Hype Food Co.
Hype Food Co. serves a completely customizable allergy-friendly menu with lots of vegan and gluten-free options.
They also do dairy-free Dole Whip soft serve and bake cupcakes and cakes without allergens from scratch (every last ingredient clearly listed, of course).
The bulk of space at the front is taken up by a display case and bowl assembly station, but it does place the food itself centre stage. Overall the vibe is friendly, clean and bright, with a minimalist white and teal colour scheme.
Build-your-own fresh meal boxes ($6.95 - $9.95) are the main event here. Start with a base of any combination of brown rice macaroni, zucchini noodles, rice or salad, then top with protein and complimentary veggies and sauce.
Though everything is kept stringently separate, carnivores satisfy themselves here too with protein options like pulled AAA Canadian beef brisket ($3.45).
We go for a base of macaroni and zucchini noodles, the latter long, thick and firm with a nice vegetal snap.
To give everything a bit of a try — and load up on the nutrients — we add carrot, mushroom, tomato, cucumber, house roasted chickpeas, molasses white beans, broccoli, apple, cilantro and green onion.
For our protein we go pulled whole de-boned chicken leg ($2.95), which has a nice nostalgic home-style flavour, cooked in its own juices with bay leaf, salt and pepper.
Cupcakes ($3.75) in flavours like lemon blueberry, mocha, and strawberry shortcake are made with three alternate flours (tapioca, rice and sorghum) and non-GMO palm shortening, real fruit puree in the icing.
Dole Whip ($3.75 for a small) is a dairy-free, allergy-free soft-serve-style product available from the Dole company, for a long time only found at Disneyland and the Dole plantation.
The creamy and dense, yet icy and fruity treat bursting with pineapple flavour sure feels like a vacation in a cup, and a strawberry flavour almost feels like frozen strawberry yogurt in its richness.
Today’s cake, served by the slice, is a completely gluten-free Neapolitan with unexpectedly rich and sweet icing.
Dairy-free hot chocolate made with house chocolate sauce ($3.95), cappuccinos ($4), and London Fogs ($4.75) can all be sought out here, Pacific Barista Series rice milk used.
There’s a communal area at the back with a kids’ play corner.
A fridge at the front contains allergen-free grocery items like Daiya pizzas ($10.98) and cheezecakes ($8.98).
Owner Pauline Osena is the author of blog HypeFoodie, which chronicles her inspiration for allergen-free cooking as a mother of children with allergies.