Live is located in Toronto’s Annex and is one of a handful of raw food vegan restaurants in the city. Raw food is defined as uncooked, unprocessed food. Dehydrators and blenders are typically used to “cook” food and while some raw food vegan restaurants will serve “cooked” food, it will not be heated past 49C.
Personally, I find raw food to be an acquired taste and not for the finicky eater. Prices may seem extraordinary, however all the ingredients used are organic and some not as readily available and rare. Live tries to keep their prices relatively low compared to other raw food places and do an amazing job with their menu, have a great philosophy and a very low-key atmosphere.
The raw tacos are one of the most popular items on their menu and they are bursting with flavour and are better than some other tacos I’ve had raw or not. Another favourite of mine is the sunshine wrap. The wrap is made from sprouted flax seeds, sun-dried tomatoes and carrots and is perfect in texture. Thin enough to hold the abundance of veggies (sunflower seed hummus, cucumbers, kale, tomatoes, red onions, avocado and sprouts), hearty enough to keep the contents together and give the wrap some substance.
The kale Caesar, another favourite, is mixed greens, sundried tomatoes, coconut bacon, cashew hemp parmesan, and Caesar dressing. A very healthy alternative to the traditional version. Live Food Bar’s Big Bowl is a mix of field greens, kale, carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, mixed seeds, avocado, micro greens, and sunflower sesame hummus, with carrot-ginger dressing. This salad is simple, yet really, really delicious and refreshing.
The chickpea burger is topped with arugula, tomato, pickles, BBQ sauce, chipotle mayo on aide’s gluten-free bun. The best part is the bun – so chewy and soft, you almost can’t believe it’s gluten free.
Their juices are energizing, fresh and detoxifying. No wonder they’re so popular. The restaurant has an extensive organic beer and wine menu as well.
The desserts are also worth trying if you have room for it.
Raw tacos $10
Sunshine wrap $10
Kale Caesar Salad $8
Big bowl $13
Chickpea burger $11
Dessert prices vary
Overall, I enjoy the food at Live. The service is a little hit or miss and could do with some improvement. Some might feel that the portions are on the small side however, when you factor in the ingredients, each meal is pretty dense and filling.
As a side note, if you visit Live during TIFF, you might just run into Woody Harrelson, apparently one of his favourite restaurants in the city and a loyal customer.