Rise Above Restaurant and...

Overall rating: 4.5 stars 19 Reviews
Vegan restaurant and bakery providing vegan comfort food and baked goods, with gluten-free options. Serves lunch, dinner, and Sunday brunch. Price: Moderate more-less
Vegan, Bakery, Western, Canadian, American, Catering


First Review by LisaandAyden

Amazing Vegan Food

5 Posted on 08 / 14 / 2014

We discovered this restaurant earlier this year and I'm so happy we did! The staff is amazing including the owners! The owners serve tables and are super friendly and inviting.

We just got back from a road trip and when we went on our honey moon this restaurant has the best food in all of the different places we tried. My husband and I always get there seitan which is also the best seitan we have ever had. We have also tried there pizzas, burgers, grilled cheese and quesadilla's which are all amazing. They also have amazing desserts including cheesecake, cupcakes, brownies and yummy cakes. All items they serve are vegan which is extremely important for my husband as he's deadly allergic to dairy products. If you want some amazing food you need to come to this restaurant!! You won't be disappointed I promise.

Pros: Great Food, Great Customer Service, Friendly Staff
Cons: Need More Seating

Great if you have lots of time

3 Posted on 02 / 08 / 2014

Man, they are not in a hurry in this place. I stood and watched someone literally take over ten minutes to put a sandwich together that I had pre-ordered to be ready at noon, and didn't get out of the place until 12:15. Guys, you are downtown and it was a weekday. People are working and on their lunch hours! I once ate in for lunch and the whole affair took over an hour and a half. It was a Saturday and I had time, so it was ok, but still. Sometimes it takes 20 minutes just to get a drink. I was a regular, and if they fix this problem, I'll be back. Otherwise I'll just do without.

Food=varies from ok to delicious.
Dessert=perfect and yummy in every way.
Service=friendly, but slow as molasses

Pros: Dessert, specifically the blondie, decor, books to read while you wait
Cons: slowest service in the free world

Simply fantastic!

5 Posted on 10 / 24 / 2013

So fantastic! We went with the Buffalo Seitan, Mushroom Macaroni and Cheese, Lasanga and Cauliflower Steak and loved everything! Oh and their cinnamon buns are to die for! We will definitely return. Our only complaint is that there isn't a cookbook for sale! Yum!

Pros: Food, Environment, Service
Cons: One staff wasn't overly pleasant but our waitress

Great desserts and good food!

4 Posted on 10 / 04 / 2013

Great vegan find near Niagara Falls. The food was good but the desserts were great! I had the cauliflower sandwich with the kale salad, adding the seitan at the sever's suggestion. It was good, but next time I'd leave the seitan off to save the calories (it's fried). Ask for the salad dressing on the side because it was a bit heavy. The combination of flavors was very nice and we enjoyed our meals. We picked up some desserts for later and they were so good! I forgot the name of the bar, but it had chocolate, a coconut cream and a chocolately oat crust. The maple nut and pumpkin doughnuts were yummy too! I think this is the only vegan eatery near Niagara and I would definitely recommend it!

Pros: vegan food!!!, desserts, location
Cons: not low in calories, slight odor from cooking

Amazing desserts, hit or miss food, and not cheap

4 Posted on 05 / 13 / 2013

They deserve the reputation they have for their sweets. Doughnuts and most other treats are amazing. The milkshakes are also amazing. However, the menu food is hit or miss. I have had a few very good menu items, including the sweet potato taquitos and the caesar salad. Some of the not so great items include the burrito and chili cheese wedges. I would still eat here regularly and try all the food if it were a little cheaper. A main dish and an app with small portions will set you back $20. The food prices also seem to have gone up recently. It's okay for a treat once in a while, but not all the time. I wish they would not try to use all these fancy ingredients and offer a more affordable menu that will keep customers coming back every week.

I would give the desserts and other sweets a 5/5, and the other food a 3.5/5. When considering everything else such as service and the prices, I would give them around a 4/5 overall. Definitely a place I would promote to vegans and non-vegans, but there is room for improvement with the food quality and prices.

Pros: Best desserts and milkshakes ever
Cons: Expensive small portions, Hit or miss food, Closed on Monday


Overhyped resturant

2 Posted on 01 / 13 / 2013

I went here recently with my partner. I got the Crispy Seitan Wrap and my partner got the Enchilada. The servers were not friendly and took their sweet time. I found the seitan to be weirdly spiced and could not taste any sauce. The enchilada tasted as if it was simply made up of canned Amy's chili and daiya. Shortly after going I found out from a friend that only that up until a month or so ago the servers were paid less than minimum wage here!! And that since they are now being paid minimum wage many have seen their hours decrease. One positive thing I do have to say is that I have tried a few doughnuts and pastries in the past and the bakers are the shining stars of the establishment.

Pros: baked goods
Cons: bad service, unfriendly, staff conflicts
  • Cocoluva Cocoluva

    Just an fyi no server gets paid minimum wage even now unless the employer chooses to pay them more. servers make "server wage" which is less than minimum n since the wage increases minimum server wage is now up to 9.50 still less then minimum for most ppl just a little something to remember for all when out to eat tip ur waiter/waitress


outstanding vegan gem

5 Posted on 08 / 30 / 2012

We were happy to find this vegan restaurant not too far from the falls it was well worth our 20 minute drive. The place was very inviting with high ceilings with a cool brick wall. The server was very friendly and informative.

We went at lunch and had a lentil burger, homemade frites(fry's) , lasagna, an enchilada and a burrito. We rate everything as outstanding except the burger which was good. The entrées ranged from $9-13.
The highlight though were the desserts. They were unbelievably amazing. We got some to go because we wanted to try a bit of everything. Our favorite was the peanut butter cup, second place was the Blondie, third was the nanaimo bar. The desserts were $2-3 which was very affordable.

Pros: desserts wow, delicious , vegan
Cons: none

so amazing

5 Posted on 08 / 14 / 2012

I went once to rise above over a year ago, and got like 5 of their donuts and they were all AMAZING. My favourite was the maple one with jam on the inside (from what i can remember). I cannot wait for the next time I am in the area to go again.

Pros: delicious

Simply Wonderful

5 Posted on 07 / 14 / 2012

Finally, a vegan restaurant in Niagara! The space was bright and airy, simple but still quirky. Our waitress was lovely and the food was incredible. Their seitan is mouth-watering and the vegan donuts are incredible. Definitely planning on becoming a regular.

Pros: excellent food, beautiful venue, great menu selection

gourmet vegan eats

4 Posted on 07 / 06 / 2012

can't say more than everyone else has said. great food. owner is lovely. waht could make it even better than it is? a lovely glass of wine or a nice cool refreshing beer. too bad about that part. i'll still be there though not as often


5 Posted on 05 / 17 / 2012

One or twice a year, I travel to Niagara-on-the-Lake and Toronto from Detroit. In my estimation, the only place in the area for good vegan meals was Pan, even though they weren't totally vegan. I was sorry to hear last year that they closed. Where will I eat now?

This year, I was glad to hear that Rise Above has moved into the space vacated by Pan - and they are totally vegan - even better for me.

The meals are great as they are, but the owners are open to evolving and improving, so things will only get better. These folks were previously vegan bakers in the area, and they are continuing their tradition of fantastic baked goods inside Rise Above. After a terrific meal, hope that they have some cinnamon rolls left.

Birthday Cake!

5 Posted on 05 / 15 / 2012

Delicious food, so nice to be able to pick anything from the menu without worry! AND I had chocolate birthday cake! Highly recommended!

Constant Cravings

5 Posted on 03 / 22 / 2012

Finally a vegan restaurant in St. Catharines!!!!!!! I love Rise Above. As I'm writing this review, I'm wishing that I was there right now. It's so exciting to be able to order anything that I want from the menu.

Not only can I order "anything", but the food is delicious. My favourites are the gnocchi (though I'm always left wishing there was just a little bit more, and it's only on the dinner menu), anything with their seitan, and the pizza (as long as there's no veggie ground round on it). There are several menu items with veggie ground round on, which is not something that I'm a fan of, but I've tried just about everything else, and it's all good! Additionally, specials are generally phenomenal. Rise Above even makes cauliflower mouth-wateringly tastey!

Now to the bakery items. Wow! Just... wow... Their baker is creative and always coming up with new flavours. There are a variety of interesting donuts, which are delicious and light tasting (unless you get the filled ones, then they're decadent and rich), the chocolate chip cookies are yum yum yummy, and there's vegan cheesecake! I agree with the previous reader in that it's rare to find pain au chocolat and croissants that are vegan; and they are light and fluffy, crispy in all the right places, and doughy on the inside! Every dessert (that I can recall) that I've had there has been tasty, and their aesthetic appeal make them hard to resist. My only suggestion would be to make the brownies more moist, and maybe add chocolate chips or chunks.

In addition to the superb eating, the staff are friendly and helpful (every one of them). The atmosphere is nice enough (not something I'd rave about, but bright and clean). I agree with previous readers in that the signage needs to be more visible. Scream your name loud and proud, because Rise Above deserves recognition.

Pros: ALL VEGAN, Seitan!, Bakery
Cons: Maybe too much veggie ground round, That's just my opinion, I never was fond of beef when I ate meat

Finally! An all vegan restaurant in Niagara!

5 Posted on 02 / 21 / 2012

Bit of backstory: I grew up in Niagara. As a kid I often felt like the only vegetarian. I eventually went vegan and moved to Toronto. It's been five years and I still live in Toronto but sometimes I go back to Niagara to visit my friends and family who've stayed behind. I've started to notice that vegan food, once unthinkable in Niagara, has slowly become (dare I say it?)... popular. I see signs for vegan ice cream, lots of once "specialty" items like earth balance and non-dairy yogurt in grocery stores and the restaurant close to my dad's house has a separate vegan menu! And finally, Niagara has it's first all vegan restaurant.

And it is glorious.

It's a bit hard to find cos they don't have any large signage, but once you go inside you'll see it's a gorgeous space, clean and well kept, with exposed brick. The menu is small, but has a good variety of choices. Prices are fair and the service is great.

I ordered the broccoli-potato-daiya patty with a side salad. It comes on a bun with lettuce, tomato and a cheesy(?) sauce on top. My only complaint was it was a bit mushy so it was falling apart as I tried to eat it. But it tasted fantastic. My (omni/rarely eat vegan/went to culinary school) friends got a soup and the sammich of the day and both thoroughly enjoyed their meals and declared they would happily eat here again!

I decided to get a treat to bring back home for myself and my younger vegan sister (not to brag about how awesome my sister is but she's only 17 and has already been vegan for over 2 years). And THEY HAVE CROISSANTS. AND CHOCOLATE CROISSANTS.

In case the all caps didn't make it obvious, this is kinda a big deal.

The vegan croissant is an elusive treat that I like to think appears as a guiding light to vegans in distress. Once while exhausted and near the verge of passing out in Copenhagen, unable to find a place with soy milk for my coffee, I happened upon the fabled vegan croissant.

This croissant was even better. It's rich and flaky and -buttery-. Oh and the chocolate one is just perfect, sweet but not too sweet. Just thinking about it is making me want to go get another one right now. :)

Pros: yummy, inexpensive, CROISSANTS
Cons: needs larger signage!


5 Posted on 02 / 11 / 2012

Where do I start?
Soups - awesome
Salads - I love the cucumber salad
Kid friendly!
Desserts. WOW....did I mention the cheesecake? Yes vegan cheesecake!
Pizza of the day....always a favourite.

The menu is not convoluted with stuff... But you will find something for everyone. The chefs...are most accommodating for the kids

The atmosphere is a relaxed lofty feel with ever changing art. This hidden gem sports an open kitchen. Parking on the street can sometimes be a challenge. But a parking lot is just across the street

The best thing to happen to Niagara

5 Posted on 11 / 27 / 2011

RISE ABOVE RULES!!!!!!!! Delicious vegan food for anyone with tastebuds. I go to this place at least once a week. The menu is original and diverse, the baked goods are amazing (highly recommend the peanut butter brownie cups or cinnamon buns). The gnocchi with cashew cream is delicious and so is the greek salad with almond feta. Everything is great, I could go on for hours. Just go there and eat you will not be disappointed!

Pros: friendly staff, clean, good location

Now full service vegan restuarant-YUM!!!

5 Posted on 11 / 12 / 2011

Now a vegan restaurant at 120 St. Paul St, St.Catharines. Loved, loved, loved everything!!! Ordered the Greek Salad with Almond "Feta" (fresh and tasty), the Hand-rolled Potato Gnocchi with Cashew Cream and Garlic Greens (fantastic!), the Crispy Seitan with Sweet Potato, Garlic Greens,and Roasted Cauliflower (deeelish!). For dessert we had the vanilla cake with vanilla icing that was just made. The description doesn't do it justice...it was awesome! The server was friendly and helpful too.
Come on people, support this place! I want it to be around for a very long time and Niagara needs it!

Pros: excellent food, good value, good service
Cons: a bit cold when door opens

Great addition to St. Catharines vegan scene

5 Posted on 09 / 27 / 2011

The best vegan baked goods of all time. I havent tried the food yet but hope to one of these days. Everyone is really friendly and helpful. I hear soon, Kyle will also be selling records. Occasionally bands play here as well. My only problem is I have gone there several times and its not open. I really needed some sweets.

Awesome Rise Above

5 Posted on 08 / 04 / 2011

Kyle is awesome! Krista is great! The food there is awesmazing (a combination of awesome and amazing, too great to be just one). Rise Above is the best restaurant that I have ever eaten at.


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Last updated: 2014/07/29


Added: 2011/04/04


Added by: veganstastebetter