“Our mission is to demonstrate to our community that it is possible to have a high quality restaurant experience without the use of any animal products.” – Rise Above Restaurant

Rise Above Restaurant is the first and only 100% vegan restaurant in Niagara. Located in the heart of Downtown St. Catharines , Ontario, Canada this gem provides a wonderful atmosphere and diverse menu that caters to all kinds of palettes. Rise Above has been the go  to place I take out-of-towners when they’re visiting. Whether it be friends, family, vegans or carnivores, there’s something on the menu for everyone.

Vegan Food Rise Above

On this particular evening, I was so thrilled to have made reservations. Every table was filled with people from all walks of life. From friends catching up, to date nights, even families with young children. The walls are adorned with artwork made by local artists that are available for purchase.

It was a Friday night after a long week, so drinks were a must. I ordered the Sunrise Above which featured vodka from local Dillons distillers, mango orange juice, house made grenadine, and sparkling water. Let’s just say it was a struggle not to drink all of it before my appetizers arrived. It was sweet,fruity, and refreshing. I loved that everything on this drink menu supported Ontario based breweries, wineries, and distillers.

Vegan Food Rise AboveLucky for me my dining companion  was on board with sharing everything. Thus, maximizing the variety of food we were able to try. We started with the kale caesar salad and mushroom feta flatbread. The kale caesar came out as what I can only describe as a mountain. The creamy lemon garlic dressing was delicious. We quickly and hungrily conquered that mountain of salad. The mushroom feta flatbread was my favourite dish of the night. The crispy flatbread was covered in roasted mushrooms, caramelized onions, almond feta, and a balsamic reduction. My friend Paula and I are still raving about the almond feta, we still can’t quite wrap our brains around how this wasn’t actual dairy cheese!

Next, we shared the Umami Bowl. It was the perfect medley of vegetables; king oyster mushrooms, broccoli, and bok choy on a bed of mungbean noodles coated in a sweet tamari dressing. Topped with season tofu, this dish brought out all of kinds of delicious umami flavour.

We managed to save a tiny bit of space for some lattes and ice cream. By the end of this meal both our bellies and our hearts were so full. There’s nothing better than catching up with old friends over a wonderful meal. Thanks Rise Above for such a wonderful experience, I can’t wait to introduce more people to this Niagara gem.