When most people think of Niagara Falls, their mind serves up images of honeymooners, the deafening roar of millions of gallons of water and that time Superman saved that little boy when he fell over the rail. In short, Niagara Falls brings to mind Niagara Falls. But the town and region offer locals and visitors much more than just one of the world’s most impressive natural wonders.
Slowly and methodically, talented chefs in the Niagara area have been curating and cultivating some of the most enjoyable cuisine that money or breeding can buy, and the best of it is local through and through. If you want to have an exceptional culinary experience, look no further than Niagara Falls, where menus, talented kitchens, visionary restaurateurs and local farms and artisans are encouraging people to think as much about their palettes and stomachs as they do the view.
Windows by Jamie Kennedy
Windows by Jamie Kennedy is a perfect reason to love food in Niagara Falls. Kennedy is a highly skilled chef at the forefront and heart of the farm-to-table movement in Canada. Committed to food that is delicious, local, seasonal and sustainable, Kennedy and his restaurant provide a dining experience that is uniquely Canadian. Located on the 14th floor of the Sheraton on the Falls Hotel, Windows has already received the CAA/AAA Four Diamond Award, an honor bestowed on fewer than 3 percent of the restaurants in Canada.
Stone Road Grille
Stone Road Grille, located in Niagara-on-the-Lake, is a gourmet restaurant featuring classic dishes reinterpreted with Canada’s farmlands and traditional cuisine in mind. Because they source their fruit, meat, cheese and produce locally, the menu changes often, due to both the season and what’s available from local farms. Recognized worldwide as one of the finest restaurants in the Niagara region, this restaurant is an excellent choice for both lunch and dinner.
The Rainbow Room
Excellent food with an excellent view, The Rainbow Room by Massimo Capra is located directly across from Niagara Falls in the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Niagara Falls-Fallsview. Fresh local ingredients — vegetables, herbs, fish and game — paired expertly with the best Niagara has to offer in wine. Chef Massimo Capra is arguably one of the world’s most revered chefs, and at The Rainbow Room, he leads a talented team in providing guests with an unforgettable culinary experience.
A devout farm-to-table restaurant, Treadwell first opened its doors in 2006 with a bounty of local goods and an inspired menu. Sourcing from the best artisan producers in the region, Treadwell seeks to not only impress diners with the talent within their kitchen and wait staff, but they hope to also highlight the remarkable people and farms behind the ingredients they use. Their menu is simple but elegant so the few ingredients in the dish can truly shine through.
Benchmark is a rare restaurant in that it serves as part of the training ground for Niagara Culinary Institute students, and while it provides invaluable training, education and real-world experience for anyone in its culinary program, Benchmark is far from being just a trade school’s experimental cafeteria. Featuring a menu that changes each season, the restaurant and the culinary institute are both committed to the ideals of a sustainable and local food economy. If you want to eat a surprisingly good meal at an unusually staffed restaurant, go to Benchmark.
On the Twenty
Located at Inn on the Twenty, On the Twenty got its start as a way to provide an excellent regional meal to accompany Niagara’s excellent regional wines. Cozy dining rooms provide picturesque views of the Valley Twenty and the Inn’s gardens. Committed to distinct, flavorful and regional cuisine, the restaurant is a cornucopia of the best in Canadian food.
Red Chateau prides itself on growing many of the ingredients used in its cuisine right on-site. Located in a house that was built over 150 years ago, the restaurant’s atmosphere and its style of cooking are decidedly Old World — the chef is also the owner, and she tends closely to the guest experience — and many of the dishes hail from France and Central Europe from the early and middle of the 20th century. For an intimate and no-frills meal that is well sourced and delicious, Red Chateau is ideal.
Niagara Falls has long been a destination for people who want to experience wonder, and while the falls themselves are obvious cultivators of awe, the food and dining experiences in the region provide plenty to marvel at and swoon over as well.
Beyond the above awesome places to eat in Niagara Falls, check out my post about Haunted Niagara as well!