Hemingways restaurant review: comfortable atmosphere and great pub-style food!

My classmates and I wanted to get together for dinner and Hemingways was the recommended choice. This place is ideal for a group getting together to eat, socialize and stick around. The atmosphere welcomes conversation and no one will bother you. Plus, there are plenty of lovely Yorkville stores to check out if you’re early for dinner, or you can admire the city from atop the Cumberland rock, which is what my friend and I did!

Vegetarian options 8.5/10

From what I could tell, Hemingways offers a vegetarian’s dream of pub-style foods. What you might not notice on the website is that Hemingways has a snack menu (whose link doesn’t work…) bursting with possibility for carnivores and vegetarians alike. One could order spring rolls with spicy sauce (yum), a quesadilla, samosas, nachos, a veggie burger, pizza, and more delicious pub-style items! The only problem with pub-style food is that it doesn’t tend to offer a wholesome meal. If you’re looking for a complete meal, I’d advise the fajitas.

According to Hemingways’ dinner menu, a vegetarian has little hope for a wholesome meal; the only way to achieve greens, protein and grain in your dinner is to order from the mains section, where each meal comes with a side of vegetables and your choice of mashed/baked potato or vegetables with rice. Vegetarians cannot order from this part of the menu as every single main contains meat or fish. You could, actually, order  $12.49 vegetarian fajitas, which sound pretty good considering they come with guacamole and don’t attempt to pass off steamed vegetables as a taco filling, as some restaurants unfortunately do—we need beans, my dear!

The Food 8.5/10

Note: there is even a gluten-free crust option for the pizza! (Though it costs $3 more.)

My meal: the Taster, around $9

I figured this was the perfect meal for someone like me who loves to eat buffet-style (I like to get more flavour packed into my meal!), and it’s rather “wholesome” as well. My plate arrived with a heaping pile of red nachos, a stack of thinly sliced pita triangles and a couple cucumber and carrot sticks. I had the choice of red pepper hummus, baba ganoush, eggplant and tomato dip or a too-watery dip supposedly containing spinach (it was not even in the same universe as the spinach and artichoke dip of Boston Pizza that I had imagined it to be). Around 4 or 5 cucumber slices donned with a slice of cheese and red pepper lined the border of the plate. I was happy to find there was enough hummus and pita to satisfy me. I really liked the red pepper hummus and baba ganoush on pita! Yum.

The eggplant and tomato dip was the best, as it most closely resembled salsa. I needed something like that to make my meal a little less dry. I think the taster would have been better with at least one tomato salsa (after all, there are nachos on that plate!). It was a good snack but a little too dry for me to want to order again. And there were plenty of nachos left over!

If you’re eating the taster as it’s meant to be eaten—you know, sharing it with everyone around the table as an appetizer—and you’re looking for a sampler to start off your meal, you’ll like this. There are plenty of nachos to go around!

Grain: 2
Fruits&veg: 2
Protein alt: 1-2
Dairy: 1

Prices 8.7/10

The meals seemed very reasonably priced. 

Service 9/10

One server accepted our request to move to a more spacious table in the room.

As for our waiters, they did a great job. My friend ordered for me as I was away from the table when our waiter came, and since we were ordering the same meal, the waiter misunderstood that we were sharing and brought only one taster. However, we corrected this misconception, my meal was delivered, and the rest of the evening flowed smoothly. When I asked for my bill, the waiter brought it promptly.

We did hear glass break three times throughout the evening…but everything was okay. Very comfortable service!

Atmosphere 8.5/10

This place is great! The lights are low but candles adorn every table. The chatter is loud but at a very comfortable pitch. Music plays overhead and the booths are very comfortable. Our first table—a tiny thing that fits only four people, two of whom sit on very small stools—wasn’t very comfortable, though. I think this place is great if you want to eat out with friends and not be bothered.

Would I go here again?

Not to be predictable, but yes! After perusing the snacks menu I proclaimed to my friends, “We’d have to come here at least four more times so that I can eat everything I want!” It’s a very nice place for hanging out with friends where no one will bother you, you’ll feel safe, you’re close to the subway and you have many snacks to choose from.

Hemingways
142 Cumberland Street (right across from the huge Cumberland rock)
An entrance to Bay station is directly across from the restaurant—awesome!

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