Live Food Bar
Raw Food Icon in the Annex
Live Food Bar is one of the first restaurants to offer gourmet healthy mostly raw food in Toronto. I still fondly remember my very first visit back when I was studying nutrition at the Institute of Holistic Nutrition. I was one of those curious customers (maybe even slightly annoying) who would ask questions about every menu item such as “what is the sweetener; is it gluten-free, organic, made in-house?” Fortunately for the servers, I don’t need to ask questions anymore because I know Live Food Bar offers healthy delicious food, no questions asked (or rather, needed).
As Live’s website states: “You needn’t be vegan or raw to dine here. Open-mindedness, adventure, and a love of food and oneself is all that's needed.” I couldn’t agree more. In fact, my brunch date (fiancé Walker) is neither vegan nor a raw foodie, but he does love food that tastes yummy – who doesn’t? So we went for Sunday brunch and although he wasn’t jumping for joy at the thought of skipping our breakfast ritual at Swan restaurant, he was pleasantly surprised.
Our timing was perfect for Live because I was in the midst of my Joyous 10-Day Detox, so I ordered a green juice aptly named “Green Kick”. It had pear, kale, lemon, ginger and dandelion, all of which are incredibly detoxifying. You can get add-ons to your juice as well, so I gave my liver some much needed love and support with a shot of ginseng ($1.50).
I ordered the sunshine wrap (raw), which was a sundried tomato wrap, with sunflower sesame hummus, avocado, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, micro greens and a balsamic reduction ($16). He ordered the burrito (cooked) with tempeh, guacamole, corn & tomato salsa, spinach, black bean hummus, and chipotle mayo ($16). The burrito was definitely heavier and more filling than the wrap, but both were healthy gourmet – talk about enzymes and vitamins galore!
Since I was in the mood for something sweet, we decided to order dessert. Dessert at brunch? Why not! The raw blueberry pancakes are made with almonds and banana with a maple cream, blueberry jam and real maple syrup ($13). When I go back I will definitely order this as my main because it was sweet decadence. Keep in mind it is full of good fat, so plan on having an appetite.
Live Food Bar is a great place to introduce and maybe even convert your meat-loving friends to healthy, but still very gourmet, mostly raw fare. Make sure you check it out in the summer because the back patio is lovely.
Live Food Bar
264 Dupont St., Toronto
(North East corner of Dupont & Spadina)
(416) 515 2002
Joy McCarthy, is a Holistic Nutritionist, food lover and owner of joyoushealth.ca