You know you love something when your heart does happy somersaults just by thinking about it. My heart might as well be a bona fide gymnast then because this lovely eatery is everything a person could possibly want in vegetarian and vegan cuisine. Kale Eatery, located at 2366 Yonge St. (near the intersection of Yonge and Eglinton, just north of Eglinton) is an amazing place that boasts a self-serve buffet with fresh and delicious veggies, beans, rice, potatoes, curry, hummus, tofu, stews, and salads among many other veggie eats. Although the buffet plays the starring role at this establishment, Kale also serves wraps, tofu burgers, fair trade tea and coffee, over 10 different combinations of freshly squeezed organic juice, and vegan pastries and muffins. Think desserts with apples, bananas, oats, and all that good stuff.
Just to put it out there, I am not vegan or vegetarian. Given how much I
drool post about sushi, you probably figured that out. But! That definitely doesn’t stop me from scoping out great vegetarian places in and around the city. I may not follow a vegetarian diet or adopt a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle, but I truly appreciate places that go above and beyond when it comes to using a variety of fresh veggie ingredients for their dishes and offering lots of non-meat options. And let me tell you, eating at Kale makes you feel SO GOOD. When you eat here, you literally FEEL the warmth and wholesomeness of the food spread through your body.
There is so much choice here that it would make anybody skip around in circles! What I have on my plate down below: celery, cherry tomato, and avocado salad; a heaping spoonful of creamy hummus; spinach pie; roasted potatoes; rice with portobello mushrooms; red lentil curry stew with parsley; and bright, fresh, leafy steamed kale. I can’t even begin to describe how delicious the food is. Everything was hearty and so full of flavour and truly one of the best meals I have ever had. Each and every single portion of food had its own amazing qualities that contributed so much to the entire meal.
The hummus, spinach pie, and tomato and avocado salad added so much rich creaminess and texture, the kale was deliciously crunchy and fresh, the portobello mushroom rice was so savoury, hearty, and satisfying, and the lentil stew was out of this world. I love everything I ate, but if I had to choose a standout, it would have to be the red lentil curry stew with parsley ollowed by the portobello mushroom rice. I could eat the lentil curry stew every day for the rest of my life because it was incredibly delicious. It was like creamy mashed potatoes, polenta, and thick lentil soup all in one. It was amazing and I inhaled my plate. No, wait, I picked up my plate and SHOVELED the food into my mouth until it was sparkling. So clean you could probably see my reflection in it. And this isn’t even a tenth of what they serve at the buffet. There’s sweet potatoes, red kidney beans and chickpeas, quinoa, eggplant, artichoke salad, potatoes and dill, orzo, noodles, vegetarian dumplings and so much more.
A meal from here is so fulfilling and whether you’re a vegetarian or not you never have to think, “hmm, I don’t know, there’s not much to choose from”. It’s a genuine concern and it grates my nerves when 1) places claim they’re being veggie “friendly” by showcasing a measly lame veggie burger as their only option on the menu, and 2) when people think a vegetarian diet is comprised of starches. No, you cannot seriously call yourself a vegetarian when all you eat is bread, pasta, and French fries (cue Phoebe-from-F.R.I.E.N.D.S.-like outburst). You never have to feel like you’re sacrificing anything when you’re here and that’s the beauty of it. Eating should make you feel good physically, mentally, and emotionally. No matter what your diet is, food should never posit itself as punishment and when it does, it’s just not enjoyable anymore.
The buffet is available for both sit-down and take-out, and food is charged by weight at $2.40/100g. Assuming you fill up your plate, you’re looking at a wholesome meal for around $10-$15. I’ve eaten here twice and filled up my plate both times (as you can see from my photos!) and my meals have come between $10-$12. Considering the amount you might pay at generic sit-down chain restaurants for a main dish, this is worth it to me. If a chain restaurant charges anywhere from $10-$20 for a main, a delicious plate like this is not over the top. What and where you eat is always dependent on personal taste and budget and every once in awhile at Kale is plenty good enough for me.
Kale Eatery is located at 2366 Yonge St. (near the intersection of Yonge and Eglinton, just north of Eglinton). They are open at 11am and the restaurant is both dine-in and take-out, providing biodegradable containers and boxes for take-out orders and for take-out buffet. Their beautiful website is up and running which you can check out here. A big thank you to my friend Nicole for recommending this wonderful eatery to me. I owe you one! 🙂