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It’s hard being a vegetarian right? You have to answer the same dumb questions from friends and family who look at you like you’re crazy for not loving meat. On top of that, it’s pretty difficult to find somewhere to eat, especially somewhere you can trust and that offers options so you can prove to people that your diet isn’t mind-numbingly boring.

When people think vegetarian options they think salads and fake meat but they have no idea how incredibly creative and tasty dishes can be at the right restaurant. Today we’ve compiled a list of the best vegetarian restaurants in Mississauga, each offering something a little different for the herbivore in all of us. And that’s a key point here, you don’t need to be a vegan or vegetarian to really enjoy these dishes, you’ll open your eyes and mouth to a world of new food and you won’t believe how good they can be. On with the list!

Lotus Tea House

(6525 Millcreek Dr, Mississauga, ON L5N 7K6)

Photo courtesy of Yelp.com

Right off the bat, it’s worth explaining where the Lotus Tea House is. As always, I’ve included the location above for those who want to use Google to find it but just to clarify, the Lotus Tea House is located inside of the Fo Guang Shan Temple of Toronto. This is a Buddhist temple in Erin Mills and inside you can find some great food options.

The big caveat with the Lotus Tea House is that you must pay a $30 membership fee before eating. However, the membership lasts for a year and the actual dishes, many for just $7! It’s a very affordable restaurant, so if you plan on eating there regularly the membership fee isn’t a big deal. The majority of the dishes involve soup or noodles, as well as offering a nice variety of teas and a very quaint atmosphere.

Dai Bi Chay 

(2399 Cawthra Rd #100, Mississauga, ON L5A 2W9)

Photo courtesy of Daibichay.com

Dai Bi Chay is a small Vietnamese vegan restaurant. It’s hard enough to find a good vegetarian restaurant and so much harder to find a vegan one. Dai Bi Chay is a completely vegan restaurant that offers a huge variety of options from *eggless* egg pasta to mock shrimp and stir fried noodles with an array of mock meats.

Like all restaurants on this list, even if you aren’t a vegetarian you can eat clean in places like Dai Bi Chay and enjoy yourself. Unlike most vegetarian options in restaurants, Dai Bi Chay has a huge menu and is a perfect option for anyone who can’t eat meat or gluten, etc.

The Cold Pressery 

(4310 Sherwoodtowne Blvd #5, Mississauga, ON L4Z 4C4)

Photo courtesy of Retaildesignblog.net

The Cold Pressery describes itself as is a “plant-based eatery promoting healthy wholesome food and beverages without sacrificing taste.” That’s pretty much a vegetarian’s dream!

The store offers a massive variety of drinks and juices, all made with organic and Fair Trade products to ensure you know exactly what you’re putting into your body. The Cold Pressery also offers one of the most diverse food menu’s you can find anywhere – this is the kind of place you take your meat-eating friends to prove that being a vegetarian isn’t tasteless and boring. From avocado smash toast, to chipotle bean tacos, to an acai bowl, and even vegan donuts, there’s a big variety of options to please all kinds of taste buds.

Raw Aura

(94 Lakeshore Rd E, Mississauga, ON L5G 1L3)

Photo courtesy of Mississauga.com

Raw Aura, located in Port Credit, is a really creative vegan restaurant that will satisfy your inner hipster as well as all your taste buds. The hipster vibe from Raw Aura is not a knock because it’s easily the most personable and casual location on this list.

With super-friendly service and a rustic feel, Raw Aura offers a mouth-watering list of food, including kale chips, an aptly named big salad, falafel wrap, yellow coconut curry, and pasta bolognese. Not to mention most of the options are nut free and feature things like zucchini noodles, apple cider sauce, and dulse. You’ll be hard pressed to find a more creative and casual restaurant than Raw Aura, just make sure you’re willing to pay for the experience!

Zen Gardens

(6980 Maritz Dr #6, Mississauga, ON L5W 1Z3)

Photo courtesy of Zengardensguelph.ca

The primary reason Zen Gardens is one of the best option for vegetarians in the city, is because of how incredibly extensive the menu is. From appetizers to dumplings, dim sum and bubble tea, Zen Gardens offers mock meats, sushi, and doesn’t cheap out on the soy sauce. Not to mention the large portions to really dig your teeth into.

Another huge bonus of eating at Zen Gardens is the price: 8 pan-fried dumplings for $6.99, Udon noodle soup for $8.99, sushi platter for $13.99, or vegetable curry for $11.99. That’s a very affordable menu, set inside of a nice, bright dining area with a casual atmosphere. Zen Gardens is a fantastic option for all vegetarians and vegans, as well as all Asian food fans.