a crafty vegan's Guide to the Junction
Since i've done some posts about other cities, i thought it was about time i did one about my own neighbourhood, especially because i haven't (and won't be anytime soon) gone anywhere as of late. When we moved here 1 1/2 years ago, we didn't realize just how lucky we were to move into this neighbourhood. West of most of the city core of Toronto, and in its own little pocket, the Junction has both some amazing history as well as current specialness. It is still a mix of what has remained and things that are new and slowly gentrifying the area. A good mix i think, especially as a new parent - wow have my needs changed!
There are many great articles already about my 'hood, including one from the New York Times (well, not the best more up-to-date info, but i guess we've 'made it' now!) so i'll keep my post to what i love and find great for us vegans. Now that i stroll around with baby Clem a lot, we'll falling in love with other parts of our area too.
Here's a selection of yummy places to eat and some other treats while here.
1) Cool Hand of a Girl - an amazing lunch and brunch spot that has one officially vegan item - the Braised Tofu Sandwich. All their sandwiches are made with a vegan mayo and the soups are vegan too. But this 'wich is what i come back for so much - one of the best i've ever had. Simple but delectable. The resto is also just an awesome spot to hang out and i love that it's my local brunch spot!
2) The Beet - another great treasure with really health-conscious food. Not all vegan but most vegetarian and organic, local fare. The Tofu Burger is the best i've ever had. Anywhere. Nuff said.
3) Delight - a fair trade, organic chocolatier, made right on the premises. They have some amazing dark chocolate barks, about 3 vegan truffles (the coconut one is divine), and make sorbet while in season. I had the raspberry one recently - my fave sorbet - and it was like eating fresh raspberries that had melted in my mouth - very rich for sorbet.
4) Crema Coffee - i love a Good coffee place, one that is gourmet and yes, trendy. But when good coffee is made, i love it even more that it's also in my nabe and a lovely walk for us. Serving me direct trade coffee made into a decaf soy latte: this girl is in heaven. They usually have some vegan cookies or cupcakes too.
5) Rawlicious - vegan, raw food goodness.
6) Curry Twist and Indian Kiss - while there are other good restos too in the area that aren't as vegan friendly, i had to at least mention these 2 great Indian restos. Curry Twist has an amazing knack for making their dishes with the freshest spices and have a good selection of veggie dishes (though i'm not sure what are ghee free) and Indian Kiss is a take-out only spot with the freshest dishes made to order.
While you're here:
7) Smash -the coolest decor store with amazing finds like vintage Italian wallpaper. Like mine. As well as cool chairs, tables, tiles, desks....
8) Little Bird Fly - now that i'm a mom, i have to mention this spot. A new store that sells used kids clothing, but really good stuff at amazing prices
9) Pandemonium - a great used book store with a great selection of records too, just ask my honey!
10) Sweet Potato -our local organic grocery store with a great selection of all the 'health food' goodies we rely on. They don't sell supplements or bulk though but another new store just opened up that does, though i can' remember the name.
If you're here after dark:
11) Come to Margret - the coolest, hippest bar i know. The decor is pretty special with funky art and non-art on the walls. They host movie nights and theme nights - oh so fun! I feel cool whenever i go and can't wait to go again, when Clem isn't attached to me as much.
Other great places to go include Post and Bean (another great home decor spot if you're looking for doors or neat artifacts), Big Daddy's movie rental (just to support a local place), and True Blue Vintage (for some sweet finds).
If you're around in September and want to check out the strip, come on on these days! Sept 9-13 is the Junction Arts Festival, and Sept 19 is a Mom to Mom Rummage Sale. Not that you need an excuse to come!