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Food + Drink

Eat your veggies!

It’s clear that vegetarian and vegan eating is on the rise, with a growing number of committed plant-based eaters and more people looking to eat plant-based more often. 

Whether you’re a long-term plant-based eater, just “getting your feet wet” with vegetarian options, or looking to try something new, Hamilton is chock-full of vegan and vegetarian options throughout the city. From simple cafés, smoothies and healthy eats, to fast food and pizzerias, and international cuisine, the options are plentiful. Find some of our favourites, from all walks of the city, below.

Planted in Hamilton

211 Locke St. S., Hamilton
Located on beautiful Locke Street, Planted in Hamilton can be found in what is the old Brown Dog Café, music venue and church, now turned airy and comfortable vegan and gluten-free restaurant. Serving up breakfast dishes (waffles, breakfast sandwiches, and bowls), pastries and hearty dishes like burritos, “sausage” pepper penne and a chicken-fried tofu mashed potato bowl. For an additional level of inclusivity, Planted in Hamilton is also fully kosher certified. Be sure to follow along with Planted’s social media, for your chance to win a free vegan donut.

Little Asia

36 King St. E., Dundas
Found in downtown Dundas is Little Asia, serving up vegetarian and vegan comfort foods to the community. This family-owned and operated restaurant offers tempeh satay, veggie peanut curry, rendang soy drumsticks, mee goreng noodles, tofu pho, Thai-style eggplant and much more. Not only do they have delicious vegan and vegetarian eats, the service at Little Asia is top notch, making the home-cooked comfort food taste even better.

Green Bar

236 James St. N., Hamilton
Green Bar has undergone a few changes over the years, but the plant-based eatery continues to serve up fresh and tasty eats for the Hamilton community. It’s one of the more established vegan spots in Hamilton, so regardless if you eat vegan or not, you are likely to have heard of this joint. Green Bar makes almost everything in house from scratch, including the sauces. Try the Broccoli Mac & Cheez, the Spanish potato dish patatas bravas or the Super OG Bowl – but know that you really can’t go wrong with any choice from the menu. We would be remiss if we did not mention Green Bar’s fresh, made-to-order extensive smoothie menu, a perfect choice for enjoying a stroll on James during Art Crawl.

Nonno’s Plant-Based Butcher

Hamilton Farmers’ Market, 35 York Blvd.
The owners behind the recently closed Bring Me Some vegan fast-food spot on Concession Street (opened in late 2020) continue to serve up their Italian-inspired vegan sandwiches and paninis at the Hamilton Farmers’ Market. The motto here is “mangia vegano” and the choices include the Forgettaboutit (pastrami, mozzarella, caramelized onions, lettuce, pickles, mustard, mayo), Nonno’s meatball sub and the chickun parm. Everything is made with house-made planted-based meats. The owners aren’t ruling out a new standalone location down the road and are focused on getting their products into the retail market.

Bliss Kitchen

312 Dundas St. E., Waterdown
This pastel restaurant in the Waterdown Village is sure to make your vegan dreams come true. Creating dishes in house, from scratch, it serves up options like: loaded fries, burgers, bowls and “leafy tacos” – a romaine leaf shell stuffed with all sorts of decadent vegan fillings. Head to Bliss for Saturday and Sunday brunch to try something new. A personal favourite brunch drink is the Golden Glow Latte infused with turmeric, cinnamon and nutmeg.

Hearty Hooligan

292 Ottawa St. N., Hamilton
The Hearty Hooligan has a very specific mandate, to create tasty vegan food without having to give up all the junk foods that we know and love! That’s why the menu at this punk-inspired spot on Ottawa Street North includes pizza pockets and pizza rolls, burritos, jumbo hotdogs, and loaded fries. There are also desserts and a plethora of hot and cold drink items, including of the alcoholic variety! This spot is also a LGBTQ2SIA+ positive safe space. Hearty Hooligan pizza pockets are even available in a number of local food markets.

Green Leaf

865 Upper James St. #2, Hamilton
Inside this unassuming little spot on Upper James, you will find big vegetarian flavour. Green Leaf is home to an entirely vegetarian menu of traditional Indian fare. The wide range of dosa options come highly recommended, but it also serves chaats, street food (masala fries), sandwiches, idly (rice and lentil patties) and much more. Finish your meal with a delicious mango lassi or specialty dessert.

Rise Above Pizza & Wings

274 James St. N., Hamilton
Rise Above is known as Hamilton’s first and only vegan pizzeria! From a glance at the pizza menu or photos of the delicious morsels, you may not realize this is a vegan spot, as Rise Above creates its own housemade “bacon”, crumbled burger, and “pepperoni.” In addition to all the decadent topped pizzas, there is also a build-your-own-pizza option with a variety of vegan cheeses and toppings. Looking for something other than pizza? Try the seitan wings, subs, salads, or pastas.

The Himalya Restaurant

160 Centennial Pkwy N., Hamilton
This family-run restaurant prides itself on creating cozy, comforting northern Indian dishes, while taking heed of the needs of the vegetarian eater. Options like vegetarian thali, vegetable curries, pakoras, samosas, sweet treats and so much more are available on the Centennial restaurant’s menu. A special mention goes to the desserts and sweets, which Himalya specializes in. Plus, there are vegan options, too!

Democracy* on Locke

202 Locke St. S., Hamilton
Another vegan stop in the heart of Locke Street is Democracy* on Locke café and restaurant. Serving up breakfast (including an all-day breakfast specific menu), lunch, dinner and dessert, Democracy* is a great place to meet friends, so that there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Food items like Korean BBQ tofu sliders, the Almost Famous Taco Salad, breakfast sandwiches and much more lead the all-vegan menu. Hot tip: try the famous cauliflower wings, you can’t go wrong!

Have an idea for a great food and drink story? Email editor Meredith MacLeod at