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Must-Try Restaurants In Downton Burlington, Canada

Courtesy of The Alex
Courtesy of The Alex
A little gem outside of Toronto, Burlington is not just another ‘bedroom community.’ Burlington’s downtown food scene offers more than expected. We’ve put together a list of places you simply must try.
Courtesy of MaracaZ Cantinerie

MaracaZ Cantinerie

Bar, Restaurant, Mexican
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A recent addition to downtown, MaracaZ Cantinerie has helped to spice things up (literally). The Mexican-themed Cantina Bar has received great reviews and a steady following. Open Thursday to Sunday, the restaurant targets weekend crowds looking to unwind and relax. Known already for their tacos and tequila, MaracaZ offers 20 tequila drinks, four beers on tap and four frozen drink machines to make fruity favorites. Choose from fish, pulled chicken, ground beef, pulled pork or beef brisket to start and fill in toppings and a plate with three tacos. Remember to keep cash handy while visiting. The authentic serving consists of white corn tortillas and queso fresco cheese made in-house. For a midnight snack, head downstairs to CurdZ Poutinerie.
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Lettuce Love Café

Cafe, Restaurant, Vegan, Dessert, Vegetarian, Gluten-free, $$$
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Canada’s first 100 percent gluten-free vegan restaurant, Lettuce Love Café is committed to helping consumers #EatBetter without limiting appetites. At the heart of Lettuce Love is the belief that food is an essential source of energy, health, longevity and happiness. The team is proud to offer meal choices consisting of local, fair trade and organic food. Colorful options including diverse soups, salads, and sandwiches are sure to satisfy any food craving. Their avocado dish – raw avocado wedges that are tossed and lightly baked – are perfect for sharing or adding on.
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Sun:
10:00 am - 8:00 pm
Mon:
11:00 am - 3:00 pm
Tue:
11:00 am - 8:30 pm
Wed:
11:00 am - 8:30 pm
Thu:
11:00 am - 8:30 pm
Fri:
11:00 am - 8:30 pm
Sat:
10:00 am - 8:30 pm

Martini House

Charcuterie, Restaurant, Cajun, Canadian, Vegetarian, $$$
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Cozy and a little classy, it’s all in the name when it comes to Martini House. An old-fashioned home-turned-restaurant, it includes a seasonal patio, narrow staircase leading to a second level, and breaks down separate dining styles by room. With an atmosphere full of charm and a menu full of variety, Martini House is the perfect place to meet friends for drinks and shared eats. With a two-page long martini menu, the restaurant specializes in everything SKYY Vodka based. Covering all flavors and fun names, it’s a fight to order a go-to drink with so many to choose from. These include options like swinger, foreplay, the player, gold digger, bling bling and silk panties. Flip to the food section and try a little bit of everything with their half-price tapas Tuesday special. With Cajun calamari, crab cake, curry mussels, Bay Harbour mussels and charcuterie listed, tapas will satisfy seafood and meat lovers alike.
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Sun:
4:00 pm - 12:00 am
Mon:
11:30 am - 12:00 am
Tue:
11:30 am - 12:00 am
Wed:
11:30 am - 12:00 am
Thu - Fri:
11:30 am - 1:00 am
Fri - Sat:
11:30 am - 2:00 am
Sat - Sun:
11:30 am - 2:00 am

Son of a Peach Pizzeria

Restaurant, Italian, Canadian, $$$
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Son of a Peach Pizzeria, Burlington
Son of a Peach Pizzeria, Burlington | Courtesy of Water St. Cooker
With everything made in-house and a mission to blend together a love for both food and art, Son of a Peach has been nicknamed Burlington’s ‘modern mom and pop shop’. (And who can refute that with a Twitter handle like @hey_peachy.) As noted online, Son of a Peach ‘serves up hand-forged pizza using time-honored techniques, while showcasing only the finest, simple, farm-to-table ingredients.’ Keeping in line with bringing back the basics, the pizzeria actively works to implement green initiatives with as little as waste as possible. It strives to source all products locally. In addition to recognizing all of your favorite pizza norms, Son of a Peach pairs toppings such as spicy salami and wild honey and fig and prosciutto to test your tastebuds. Not in a saucy mood? Wing and burger options are also available. As Burlington’s first restaurant to offer sparkling wine on tap, the pizzeria has a special selection of handcrafted, local beers and wines to wash down any last bites. For those feeling a pajama kind of dinner, take out it is.
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Sun:
11:00 am - 8:00 pm
Mon:
11:30 am - 9:00 pm
Tue:
11:30 am - 9:00 pm
Wed:
11:30 am - 9:00 pm
Thu:
11:30 am - 9:00 pm
Fri:
11:30 am - 10:00 pm
Sat:
11:00 am - 10:00 pm

The Water St. Cooker

Pub, Restaurant, Pub Grub, Canadian, $$$
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Emma's Back Porch & Water Street Cooker, Burlington
Emma's Back Porch & Water Street Cooker, Burlington | Courtesy of Water St. Cooker
Formerly known as the top level of the Estaminet Standard Hotel, The Water St. Cooker has a long history rooted in local tradition. Completely different from the pub that can be found directly below, the Water St. Cooker is a place to dress to impress. It has a beautiful view of the lake, so be sure to reserve a window table. While the restaurant can serve seafood lovers something different and equally delish every night of the week, The Water St. Cooker offers the best brunch in town. Switch up the usual date night for an early meet and greet and leave ready to walk it all off. While a little on the pricey side, the buffet brunch features mimosas to the rim, breakfast favorites, a carving station and all the best fixings, both hot and cold.
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Sun:
10:00 am - 12:00 am
Mon:
11:00 am - 12:00 am
Tue:
11:00 am - 12:00 am
Wed - Thu:
11:00 am - 2:00 am
Thu:
11:00 am - 12:00 am
Fri - Sat:
11:00 am - 2:00 am
Sat - Sun:
11:00 am - 2:00 am

Paradiso

Restaurant, Mediterranean, Seafood, Vegetarian, $$$
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Paradiso Restaurant, Burlington
Paradiso Restaurant, Burlington | Courtesy of The Alex
A place to truly wine and dine, Paradiso focuses on presentation as much as it does on quality food. With seats available grill-side, diners are welcome to watch chefs get to work from their front-row view. With a vegetarian, gluten-free and date night menu as additional dining options, Paradiso accommodates anyone with an appetite. The star of the restaurant’s original menu is their pasta, with different takes including asiago chicken penne al forno, 12-hour braised beef gnocchi, and seafood tagliatelle. Looking to hone your own culinary chops? Get in on the cooking action with Paradiso’s: The Cooking Studio, or sign up for an exclusive wine tasting with Executive Chef Adam Mackay.
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Sun:
11:30 am - 9:00 pm
Mon:
11:30 am - 9:00 pm
Tue:
11:30 am - 9:00 pm
Wed:
11:30 am - 9:00 pm
Thu:
11:30 am - 9:00 pm
Fri:
11:30 am - 11:00 pm
Sat:
11:30 am - 11:00 pm

The Alex

Charcuterie, Restaurant, Canadian
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Open seven days a week, and only for dinner, The Alex specializes in small plate dining. Where casual meets candlelight, it’s a small, intimate space – blink and almost miss it. The main entrance consists of a side door. Self-described meat lovers, the team offers hardy options including venison meatloaf, confit lamb shoulder and roast pork belly – all with a potato-based side. For a lighter option, go for their baby kale salad with roasted butternut squash or mango slaw with cashew-dusted shrimp. Any questions about wine pairing? Their informative staff is happy to help. Celebrate Sunday Funday by taking part in their ‘Choose Your Own Adventure Sunday.’ Each week, The Alex guarantees to buy a charcuterie board to begin and a decadent house-made dessert to end, giving guests the choice as to what to nibble on in between.
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Rayhoon Persian Eatery

Located at the center of Burlington’s Village Square, Rayhoon Persian Eatery defines curb appeal. This area ties together historic architecture and lifestyle interests. A stroll along any of the winding cobblestone pathways of the square leads to the main attraction of the cultural destination. Deriving its name from the Persian word for basil, the culinary tradition dates back centuries. Transporting guests back in time, Rayhoon’s menu features all halal dishes including grill, stew and specialty entrées. Served with saffron-infused rice and accompanied by a chargrilled tomato, the Rayhoon Special includes one skewer of beef tenderloin strips (Barg) and one skewer of chicken (Joojeh).

Join in every third Friday of the month for their Buffet and Belly Dancing Entertainment night. It starts at 7.30pm. Those interested are provided with unlimited servings of a three-course meal and a show by the dance company, BellyUp BellyDance Oakville.

Rayhoon Persian Eatery, 420 Pearl Street, Burlington, ON, Canada, + 1 905 637 2500

SB Prime

Weather permitting, diners can choose between the tree-lined patio or the traditional lounge to mix and mingle here. A self-described ‘small boutique-style Steakhouse with a chic urban feel,’ SB Prime is a common go-to for a great cut and an even better cocktail. Grab the lobster sliders just to snack on, or go all out with the surf and turf steak. Whether ordering the filet mignon, boneless rib eye or T-bone steak, customers need to make room for roasted garlic, sautéed cipollini onions and horseradish aioli on the side.

Carry on the evening with a specialty martini or classic cocktail while enjoying seasonal live music during ‘Saturdays in the Street.’ Outside of summer months, catch piano playing in the lounge during cocktail hours Monday to Friday, 4-8pm. SB Prime offers half-price appetizers, affordable martinis, wine and beer specials everyday in the lounge during ‘Power Hour,’ 4-6pm. Take a load off and stay a while.

SB Prime, 390 Brant Street, Burlington, ON, Canada, + 1 905 634 6275