Food to fall for
April 27, 2005 6:49 PM   Subscribe

My boyfriend and I are driving to Niagara Falls for the day (Canadian side). Where should we have dinner?

We're looking for something pretty casual, not too expensive, not touristy, and not Chinese. Other than that, we're open to ideas. Any recommendations?
posted by orangskye to Food & Drink (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
It's the only Canadian city I know of with two Denny's (within walking distance of each other, too...)

Last time I was there, there was a Ponderosa that I enjoyed, too. :-)

Or is this way too casual?
posted by shepd at 6:51 PM on April 27, 2005

We liked Delduca's, mildly sophisticated Italian away from the madding crowd. It's mainly a nice townie place that's really Italian, no Olive Garden slop.

If you want to go deluxe, go to the Hillebrand Estates Winery Restaurant. Beautiful, serene countryside 15 or 20 minutes from downtown NF, Ont. Probably the best restaurant short of Toronto.

I'm a http loser:

If you want blue-collar cheap eats without getting sucked into the tourist vortex, good luck.
posted by sacre_bleu at 7:20 PM on April 27, 2005

I'm not a fan of the Falls, but the love of my life was raised there. There are a couple of homey Italian places, my favorite is called the Capri on Ferry Street. It looks a little dowdy, and it's out of the the tourist area. It is actually where the locals go. THe best dishes are the real Italian family ones, not the more expensive entrees. Their pasta is great, and their bread is phenomenal.

The one thing I can warn you about is Niagara on the Lake. Most all of the restaurants are owned by the same megalomaniac. They all sound chic, but are in reality aimed at people passing through. I've had the most expensive, and most disappointing meals of my life there. Sure it's cute, but best observed as a pedestrian.

You didn't ask, but there are a few very cool things to do in the falls. The butterfly museum rocks (if you don't let them rush you through it). The Maid of the Mist is actually fun. The best time to see the falls are at night, after they've turned off the lights and the people have gone home.
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 7:31 PM on April 27, 2005

The Flying Saucer on Lundy's Lane.

Look for the restaurant shaped like a flying saucer. It rocks. A bit touristy perhaps but locals eat there as well.
posted by davey_darling at 7:59 PM on April 27, 2005

I too was told *great* things about Delduca's, but slept late the day we were supposed to go, grr jesus story of my life, so can't give a personal recom.
posted by bonaldi at 8:34 PM on April 27, 2005

Just a few weeks ago, I went to The Keg Steakhouse and Bar which is apparently a chain and is pretty full of tourists. However, the view of the Falls from six stories up is spectacular and the food, atmosphere, and service were great. Entrees were somewhere around 20$ US and casual dress was fine. (We were there for an early dinner in jeans and sneakers.)
posted by callmejay at 9:05 PM on April 27, 2005

I really enjoyed a place in Niagra called "Mint's." It's real big and on the main strip. I haven't been there since college, so I can't remember how to get there. But everyone had an amazing time and I would recommend Mint's highly.
posted by Mayor Curley at 4:09 AM on April 28, 2005

Ah, welcome to my neck of the woods. If you're up for a 10 minute drive into nearby St. Catharines, I'd recommend "Sahla Thai" or "Pow Wow" - both on St. Paul Street.

Warning: "Mints" is a strip club.
posted by davebush at 5:37 AM on April 28, 2005

Just a note: no matter where you decide to eat, take lots of money. Since my husband and I didn't have a lot of money, we popped into one of the Denny's for burgers. It would have been somewhere between $40 and $50 for two meals - excluding any alcohol or dessert.
posted by deborah at 9:06 AM on April 28, 2005

I have to disagree with any recommendation of the flying saucer restaurant. I would advise to stay clear. I have never eaten at the restaurant, but I have ordered delivery from there a few times since they deliver until 4am. I have regretted it every time.

The Keg as recommended above was nice, also I hear the Casino has an excellent buffet (19.95) but I have not eaten there, may not be the atmosphere you're after, but casual would be acceptable.

Also, 2 people can eat for $50 almost anywhere. I simply refuse to believe 2 meals at Denny's would cost this.
posted by skinnydipp at 1:25 PM on April 28, 2005

Capri: yay!

Flying Saucer: boo! (order orange juice, get powdered orange drink. order scrambled eggs, get watered-down egg mixture with shell fragments, charred on the outside and runny on the inside.)

Keg: meh. It's a chain. If you want fajitas, by all means do so.

I know you asked for casual, but... there's a place called the "Casa D'Oro" that is soooooo worth it for the ironic camp value. The food is really good, but what you'll remember are the murals (is that JFK and JP II I see?) the trompe l'oeil marble, and enough faux gilt to craft a faux Vatican.

Places to avoid eating (more than "everywhere"): Clifton Hill; "Niagara Parks Commission Restaurants" along the parkway (someone I know was a busboy there, and used to spit-shine the silverware.)

Stepping slightly outside of the Falls:

The Old Firehouse in Virgil (just outside of Niagara on the Lake) was nice.

If you dare to venture into Niagara Falls New York, go to Como - an old skool Italian joint with signed pics from the Rat Pack, etc.

I could go on, but... have fun. And do let me know where you ate - my email's in my profile.
posted by iconoclastic flow at 9:32 PM on April 28, 2005

Your inferred meaning is rather insulting, skinnydipp. Why would I lie? I just double-checked with my husband and he remembers it the same as I do.

However, giving you the benefit of the doubt, the Denny's we went to was on the Canadian side. If you don't live in Canada, please convert it into your dollars (pounds, yen, rubles, etc.). That may give you a level of comfort in your statement.
posted by deborah at 3:23 PM on May 1, 2005

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