No pork, no chicken? No problem
RYOJI 690 College, 416-533-8083
Snack on peanut tofu and zucchini fritters at the Toronto location of this Okinawa-based restaurant chain beore diving into bowls of meatless ramen (available in large and small sizes). Seaweed-mushroom broth gets bulked up with egg noodles and a whole produce aisle’s worth of veg, including beets, pea shoots, carrots, celery and bell peppers. Garlic chips and a drizzle of pesto oil bring extra flavour.
RAMEN ISSHIN 421 College, 416-367-4013
Hey, vegetarians, sick of having (maybe) one dish to choose from when your buddies want ramen? Next time, steer the gang to Isshin, where they do not one, not two, but four types of veggie ramen: shio and shoyu feature thinner noodles, while miso and spicy red miso get heftier ones. The usual veggie toppings abound, but options like deep-fried ground tofu (a stand-in for chicken and pork) make Isshin our pick for the top veggie ramen in town. Bonus: it also has egg-free or gluten-free noodles on request.
KENZO RAMEN 138 Dundas West, 416-205-1155, and others
The Park family has built their Kenzo Ramen brand from a single location at Yonge and Steeles into a mini-empire boasting six locations around the GTA. That just makes things more convenient for local vegetarians, who won’t have to travel far for veg versions of either the miso-based Sapporo or the soy-based Jisu Men. Both bowls come topped with stir-fried veggies.
RYUS NOODLE BAR 33 Baldwin, 647-344-9306
Who says veggie ramen has to be bland? On top of a lighter veggie shoyu broth flavoured with shiitake mushrooms, ginger, garlic and kombu, Ryus also offers a rich “vegetable miso potage” that gets pork-bone-style body from potatoes and cauliflower and extra savouriness from sesame oil and two varieties of miso.
Touhenboku’s Kenji Yamamura makes ramen.
TOUHENBOKU 261 Queen West, 416-596-8080, and others
This Queen West ramen shop with an adorable tree-stump mascot distinguishes its broth with liberal doses of chicken fat (as opposed to liberal amounts of pork fat everywhere else in town) but will gladly hold that when you order its all-veggie miso version with wood-ear mushrooms, bean sprouts and green onions, plus egg for the non-vegans. It’s quite possibly the only ramen spot in town that delivers (through Foodora and UberEats). Vegetarians with colds, take note.
Get more of Toronto’s best new Japanese restaurants here.
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