Food

Foodie Destination Ontario: Help guide to Its Best Eats

Ontario is a superb place to visit-one of Canada's largest provinces, it's also one of its most beautiful and diverse-Great lakes; sprawling forests; and verdant farmland combined with cultural city centers like Toronto and Ottawa in a perfect mixture of the great outdoors and vibrant, bustling holiday destinations.

However, the overall vastness of Ontario might seem intimidating to a first-time visitor-especially one who is looking to test the best cuisines within the multicultural province. And while Ontario's largest cities are a good place to start; the province's foodies find go well past what travelers would expect-if you realize where to look. Below is a guide to just some of Ontario's must-try restaurants; an ideal itinerary for just about any aspiring foodie seeking to test their chops in one of Canada's most enjoyable provinces.

Note: Ontario is made up of 15 distinct regions-each with its own experiences that often vary through the region itself. The following list does not include cuisine from every region but does aim to provide a sampling of some of the province's most distinctive (and diverse) spots.

Southwestern Ontario Samplings

Southwestern Ontario is known for its vineyards, distilleries, and farm-fresh flavors that are a cornerstone from the restaurant scene and indicative of the area's rich agricultural heritage. Look for lots of fresh seafood here, too-the area is known for its fishing.

An Area Favorite: Big Fish Steak & Lounge

A casual, family-owned restaurant in Sarnia, Big Fish Steak & Lounge is an excellent place to sample the area's better of both land and sea-fresh, delicious seafood pairs wonderfully with local flavors that sing in this delish dining experience.

  • Address: 1717 London Line, Sarnia, ON N7W 1B2
  • Hours: Monday through Wednesday 11 AM-9 PM; Thursday 11 AM-9:30 PM; Friday & Saturday 11 AM-10 PM
  • Contact: (519) 542-5553
  • Reservations: Call ahead
  • Price: $$-$$$$
  • What To test: Oysters Rockefeller (App); Anita's Ahi Tuna; N.Y. Strip Steak with Alaskan King Crab

A Great Slice From Antonino's Original Pizza

Windsor, Ontario is known as 'The Pizza Capital of Canada,' and Antonino's has been a standard feature of the local pizza scene since 1959-Antonino himself was known as certainly one of Windsor's pizza pioneers-so you know it's some of the best pizza around.

  • Address: 4350 Howard Ave. (South Windsor Location)
  • Hours: Sunday through Wednesday 10 AM-10 PM; Thursday 10 AM-11 PM; Friday & Saturday 10 AM-12 AM
  • Contact: (519) 969-1959
  • Reservations: N/A
  • Price: $$-$$$
  • What To test: The Deluxe (Cheese, Sausage, Mushroom, Green Pepper); Antonio's Original Super (Cheese, Sausage, Bacon, Mushroom, Green Pepper)

Greater Toronto Area

The Queen Town of Toronto is one of Canada's most famed tourist destinations-recognized globally because of its culture, history, and attractions, Toronto's famous multicultural neighborhoods will also be home to a number of Ontario's best restaurants.

Elevated Elegance At Richmond Station

Big Canadian flavors having a global twist make Richmond Station one from the unfanciest fancy restaurants in Toronto. Just about everything from butchery to baking is done here; giving this neighborhood fave a nearby feel that's the backbone of their inventive menu.

  • Address: 1 Richmond Street West, Toronto, ON M5H 3W4
  • Hours: Sunday through Thursday 4:30 PM-10 PM; Friday through Sunday 3:30 PM-10 PM
  • Contact: (647) 748-1444
  • Reservations: online
  • Price: $$-$$$
  • What To test: Stn. Burger; Butter-Poached Lobster Macaroni; Organic Chicken Ballotine

An Ode To China At Mimi Chinese

Toronto is famed because of its gastro-diversity-and Chinese food is one of the most ubiquitous of all of the city's eclectic samplings. Even though Toronto's Chinatown is where to be for authentic Chinese goodies, Mimi's Chinese tops their email list using its theatrical offerings that offer up an homage towards the diverse cuisine of China itself.

  • Address: 265 Davenport Rd Toronto, ON M5R 1J9
  • Hours: Wednesday, Thursday & Sunday 5 PM-11 PM; Friday & Saturday 5 PM-12AM5PM-11
  • Contact: (416) 505-0799
  • Reservations: reserve a table online
  • Price: $$$
  • What To Try: Hunan Chili Sea Bass; Cross Arm dumplings in Red Oil; Kuai Style Red Sea Bream

Niagara Region

Known as the home from the famous Niagara Falls, Ontario's Niagara Region is also noted for its abundance of great wineries-and beautiful towns full of old-world charm and lots of history.

Laidback Vibes And Local Flavor In the office Tap & Grill

St. Catharine's is a superb destination when visiting Niagara Falls-one of the largest towns in the region, there are plenty of fun eateries to understand more about, including local fave The Office Tap & Grill. A cool place to grab a pint and a bite, Work is a chill standout in St. Catharine's.

  • Address: 22 James Street, St. Catharine's, ON
  • Hours: Tuesday through Saturday 11:30 AM-11 PM; Sunday 12 PM-11 PM
  • Contact: (905) 984-4440
  • Reservations: no
  • Price: $$-$$$
  • What To Try: Poutine; Lamb Shank; Butternut Squash Ravioli

Casually Upscale At Weinkeller

Any listing of Ontario restaurants could be incomplete without an offering from Niagara Falls-and Weinkeller makes their email list like a casually upscale craft-winery having a fresh, local, and artistic prix fixe menu that stands out for its atmosphere and deliciously distinctive cuisine.

  • Address: 5633 Victoria Ave. Niagara Falls, Ontario L2G 3L5
  • Hours: Sunday through Thursday 5 PM-9 PM; Friday & Saturday 5 PM-9:45 PM
  • Contact: (289) 296-8000
  • Reservations: reserve a table online
  • Price: $$$-$$$$ prix fixe menu using the option of three or five-course meal
  • What To test: Rack-Carved Ontario Bone-In Pork Chop; Hand-Carved Striploin; Fried Goats Cheese (App); Smoked Salmon Bisque

Northumberland County

The Northumberland County region is east of Toronto bordering Lake Ontario and is filled with charming villages and towns that all reflect a proud local heritage dependent on their proximity towards the famous waterway.

Cozy Casual Cuisine In Cobourg

Cobourg is really a beach city with laidback vibes and an abundance of delicious, casual eateries-and the Ale House Cobourg is among the best: cozy, wood-lined walls, great brews, and even better food, Ale House is continuing to grow to one of the most popular hangout spots in Northumberland County.

  • Address: 246 Division St. Cobourg, Ontario K9A 3P8
  • Hours: Wednesday through Sunday 12 PM-10 PM; Monday 3 PM-10 PM
  • Contact: (289) 252-1773
  • Reservations: no
  • Price: $-$$
  • What To test: Steak Sandwich; Cheese Curds; 5 Alarm Pizza; Peppercorn Burger

Ottawa Region

Canada's capital is iconic for its Canadian charm-a green and wonderful city around the Ottawa River, it's also a hub of culture, history, outdoor beauty, and an amazing cuisine scene.

New York Style Gastropub Flavor At Prohibition Public House

Serving up modern Canadian fare inside a cozy, wood-paneled atmosphere reminiscent of a concealed speakeasy, Prohibition Public House has an exciting cocktail menu, local brews, great ambiance, and delish dishes that are creatively Canadian-with a twist.

  • Address: 337 Somerset St. West Ottawa, Ontario
  • Hours: Sunday through Thursday 5 PM-12 AM; Saturday and Sunday 5 PM-2 AM
  • Contact: (613) 565-2704
  • Reservations: online
  • Price: $$$-$$$$
  • What To test: Stuffed Quail (small plate); Wild Boar and Venison Burger; Grilled Rockfish Tacos; Rum Runners Old Fashion

Ontario is one of Canada's largest provinces-a diverse region filled with an ideal combination of scenic natural splendor and bustling metropolitan hubs big on culture, history, and exciting attractions. However, it's also known as a great spot to grab a bite-whether it's amid the hustle and bustle of Toronto or close to the famed Niagara Falls; the river Ontario villages of Northumberland County, or Southwestern Ontario farm country, almost always there is something good around the menu for just about any foodie looking to explore the flavors of the amazing province.

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