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Rise Above Restaurant and Bakery

  • Vegan Vegan
    ( 41 reviews )
Contact 289-362-2636

120 St. Paul St, St Catharines, Ontario, Canada, L2R 3M2

Vegan restaurant and bakery providing vegan comfort food and baked goods, with gluten-free options. Serves lunch, dinner, and Sunday brunch. Open Tue-Sat 11:00am-10:00pm, Sun 11:00am-3:00pm.

Category: Vegan, American, Western, Bakery, Catering, Canadian

Reviews (41)

First Review by LisaandAyden

Opened my eyes to how good vegan can be! - Edit

This is about the only truly vegan restaurant in Niagara, so it's a good thing it's awesome.

My wife and I love the penne so much that it's tough to order anything else, but the flatbreads are terrific, and the Buffalo "wings" are good for a treat.

We often get takeout, but there is full table service available as well.

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VERY yummy food. - Edit

My partner and I decided to stop in St. Catharine's to get doughnuts at Beechwood Doughnuts and dinner at Rise Above. I'm SO happy we did!

Rise Above has a nice warm atmosphere with lots of books at the front (a "free library" sort of system where you can take and leave books), including many important animal rights books. There were also beautiful animal prints made by a local artist hanging on the walls.

We decided to share a small soup as an appetizer (curry split pea), I got the seitan souvlaki bowl (with creamy tzatziki sauce), and my partner got the smoked beet reuben with potato wedges on the side. We also got a peanut butter blondie to go. Everything was very delicious!

Our waitress was very friendly too, and I liked that they print "Thank you for eating vegan today!" on the receipts :)

Pros: delicious food, entirely vegan, supports local artists

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Sunday Brunch time ends EARLY! - Edit

Sunday brunch; arrive very early. We arrived 25 minutes before closing time, but we were turned away....not early enough! Even when I expressed our disappointment because we drove a very long way to experience their restaurant......no, sorry.
Maybe the hours should be adjusted to include the staff clean up & lock up time.
If you advertise brunch until 3:00, how can you turn customers away at 2:35?
I wonder if they turn customers away 25 minutes before closing time on other days, or just Sunday afternoon? Very sad.

Pros: 100 % vegan

Cons: poor customer service

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Perfect! - Edit

This was the first vegan restaurant myself and my boyfriend have been to and it was fantastic! Our waiter was super nice and friendly, the decor was very cute, the music was nice, overall a very casual atmosphere. The menu is all vegan and there are so many choices I had a hard time choosing! I got the Buffalo cauliflower tacos with the soup of the day and it was so great! I couldn't believe how good it tasted. I wish I had room for dessert. We had the cutest salt and pepper shakers on our table and there was a cute bookshelf in the corner. Once we left I knew that we would be back and I absolutely can't wait to come back to try more. Definitely would recommend.

Updated from previous review on 2016-08-26

Pros: Supports local artists, Reasonable Prices, Fair trade pop

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The best. - Edit

My wife seduced me with a baked good from Rise Above years ago, and it has been our go to restaurant ever since.

Whether you're having brunch, dinner, or coffee/dessert this is the best spot in the Niagara Region.

Super warm and friendly staff; I've never been disappointed with a meal at Rise Above.

Their Vegan Cheesecake is top notch...

Pros: Delicious food (all vegan), Nice ambience (staff, music,featured art), Good selection (soups, sandwiches, entrees, ect.)

Cons: Can be busy, reservations are a good idea, Parking can be crummy

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The BEST - Edit

Where do I even start with Rise Above... I think Rise Above was my first taste of vegan cuisine before I was even vegan. It totally changed my definition of what I thought vegan food could be. This restaurant has been my go-to place to eat for the past couple of years. The owner and staff have never been anything less of exceptionally kind and generous. I'm so thankful that Rise Above is located in my area. The food is wonderful, even my non-vegan family loves it. It can be quite busy at times, especially on weekends, so it could be beneficial to place a reservation. (But that just means more people are eating delicious vegan food so I'm all for it! Lol) The atmosphere is very laid-back and the staff is amazing... as I've mentioned before. I'd recommend this restaurant to anyone visiting the city.
Overall, Rise Above has to be my favourite restaurant of all time.

Pros: Delicious food, Amazing staff, Wonderful atmosphere

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Merveilleux ! - Edit

Un joyau de cuisine végétalienne. Personnel gentil et atmosphère très agréable. Nous avons adoré les champignons farcis, le burger aux betteraves et le gâteau aux carottes. Notre palais a été émerveillé!

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What a wonderful treat to find this place! - Edit

My husband and I were visiting Niagara Falls and were hoping to find a restaurant nearby that served healthy vegan food. Thanks to HappyCow we found the one and only vegan restaurant within a 20 minute drive and how glad were we to find it! The menu had so many options that even though a few were sold out for the evening, we still had plenty of options to pick from. In fact, we ordered two wraps and two desserts to go so we would have more deliciousness for the lunch the next day. Portions and prices were perfect and as so many other reviewers said, the desserts were awesome. We had fantastic service. Even though we arrived late, we were assured that we did not need to rush through our meal and to relax and enjoy.

I only wish we lived closer so we could enjoy this restaurant again and again. Great job Rise Above gang! Keep up the great work!

Pros: Lots of menu options, Portion sizes and prices, Out of this world desserts

Cons: Few options not available late in evening (as one

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I really want to love you... - Edit

Rise Above is a fully vegan restaurant in St Catharines something that excited me to no end when I first moved. It's a beautiful restaurant with great ambiance and a fun, friendly staff but sadly the food is just ok.

To give a few examples, the vegan Caesar is really nothing more than a vegan-mayo based dressing (vs some of the more creative and tasty nut based you can make) and quite plain. The curry bowl again is ok but nothing that couldn't be whipped up at home in 30 minutes and overall the portions (especially for takeout) are very small which isn't great for convincing my 200lb athlete fiancé that we should eat there.

They have some great seasonal dishes such as the tourtière that was a beautiful plate, and a seasonal summer bowl from last year but these get rotated off the menu leaving the options from the not that exciting regular menu.

Desserts and coffee on the other hand are excellent (as well as the wine prices/selection from a local organic winery).

This is a good spot if you don't feel like cooking or feel like enjoying a good atmosphere but it isn't going to change your life.

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You're great! Don't spoil it! - Edit

Great restaurant with amazing food and very cool owners and workers. But while it's getting more popular and prestigious, it's upping the prices and shrinking portion sizes, becoming less affordable and accessible. There are still a few really filling items (especially the wraps) but some entrées are really small and you don't figure it out until it comes to the table. For instance, you can order pasta for $14+tax which turns out being a small hillock in the middle of the plate. Reminds me of snobby, bourgeois restaurants. Because of the increasing demand and their limited space, they can afford to do this, but it will only lead them become an exclusive place, which I personally know they wouldn't be happy about themselves... They donate to the local Food Not Bombs chapter, which is super cool. And please cut the potato wedges thinner. When it's too thick, the middle doesn't cook :/

Pros: Delicious food, Supports local artists, Politically progressive, Safe(r) space, Donates to Food Not Bombs

Cons: Increasing prices, Shrinking portion sizes

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Comfy with an Assorted Menu - Edit

Great atmosphere. There was a couch and shelf full of neat books, I thought that was pretty hip. Food was fresh. I got a seitan souflaki salad dish. I loved the watermelon pieces, the flavours complimented so well. The waiter was adorable and answered all our questions. The cheesecake was moussey and tangy. I was there with my non-veg bro and he enjoyed it as well. My only criticism is that the two-person tables were a little small. People were dropping their cutlery and phones!

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I absolutely love it here! I have been on many occasions and I have never been disappointed. As of this year I cut soy out of my diet and they have still managed to cater to me. I definitely recommend trying to buffalo seitan!

Pros: Excellent food, nice atmosphere, friendly staff

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Great food - Edit

Went there while visiting the Niagara Falls area. The food was great, very flavorful. The fried mozza sticks were amazing. If I lived in the area I would definitely be a regular at this restaurant.

Pros: excellent food, friendly staff, good location

Cons: small, not many tables

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Super amazing - Edit

Delicious delicious delicious.

The service is friendly, I had to flip a coin to finally choose something on the menu, and the desserts were great, as well.

I really wish I could go here again. You should go!

Pros: All vegan, Friendly

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Amaaaaaazing - Edit

My husband and I loved this place. We shared the mozzarella sticks appetizer. Then I had the sweet potato burger and the daily soup special (pea and asparagus soup). The hubs got the seitan burger with greens. Then we shared a bowl of macaroni and cheese. It was all delicious!

Pros: Large menu, Great service, Deliciousness

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The best Vegan restaurant in Niagara - Edit

This is by far the best vegan restaurant in the Niagara Peninsula in my opinion. It continually wins awards and is constantly improving. I can't say how much I love rise above!

Pros: all vegan restaurant, great location, large menu

Cons: no parking , a little pricey, small space so limited seating at times

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Organic beer and huge bowls of Coconut Bliss in the same place? - Edit

Great beer and wine selection including organics. We loved the raw kale Caesar salad, the roasted mushroom and asparagus soup, the peanut curry and mushroom strudel. We couldn't believe how big the bowls of Coconut Bliss were, and we had ours with some of their baked goods on top. Entree portions were smaller. Best vegan restaurant we have been to of those we have visited in Massachusetts and Canada. Do make reservations and expect good service.

Pros: multiple desserts without cane sugar, options without nightshades

Cons: none

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love this vegan place - savoury and sweet! - Edit

Visited this place last month and thoroughly enjoyed everything! We sat outside on the one table that is available on the sidewalk, enjoyed great vegan soup and sandwiches, plus vegan donuts for dessert. It doesn't get much better for a vegan! The owner was great to chat with and we will definitely be back whenever we are in the area.

Pros: friendly service, great menu, amazing vegan desserts

Cons: wish there were more outside tables

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Amazing Vegan Food - Edit

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

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Great if you have lots of time - Edit

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

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Simply fantastic! - Edit

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

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Great desserts and good food! - Edit

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

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Amazing desserts, hit or miss food, and not cheap - Edit

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

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Overhyped resturant - Edit

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

1 Response

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Cocoluva 10 Aug 2014 - 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

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outstanding vegan gem - Edit

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

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so amazing - Edit

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

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Simply Wonderful - Edit

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

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gourmet vegan eats - Edit

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

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Saved. - Edit

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.

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Constant Cravings - Edit

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

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Finally! An all vegan restaurant in Niagara! - Edit

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!

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Expectations...EXCEEDED!!! - Edit

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

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The best thing to happen to Niagara - Edit

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

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Now full service vegan restuarant-YUM!!! - Edit

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

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Great addition to St. Catharines vegan scene - Edit

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.

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