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there must be one good restaurant in Niagara Falls!?

I am traveling to Niagara Falls for a conference in mid-April and am looking for suggestions on places to eat. I've scoured these boards and realize it doesn't look promising outside of touristy chains, but I thought I'd give it a shot.

I will not have a car, will be staying right across from the falls, and am not opposed to a walk or short cab ride. I'm not looking for fine dining, and definitely want to stay away from the chains. Are there any hidden gems, dives, ethnic restaurants, mom & pop shops worth going to? It doesn't need to be cheap, just good. Thanks in advance for any suggestions you might have!

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  1. Copacabana Brazilian Steakhouse isn't bad. It's a lot of meat, but most of it is fairly tasty. There were only a few meat options that I wasn't a fan of, and it's a fun experience to boot. It's a bit pricey, but it's right by the main strip so it's also convenient. Make sure to book reservations, as they fill up quickly.

    Niagara-on-the-lake is the spot to be for awesome home-grown restaurants though (unfortunately!). If you get the chance, Stone Road Grille is absolutely delightful! Mouth watering food in a random location with a fun vibe. I just tried looking for their website, but it seems under construction right now. Good luck!

    1. The last time I was in Niagara Falls, we ate dinner at a lovely restaurant called AG. It's located in the Sterling Inn and Spa, where we were staying. I really don't like Niagara Falls and prefer to stay in Niagara on the Lake. However, we were pleasantly surprised. The restaurant was fantastic. We were there during the summer, but I can still rememeber what I ate. A goat cheese and mushroom tart to start. Fabulous. The pastry was perfect, light and flaky without being greasy. Entree was a crusted beef tenderloin - done perfectly. For dessert I had a chocolate torte with poached pears. My husband also enjoyed his meal. Service was great also. It is pricier than the chain restaurants, but well worth it if you are looking for something more upscale. I would definately eat there again.

      3 Replies
      1. re: tj2007

        I second AG- delicious food with an emphasis on local ingredients and well-chosen Ontario wines. Highly recommended.

        1. re: tj2007

          thirding AG. We ate there last summer and it was delightful!!
          A perfect meal made with attention and served with care.

          1. re: tj2007

            I'm looking for a place for lunch on Sunday at Niagara Falls. Is AG open for Sunday lunch?

            I could not find the hours of operation in their website.

          2. If you can cross the border...The Western Door Steakhouse at the Seneca Niagara is top notch.

            1. If you're staying in Fallsview area your close options are limited to what's in the Fallsview Casino. Ponte Veccio and Noir 17 are both fairly good. Never been totally wowed but always happy with my meals there.

              A long walk or short cab or shuttle ride over to the Clifton Hill area has a couple of options for you:

              AG in The Sterling Inn - Creative localvore fine dining.

              Antica Pizza - Casual but tasty wood fired pizzas.

              Taco N Tequila - Casual Tex-Mex options served by a South American mom & pop team. Decor is cheesy, the food is solid, but a bit on the pricy side for what it is.

              Lucky's in Casino Niagara - Nothing fancy but a solid Chicago style steakhouse with reasonable prices. The open faced prime rib sandwhich smothered in melted cheese is a guilty pleasure of mine there.

              Most of your foodie options are in Niagara-On-The-Lake but without a car that's not an option. Your idea of avoiding chins is the best move, they're bad news. Good luck!

              1. I also recommend AG.

                Napoli on Ferry St. is also good for Italian.

                If you want to take a cab to Queen St. (downtown NF), Taps Brewery Pub is decent though sometimes inconsistent with their food.

                1 Reply
                1. re: frais

                  I second the idea of you heading to downtown NF - it is undergoing a revitalization with quaint art galleries and independent restaurants. You really won't believe that you are in Niagara Falls when you visit this part of town - very few tourists ever head this way (and that's a good thing after being stuck around Clifton Hill).

                2. I'd have to agree w/ several of the other posters here and say that AG at the Sterling Inn and Spa is probably what you're looking for. My dh & I went to Niagara Falls in March of last year and the AG was recommended to us by the concierge of our hotel.
                  It was a bit bizarre, we found the hotel, asked at the front desk and were directed down a hallway, then downstairs and were still looking for the restaurant because there was absolutely no signage. However once we were seated it was lovely.

                  Local ingredients, and everything prepared with attention to detail. A real dining experience for a change. Well worth it.

                  1. We were at the Embassy Suites last week. If you're in that area, walk north on Fallsview past the Skylon Tower, turn right on Robinson, then left on Clark. This block is just a back street area. Casa Vostra is a family run place. My wife was delighted with her seafood ravioli with a lobster sauce. Last week was not high tourist season, but they had a decent business on a Wednesday. These were locals. THEY knew!

                    http://www.goldbook.ca/niagarafalls/R...

                    1. If you are stuck near the touristy area the best option, imho, is GURU. It's fine dining Indian food with many vegetarian and vegan options, as well as the standard meat options. The food is well spiced and delicious --much better than I would expect to find near Clifton Hill and good enough that I would even recommend it as a place to go if in Toronto. On Victoria Street across from the Casino.

                      But I would also highly recommend getting away from the agglomeration of hotels and wax museums to go to the downtown area. North of the tourist area cheaper, better food and more laid back. At 4337 Queen Street there is a charming place called Mide Bistro, serving up fresh, gourmet food that is fantastic for vegetarians and non.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: vipa

                        I had a pretty good meal at GURU. And the service was very attentive.

                      2. My group had a very good meal at Sandstone Grillhouse on my bday. They're #2 on TripAdvisor, AG is #1. On Victoria, a few steps away from the busy area.

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: Wiley

                          Speaking of that ranking, Paris Crepes Bistro is now #1...any opinions on the taste of the food there?

                          I went back to Zappi's for pizza, but it was less exciting than I remember. Their popular Greek oil-based pizza was pretty bland.

                          AG was fabulous as expected. Strange combo of fresh asparagus, big chunks of crab and almonds, but very impressive nevertheless. Tasting menu is only $65 plus $40 wine pairings (not sure that was a good deal based on wines offered). Malivoire Guilty Men red by the glass is lovely. Lemon tart failed to impress. Weird extremely chunky white choc ice cream. Otherwise, this is a terrific place to dine. DInner for 5 including 2 tasting menus and 2 wine pairings, and 2 glasses of wine came to $480 including tip.

                          1. re: Food Tourist

                            I personally thought Paris Crepes Bistro was just ok. I originally ordered the beef bourguignon which was the special but they were sold out (it was early and the place wasn't busy). I found out after waiting about 20 minutes for our order to be taken, then waiting another 10 for the waiter to come back and tell me. If he had been busy waiting on other tables I would have been fine with it, but he only had our table and was standing behind the bar talking to another staff member. I ordered a tomato and spinach crepe instead, which was ok but not really memorable. I was hoping for something more from a crepe place. My friend ordered the cassoulet which was actually very tasty and I would recommend that. Overall though, I was underwhelmed by the service and food. I will say though that my visit was in February and maybe there have been improvements?

                            As someone else mentioned, Mide Bistro on Queen St. is worth checking out. Had a good meal there. There is also a little pizza place called Amore that isn't much to look at but the pizza is really good.

                            1. re: frais

                              Sometimes I am baffled that certain restaurants or hotels get the ratings they do on Tripadvisor!

                              1. re: smilingal

                                Tripadvisor is full of bogus reviews. Always check the posting history and it gives em away. There was a rave review for the horrible IHOP there by a member named "IHOPguy" with only one review under his belt!

                        2. There is one good restaurant in Niagara Falls!

                          I've eaten at the Falls bazillions of times (A favorite getaway for the in-laws, purgatory for me) and the only place that made me happy was Napoli - home of the best caesar salad in all the land.

                          The decor is intimate but unpretentious, the service is warm and professional, and the food is wonderful. I was part of a large family group of mixed ages, and Napoli satisfied everyone. The picky eaters loved their pasta, those with more discerning palates were thrilled with the quality, and grandma loved her veal (and the wine).

                          Truly a lovely meal.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: Jane.T

                            Hands down Stone Road Grill is a must!

                            1. re: Sooo Goood

                              Not that I disagree with you. Stone Road Grill is excellent, but it is in Niagara on the Lake, not Niagara Falls...

                          2. Lucky's - Casino Niagara
                            ----great food, atmosphere, same staff, excellent steaks...YUM!

                            Each time I have gone, always good. Love the warm mahogany seating and booths
                            Simply GOOD!

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: NoFixedAddress

                              I second Lucky's and it's my go-to for a solid meal at a great price in the falls. The open faced prime rib sandwhich is one of my fave guilty pleasures to eat anywhere. The dining room is super comfy and staff are friendly and attentive. We tend to stay in the Fallsview area and make a special trip over to Casino Niagara because of Lucky's.

                              AG is the best bet for fine-dining. Avoid anything the looks like a chain especially TGI Friday's.

                            2. Napoli Napoli Napoli!!!!! I cant say enough about this place. Everthing I ate there is fantastic. I have to eat here everytime I go to Niagara Falls. They have the best pasta, the best risotto (so luscious and creamy) and perfectly cooked steaks. I am so sad I havent found an Italian place as good as them near me in Vaughan. If I am in love with any restaurant it is Napoli!

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Karsalis

                                Just voting for Ag- ate there almost accidentally last summer and still dream about our meal! It was fantastic!

                              2. My brother and his wife lived in Niagara Falls (Ontario) (a bit further out on the parkway) and I'd visit, and they lamented the lack of good restaurants in the area. One restaurant I enjoyed was Queenston Heights Restaurant. It's been several years since my last visit to the restaurant, though - and in addition to what I thought was excellent meals the views are outstanding.