Satisfying any Italian gastronomic preferences, Baci Ristorante is a must for those craving good pasta and pizza. Aiming to ‘redefine the modern Italian restaurant’, this winner of TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence in 2014 complements its excellent dishes with film screenings from Francis Ford Coppola and Martin Scorsese. The menu includes fine Tuscan, Californian and Niagara wines, alongside dishes such as baciata dal sole, a combination of mango, watermelon, mint and red onions, or the decadent homemade baci gelato.
Banana Leaf Asian Cuisine
One of the most popular restaurants in Hamilton, Banana Leaf Asian Cuisine is a home-style culinary venue with a focus on Asian cuisine. Delivering a mixed menu with the best of Thai, Chinese and Vietnamese dishes, this restaurant is a top local choice for those seeing an alternative to the more locally based flavours. The rich menu includes green curry shrimp, red curry beef, deep-fried banana, sizzling black pepper steak, and Singapore vermicelli.
A Peruvian restaurant that seeks to transform ‘customers into raving fans’, Culantro is one of the must-try cultural restaurants in Hamilton. Serving family recipes spiced with original Peruvian ingredients, such as aji peppers, the huacatay herb, and purple corn, Culantro is nonetheless faithful to its philosophy of using local ingredients wherever possible. A winner of TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence in 2014, this restaurant tempts diners with specialties like lomo saltado, a mixed Peruvian and Chinese dish, mashed yucca stuffed with quinoa, the mouth-watering empanada filled with pineapple and banana, and dulce de leche for dessert.
Culantro, 47 King William, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, +1 905 777 0060
Set in Ancaster, Hamilton’s stunning historic area, the Ancaster Mill Restaurant is charmingly located in a restored 1850s stone mill, which offers a panoramic view over the rugged Niagara Escarpment; this venue has been an icon of the local culinary scene for over four decades. The menu is based on contemporary Canadian cuisine, with respect for fresh, local and seasonal ingredients. The large windows reflect the scenic view of surrounding historic buildings and waterfalls.
Ancaster Mill, 548 Old Dundas Rd, Ancaster, Ontario, Canada, +1 905 648 1828
Black Forest Inn
With a name suggestive of its German inspiration, the Black Forest Inn has been a culinary landmark in Hamilton since 1967. Awarded TripAdvisor’s ‘Certificate of Excellence’ in 2014, this restaurant is the perfect place for those looking for the complete European experience. The menu serves German, Austrian and continental recipes, including the famous schnitzel in six different national versions. With a refreshing patio open during the summers, the Black Forest Inn is the best choice in town for tasting dishes such as the German potato salad or the Hungarian beef goulash.
Mulberry Street Coffee House
Located among the many quirky stores and art galleries of James Street North, the Mulberry Street Coffee House enjoys a historic setting, with a romantic interior atmosphere created by old chandeliers, couches and terrazzo flooring. The menu is a perfect match for its overall vintage vibe, and is definitely not to be missed for those with an appetite for lighter and healthier options. Plus, on the other side of the café, you can find De Facto at Mulberry, an art gallery that exhibits works from emerging local artists.
A winner of TripAdvisor’s ‘Certificate of Excellence’ in 2014, Quatrefoil was also distinguished as one of the 10 Best New Restaurants in Canada by enRoute Magazine and one of the Top 10 Best New Restaurants by Toronto Life. Opened in 2010, this multi-awarded restaurant is managed by international chefs with a global mindset, whose tasty creations make eating here a memorable experience. The menu changes seasonally and includes cornmeal crusted calamari, confit duck leg, seared sea scallops, rack of Ontario lamb, Quebec duck breast, and blueberry custard tart for dessert.
Quatrefoil, 16 Sydenham, Dundas, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, +1 905 628 7800
Shakespeare’s Dining Lounge
What began as a steak house back in 1969, Shakespeare’s Dining Lounge, is one of today’s top fine dining options in Hamilton. The menu mixes healthy dishes, low in cholesterol and salt, with more exotic game dishes like wild boar or venison, and a rich selection of fish specialties, such as marinated Bismarck herring, smoked salmon, lobster bisque or king crab, scallops, shrimps and calamari. Along the way, Shakespeare’s has been visited by celebrities such as Tom Jones, Rock Hudson, Kathleen Robertson, Tom Cochrane, Daniel Lanois and Marc Garneau.
On the shores of splendid Lake Ontario, Edgewater Manor delights with upscale dining in a breathtaking 1920s mansion, decorated with carved stone and an impressive marble staircase that belonged to the Toronto Dominion Building in the 19th century. The menu features a diversity of meat and seafood dishes, including a surprising blind six-course tasting menu, well-matched by one of the best and most complete wine lists in Hamilton, including rare wines from the 1950s. The desserts are also a fine treat, with homespun apple pie, carrot caramel cheesecake, and their famous Edgewater tiramisu.
The Powerhouse is hosted in a 19th century building that, as the name suggests, once provided the power for Hamilton’s electric rail lines. Its historical appearance is well preserved, and enhanced with unique design elements: 18th century chandeliers, a marble archway, and a large bar that was once part of the vestry at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York. The Powerhouse has six separate dining rooms, including a wine loft, a martini bar and a patio bar. The menu is mainly an incursion into international cuisine, including Canadian classic specialties.
The Powerhouse, 21 Jones St, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, +1 905 930 7381
By Diana Condrea