Travel Toronto: Veggielicious Doggone Delish

dogtrotting veggielicious

It surprises me more pet lovers aren’t vegetarians. I once heard a comedian once say, “I’m an animal lover, and eating them is a strange way to show affection.”

Funny, because it’s true.

For those fur friend enthusiasts who don’t think anything should be prepared rare, medium or well-done, Toronto, Ontario, Canada has got something for you: Veggielicious, a two-week plant-based culinary celebration. (Check out our round-up of alternative protein dog food here)

UPDATE: Veg Fest is an annual event in Toronto. September 9 and 10, 2023 sees the festival hosted at Nathan Philip Square in Downtown Toronto, Ontario and is yes, …. dog-friendly!

Not to be outdone by the many ‘licious food events throughout the year, the Toronto Vegetarian Association has organized a meat-free ‘licious  moment of its own to encourage people to try any – or many – of the veg and vegan restaurants across the city.

From May 6 to 22, 2016, more than 40 restaurants, cafes and bakeries across the Greater Toronto Area are offering deals on price-fixed three-course menus ranging from $14 to $40. Most are full-service restaurants, such as Middle Eastern food specialists Tabule at 2009 Yonge Street and 810 Queen Street East, drawing from regular menu items.

Others are participating by introducing vegetarian options to their regular carnivorous clientele, including the Fabarnak Café and Catering at The 519 Community Centre on Church Street. (And site of the Veggielicious launch where I met my favourite  Master Chef Canada Contestant Mary Berg! The show’s still airing, but I think she won. UPDATE: she won!).  The Fabarnak is a non-profit organization providing job opportunities and training to those who need assistance.

Can’t sit and stay for three courses? Meals on-the-go are an option: Kupfert & Kim is a successful Asian vegan take-out counter with four new locations recently added along Toronto’s PATH system – underground tunnels that take pedestrians quickly from Union Station to downtown.  It’s celebrating Veggielicious with a special takeout box named after the company’s first location: First Canadian Place. Fuel up at lunch on quinoa, tempeh and kale and feel energized all day.

Bakeries are on the list too, including Sweets from the Earth, an all-natural vegan bakery founded in 2002, specializing in dairy and egg-free baked goods sold at cafes and health food stores across the city. I recommend the Whoppie Pie or Smores Squares.

If you happen to be in Toronto in September, check out Veg Food Fest the 11th to the 13th. Free at the Harbourfront Centre each year, it’s North America’s largest vegetarian festival.

So, what does this have to do with dogs?

Believe or not, the Toronto Vegetarian Directory includes a ‘companion animal’ (otherwise known as the animals we don’t eat) section. Listed here is Timmie Doggie Outfitters, an independently owned pet supply company with two locations: one at 867 Queen Street W., and another at 1178 Queen Street E., Toronto. They sell Ami brand pet food (affiliate link)- 100% all vegetable food for cats, dogs, and small pets.

I don’t know anything about Ami, an Italian-based pet food company. But, should you feed your dog exclusively a vegetarian diet?

Maybe not.


Absolutely. Spread the love, not the barbecue sauce.

Veggielicious starts today and runs until May 22, 2016.  

Motel 6


  1. […] For one hour, a handful of people and three dogs flowed their way to shavasana under the South Common Tent during the 34rd Annual Veg Food Fest at Harbourfront Centre from September 7-9, 2018 produced by Toronto Vegetarian Association.  (Check out Veggielicious here). […]

  2. […] Lured by the promise of tasty tacos and wine, Victor and I head to Thirty Bench Winery (4281 Mountainview Road) to start. Three weekends this summer the winery featured two kinds of tacos with the wine tasting – today, one is chicken pesto and the other sweet potato vegan with white bean turmeric ‘mustard’ and corn chutney. (Guess which one I had. Here’s hint). […]

  3. […] got two packs in our Dog Lovers Days Christmas gift – pure glorious pork cartilage (for him, not me) all made in Canada. I’ll likely take them hiking in Point Peele National Park with us soon, […]

  4. […] Love other healthy living lifestyle shows? Check out our coverage of the Toronto Veggielicious Festival 2016. […]

  5. It’s so nice to just change up the usual meaty dishes we’re used to, your photos have me drooling!

    1. Thanks! Veg chefs are particularly creative especially when you throw glutten free into the mix.

  6. My sister transitioned from vegetarian to vegan a few years ago and everything she makes is delicious. I would definitely be a vegan if she would cook all my meals.

    1. I agree. If I loved to cook everyday Vegan would work. But…

  7. Interesting. My dad is a vegetarian and has been one for many years. My dog def is a meat eater and I am as well…although I think I could be veg…I’ve tried lots of veggie dishes.

    1. Your dad sounds interesting – mine dismisses the idea openly. Dogs have to eat meat. That I wouldn’t suggest change (though maybe the source of the meat might…)

  8. Gone to the Snow Dogs · · Reply

    I have to say I do enjoy meat, but it’s mostly poultry and fish. I like veggies. . . but I have to have my meats too!

    1. Ok, I have to admit fish is on my diet too. I do keep an eye on the over fishing list though. I used to carry a small folded list from Ocean Watch with me but it got thrown out at a restaurant when a waiter cleared plates.

  9. I like the idea of always trying new things – for us, we’re like a previous poster, meat free and our dogs eat raw! That always gets a few looks when we say it – we’d love to join in on this fun!

    1. Even though I know dogs must eat meat, I just can’t do raw. It looks too much like the real thing for me to touch or look at. My issue.

  10. I’m a meat eater and so are my cats (required in their diet) but this sounds like some great food for those who choose to be vegetarians.

    1. I love the fact that so many restaurant, particularly in large cities, are veg only. Many, like the Middle Eastern one, remind us entire cultures have been living like that for centuries and surviving just fine. Millennium in San Francisco was one of the best Vegan restaurants I’ve ever been to and I swear half the people in there didn’t know it. (Upscale and expensive so no granola).

  11. My kids are mainly vegetarian but had to add a little meat as kept getting iron deficiencies. My partner is Vegan and produced Ghosts in Our Machine. Sounds good.

    1. That is so awesome (and clearly a tough film to do). Completely Vegan is admirable. I once had someone say to me, “You don’t look vegetarian at all. You look healthy, not thin and pasty.” I think she was eating a fast food hamburger at the time.

  12. I’m vegetarian, But I know that dogs need meat and actually feed my dogs a raw diet its kind funny when I tell people that. I just say I give my meat to my dogs 🙂

    1. I love that answer. I’m going to say that about both my pets.

  13. Oh, this is exciting! I’m a vegetarian and love this so much!

    1. I’m kind of surprised more pet people aren’t. I was also surprised that dishes weren’t labelled veg at the last conference.

  14. Can we talk about how delicious that food looks?! Omnomnomnom! Enjoy the event! It seems great! We occasionally eat meat, but not very frequently.

    1. I was good – especially the vegan bakery. I have to admit, I’ve had some disappointing glutten and dairy free baked goods before, but this tasted like nothing was ‘missing.’

  15. Oh my god, can we talk about how amazing that food looks in your photos?! Omnomnomnomnom!!! I occasionally have meat, but very rarely. I prefer to snuggle with animals instead of eating them 🙂

    1. I have to also thank picmonkey for helping me improve those photos…

  16. There was an absolute uproar when someone tried to introduce ‘vegetarian’ food for cats recently!! (Insane as they are obligate carnivores and NEED meat to live). I believe many cat bloggers expressed their concerns over the confusion that arose!

    I think this is a terrific idea. Many people don’t realise there are superb vegetarian dishes that are easy to prepare. One of ur faves (athough we are not vegetarian) is Mushroom Stroganoff.

    Harvey and Marjorie

    1. Yes, even I’ll admit there’s a big difference between an omnivore and a carnivore. From what I’ve read, cats are one of the true carnivores on the planet. Apparently, they can and need to get all their nutrients from meat sources. (And they don’t factory farm either 😉

  17. I believe that feeding dogs and cats vegetarian food (unless needed for medical reasons for dogs) is wrong. They’re not meant to eat that way. Mr. N would probably starve himself. He won’t even look at vegetables.

    1. No, I’d never suggest we make our pets vegetarian (though I did see a vegetarian formula dog food at my vets). It’s us who might be overdoing it.

  18. Bentley and Pierre’s dog food has lots of veggies in it. ☺

    1. I think dogs can digest veggies, but I believe cats only meat. I could be wrong. But both my pets eat meat (of course). Me, not for 25 years and I’m pretty sturdy.

  19. How interesting! The Goldens are definitely meat eaters and I may have it a couple times a month! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks!

  20. Kelly · · Reply

    We are not vegetarian, but we eat less meat then ever before and we don’t really miss it. I would like to try some of these places.

    1. The samples were great. Next time I’m in TO I’m heading to the Middle Eastern place.

  21. Looks like some tasty stuff!

  22. I’ve provided entirely veg meals to some meat eaters and often they don’t even notice.

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