Foodie Destination Ontario: Guide to the Best Restaurants

From Toronto and beyond, Ontario is home to some of the most delicious food in Canada – starting with these restaurants.

Ontario is a great 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 farmlands combined with cultural downtowns like Toronto and Ottawa in a perfect blend of wide open spaces and vibrant, bustling tourist destinations.

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However, Ontario’s overall vastness can seem daunting to a first-time visitor, especially one looking to try some of the best cuisines in the multicultural province. And while Ontario’s largest cities are a good place to start; provincial foodies find far more than travelers would expect, if you know where to look. Below is a guide to simply some must-visit restaurants in Ontario; the perfect itinerary for any budding foodie looking to test their chops in one of Canada’s most exciting provinces.

To note: Ontario is made up of 15 distinct regions, each with their own experiences that often vary from region to region. The following list does not include the cuisine of all regions, but aims to provide a sampling of some of the most distinctive (and diverse) places in the province.

Southwestern Ontario samples

Southwestern Ontario is known for its vineyards, distilleries and farm-fresh flavors that are the cornerstone of the food scene and a testament to the region’s rich agricultural heritage. Look for plenty of fresh seafood here too – the area is known for its fishing.

A local favourite: Big Fish Steak & Lounge

A casual family restaurant in Sarnia, Great fish steak and lounge is a great place to taste the best of both lands in the region and sea—fresh, delicious seafood pairs beautifully with the local flavors that sing in this delicious dining experience.

  • Address: 1717 London Line, Sarnia, Ontario N7W 1B2
  • Hours: Monday to Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Thursday 11am-9.30pm; Friday & Saturday 11am-10pm
  • Contact: (519) 542-5553
  • Reservations: Call ahead
  • Price: $$-$$$$
  • What to try: Rockefeller Oysters (App); Anita’s ahi tuna; NY Striploin Steak with Alaskan King Crab

A large slice of Antonino’s original pizza

Windsor, Ontario is known as the “Pizza Capital of Canada” and by Antonino has been a staple of the local pizza scene since 1959 – Antonino himself was known as one of Windsor’s pizza pioneers – so you to know it’s one of the best pizzas around.

  • Address: 4350 Howard Avenue (South Windsor)
  • Hours: Sunday to Wednesday 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.; Thursday 10am-11pm; Friday & Saturday 10am-12pm
  • Contact: (519) 969-1959
  • Reservations: N / A
  • Price: $$-$$$
  • What to try: The Deluxe (Cheese, Sausage, Mushroom, Green Pepper); Antonio’s Original Super (cheese, sausage, bacon, mushroom, green pepper)

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Greater Toronto Area

The queen city of Toronto is one of Canada’s most famous tourist destinations. Renowned worldwide for its culture, history and attractions, Toronto’s famous multicultural neighborhoods are also home to some of Ontario’s finest restaurants.

Elevated elegance at Richmond Station

Great Canadian flavors with a global twist make Richmond Station one of Toronto’s less fancy restaurants. Almost everything, from butchering to baking, is done here; giving this favorite neighborhood a local vibe that is the backbone of their inventive menu.

  • Address: 1 Richmond Street West, Toronto, Ontario M5H 3W4
  • Hours: Sunday to Thursday from 4:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.; Friday to Sunday from 3:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Contact: (647) 748-1444
  • Reservations: in line
  • Price: $$-$$$
  • What to try: Stn. burger; butter-poached lobster macaroni; Organic Chicken Ballotine

An ode to China at Mimi Chinese

Toronto is famous for its food and Chinese cuisine is one of the most ubiquitous of all the eclectic samples in the city. And while Toronto’s Chinatown is the place for authentic Chinese treats, Mimi’s Chinese tops the list with its theatrical offerings that pay homage to the diverse cuisine of China itself.

  • Address: 265 Davenport Road Toronto, ON M5R 1J9
  • Hours: Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday 5pm-11pm; Friday & Saturday 5 p.m.-12 p.m. 5 p.m.-11 a.m.
  • Contact: (416) 505-0799
  • Reservations: book a table online
  • Price: $$$
  • What to try: sea ​​bass with Hunan pepper; arm crossed dumplings in red oil; Sea bream with Kuai

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Niagara Region

Known for being home to the famous Niagara Falls, Ontario’s Niagara region is also known for its abundance of great wineries and beautiful towns filled with old-world charm and steeped in history.

Relaxed atmosphere and local flavors at the Tap & Grill office

St. Catharine’s is a great place to stay when visiting Niagara Falls, one of the biggest towns in the area, there are plenty of fun restaurants to explore, including local favorites. The Tap & Grill office. A cool place to grab a pint and a bite to eat, The Office is a chill spot in St. Catharine’s.

  • Address: 22 James Street, St. Catharine’s, ON
  • Hours: Tuesday to Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Sunday 12pm-11pm
  • Contact: (905) 984-4440
  • Reservations: no
  • Price: $$-$$$
  • What to try: Putin; Lamb shank; Butternut Squash Ravioli

Upscale casual at Weinkeller

Any list of Ontario restaurants would be incomplete without a Niagara Falls offering – and Weinkeller makes the list as an upscale artisan winery with a fresh, local, and inventive prix fixe menu that stands out for its atmosphere and deliciously distinctive cuisine.

  • Address: 5633 Victoria Ave Niagara Falls, Ontario L2G 3L5
  • Hours: Sunday to Thursday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday & Saturday 5pm-9:45pm
  • Contact: (289) 296-8000
  • Reservations: book a table online
  • Price: $$$-$$$$ fixed price menu with option of three or five course meals
  • What to try: Rack-carved Ontario Bone-in Pork Chop; Hand-carved striploin; Fried Goat Cheese (App); Smoked salmon bisque

RELATED: Road Trip Buffalo: What to See Besides Niagara Falls

Northumberland County

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

Cozy casual dining in Cobourg

Cobourg is a beach town with a laid-back vibe and an abundance of delicious, casual restaurants – and the Cobourg Brewery is one of the best: cozy wooden walls, great beers and even better food, Ale House has become one of Northumberland County’s most popular hangouts.

  • Address: 246 Division Street Cobourg, ON K9A 3P8
  • Hours: Wednesday to Sunday from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Monday 3pm-10pm
  • Contact: (289) 252-1773
  • Reservations: no
  • Price: $-$$
  • What to try: steak sandwich; cheese curds; 5 alarm chicken wings; pepper burger

Ottawa region

Canada’s capital is iconic for its Canadian charm – a green and charming city on the Ottawa River, it’s also a hub of culture, history, outdoor beauty and an incredible culinary scene.

New York-style gastropub flavor at Prohibition Public House

Serving modern Canadian fare in a warm, wood-panelled atmosphere reminiscent of a speakeasy, Ban Public House offers an exciting cocktail menu, local beers, great atmosphere and delicious dishes that are creatively Canadian, with a twist.

  • Address: 337 Somerset Street West Ottawa, Ontario
  • Hours: Sunday to Thursday from 5 p.m. to midnight; Saturday and Sunday 5 p.m.-2 a.m.
  • Contact: (613) 565-2704
  • Reservations: in line
  • Price: $$$-$$$$
  • What to try: Stuffed quail (small plate); Boar and Roe Deer Burger; grilled rockfish tacos; Old fashioned rum runners

Ontario is one of Canada’s largest provinces – a diverse region offering the perfect combination of scenic natural beauty and bustling metropolitan hubs rich in culture, history and exciting attractions. However, it’s also known as a great place to grab a bite to eat, whether amid the hustle and bustle of Toronto or near the famous Niagara Falls; the Lake Ontario villages of Northumberland County or the agricultural countryside of southwestern Ontario, there’s always something good on the menu for any foodie looking to explore the flavors of this amazing province.

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