…. and 2 much fun.
Tim and I hang out all the time, but I had never met Jocelynne, who lives in Toronto, before. (BTW, you can check out her blog HERE and our podcast episode together HERE.) I started following her on Instagram a few months ago and quickly realized that we had a special connection. That sounds cheesy and creepy, but it’s true. We are so alike– we’re both Asian, vegan, hate everyone, run, have the same sense of humor, and the same shoe size– that I just knew we’d get along great if we ever met in person (spoiler: we did). So, when me and Tim decided to take a trip up to Canada, we naturally asked Jocelynne to join us. And to my delight, she immediately agreed.
Our trip revolved around food– so much so that it was pretty much the only thing we did. We’d have breakfast, go to a cafe, go to a restaurant, maaaayybeee do something like explore or chill at the Airbnb, and then go to another restaurant.
Needless to say, it was a delicious and fantastic trip. If it wasn’t 3 degrees Fahrenheit (LIKE WUT. HOW DO CANADIANS LIVE), then it would have been perfect.
Anyway… I know you guys really only care about the food, so let’s get to it.
Everywhere we ate (excluding the pub) was 100% vegan.
I reviewed each restaurant in chronological order by day:
- SATURDAY: Leaves Cafe, Chuchai (or, as I like to call it, chuchaaaainz), Patrick’s Pub
- SUNDAY: Belem Cafe, Aux Vivres, Sophie Sucree, Sushi Momo
- MONDAY: Copper Branch, Leaves Cafe, LOV
So just keep scrolling to read my review of each place :)
SATURDAY: Leaves Cafe, Chuchai, Patrick’s Pub
In 3 words: IG-friendly, aesthetic, hip
Drank: Matcha latte
Ate: Almond croissant
Thoughts: I LOVED this cafe and I wish they had it in NYC. The atmosphere was amazing–it was open, bright, and there were succulents everywhere– but the main reason why I loved this place was the employees. Our barista, Teigen, was SUPER sweet and friendly, and even wrote down a list of places to eat for us. THANK YOU TEIGEN!
In 3 words: Romantic, heavy, Asian
Drank: Sauv blanc
- Kari puff (puff pastry with veggies and curry)
- Won ton soup
- Koung pad mekere (“shrimp” with eggplant, and basil)
Thoughts: I loved the deeper, darker vibes of this place. It’s definitely a good place to take a date. Be sure to make reservations, though– we almost weren’t able to be seated because it was so full. I loved the kari puff and won ton soup, which we all shared as apps, but my main dish was meh. It was INCREDIBLY oily (and that’s saying something since I’m usually not one to be concerned about oil/fat) and the shrimp was rubbery. They give you a choice of brown, white, or sticky rice with your main, and YOU.MUST.GET.THE.STICKY. It was sooo good and honestly my favorite part of the meal lol.
In 3 words: Loud, divey, bro-y.
Drank: Beer & a shot
Thoughts: We decided to go out to celebrate Tim’s bday. We first tried to get into Kampai Garden, the alleged ‘new hot spot’ (according to our neighbor at Leaves Cafe) of Montreal, but the line was already SO long at 10 pm so we ditched that plan and headed to Randolph’s, a bar with board games. Then we found out THAT bar was packed due to a private party, so we walked a little further down Rue Saint Denis (a good street for drinking/partying) to Patrick’s.
It was a typical Irish pub– nothing too special. We had a couple drinks and chatted by the bar. They were also randomly hosting some sort of painting class in the back, which was interesting. I mean, how often do you see that at a pub?
SUNDAY: Belem Cafe, Aux Vivres, Sophie Sucree, Sushi Momo
In 3 words: Home-y, chill, hipster
Drank: Almond milk latte
Ate: Sfouf (a semolina-almond-turmeric Lebanese treat)
Thoughts: This place was so cool! There’s a cafe in the front and a yoga studio in the back. Everyone, in both the cafe and yoga studio, was shoeless, which definitely gave it that extra hippie vibe.
We showed up for a yoga class at noon. It was taught all in French, so we couldn’t understand much, but it was still such a fun experience. I actually think the whole French component of it made it more memorable. After class I got a latte from another SUPER sweet barista. I also tried one of the treats, mainly because it was only 75 cents, I was starving, and it was made by the barista’s mother. So cool, right??! (Yes, you nod, as you scroll down the page.)
In 3 words: Big, casual, INSANE
- Chili fries
- Corn bread with guac
- Thali (chickpea/potato curry, paratha bread, rice, salad, date chutney)
Thoughts: OMG BEST RESTAURANT EVER. Everything we ate was so delicious. The menu is huge. And brilliant. Jocelynne got a Greek plate that came with tzatziki sauce that tasted JUST like actual tzatziki and we were all like WTF. I loved my thali– the curry, paratha bread, rice, and salad were all amazing but what really blew me away was the date chutney. It was so rich and sweet yet healthy-tasting, and I was obsessed. Also, the corn bread we got as one of our apps (the other was chili fries, also good) was incredible and of course we didn’t just dip it in the guac. We made proper avo toast with it. And then dipped that in the chili. Mhm.
In 3 words: Adorable, pink, sweet
Drank: Hibiscus chai kombucha (Fous de L’ile brand)
Ate: Coconut brownie
Thoughts: We came here right after Aux Vivres, so I wasn’t super hungry, but I of course had to get something while we were there. My brownie was rich and big, just how I like it. I also had bites of Tim’s black forest cupcake (so chocolately), and Jocelynne’s oreo cookie (cookies n’ cream lovers unite!) and they were both delish. The kombucha was good, but not nearly as sour/carbonated as American ones like GTs or Healthade, so that was kind of a bummer.
In 3 words: Cozy, fun, inventive
Ate: IDUNEVENNO. A lot.
Thoughts: I LOVED the interior of this place– wooden tables/seats, Japanese decor, and a fun vibe. We got a set chef’s menu, which came with:
- Miso soup
- Harumaki (spring rolls)
- Warm-up roll (something with fake shrimp and avocado. It was really good.)
- HUGE BOAT OF ROLLS (I can’t even remember them all but my faves were the mushroom, sweet potato and shiso.)
- Scoop of coconut ice cream
It was a lot, but it wasn’t a CRAZY amount when split between three people. We probably had about 12 pieces of sushi each, plus the apps and the dessert. I loved that all of the rolls were really creative and unique. I was told (after I went) that they do a vegan poutine that comes with a fried sweet potato roll, “cheese” curds, teriyaki gravy, and taro chips. WUUUTTTTT. Someone please get that for me next time they go. Thx.
MONDAY: Copper Branch, Leaves Cafe, LOV
In 3 words: Quick, nondescript, vacant
Ate: Matcha lime smoothie bowl (avocado, spinach, coconut milk, banana, pineapple, matcha, agave syrup, lime, hemp seeds, home-made granola, shredded coconut)
Thoughts: I wasn’t crazy about the ambiance or food of this place. My matcha bowl was good in that the matcha flavor truly came through (which is pretty hard to accomplish), and I loved the granola. However, the food was served in plastic bowls, on a plastic tray, with plastic utensils. Something about the place just felt a little cheap and mediocre. Maybe the food is better for lunch/dinner– I don’t know– but I probably wouldn’t come back for breakfast.
In 3 words: Still IG-friendly, still aesthetic, still hip
Drank: Chai latte
Ate: Chocolate croissant
Thoughts: We came back here again because we loved it so much when we went Saturday. The barista was different this time, but he was equally as lovely as Teigen. When he forgot to make us our chai latte after about 15 minutes of waiting, he felt so bad about it that he made us a free matcha latte. *swoooon* Again: we need this place in NYC. Oh and the choc croissant was delish, although I think I liked the almond one slightly better. The almond croissant was softer and I loved the crunchy bits of the sweetened almonds.
In 3 words: Beautiful, open, clean
- Poutine (miso gravy, mystery “cheese” curds, kale chips, nutritional yeast)
- Caesar salad (romaine, lentils, cucumbers, tomatoes, croutons, ‘parmesan’, and a creamy dressing)
Thoughts: This restaurant was absolutely BEAUTIFUL. It’s probably one of the most well-designed places I’ve been to– the white exposed brick, copper detailing, woven lamp shades, high ceilings, swinging chairs…. it all went together so well.
I would recommend coming during the day since the lighting is amazing, but I can see it being totally romantic and nice for dinner as well. Lunch is walk-in only, but I would recommend making a reservation for dinner.
Ambiance aside, the staff was lovely, the menu was creative, and the food was delicious. I LOVED the idea of a miso gravy for the poutine (and the execution was on point, too). I originally wanted to get their seasonal salad as my main, but was told that I couldn’t get it without cashews (which I’m allergic to), so the waiter recommended the Caesar salad instead. I was skeptical, because who really orders Caesar salad as their main, but it was actually wonderfully rich and complex. There were lentils, romaine, croutons, cucumber, and tomatoes, which were all fine, but the “parmesan” and creamy dressing were what really made the salad.
More photos b/c why not