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CLOSED: Commensal

  • Veg-friendly Veg-friendly
    ( 36 reviews )


Contact 416-596-9364

655 Bay Street (at Elm St, Yonge subway line to Dundas Station), Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M5G 2K4

Serves meat, vegan options available. In Oct 2012 this previously all veg buffet restaurant chain switched to flexitarian and offers fish and poultry in a separate case. Several locations. Features a large self-serve hot and cold buffet spread that includes soups, pate, main entrees, desserts, many of which are vegan-friendly. Food is priced by weight. MAY 2013 REPORTED SHUT DOWN/CLOSED.

Category: Vegan-friendly, Lacto, Ovo, International, Western, Buffet, Salad bar, Take-out, Non-veg

Reviews (36)

First Review by mephitine

not good at all - Edit

I was never really a fan of this place. The foods not terrible but it is waaaayyyy overpriced. I pretty much stopped eating here when urban herbivore opened up just around the corner in the Eatons centre. There you can get a fresh, massive salad for $10. At le commensal, a salad of the same size will run you almost $20... (And have been sitting out in the open for hours) Which is crazy! Charging by weight is a dated practice because it is not a good value for the consumer. Instead of waking up and changing the way they charge for their food, they added meat?!! Backwards thinking if you ask me. Also the last straw for me, I'm done, I'm never paying a stupid amount of money for mediocre food again!

Pros: nothing.

Cons: sold out, added meat!?!?, food was never very good, CRAZY OVERPRICED!!!

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beware... - Edit

This place has a buffet style layout and a crusty cafeteria atmosphere. It features bland, starchy, mushy meals that are sit throughout the day in steam trays. They operate on a plate weighing system so for a decent sized meal, expect to pay ALOT... Unless you load up on something light like salad. Not recommended.

Pros: none

Cons: expensive, not tasty, bad atmosphere

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Very Sad; Will not eat there again - Edit

The food never blew my mind to begin with, and it has the ambiance of a hospital cafeteria, and now that they serve meat I have no desire to go there at all. The appeal was that they were an all vegetarian buffet, which was a unique experience and worth supporting. It was also overpriced and kind of forgettable, so it shouldn't be too hard to....well......forget about it.

Cons: Cafeteria-like vibe, No longer vegetarian, Mediocre food

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Flexitatian now - Edit

This a buffet eatery chain. You get a lot of food for the money, and much of the food is quite tasty and healthy. Because it is buffet, you get a lot of choices, and don't have to wait a long time for your food. I enjoyed my dinner there, though I am disappointed that Commensal is no longer pure vegetarian. The labeling of what is not vegetarian on the buffet is not as clear as it could be, so watch out. Also, one day I went there for breakfast, thinking that it would be somewhat like its lunch and dinners--but it was not: the breakfast is eggs, toast, muffin, and the like: in short, nothing that distinguishes it from a typical diner.

Pros: Good lunch and dinner, buffet, lots of variety

Cons: Terrible breakfasts, serves non-vegetarian food

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Disappointed its no longer veggie - Edit

I used to come here frequently for lunch, willing to overlook the high prices to have a guaranteed meat-free meal, but no more since it stopped being vegetarian. For me having meat on the buffet table defeats the purpose and I may as well eat at any meat restaurant.

Cons: Meat served on the same buffet table

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They sold out to the meat eaters of the world - Edit

Went there last night and discovered that they have gone "Flexitarian" well - that will be the last time we go. The whole point of having a vegetarian restaurant is that you can feel comfortable eating there without having people eating animal flesh on the next table. Plus the hot food was cold, that i could overlook but selling out I can't overlook.

Pros: Has veggie options

Cons: Is no longer a veggie restaurant, Serves meat and fish, Hot food was cold

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I still go every once in a while - Edit

When I first came to Toronto I loved this place. Yes, pay by weight is overpriced, but I was going to school at Ryerson, so it was convienent. I go back every once in awhile. You can eat just a little bit, get in and out fast. Or you can stay a real long time. It's very casual. That's what I like best about it.
I was REALLY unimpressed when I heard they ship all the hot food frozen from Montreal. Kinda crazy. But I still eat it. They now have some sweet 30% off days for students, seniors, health workers etc. Check website for what day fits you.

Pros: causal dining, eat as little as you please, some great seiten dishes

Cons: expensive, frozen food, staff is often not friendly

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Expensive and not tasty - Edit

You think this would be a bargain - priced per weight - but even the smallest amount of little dishes certainly add up. And the sad part is that it doesn't even taste that great. Maybe my mistake was heading their for supper, even though I figure most soups and salads would still be good a few hours. Will not return.

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Fast and convenient - Edit

I decided to try this restaurant when visiting Toronto after seeing all the reviews. There was lots of selection, and it was quick and easy. The food wasn't piping hot, but it was warm and pleasant. I had a number of dishes; the ginger tofu was out of this world!

I chose my food carefully, based on the comments about pricing, and my bill came to about $13, including dessert. I was full and satisifed. Ice water was available free-of-charge.

Pros: large selection, fast, convenient to downtown hotels

Cons: expensive for very large appetites, food is warm but not piping hot

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not so much!!! - Edit

My family and I went backpacking across Canada this summer, what a great chance to try out all the different foods.
We stumbled upon the Commensal, quite excited to try this place. The service was horrible. The woman seemed suspicious of us. Because we were leaving a running tally she requested a 100.00 dollar deposit(probably a sign that she also believes that it is tooooo expensive). She was unfriendly and rude. The cost was outrageous!!! close to 100.00 to feed my family, they were careful about amounts, and we left hungry. However the food itself was fun and different, we tried a smattering of things,(stews, noodle, desserts) liked some, and disliked others. Overall, we wouldnt go again. It is only cost efficient to go as a couple to have a special dinner, and nothing quite says romance like 20 dollars a plate(that you had to be careful not to take to much), serve yourself buffet, with a crab at the till and a deposit!!!
Oh, and they want tips...

Pros: veggie choices

Cons: cost , service, atmosphere

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Went there once for my birthday! - Edit

So I have only been there once, for my birthday, but the food was very good! They have quite a bit of selection, and I did enjoy my meal. The food is quite pricey though, as they weighed each of our plates to determine how much it would cost.
I would definitely go there again, as long as someone else was paying! :P

Pros: good food, nice staff

Cons: expensive

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Le Commensal, Toronto - Edit

This place was close to my hotel in Toronto and I was happy to eat in this place for most meals. Bags of choice for me as a vegan, decent tasting food also. With the buffet being there waiting for you it's just a simple matter of getting stuck in.

Pros: Plenty vegan veggie choice, Tasty food

Cons: None

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So many heatlhy options - Edit

I stayed at the delta chelsea hotel and this was right next door so I ended up eating there every night. You pay by the weight of food so there is no waste and you pick from the buffet which has so many healthy options. This rates as one of my favourite places. There is music some evenings. The setting is informal and because it is a help yourself there is no waiting. Dishes move quickly so the food is always fresh and hot. Many added extra's such as sprouts, grains, seeds etc. Would and do go back whenever I am in Toronto.

Pros: Many Options, Pay by Weight, Tasty Food

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Could Be More Vegan Friendly - Edit

Everything at Commensal is clearly marked and they have some really tasty vegan options. I really wish they had more. Great place for vegetarians, though. The buffet and weight style is great for picking out what you want and how much. Desserts are great and many vegan options. Everything looks fresh, clean and is well tended by staff. Unfortunately, its pretty expensive, even if you don;t eat a lot. I've been there a few times and would definitely go back.

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good selection - Edit

The weight-to-eat buffet policy is I think unique to this chain, and I can't say I particularly like it. I love the selection available, which has a lot of Western foods and fantastic desserts, but in going out for dinner even a reasonable amount(one plate of dinner, one plate of dessert, one drink) ended up costing me almost $30. To be honest if I was going to pay that much I'd go to a sit-down restaurant rather than a buffet. Or pay that much for a typical buffet and enjoy multiple trips.

The quality of the food is nice, and I enjoyed their salads. But I've been so turned off by the price (and by not being sure how much I'm really spending before getting surprised at the cashier) I can't say I'll go back unless I'm in the neighborhood and no other option presents itself.

Pros: Tasty, Selection

Cons: Price, "Weight"pricing scheme

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Reviewer Avatar

Too much, too little. - Edit

This place is wildly expensive for what you get. Its all by weight and adds up very quickly. The quality of the food is horrible. Most of the vegan options arrive frozen in plastic freezer bags. Hardly any of the food is made in house and nothing is organic. I think the owners just want to cash in on people who want to live a healthy lifestyle by attempting to appear health conscious. (they served meat at their staff christmas party the past few years) The live music they have on weekends is so loud you can barely converse. If you want bland expensive food, go to Commensal.

Pros: Convenient, Downtown

Cons: Bland, Expensive, Low quality

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Where else can you try 15 items on one plate? - Edit

As most reviewers have pointed out, it's a pricey weighted buffet/cafeteria-style chain. Most don't note that the food is discounted after 830 pm, when the restaurant becomes quieter and more reasonably priced. And bread is free!

All vegan dishes are clearly marked, and they vary day to day.

Highlights for me are the seitan Bourguignon stew (soooooo hearty and good), the seitan curry, the vinegared arame and the tofu cheesecake.

I love this place and have grown to tolerate that moment when you wince at the cash register. ;-)

Pros: tremendous choice, tasty tasty tasty

Cons: very overpriced

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Highly recommended - Edit

This is a great place with lots of choice and ideal for when you're not sure what you fancy or if there's a few of you who can't agree on what sort of food to have! It's canteen style but it all looks (and tastes) so fresh and delicious. There's loads of different salads, lots of entrees, and lots of great desserts. You can pick whatever you want and however much you want so you can pick and mix. Then your plate is weighed and you pay by weight. Everything vegan is labelled so you can choose easily. I'd definitely recommend Le Commensal to anyone.

Pros: choice of food, fresh, tasty

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