236 James St North, Hamilton
Style: Casual quick food cafe
I love food. Usually when I say that, people think I mean that I am a food snob and will only eat fresh rich gourmet pastas, perfectly cooked meats in special reduction sauces or epic meat and cheese boards. I am a food snob, but more about the ingredients. I like whole foods and actually tasting the fruit and vegetables so they need to be good quality. Growing up my parents always had a garden which supplemented our spring, summer and fall meals. This combined with the fact that my mom is a self proclaimed health nut (she would add, before it was cool) means that I love trying out new smoothie bars, vegan cafes and “healthy food” spots. I have been so excited to see the rise of the “healthy” organic and locally sourced food movement.
All of this is to say that it is no surprise that I have frequented Green Bar (previously Green Smoothie Bar) fairly often since they opened. They are a self described vegan cafe that specializes in smoothies, quick vegan meals (think salads, grain bowls) and delicious desserts. I have sent Steven out in the middle of a brewing snowstorm to go get me a chocolate turtle cheesecake bar. I may or may not have eaten mine and his when he got back (#sorrynotsorry). It is actually one of my greatest regrets that I did not get to try their Canada Day vegan poutine.
The atmosphere of the restaurant is like a quick grab and go cafe. There is seating, but it’s a casual place and most people are running in (like literally on a run and stop by) to grab a smoothie or quick bite. There are some great sit down meals like their Mac & Cheez which is so creamy and delicious without the typical weightiness of regular mac & cheese. They do brunch on the weekends and usually have a full display of grab & go chia puddings, kombucha, desserts and salads/grain bowls.
The service is very friendly and I have never had a bad experience. No matter how many ridiculous questions you ask, the ladies are so patient and wonderful. They are also fairly quick given that all the smoothies are made to order.
In terms of the quality of the food, definitely always a hit. They have a limited food menu, but I have yet to try something that I did not enjoy there. That means regardless of what you get, it’s flavoured well and the ingredients are fresh. Nothing worse than going to a vegan or plant based restaurant without fresh ingredients. If you are in the mood for something fresh and healthy this summer, I think Green Bar is a must do in the city.
Overall: Overall rating: 4/5
Ambience: 3/5 (They have a great atmosphere, but the bathroom could use a few decor touches to decrease the sketch/darkness level in there.)