Eating Vegan in the Forest City

Happy summer!

The season of BBQ’s, patios, and sunshine is officially upon us. To celebrate, we’ve put together the ultimate Summer Bucket List of vegan places to eat in the London area. We’re sure that there’s some places on this list that you’ve never heard of and that you’ll be drooling after looking at the amazing photos these companies have been posting on Insta.

Whether you’re going on a date, looking to take out the whole family, or just want to grab a quick bite, London has a plant-based food destination for you!

London Restaurants

Copper Branch

Five years after opening its first ever location in Montreal in 2014, this Canadian vegan eatery made its way to southwestern Ontario, opening its doors in the Forest City this past February. With a cozy feel and copper accents all around, this casual dining experience offers a variety of nutritious dishes from all-day breakfast, to salads and sandwiches, and burgers and power bowls…and of course dessert!

Copper Branch strives to serve their community “quality, whole foods” and aims to “offer the world real food as fast-food for a change.”

Try one of their signature dishes like the Mushroom Galaxy Burger or Aristotle Bowl, downtown at 660 Richmond Street.


Globally Local

On a mission to veganize the fast food world, Globally Local creates iconic fast-food made entirely with PLANTS! They started with Canada’s first all vegan fast food restaurant, then with Canada’s first all vegan drive thru, they are now looking to add 10 new locations across Ontario!

They offer all your fast-food favourites like The Famous Burger (Big Mac); Vopper (whopper) ; Faconator (Baconator) , Fries Supremacy (Fries Supreme) ,and Crispy ChickUn (Crispy Chicken), plus some new, soon-to-be classics such as the Maple Crunch (with ham, bacUn or sausage), ChickUn Pretenders, and the Preposterous Burger, just to name a few. They also serve a variety of delectable desserts.
Oh and did we mention breakfast is served all day—and night—long?!

Find them at TWO locations: downtown at 252 Dundas Street and in the east end at 1141 Highbury Avenue (at Cheapside Street).


Plant Matter Kitchen, Plant Matter Cafe, Plant Matter Bistro

Plant Matter Kitchen threw open its doors in early 2016 and has been a force to be reckoned with ever since. This beloved Wortley Village restaurant serves up breakfast, dinner and lunch, with organic, locally sourced, whole foods that are not processed, have no additives, and are 100% vegan!

With weekend doughnuts, daily dinner features, specialty drinks, and BRUNCH, there’s really nothing you can’t find at Plant Matter Kitchen that won’t leave you drooling for more.

The Plant Matter Family also hosts monthly charity dinners for like-minded organizations in our community. (See blog post here)

It wasn’t long before a second restaurant made its way into the city. From the innovative people who brought us PMK came Plant Matter Bistro. The Bistro offers a sophisticated fine-dining experience, with local, organic, plant-based ingredients. It is everything we love about Plant Matter Kitchen, just with a little more fancy.  

They host weekly Friday date nights, as well as special event meals for holidays such as New Year’s and Mother’s Day, and offer take home holiday meals or meal kits for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter.

Oh and did we mention they have a WEEKLY RAVIOLI FEATURE: drool 

Get your fix of high-end dining for lunch and dinner in the heart of downtown London at 244 Dundas Street.

Then the next thing we knew, in 2018, The Ground Up Cafe teamed up with The Plant Matter family to create Plant Matter Cafe. This Richmond Street  location carries the values of Plant Matter, but focuses on breakfast, soups, wraps, salads, pizza and baked goods. They also serve coffee, wine, beer and some AMAZING house-mixed cocktails. 

There are almost daily specials, and you can even pick up some tempeh and locally sourced vegan cheese.

The Cafe is closed Monday, and opens as early as 8am Tuesday to Friday, at 9am on Saturday, and at 11am on Sunday.


Curley Brewing Co.

Beer enthusiasts look no further! Curley Brewing Co. is London’s first all vegan CRAFT BEER Cafe. This nano brewery located at 1634 Hyde Park Road is dedicated to creating unique, high quality, small batch brews along with baked goods made daily in-house and other delicious vegan eats as well as gluten-free options.

At Curley’s you can grab everything from a charcuterie board to jalapeno popper grilled cheese and pair it with some craft beer, house brewed kombucha or a pour-over coffee.

Live music events are held at the cafe about once a month, and they often carry ready-to-bake/BBQ vegan pizza from Zen’Za Pizzeria as well as Beyond Meat products.


Boombox Bakeshop

This vegan bakery full of sweet treats opened its doors in 2014. While known for their vegan cupcakes of all varieties, did you also know that Boombox offers an array of other delicious goodies? From delectable cookies to scrumptious brownies and ooey-gooey rice krispies, you’ll have trouble deciding which one not to try!

This veg-friendly bakery offers gluten free vegan goods, creates one-of-a-kind specialty cakes, serves locally roasted coffee and tea from local blenders, and also displays art created by local artists. It is a real community effort.

To meet growing consumer needs, in mid-2017, The Boombox Bakeshop moved to a larger location at 520 Adelaide Street North. At this quirky, unique, music-themed spot, you’re invited to come in for a quick bite, meet with clients, hang out with friends, or spend the day working on your personal projects. 

You can grab a coffee or tea and relax while playing board games or reading a book. It’s not just a place to pick up London’s #1 vegan sweets, but a space for the community to come together. 


V Food Spot

Comfort food goes vegan at this East London spot! Originally opening their doors in December 2017 in downtown London, V Food Spot relocated to 547 Hamilton Road, in collaboration with the Neighbourhood Laundromat Cafe to satisfy all your vegan and laundry needs. 

Although the space may seem tiny, the food has big flavour. You can get a variety of veganized comfort food classics like poutine, pierogies, and mac and cheese.

Be sure to follow them on social media to find out about specials like the shawarma fries, which are to die for!

Oh and we forget to mention they specialize in doughnuts! These delectable treats are made in house daily and will leave you craving more.


What’s Up Buttercup Bakery

What’s Up Buttercup is a new 100% vegan cupcake business getting its start in London! Upon noticing that finding a vegan snack around London can sometimes be a hit or miss situation, the owner became motivated to consistently supply London with vegan treats so that people can confidently go out knowing that they’ll find something delectable to indulge in. She is a self-taught baker who makes her own peanut butter cups, hazelnut chocolate ganache, and salted caramel. Customers can get cupcakes at Z’Energy day café / Zen’Za Pizzeria or they can order directly from What’s Up Buttercup via email/social media DM. They do not yet have a storefront, but customers can pickup or can pay a small fee and have them delivered (depending on the location). They are currently using Zen’Za’s commercial kitchen and are looking at getting a bigger kitchen to mass-produce and sell to more locations. We highly suggest trying their chocolate peanut butter cupcakes!

 

Yoda’s Kitchen

Yoda’s Kitchen is back, better than ever! There’s not only private catering services, but also a delivery service of meals and snacks called Yoda’s Little Green Food Co. Then there’s monthly pop-up restaurant events, and in-home cooking classes. For chef Yoda, cooking is a labour of love, and she’s sharing that love with the London community. Yoda grew up in Thorndale and has been making her mark on the London food scene for almost her entire adult life. We’d let Yoda cook for us any day!


Sacred Earth Vegan Market (Covent Garden Marketplace)

This vegan Market is open 7 days a week in the Covent Garden Market in the heart of downtown London. Your one-stop shop for everything vegan, Sacred Earth offers freshly made vegan wraps and an assortment of vegan cheese: Fauxmagerie Zengarry, Sheese Cheese, Main Vegan Deli and VegNature.

Also available are fresh fruits and veggies, legumes, and vegan sweets like oat squares and lemon loaf.


Kosuma (Western Fair District)

Kosuma Foods was created when one woman was trying to find something that met her family’s various dietary needs and was also portable, convenient, and nutritious. Not able to find anything she felt fit the bill, Judy Germaud started experimenting.

Her efforts have resulted in 9 different kinds of bars using only high quality ingredients with no artificial preservatives or genetically modified organisms.

Kosuma boasts of products that are vegan, gluten-free, diabetic-friendly, and heart healthy.

You can find these delicious bars at The Market at the Western Fair District, as well as at multiple locations in London (http://www.kosuma.com/where-to-buy) and the surrounding area, reaching as far as Hamilton and the GTA.


Nuts for Cheese

This London-based vegan cheese company has been exploding!
What started as one woman experimenting with creating 100% dairy-free vegan cheese has now led to the company providing vegan cheese to stores all across the country!

The nut cheese brand started small, selling their cheese wedges at The Market at the Western Fair District and attending as many VegFests as possible to promote their delectable product.

The cheeses come in a variety of flavours including Smoky Artichoke and Herb, Un-brie-lievable, meltable, shreddable, sliceable, and spreadable. 

You can find this London, Ontario brand in a number of big brand stores like Farm Boy, Whole Foods, Goodness Me!, Sobey’s, and Nature’s Emporium.


Outside of London

Great Veggie Bites

  • A family owned business offering a variety of prepared vegan items.

  • There is a storefront location in Mt. Brydges, retail partners in London and the surrounding area, and a delivery service in Southern Ontario.

  • We suggest trying: Shepherd’s Pie

Main Vegan Deli

  • A vegan cheese company from Glencoe, ON offering a variety of cashew and hemp cheeses.

  • We suggest trying: Queso Dip

Hearty Hooligan

  • A punk rock store on Ottawa St. in Hamilton offering custom cakes and cupcakes, as well as a variety of other meals and desserts.

  • We suggest trying: Punkaroos

Boon Burger

  • Canada’s first all-vegan burger cafe with many locations in Ontario, including Oakville, Burlington, and Hamilton, and a location in Winnipeg.

  • We suggest trying: Chili Cheeze Fries

Kelly’s Bakeshop

  • A mother & daughter run business in downtown Burlington, ON offering an array of irresistible desserts.

  • We suggest trying: The World Peace Cookie

Lick the Whisk

  • A downtown Hamilton operation whose mission is to make a cozy spot to enjoy house made vegan goodies.

  • We suggest trying: any flavour of their house-made ice cream

Dar Nabati

  • Located in Oakville, their mission is to make everyday staples with responsibly sourced ingredients.

  • We suggest trying: Eggplant Parm + Fettuccini

Carrots n’ Dates

  • A cozy cafe with locations in Tecumseh and Windsor, specializing in vegan dishes that are sourced locally and GMO free whenever possible.

  • We suggest trying: Caesar Salad

Coven

  • Located in Hamilton & Kitchener, Coven offers hard to find and international vegan products.

  • They also have a line of house made goods.

  • We suggest trying: Challah (available on Fridays) and Megg Salad

Greens Organic Cafe

  • Sarnia’s whole food vegan restaurant wants to show you how good conscientious cuisine can be.

  • We suggest trying: any smoothie bowl


What are you waiting for? Get out and start nourishing your body with sunshine and all of the plant-based goodness that the Forest City and surrounding cities have to offer!

Our favourite part of making this blog post was that there was too many vegan establishments for us to list! How amazing is that!? Did we miss any of your favourites? Show them some love in the comment section below.