Ontario: Recommended Restaurants for Dairy-Free

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Last Update in June 2021! We’ve created this ever-growing guide to restaurants, bakeries, cafes, and ice cream shops in Ontario that are friendly to dairy-free diners. It’s a collection based on research and reader recommendations (send yours!), that’s divided into local restaurants (first) and chains (second).

Note: You can ignore the date on this post going forward. We’ll update the information below whenever we’re alerted to a new restaurant recommendation, change, or closure. 

Local Ontario Restaurants Recommended for Dairy-Free Eats

We’ve listed these recommendations alphabetically by city, and then by the restaurant or shop name.

⭐️ = Restaurant is either dairy-free, has a dairy-free menu, has dairy-free labels on their menu(s), or lists top allergens with menu items. (At the time of our last review.)

Ajax

  • Choko-Mocko Gluten Free Bakeshop ⭐️ – Somehow, they manage to make crepes, croissants, cookies, brownies, breads, and so much more without gluten, dairy, eggs, grains, and even sugar! They have so many paleo, keto, and vegan options that are sweet, savory, and available as grocery items.
  • Il Fornello – They have a smattering of restaurants in the greater Toronto area, all renowned for wood-fired pizza and fine Italian cuisine. They offer a full vegan menu that varies from location to location, but is quite extensive at all. It includes salads, pastas, pizzas with dairy-free cheeses, and desserts. Many more menu items can be made “just dairy-free,” too.

Barrie

  • Cakes by Design – This peanut- and tree nut-free bakery makes stunning cakes and cupcakes, and offers other decadent pastries. According to the owners, “we can also make some products without the use of eggs, milk or gluten.”
  • Moose Winooski’s – This log cabin restaurant was recommended years ago by reader Claire, “We phoned the manager of our local Moose and were assured that our servers would be happy to help, and that the kitchen staff is trained to make substitutions in the case of allergies.  They were very helpful in making sure that whatever I ordered was dairy-free.” Fast forward ten years, and they now have a complete plant-based menu with dairy-free sheeze quesadillas, garlic “budder” bread, and many vegan “faux meat” options. Additional items on their menu are naturally dairy-free or can be made dairy-free easily.

Burlington

  • Kelly’s Bake Shoppe ⭐️ – It’s all in the family at this vegan, gluten-free, peanut-free, mother-daughter bakery. They make all local favorites, from cupcakes to Nanaimo bars, and deliver throughout the greater Toronto area.
  • Lettuce Love Cafe ⭐️ – This feel good restaurant offers friendly staff and healthy, all vegan and gluten-free cuisine. They serve a popular array of grain bowls for lunch and dinner, but also have a big menu of sandwiches, burgers, salads, sharables, smoothies, and brunch on weekends. And of course, they offer a full coffee bar and a nice array of dairy-free, egg-free desserts.

East York

  • Fresh – This vegan restaurant chain is Toronto’s plant-based empire, but they also have a location in East York. Their menu offers a big array of healthy cuisine for lunch and dinner, in the form of bowls, salads, burgers, shareables, and more. They also have a big menu of smoothies and juices, coffee drinks, alcoholic beverages, and desserts.

Etobicoke

  • Fresh ⭐️ – This vegan restaurant chain is Toronto’s plant-based empire, but they also have a location in Etobicoke. Their menu offers a big array of healthy cuisine for lunch and dinner, in the form of bowls, salads, burgers, shareables, and more. They also have a big menu of smoothies and juices, coffee drinks, alcoholic beverages, and desserts.

Kitchener

  • Moose Winooski’s – This log cabin restaurant was recommended years ago by reader Claire, “We phoned the manager of our local Moose and were assured that our servers would be happy to help, and that the kitchen staff is trained to make substitutions in the case of allergies.  They were very helpful in making sure that whatever I ordered was dairy-free.” Fast forward ten years, and they now have a complete plant-based menu with dairy-free sheeze quesadillas, garlic “budder” bread, and many vegan “faux meat” options. Additional items on their menu are naturally dairy-free or can be made dairy-free easily.

London

  • Plant Matter Cafe ⭐️ – This hip coffeehouse is open during weekday “business hours,” serving an all-vegan food menu of sandwiches, wraps, salads, bowls, and all-day breakfast. Their drink menu has coffeehouse favorites plus healthy shakes, beer, wine, and cider.

Mississauga

  • Bloomer’s ⭐️ – Over the years, donuts have become the focal point at this all-vegan bakery. But they also bake bread, bagels, cookies, pies, cinnamon buns, and more, and take custom cake orders for special occasions. And of course, you can grab a barista beverage to go with your pastry.
  • Eva’s Original Chimneys ⭐️ – Thanks to Lisa for recommending this shop and restaurant for their vegan-heavy menu. Most of their chimney cakes are vegan, they offer several vegan chimney cone options that can be filled with vegan vanilla soft serve and topped with one of their dairy-free house-made sauces. They also have a full menu of vegan burgers, tacos, and some pizzas.
  • Fresh ⭐️ – This vegan restaurant chain is Toronto’s plant-based empire, but they also have a location in Mississauga. Their menu offers a big array of healthy cuisine for lunch and dinner, in the form of bowls, salads, burgers, shareables, and more. They also have a big menu of smoothies and juices, coffee drinks, alcoholic beverages, and desserts.
  • Nourishmoi ⭐️ – This all-vegan restaurant keeps it clean with plant-based salads, sandwiches, bowls, brunch, smoothies, and more. They also shun refined sugars and use whole grains (gluten-free options are available).
  • Raw Aura Organic Cuisine ⭐️ – This vegan, gluten-free, raw food restaurant was recommended to us by Trudy. Their menu is a healthy spin on comfort food favorites, like ravioli, pizza, nachos, and more.
  • Raw Blendz – Thank you to Lisa for this recommendation. This is a mostly dairy-free, heavily plant-based restaurant that serves juices, smoothies, savory bowls, wraps, and salads.

North York

  • Bloomer’s ⭐️ – Over the years, donuts have become the focal point at this all-vegan bakery. But they also bake bread, bagels, cookies, pies, cinnamon buns, and more, and take custom cake orders for special occasions. And of course, you can grab a barista beverage to go with your pastry.
  • Goodbye Gluten ⭐️ – This bakery, kitchen, and grocery store is strictly gluten-free, and everything they make in house is nut-free, too. All of their baked goods are also dairy-free (with many vegan options), and their grab and go, freshly prepared meals are labeled with dairy-free and vegan choices. Paleo and keto customers will also find some items to choose from.
  • Il Fornello – They have a smattering of restaurants in the greater Toronto area, all renowned for wood-fired pizza and fine Italian cuisine. They offer a full vegan menu that varies from location to location, but is quite extensive at all. It includes salads, pastas, pizzas with dairy-free cheeses, and desserts. Many more menu items can be made “just dairy-free,” too.
  • Nanashake ⭐️ – Everything at this cool vegan nice cream shop is dairy-free, including sundaes, shakes, freezer pops, and nanacakes. Many gluten-free topping options are also available.

Oakville

  • Il Fornello – They have a smattering of restaurants in the greater Toronto area, all renowned for wood-fired pizza and fine Italian cuisine. They offer a full vegan menu that varies from location to location, but is quite extensive at all. It includes salads, pastas, pizzas with dairy-free cheeses, and desserts. Many more menu items can be made “just dairy-free,” too.
  • Lettuce Love Cafe ⭐️ – This feel good restaurant offers friendly staff and healthy, all vegan and gluten-free cuisine. They serve a popular array of grain bowls for lunch and dinner, but also have a big menu of sandwiches, burgers, salads, sharables, smoothies, and brunch on weekends. And of course, they offer a full coffee bar and a nice array of dairy-free, egg-free desserts.

Ottawa

  • Thimblecakes ⭐️ – This pretty little shop specializes in vegan cupcakes, cakes, and a petite selection of other pastries. They also bake custom cakes and make gorgeous wedding cakes, and have gluten-free options available.

Richmond Hill

  • Il Fornello – They have a smattering of restaurants in the greater Toronto area, all renowned for wood-fired pizza and fine Italian cuisine. They offer a full vegan menu that varies from location to location, but is quite extensive at all. It includes salads, pastas, pizzas with dairy-free cheeses, and desserts. Many more menu items can be made “just dairy-free,” too.

Sudbury

  • Beards Coffee Bar & Bakery ⭐️ – Thank you to Melissa for recommending Beards Coffee Bar & Bakery to us via Facebook. It appears to be a completely vegan shop! She says she loves their donuts, which they do on Tuesdays and Thursdays. They also rotate croissants, cupcakes, tarts, and cinnamon buns, and bake custom order cakes. We’ve been told gluten-free options are also available.
  • Flurples ⭐️ – This tiny little vegan ice cream shop is really a walk-up window open seasonally (from late spring to early fall). They have dairy-free soft serve, double scoop cones, sundaes, floats, and shakes, and have a rather selection of sweet toppings.
  • Tucos Taco Lounge ⭐️ – Thanks again to Melissa! She recommended this all-vegan restaurant and seasonal food truck serving “authentic Mexican cuisine.” Melissa likes the torta best, but she also said the nachos are “out of this world.” They use Daiya for the cheese alternative, and feature all types of vegan proteins, including tempeh and soy chorizo. Their menu is clearly labeled for gluten, too. They are open for lunch and dinner (limited days), and in the warm months, they have outdoor seating available to enjoy a cerveza or margarita al fresco.

St. Catharines

  • Beechwood Doughnuts ⭐️ – Forget Tim Horton’s, this local vegan bakery handmakes an array of classic and creative donuts daily.

Sturgeon Falls

  • Chez Jean-Marc Bakery – This is a 100% gluten-free boulangerie that typically offers a big selection of dairy-free baked goodies, too.

Toronto

  • Bloomer’s ⭐️ – Over the years, donuts have become the focal point at this all-vegan bakery. But they also bake bread, bagels, cookies, pies, cinnamon buns, and more, and take custom cake orders for special occasions. And of course, you can grab a barista beverage to go with your pastry. They have two locations in Toronto.
  • Bunner’s Bakeshop ⭐️ – Cupcakes, cheesecakes, cinnamon buns, breads, pot pies … you can fulfill nearly every baked craving at this popular vegan and gluten-free bakery. And you won’t feel like you are missing out. They were once voted the best bakery in Toronto.
  • Eva’s Original Chimneys ⭐️ – Thanks to Lisa for recommending this shop and restaurant for their vegan-heavy menu. Most of their chimney cakes are vegan, they offer several vegan chimney cone options that can be filled with vegan vanilla soft serve and topped with one of their dairy-free house-made sauces. They also have a full menu of vegan burgers, tacos, and some pizzas.
  • Famoso – This is a small Canadian pizza chain that offers Daiya dairy-free cheese alternative at no extra charge, and has plant-based pizzas (like pepperoni) on the menu. They’re made with a neapolitan crust, rossa sauce, and vegan cheese.
  • Fresh ⭐️ – This vegan restaurant chain is Toronto’s plant-based empire. They have multiple locations around the city, a smattering in other Ontario cities, and even a presence in the U.S. Their menu offers a big array of healthy cuisine for lunch and dinner, in the form of bowls, salads, burgers, shareables, and more. They also have a big menu of smoothies and juices, coffee drinks, alcoholic beverages, and desserts.
  • Gabriela’s Cakes – This a traditional cakery, but they’ve become quite popular for custom special diet cakes. They make dairy-free, gluten-free, sugar-free, vegan, and organic cakes on order.
  • Hello123 ⭐️ – If you’re in the West Queen West neighborhood, then you might want to pop into this completely vegan restaurant and bar. They boast eclectic comfort food menus for lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch in a modern but cozy atmosphere. They also have a decadent dessert menu (including dairy-free cheesecakes!) and a big drink menu o house cocktails, vegan wines, draught beer and cider, kombucha, fresh-squeezed juices, superfood coffee lattes, and more.
  • Il Fornello – They have a smattering of restaurants in the greater Toronto area, all renowned for wood-fired pizza and fine Italian cuisine. They offer a full vegan menu that varies from location to location, but is quite extensive at all. It includes salads, pastas, pizzas with dairy-free cheeses, and desserts. Many more menu items can be made “just dairy-free,” too.
  • Karine’s ⭐️ – Breakfast all day, sandwiches, and Middle Eastern sides are specialties at this counter-serve spot. They offer a full vegan menu and many gluten-free options. But the real treat is the array of vegan and gluten-free goodies baked fresh daily on the premises. They are all dairy free, wheat free, and egg-free, and often made with local and organic ingredients.
  • Lady Marmalade – Thanks to Chantele for recommending this breakfast and lunch spot. “Great menu! It has a ton of vegan options and vegetarian options. Plus, they will substitute ANYTHING, even during busy hours.” They also have gluten-ree options available.
  • Lollicakes ⭐️ – This certified kosher bakery is peanut and tree nut-free and offers a big selection of dairy-free, gluten-free, and vegan cakes, cupcakes, and other pastries.
  • Magic Oven – They offer prepared meals for pick-up, delivery, and at local farmer’s markets. Their menus boast fresh ingredients and include many dairy-free, vegan, plant-based, and gluten-free options.
  • M!LK Vegan Gelato ⭐️ – Their scoops are made with a base of oat and coconut milks, and come in a range of rotating flavors. They offer more than a dozen flavors daily, with a mix of classic, refreshing, and uniquely indulgent options. It’s located next to the vegan Pizzeria Du, so you can enjoy a cone after you have a slice!
  • On Third Thought ⭐️ – This all-vegan gelato and wine shop serves 8 to 13 vegan gelato flavors daily, with options ranging from innocent Strawberry Shortcake and Chocolate Peanot Butter (made with Sunbutter) to indulgent Sangria and Pina Colada. They also sell vegan wines by the bottle (yes, wine can contain dairy!).
  • Pizzeria Du ⭐️ – Their all-vegan pizza menu includes a selection of classic and gourmet toppings. They also make their own dairy-free cheeses and ranch dressing.
  • Planta ⭐️ – Despite the meaty names on the menu, everything at this Toronto restaurant chain is plant-based, dairy-free, and vegan. They bridge gourmet and casual in their unique restaurants across town, including Planta Yorkville, Queen, Cocina, and Burger.

Waterloo

  • Famoso – This is a small Canadian pizza chain that offers Daiya dairy-free cheese alternative at no extra charge, and has plant-based pizzas (like pepperoni) on the menu. They’re made with a neapolitan crust, rossa sauce, and vegan cheese.

Most Popular Chains in Ontario for Dairy-Free Diners

There are many more chains in this state, but these are the ones we recommend most for dairy-free options.

Ontario-Only Chains

  • Pizzaiolo – You’ll only find this pizza chain in Ontario, but they have a lot of them! And you won’t want to miss their vegan menu. It includes some unique plant-based creations, some made with dairy-free cheese and some made cheese-free. You can also build-your-own dairy-free pizza, and even get a dairy-free and gluten-free pizza crust (contains eggs). This is a 100% nut-free restaurant chain, too.
  • Pizza Nova – It has Italian roots, but this pizza chain is firmly planted in the greater Toronto area with about 140 locations. They have a plant-based pepperoni menu, and offer Daiya dairy-free cheese as an option for all of their pizzas and panzerottis (like calzones). Their classic pizza dough and sauce and gluten-free dough is dairy-free and vegan. They also have a very detailed allergen chart available.

National Chains

This Guide is Continuously Updated with Recommendations

We welcome you to recommend other dairy-free friendly restaurants. Leave a comment or contact us and tell us why you like a certain restaurant. Restaurant owners and employees are also invited to reach out and let us know how you welcome dairy-free customers.

Please kindly let us know in the comments if any of these restaurants close. We want to keep this list current for you, but aren’t always notified when a restaurant closes. Let us know and we will quickly update!

This Guide is for Informational Purposes Only

Menus, ingredients, kitchen procedures, management, and restaurants are subject to change at any time. Always read the menu and discuss your dietary needs with the staff before ordering. Make sure that they can accommodate your situation.

There is always a risk for potential cross-contamination of allergens in any commercial kitchen. If cross-contamination is an issue for you, always speak with the manager to ensure that your meal can be safely prepared. Listings here do not guarantee that a restaurant is safe enough for your individual needs. Only you can make that decision.

For More Dairy-Free Guidance, Get Go Dairy Free!

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About Author

Alisa is the founder of GoDairyFree.org, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.

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