Located in the Durham region of Ontario in Canada, Whitby sits on the north shore of Lake Ontario, and is a natural harbor. Home town to author Leslie McFarlane, who penned the Hardy Boys novels, Whitby has a rich Elizabethan heritage. Whitby’s restaurant scene is a mixture of classic and contemporary, local and international, and we’ve selected the top ten places to eat.
A warm atmosphere and attention to detail are just some of the positive attributes of Chatterpauls Restaurant. Since opening its doors in 2008, visitors are instantly made to feel at home. The dining experience begins with their creative list of appetizers and samples which are full of rich flavors. Chatterpauls’ passion for food is clearly evident in their menu. Must try dishes from their main course menu include their melt-in-the-mouth lamb chops, their lobster-filled ravioli, jumbo shrimp and spicy jerk chicken. These are complimented by their list of fine wines, sumptuous cocktails and organic local craft beers. Dietary requirements are also catered for, with gluten-free and vegetarian options available. Chatterpauls offer an early bird and mid-week lounge menu, as well as private cooking classes with head chef Chad (although these sell out quickly). Together with unbeatable service, and understated yet homely decor, it is no surprise diners return to Chatterpauls again and again.
Bistro 67 is a unique dining experience as it is located inside the Centre for Food at Durham College’s Whitby campus. A teaching restaurant, Bistro 67 is run by students and teachers from the Culinary Skills program at the college. There is a great sense of community at Bistro 67, not only due to the combination of teachers and students, but also due to their choice of ingredients, which are sourced from local farmers and producers. Bistro 67 revolves around the concept of ‘farm-to-fork’, and their menu promotes the unique and intriguing flavors the Durham region has to offer. Highlights from their menu include their house salad of sweet and bitter greens and seasonal vegetables, all in a house vinaigrette, crisp pork belly with deviled quail egg and tasty grilled cheese croutons, and tortilla shells filled with marinated seasonal fish, accompanied by sweet potato guacamole, crema and their signature hot sauce. The great taste of Bistro 67 can also be sampled at home, with products available to buy from Pantry, which is located on the first floor.
For burger lovers, look no further than Baldwin Street Burger. Serving the people of downtown Whitby since 2011, they pride themselves on using only local beef, that is raised naturally, and ground to their specifications. The people at BSB are fussy when it comes to their dishes, and every burger is made to order, by hand and cooked to a tender perfection. Their ingredients are delivered daily, and there are weekly changing specials. There are no bottled sauces to be found here – all their tantalizing accompaniments are made in house also. The menu isn’t vast, but each burger has its own unique flavor, and it is no wonder that they sometimes sell out. Popular choices include their classic steak burgers. They also offer alternatives to patties, such as blackened fish tacos with house-made guacamole, sour cream, fresh pico de gallo and lettuce, and crispy breaded chicken with house-cured, five-spice bacon with slaw and gochujang BBQ sauce. Wash down one of their succulent burgers with a birch beer. A visit to BSB will not leave you disappointed, but get there early, as it is always busy!
For those who crave the flavors and feel of the Mediterranean, Brother’s Ristorante is the place to go. Their menu is a fusion of the very best of European cuisine, from Italian to Greek to French. Their dishes not only taste great, but are great value too. Top dishes include their starters of escargot and perogies, and main courses such as their salads, veal parmigiana, stuffed pork tenderloin and rigatoni with pancetta, and pizza. These are beautifully complimented by their list of local and international wines, and their craft beers available on draft. The restaurant is award-winning, and has received the Eat Smart award for over ten years. Coupled with impeccable service, a trip to Brother’s Ristorante with leave you coming back for more.
A favorite on the Whitby restaurant scene since 1993, Nice Bistro mixes local ingredients with a French influence. Decorated in a Mediterranean style, Nice Bistro has a warm and inviting atmosphere, and make guests feel like they are stepping into a French home rather than a restaurant. Nice Bistro has received accolades such as the Smart Eat Award since 2000, and Skills, Training and Development Award in 2005 from the Whitby Chamber of Commerce. More recently, Nice Bistro won the Lauriers de la PME pour Micro Entreprise RDEE Ontario in 2009. Their head chef favors the ‘slow-cooked’ style, which emphasizes the flavor and aromas of their fresh ingredients. Dishes are created using local and seasonal produce from farmers in the area. Key dishes to try include their escargot, their garlic butter and homemade bread, mussels, filet mignon, and for dessert, their gluten-free flour-less chocolate cake. Nice Bistro is quaint, with no fuss, but with personal service, diners will be made feel at home.
Inspired by his Italian roots, chef Vito Clemente strives to bring the flavors of his home country to Whitby, and the result is A Tavola Bistro. Chef Vito learned his culinary skills while working for his uncle at his pizzeria, and Vito is now an instructor at the local culinary school at Liaison College. A Tavola Bistro is a teach restaurant, where the students he teaches and previous graduates are trained to the highest standard, and produce high-quality and flavorful Italian fare. A Tavola Bistro also values the local community, and has often partnered with local farmers to use their produce, as well as hosting fun filled events for Whitby locals. Popular dishes include their homemade soup of the day, their classic Caesar salad with crispy pancetta, parmigiano cheese and house-made croutons, grilled octopus, lemon and herb couscous salad, and many more. All breads are made daily and baked in house. For a casual yet memorable dining experience, A Tavola Bistro is guaranteed not disappoint.
With over 50 years in the food industry, Bella Notte presents fine Italian cuisine with unbeatable service. Food is their passion, and Bella Notte strive to make every diner enjoy their dining experience. Visitors can savor dishes such as grilled calamari with poached garlic, black olives, capers, seafood risotto, penne with spicy sausage, maple-glazed salmon, and veal scaloppini topped with smoked tomatoes, basil, shrimp and mozzarella. Diners can also choose from an extensive wine list, which enhances Bella Notte’s cuisine. Finish off a memorable evening with a delectable and freshly made dessert. Bella Notte also offer catering, so their succulent food can be enjoyed at home or in the office. For genuine Italian dining, Bella Notte’s tops every list.
1847 Wine and Beer Bistro | Courtesy Catherine Smith
Housed in a 19th-century building, Corrado’s Bar and Restaurant began life in 2009, when Corrado and Karen Tomarchio and friends purchased the premises, and worked towards achieving their dream of creating a fine dining establishment. Corrado’s Bar and Restaurant was the result of their hard work, and following extensive renovations of the 1863 building, the restaurant opened its doors, dishing up the finest in Italian cuisine. Visitors can enjoy casual dining downstairs, or for a more private experience, there is a more intimate space on the first floor. There are also take away options available, meaning the great taste of Corrado’s can be enjoyed at home too. The restaurant exudes an old world charm mixed with contemporary details. Corrado’s also cater for any dietary requirement, serving gluten-free and vegetarian options. For a casual dinner with friends, or a celebration with family, Corrado’s is a firm favorite in Whitby.
True Canadian dining is the aim of 1847 Wine and Beer Bistro, which is located on Baldwin Street in Whitby. The bistro’s name is a reflection of its location, and harks back to the towns 19th-century heritage, as many of the buildings in the district were built in 1847. The bistro boasts delectable food with a French twist that is enjoyed in an ambient setting, and all for great value. Their dishes are created using locally sourced and seasonal ingredients, meaning their menu is always being updated, with something new to try each time. They are also accredited by Feast ON, which supports local agriculture, so the bistro know exactly where their ingredients come from and who produces them. The feel of the bistro is contemporary, which is reflected in the venue’s décor. Their wine list is impressive, with a host of Canadian wines as well as selected international bottles. There is also an excellent beer selection, as the bistro is an advocator of local microbreweries, and so many local labels appear. A must try for anyone visiting Whitby.
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Opening in 2009, The Brock House is the brainchild of Chris and Russ, two well-known restauranteurs in Whitby. Already the owners of another successful sister restaurant Hot Rocks Creative Diner, The Brock House aims to bring the old world charm of Whitby together with creative and contemporary culinary delights. The duo purchased the premises which housed a former restaurant, and embarked on an ambitious renovation project, which took over five months to complete. The result is a homely restaurant with warm wooden decoration, a stone fireplace and a central bar, which adds to the restaurant’s ambiance and atmosphere. The Brock House is the perfect place to meet friends for a drink, to network over a business lunch, or to celebrate a special occasion, with a mixture of seating options, from booths to private dining rooms.