East vs. West – where does a vegan belong?

Although I’ve been living on the east coast for a few years now, I confess I am still partial to the west coast.  I grew up in the interior of B.C., moved to Vancouver for my undergrad years, and then spent about five and a half years in sunny San Diego.  I’ve always considered the west coast generally more vegetarian/vegan friendly, but after meeting up with a friend from New York for lunch in Toronto at a vegan burrito place, I started debating which coast is really more vegetarian friendly?  I think California is a veggie haven that is hard to compete with, given the variety of fresh, local produce available most of the year.   I sorely miss the shopping excursions I used to make in San Diego to local farmers markets, Whole Foods, and Henry’s Marketplace.   On my last trip to out to San Francisco, Sarpreet took me to the farmers market at the Embarcadero – we spent a few hours taking in the colors and smells of the fresh fruits and vegetables, fresh breads and baked treats, and some of the best coffee I’ve ever had…and then of course, there’s always plenty of options for vegetarians when it comes to choosing a restaurant for a meal out.  However, having been living in downtown Toronto for about 2 years now, I find myself never left wanting for an exciting vegetarian option.  For example, on my 30-minute walk home from work every day I pass close by at least four vegan restaurants, offering a range of flavors that includes the Asian-inspired food at Loving Hut, mouth-watering Mexican delights at Hot Beans, and the fresh yet flavorful fare at Fresh Restaurants.  Even my local grocery store, Sobey’s, carries vegan desserts from one of my favorite local vegan bakeries, Sweets from the Earth.  Perhaps it’s time I started giving the east coast some more credit when it comes to being a veggie friendly place?

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