In today’s world, when someone mentions “fast food” to you, the first thing that may pop into your mind might be McDonald’s or a drive-thru serving you unhealthy food in excess unhealthy packaging, or even running into a variety store to grab a chocolate bar and drink. The truth is that fast food can be pretty good for you, even just an organic apple – that is “fast” and “food”! The term should not be reserved for the restaurants that use processed, industrial and factory-farmed animal products and ingredients chock-full of pesticides, additives and chemicals. Instead, support chefs and restaurants that make and serve clean, organic food – made by people who are treated well and care. After eating junk, you may feel unwell or sick, but after eating “better for you” or even “really good for you” fast food, you can feel energized, happy, satiated plus, we can be content knowing that we supported a better food system for all!
In Toronto, we are lucky to have many places to grab and go, beside the organic produce sections, or independent health food store aisles (both highly recommend to frequent).
Here are my Top 10 Fast Food Places in Toronto (in no particular order). Let me know what yours are!
1. Doug McNish’s Public Kitchen. 561 Marlee Avenue. dougmcnish.com
Doug McNish is one of my favourite chefs. His Public Kitchen is open seven days a week where you can drop in and grab a ready-made meal from his fridge or enjoy one of his awesmazing daily specials. He even offers “curbside service” and will bring food out to your car! My favourite dish from Doug is his Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese – great for any meal (even breakfast :)!
You can see my review of Doug’s brunch from 2014 here, or check out his instagram for his droolworthy all-organic food!
2. Flock Rotisserie + Greens. 330 Adelaide Street West, 97 Harbord Street, more locations coming soon. eatflock.ca
Flock is owned by another of my favourite chefs – Cory Vitiello (originally met via his incredible restaurant, The Harbord Room). They serve the BEST rotisserie chicken I have ever had, along with a wide variety of side dishes. Flock also has four huge salads on their menu that are packed with tons of deliciousness that will make vegetarians and vegans happy to eat here along with meat-eaters. They have a really great takeout system, and use pretty eco-friendly packaging too, but you can also take your own containers!
3. Veghed Bar. 1199 Dundas Street West.
Veghed Bar is a teeny little place on Dundas that you will miss if you are not looking for it closely. They normally only have two or three dishes on the menu at a time, usually a salad (made up of a LOT of different veggies!), soup, and another one from the chef’s creativity. When I was there, I enjoyed their rainbow salad and a grilled cheese and honey sandwich which I devoured – they were awesmazing!
You can read my review on VegHed here.
4. Village Juicery. 540 College Street, 99 Roncesvalles Avenue, 2409 Yonge Street. villagejuicery.com
Village Juicery originally opened on College Street in late January of 2015, and has since expanded to two other locations and in addition to their juices they recently introduced a line of grab-and-go salads, healthy snacks and breakfast jars that are available at all of their locations.
You can see my review of the Yonge location here.
5. Sunshine Market. 942 College Street.
Sunshine Market is a small grocery store that includes a juice and snack bar. The store features organic products and produce, while the juice bar makes creative juice and smoothie concoctions made from all-organic ingredients! Easy to run in a grab what you are craving!
You can see my review here.
6. Brickworks Farmers’ Market. 550 Bayview Avenue. www.evergreen.ca/get-involved/evergreen-brick-works/farmers-market
The Brickworks Farmers’ Market is open every Saturday from 8am to 1pm, and features tons of local farmers, a delicious food court, and more! Besides the organic farmers (make sure that’s what they are before you shop!), some of my favourites from the Local Food Court are My Little Dumplings, Doug McNish, and Chocosol! I eat breakfast here almost every Saturday, year-round and it makes a great start or finish to a run or bike ride, or a place to stop and grab fast food for your entire week ahead!
You can see my review of the food court here.
7. The Big Carrot Vegetarian Café. 348 Danforth Avenue. thebigcarrot.ca
The Big Carrot Vegetarian Café is located inside The Big Carrot (of course), which is an awesmazing health food supermarket on the Danforth. The café serves everything from walnut burgers to mushroom and spinach penne pasta, and will always have a delicious and colourful spread for you to enjoy!
You can watch a video I filmed about choosing packaged foods there years ago by clicking here.
8. Fresh Restaurants. 90 Eglinton Avenue East, 326 Bloor Street, 147 Spadina Avenue, 894 Queen Street West. freshrestaurants.ca
Fresh Restaurants makes delicious food at each of their four locations. They are fully vegetarian and are mostly vegan, so it is a restaurant that everyone can be happy at. It is a place to get a quick meal or one of their awesmazing cold-pressed juices (my favourite is the Charcoal Green Lemonade!).
Click here for my review on Fresh on Eglinton
9. Feel Good Guru. 135 Tecumseth Street #2. feelgoodguru.com
Feel Good Guru is a small take-out style raw vegan restaurant near Trinity-Bellwoods Park. Their menu ranges from a vegan grilled cheese with avocado to the Bangkok Bowl – a delicious pad thai! Feel Good Guru is a great place to grab some clean food and take it to the park
You can see my review here.
10. Bunner’s Bakeshop. 3054 Dundas Street West, 244 Augusta Avenue. www.bunners.ca
Both of Bunner’s locations serve awesmazing gluten-free and vegan baked goods – and ice cream at the Kensington Market location! Every fast food list needs to include somewhere for sweet indulgences! Whenever we go, my little brother spends close to five minutes deciding between a cupcake, a mini cinnamon bun (one of my favourite things from Bunner’s), a muffin, soft-serve ice cream, or whatever else he has his eye on! It’s not all organic ingredients, but I hope they will start using more and more! Most of the time, we have to let other people go ahead of us in line to make sure we have enough time to choose – so maybe it’s the slowest of my fast food options!
You can see my review of Bunner’s here.
Whether you are looking for a snack or an entire meal, these ten Toronto spots will keep you nourished when you are on the go, all year round!