wow... welland and food mentioned in the same sentence. that does not happen very often. I grew up in Welland and have worked in a couple of these establishments.
We do have great pizza and wings in Welland, but be careful where you go. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, stay away from the Elbow Room sports bar on Fitch Street. Everyone is going to recommend it, but beware. I worked a single shift in that kitchen and walked out because it was so disgusting. Their idea of proper sanitation is keeping a bucket of RAW chicken wings in a bucket of white vinegar heavily diluted with water at room temperature next to the fryer (for at least 2 hours is all I can vouch for, that was all I could stand. As far as they know, I am still looking for a canister of seasoning salt in the pantry after two years.) That kitchen was FILTHY, and after an anonymous tip to the health department, I have no idea why they are still in business. Someone is going to get seriously ill from those people some day. For Pizza, I have to recommend Rose City.
Another warning is the Lazy Loon (technically in Fonthill, but about a 9 minute drive rom Welland, so whatever). Kitchen was clean, but their Alfredo sauce is equal parts sour cream, garlic margarine and parmasan cheese. You get what you pay for. Ick.
My first kitchen job was as prep cook at MT Bellies, and they voluntarily shut down a few months ago over some health issues. In their defense, that kitchen was perfectly clean, and that menu is pretty much what you see is what you get. Not high quality, but a decently priced night out with the kids.
Thanks Gourmando (even though it was two years ago) for mentioning the greatness that is the Welland Farmer's Market-- THAT is the Welland experience in a nutshell. Pick up a beef burrito from the Smokin Buddha (also a GREAT restaurant in Port Colborne http://www.thesmokinbuddha.com/).
Right across the street from the Venice is La Cantina, which is my favourite date spot in Welland-- small, dark, and delicious Italian food.
The Blue Star. I don't have enough words to explain how much I love it. The Hungarian Trio represents my entire childhood on a plate.
Was in Welland a few months back with my son (8). Took the advice on Blue Star and was not disappointed. Excellent breakfast - nothing too special, but really good quality and fresh - reasonable prices too. Came back next day and tried the lunch menu - again very good quality; both meals very fresh with large portions. I can see why the place has been around for a while and the crowds keep coming. Note - I found it a little hard to notice and the outside is deceiving, because it is quite large inside.
Wow. Nobody EVER asks about Welland. I was born here and now work here, so I know the terrain pretty well. Did you know that Anna Olson (from the Food Network) lives in Welland?
If you want the real "Welland" Experience, you could go to the Blue Star, on King Street at Ontario. VERY casual (diner), VERY cheap, but decent quality for what it is. http://www.bluestarwelland.com/
A little-known fact is that Welland has some of the best pizza anywhere. The chains usually don't survive here. Santo's and Rose City are perennial favourites.
The Venice on East Main Street downtown is very good, with wood oven pizzas, pastas, etc.. I have not eaten dinner there, but I frequently go for lunch. They also have a patio. http://www.thevenicepizzaandpastabar.com/
A very popular, locally-owned casual roadhouse is M.T. Bellies on Niagara Street. You might want to make a reservation on a Friday night. http://www.bigfoodbigfun.com/
A short drive down Prince Charles to Port Colborne (about 10-15 minutes) will get you to a really nice spot called On the Waterfront. As the name suggests, it overlooks the harbour on Lake Erie, and the food is very good.
Arcuri's Cheese World and Deli on Crowland Avenue makes great sandwiches and espressos. They also have homemade gelato that puts all other ice cream to shame.
Lastly, if you want to go for a nice stroll on Saturday morning, we have one of the best farmer's markets in the province, just off Division Street downtown. Almost all local growers and producers.