Niagara Falls, Ontario is famous for many things, including its spectacular geologic formations and numerous tourist attractions, including the new immersive “Currents” exhibit, inside the historic Niagara Parks Powerhouse. One thing the city isn’t particularly known for, however, is a food scene – that is, until you hit the streets.
Unlike restaurant chains, many of the more notable places are committed to working with food grown and made in Ontario (Ontario Culinary’s Feast On designation recognizes this commitment to sustainable local sourcing). Recent additions to beloved community institutions, here are some delicious stops on your next visit to the iconic falls.
For hyperlocal restoration: AG-inspired cuisine (5195 Magdalen Ave., Niagara Falls)
Steps from the Wax Museums and Arcades of Clifton Hill, and tucked inside the Sterling Inn and Spa, Chef Cory Linkson serves a thoughtful three-course dinner inspired by the Niagara region. The dishes are packed with produce picked from a half-acre farm near Lundy’s Lane. Linkson’s ability to pair his French cuisine with the Niagara wines served is also impressive.
For a family-friendly favorite: Casa Mia Ristorante (3518 Portage Road, Niagara Falls)
Serving award-winning Italian flavors for more than three decades, matriarch Luciana Mollica and her son Claudio transform local ingredients – some grown by Patriarch Gino and his sister-in-law Lisa at Terra Mia Farms – into refined dishes that the Maitre d ‘ son Dominic delivers with caring. Whether you enjoy casual pizzas in the stylish kitchen bar, classics like homemade pasta and veal parmigiana in their airy solarium, or the tasting menu with modernist touches in their dining room or private cellars, the sommelier Laura Oberlein will always have an expert pairing of their deep library of wines.
For refined pastries and desserts: Liv at Café Fifty Four (3643 Portage Rd., # 16, Niagara Falls)
From golden croissants with incredibly crispy layers, freshly fried croquettes and ooey-gooey butter pies to ethereal compound desserts, it seems Chef Olivia Mollica – a third-generation chef in the Casa Mia lineage – can’t do anything. Watch out for seasonal treats like Pumpkin Caramel Coffee Cake or Fall Macarons, which are perfect drizzled with a brown maple butter latte and tonka bean. Pre-order to avoid disappointment; the showcase can be almost empty by mid-morning.
To quietly “bluncher”: Flour Mill Scratch Kitchen Restaurant (6080 Fallsview Blvd., Niagara Falls)
Looking for a gourmet and contemporary Canadian brunch? Meet inside this former Feast On certified restaurant of this former flour mill for their “blunch”, which could open with candied maple and pepper-speckled bacon dripping from a “tree” Table before presenting lobster pancakes poached in butter or burnt French toast drizzled with maple English Quebec. For Egg Benedict lovers, the version here stacks the poached egg halves of delicious scones from baker Catherine Murawski with prosciutto Pingue, (plus) poached lobster in butter or smoked salmon.
For the whole maple syrup: the Maple Trail at Maple Leaf Place (4199 River Rd., Niagara Falls)
Launched in 2019, the Maple Trail brings the maple grove indoors, dedicating 5,000 square feet to all things Ontario maple syrup. The family interactive exhibit is part a production facility, part a store and a full sensory experience. Take an immersive audio / video tour to discover the origins of the uniquely Canadian ingredient. Enjoy artisanal chocolates, fudge and (if available) maple taffy prepared on a frozen table. Try a side-by-side comparison of light, amber, and dark flavors in a flight before stocking up on sweet things to take home.
Writer Renée S. Suen traveled as a guest of Niagara Falls Tourism, which has not reviewed or endorsed this article. Travelers are reminded to check for public health restrictions that may affect their plans.