In the thick of the coronavirus pandemic, positivity can be hard to come by, but we saw this story first on Plant-Based News that instantly brightened our day, and wanted to share it with you.

Mexican vegan eatery La Bartola has finally opened to the public this past Saturday, July 25th, despite months of setbacks caused by the spread of COVID-19. "It was difficult to navigate launching a new restaurant in these uncertain times, but I knew that I had to stay true to my dreams and make La Bartola a reality. There is a lot of work to do, but I have never been more excited," said Chef Ivan Castro in a statement sent to Plant Based News.

Previously, La Bartola opened as a pop-up restaurant during the summer of 2019, and its success at various festivals and events lead to it becoming a permanent fixture in Toronto's plant-based scene. (Click here for 7 more of The Beet's favorite delicious vegan eateries located in Toronto.)

On Instagram, Chef Castro explained the inspiration behind his new eatery, writing, "La Bartola pays homage and is inspired by the fantastic Mexican women, cooks that create a revolution in the kitchen. Every dish is heartful, has a story behind it, and is born from a creative process with the influence of Oaxaca and Mexico City. Our food brings a passion for authentic Mexican flavors to your plate. We use 100% plant-based, simple, fresh, and high-quality local and Mexican ingredients and transform them into amazing food." Besides crafting all of their dishes from plant-based foods, the Mexican eatery features sustainable, compostable to-go packaging as well as a vegan couch made from cactus "leather".

The menu boasts dishes including Jackfruit and Wild Mushrooms "al Pastor" tacos, Pink Mole made with beets, Green Ceviche Tostadas with Charred Habanero Mayo, and inventive cocktails such as the Pachita, which features Horchata, cinnamon, herb liquor and rum.

La Bartola opened for outside dining and takeout on July 25th and is located at 588 College St, in Toronto, Ontario. Place a reservation on their website here

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