Cabbagetown goes vegan with new restaurant

By Megan Bocchinfuso –

A new vegan restaurant has moved into Cabbagetown. Located at Carlton and Ontario Streets, Revelstoke is the first restaurant of its kind in the area.

With a popular sister operation in Peterborough, the Toronto location is the second Revelstoke restaurant. Co-owner Jeff Clarkin says it expanded to Toronto because of costumer requests.

Cabbagetown, Clarkin said, “really is a perfect fit for what we are trying to do here.”

Clarkin co-owns both Revelstoke locations with his son Conner. The ‘Revelstoke’ tag was chosen in memory of a café in the town of that name in British Columbia. Conner and his wife Tasha, who is the baker at Revelstoke’s Peterborough bakery, travelled to Revelstoke and fell in love with the atmosphere of a small café called Dose. They opened a café in Peterborough and decided to name it after the town.

Revelstoke Peterborough became increasingly popular. Costumers began arriving from out of town, some from as far as Ottawa and Kingston. Clarkin said costumers were consistently asking them about opening a second store in Toronto.

“The Jack Benny” Photo: Megan Bocchinfuso

When considering the move, Clarkin wanted a large space (the Cabbagetown location is three times the size of the Peterborough restaurant), a patio and to be on the east side of the city. When the Carlton and Ontario location became available, Clarkin said it was a “no-brainer.”

The vegan community groups Clarkin follows on Facebook were expressing high demand for more vegan restaurants in Toronto’s east end. As an east-ender himself, living in The Beaches, Clarkin knew the area well. Also, his mother and her family grew up not far from his new restaurant.

“I know the East end well and I have always wanted to find a place out in this direction,” Clarkin said. “This is really the perfect place; we are quite excited.”

            Revelstoke’s menu, completely vegan, is a collaboration between Jeff and Conner. The focus of the menu in Peterborough was originally as a café, but Conner expanded to brunch and lunch items in Toronto. Clarkin said the menu was continuously evolving.

“The fact that we did brunch basically followed us (to Toronto). We were known for that, so the demand for that was there instantly,” Revelstoke also offers dinner and will soon offer tapas.

            Revelstoke’s tapas will be original in the sense that the options will be vegan, but with room for creativity, Clarkin said. The tapas will be ready for promotion – free tapas with the purchase of a bottle of wine – once their liquor licence is approved, expected this month.

The tapas will be chef’s choice, from a range of eight to 12 different types. However, costumers are welcome to order specific tapas off the menu.

            Revelstoke’s best-selling dish in Toronto is ‘Classic Benny,’ which has hollandaise sauce over a tofu-egg, house-made seed pan bacon, with either hash (potato) or a salad. You can check out Revelstoke Kitchen and Cafe and try their best-seller at 195 Carlton Street.

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