Mile End neighborhoods you’ll find this mecca to all things vegan, fresh, local and innovative. There’s a serious cult following for the ‘coconut bacon’, which you should not miss (get it in the BLT), as well as the famed ‘Dragon Bowl’, a bowl of organic brown rice topped with piles of fresh vegetables: spiraled beets, shredded carrots, chopped lettuce, two kinds of sprouts, and daikon radish, sprinkled with gomashio (unhulled black and white sesame seeds and salt) and topped with the miraculous Dragon Bowl Sauce. Just do it.
Crudessence: This spot is all about “living” or raw food, so expect tons of healthful salads, sandwiches, smoothies and burritos. If you do need something warm and comforting, the soups are a winner, and if you’re just looking for a sweet vegan bite and a tea, the faux-cheesecake is a favourite.
Chuchai: If you never thought you could give up meat – or you’re traveling with someone like this – you have got to check out Chuchai. Based mainly on a thai theme, this place serves the most convincing fake meat in town – down to tiny pink “shrimp” and impressive setzuan “chicken” – in a sophisticated atmosphere that would be great for a date. Go for the fried banana and ince cream dessert. Guilt-free and delicious.
Lola Rosa: With 2 locations in Montreal, Lola Rossa is a favourite with vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike – probably thanks to the fact that they eschew sprouts and salads in favour of warm, comforting dishes like spicy bean chili, nachos, lasagna, and a killer veggie poutine. Perfect for a long evening meal on a cold winter’s night.