Thomas Lavers Cannery and Delicatessen – What’s up more vegan options in Kensington. (mostly photos)

A few weekends ago JC and I went to Kensington Market after a friend posted a picture on instagram showing vegan sausages were being handmade by Thomas Lavers Cannery & Delicatessen. They’ve been open since January 2013, and have been doing some interesting food things ever since.

Thomas Lavers in Kensington Market

It’s a nice clean looking space, clearly created by someone with an eye for interior design. The first thing we noticed when we walked in was the full glorious wall of colourful preserves. Delicious options like pickled veggies, home made jams, jellies, mustards, sauces, pickles, etc.

Wall of Preserves

The front window looks like a fresh pasta making station (no – the pasta isn’t vegan, but cool to watch.) and the first display case by the cash register – had two trays of vegan sausages:  An Italian with fennel & chili, and a Pastrami with smoked paprika, allspice, and mustard seed.

Vegan sausages in Kensington market

But then, it gets better – I looked up at the side board, and there it was on their sandwich menu –  Vegan Reuban and Vegan Bahn Mi (amongst other things)

Thomas Lavers in Kensington Market

So of course, JC and I ordered a vegan bahn mi and a vegan reuban to share. The guy asked us if we wanted it totally vegan or if we wanted cheese on it. No. We didn’t. But FYI there is an option for you lacto-vegetarians.

The same fellow taking our order/making the sandwiches was averse to answering any ingredient questions.  I don’t know why it was difficult to get answers from them in person or on twitter, (They did eventually reach out on twitter and are nice), and are  but it made me frown. Thus breaking one of the rules below (a sign near their cash register.)

Thomas Lavers in Kensington Market

There is no seating at Thomas Lavers. So we walked over to they very nearby Bellevue Square Park (the park in Kensington Market) and sat on some beams and dug in to our respective sandwiches. Not-so-secretly, I just wanted to eat the reuban, but I waited my turn.

Thomas Lavers in Kensington Market

The Vegan Bahn Mi

Start with a tasty white roll, add vegan wasabi mayo, carrots, cucumber, and Italian vegan sausage slices then you have this sandwich. I loved that this had corriander/cilantro in it. But FYI cilantro haters beware. The roll was awesome. Fresh, not soggy, delicious. I still wanted the reuben.

Thomas Lavers in Kensington Market

Thomas Lavers in Kensington Market

The Vegan Rueben

Thomas Lavers in Kensington Market

Thomas Lavers in Kensington Market

I’ll come out and say it. I like reuben sandwiches. I’ve liked them in the pre-vegan days when I was a kid and I’d make them for myself, and throughout my travels since then. This one was no different.

Marble rye, thinly sliced seitan based pastrami, some kind of sauce. I’m operating under the assumption that the thousand island dressing on this sandwich is made without real mayonnaise. If you want to make their recipe for yourself at home, they shared their (non-vegan) one here with The Star.

Eating it made me realize how much I didn’t want to share.
Writing this has made me realize how much I’d like to go back there and eat.

BRB Sandwiches.

Thomas Lavers Cannery and Delicatessen
193 Baldwin St. Toronto, Ontario
Open 11-7, Every Day

4 Responses

  1. I gave up red meat 20 years ago so I can’t recall eating Reuben sandwiches before becoming vegan, but they are AWESOME! Kindfood in Burlington does the best one I’ve tasted (though on teeny tiny bread). Thanks for letting me know about this place. Next time we’re on Baldwin street (like for Vegetarian Haven), we’ll keep it in mind!