Toronto’s New Korean Restaurant Sarang Kitchen Provides a Safe Haven for Neurodivergent Diners

Sarang Kitchen, a recently established restaurant located on Bloor Street in Toronto, has made a name for itself by offering delectable Korean fried chicken while also prioritizing inclusivity for individuals who are neurodivergent and on the autism spectrum.

By AHN Editor

May 18, 2023

The joint venture of a skilled chef and a behavior support specialist, Sarang Kitchen has swiftly become a welcoming dining destination. Joining in on the experience, Talia Ricci from CBC embarked on a tour to discover what makes this establishment so unique.

Sarang Kitchen comes from the Korean word “sarang,” which means “love.” The name was inspired by Jennifer Low’s love for her students. Jennifer is the co-owner of Sarang Kitchen, while her husband is the chef.

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Their specialty in their restaurant is their Korean fried chicken, but aside from that, and most importantly, is their inclusivity for neurodivergent individuals.

Image Source: Sarang Kitchen

Inside their restaurant, you will find different sections such as the sensory box shelf, which is available to anyone who needs it. It has fidget toys, mindfulness reading cards, AACs for non speaking people, weighted blankets, and books about diversity and autism.

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On the walls, there are pictures of Jennifer’s students in New Zealand, inspiring them to keep working day and night to make their vision happen. There is also a section with bean bag chairs, which Jennifer says, students usually seek out when they are feeling anxious. And a sensory room with a sliding door that would help block the noise.

They currently have 9 staff, 4 of which are neurodiverse, which has been awesome, she said. They come with their own set of talents and different ideas for the restaurant.

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Most of the customers come in with neurodivergent kids, so they can relax in a place where their kids can feel safe and secure. Some of the parents come to Jennifer to cry and talk to her about how happy they are to feel seen for the first time, that there is now a restaurant designed for their kids.

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