Vegan Food in Thunder Bay, Canada

10 Sep 2018

@kaylabear profile image

Thunder Bay 1

Thunder Bay is the hub of Northwestern Ontario, Canada. Although its population isn’t large, it’s a city full of diverse cultures and cuisines. Many people pass through this city on their way to other parts of Ontario or the US, and no one can resist its beautiful landscapes, friendly folks, and small-town charm. From the iconic “Sleeping Giant,” the beautiful waters of Lake Superior, to the strong Indigenous culture, Thunder Bay has a lot to offer to both its visitors and locals. The same can be said for its plant-based dishes!

Thunder Bay 2

Bonobo’s Foods

Bonobo's 1

Crabby Bonobo

A long-established favourite veggie spot, Bonobo’s Foods is a vegetarian take-out and dine-in restaurant. They offer daily and weekly specials that are changed frequently and baked goods. All food items can be made vegan on request. Their homemade veggie burgers have been voted as one of the best in the city (beating many meat-based ones!) and much of the community rallied behind them when neighbours complained about the lack of parking spaces around Bonobo’s to the city council. I highly recommend the Crabby Bonobo, which is a house-made crab burger patty with vegan tartar sauce, tomato and field greens.

Bonobo's 2

Top: Salad; Bottom: Cauliflower Pakoras

The Cauliflower Pakoras are little slices of deep-fried heaven. If you’re opting for a healthier option, try one of their huge salads. Their other bonuses include a beautiful vintage interior and a grocery space with lots of vegan goodies to bring home.

Check out other dishes and reviews of Bonobo's Foods.

Bonobo's Foods, 493 Oliver Rd, Thunder Bay, ON P7B 2G8, Canada

Red Lion Smokehouse

Cauliflower steak

Top: Eggplant Burger; Bottom: Cauliflower Steak

Red Lion Smokehouse

From left: Chunky Chips, Pickled Veggies, Craft Beer

Their chunky chips are the chunkiest I’ve ever seen, and the Pickled Veggies are served in an adorable photogenic teacup. Wash it all down with a local vegan craft beer from Sleeping Giant Brewery.

Check out other dishes and reviews of Red Lion Smokehouse.

Red Lion Smokehouse, 28 Cumberland St S, Thunder Bay, ON P7B 2T2, Canada

Bliss Café

Bliss cafe1

From left: Kale Caesar; Raw Pizza

As the only fully-vegan restaurant in Thunder Bay, Bliss Café creates delicious raw dishes, smoothies, desserts, and coffees using local organic ingredients. They also offer raw cooking classes, catering, and many gluten-free options. This place gets seriously packed at lunchtime, and there’s no guessing why. Their Kale Caesar is fresh, light and delicious. Their Raw Pizza is made from a homemade sprouted buckwheat, sunflower seed, and flax crust, topped with dehydrated mushrooms, tomatoes, caramelized onions, parsley, cashew mayo, and “rawmesean.”

Bliss cafe2

From top, left: Twix Bar; Raw Blueberry Lemon Cheesecake; Raw Pizza

It’s hard to choose from their many desserts, but the dark chocolate-covered Twix Bar is a must-have, and their raw blueberry lemon cheesecake, made with local blueberries, is a perfect guilt-free dessert.

Check out other dishes and reviews of Bliss Café.

Bliss Café, 87 Cumberland St N, Thunder Bay, ON P7A 4M1, Canada

Damascus Donair


Hummus and Pita

Hummus Wrap

Top: Hummus Wrap; Bottom: Fattoush Salad

Their Hummus Wrap has a generous portion of pickles, which complements the wrap nicely, and the Fattoush Salad is one of the best I’ve ever tasted. Everything is very reasonably-priced and delicious.

Check out other dishes and reviews of Damascus Donair.

Damascus Donair, 17 St Paul St, Thunder Bay, ON P7A 4S4, Canada

In Common

In Common

From left: Dream Bowl, Tomato Red Pepper Curry Soup, Roasted Beet Bowl

Check out other dishes and reviews of In Common.

In Common, 40 Cumberland St S, Thunder Bay, ON P7B 2T5, Canada

La Poutine

La Poutine

Vegan Deluxe

It’s impossible to say you’ve had an authentic Canadian experience unless you’ve tried poutine! This classic French-Canadian dish is traditionally made from French fries, gravy, and cheese curds. This food would normally be off-limits to plant-based eaters, but more and more poutine places are creating plant-based variations of this dish. La Poutine offers a traditional poutine with vegan gravy and Daiya cheese shreds. You can also pay extra to add additional toppings like mushrooms, peppers, or onions. Their Vegan Deluxe is a new menu item that contains fries with Daiya cheese, vegan gravy, teriyaki sautéed mushrooms, vegan mayonnaise, sweet seaweed, and green onions. They make sure to cook all their vegan items separately from their meat ones, which shows that this place truly caters for plant-based eaters.

Check out other dishes and reviews of La Poutine.

La Poutine, 16 St Paul St, Thunder Bay, ON P7A 4S5, Canada

Rebel Salad

Rebel Salad

Build your own salad!

Check out other dishes and reviews of Rebel Salad.

Rebel Salad, 320 Bay St, Thunder Bay, ON P7B 1S1, Canada

Sweet North Bakery

Sweet North Bakery

From top, left: Pretzel, The Vegan, Vegan Thai Soup, assorted desserts

Bakeries are often tricky for plant-based eaters, especially vegan. At Sweet North, however, they cater for many dietary needs and have lots of gluten-free and plant-based options, which can allow all of us to freely indulge. They also try to source their ingredients from local farms to support local businesses. Their giant carnival-like Pretzels are a must-try, either sesame or salted (just ask for no egg wash on top if you’re vegan). Their vegan cupcakes, cookies, and truffles change regularly and are delectable. The Vegan is an amazing sandwich with black bean spread, wilted greens, sautéed tofu, mild antipasto, vegan mayo, pea shoots, romaine, and pickles, served on a vegan pretzel bun. Every Wednesday they have vegan specials, and I particularly enjoyed the Vegan Thai Soup when I last visited. They also offer soy and almond milk for all their beverages.

Check out other dishes and reviews of Sweet North Bakery.

Sweet North Bakery, 10 Court St S, Thunder Bay, ON P7B 2W3, Canada

Sushi Bowl

Sushi bowl1

From top, left: Pan-fried Gyoza, Wakame Salad, Spider Fries

I have found that sushi can either be hit or miss for plant-based eaters. In Thunder Bay, many sushi restaurants will use mayonnaise in their sushi rolls, which makes them unsuitable for vegans. The Sushi Bowl, however, is a long-standing authentic Japanese and Korean restaurant that completely understands what plant-based means, and even offers a separate vegetarian menu. I highly recommend the simple-yet-delicious Wakame Salad as an appetizer. My guilty pleasures are the pan-fried Gyoza and Spider Fries, which are deep-fried carrot, potato, and onion fries. Luckily, the batter used is vegan.

Sushi bowl2

From left: L.A. Roll, Monk Roll

For sushi, try the L.A. Roll made with carrot, cucumber, avocado, and sesame seeds, or the Monk Roll, made with shitake mushrooms, spinach, carrots, cucumbers, and black sesame seeds. This is a great place to get your sushi fix without worrying about ingredients.

Check out other dishes and reviews of Sushi Bowl

Sushi Bowl, 250 Red River Rd, Thunder Bay, ON P7B 1A6, Canada

Thai Kitchen

Thai Kitchen2

From top, left: Veggie Spring Roll, Tom Ka Gai, Iced Thai Tea

This is quite possibly my favourite restaurant in Thunder Bay, which offers delicious, affordable, and authentic Thai food. After travelling to Thailand multiple times, I can admit that I still haven’t found a Veggie Spring Roll as good as the massive, homemade ones offered here. Most of the dishes can be made vegan, as they substitute meats with tofu in dishes indicated with a veggie symbol on the menu. My go-to dish is the Tom Ka Gai, which is a hot and sour white soup with fresh mushrooms and cilantro in coconut broth with lemongrass, lime leaf, and tofu. You can also try a traditional Iced Thai Tea here – ask your server for coconut milk because it’s so good!

Thai Kitchen1

From top, left: Green Curry, Red Curry, Pad Thai

Try any of their delicious red, green, or yellow curries with tofu or one of their Pad Thai dishes – just ask them to remove the egg if you’re vegan.

Check out other dishes and reviews of Thai Kitchen

Thai Kitchen, 1 Cumberland St S, Thunder Bay, ON P7B 2T1, Canada

Monsoon Thunder Bay


Who would’ve thought that you can find such good Indian food in the middle of Northwestern Ontario? At Monsoon, they have clearly labeled vegetarian items, and the staff fully understands what vegan means.


From left: Aloo Ghobi, Channa Masala, Mixed Veg

As someone who has tasted many versions of Aloo Ghobi, I can tell you that theirs is extremely good. Don’t miss the Channa Masala if you like spice. The Mixed Veg, a combination of various stir-fried veggies, compliments the spiciness of the other dishes nicely. Their Naan Bread is pillowy soft and freshly-made – just make sure to ask for no butter on it if you’re vegan. The staff here are super attentive and friendly, so it’s definitely worth paying them a visit.

Check out other dishes and reviews of Monsoon Thunder Bay.

Monsoon Thunder Bay, 588 Arthur St W #4, Thunder Bay, ON P7E 5R7, Canada

The Growing Season – Juice Collective

Growing Season

From left: Season Sandwich, Immune Juice, Venus Rice Bowl

Check out other dishes and reviews of The Growing Season.

The Growing Season, 201 Algoma St S, Thunder Bay, ON P7B 3C1, Canada

Prime Gelato

Prime Gelato1

If you come here in the summer, be prepared to wait in a line that goes all the way out of the door! This high-quality artisanal gelato shop boasts of being the only gelateria in Northern Ontario that doesn’t use pre-made powder bases, pre-made flavouring pastes, colorants, or artificial flavours. They try to source as many local ingredients as possible, such as herbs, wild blueberries, maple syrup, and flour. Their flavours change regularly, and they always offer a variety of vegan sorbetto and dairy-free gelato made with almond milk, rice milk, or coconut milk. Vegan flavours are clearly labeled on their menu.

Prime Gelato2

From left: Cherry Lime Sorbet, Coconut Mango, Lemon Sorbet, Strawberry Banana Sorbet

You can order them in scoops or a flight, which contains four flavours of your choice, and is great for sharing. On my last visit, I tried the Coconut Mango Gelato, Strawberry Banana Sorbet, Lemon Sorbet, and Cherry Lime Sorbet. There’s a reason why this place is named ‘Prime’ Gelato – you can taste the high quality flavour with each bite. Or lick!

Check out other dishes and reviews of Prime Gelato.

Prime Gelato, 200 Red River Rd, Thunder Bay, ON P7B 1A4, Canada

Thunder Bay is a place not to be overlooked. Although a little geographically isolated, it’s definitely a strong player in the plant-based movement, with so many plant-based choices available all over the city. Whether you’re passing through or staying long-term, don’t miss out on all of its wonderful and delicious options!

. . .

Suggested Articles

See all


@lou profile image
wow vegan poutine!! i would love to try that if i ever visit canada 😋all the other food looks so yummy too!
@vikas profile image
vikas4 YEARS AGO
Seriously who would have thought there's so much awesome vegan food here! Amazing!!! 👏🏼🌱🤤
@bigfatnyancat profile image
bigfatnyancat4 YEARS AGO
it's such a vibrant food scene in Ontario! would love to go there one day
@bliss profile image
bliss4 YEARS AGO
Love that we are apart of such an amazing food community here. Thank you so much
@juliachristipurba profile image
Wow... It feels like it's fast to eat 😍
@beachesbaby profile image
beachesbaby2 YEARS AGO
😮 I live here and I didnt know half these places had these options on the menu! My fav go to places are Thai Kitchen, My Place and if you call ahead Anchor and Ore. I can see my waist line expanding in my future 😔🤣
@kaylabear profile image
kaylabear2 YEARS AGO
@beachesbaby that makes me so happy! I wrote this 2 years ago and don’t think Anchor and Ore was open then. Can’t wait to check it out when I’m home!! 😃
@beachesbaby profile image
beachesbaby2 YEARS AGO
@kaylabear it wasn't. It's in the new Delta Hotel on the waterfront. My Place wouldn't have been open either but if you're from here then you know Hoss from This Old Barn. Personal friend of my husband (the carnivore) and mine. He has at least one vegetarian/vegan friendly item on the menu but will go out of his way to make your dietary preferences enjoyable while eating in his place. My Place is where the old Peopered Bear was across from the casino. Tell him you're with Tamara and you'll be in for an extra special treat!
@kaylabear profile image
kaylabear2 YEARS AGO
@beachesbaby that’s so awesome! So happy to hear that Tbay is getting more veg friendly. Can’t wait to check these places out next time! 😃😃😃