There are many incredible restaurants in Ontario that chefs will swear by, especially when if you’re looking for somewhere nice to eat in the Niagara region.
Narcity asked Daniel Hadida and Eric Robertson, chefs at Restaurant Pearl Morissette, about some of their favourite restaurants in St. Catharines and the surrounding area when they aren’t at their restaurant, and their responses did not disappoint.
Restaurant Pearl Morissette is located in Jordan, Ontario just an hour away from Toronto and has recently been revealed as one of the top 10 restaurants in Canada.
Before working together to bring Restaurant Pearl Morissette into the spotlight, Hadida and Robertson spent time overseas exploring the food scenes around the world. Upon returning to Canada, they wanted to bring their culinary expertise to a space where the ingredients varied according to the season and the inspiration came from French cuisine.
But living in the Niagara region for a while has exposed each of them to the vibrant food scene in the area, and there are a few other spots they love to visit when they aren’t working in their own kitchen.
So next time you’re exploring southern Ontario and unsure where to grab a bite, check out these 11 Niagara-area restaurants recommended by top chefs.
Address: 55 St Paul St W, St. Catharines
Why You Need To Go: This Vietnamese restaurant has many noodle dishes that would make any person happy. From Hủ Tiếu Mì to Phó and Hủ Tiếu Xào, the options are limitless and cater to many of your needs.
Chef Daniel Hadida said that Pho Ngon has “super flavourful broth” which is a make-or-break component to any sort of Asian soup.
Cultivate at Honsberger Estate Winery
Address: 4060 Jordan Rd, Jordan Station
Why You Need To Go: Not only is this restaurant located in a winery with immaculate vibes, but they feature farm-to-table produce and lunch and dinner menus that look super delicious.
You can choose from duck on toast, wood-fired pizzas, pasta, burgers and so much more.
Chef Robertson said it has “great homemade grab-and-go food.”
Address: 25 Main St, St. Catharines
Why You Need To Go: Rozie’s Cafe is a diner with so many food items to choose from that will surely make your tummy feel happy.
The diner has everything from breakfast made on a griddle to sandwiches, soups and even ice cream.
The restaurant also has a gluten-free menu, but also a wide selection of Keto food. They also feature the net carb amounts on their menu, which is super convenient for anyone on an intense food regime.
Chef Hadida said Rozie’s Cafe is a “fantastic local diner, uses great ingredients and lots of gluten-free options.”
Revalee Brunch Café
Address: 4100 Victoria Ave, Vineland
Why You Need To Go: This brunch spot has options for meat eaters and also vegans, so if you’re looking for a restaurant that will accommodate people with different needs, this might be it.
Chef Robertson said it’s “just delicious craveable brunch options, always hits the spot.”
Also, the menu has basic items, like the smoked salmon bagel, but it can also get really fancy with lobster benedicts and peaches-and-cream French toast.
Your Deli Polonez
Address: 25 Facer St, St. Catharines
Cuisine: Polish Deli
Why You Need To Go: This Eastern European deli offers more than just sliced meat. Instead, you can go in there and find pickles, sandwiches, soups, cabbage rolls, frozen foods, sweets and so much more.
Chef Hadida recommended the Polish deli as somewhere in the Niagara region with a “great Eastern European grocery selection, sandwiches, pickles etc.”
So make sure to spend some time there to fully explore the different kinds of foods you can enjoy on the go or at home.
The Good Earth Food and Wine Co.
Address: 4556 Lincoln Ave, Beamsville
Why You Need To Go: This restaurant is a bistro with elevated and upscale food, some of which it sources from a farm on the property.
The Good Earth is a bistro, winery and experiential spot where they offer cooking classes. It’s been around since 1998 and they have views of orchards, vineyards and gardens.
You can enjoy Albacore Tuna Ceviche, Roasted Tomato and Labneh, Pan Roasted Striploin, Seared Atlantic Halibut, and many other refreshing and filling options.
Chef Hadida said they’ve got “tasty bistro food with a market garden.”
Address: 3180 Seventeenth St, Jordan Station
Why You Need To Go: This spot is a vineyard and restaurant during the summer with a seasonal patio that’s quite notable to the chefs.
Chef Hadida recommends visiting Westcott Vineyards for their “annual summer pop-up under a tent offering wood-fired bistro food using local ingredients.”
The restaurant is called Ricky + Olivia and features full plates, snacks, an a la carte grill menu and wood oven bites.
The patio also hosts live music every Thursday from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. and you’ll want to make a reservation online through their website to get a seat.
One of the items that caught my attention is their Wood Oven French Toast + Burrata for $32, which is house-baked pullman bread, Ontario burrata, prosciutto, sherry maple syrup, and roasted nuts.
Wow, it sounds like summer!
Also, don’t forget the wide range of wines you’ll be able to taste from their vineyard alongside your refreshing meal.
MA Chinese Cuisine
Address: 123 Geneva St, St. Catharines
Why You Need To: If you’re looking for dim sum but also want some brunch, this it the place to go. Chef Robertson said their “dim sum brunch, fish congee and BBQ pork pastry with pineapple are the must haves.”
The food is also cheap which makes this a great hidden gem for those wanting to eat on a budget on their way to Niagara Falls.
Address: 3839 Main St, Jordan
Why You Need To Go: Chef Hadida said RPM Bake House has the “best coffee and pastries in the world.” That’s a pretty big statement to make because there are so many similar shops in the world. But if true, this is a must-try spot.
RPM Bakehouse is also known as Restaurant Pearl Morissette Bakehouse, so it makes sense that they would hype up their own spot this much, but it also looks great.
Other than coffee and baked goods, the bakery also has different breakfast and lunch foods to choose from and customers can enjoy them indoors or on their outdoor patio.
You can pick up croissants, bread, tarts, coffee cakes and so many other delicious-sounding options.
If you’re looking for something a little more hearty, how about a Duck Rillettes or Garged Grilled Cheese Sandwich? Don’t those sound scrumptious?
Address: 389 Ontario St, St. Catharines
Why You Need To Go: This family-run restaurant serves mouthwatering sandwiches. All the sandwiches are customizable and made-to-order, making for a more personalized experience focused on fresh-tasting ingredients.
No one likes their lettuce soggy, am I right?
Chef Hadida highlighted that the family-run sandwich shop has “lots of keto/gluten-free options,” which is great for anyone with dietary restrictions.
Some sandwiches on their menu include Pesto Chicken Grilled Cheese, Apricot, Bacon & Brie, Tuna Melt, Eggplant Parmesan and so much more.
They also serve smoothies, soups, salads and chili.
Address: 104 King St, St. Catharines
Why You Need To Go: If you haven’t had these cookies in Toronto yet, then checking them out in a romantic and quiet city might make them even better.
Narcity’s Samantha Peksa recently reviewed Craig’s Cookies and said, “there’s no doubt that their classic chocolate chip is tasty,” and the bakery “did earn some bonus points for presentation, thanks to the little pink box they were delivered in.”
Chef Roberton said the cookies are “crazy good!”