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Montréal Day 1: Aux Vivres, Viva Vegan, & Crudessence

After a lovely night’s sleep in THE ‘vegan driveway’ with Gerty, we were ready to start exploring. After mid-morning chit chat and coffee with Alex and Daniela, we headed to our very first vegan destination, with Alex as our guide! We quickly learned why Aux Vivres is a hometown favorite. They’ve got a varied menu with everything from BLTs, gyros, creamsicle smoothies (it really does taste like a creamsicle!), a variety of burgers, salads, desserts, and brunch options (served from 11-4 on weekends).

The restaurant is pretty big with three sit down dining areas (including a new addition/porch in the back), and a take out/express area on the left-hand side where they feature some of their tasty desserts in a display case. You know, to drool over (pics below).

“At Aux Vivres, we strive to serve food that is local, organic, free of animal products-and delicious. It’s our mission to disprove misconceptions about vegan cooking by offering a wide variety of inspired, satisfying meals that are every bit as tasty as they are healthy.”

Aux Vivres – 100% vegan

4631 Boulevard Saint-Laurent
Montréal, Québec, Canada

Aux Vivres vegan montrealAux Vivres vegan restaurant montreal

We started with the Assiette Froide – veggie paté, veggie lox, tofu cream, hummus and olive tapenade with bread. I really, really liked this dish a lot. The variety was wonderful and each dollop of “mezze” had unique flavor that was perfectly paired with the accompanying bread. I think my favorites of the bunch were the tofu cream and the veggie lox. Rich, oozing with flavor but not overpowering. I could have had just this dish for my meal. It was so satisfying and delicious.

Aux Vivres vegan restaurant montreal

Hey, check it out. In the background of the below photo you can see how we destroyed that Assiette Froide dish. Om nom nom! Ah’em. For my main course I had the BLT – coconut bacon, lettuce, tomato & mayo. Have you ever had coconut bacon? It’s really interesting. I was a little unsure as I’m not a huge fan of coconut in general. And by that I mean straight up coconut. Coconut-based ice creams are another story, however. :) But back to this sammy – It was pretty good. I couldn’t finish it what with filling up on the appetizer, so I took half of it back to the van and finished it the next day. I was pleasantly surprised with how much more I liked it that next morning. The flavors had all merged into a harmonious blend of soggy, yet somehow still crispy in some ways, delight. This was a pretty good one!

Aux Vivres vegan restaurant montreal

Ethan had the Mekong Sandwich which is grilled tofu with pickled carrot & daikon, mint, coriander, lettuce & Thai peanut sauce.

vegan restaurant montreal

Alex went for a Brunch menu item, Le Complet. It is not just a clever name; Tofu scramble, tempeh bacon, cornbread, fresh fruit, salad & sweet potatoes.

vegan restaurant montreal

Some desserts in the take-out area teaser case. :) I thought this was interesting, the literal translation of ‘Gateau Fauxmage’ is fake cheesecake. And there you have it!

Aux Vivres vegan restaurant montreal

I didn’t catch the name of this one but I’d imagine it’s a carrot cake of some sort. No matter, I’d totally eat this up.

Aux Vivres vegan restaurant montreal

I spy an orange colored Gerty van on this board of cards! Had to leave a few before we left, of course. :)

Aux Vivres vegan restaurant montreal

Viva Vegan – 100% vegan

4148 Saint-Laurent
Montréal, Québec, Canada

One thing you don’t find very often, even in super vegan-friendly cities, is a vegan store. An actual store that sells everything from baked goods, to cookbooks, canned goods, frozen foods, skin and body care products, pet food, cosmetics, jewelry, and supplements. I could go on but in short, this place friggin’ rules, man.

Viva Vegan offers select items in their brick and mortar location but you can order pretty much anything vegan you can think of off of their website. It’s just so lovely to have a physical location to visit and pick up essential vegan items. If I ever move to Montreal this store would be one of the reasons why. For sure. You know you’ve found a winner when you can get sweets and essentials in one place, AND when the owners and staff are super duper nice. As is the case with Viva Vegan!

Viva Vegan Montreal

It’s relatively small but is packed with all kinds of goodies.

Viva Vegan Montreal

Oooh, another teaser case. Our favorite! I didn’t get a picture of the area just in front of this display case but there is a table or two where you can sit and enjoy a cup of coffee, tea, or hot chocolate. Or one of those goodies in the teaser case! Eeee!! ;)

Viva Vegan Montreal

I spy a number of familiar books here! At the top is one of my favorite vegan bakers, Kelly Peloza (AKA The Vegan Cookie Connoisseur). I also see Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World by Terry Hope Romero. Yum, naturally. Oh and the Earthlings documentary. Very nice. What else do you seen in there, hmm?!
Viva Vegan MontrealFrozen delights!

Viva Vegan MontrealViva Vegan Montreal buttons

Okay. Are you ready for THIS?! Feast your eyes on the one, the only, VEGAN CROISSANT! I haven’t had a croissant since becoming vegan, or “waking up” as our good friend Ben Strothmann would say. :) Nope. Not one. But ladies and gents if you’re ever in Montreal you must, I repeat must stop at Viva Vegan and purchase the chocolate-filled croissant. Do it. You’ll thank me mid-bite. I promise.

Viva Vegan Montreal - croissants

Humina, humina, humina.Viva Vegan montreal croissant

CUPCAKES! These were very delicious as well. Look, I have two. La-di-dah.

Viva Vegan Montreal cupcakes

If you thought croissants and cupcakes weren’t enough it’s time to get real with Viva Vegan’s luscious donuts. I feel as though I don’t need to say a word. Just. Look.

Viva Vegan Montreal donutsViva Vegan Montreal donuts

“Does this donut make me look skinny?”

Viva Vegan Montreal donuts

Crudessence – 100% raw vegan

105 Rachel St. West
Montréal, Québec, Canada

Crudessence (“raw essence” in English) is kicking vegan arse and takin’ names. And by that I mean this raw powerhouse chain has got three locations up and running, a fourth one in the works, and hosts regular potlucks as well as raw food preparation classes.

raw vegan montreal
Crudessence raw vegan montrealCrudessence raw vegan montrealCrudessence raw vegan montreal

I had the Lasagna – layers of sliced zucchini, fresh basil, sun dried tomato sauce and macadamia nut “rawcotta” garnished with crumesan and served wit a Caesar salad.

Crudessence raw vegan montrealCrudessence raw vegan montreal

Ethan ordered the seasonal raw pasta dish.

raw vegan montreal

Oh and for an appetizer we had the Sushis de vie – maki rolls of vegetables, sprouts and sprouted seed paté of the day, served with gluten free tamari sauce. This was our favorite dish at Crudessence. Very flavorful, pretty to look at, and fun to eat! :)

vegan raw dining montrealCrudessence raw vegan montreal

 

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Comments

  1. Beautiful post! I love following your journey!

  2. Good choice!
    I’m crazy about tow of them(Crudessence and Aux Vivres) and another one, La panthère verte, the pita falafel is amazing!
    And if you have time, test the végélox (Aux Vivres), it’s my favorite sandwich!
    Have a good trip!

  3. Dang, that crossaint looks dope!!

    • It was REALLY, really good!!

  4. Ted

    I’ve been searching for dairy-free donuts in Montreal for 3 years! Thanks for the great post – you’ve been to a number of places I haven’t tried yet, but can’t wait to.

    • Yay!! Glad to help out, Ted!! :) Do you know of the Montréal Vegetarian Association? It’s run by an awesome vegan guy (Alex) and they’ve got all kinds of amazing resources for veg-folk in Montréal: http://vegemontreal.org/ :) xo

  5. I want a vegan donut so badly now. I wish we had some great vegan restaurants like these in my area.

    • I hear ya, Baz. What area are you in?

      • Essex, UK. There are some good places in nearby London but nothing nearer

        • Nice. I think London might be next … after this US tour, of course. :)

  6. What a fun day this must have been. I love pretty much everything at Aux Vivres and Viva Vegan, and Crudessence is pretty cool too. I try not to eat a Viva Vegan cupcake more than once a week, and it ain’t easy!

    I shared a BLT chapati with my boyfriend last week on top of Mount Royal. It was nice and tasty.

    • Yes, it was lovely. Montréal as a whole was fantastic!! :) xo

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