Vegan food worth rioting for!
What do the 90s, Punk Rock, and Veganism all have in common? You can find signs of all three of them at one of the most creative vegan restaurant on the scene, The Hearty Hooligan. Don’t go in expecting raw bowls of zucchini noodles and things of that nature. No. This isn’t your typical vegan restaurant. The Hearty Hooligan is a restaurant where vegans (and non-vegans alike) go to indulge.
Though it’s only been around under 6 months, The Hearty Hooligan has already made an impact within the Hamilton culinary scene, filling a necessary void for vegans – junk food!
Owners Staicha and David knew the moment that they came up with the concept, Hamilton was the only place for it. David is from the city, so they already had a healthy appreciation for the rugged characteristics of Hamilton and felt their little punk restaurant would fit right in. They also wanted their restaurant to be a large part of the thriving punk music scene, and play only local punk music in the restaurant.
The Hearty Hooligan is a small spot with minimal seating, so prepare to eat elsewhere (car lunch, what up?) or on one of their window bar stools…if that’s your thing. On top of their hot foods, they also specialize in hard to find vegan goods like candy and chocolate bars!
They serve up breakfast and lunch with lunch (Calzones) starting at 12 noon. On their breakfast menu you will find dishes like Bagels or Bagelwiches (Egg Salad, Chicken Salad, BLT), Muffins, or Yogurt and Granola. Yes, they’re all vegan!
The Hearty Hooligan serves up their version of hearty 90s foods, like: Calzones, Dunkaroos and Cookie Sandwiches. All vegan, of course – though you would never know it – their classic Deluxe Calzone, Philly Cheese Steak Calzone and Mac & Cheese Calzone taste almost like the real thing. Plus, you can feel good about eating them, because a portion of every sale goes to the emergency vet services of rescue animals.
The faux dunkaroos, which they affectionately call Punkaroos, aren’t quite the same as the originals we knew and loved, but are absolutely amazing nonetheless. These cookies are slightly larger and chewier (which I prefer) than the dunkaroos of childhood, but they make the ideal pairing with that sweet icing dip. Dare I say I love them more than the originals?
On the side, grab some dessert in the form of a big S’more cookie sandwich, a Rudy’s paleta or try one of their iced teas, or daily lemonades. The flavours in the lemonade change day-by-day. I was lucky enough to go on a day when they were serving up a lavender lemonade, which just so happens to be one of my favourite flavours.
A little birdie told me that the Hearty Hooligan will also soon be the only location in the city serving up Rudy’s soft serve vegan ice cream. If you know Rudy’s, you’ll know that everything they create is perfection.
Vegan or non-vegan, you’ll want to take a visit to The Hearty Hooligan.