Fresh: Restaurant review

Sometimes you wanna go where everybody knows your name…

Fresh restaurant Toronto

Alright, maybe not quite, but I’ve frequented this vegetarian restaurant enough times that maybe we should be on a first name basis! Fresh reigns king (or queen?) in the Toronto vegetarian scene. Around since 1999, they have been concocting delicious vegetarian (and mostly vegan) dishes and drinks for the masses. Their three locations are always bustling at any time of day, and they are in the process of opening a fourth Toronto location! So without further ado, here’s the review (I’m a poet :P)!

Facilities

As I mentioned, there are currently three locations in Toronto; the menu is very much the same in all three, serving lunch, dinner, and brunch on the weekends. Both the Crawford and Spadina locations have patios in addition to indoor seating, for those who like to eat outdoors in the sunshine. Despite the modest size of the restaurant, they can pack quite a crowd; make note that tables are very close together and you may be required watch your elbows for the sake of your dining neighbours. The decor and colours in all three locations are fun and vibrant; check out the chandeliers!

Fresh restaurant decor

Score: 4/5

Service

I have had positive customer service experience at Fresh (exactly) 94.7% of the time. The waiters and waitresses are always willing to clarify anything confusing on the menu, or make adjustments to your meal as desired. For those who like to be in-and-out in a jiffy, note that Fresh is usually VERY busy, so be prepared to wait a little bit longer for your drinks/food/bill (more quality time with your dining buddies). If you are in a rush, however, here’s a tip for you: call in advance to place an order for pick up! Bonus tip number two: present a Live Green Toronto card to get 15% off your takeout order.

Score: 4/5

Food

Here’s the part we all came for; the food! Fresh has many offerings for every type of eater. Their veggie burgers appeal to veg*ns and omnivores alike (proof: my very omni brother) and their bowls are a masterpiece made of vegetation. You can view their full menu online, but here is a taste of what my pal Shannon and I dug into on our last visit:

BBQ burger from Fresh restaurant

I chose the BBQ burger (vegan BBQ sauce, quinoa onion rings, garlic vegan mayo, cabbage, lettuce, tomato, and banana chiles) in a wrap instead of on a bun. The burger comes with a small serving of kale slaw, and I upgraded with a side of fries. The flavours and textures were very good and it was more than enough for one hungry vegan!

All Hail Kale salad at Fresh restaurant

Shannon opted for the monthly special: All Hail Kale salad. Her HUGE salad consisted of marinated kale, tempeh nuggets, cucumber, orange slices, hemp seeds, red pepper, green onion, cilantro, and a peanut lime dressing. She finished the whole thing; champ!

Fresh also has great drink (hot and cold, alcohol, smoothies and juices available for eat-in or take-out) and dessert menus. For diners who adhere to a gluten-free diet, Fresh has you covered there as well.

Since I am a Fresh ‘frequent flier’, I also soundly recommend their soup, salad, and cornbread combo, california classic salad, and beach bowls as some of my favourites.

Score: 5/5

Quality/Value

On their website, Fresh makes it very clear that their food is indeed made fresh. They explicitly list on their website everything that is guaranteed to be organic. While not cheap, Fresh definitely gives their customers good value when factoring in the cost of the ingredients and labour, and the portion sizes you get. If you’re looking for a deal make a trip on a weekday between 2:30 and 5:30 for their ReFresh Yourself deal. For $6.85 (+tax) you get any 16 oz. beverage plus a dessert item (made by Toronto company Sweets from the Earth)!

Score: 4/5

Total Score: 17/20

Fresh By Juice For Life on Urbanspoon
Disclaimer: This blog is a personal blog written and edited by me. I have not been compensated to provide opinion on products, services, websites and various other topics. This is not a sponsored post, nor have I been paid to review this restaurant. The opinions expressed here my own and are not influenced by any endorsement. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely my own. This blog does not contain any content which might present a conflict of interest.

Thanks so much for reading! Leave me a comment, follow me on, FacebookTwitter, Pinterest, Google+, and Instagram; I’d love to connect with you!

About Suzanne Poldon

runs on plants. eats out of mason jars. bends like a straw.

31. July 2013 by Suzanne Poldon
Categories: Food, Review, Travel, Vegan | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 14 comments

Comments (14)

  1. Hi Suzanne,

    Your first post just appeared on Urbanspoon! Check it out:
    http://www.urbanspoon.com/r/10/1458258/restaurant/Entertainment-District/Fresh-By-Juice-For-Life-Toronto

    I encourage you to claim your blog, which allows you to add a picture and change some settings. The blog photo shows up next to your posts wherever they appear on Urbanspoon. Here’s how to claim:

    - Make sure you’re logged into Urbanspoon

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  2. Fresh & this girl are the best! we have had some wonderful delicious times @ Fresh on bloor. Probably some of the happiest vegans around.
    Awesome review su! Also that wrap looks monstrously awesome!

    :)

  3. Thanks, Suzanne! I just approved your blog claim. Now your Urbanspoon profile picture is displayed on your blog page. You can upload a blog-specific photo if you prefer, and can change a few other blog settings there. Also, if you vote for a restaurant that you’ve reviewed on your blog, we now show your vote next to your post everywhere on our site.

    http://www.urbanspoon.com/br/10/11558/Toronto/hello-veggy.html

    Best,
    Greg

    http://www.urbanspoon.com

  4. I haven’t yet returned to Fresh since arriving back in Toronto two weeks ago, and I’m going to be mighty sad if that kale salad is no longer available…

    • It was the July special, so unless you’re good at twisting arms it may be something to recreate at home :( The ace of lakes salad is excellent as well (and new to the menu!)

  5. What is your favorite from the menu? i’m thinking of going there soon and I’m interested in one of those “bowls”!

    • Bowls-wise, I would suggest the Tiger bowl; the crispy tofu is unreal! The buddha bowl is also very popular. If you have room for dessert, get a slice of the carrot cake. It’s devine!

      Thanks so much for commenting :)

  6. Fresh is my absolute favorite restaurant in town!!! So glad to have stumbled upon a fellow Canadian (and I’m guessing you live in Toronto too?)!!! Thank you for the great blog and I can’t wait to see more! (i’ll follow you on ig :)

    • I’m glad you like it too! What’s your favourite menu item? I am indeed in Toronto but I’ll be soon going back to kingston for school. Thanks for reading!!

  7. Obsessed with Fresh! I have a serious addiction to the Buddha Bowl but really should try branching out to other options. So excited they opened a location closer to me (Yonge & Eg). The Toronto Live Green Card is my jam since eating here takes a serious toll on my budget. Do you live in Toronto?

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