Hamilton – Ancaster – Toronto

One of the things that inspires me most in my life is food. It is no secret that one of our favorite brands is Gardein as we eat it at almost every meal, and Beyond Meat is top choice when dining at fast-food restaurants. Harvey’s “Two Can Dine” coupons are a routine favorite, too, but recently I was craving Chinese food so we tried out a place called China Kiki that is local to us.

We were not disappointed!

We have been busy packing so take-out is becoming more frequent as the days creep up before we move; Friday night Chinese food was a welcome treat this past weekend. We ordered Garlic Tofu Vegetables, Spicy Veggie Lo-Mein, Spring Rolls, Veggie Chow-Mein and Crispy Honey Wontons with a side of steamed rice and we ate it for about three days! We ordered thirty-dollars worth of food (which I find cheap) and managed several meals from it; and my cravings for Chinese food were taken care of.

It was SO good!

After receiving a gift card to The Keg for Christmas from our tenant in Toronto, we decided that since we’re trying to save some money we’d give it a shot and celebrate our home purchase and an early Valentines Day. We were skeptical being vegetarians but pleasantly surprised! I was floored by the options available to us and the service was fantastic; we chose Baked Brie, Gnocchi with Veggies, Cauliflower Wings and had three draft beers each. All of our choices came promptly, hot and filled will flavor regardless of the bite.

The baked brie we chose came with crostini and both red pepper jelly and pesto, both of which complimented the warm cheese and crisp toast perfectly and this appetizer paired perfectly with our first beer, a Collective Arts IPA. The Korean fried cauliflower bites came in a large portion like the others did and had a hoisin-style dipping sauce that was so perfect that we drizzled it all over the dish before devouring it.

After requesting a Heineken, we were on to our third appetizer. Crispy Brussels sprouts, onions and carrots matched perfectly with the soft, warm gnocchi covered in decadent garlic and oil sauce. I’m pretty sure my stomach expanded to twice its size that night lol. I wanted to ride in Mila’s stroller because I was so full afterward, and I felt like it was all I could do to waddle out of there to walk home. We were very impressed with the entire experience and will be returning sometime in the future.

The Keg we went to is on Upper James and China Kiki is located on Upper Wellington in Hamilton, ON. We are mountain dwellers and are excited to continue exploring options in our community! When we travel to Toronto, we almost always choose a new place to try, though we have our go-to places, too. Buddha’s Vegan on Dundas is a place we love to grab some take-out and enjoy in the park; their seitan and tofu options like “General Tso” or “Sweet and Sour” have an unbelievable texture and flavor combination that is unbeatable!

Since we live so close, Saigon Lotus is probably the place we frequent most, especially during the cold winter months. They offer vegan pho that keeps us coming back for more and I promise even the most avid meat-eaters can find items to enjoy on their menu.

We walked to the Eaton Centre to grab some bath mats from Uniqlo recently and stopped in to Touhenboku Ramen for a bite and though it was a tight squeeze because it was a full-house, the food had us wondering when we could be back!

We don’t order Mila food from children’s menus because she always eats what we’re having; the flavors of curries or even some spicier dishes see her smiling and I love watching her explore the world through food with us.

And finally, the Hogtown Vegan is a place to grab vegan comfort food like “mac-n-cheese and collard greens” or “chicken and waffles” – we never leave there without a full belly. All of this food talk is making me hungry lol. It’s time to pack my lunch for work tomorrow; I’ll have cut-up “chicken” cutlet from Gardein on top of salad with cheese, avocado, blueberries and Olive Garden Salad Dressing. And there’s always hummus in case I want a boost of flavor and density!

If you are from Hamilton or Toronto and have a favorite vegetarian or vegan spot, please leave it in the comment section below; we’d love to try it out!

Bon Appetit!

Kaila A. Notto

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