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Raw Aura is the only vegan restaurant in Mississauga but that’s not the only thing that makes it special.

Raw Aura opened in August 2009, right in the heart of Port Credit, Mississauga. The company’s mantra is simple, they’re “founded on the principle of balance, and fuelled by a passion for healthy homemade cuisine without having to compromise on flavour!” However, you might be asking, what is raw food? You might be thinking it doesn’t sound very healthy, never-mind tasty. Well, “raw” simply means that nothing in the restaurant is heated above 43C.

Of course, the reason why you would want to ingest raw cuisine is that plant-based foods are the most wholesome for the body because you retain the digestive enzymes, vitamins and minerals. The food is not only incredibly healthy, but is created in a way that emulates the taste of familiar dishes. Raw Aura seeks to change the way you think about healthy food.

If you’ve never been, you might have driven past Raw Aura without even realising it. The restaurant is nestled right between the Rabba and 241 Pizza in Port Credit, with a cozy-looking, wooden exterior that stands out from it’s surroundings. Upon entering you will notice that it’s a small location but with a natural, rustic feel to it. Wooden shelves, roofing, and tables that look like trees, as well as low-lighting, and walls that show brickwork, Raw Aura goes for an arcadian look and achieves it with poise.

However none of that matters if the food isn’t up to scratch. Thankfully, the quality of Raw Aura’s food actually exceeds the distinct design of the premises. And of course, everything on the menu is raw, vegan, and both sugar and gluten-free.

Appetizers

Raw Aura offers six unique appetizers, five of which are nut-free. You can grab yourself a plate of house-made Nacho’s, Red Beet Ravioli, Avo Tartare, Pizza with a sunflower seed crust, a Mediterranean Platter – which includes chick peas hummus, breadsticks, cashews and more – or the most popular appetizer, kale chips (as pictured above).

The Kale Chips are made from dehydrated kale, topped with cashew-based sour cream and onion, and cheesy red peppers. They’re a delicious entree that will ready your palette for a special kind of meal. The appetizers range in price from $9-$15.

Soups & Salads

There are two options for soup lovers in Raw Aura: Miso Soup and a daily special. The miso soup is described as “a large bowl of Red and White Miso Soup, filled with Kale, Kelp Noodles and Nori, topped with Green Onions and Dulse.” Half portions and a side soup option are also available.

As for salads, Raw Aura offers a fantastic Taco Salad that comprises of romaine salad, avocado and red pepper, tossed in chilli lime dressing, walnut taco “meat”, fresh salsa, and tossed in crumbled corn chips.

Then there’s the aptly named Big Salad; a large bowl of kale, romaine, tomatoes, red Peppers, onions and cucumbers, covered in pumpkin, sesame and sunflower seeds, accompanied by avocado, sprouted chick pea hummus and a dehydrated bread stick. Tossed in your choice of sesame citrus or lemon avocado dressing. These options range from $5-$15.

Wraps

Raw Aura only offers two wraps, both of which cost $15, but both are more than worth your time.

The Falafel Wrap consists of sprouted chick pea falafels and hummus, cashew tzatziki, romaine, tomatoes, cucumbers, and red onions wrapped in a crunchy collard green leaf.  Served with a side salad.

My personal recommendation however, would be the Burstin’ Burrito. This amazing wrap includes soft sundried tomato and carrot dehydrated tortilla, stuffed with pumpkin seed ‘refried beans’, guacamole, tomatoes, red peppers, romaine and red Onions, topped with a hint of chilli powder, and garnished with cashew ‘sour cream’. It fits the name and is a very filling dish, perfect for lunch!

Noodles

The noodle-based dishes are among the most popular in Raw Aura, and serve as the “dinner” options. All of the dishes are made with shredded zucchini noodles, which sound weird as all heck but I implore you to give them a shot!

You can grab one of six noodle dishes: Pasta Bolognese, made with sunflower seed ‘sausage’, Yellow Coconut Curry, which is a deliciously fruity dish, Olive Tapenade Pasta, which is also zucchini noodles, made with shredded kale and black kalamata olive, Sweet and Sour Noodles, which includes both zucchini and and kelp noodles, and is tossed in apple cider sauce, Pad Thai, which is a somewhat spicy dish, and the Lemon Pepper Alfredo, made with mushrooms, noodles and the lemon pepper alfredo sauce.

Each of the noodle dishes are $15, except for the Pasta Bolognese, which is only $14.

Desserts

And finally we come to the desserts. Raw Aura’s desserts, like the rest of the menu, are all vegan, raw, sugar-free, gluten-free, and naturally sweetened using agave or coconut sugar.

The most enticing options are the cake slices, all of which cost $9 but are entirely worth it. You can grab yourself a slice of Chocolate Banana, Chocolate Avocado, Caramel Cheesecake, Blueberry Cheesecake, Carrot Cake, or Chocolate Mint Ganache. I don’t have to tell you how good those all sound, however I opt for the caramel cheesecake and it is amazing!

Raw Aura also offers bars and mini treats, which include brownies, almond squares, almond butter cups, and coconut truffles. As if all of that weren’t enough, the restaurant also offers smoothies, juices, cocktails, organic wines, gluten-free beers, and tea.

That’s the entire menu, and I’m sure there is at least one or two things on there that sounds appealing to you. Normally, I’m an exclusive meat-eater, however I forced myself into trying Raw Aura (yes it may have been for a girl), and I’m glad I did. It’s genuinely incredible how much effort is put into every dish, and how the chef’s manage to emulate tastes so that you don’t even realise you’re eating some rather bizarre ingredients.

However, you don’t have to take my word for it, check out some of these reviews from TripAdvisor:

Mouth watering and each ingredient pops.
This is the Vegan place to eat if only for ideas about vegetarian food that can be limitless
Price is always reasonable, service is quick and attentive.

– JosephsP4973RB, 1 week ago

You will not find yourself going home hungry because of the protein packed entrees and the overall size. I highly recommend kale chips for an appetizer, taco salad for an entrée, and the avocado chocolate cake for dessert. SO GOOD!

– sydhutchh, 23rd August 2016

I’ve been to Raw Aura many times. The location by the lake is wonderful. It’s a small restaurant with a cozy atmosphere. Most importantly, the food is great. I don’t eat raw or vegan on a regular basis but I love this place for a change and it usually inspires me to eat raw more often. I’ve tried all the noodles on the menu and they are excellent. Kale chips are tasty. Everything I’ve tried has lots of flavor. Don’t forget to leave room for dessert, always good too!

– Cathy270, 28th June 2016

Those are just three quick reviews, out of 123, for a restaurant that has a 4.5 score on TripAdvisor. Raw Aura is open Tuesday-Thursday, from 12-9PM, and then open until 10PM on Friday’s and Saturday’s. As mentioned, it’s a pretty small restaurant, so we recommend you call first and make a reservation – the number for which is 905-891-2872.

Raw Aura is one of Mississauga’s most unique and memorable restaurants. It’s a place for amazing food, made by passionate people who genuinely care about food and making you eat better. I can’t recommend this little gem enough, whether you’re a vegan or not. Next time you pass through Port Credit, you have to make a stop at Raw Aura and discover the power of raw!