London (Ontario) Vegan Guide now up!

I love my city, I really do.  We lived in Toronto for a stint, and while I currently appreciate how close I am to it for impromptu day trips and hang outs and love Toronto dearly, I am so happy we’ve made London home.  We bought a house in 2015 here, and I couldn’t be happier with the decision.

downtown-london

I’m also pleased that we’re becoming something of a little vegan mecca!  For years and years we made do with a small amount of great restaurants serving up vegan fare, but in recent years there’s been a bit of an explosion in options.

Because I can no longer count the vegan options available here on one hand, and I get asked all the time for recommendations, I decided to create a comprehensive guide that would serve both residents and visitors to the city as a compass of sorts, to help you find the best vegan stuff available.  And let me tell you…there’s plenty. So, here it is;

The London, Ontario Vegan Food Guide

Enjoy, and as we enter the new year with many people opting to do Veganuary/Meatless Monday/etc challenges, please reach out with any questions you might have — I promise, no judgement or shame — and I’ll try my best to help.

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Summer in #ldnont

It’s nearly summer here and based on the heat we’re feeling today, I’d say we’re pretty well there. And I feel ready to enjoy it. The last 365 have been crazy…and I don’t do well with crazy. I’m perpetually drawn to the safety, the routine, the comfort I can create for myself. The last year has taken me far, far outside my comfort zone, kicked me out of the car and drove off.

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But here we are. A year in our new home that we own (well, okay, the bank owns it but we’re closer and closer every mortgage payment).  A tumultuous two job changes for me, after leaving my employer of the last near-decade…the only employer I had since college. I miss the routine, the familiar — but I’m slowly working on building that again. Despite setbacks with my mental health. Despite the little things that happen in my day to day that because of my mental health affect me deeper than  someone who, you know, doesn’t have a severe anxiety disorder. Hey, I’m still standing, so that’s something.

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The world around me continues to be increasingly vegan friendly, almost to the point of (delightful) ridiculousness. In London, we said goodbye to Veg Out as the owner moves on to a new chapter in her life, only to welcome Glassroots and Plant Matter Kitchen.

Glassroots Vegan Restaurant
Glassroots.  Top left clockwise: roasted veggie chip amuse-bouche, local vegan cheese plate (with Nuts for Cheese cheeses), lemon-cran cheesecake, tofu scallops entree.
Plant Matter Kitchen Vegan Restaurant
Plant Matter Kitchen. “Chick’n” Caesar wrap, with accompanying sides of ‘kraut and salad. I was super impressed with this.

America now has vegan Ben and Jerry’s!  And I have nice pals who smuggle some over the border and share with me.

Vegan Ben And Jerry's Ice Cream

It’s amazing but also kind of weird.  I’ve been vegan for a decade now and it’s a bit surreal to see how this thing that has been a separator, a divide between myself and a lot of people is now this thing that people are embracing. I hope it can stay about the animals and not another fad that gets disposed of as quickly as it becomes a “thing”.

I’ve also been thinking a lot about the years of bakesale-ing, of making food for people, of doing punkrock catering gigs and all the people that have told me I shouldn’t be a graphic designer, I should be doing food for a living. I’ve been listening. But thanks to the aforementioned fear of uncertainty and danger, I’ve not jumped into action. If I’m being honest, I’m afraid of the market becoming too saturated and me still just sitting on my hands never realizing my dream.

What my dream is, I’ll never tell, lest some fancy serial entrepreneur who’s not even vegan goes and takes my idea. I hope I end up doing it once and for all eventually.

For now, I’m becoming quite the grill master, quite the amateur gardener, and enjoying feeding all the chipmunks in the yard. Each one of them is named “Chippy”.

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Baby’s first raised garden beds!  Tomatoes galore, brussels, several varieties of peppers and chilis, two types of kale, chard, beets, radishes, turnips, lemongrass, nasturtiums, mint, Thai basil.

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Next up: preserving and pickling all the things.  Strawberries and wild blackberries will become jam, gardeny things will become pickled accouterments for my virgin bloody marys.

A Facelift

NVL is all spiffy and new – we’ve been rebranded!
Our friend Jordan is a really awesome graphic designer.  We love his work and got him to do a logo for us and you should too.
Thanks, Jordan!