More than 2.5 million Canadians consider themselves vegetarians, according to a poll recently conducted by Dalhousie University and more and more restaurants are catering to these diets to keep up with the growing demand.
Montreal is hopping on the trend.
Food journalist and founder of restaurant app ForkThat, Amie Watson joined Global’s Andrea Howick and Kim Sullivan to prove that vegetarians and vegans can also eat well this holiday season — without having to make a vegetarian turkey.
She shared her top vegetarian and vegan-friendly restaurants in Montreal.
First on Watson’s list is LOV – an all-vegetarian, mostly vegan and gluten-free restaurant with locations on McGill in Old Montreal and on de la Montagne.
“LOV restaurants are beautifully designed and there are affordable organic, biodynamic and natural wines and great cocktails to go with the food,” she said.
Watson brought a squash soup that will be on the menu all December, a vegan pot pie with jackfruit and homemade ketchup that’s permanently on the menu and a vegan yule log or Buche de Noel for the holidays.
Watson added, “they also make great oyster mushroom risotto, fried brussels sprouts with Buffalo sauce and sweet potato gnocchi.”
There are lots of gluten-free options and customers can choose between organic cheese or vegan cheese.
Main dishes range from $12-$18.
She also brought food from the new Kupfert & Kim, a fast-casual restaurant that just moved here from Toronto. “The bowls are Le Premier with tempeh, pomegranate seeds and a chia-maple dressing,” Watson said.
Also from Kupfert & Kim: a paléo-kak with hemp and sunflower balls, grilled yams, homemade sauerkraut, tahini sauce and chimichurri, and the Burger du Jour which is a bean-based patty served on a salad with pico de gallo.
She added they also have a great brunch menu with gluten-free waffles and smoothie bowls. But her favourite is congee.
“Chinese congee is traditionally made with chicken stock from bones after cooking a whole chicken,” Watson said. “So I often make it with the leftovers of the Christmas turkey or chicken.”
But this way vegans and vegetarians can also have congee. “For me, it’s the ultimate comfort food, like soupy risotto, but this version is vegan. And the spicy, fermented kimchi gives it a kick that’s good for your digestion,” she said.
Main dishes and bowls are $12.
Other restaurants on Watson’s list of top vegetarian and vegan-friendly restaurants in Montreal include:
- Lola Rosa, which now boasts four locations around Montreal. It was one of the first vegetarian restaurants in the city. Watson’s favourite dish is the caramel-chocolate pie.
- L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon at the Montreal Casino. One of the only all-vegetarian fine dining tasting menus in the city.
- Ile Flottante, the former Les Deux Singes de Montarvie in the Mile End, which has been at the top of TripAdvisor’s list of Montreal restaurants for ages. It does a 3, 5, or 7 service meal with a couple of vegetarian options, but Watson says “7 vegetarian courses would be tough for the kitchen.”
- Damas, a Syrian restaurant in Outremont with a bunch of vegan and vegetarian dips and meze, or appetizers with pita bread, and a lentil and rice main dish.
- Cafe Resonance on Parc Avenue, has live music almost every night and has a welcoming, bohemian feel.
- Sushi Momo, a vegan sushi restaurant on St-Denis. Watson says “if you don’t believe me that vegan sushi can be better than the fish version, try it and let me know.”
- Candide, for more upscale dining. It uses a lot of local products and always has a few interesting vegetarian courses.
When eating out vegetarian or vegan for the holidays Watson recommends letting any place with a tasting menu or table d’hote know there will be a vegetarian or vegan so the chefs can prepare if necessary.