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  • Writer's pictureJen Bedard

The Ultimate Guide to Restaurants in the Niagara Region

Updated: Apr 14, 2023

Food is a crucial factor when choosing where to live (for me at least), and luckily for those in the Niagara region, there's no shortage of fantastic restaurants to try. As a Niagara native and realtor, I'm excited to share some amazing options. Whether you're looking for a romantic date night spot or a family-friendly joint, I’ve got you covered.

We'll start in Fort Erie, where you can find The Barrel Restaurant. This waterfront eatery serves up some of the most delicious seafood around, including shrimp scampi and lobster risotto. They also offer a gluten-free menu and a children's menu, so there's something for everyone. Plus, the view of the Niagara River is breathtaking.

Next up, we have South Coast Cookhouse, a family-owned and operated BBQ restaurant that opened in 2019. The ribs, brisket, and pulled pork are all mouth-watering, and the mac and cheese, coleslaw, and baked beans make for the perfect sides. The cozy and casual atmosphere makes it an ideal spot for a laid-back meal with family or friends, and they even offer takeout and catering services.

For something trendy and unique, The Ridge Social Eatery is a must-visit. Their fusion of classic pub food and global cuisine is a feast for the senses. From burgers and tacos to pizzas, everything is made with locally sourced ingredients. Plus, they have an impressive selection of craft beers, cocktails, and wine. The atmosphere is modern and casual, with plenty of seating options, including a patio area.

Fonthill is next on our list, where The Butcher and Barrel offers upscale pub fare, craft beer, and an extensive wine list. The menu has everything from classic dishes like steak and frites, fish and chips, and burgers to creative options like the duck confit poutine and truffle mac and cheese. They source many of their ingredients locally and focus on using fresh, seasonal ingredients. The warm and inviting atmosphere, complete with a cozy fireplace and rustic decor, makes it the perfect spot for a date night or dinner with friends.

Culinary Dropout is another Fonthill gem. This modern gastropub offers a unique and creative menu, including dishes like Korean fried chicken, crispy shrimp tacos, and "fancy" grilled cheese. They also have a great selection of cocktails, beer, and wine, and the atmosphere is casual and lively, with plenty of indoor and outdoor seating options.

The Pelham Street Grille is a family-friendly restaurant that serves up delicious comfort food, including burgers and sandwiches. The cozy atmosphere and great children's menu make it a hit with families.

If you're in Grimsby, don't miss Bench Kitchen, a farm-to-table restaurant that focuses on locally sourced ingredients and creative, seasonal dishes. The grilled octopus, roasted beet salad, and braised short rib are all exceptional, and there are vegetarian and gluten-free options as well. They also have an extensive wine list, with a focus on local Niagara wines.

Looking for a more laid-back dining experience? The Judge & Jester is a cozy pub that's perfect for a night out with friends. I've been there a few times and can vouch for their delicious fish and chips and wings. They also have daily specials to switch things up. Plus, the relaxed and friendly atmosphere makes it an excellent spot to unwind after a long day.

For a more upscale dining experience, Casablanca Winery Inn Restaurant is a must-visit. The contemporary Canadian cuisine with a Mediterranean influence is divine, and their rack of lamb and grilled Atlantic salmon are standouts. The patio is lovely for outdoor dining and adds to the elegant atmosphere.

If you're in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Treadwell Farm-to-Table Cuisine is a must-visit. Their seasonal and locally sourced ingredients mean that the menu changes frequently, but I can attest to the mouth-watering burger with aged cheddar and bacon jam. The roasted chicken with wild mushrooms is also worth a try.

If you're looking for a traditional pub experience, head to The Olde Angel Inn. The historic pub serves up classic pub fare, including the famous Angel Burger and fish and chips. Be sure to try their signature ale, Angel's Gold, brewed on-site.

Epicurean is a Mediterranean-inspired restaurant that boasts an extensive wine list and a menu featuring dishes like charred octopus and lamb tagine. The restaurant also offers vegetarian and gluten-free options, making it an excellent choice for all dietary preferences.

St. Catharines offers up so many amazing restaurants, but one excellent option includes Oddbird, which is a must-visit if you're in the mood for some of the best fried chicken in the region. The restaurant serves up crispy, juicy chicken sandwiches, paired with delicious sides like coleslaw and potato salad. Vegetarian and gluten-free options are also available.

For vegans or anyone looking for plant-based options, Rise Above is the perfect spot. This vegan restaurant offers delicious plant-based options, including burgers, pizzas, and mac and cheese. The restaurant also has a bakery serving up sweet treats like vegan donuts and cakes.

Wellington Court is a wonderful choice for a special occasion or romantic night out. The elegant restaurant's menu features classic dishes like escargot and rack of lamb, as well as vegetarian and gluten-free options.

Be sure to sure to check out AG Inspired Cuisine in Niagara Falls for a fine dining experience. The restaurant's ambiance is simply amazing, with dim lighting and elegant decor that sets the mood for a romantic evening. The menu is equally impressive, with innovative dishes like smoked duck and poached lobster, expertly paired with an extensive wine list that complements the flavours of the food perfectly.

If you're a fan of Mediterranean cuisine, you have to check out the Kasbah Mediterranean. As soon as you walk in, you're greeted by the smell of delicious spices and herbs that transport you to the Mediterranean. The family-owned restaurant has a warm and inviting atmosphere, and the menu features classic Mediterranean dishes like shawarma and falafel, as well as vegetarian and vegan options that are equally delicious.

Napoli Ristorante and Pizzeria in Niagara Falls is a fabulous choice if you’re craving Italian food. The restaurant has a cozy and intimate atmosphere, perfect for a romantic date night or a family dinner. The menu features authentic Italian cuisine, including classic dishes like lasagna and spaghetti carbonara, as well as delicious pizzas that are cooked to perfection in a wood-fired oven. And don't forget to save room for their homemade tiramisu - it's simply divine!

If you're looking for a cozy and family-friendly restaurant to enjoy breakfast, lunch, or dinner, then you have to visit the Blue Star Restaurant in Welland. The family-owned and operated restaurant has been open since 1960, and it's a local favourite. The menu includes classic breakfast items like pancakes and eggs benedict, as well as sandwiches, burgers, and soups for lunch. But the real star of the show, in my opinion, are the cabbage rolls and perogies (with extra bacon) which I have to admit I eat far more than I probably should - they're simply delicious!

The Rex Hotel in Welland is a historic landmark that has been around for over 100 years. The hotel's ground floor is home to a restaurant and bar that serves up delicious pub fare like burgers, sandwiches, and wings, and has a great selection of craft beers on tap, and their pizza is locally famous! The restaurant also features live music on weekends, which adds to the lively and energetic atmosphere. The building itself has a lot of character and history, making it a unique spot to dine in the area.

The Flour Mill Scratch Kitchen Restaurant in Niagara Falls is a family-friendly restaurant that has something for everyone. The restaurant's decor is charming and rustic, with wooden tables and exposed brick walls that give it a cozy feel. The menu features delicious comfort food like chicken and waffles and homemade mac and cheese, as well as sweet treats like cakes and cookies from their bakery. It's the perfect spot for a casual family dinner or a brunch with friends.

Port Colborne has some great options for those who love pub food and craft beer. Breakwall Brewing Company serves up juicy burgers and sandwiches that pair perfectly with their tasty craft beers. Vegetarian options are also available for those who prefer a plant-based diet.

The Lock Wood Fired Pizza is another spot worth checking out. Their wood-fired pizzas are delicious, and the cozy atmosphere makes it the perfect spot for a casual night out.

The Smokin' Buddha has many mouth-watering options you’re sure to love. I’m not 100% sure, but I think they might have been one of the first restaurants in Niagara to offer Asian-fusion fare. I discovered and fell in love with their food years ago at the Port Colborne Farmer’s Market. Vegetarian options are also available for those who prefer.

For those who love healthy eating, the Yellow Pear Kitchen is a must-try. Their farm-to-table dishes like quinoa bowls and salads are fresh and healthy, and they also offer smoothies and fresh juices.

Beechwood Doughnuts in St. Catharines offers a menu of vegan and gluten-free doughnuts made with organic and locally sourced ingredients. While it's not exactly healthy, it's definitely a fun spot to check out. The Cronuts are my personal favourite.

The Good Earth Food and Wine Co. in Beamsville offers a menu of locally sourced and organic dishes, perfect for those who want to eat sustainably while enjoying a great meal.

If you're looking for a spot for a romantic night out, there are plenty of options to choose from. Windows by Jamie Kennedy Fresh Grill & Wine Bar boasts stunning views of the falls and serves up elegant dishes like roasted duck and grilled venison. The atmosphere is perfect for a romantic night out, and the extensive wine list will impress any wine lover.

Zees Grill is another upscale spot that offers dishes like lobster risotto and filet mignon, as well as vegetarian options. The cozy fireplace adds to the ambiance, making it the perfect spot for a romantic evening.

The Watermark Restaurant in the Hilton Niagara Falls/Fallsview Hotel has breathtaking views of the falls and serves up delicious dishes like roasted duck breast and grilled Atlantic salmon. The wine list is extensive, and the desserts are worth saving room for.

Café Amore is also a great option for a romantic night out. Their traditional Italian dishes like pasta and risotto are given innovative twists that set them apart from other Italian spots. The atmosphere is cozy and inviting, perfect for a romantic dinner.

For those with families, there are plenty of options as well. Johnny Rocco's Italian Grill serves up classic Italian dishes like chicken parmesan and penne alla vodka (a Brody favourite), as well as pizzas and a children's menu.

The Works Gourmet Burger Bistro is a fun and playful spot that offers delicious gourmet burgers, including vegetarian and gluten-free options. Milkshakes are a must-try!

Montana's BBQ & Bar is another great option for families. Their delicious BBQ dishes like ribs and brisket are perfect for meat lovers, and they also offer vegetarian options.

The Belmont Bar and Grill is a cozy spot that serves up comfort food like burgers and sandwiches, as well as a great children's menu.

No matter what your dining preferences are, the Niagara region has something for everyone. From the cozy spots in Port Colborne to the upscale restaurants with stunning views of the falls, there are endless options to explore. As a realtor in the region, I'm always excited to showcase the culinary wonders of our area and invite you to join me in exploring all the delicious offerings our region has to offer.

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