If you’ve lived in or have even travelled to Toronto and are a fan of plant based restaurants, you surely know the vegan haven that is Planta. And if you don’t, now you do. Their original Yorkville location was the perfect addition to Toronto’s plant based restaurant scene, introducing a classier, more sophisticated menu and dining experience. So imagine the excitement that ensued when the restaurant that brought you vegan crab cakes and your favourite eggplant lasagna opened up a restaurant dedicated to everyone’s favourite grab-and-go: burgers. I don’t know what took me so long, but I finally got myself over to Planta Burger, and again shortly after because it was so damn good.
Planta Burger’s menu consists of four burgers, six side options and two desserts. (Edit: Menu has since been expanded) I haven’t had a chance to try the desserts (yet), but if you’re curious, they have three different coconut-based milkshakes (Strawberry, Chocolate and Salted Caramel Vanilla) and a cookie option. I’ve tried three of the four burgers now, and I have to say The Crab Cake is by far my favourite. The actual “crab” cake part of The Crab Cake is made from heart of palm, which apparently is a popular substitute for actual crab in plant based recipes. Topped with tartar sauce and fresh crispy lettuce, the simplicity of this burger is what makes it a real winner. If your veggie heart is missing the fully loaded beef burgers you may have once indulged in, The Classic is for you. Loaded with cheese, queso, mushroom bacon, tomatoes and pickles on top of a very beef-like patty, this burger could fool even the most experienced meat eaters. The Jackpot, my most recent endeavor, is for the barbecue lovers of the world. Made with bbq jackfruit, house made kale slaw and topped with a garlic aioli, this burger puts a fresh spin on a backyard summer classic.
Now let’s talk sides. I’ve tried three of the six side options and none have disappointed. I think the Buffalo Cauliflower is my favourite, but man, the Caesar Salad gives it a run for it’s money. The Buffalo Cauliflower is drizzled with what I think is a creamy dill sauce (not 100% sure, doesn’t say on the menu), and topped with pickled veggies. The colours are beautiful and the crisp, hearty textures are super satisfying. Not too spicy, the drizzle of the cream sauce tones down the buffalo spice. Their BBQ Spiced Fries are also excellent. They’re very thin cut, crispy fries that basically taste like hickory sticks. But if you are a salad lover, you must try the caesar salad. Cashew dressing, almond parm, mushroom bacon and pickled onion are served over a bed of cool crispy romaine. It’s to die for. It boasts all the amazing tangy, creamy, garlic flavours of a caesar salad that I have been longing for since going vegan. I’d go again just for the salad. And I have.
Before you go, you should know the restaurant is set up take-out style. There are high top tables if you want to dine-in, but you place your order with the cashier – there is no table service. The vibe is very casual, and the service here is superfriendly. They’re usually playing loud, anthem type throwbacks to serenade your burger experience. Kind of an interesting quirk. Planta Burger is located at 4 Temperance Street in the heart of downtown Toronto – a short walk from Queen subway station on the TTC.