When trying to decide where to eat in Niagara-on-the-Lake, there are some great dining options, from casual to fine dining. There are a number of good spots downtown as well as outside of town at some of the wineries. My recent finds include:
Ravine Vineyard: I had read that this winery had a very good restaurant that was perfect for lunch. I, therefore, stopped here first after crossing into Canada. It was a great option. I enjoyed the tomato salad and a great poached pear in red wine for dessert. The winery and vineyards are located on a family farm that has been in the family since the 1860’s. It offers tours and tastings along with the restaurant. They produce a number of whites, reds, sparkling wines, rose and ice wine. 1336 York Road in St. Davids, ON south of Niagara-on-the-Lake.
Zee’s Grill Shaw Club Hotel: My friends recommend this modern bistro and bar at 92 Picton St. It is the perfect pre or post-theater dining spot, as it is directly across from the Shaw Festival Theatre.
At 160 Front St., the Restaurant at the Oban Inn is a good spot for breakfast, lunch or dinner. It has an attractive dining room and good food. It is also away from the busy downtown area. The Inn also runs the Shaw Cafe and Wine Bar downtown at 92 Queen St.
Masaki Sushi: I enjoyed dinner with my local friends at this downtown sushi restaurant. It is very close to the Shaw Festival Theatre. They have a large menu of rolls, sushi, small plates and larger bowls. There is also a Omakase tasting menu offering from three to five course options. Prior reservations are required for this option. I really enjoyed the miso glazed black cod with rice. 60 Picton St.
I also recommend enjoying an elegant afternoon tea in the Drawing Room at the historic Prince of Wales Hotel. Here you can pick a choice of tea and enjoy a selection of pastries, sandwiches and scones. I went after a theater matinee and enjoyed seeing the historic building from 1864. It has has been the Prince of Wales Hotel since 1901. The Victorian Drawing Room is small so make sure to make your reservations online before you go. The hotel also has the Noble Restaurant and the Churchill Lounge.
Balzac’s Coffee Roasters: At 223 King St., Balzac Coffee Roasters is an excellent coffee shop that you shouldn’t miss when you are in town. They have a number of locations in Toronto and other cities in Ontario.
Backhouse: One of the local wineries recommended Backhouse, which is a farm-to-table restaurant featuring new Canadian food made over an open grill. I will definitely try it on my next trip. It is just southwest of downtown at 242 Mary St.
Treadwell Cuisine: Treadwell Cuisine, at 114 Queen St., gets excellent reviews for its farm-to-table cuisine. It not only features local ingredients but also features the local wines. I was sorry that it was not open when I was there. They also have Treadwell Bakery across the courtyard which opened in early 2018. It features seasonal pastries, fresh bread and sandwiches at 118 Queen St.
Farm Stands: There are a number of local farm stands scattered throughout the area near the wineries. I stopped and found some wonderful local peaches at Van de Laar Orchards located south of town at 15435 Niagara Pkwy.
Il Gelato di Carlotta: Locals claim that this is the best gelato in town. They make an authentic Italian gelato as found in Florence, as their family tradition of making gelato dates back several generations. I loved the coconut!! 59 Queen St.
You might also like Niagara Home Bakery at 66 Queen St.
Victoria Gallery and Teas is a cafe downtown that features both tea and coffee at their location at 108 Queen St.
Corks Winebar and Eatery at 19 Queen St. is a casual pub for comfort food and live music. Also downtown is Pie’za Pizzeria for authentic Neopolitan pizzas at 188 Victoria St. Anglophiles will love The Olde Angel Inn, from 1789 and rebuilt in 1815 after the War of 1812, has a lively English-style pub and quaint dining room.
The Clubhouse Restaurant and Bar: This casual dining option is located at the Niagara on the Lake Golf Club. My local friends are golfers and always enjoy the cafe which is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We met for Sunday brunch and I had a fun experience with other locals in our group. It has an outdoor terrace with great views of Lake Ontario. It is the only spot in town for dining right on the water. It is a public course, so the restaurant is also open to the public. They feature live music on Fridays and Saturdays. Even better was that it was directly across the street from my hotel, the Oban Inn. It is also away from the tourists downtown.
The Irish Harp Pub is a fun, casual spot at 245 King St. for beer, traditional Irish food and live music.