The Canadian National Exhibition, otherwise known as the CNE or The Ex, is widely popular amongst Torontonians and tourists alike. Starting mid August and ending just after Labour Day, the CNE attracts people of all ages. There is something for everyone. This event is famous for it’s unique and outrageous foods (deep fried everything!), it’s fun rides and games and it’s wonderful shopping! Let’s not forget the incredible concerts put on every evening by some major stars (like this year’s Cody Simpson and Andee!).
While I’ve looked forward to, and visited the CNE at least once almost every year for the last 6 years, the idea of what to eat at this incredible festival of fun has always haunted me. Most food options are slathered in milk or meat products and as much as an Oreo deep fried in batter sounds delicious, it is unfortunately not vegan. Or healthy, but that’s besides the point – we’re all allowed cheat days every now and then!
The CNE is very large and widely spread out. This means that in order to get from one part to the next, there’s a lot of walking involved. The CNE “streets” are lined with food vendors, but again – most are not vegan friendly. So what are you to do when you want to enjoy your day at the CNE, but can’t find something to eat? No worries – just keep reading because we’re about to give you all the details you need in order to enjoy your day, stress free!
My experience at the CNE this year was very different than the last. I’ve noticed a huge trend in the world towards healthier, more vegetable based diets and I am happy to say that the CNE has very clearly demonstrated they are part of that trend. Not only could I find food easily this year, I could find an ABUNDANCE! There were so many options, I didn’t know what to choose first!
So here, ladies and gentleman, are my top choices for vegan food at the 2015 CNE:
*All of these spots are located in the Food Building.
1. Wild Child’s Kitchen: This spot is such a breath of fresh air in the midst of the greasy, fried foods occupying most of the other food stands. Offering healthy vegan options, as well as smoothies, juices and deserts, Wild Child’s Kitchen is full of dairy-free, meat-free and egg-free foods! The Wild Cacao Smoothie and Bonita Wrap are to-die-for.
Wild Child’s Green Summer and Bonita
2. Eative: This spot serves dairy-free gelato and sorbet! You have a choice of 3 different flavors. The mango-peach was incredible.
Eative Mango Peach Sorbet
3. Ghazale: This spot offers up Middle Eastern and Vegetarian foods. The salads are ridiculously good.
4. Taqueria Burrito Bar: Sometimes a burrito in a bowl is exactly what your body needs. This spot allows you to choose your dish, your protein (vegetarian), your toppings and any extras you’d like to add on. Super healthy twist on the traditional burrito!
Taqueria Burrito in a bowl & Ghazale Falafel Plate
5. Mamma’s Pizza: This speaks for itself. Mamma’s is selling vegan pizza made with Daiya cheese – addictive!!
6. Lick’s: Lick’s is well known for their Nature Burger. It is completely vegan and completely delicious! The line is usually very long, but well worth it.
7. Freshly Squeezed: Smoothies blended on the spot. We recommend the watermelon – just watermelon blended with ice!
Lick’s Nature Burger, Mamma’s Pizza slice, Freshly Squeezed Smoothie
8. Kala’s Kitchen: This Indian spot serves only vegan and vegetarian food. The curries are great and the snacks are also delicious! The pakora’s are a great treat.
Kala’s Chana Masala and Pakoras
9. Harvey’s: This Canadian chain is our go-to for a veggie burger! When in doubt, hit up Harvey’s!
10. Thai Chef Cuisine: Coconut curry is always a safe bet for vegans! To be cautious, always clarify that no dairy ingredients are included. This spot also offers mango salad and vegetarian pad thai!
We hope that you enjoy your day at the CNE!