The best vegetarian mac and cheese in Toronto

If the world was about to end and the only food available to eat was mac and cheese, I’d survive because it is my favourite food! Ironically, I’m lactose intolerant – dairy foods are my (food) worst enemies. However, that does not stop me from eating it, as the saying goes ‘you want what you can’t have’.

Thankfully, I live in the beautiful city of Toronto, where the streets are full of vegan and vegetarian restaurants that serve my ultimate comfort food, macaroni and cheese. So, I went on a mission to find the best the city has to offer.

Here are my top 5 must try vegetarian & vegan mac and cheese dishes in Toronto:

#5 Hard Rock Cafe

Hard Rock Cafe Mac Daddy Mac and Cheese

I managed to visit the Hard Rock Cafe’s Toronto location in May before it closed to try their vegetarian Mac Daddy Mac & Cheese. It is amazing, made with twisted macaroni in a creamy cheese sauce and it even comes with a side of garlic bread! I felt like I was in rockstar heaven! If you are ever in the Niagara Falls area (or anywhere else in the world where the Hardrock Cafe is located), I totally recommend trying this dish!

I’m hurt that the Hard Rock closed in Toronto and that’s why I ranked this dish at number five. Also, it is technically an appetizer; I had it as my main because their menu is not very vegetarian friendly.

#4 Thompson Diner

Thompson Hotel Truffle Mac 'n Cheese
Photo c/o the Thompson Hotel

The Thompson Diner is a Toronto staple. Has anyone ever gone to the Thompson Diner and ordered something other than their Double Mac & Cheese made with Truffle Oil? It’s delicious! The Diner is open until 3am everyday and I’ve enjoyed many late night meals here. The menu says it’s made with LOTS of asiago and mozzarella cheese; as you can tell, I like anything with lots of cheese!

I can’t have it all of the time because it’s very rich, that’s why it is number four. Although it is mouth watering, I would not be able to survive on this mac and cheese dish every day unless I wanted to weigh 400lbs.

You can find their menu here.

#3 Grasshopper Restaurant

Grasshopper Restaurant Quinoa Mac 'n Cheese

Located in the Junction area and on College Street, Grasshopper’s vegan Quinoa Mac ‘N Cheese is a game changer. Meals like this make me consider going vegan. It’s made with quinoa rice (red and white) macaroni in a creamy ‘cheesy’ vegan chedda sauce, you can’t tell it’s not the real deal.

I ranked this dish at number three because it is the healthiest one for me to eat. Since this is vegan, it doesn’t make my tummy spin and my lactose intolerant pills are not required. Also, I’m glad there are multiple locations and I don’t have to trek to the Junction in order to get my fix.

You can find them on FacebookInstagram – Junction area and Instagram – College St.

#2 The Sweet Potato

The Sweet Potato organic Baked Mac and Cheese

This past winter, I interned at a social media marketing agency located in the Junction area and was introduced to The Sweet Potato. It’s not a restaurant, but a little organic food store that also sells prepared food. One day I stumbled accross their baked vegetarian Mac and Cheese, and I knew I had to give it a try. My verdict? Mouth watering good. You can find it on the shelf in their prepared food section.

Ranked at number two, this dish is delish! Plus, the Sweet Potato has the nicest staff.  Even though it’s a grocery store, their prepared food is made fresh every day. If you’re ever in the Junction area, I highly recommend visiting this food store because it will change your life.

You can also find them on Facebook and Instagram.

#1 Mom’s home cooked mac, broccoli and cheese

Mom's home cooked Mac, Broccoli, and Cheese

One of the reasons why I still live at home is because my mom is an unreal cook. A specialty of hers and my personal favourite is mac, roasted broccoli (plus tons of other veggies) and cheese. Made just for me, mom puts a healthy spin to my favourite dish by using whole wheat macaroni, and reduced fat cheeses. It’s really tasty.

Out of all the ones I have tried, nothing beats my mom’s home cooked mac and cheese!

Have you tried unreal mac and cheese in Toronto? My research is on-going, please reply in the comments where your favourite hotspots are.

Toronto Vegetarian Food Review: Grasshopper Restaurant

This past weekend, my friends and I went to Grasshopper Restaurant (on College Street) for a vegetarian dinner. After working an eight hour shift on Canada Day, I was starving and very eager for a drink.  I’ve frequented their Junction location many times (only for take-out) but I never have had the true ‘dine-in’ experience.

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The experience

Emily, our server, told me about their updated Summer Cocktail menu, which made me very excited to try an updated libation. Since this is a vegan restaurant and I know Bourbon Sours are made with egg whites, I was surprised to see it on the list.  My curiosity piqued, I wanted to give it a try.  Unfortunately, they ran out of Bourbon, so instead I opted for the Sweet Tea Sangria.

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At first sip it was cold, sweet and delicious! However, it was so hot outside and NO air conditioning inside, the ice melted very quickly and it wasn’t so yummy anymore. Once it got warm, the drink reminded me of rubbing alcohol, which isn’t appealing.

Like I said, I had worked all day and didn’t have a chance to eat very much, deciding what to eat was a challenge. I was too hungry and should have probably chosen a salad – that would have made for a VERY boring blog. Their Quinoa Mac ‘N Cheese is my personal favourite (absolutely a MUST HAVE should you go to the restaurant). This time I wanted to try something different from their menu.

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The ‘Mushroom ‘N Rice’ bowl (although based on the photo you’re probably thinking where’s the rice? 🤔) is made with sautéed cremini and portobello mushrooms smothered with house tahini sauce and served over steamed red rice. It arrived at the table nice and hot, which under normal circumstances is perfect, but tonight (based on the lack of AC) it was not so lovely. As I was eating, I felt 10x warmer, and between the heat and hot food it was all too overwhelming – the meal went to ‘pot’. If I gave this bowl another try, on a less humid day, I would enjoy it 100x more.

The best parts

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I shared a plate of Kimchi fries and WOW they were amazing! I wished I had chosen this dish for my dinner. I tried not to eat more than my share, because we were splitting them three ways, and to go back to eating my rice bowl but I couldn’t resist. My friends agreed; the fries were excellent!

No dinner is complete without dessert…

As one of my friends is gluten-sensitive, our choices were limited.  We shared a Cashew Cookie. It was moist, warm and delish – the only thing missing was dairy-free frozen yogurt on top!

Final verdict

I must admit, I was a little shocked when the bill arrived. This isn’t an over the top restaurant. Dinner with drinks was slightly more than $100 including tip for three people.  Definitely not in my student budget!

Would I go back for drinks? No!

Would I go back for another vegetarian meal? Of course, but not on a hot, humid day or for a big feast.

You can visit their website here, or find them on InstagramFacebook, and Twitter.

Have you eaten in any terrific vegetarian restaurants in Toronto or the GTA? Please let me know, I am always open to trying new places!