Are you a self-proclaimed foodie? In recent years, Ontario’s hidden gem Hamilton has seriously stepped up its culinary game, boasting tonnes of impressive eats.
However, with so much choice, maybe you’re not sure which Hamilton restaurants to try?
Ask a local in Hamilton for advice on where to eat and their suggestions are likely to lead to you James Street or King William, the hub of the city’s thriving food scene. Alternatively, you might be sent to food-frenzied areas like Locke and Ottawa Streets, both of which boom with a string of independent restaurants.
While there’s so much option, it can be difficult to know where to start. Let us help you navigate this foodie haven with our list of the top five restaurants in ‘The Hammer’ to start off your culinary journey in the city.
From sophisticated fine dining restaurants to more casual bargain spots, there’s something for all to enjoy. Whether you’re a local seeking some diversity in your restaurant choices or whether you’re a visitor new to the city, we’ve got you covered!
Why not make it your mission to try them all? And remember, there are plenty more fabulous restaurants to visit, so save room for next time! Bibs at the ready, people.
Proud winner of TripAdvisor’s ‘Certificate of Excellence’ in 2014, Quartrefoil was also listed as one of the 10 Best New Restaurants in Canada by enRoute Magazine and as one of the Top 10 Best New Restaurants by Toronto Life.
Opened in 2010 by husband and wife duo Fraser Macfarlane and Georgina Mitropoulos, this multi-award-winning restaurant is run by international chefs sharing a global mindset. The couple actually met while both cooking at Toronto’s Scaramouche and the pair went on to train in some of Europe’s top Michelin-starred restaurants.
The stunning French-inspired menu includes seared sea scallops dished up with asparagus, fennel, nasturtium and strawberry vinaigrette and confit spring salmon served with sea asparagus, beet, cucumber, lovage, shrimp salad, citrus yogurt. Keep in mind that this changes seasonally, though.
It’s not just the food that shines either. The restaurant is located inside a beautifully restored heritage home in Dundas, creating a dining experience that is sophisticated and memorable.
Teamed with unparalleled high-quality service, this all makes Quartrefoil one of the best restaurants in Hamilton and a top fine-dining destination. Visit in the summer to truly enjoy the gorgeous scenery at its best.
Though a meal at Quartrefoil won’t blow the bank, it’s not cheap either. We’d recommend saving this one for a special occasion, perhaps.
With two joints in the city, you’re guaranteed a finely crafted burger whether you’re Downtown or at Crown Point thanks to the talented crew at Hambrgr.
This lot source their meat from local farmers and have a serious passion for beef patties!
Run by another husband and wife team, Michael and Paula Cipollo wanted to design an exciting burger brand that stood out from the crowds. And it looks like that’s exactly what they’ve achieved! Locals and visitors alike adore the mouth-watering menu that boasts over a dozen burger combos and frothy pints of local craft beers.
But with so many creative choices, which to go for? Certainly not a classic burger, that’s for sure. Now’s the time to be adventurous!
The Maui Wowi burger of spiced pulled pork and tangy pineapple jam is a great option, or you could go for the ‘Weekly Chef Smash’ which is basically the catch-of-the-day equivalent for a burger.
The 3 AM in Venice is a popular option with the crowds too, and it includes smoked mozzarella, balsamic glaze, and marinated vine ripe tomato with your beef patty.
Not a meat-eater? Don’t worry, as the vegan options are scrumptious too. Opt for the Nut Job which includes a walnut and black bean patty, or the Californication – a roast beet and quinoa patty.
So, whether you’re a self-proclaimed carnivore, or a vegan avoiding any ingredients derived from animals, there’s something on the menu to accommodate your needs!
The prices are reasonable too, so this is one of the restaurants Hamilton you can pop by on a whim while out in the city. Just prepare for the queues – Hambrgr’s lineups are infamously long! That says it all though really, doesn’t it?
Perfectly located in Ancaster, Hamilton’s beautiful historic area, Ancaster Mill is a fine dining restaurant built with 19th-century limestone blocks on the pretty site of historic flour mills.
It sits beside a streaming waterfall and offers panoramic views over the rugged Niagara Escarpment, making it a stunning location for guests to dine in. Guests will love the large windows that reflect the gorgeous views of the surrounding historic architecture and charming waterfalls.
Ancaster Mill has been delighting guests as an icon of the local culinary scene for over four decades. Even with all the local foodie competition today, it continues to be a favourite among locals and visitors alike.
The delicious menu is based on contemporary Canadian cuisine, with a focus on fresh, local, and seasonal ingredients. Expect to find dishes like the burrata cheese starter served with garlic scape pesto, piccalilli, saba vinegar, and a grilled baguette and craft cut beef dished up with roasted bok choy, charcoal-grilled maitake, confit fingerling potatoes, and anchovy vinaigrette. This all depends on the time of year, of course.
There are plenty of delicious vegetarian options too, such as the charcoal-grilled portobello mushroom teamed with braised kale, cumin roasted carrots, toasted brown rice, and salsa.
While this stunning restaurant is a pricy one, the Sunday Supper deal may be a more affordable option if you don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on a single meal. At $55 per head, you can sample a high-quality three-course meal served up family-style on a Sunday evening.
If you’re seeking comfort food when you’ve got a pounding Saturday morning hangover, head to one of The Burnt Tongue’s speciality soup joints. These creative soups are made even more delicious with grilled cheese to dip in them and a side order of crispy fries.
As they’re constantly switching up their soups, check online on social media for a revolving daily roster of the hearty, house-made soups with crunchy and fresh garnishes. Impressively, they’ve actually dished up over 700 nourishing blends!
Some popular past options have included the Moroccan lamb, the chicken mulligatawny, and cream of broccoli, so if you spot anything similar, snap it up quick.
If you’re not a soup fan, there are plenty of other options too. Offering sandwiches, salads, burgers, and loaded fries, there’s something for everyone to love on the menu.
Pretty much anyone can eat here too. Whether you’re vegetarian, vegan, celiac, or lactose intolerant – there will be a tasty soup or alternative dish to satisfy your dietary requirements.
We can guarantee that after a visit, you’ll end up craving soup. After all, this is the kind of food that warms your soul from the inside – quite literally and figuratively.
It’s a bargain option too so you can feed your fix whenever you wish – expect to pay around $8 for a medium-sized bowl of soup. Just prepare for the queues – we promise it’s worth the wait!
If you fancy dining in an award-winning meat and seafood restaurant with a breath-taking backdrop, then Edgewater Manor is one of the best Hamilton restaurants for you.
The Gatsby-like manor building was constructed in 1921 and features a sweeping marble staircase dating back to the 1800s, wooden floors, impressive stonework, regal chandeliers, and is complete with landscape views of Lake Ontario.
The menu isn’t too shabby either. Start off a special meal with fresh oysters or tasty crab cakes before enjoying an entrée such as a delicious hunk of steak or freshly seared halibut. Pair your meal with fine wine from the carefully curated wine menu which boasts delicious tipples from all around the world.
As you can imagine, a meal at Edgewater Manor can be a little on the pricey side. So, this is another great option for a special occasion – one where you’d be happy to push the boat out!
While these are some of our favourite Hamilton restaurants, when it comes to eating out the city is your oyster! With the emerging culinary scene growing bigger and bigger, there are simply tonnes of incredible restaurants to visit in the area to suit all budgets.
Exploring more of Ontario? Why not check out our Barrie restaurant guide if you’re heading to the area to discover more top restaurants in the province?
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