One of the most annoying things I had to endure upon going vegan was not feeling as free to study in coffee shops with my friends, as the pain of watching them consume delicious dairy-filled meals or lactose-infused beverages was often far too great. This limited my study sessions to campus at all times, which was no party. However, following the development of severe trauma from spending too much time in libraries over the past year, I finally found the motivation to get out and find some vegan-friendly places to do my work in. There are surprisingly quite a few of them and most are not that far away. So, without further ado, here are four great study spots that can accommodate any vegan and their omnivorous friends!
1) Melu Juice & Health Bar
Despite being located relatively far from campus, Melu is the perfect place to head to on your days off. As natural light pours in from the large window and hits your seat, you won’t even notice that you’re reviewing 30 pages of class notes. What makes this place even better is its menu. If you’re at Melu during the summer, they have the most delicious banana ice cream parfaits that are alone worth the journey. As of now, they offer food like wellness porridges, rice and veggie bowls, juices, smoothies, and vegan desserts. All things that will warm you up in this less than favourable weather, while also giving you the nourishment you need to succeed!
2) Culprit Coffee Co.
Take the number 4 bus all the way to Vine and you’ll have made it to the coolest little coffee shop in the city. While Culprit is rather small in size, it makes up for the crowdedness by offering fresh, unique baked goods each morning, as well as yummy soups, salads and sandwiches. Most of these items are vegan and/or gluten-free, but they offer regular items in case whomever you’re with prefers that. Just a quick suggestion — if you go, definitely try your drink with their homemade almond milk. It’s divine! Be sure not to leave without sampling their vegan chocolate-thyme brownies — your life will never be the same without them!
3) Olive + Ruby
This place is absolute heaven! You’ve probably seen pictures of its décor on your Instagram feed a million times, seeing as not many can resist snapping a shot of its large plant wall or its cute swing seats. But what you may not be aware of is that there’s no better feeling than writing an essay while chowing down on things like their Spanglish Toast (smashed avocado, black bean and cilantro salad, secret sauce drizzle, micro greens), their Peanut Noodle Salad (kale, red cabbage, snap peas, carrot, cucumber, brown rice noodles, light peanut dressing, black sesame seeds) or their Açai Bowl (blueberries, pomegranate juice, spinach, acai, mango, hemp, house made granola, banana, seasonal fruit). Not to mention this place is very close to campus, so there’s no losing here!
4) Cartems Donuterie
You’ve definitely heard of Cartems, so I’ll be brief. Hit up its West Broadway location for a scrumptious vegan doughnut, a simple coffee and a nice environment to do your work in! What’s nice about this place is that there are so many options for vegans that go beyond your regular chocolate or vanilla doughnut. So this time, when your buddies decide that they want to head out for some sweets to accompany their studies, you won’t have to miss out or compromise!