Surprise! Jugni Style has found a trendy vegan hotspot in Downtown T.O. that will awaken your palate with delicious gourmet nosh.
Lately, not one day passes without someone announcing to me they’re going gluten free, becoming vegetarian, or better yet, transforming themselves into a gluten free vegan. These food constraints can pose a challenge for those of us who love dining out with our friends but can’t find a restaurant where everyone can take pleasure in the grub.
Realizing that this dietary trend isn’t going anywhere, I became motivated to hunt for an upscale vegan restaurant in T.O. where I could enjoy a night out with my friends. This was no easy task. You see, I had quite high standards – I refused to ingest lawn in a bowl, weeds or anything that resembled mushy baby food, even if is was with a glass of merlot!
As luck would have it, I found the perfect restaurant one Friday night. A little gem tucked away on Dupont Street, Live Organic Food Bar is an organic raw food restaurant that will take you on a culinary adventure you won’t soon forget.
Live Food Bar artfully combines vegan cuisine with fine dining. Founded in 2002 by internationally known chef Jennifer Italiano and her brother, Chris Italiano, Live Food Bar is intimate, cozy and typically has a queue outside its door. The food will alter even the biggest skeptic’s opinion on vegan cuisine. In fact, I was told 80% of its patrons aren’t vegetarians or vegans – no dogma in this place folks!
The restaurant boasts a creative menu that lists a wide variety of gourmet gluten and sugar free vegan dishes. Most of the ingredients used are local and almost all of their dishes, from their salad dressings to their desserts, are made in-house. And make no mistake; this restaurant does not attempt to make vegetables taste like meat. Rather, they infuse their dishes with so much flavour that you crave seconds all the way home.
While everything at Live Food Bar is tasty, one dish that caught my eye was their signature pizza, made with a walnut squash crust and topped with sundried tomato compote, spinach, kalamata olives, ‘roasted’ red pepper, cashew feta and almond parmesan. The coconut wrapped samosas, filled with curried chickpea, pumpkin seeds, green peas, cranberries and a cilantro mango sauce are also a must try. When visiting the restaurant, be sure to stay for dessert and order the black forest cake, it is absolutely divine! The restaurant also serves a wide variety of smoothies, juices, cocktails, martinis, organic wine and beer.
Live Food Bar provides a culinary experience unlike any other restaurant in Toronto. Whether you are looking for a great date spot, an inviting place to have drinks and appetizers with friends or a weekend brunch location, this restaurant will not disappoint.
Story by: Sheetal Nanda | Photography: Live Food Bar