Best Spots for Vegan & Vegetarian Eats in The County 🥑
They say it ain’t easy being green, but The County has lots of restaurants, food trucks, pop-ups, snacks and supplies for vegans, vegetarians and anyone else looking for a plant-based meal.
Here are some of our favourites…
Whether you want your greens in a salad, a bowl, sandwich or soup, PICNIC PEC can help you reach that recommended 7-10 servings of fruit and veg. You may have visited their iconic pink food truck before at wineries or festivals, and can now visit their bright and colourful café on Main Street Picton for nutrient packed items to go, as well as something for your sweet tooth.
GOOD Place in Wellington is actually a great place for anyone looking for a healthy boost to their diet. This former convenience store has a grocery section with lots of vegan staples, a bulk food section with vegan-friendly supplies and a cafe serving bowls, smoothies and super salads, as well as their all-day breakfast sammie, a seemingly sinful circle of deliciousness on a gluten-free English muffin that actually tastes like an English muffin. They’ve also got energy balls and other treats that are both tasty AND healthy.
The Vic Cafe in Picton has you covered, whether herbivore, omnivore or someone traveling with carnivores. They too focus on nourishing bowls and smoothies, and have a wide selection of treats for the sweet tooth.
Crêpe Escape is a family affair, with two brothers wielding the batter spreaders at shops in downtown Picton and Belleville. They’re committed to using fresh, local ingredients and offer vegetarian, vegan, sugar-free and gluten-free options. In spring, summer and fall months, their dessert crêpes are particularly bursting with local flavour.
For a comfort food fix, The Acoustic Grill makes an amazing poutine featuring sweet potato fries and 100% vegetarian gravy.
Be sure to call ahead or arrive early to grab a spot at Stella’s where Chef Leah Marshall Hannon makes magic happen in their cozy kitchen between the Acoustic Grill and The Bean Counter in Picton. Daily menus posted to their website always feature veg-friendly, and often hyper-local dishes. Don’t miss their Monday night bo ssam, miso sesame tofu option!
Both 555 Brewing Co and The County Canteen have vegan and vegetarian options, with the winning combo of vegan pesto + parmesan used on the wood-fired pizzas at The Fives – as the brewery is known – earning rave reviews.
Mexican cuisine found north of the Texas panhandle has an unfortunate association with goopey cheese and sour cream, but the dishes at Parsons Brewing Company can be made vegan or vegetarian with cashew cheese and a Veganaise-based sauce, among other culinary secrets, to cater to plant-based eaters. And who doesn’t love chips and a bowl of guac?
Chef Sam Valdivia, formerly of Parsons, has set up a Mexican restaurant in Wellington called La Condesa, whose menu is studded with vegan and vegetarian options, including veggie tostada, hibiscus quesadilla, mushroom and plant-based-cheese tacos.
And because any day could be #tacotuesday, you can get your fill from the vegetarian/vegan menu offerings at Bermuda in Bloomfield, including the fries supreme with cashew queso and Beyond Meat.
If you’re self-catering, hit Penny’s Pantry, tucked away in a house on Elizabeth St, off the Main Street in Picton. She’s got all the nooch you could need, an updated daily to-go section, plus a large bulk food section for any additional supplies and lots of vegan, gluten-free baked goods.
Papa Ghanoush and Momma Hummus create divinely delicious Syrian spreads which can be found at Agrarian Market, The Local Store and The General.
You might be surprised to learn that wine producers sometimes use animal by-products in the clarifying stage of fermentation. Karlo Estates is the only certified vegan winery in The County, but most wineries follow vegan practices. Redtail Vineyard is an organic, off-grid vineyard with vegan-friendly wines well worth a try. If you’re vegan and a fan of cloudy beer, just check in with the brewmaster/winemaker to ensure it still qualifies as vegan.
New Moon Chaat with potato, avocado, fava, red onion, carrot, sprouts, tamarind sauce, coconut yogurt and garnished with sev. | Photo: Karen Palmer
And keep an eye out for pop-up events from Chef Chris Byrne, an inventive and inspired artist whose thoughtful plant-based menus will have you seeing the morsels on your plate in a whole new way.
Content updated March 2021