Here are some of our favourite places to eat in Niagara as well as some we won’t recommend. Of course there are hundreds of restaurants but these are the ones that stand out for us – and I hope they will help you enjoy your time in Niagara.
4260 Mountainview Road
Angel’s Gate is located up on the Niagara Escapement east of St. Catharines. It is just one of about a hundred wineries in the Niagara region, but I am mentioning it because not only is their wine very good, but they also have a lovely terrace where you can sip a glass of wine and eat gourmet food while enjoying a spectacular view of the vineyards and green landscape all the way down to lake Ontario.
461 Stewart Rd, Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON, Canada
Wow – icecream made fresh, daily, on the premises. About 120 flavours including 32 different sundaes, and 10 different types of banana splits. In strawberry season you can get a milkshake (or sundae) made with real, fresh, local strawberries (or peaches in peach season). Unbelievable….worth moving to Niagara just to be close to this icecream!
8921 Sodom Road,
Niagara Falls, ON, CA
(905) 295 – 4436
Betty’s is a wonderful old-fashioned family restaurant. The food is basically that of a very good diner. Although the Niagara region is known for it’s many gourmet restaurants, this is just an every-day, big, family restaurant (which is actually much harder to find then a gourmet restaurant in Niagara). They have exceptionally good fried liver with onions and bacon – if you like liver – and they also have very good fish & chips. They are known for their pies and their fresh, warm, rolls which they bake on the premise every day. We also like to go there for breakfast, and on Sunday’s they have a breakfast buffet that is a bit like going back in time (in a good way). The restaurant that is most like it in Toronto would be Tulips on Queen Street East.
Address: 2220 Pine Ave, Niagara Falls, NY 14301, United States
Hours: 11:30 am – 9:00 pm
Terrific Italian family restaurant. Read the whole story …
215 St. Paul St. West, St. Catharines, ON
The Blue Turtle is one of my favorite spots in St. Catharines. The chef, Robby, is so talented and hard working. He makes everything from scratch; he bakes bread daily and prepares his own spreads, mayonnaise, ice cream, soups, pancake mix and desserts. Meats and vegetables are all roasted on-site. What he doesn’t actually prepare himself, he buys from other local “makers”. The menu is small but I have tried most items on the menu and can tell you that they are really delicious. I have been to dozens of breakfast/bistro restaurants in Toronto over the years that I lived there, and I would have to say that the Blue Turtle is better then most of them. This is not only because the food is so good but also because you can get to know the owner/chef – you can sit at the counter and talk to him while he cooks if you like. I also love the fact that the ingredients are so fresh and generally, locally produced. I really can’t recommend it enough. I hope you try it and enjoy it as much as I do.
This is a market – turned restaurant. It is owned and run by Executive Chef, Jan-Willem Stulp, and his charming wife (sometimes one or two of their children help out too). The venue is a renovated market/barn structure where on the last Thursday of each month they host a theme dinner with gourmet food, and you may bring your own wine (no corkage fee). Depending on the theme, they often have someone speaking on the subject – for example, the peach themed dinner included the fellow who owns and operates the neighboring peach orchard that provided the peaches for the evenings menu. Between the appetizers and the main course he talked about how his family has owned the orchard for generations and how the business has evolved over the years.
You can check out each month’s menu on their web site.
4600 Victoria Avenue
Vineland, ON, L0R 2E0
Built in 1800, the House is the oldest property owned by The Niagara Parks Commission. McFarland Park is nice place to walk or bicycle and the tea room is set inside a sun-room attached to the original building. There is a traditional “kitchen garden” with herbs and wild flowers by the entrance. The House is adjacent to the Niagara River Recreation Trail that runs along the Niagara Parks Boulevard which is very picturesque and includes playground facilities and a baseball diamond. McFarland Park is nice place to walk or bicycle. There is also a covered picnic pavilion which seats approximately 250 people, with water and washroom facilities nearby.
Niagara River Pkwy, Niagara-on-the-Lake,
ON L0S 1J0, Canada
Afternoon tea and lunches
Prince of Wales Hotel, Niagara-on-the-Lake is a historic Victorian hotel in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario. It is located at King Street and Picton Street along the historic main street of Niagara-on-the-Lake, in its historic district. There is a very nice traditional high tea in the (very pretty) “drawing room”. Normally the tea costs about $35 per person however they do have a “two for one” special once a year, in the fall I think, but you can phone to inquire. Also, during the slow season between February and April the Prince of Wales has a $5.00 burger night every Wednesday after 3:00pm.in their Churchill Lounge (just off the main restaurant). The burger is fantastic, and the atmosphere is relaxing with leather chairs, and fire going – it’s very cozy on a cold winters day.
6 Picton St, Niagara-on-the-Lake,
ON L0S 1J0, Canada
Open from April to December; this is a very nice place to go for a basic breakfast or to sit on their patio by the river and have lunch.
143 Front Street, Niagara-on-the-Lake,
Ontario, Canada, L0S 1J0
Phone: 905-468-3424 Ext. 10
Pho Dau Bo Restarant
I think we are lucky to have a good Pho restaurant in St. Catharines because when you are in the mood for it – nothing beats a good hot bowl of soup on a cold winter day. This restaurant makes all the traditional pho dau bo (Vietnamese soup) plus other non-soup items such as fried rice and various spring rolls. We eat here several time a year, maybe once a month in the winter.
83 Geneva St, St Catharines, ON L2R 4N1, Canada
Classic pulled pork and brisket. If you’re really hungry, then this is the place. It’s about halfway between Hamilton and Grimsby. In addition to the pulled pork and brisket you will find collard greens (prepared with lots of bacon…yummm), sweet baked beans, smoked tomato relish, buttermilk biscuits and quite the breakfast menu too.
Hwy 8, Winona, ON L8E 5H8, Canada
(between Hamilton and Grimsby)
The Riverbend Inn dates back to 1809 and is located on the Niagara Parks Boulevard as you leave Niagara On The Lake going toward Niagara Falls. It is surrounded by its own 12 acre vineyard which is managed by Reif Estate Winery. They have a beautiful patio with a lovely view in the back yard of this historic building. You can even wander onto the lawns and sit in the gazebo or the Algonquin chairs with your glass of wine to watch the sunset. It’s beautiful. The food is good and it is a very nice place to sip a glass of wine a relax on a hot summer day.
16104 Niagara Pkwy, Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON L0S 1J0, Canada
A very nice setting, located on the Niagara Escarpment, and a good place to go for lunch or dinner. As the name suggests, there is a vineyard (you can buy their wine in their shop), a golf course, and a restaurant. Not too fancy but still rather luxurious given the floor to ceiling windows overlooking the golf course. They often have couple’s night specials worth exploring. I have been there for Sunday brunch a few times and I have never been disappointed.
3290 Ninth St, St Catharines,
ON L2R 6P7, Canada
In addition to good wine a a great little artisan cheese shop, Stoney Ridge Winery has a lovely garden where during the summer, you can choose any one of the patio tables spread around throughout the garden and enjoy a glass of wine and a cheese board. A really nice summer’s afternoon.
3201 King St, Vineland, ON L0R 2C0, Canada
Sweets Cafe and Crepes
Fantastic quiche and their Caesar salad is also exceptional. Everything they make (several artisan sandwiches) is very good. It’s a small, unassuming little place but don’t let that fool you, the food is excellent. They also do special orders for parties. Unfortunately, I could not find a web site for them so all I can do is encourage you to find Sweets Cafe in the plaza where Lakeport Rd. Lakeshore Rd. and Ontario St. come together. It’s worth the effort.
600 Ontario St, St Catharines, ON L2N, Canada
The food is usually pretty “average” (although my family enjoyed a delicious meal there last Mother’s Day) however the reason I go there is for the beautiful setting. If you happen to be visiting the butterfly conservatory and gardens just down the street, it’s the best, close place to go for lunch after walking through the gardens. They also have a nice patio and they are open during the golfing season.
Niagara Pkwy, Niagara Falls, ON L0S 1J0, Canada
Wow, what a wonderful meal of perch, shrimp, scallops and calamari. The seafood was accompanied by very tasty French fries, bread, a wonderfully fresh and tasty cole slaw. All that for $10 plus tax. It was delicious. Don’t let the look of the place put you off. It’s not really a restaurant (although there are a couple of tables inside), however for the summer months there are picnic tables outside on a (licensed) patio.