The Canadian city of Niagara Falls, home to the famous waterfalls of the same name, is an unsurprisingly popular tourist destination. Although many of the city’s restaurants provide typical tourist-friendly fare, visitors willing to dig a little deeper will find that it’s home to a number of innovative places to eat. Read on to discover the 12 best restaurants in Niagara Falls.
Restaurant, Italian, $$$
Casa Mia Ristorante offers generous portions of Italian cuisine, made using fresh, high-quality ingredients. Owned and managed by the Mollica Family for over 25 years, the restaurant features stylish seaside decor inspired by Italy’s Amalfi Coast. It’s simple, well-prepared menu features mains including veal parmigiana, along with a selection of antipasti and sides. There’s a sommelier on staff to help choose wine pairings from the restaurant’s cellar, which is full of over 300 labels. The restaurant is located about a 10-minute drive from the Falls, with a free shuttle service operated from local hotels.
Pub, Restaurant, Pub Grub, Canadian
Taps Brewhouse offers a diverse menu of sandwiches, burgers, pizza and pub classics, alongside beers brewed on-site. Its beers are brewed using only four ingredients – filtered water, hops, malted barley and yeast – and all menu items are prepared fresh in-house with a focus on local products. The restaurant is set in an old warehouse, featuring an open concept interior that allows diners to watch sports on the TV or enjoy live music performed on its small stage. Bands, DJs and open-mic nights are frequently hosted here, in addition to weekly specials such as wing nights.
Restaurant, Asian, Vietnamese, Thai
Located in a drab strip mall, Pho Xyclo has a bland exterior that belies the authentic Vietnamese and East Asian dishes served inside. The interior is simple yet cheerful, and service is consistently friendly. The menu features a variety of noodle soups, rice dishes, vermicelli and wontons. Dishes such as the Tom Yum Pho (hot and sour Thai soup) are spicy enough to satisfy diners who crave a piquant dish; while milder dishes, for example, the Xyclo Fried Rice, cater to less adventurous eaters; served with egg, shrimp, grilled chicken, BBQ pork, carrots, peas, corn and the restaurant’s signature sauce.
Restaurant, German, Contemporary, $$
Weinkeller brings the brewpub concept to wines, with three reds and three whites produced right in the restaurant. Set in an intimate, brick-walled basement, the restaurant takes its name from the German word for “wine cellar.” Aside from craft wines, its menu focuses on seasonal, local ingredients. Diners have a choice of three- or five-course prix fixe menus, which might include a main such as Pacific salmon, which is served cedar-planked, blackened, poached with hollandaise, or panned with fresh herb butter, according to the diner’s preference.
Queen Charlotte Tea Room
Restaurant, Tea Room, European, British, $
Owned and managed by British expats Linda and Roger Ollis, Queen Charlotte offers diners a quintessentially British experience. The restaurant’s delightful decor is inspired by a British tearoom, with a menu to match. The menu focuses on authentic British dishes, including fish and chips, steak and kidney pie and bangers and mash served with baked beans and Yorkshire pudding. Choose from a wide selection of loose-leaf tea, including herbal varieties such as peppermint and specialty teas including Scottish caramel. Book in advance to enjoy a traditional high tea, complete with scones with Devonshire cream, and cucumber and cream cheese sandwiches.
AG Inspired Cuisine
Restaurant, French, Contemporary
Set in the basement of Sterling Inn and Spa, AG Inspired Cuisine is a sleek restaurant with a cutting-edge, contemporary menu. Chef Cory Linkson uses traditional French cooking techniques to present local ingredients from the Niagara region’s farms in creative new ways. Expect dishes such as pan-seared scallops, served with soppressata, pomme purée, Niagara peach salsa and harissa. The ‘field-to-fork’ section of the menu is seasonal, changing daily depending on the ingredients available. The restaurant’s atmosphere is particularly inviting on Friday and Saturday evenings when live music is often featured.
Napoli Ristorante Pizzeria
Restaurant, Italian, $
Widely touted as the best Italian restaurant in the city, Napoli Ristorante Pizzeria has been serving up home-style Italian fare for more than 30 years. The staff follow a mantra of “he who eats well, lives well,” and the restaurant exudes a warm, welcoming ambience. The menu is a familiar mix of pizza, pasta and risotto, with all diners given a plate of house-made focaccia and olive oil to enjoy while choosing their meal. Go for the ravioli in bianco, made with a ricotta and parmigiano filling, and served simply with olives, butter and lemon.
The Tide and Vine
Restaurant, Seafood, $
The Tide and Vine is a rustic oyster bar that offers expertly shucked oysters and the region’s freshest seafood. The restaurant is converting even non-seafood enthusiasts into fans with its fantastic menu, which includes an excellent selection of local wines and beers. Everything is produced in-house, from the seafood chowder and lobster rolls, to the fresh oysters, served alongside grated horseradish, mignonette and Scotch bonnet hot sauce. The intimate 24-seat restaurant is decorated with natural woods, stainless steel, white ceramic and airy green-and-blue tones.
Paris Crêpes Café
Cafe, Restaurant, French, $
Owned and operated by a French family, Paris Crêpes Café mixes fine French cuisine with a relaxed, bistro-style ambience. As the restaurant’s name suggests, the menu focuses on sweet and savoury crêpes, with popular choices including the Papillon – served with eggs, cheese, apple compote and ham, and the Niagara Falls – served with mixed berries, peaches, Nutella and vanilla ice cream. In addition to crêpes, the menu includes other French classics such as ratatouille, escargots, moules and beef bourguignon, as well as a fine selection of French and Niagara wines.
Restaurant, Seafood, Steakhouse
Located in Fallsview Casino Resort, 21 Club’s red, black and gold color scheme is inspired by the game of roulette. The best seats are along the windows, set on an illuminated platform and offering fantastic views overlooking the Falls. Although the restaurant’s dishes change with the seasons, 21 Club is primarily a steakhouse with a menu focused on prime-aged steaks and pork chops, along with poultry, seafood and a raw bar. A well-stocked wine cellar rounds out the excellent menu and contemporary atmosphere.
Carpaccio Restaurant and Wine Bar
Restaurant, Wine Bar, Italian, $
Frequently voted as Niagara’s best restaurant, Carpaccio uses only fresh and seasonal ingredients in its menu of fine Italian cuisine. Classics including spaghetti bolognese, penne arrabbiata and arancini are cooked to perfection, as are its brick-oven pizzas. A wide selection of red and white wines are served by the glass or the bottle, and cocktail lovers can choose from its martini and disaronno drinks menus. Finish your meal with a specialty coffee in true Italian style, sweetly served with a sugared rim and whipped cream.
Niagara Brewing Company
Sitting on the former site of the Foxhead Inn, one of Niagara Falls’ first luxury hotels, Niagara Brewing Company is best known for brewing a range of innovative beers, including its Honeymoon Peach Radler, with an airy malt sweetness, touch of ginger and pleasant peach finish; and its Niagara Icewine Beer – a limited-edition brew that blends the sweetness of Icewine with the traditional lager flavor. Don’t leave without trying the restaurant’s signature pretzel. Choose from warm salt pretzel served with beer-infused cheese sauce, or a warm cheese pretzel served with marinara.
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