Fresh (Toronto)

For those who know me, I’m not much of a vegetarian. Sure, I like vegetables and have even been known to order a salad – but there’s generally some meat with it somewhere. However, when my friend suggested Fresh one night I actually wanted to check it out. Fresh is a popular chain of restaurants in Toronto that provide vegetarian meals that still sound delicious. For those who are vegan or require gluten free options, there is also plenty to satisfy your appetites.

For me the BBQ burger ($12) felt like a safe choice. After all, with quinoa onion rings, garlic mayo, chillies and a slaw on everything it’d be hard to not be delicious. Wanting to get some fries on the side, I even ordered it “salad” style where it arrives bun less and sits on spring mix with tomatoes instead.

As I thought, it was well flavoured from the thick smoky BBQ sauce, spicy banana chillis and the creamy garlic mayo slaw. The crispy onion rings on top were also delicious, arriving piping hot and very crispy from the quinoa added to the batter. We even got an order of them for the table ($6.50).

But, the patty in the burger, made from almond and grain, was too mushy for my liking. The areas around the crust were fine, but the middle of the patty was so soft so it felt like I was eating raw meat. Perhaps adding a heartier grain like barley into it would give the patty a better consistency.

The burger also came with a small kale salad on the side which was delicious.

The French fries ($6) were nice and fresh. I liked the addition of the sprinkling of thyme and sea salt on top.

Meanwhile, the sweet potato fries ($7.50) almost felt like eating hash browns as many of the pieces on the bottom were so small. Additionally, they were lukewarm and needed more salt. Alas, not as good as the potato fries.

I definitely won’t be becoming a vegetarian anytime soon. But, if I had to eat a vegetarian meal Fresh wouldn’t be a bad choice. There were highlights (the onion rings) and flops (the sweet potato fries and burger patty) but I admittedly left satisfied and loved the copious amounts of vegetables consumed. 

Overall mark - 7 out of 10

How To Find Them
Location: Toronto, Canada
Address: 894 Queen Street West

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Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • - decent restaurant but I likely won't return
  • 7 - decent restaurant and I will likely return
  • 8 - great restaurant that I'd be happy to recommend
  • 9 - fantastic restaurant that I would love to visit regularly and highly recommend
  • 10 - absolute perfection!