The thing I miss the absolute most about living in Ontario (besides friends and family of course!), was the proximity of my house to a restaurant in Burlingon, ON called Kindfood. It is hands down my favourite restaurant! I’ve tried many vegan restaurants in the Toronto, Montreal and San Francisco area, but this place is definitely the best. The workers are the friendliest bunch of people (and Mike even remembers me when I walk in the door). And the food… oh the food is amazing.
It started out as a vegan cafe and exploded into a popular eatery for veg and non-veg alike. I first heard about it when I was on a course for becoming a group fitness instructor and did a good old happy cow search to find some good eats in the area. I figured if I had to drive alllll the way to Burlington for the course, I may as well get a good meal out of it. And disappointed I was not. The first time I tried one of their cupcakes, I nearly fell off of my chair! I was in utter disbelief that something vegan and gluten-free without any refined sugars could taste so good. And this was before I even went gluten free. Sadly, as it was kind of out of our way, we didn’t end up going very often. Until I went back to school and had to drive all the way to Mississauga for classes and realised the restaurant was on the way home haha =D
I’ve tried hunting around Northern California and have found some great places to eat… but to be honest, none hold a candle to my Kindfood. When I went back to Canada for my birthday in August, the only present I asked for was cupcakes from the bakery. And when I went home for the holidays last week, I made the drive out with a good friend to enjoy a meal and cupcake once more as I don’t know when I’ll be back in Ontario again.
The ideal location is in downtown Burlington and steps from the waterfront. On nice days, you can grab your food to go and sit by the water and enjoy some sunshine. They also have cute patio chairs and tables for warmer weather.
When you walk in, you are greeted by the wonderful staff. I love the colour scheme too!
There are a lot of great options, without an overwhelming amount of food to choose from. The staff will lend a hand if you have a hard time deciding between dishes. I’ve tried most things, but tend to get the Kindburger with a side caesar salad:
I’ve tried recreating the salad at home and what I make is pretty good, but nearly as good as it is at the restaurant. And the burger… om nom nom. They source Organic Works Bakery bread, and pile on lettuce, tomato, tempeh and daiya. Now I’m not sure what the secret is to a great sandwich, try as I might at home, it just doesn’t work out the same. Theirs comes out so the bread holds together, the tempeh is flavourful, the lettuce crisp, the tomato juicy and the daiya is ooey and gooey and just melts in your mouth. I almost fall into a puddle on the floor eating this thing. YUM.
I took along my good friend Dave and he ordered the special, which was a tempeh and sprout sandwich and some tomato soup:
I’ve never had the sandwich, but Dave assured me it was quite tasty. And the soup is pretty fantastic itself. It just warms your entire body up on a cold day.
We wandered on over to the location of their bakery Kelly’s Bake Shoppe:
It’s just around the corner from the Kindfood café/restaurant. How adorable is it?
The owner, Kelly Childs and her daughter Erinn Weatherbie are cupcake artists. Not only do they bake up decadently delicious cupcakes, they are just about the sweetest women you could ever meet. I can tell you that the restaurant is aptly named because I can see that kindness is all around them.
They make lots of goodies including cookies, brownies and cakepops, but the cupcakes seriously blow my mind.
They make the cupcakes for special occasions like weddings and birthdays. They have regular flavours, but also throw in some new ones into the mix and special ones for holidays.
I think I’ve tried pretty well every cupcake in the regular rotation as well a fair amount of the special ones. I quite like the mile high brownie too:
I was super excited to see some special cupcakes out for the holidays. Me and Dave couldn’t decide between the peppermint and the hot cocoa… so we tried both!
They both tasted amazing, but the peppermint won (I just really love the chocolatey/minty combo). Although the hot cocoa had a pretty fun filling:
I grabbed some cupcakes to go to bring back to my family. I really wanted to get my 3 and a half year old niece a cupcake for Christmas as she loves them. She collects cupcake things and has her entire room decorated in a cupcake theme. I have no guilt about giving her a treat for Christmas as these are completely vegan, gluten-free, organic and refined sugar free.
If you are in the Burlington area, I highly recommend checking them out. And if you’re not in their area, I still highly recommend checking them out ;p The drive is totally worth it!
Kindfood is located at 399 John Street and Kelly’s Bake Shoppe is at 401 Brant Street in Burlington. You can find their websites here:
And here is Kelly’s blog (tip – check out the recipe for cacao and coconut granola – it’s the bomb!):
Here are me and my friend Dave, happy and full after having had our lunch and cupcakes =)