With 6 locations in Toronto, don’t expect consistency between locations, but the Magic Oven on Keele just south of Dundas recently opened and offers great healthy pizzas with plenty of gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian and flexitarian options.
Just to start with one little negative point about their Dupont location – the service is not attentive, nor organized and the atmosphere feels a little dirty, and the food is not close to the same quality as Keele. I don’t write negative reviews, but I don’t want you taking my opinion of Magic Oven on Keele to be for all locations, even though they do share the same menu. I will try to visit the other locations over the coming months and will report back!
I should also mention that I have met the owners on multiple occasions (mostly at food centered events), and I have to say, they are exceptionally nice, generous and serve excellent real food that I always enjoy. It’s also really important to me that they support local food, and organic food in Toronto! We need more of that!
Before going for dinner on a Monday at Keele’s Magic Oven, I checked their Facebook page to call them to ask my usual questions, and noticed that they have a Meatless Monday special, where all appetizers are half price. And yes, their appetizers are all vegetarian, and many are vegan! Of course, the special encouraged us to order and try tons – in the name of giving you more of a review, of course!
We all really enjoyed the simplicity of the stir-fried napa cabbage with cider vinegar and chilies, it was exceptional. I am used to enjoying napa cabbage often, but always cold and this warm version of it was absolutely awesmazing, and we’ve made it at home since! We also shared a vegan chickpea power soup, which was very hearty and served with Mary’s Crackers on the side, which I find great. My sister loved the huge portion of roasted beets with lemon juice, and ate the majority of them, only pausing to give a couple to my mom and dad. I needed to order the samosas, because I have tried them before from Tony at numerous food events, and always love them, especially their fiery dipping sauce! We also shared french fries, which weren’t worth having the fried food, but since they offered us organic ketchup, I was so happy. If you don’t know from other blog posts of mine, when restaurants serve conventional/Heinz ketchup with organic and good food, I get really annoyed! The Keele location deserves a big round of applause for serving organic ketchup, it’s so much more expensive, but at least they are keeping their word of “Nothing Artificial” on the front of their menus!
Let me tell you about my pizza – as you may have noticed in my review of Villa, I can be very creative in my choice of toppings when encouraged to “create your own pizza”. My pizza included BBQ tomato sauce, Goat Cheese, Garlic Rubbed Spinach, Thyme Tossed Portobello Mushrooms, Roasted Peppers, Caramelized Onions, Roasted Garlic, Steamed Kale, Rosemary Sweet Potato, and Avocado. Needless to say, it wasn’t a pizza you’d normally see someone order. The waitress even looked at my mom, as if to say “Is he for real?” when I placed my order. The pizza was absolutely amazing, and I loved how they even cooked the avocado onto the pizza, instead of putting it on after cooking. It was heavy but the Spelt crust never gave in so I was able to hold my pizza without it flopping or stuff falling off. Yes, I did finish it all, which did sadly mean that I didn’t have leftovers for breakfast the next morning!
My mother, father, sister and brother all loved their pizzas too – see below for details. They do have lots of types of cheese, but we don’t eat cow’s milk dairy, so goat cheese or daiya were our choices, what would you choose? Or maybe no cheese at all? My mom loved the hemp seeds and you could have that with olive oil and garlic – I might try that next time, although I love their BBQ tomato sauce, it’s more tomato sauce than bbq, but has enough BBQ sauce flavour that the tanginess comes through.
We didn’t have dessert, because there wasn’t anything vegan and nut-free on the menu for us, but we did head down the street to the Sweet Potato to get some goodies. It’s a great store, when you are in the neighbourhood. There is also Delight down the street for ice cream (too cold as the temperatures are freeezing!), and Bunners Bake Shop, but that was closed already.
The service was amazing, and friendly, and the restaurant is very clean feeling as well. Their menus are bright and offer something for everyone, whether you need a plain cheese pizza or something like I had. They do also have pastas, salads and sandwiches – most everything has a gluten-free or vegan option, including the pizzas.
Magic Oven also delivers, from any of their 6 locations, but as I mentioned above, the Keele location seemed like an entirely different restaurant than the Dupont one, so if you live in the Keele district, you should try their delivery. We saw so many drivers leaving with pizza bags, so it must be very popular.
I hope they open another nice location closer to where I live, with the same attention to food as at the Keele location, but, it’s still worth the drive to have this pizza!