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5 Great Restaurants for Healthy Food in Toronto

BY ANNA MARSZALEK

Healthy Food Toronto Fresh Salad Vegetarian Restaurant

The sizable salads at Fresh are among the myriad choices for healthy food in Toronto

Toronto has a lot of really excellent restaurants, but let’s face it, a great many of them specialize in rather indulgent fare—lumberjack portions of red meat, fatty indulgences like bone marrow and foie gras, luxurious seafood and more. Fortunately there are also numerous options for healthy food in Toronto. If you’re seeking a lighter dining experience, but one that doesn’t skimp on flavour, try these five downtown restaurants.

1. Four locations of Fresh make it easy for foodies to go vegetarian. The popular mini-chain draws crowds thanks to its large and diverse menu, which features everything from veggie burgers and meal-size salads to huge noodle and rice bowls, with many gluten-free options, too. As a bonus, you can customize pretty much any dish with a range of add-on vegetables, proteins, sauces and spreads. Believe it or not, even Fresh’s scrumptious desserts—like chocolate fudge cake—are healthy; cream, butter, eggs and refined sugars are decidedly not among their ingredients. At the juice bar, customers have the option of creating their own nutritious concoction, or choosing among many signature fruit and vegetable smoothies, power shakes and immune elixers.

>> Fresh, 147 Spadina Ave., 416-599-4442, plus three other locations; freshrestaurants.ca
>> Map and reviews

 

Healthy Food Toronto Four

Petit Four desserts at Four

2. Nutrition-conscious Bay Streeters head to the PATH system and Four restaurant, a chic concourse-level dining room where no main dish comes in at more than 650 calories, whether it’s Moroccan-style crusted tuna with grilled vegetables or spelt rigatoni with roasted mushrooms and spinach. The “Petit Four” desserts are just the right size, too—they’re all trifle-style indulgences that come in a small glass.

>> Four, 187 Bay St., PATH level, 416-368-1444; fourtoronto.com
>> Map and reviews

 

3. For more than 10 years in Toronto, Live Organic Food Bar takes a holistic approach to eating—when the body is fed, so is the mind and the spirit. While the portion sizes at this raw-food restaurant are not enormous, they’re nonetheless filling, delicious, and, because the ingredients are not cooked (well, there are a few “hot” sandwiches and mains), they retain all of their nutritional value. How can gluten-free, vegan pizzas and burgers be so good? The secret is in the creative combination of natural flavours!

>> Live Organic Food Bar, 264 Dupont St., 416-515-2002; livefoodbar.com
>> Map and reviews

 

Healthy Food Toronto Paramount Vegetarian

Goat’s cheese and tomato salad from Paramount Fine Foods

4. It’s well known that the diets of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cultures offer health benefits over that of typical North American fare. In downtown Toronto, Paramount Fine Foods is a popular purveyor of flavours from Lebanon and the wider Middle East. The comprehensive menu offers a diversity of affordable delicacies such as falafel, manakeesh (Lebanese-style pizzas) and more, all highlighting fresh ingredients including house-baked pitas and halal-certified meats. In addition, the restaurant recently introduced a handful of new low-calorie offerings—a basil chicken stir fry and roasted red pepper couscous among them—in an effort to raise awareness for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund.

>> Paramount Fine Foods, 253 Yonge St., 416-366-3600; paramountfinefoods.com
>> Map and reviews

 

5. Few salads have looked so irresistible as the garden basket bread bowl offered at Vegetarian Haven. It’s no secret that sometimes greens need a bit of a boost, and this dish certainly plays to our sense of sight as well as our sense of taste. Going vegan is an easy and delicious decision all around at this welcoming Baldwin Street nook, which doles out healthy food options in wraps, noodle dishes, dumplings, soups and much more. You can rest assured that no living creature was harmed to create your meal at this Buddhist-inspired establishment.

>> Vegetarian Haven, 17 Baldwin St., 416-621-3636; vegetarianhaven.com
>> Map and reviews

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