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Posted by Paula Potts / Listed on February 4, 2010 / review policy

Kale TorontoKale is an organic eatery that opened last year and is a refreshing addition to the Yonge and Eglinton area. Amongst the many pubs and fast food joints, Y&E can certainly benefit from a healthier option. The restaurant is simple yet sterile with a buffet lining one side of the narrow room. Full of vegan, organic and macrobiotic foods, diners can eat-in or take-away in recyclable containers.

I fill a large container with everything and anything that looks new and interesting. Though I'm not a vegetarian, I fully appreciate and am intrigued by a good veggie dish. At $2.50 per pound my total bill is a reasonable $11.26, though the dishes themselves are a bit hit or miss.

Kale RestaurantA delightful crust-free spinach pie is light and pasty with a touch of sesame seeds that add a little crunch. The cabbage salad is a hearty mix of green, red and Napa cabbage as well as some broccoli and bok choy for an extra healthy punch. A Cajun spice gives the salad a subtle kick through the lemon juice and olive oil. The zucchini and marinated tempeh is simple yet filling, the roasted zucchini compliments the cubed tempeh nicely, and keeps it moist. A curried Napa adds some spice to my selection, and I gobble up the lightly curried brown rice filled with chopped Napa, green pepper, peas and green onion.

KaleThe ginger tofu, however, is a little bland. The cubed tofu is firm but too cheap on the ginger. Both the marinated salad and the couscous with sundried tomato are nothing special. Perhaps I did not scoop enough of the tomato and olives, for the couscous is filled with only a handful of chopped celery and carrots. Finally, it is only fitting that I sample the steamed kale, a simple dish as the title suggests, and I feel no more enthusiasm for the leafy green than I did before.

Kale Restaurant TorontoKale also offers a variety of organic juices that range from $6.50 for a 16 oz to $13 for a 32 oz as well as a basic selection of loose-leaf organic teas for $2.50 each.



DS / February 4, 2010 at 10:04 am
Hmm... Kale's in a bit of a cursed space, so I hope it does well. I had no idea it was a by-the-pound type of buffet, but now that I do I think I'll check it out shortly.

Is there an option to eat off of non-disposable foodware at this time?
A / February 4, 2010 at 11:19 am
How dare this 'restaurant' drag kale's already shaky reputation through the mud by calling itself Kale and then having the nerve to just serve steamed kale. Steamed kale prepared by vegan health nuts is the reason why so many people think they hate kale.

Try sauteing some garlic and chili flakes and a pork product (i've used bacon, panchetta, smoked pork tenderloin, and sausage). Then add kale and a bit of liquid. Let it braise a bit. Maybe add black eyed peas to make a meal out of it. Inhale. Never complain about kale again. And never go to a restaurant that charges for steamed freakin kale.
Kat / February 4, 2010 at 11:25 am
DS, you can eat in on real dishes and I'm sure they'd be happy to have you bring your own dishes for carry-out.

A, you're right - except a vegan restaurant is unlikely to use pork to flavour its kale. :) But they're redeemed by the yummy kale-apple-lemon juice. (I also love the beet-apple-ginger.)
Stella / February 4, 2010 at 12:15 pm
Last time I chatted with the folks of Noah's Sunny Cafe, they told me about their plans to open up this new restaurant.
I'm assuming they have a lot of the same dishes they serve at the Noah's cafe, which I think is the most delicious food in the city.
Next time I'm in the area, can't wait to check it out!
Chris Orbz / February 4, 2010 at 02:25 pm
A somewhat pricey lunch even for Y&E, yet I keep going back - leaves me feeling a lot healthier than most other options around and I can go back to work without feeling like I need to OD on caffeine to recover my energy levels.
I quite like their kale, get it every time, and while vegan I'm generally adverse to the masochistically healthy let's-squint-and-pretend-this-is-food stuff. But I'd eat kale raw, the plant is what it is on it's own and that's not something to blame vegans for. Sounds like A would rather pretend they aren't eating kale when they are, like people who will only eat broccoli if it's drowning in gravy.

The same experience in takeout format is indeed available at their original minilocation inside the Annex (Spadina/Bloor) Noah'.
Jane / February 4, 2010 at 11:59 pm
Wow these pictures remind me of the Pay-per-Pound places on every corner now in NYC!! The food looks a bit like the Big Carrot's. I hope they do well. Perhaps I will pop in (if I can ever get parking at Y & Egg). Oh wait - I should be riding my bike over there since it is Vegetarian! My Bad!
Andrew / May 18, 2010 at 03:08 pm
I've been dying to go here, but I'm never in the area. There are quite a few of these places in Ottawa, so I'm surprised that this is one of the first here.
eran replying to a comment from A / June 7, 2010 at 01:22 pm
ok, I get what you are saying.. steamed kale is not good. Kale is absolutely divine when prepared properly... but suggesting that one mixes it with pork? lol... come on this is a veggie restaurant after all. I'de rather eat head over to McDonalds or just scrape some dog feces off my shoe than eat pork with kale. get real dude.
tamar / September 14, 2010 at 10:18 pm
I have yet to visit Kale, but I am a skeptic before walking in the door. I have yet to find a decent vegetarian restaurant in Toronto and I doubt that this place is anything very special. Having said that, sometimes it is just nice to find a place to eat a basic, simple and healthy meal, so full kudos for the concept. Knowing that the owners are the same as Sunny's Cafe does little to entice me to make the trip but eventually I will find my way there. NYC has 47 vegan restos....count um 47. What's up with TO??? Why is it that vegans always seem to be relegated to eating in buffet joints that serve sterile food and sterile surroundings? In Europe, vegan fine dining is alive and well. I don't count the slop at Fressen (if it is still in business) as haute cuisine.
Cara / March 29, 2011 at 11:45 am
I've recently switched to a vegan lifestyle and someone recommended Kale to me. I went there and loved everything I ate. I've been back twice since and I'm taking someone new there this evening. The staff are friendly and the food variety is decent. I admit, I haven't tried the kale.

I'm open to other vegan restaurant suggestions in the Toronto area if anyone wants to hand them out.
CS replying to a comment from Cara / April 4, 2011 at 04:39 pm
Cara, check out the Vegetarian Directory on - Toronto has many great veg restaurants!
CC / January 4, 2014 at 12:29 am
I've been to kale several times as it is near my work- the salad bar is quite good but definitely very pricy compared to other nearby places. I've tried the vegan brownie/the little ball desserts and both were not good at all, however. The brownie was $5 I believe and tasted nothing like a brownie, more like dry mashed banana with a crumbly, weird texture and the ball was the same. Also, one of the workers is very rude to me even though I always buy something when I walk in and say hello..
M replying to a comment from A / June 12, 2014 at 02:24 pm
There are more than enough establishments out there from which to procure your... "pork product".

This place isn't for you.

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