Beyond the ethical reasons some may have for choosing a vegetarian diet, today’s young professionals are now also recognizing the health benefits associated with going meatless. Animal rights groups, like People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), are also encouraging people to try going meatless for just one day a week to discover just how easy and enjoyable it can be. Thankfully, whether you are a die-hard vegan, a health conscious greens lover, or simply partake in the odd “Meatless Monday,” Montreal has many notable options for vegetarian dining.
Lola Rosa – 545 rue Milton, second location opening soon at 4581 Parc
If you or your dining partners are a tad apprehensive about the whole vegetarian thing, then Lola Rosa is the perfect place to ease into the meatless scene. Lola Rosa’s diverse menu does not intimidate with tofu-filled dishes or imitation meats. Instead, burgers, for example, are made with simple, savoury ingredients like potatoes, egg, and red pepper. Though the busy little bistro is located in the McGill ghetto area, their great food (which can be smelled a block away) and neighbourly vibe attract crowds of professionals, young and old, as well as students alike. Just about everything on the menu is a must-try, but our favorites are the three-cheese and spinach lasagna; sweet potato quesadilla; all the daily soups, and the year-round pumpkin pie.
The Green Panther – 2153 Rue Mackay and Rue Saint Viateur Ouest
With two locations, The Green Panther (or La Panthere Vert) is becoming one of Montreal’s most popular vegetarian dining choices. Touted as “good food for the urban jungle,” The Green Panther is an adorable piece of organic heaven, perfect for a light, satisfying lunch. Their menu is quite limited, but often that is a sign that a restaurant has perfected what they make. This is certainly the case here. Try their Golden Balls pita, a falafel dish that could rival any middle-eastern diner, accompanied by any of their energizing juices, smoothies, or shots. As an extra nod to their ecological philosophy, The Green Panther also offers a discount to those providing their own reusable container when ordering take-out.
Aux Vivre – 4631 Boul. St Laurent
This fully vegan restaurant is quite busy at any given time of day, but the wait is well worth it. The communal-style resto claims their goal is to make vegan food that is tasty, enjoyable, and satisfying for all. We think they have succeeded, and know that you will surely leave this popular Plateau spot stuffed to the stem. Top menu items include the house-baked Indian chapatti flat bread with vegan butter, a unique BLT made with smoked coconut, and their various rice and veggie bowls.