Food & Drink Awards 2021 Page 57 LUX 2021 Food & Drink Awards Sep21174 Pioneer of the free-from menu, Toronto restaurant Karine’s is an award winner for the second year in a row. The company’s reputation for fabulous food is complemented by the warm, friendly welcome the staff extend to every one of its customers. Karine’s Best ‘Free From’ Breakfast & Brunch Restaurant - Greater Toronto Area 940 You won’t find a restaurant that loves its customers more than Karine’s. It welcomes locals and tourists from all over the world with open arms full of irresistible treats. Having specific food requirements may be a choice or a necessity. Whichever the case, it’s not always easy to find something to eat that ticks all your boxes and is healthy and delicious too. Located in The Village by the Grange in Toronto’s Queen West neighbourhood, Karine’s caters for vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free menus as well as standard fare. The restaurant has been catering for its patrons since 2008. Besides its restaurant service, the company also offers a wide range of catering services and a delicious range of vegan, gluten-free sweet treats. The company’s mission is to make healthy eating fun and delicious. Its objective, to offer the best in taste and quality to all its clients. Committed to a sustainable business model, Karine’s uses only locally sourced produce. Like so many in the catering industry, Karine’s has had a difficult time over the past 18 months. The company saw many catering contracts cancelled, and the restaurant was unable to open during lockdown. Karine’s managed to survive thanks to government help, the patience and understanding of its landlords, and the loyalty of its local customers who ordered using an online app. One major positive that came out of the difficult time was a chance to collaborate with Armenian brothers Shaunt and Raz. The pair are owners of downtown Toronto bar and restaurant ‘The Oud and the Fuzz’. Having a functional outside space at its disposal the venue was able to offer locals a valuable ‘hangout’ during lockdown. Karine’s helped by preparing stunning barbecues and brunches. This complemented live music and entertainment featuring professional bands and drag artists. Karine’s hopes to see the relationship between the two businesses continue to grow and flourish for many years to come. When asked about Karine’s biggest achievement the team tells us, “Beyond making and delivering delicious food, it’s the establishment of longstanding friendships. We’re proud to be friends with most of our customers and are humbled by their patronage. Our customers are the essence of our dedication and enthusiasm. We promise to continue serving quality and affordable fare for years to come.” And on receiving the award the team said, “We’re extremely humbled and honoured to be part of this award for the second consecutive year. Our gratitude goes to each and every one of our amazing patrons, beautiful locals and beautiful tourists from all over the world. We can’t thank you enough.” Contact: Maggie Kay Company: Karine’s Web Address: