Ontario may be more famous as an airport for those used to flying to California, but the city itself is full of great restaurants which make it more than worth visiting. From Thai and Lebanese to traditional American fare, here is our list of the ten best restaurants in the area.
The Bucket Crab & Crawfish
California isn’t short on seafood restaurants, but The Bucket Crab & Crawfish will give you an authentic experience of eating bucket-loads of shellfish the traditional way. They offer a range of favorites including clams, shrimp, crab and crawfish, all of which is served with the option of a luscious garlic butter sauce and the option of Cajun fries. If you’re used to knife and fork dining, this won’t be for you, as everything has to be eaten with your hands. Fortunately, if you’re a newbie to eating shellfish from scratch, the staff are helpful and attentive, and will equip you with the necessary gloves and instructions to minimize the mess.
The Olive Grill
The Olive Grill serves a huge range of quality sandwiches, wraps and burgers, which marry the best of Asian and Mexican flavors. This restaurant is especially popular locally for its Korean BBQ, and their delicious KBBQ fries come with cheese and jalapeños as well as tender meat for a Tex-Mex vibe. Their range of refreshing ice-blend teas also provides the perfect end to the meal. While The Olive Grill provides the ideal pit-spot on the way to the airport, you’re sure to find an excuse to stop off there regardless of your route.
Alina’s Lebanese Cuisine
For those unfamiliar with Lebanese cuisine, Alina’s is the ideal restaurant to get you hooked on dishes from this region. This restaurant offers Lebanese classics, such as gourmet kebabs and falafel, both of which come with a range of hummus, fatoush and pickles, as well as offering mezza platters where you can sample as many dishes from the region as possible, including baba ghanouj, grape leaves, and baklava.
Vince’s Spaghetti shows just how big an impact Italian cuisine has had on the American dining scene, and is so hugely popular that the owners boast that they typically serve 15000 miles of spaghetti each year. Everything is served in family style portions, so be prepared to take home leftovers.
Panda Inn Restaurant
Panda Inn is a family run restaurant which has operated in Ontario for 40 years. They serve a range of Chinese cuisines, including Mandarin and Szechuan. For those more familiar with standard Chinese cooking Szechuan will come as an exciting surprise: food from this region is hotter and spicier than typical Chinese flavors, with plenty of garlic and chili peppers. While California may be over saturated with Chinese food, Panda Inn sets itself apart from the rest with special touches, such as in the way the meals are completed. Dessert comes in the form of beautiful fruit platters, and the fortune cookies are taken to a whole new luxurious level by being dipped in white chocolate.
Lucky Elephant is the best place to get authentic Thai food in Ontario. The inside of the restaurant is a delight for they eyes, covered in teakwood designs and Thai sculptures. The quality of the food has been recognized for excellence by the Thai Select badge of approval: the internationally recognized sign of excellence in Thai cuisine. Make sure to try their desserts, which include unexpected delights such as deep-fried banana and fried ice-cream.
El Pescador’s menu classics include chimichanga and the in-house speciality of pescador fajitas. In addition to the entrées, make sure to check out the appetizers menu, which includes fresh oysters, crispy calamari and fresh guacamole. The drink menu offers a huge range of exciting margaritas, including peach and strawberry, sweet and sour, and the Diablo, which comes with chili and mango. The restaurant also hosts live Latin music every Saturday and Sunday, which make it an unmissable spot in downtown Ontario.
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