You go to Niagara Falls for the natural wonder that is 3,160 tons of water falling every second. You return to Niagara Falls for the food.
Niagara Falls isn’t well-known as a culinary destination, but that’s only because it is overshadowed by the sublime nature and adrenaline-pumping fun. The truth is that the entire Niagara region is a breadbasket; the climate is relatively temperate, and the soil is rich, meaning Niagara produces some of the most delectable food in North America. As a result, restaurants in the area are hard to beat.
While you might prioritize other activities on your next Niagara Falls trip, you shouldn’t forget about mealtimes. Here are a few of the best Niagara Falls restaurants to put on your itinerary, and what you should order from them while you’re there.
Niagara Brewing Co
You hear a lot about Niagara Wine Country — there are even a few wineries that made this list for their outstanding food — but the Niagara brewing scene is just getting started. The Niagara Brewing Company is the largest and best-established brewery in the area, conveniently located in Clifton Hill and bursting with rotating taps of local and regional beers. While you sip your flight, which should include their famous Nagara Premium Lager and Amber Eh!, you should sample their best apps, which include the bratwurst sausage, soft pretzels and charcuterie boards.
Queen Victoria Place
The building housing Queen Victoria Place was built in 1904, and it still maintains its strict, Victorian ambiance. Yet, the restaurant itself is filled with approachable dishes, like paninis, salads, burgers and pastas, all sourced from producers around the Niagara region. While the food and architecture are fun, the real reason to pay a visit to Queen Victoria Place is their expansive patio, which overlooks Niagara Falls, making for a memorable meal.
The Secret Garden
The Secret Garden is one of the more established popular eateries in Niagara Falls. In operation since 1991 — and family-run for the entire time— the Secret Garden has long been offering outstanding Canadian fare, including poutine, pot roast and fish and chips. This restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and there are delectable cocktails available, too, so you can enjoy a fun happy hour after a long day of adventuring around the falls.
Another interesting and exciting place to rest your tired, tourist feet is the Queen Charlotte Tea Room. Owned and run by British ex-pats, this tearoom boasts the quintessential British experience, from the charming décor to the delicate tea service. Even better, you can get more than tea here; the restaurant serves nearly every British classic, including steak and kidney pie, bangers and mash and Yorkshire pudding. The best time to come is the late afternoon, when you can enjoy a traditional High Tea replete with scones and finger sandwiches.
You would hardly expect to find a world-class Vietnamese restaurant in Niagara Falls — but Pho Xyclo breaks all expectations. This hole-in-the-wall eatery is a bit outside the typical tourist tromping grounds, but if authentic Asian cuisine interests you, Pho Xyclo is worth a spot on your eating itinerary. It should go without saying that you should order pho (pronounced fuh) during your visit, so you can enjoy this delicately balanced rice noodle soup at its best. However, less adventurous eaters can also find delectable dishes, like fried rice or hot and sour soup.
The Good Earth Winery
The Good Earth Winery is known for Betty’s Blend, a white wine that mixes Riesling, gewürztraminer and chardonnay — but this list is about food, not drink. If you visit the Good Earth, you should book yourself a spot in one of their renowned cooking classes. These courses will teach you not only how to make some of the delicious treats found on their menu but also how to pair those dishes with the perfect wine. The classes are fun and lively; plus, you’ll get to eat and drink to your heart’s delight.
Another winery offering, Founder’s Hall is the restaurant located at Inniskillin Winery, which is easily one of the best-known winemakers in the region. Inniskillin has a well-deserved reputation for its icewine — and an even better reputation for its exclusive dining experience at Founder’s Hall. Not everyone gets access to this dining hall, but if you can secure a space through a tour group or winery connection, you absolutely should.
There is much, much more to eat around Niagara Falls than this — we didn’t even mention Tim Hortons! — but this should keep you full for most of your first Niagara trip. When you come back for your second round, then you’ll be ready for more eating insights.