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May 23, 2010 06:40 PM

Windsor Eats

Wife and I are heading to Windsor in June to enjoy the casino. Looking for any recs for breakfast, lunch or dinner in the area. I don't have any real criteria, just looking for good food. From the bit I have found here, the general consesus seems to be that Windsor is lacking in good eats. Give me the best the city has!!!

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  1. Hi Johnny,

    Please don't judge Windsor's offerings based solely on the Chow posts! I get where you're coming from, but please keep in mind that much of what you find on here with respect to Windsor is people comparing the offerings to those of Toronto or other large metro areas. For a city our size, we actually have a lot of great restaurants. I'm not sure if we still do, but at one time we had more restaurants per capita than almost any other city in Canada -- mostly due to the fact that we have such a large U.S. city right across the border. That said, the industry has been hit hard by the perfect storm of tighter border controls, a close to par American dollar, and a struggling manufacturing sector (this region's bread and butter), so there might not be quite as much choice as in the past, but I tend to think it's just that the choices have shifted from the upscale offerings to more casual (but still delicious) ones.

    Sorry to get off on a tangent -- but I feel I had to represent! ;-)

    Anyway, here are a few recommendations...

    One of my personal favourites is the Cook's Shop which is a cozy little Italian place downtown on Ouellette Avenue. This review does a better job of explaining it than I can:

    If you want something more modern, there's Motorburger ( which opened earlier this year and seems to be generating quite a buzz. Though it's not an Italian restaurant (anymore) Motorburger is on Erie Street, aka Windsor's Via Italia or Little Italy...if Italian is your preference, that's the place to be. Nico Ristorante and Il Gabbiano are great choices on Erie St. It's not far from the casino either, so you could be there within a $7 or $8 cab ride.

    If you like middle eastern food, Mazaar ( is not to be missed. Be sure to make a reservation because it is definitely a hot spot, with very good reason.

    I should also point you to my go to resource when it comes to finding local info about restaurants and wineries in the area -- -- just like your post title! It's got a food finder directory if you want to preview some menus. The blog is also worth checking out.

    Hope that helps! Enjoy your stay in Windsor!

    2 Replies
    1. re: shmerri

      I second Nico Ristorante, one of the best dining expieriences I've had anywhere.

      Thanks for the other options, I am interested in checking out Mazaar next time I'm in Windsor.

      1. re: shmerri

        Thanks for the recommendations. In no way did I want to perpetuate any negative feelings towards Windsor's food scene. I think all cities have good food. Some just take a little more digging to find. I'm looking forward to our trip!

      2. I have to admit that it's been a few years, but my mother-in-law lived in Windsor for years, so we used to make the trip quite often. There are some good Asian spots down near the university - Chau's Kitchen was one, Saigon was another - but I don't know if they're still good or not, or if they're even open!

        There was good Italian along Erie Street; we just used to wander along, and dropped in wherever it looked good.

        If your papers are in order, don't be shy about going to Detroit. There are some great middle Eastern spots in Dearborn, and, if you can wait out the line, getting a big tray of Lebanese pastries from Shattila (on Schaefer, I think) is a treat. Plus, you can get a sack of White Castles - the original sliders - to eat while you're waiting on line on the bridge.

        And, while I'd never dine there, as the entrees are mediocre at best, the brownies from Tunnel BBQ in Windsor are fantastic - big, chocolately, and gooey. A nice treat on that long, boring drive home.

        Chau's Kitchen
        2106 University Ave W, Windsor, ON N9B1E2, CA

        1 Reply
        1. re: FrankD

          I'm quite happy with the Vietnamese offerings on Wyandotte, namely Pho Nguyen Hoang and Bac Lieu. Xic Lo isn't bad either. Jade, near Ouellette and Wyandotte is pretty yummy for dim sum on the weekend. I haven't been to the Cook's Shop in a long time, but that's only because I don't live near downtown anymore and tend to stick a bit closer to my neighbourhood when I feel like Italian. El Mayor is decent for Lebanese, though Mazaar is probably better. My one and only experience there wasn't spectacular, but perhaps we ordered badly, or else it was just a heavy salt day for the chef. I think La Zingara makes nice pizza (Erie Street), though I'd pick Il Gabbiano or Nico for a nicer dining experience. I haven't been to Motorburger yet, but have had multiple recs from friends who have. My other regular haunts are closer to LaSalle, where I live. I don't imagine you'll get too far away from the downtownish area.

          Pho Nguyen Hoang
          510 Wyandotte St E, Windsor, ON N9A3H9, CA

          372 Ouellette Ave, Windsor, ON N9A1A6, CA