Eating plant-based in YQG has never been easier. Whether you’re vegan, vegetarian or looking to incorporate more plant-based options into your diet, you’ll be happy to know that Windsor-Essex is becoming quite the hot spot for plant-based options.
Not only are there multiple fully vegan restaurants popping up across YQG but there are also many vegan vendors that set up on Saturday mornings at the Downtown Windsor Farmers Market! You’ll be satisfied to know you’ll find a lot more than just fruits and vegetables too. Located on Pellissier Street between the hours of 8:00am-1:00pm you’ll find local vendors from across the city eager to share their beautiful and tasty creations with the community. The market is a huge part of the downtown culture each year, spanning from May 30th all the way until October 31st. So if you haven’t had a chance to make it out to the market, you still have lots of time!
We are so fortunate in Windsor-Essex to be surrounded by an abundance of farmland that has the capacity to grow multiple types of fruits and vegetables each year. If you’ve ever taken a drive out to the county you’ll likely have passed dozens of fruit and veggies stands along the way. It’s not uncommon to pull over to enjoy a fresh peach, and stock up on local tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers too! Although this may not be accessible for city dwellers, we are fortunate that some local farmers bring the goodness of the county to the core of the city during the market days. So if you’re looking to purchase some local produce like pears, peaches, strawberries, melons, cucumbers, tomatoes and even microgreens, look no further then Pellissier Street on Saturday mornings. Some of my favourites to visit are; The Fruit Wagon, Greenerbins Composting Co., & North Ridge Greens, The Mush Hub and Bouchard Gardens!
To ensure we don’t play into the good ole stereotype of vegans only eating raw fruits and vegetables I must inform you of the multiple sweet and savoury vendors offering up satisfying vegan options. If you’re looking to ditch dairy but don’t know if you can kick your cheese addiction, Amy and Ryan - The Vegan Gardiners - got you covered. From Smoked Applewood Cheddar, Jalapeno Oat Havarti or Truffled Oat Brie, you’ll be sure to satisfy your craving for artisanal cheese without compromising on flavour. The Vegan Gardiners also offer up some vegan sausage (highly approved by my non-vegan father), and homemade oat or hemp “mylk”. Go give them a try, tell them I sent you!
Now if you’re anything like me and have a little bit of a sweet tooth then you’ll want to make sure to stop by and say hello to Alexandrea from Auntie Aldoo’s Pies & Pastries. Pies, Pastries, Loaves, oh my! Personally I think any season is ‘pie season’, but as we approach the fall you’ll definitely want to grab one of her incredible fruit filled pies. They come in large sizes to share or personal pies or tarts to enjoy all on your own.
If you’re looking to enjoy a hearty and healthy plant based lunch on a Saturday afternoon you’ll definitely want to check out Chlorophyll Catering. Nicole and Phil Hanson offer up healthy, locally sourced and organic plant based meals to go! So whether you’re looking to enjoy lunch that day or the next, there are lots of options to choose from. The menu changes each week but some of their tasty creations are as follows; Cashew Cream of Cauliflower Soup, Pad Thai, Butt’r Chick’n, Lasagna with Tofu Ricotta, Dill Pickle Hummus and so much more. If your mouth is watering as you read this like mine, you must add the Farmers Market to your to do list on your next available Saturday!
Whether you’re vegan, vegetarian or looking to add more plant based options into your diet the Downtown Windsor Farmers Market is a great place to visit. We just scratched the surface of the plentiful vegan options available too. So don’t be afraid to ask the vendors what vegan options they have to offer, they may surprise you!
Written by: Meaghan Marton