No meat? No problem. If you’re on a mission to discover delicious and wholesome vegan and vegetarian eats in Hamilton, check out these 13 eateries.
193 Bench Kitchen
193 King Street East, Hamilton
This downtown sandwich bar has loads of options, from the traditional grilled cheese or egg salad sandwich to more inventive options like sweet potato and kimchi or smoked beets and goat cheese. Organic chickpea, quinoa, and toasted barley salads are also available.
Must-try: The Vegan Smoke is made with house-smoked tofu, house maple mustard and sauerkraut.
295 Ottawa St. N
This recently opened burger joint has some delicious vegan fare – in fact their whole menu is vegetarian! So many options – burgers, poutine, “pizza” – you will have to return again and again to try them all. They have 3 different veggie patties – which means you will have so many options you will be dazzled. Not your average meat-patty-swapped-out-for-veggie-patty kind of place for sure.
Must-try: The ‘Southwest Crunch’ is a Boon patty topped with guacamole, BBQ corn chips, ranch dressing, buffalo BBQ sauce and veggies.
Democracy on Locke
202 Locke Street South
This popular Locke Street coffee shop offers a flavourful lunch and dinner menu of animal-free ingredients. Choose from mains like the chickpea smash melt, falafel pita, and pierogi pizza, plus apps and salads.
Must-try: Their most popular item is cauliflower wings: crispy cauliflower tossed in a choice of spicy Sriracha lime sauce, bourbon BBQ, sweet and sour, or sweet apple garlic sauce.
306 King Street West and 650 Concession Street
Dig into authentic Lebanese food at one of their various locations with vegetarian options like tabouli and fattoush salads, lentil soup and vegetarian rice. For a hand-held snack, bite into a pita stuffed with three deep-fried falafel patties and vegetables, drizzled with tahini.
Must-try: The Vegetarian dish gives you a taste of everything yummy: hummus, eggplant, falafel, fried cauliflower, grilled tomatoes and mushrooms.
328 James Street North
This licensed cafe and book shop serves strictly vegetarian and vegan eats. The carefully thought-out menu includes a juicy pretzel burger with tahini roasted potatoes and a Reuben sandwich with house-made tofu pastrami. For dessert: treat yourself to black sesame ice cream.
Must try: The Green Couscous Bowl is full of good stuff: baked falafel with Israeli couscous, house-made chimichurri, avocado, cucumber, zucchini, broccoli, spinach, salsa verde and tahini and sprinkled with toasted pumpkin seeds.
225 John Street South
This plant-based, gluten-free eatery is totally vegan and offers a large selection to satisfy comfort food cravings. Planted does a great job reinventing dishes you know and love. Think cashew cream sauce mac and cheese, poutine with vegan mozzarella and bbq jackfruit, and pasta with green-lentil meatballs.
Must-try: The crispy Chickpea Caesar Burger recently made its way to the permanent menu by popular demand.
31 King William Street
This popular restaurant on King William Street’s Restaurant Row features lots of shareable plates where vegetables are the star: tomato toast, mushroom dumplings, teriyaki eggplant, and avocado salad. For lunch, build your own bowl with greens and couscous or quinoa as the base, and toppings like falafel, cashews, fruits and veggies of your choice.
Must-try: The Berkeley North Salad is loaded with greens, pearl couscous, pickled carrots, cucumbers, pomegranate, avocado and lemon vinaigrette. Add falafel to top it all off.
236 James Street North
Vegan, wholesome and fresh is the ethos behind this quick service downtown cafe. Beverages include smoothies and kombucha while the Green Bar Burger with a walnut and sundried tomato patty and Broccoli Mac N’ Chz are just two of the dishes you’ll find.
Must-try: Vegan tacos are made with an organic corn tortilla, refried beans, pickled jalepeño, avocado, and pico de gallo, served with brown rice.
10 Cannon Street East and 182 Locke Street South
Warm up with a tasty bowl from Hamilton’s famous soup restaurant. The menu changes daily but there’s always vegetarian and vegan options. Think Porcini Mushroom, Thai Green Curry and Cauliflower, and Split Pea. They also serve exceptionally good fries, salads and sandwiches.
Must-try: Thai Squash with peanuts and green onion and Egyptian Lentil with crispy chickpeas are two veggie faves.
35 York Blvd (lower level) and 522 Concession Street
While the traditional poke dish is served with ahi tuna, you can build your own vegan bowl at Pokeh and still experience one of Hamilton’s favourite dishes. Choose a protein (tofu or mushrooms), a base (white rice, brown rice or cucumber/jicama noodles), sauces, and toppings.
Must-try: The Vegan Green Bowl is topped with tamari pickled shiitake mushrooms, tofu, kale, carrots, edamame, and tamari/sesame oil.
193 James Street North
This cool and comfortable downtown coffee shop is always veggie friendly. Vegetarian and vegan paninis are served on house-made focaccia (options include a black bean and sweet potato burger and roasted vegetable panini). For something warm and comforting, the chili and daily soup are always vegan. On the sweet side, try the double chocolate oatmeal cookies, macarons, and cupcakes.
Must-try: The vegan tahini pizza is topped with sweet potato, balsamic onions and sprouts.
215 Locke Street South
This pizzeria offers five mouth-watering vegetarian pizzas including the traditional Margarita, Melanzane (eggplant) and Funghi (mushroom). In true Naples and Rome fashion, dough is made with time and love. They also have delicious salads and soups.
Must-try: The Terra vegan pizza is topped with black olives, garlic oil, red onions, red peppers, and zucchini.
Lick the Whisk
29 Barton Street East
Did you save room for dessert? Everything at this vegan cafe is made in-house, from their waffle and crepe batter to baked goods – cupcakes, donuts, cookies, bars – you name it!
Must-try: Vegan ice cream (made fresh daily) served in a homemade waffle cone.