Chocolate & Peanut Butter cake from Bean Bar

Bean Bar 1012 King Street West

By Kristin Archer

Happy 25th Anniversary, Bean Bar! This cozy restaurant in Westdale Village reaches its quarter century milestone in July and they were kind enough to invite me over for lunch to help celebrate.

With Hamilton’s food scene continually evolving and expanding, it’s always nice to be reminded of some tried and true local classics. Bean Bar first made an appearance on the blog in June 2011, one month into this I Heart Hamilton adventure! (I still remember getting the epic “grilled cheese from heaven,” their Apple Paradise, and I stand by my statement seven years ago – It revolutionized the way I look at the art of the grilled cheese.)

Mural by Street Art Hamilton at Bean Bar
Mural by Street Art Hamilton

More Bean Bar memories – visiting during a Dishcrawl Hamilton event in July 2013 as they celebrated their 20th year in business. That blog post still makes me smile to read and remember adventures with Dave Hanley who we lost last year. One of the best men this city had and we miss him dearly ❤

Mural by Street Art Hamilton at Bean Bar
Mural by Street Art Hamilton

With fond memories for many in the community, Bean Bar continues to make new ones. The restaurant still has its fantastic menu of sweet and savoury meals, fun drinks, and that epic cake display, but they also introduce some new features. One of which is the stunning new mural from Street Art Hamilton. The mural is a beautiful gift to themselves to celebrate 25 years of being part of the Hamilton community. The mural reflects that local love with images of the iconic Westdale clock, an original Westdale Theatre ticket stub, Motor City motel, McMaster, nature scenery, and the Hamilton Ti-Cats.

Another local collaboration is with Donut Monster – these delights are now available at Bean Bar every Saturday, with flavours exclusive to the restaurant. More favourite sugary treats – the award-winning butter tarts from Bitten On Locke as well as Hotti Biscotti.

Mural by Street Art Hamilton at Bean Bar
Mural by Street Art Hamilton

Now down to business – making decisions with this mouth-watering menu. My lunch pal Luisa and I scoured the menu filled with appetizers, pastas, sandwiches, burgers, salads, fish & chips… a variety of cravings can be satisfied here. Our eyes (and stomachs) were drawn to the Baked Brie to start. You make a good baked Brie and my heart is yours. This ooey gooey hunk of cheese is topped with seasonal preserves – in this case, delicious apple. We also shared another app, the Sweet Potato Fries – another one for me that if you nail it, I’m smitten. They were perfectly cripsy on the outside and soft sweet potatoey goodness inside.

Baked Brie at Bean Bar
Baked Brie
Sweet Potato Fries at Bean Bar
Sweet Potato Fries

I continued on that sweet potato train for my main – the Sweet Potato Quesadilla. I’ve never had this dish filled with sweet potato and it was delicious mixed with zucchini, broccoli, onions, black beans, cheddar and mozzarella plus dippers on the side – salsa, sour cream, and guacamole.

Luisa went with a toasty pick, the Smoked Ham, Brie & Apple Sandwich with honey Dijon mustard. We were clearly all about the cheese on this day. But when is it not a good time to indulge in cheese?!

Sweet Potato Quesadilla at Bean Bar
Sweet Potato Quesadilla
Smoked Ham, Brie & Apple Sandwich at Bean Bar
Smoked Ham, Brie & Apple Sandwich

I remember thinking years ago that Bean Bar would be the ideal spot for a date. Whether for a boozy drink or one of their signature hot chocolate drinks, coffees, teas, milkshakes. Pair that with some cake and you’ve got yourself a cozy time. With Westdale Theatre nextdoor reopening soon, Bean Bar will be partnering with them to offer a deal when you bring in your ticket stub. Even better! (I still haven’t had that date, by the way, so, get at me, fellas.)

More fun social nights on the horizon include paint nights and plant nights where you can enjoy getting creative in this lovely space and walk away with a masterpiece. Check their social media for more info as the events come up.

Bean Bar

No visit to Bean Bar is complete without the cake tour. It’s my favourite part. What, praytell, is a cake tour? A server will take you through the expansive display case of 20 or so cakes. Best wishes to you making this delicious decision. Luisa and I headed in opposite ends of the sugary spectrum – I went chocolate & peanut butter (with a caramel drizzle bonus on the side) while she went for a coconut & lemon delicacy.

We already had to pack half of our mains to-go, so we knew we had to take the cake for the road too. But seeing them perfectly plated… oh boy. Try to stop me. In the time our server returned with our containers, I had eaten half of mine. Can’t be trusted! Every bite of a Bean Bar cake is nothing short of euphoric.

Chocolate & Peanut Butter cake from Bean Bar
Chocolate & Peanut Butter cake
Coconut & Lemon cake from Bean Bar
Coconut & Lemon cake

My thank you again for Bean Bar to inviting me! Share your own memories from this Westdale staple on social media by using the hashtag #mybeanbar. Cheers to many more years to come!

Bean Bar

Note: My meal was given courtesy of Bean Bar, but all thoughts about the day are my own.

Kristin Archer is the creator of I Heart Hamilton (, where she has blogged about experiences around her hometown since 2011, growing a social media presence along the way. Encouraging locals to “be a tourist in your own city,” she promotes arts and culture across her various social media platforms, blog, and weekly radio show on 93.3 CFMU.

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