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Niagara Falls... Pack a lunch from Toronto, or eat there??

Thanks to a great suggestion... now I have to ask...

I will be staying in Toronto and taking a day trip to Niagara Falls. It has been more than 10 year since I last went and I recall eating at not so good tourist trap place. This time around, have things change, is there any places you would recommend to eat? If not, should I just go somewhere in Toronto and have them pack a lunch for us? May be somewhere in St. Lawrence market? Thanks for any advice!!

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  1. Lots has changed in Niagara Falls over the past 10 years. Mainly Casinos and more tourtist traps. Most chains have now moved into town.... but your idea of taking something from St. Lawrence market and finding a spot along te Niagara River to enjoy it is a great idea if you want to avoid yet another "15 minutes or free" lunch menu.

    1. Will you be driving? If yes, you could stop in at Ravine Vineyard on the way. It's very close to the QEW. They have a deli/bakery, seating, and a great view. I am sure you could order lunch to pick up or eat something there, if time allowed.

      http://www.ravinevineyard.com/

      4 Replies
      1. re: Full tummy

        oooo. This is a great suggestion. Are the Olsen's still there? If so, Anna's desserts are KILLER. The lemon tart is insane.

        1. re: Hondapendragon

          The Olsons aren't there anymore, but as far as I understand, it's still good food.

          Here's some online info I found:

          http://www.foodwithlegs.com/?p=1600

          1. re: Full tummy

            It is still good. I was there just a few weeks ago and the quality of the food is just as good as when the Olsen's were in charge. The desserts are not as good quality, but still yummy and they have in-house made breads as well.

        2. re: Full tummy

          This was going to by suggestion as well! You can also buy some snacks from the road from there. They make an amazing red fife and walnut bread.

          WON
          http://whatsonmyplate.net

        3. There are definitely some great options in and around Niagara on the Lake. You could pick up lunch from Pie Plate in Virgil, the lovely deli spot that's just off the main road in NOTL (whose name escapes me at the moment) or, as Full Tummy suggests, the Anna Olson restaurant at Ravine Vineyards - great, fresh food and a very pretty place to enjoy lunch en route or to pack up and take away (prepared salads, fresh breads, cheeses, pizzas, pastries, etc.). I don't know anyplace in Niagara Falls per se but if you're planning to spend the rest of your day there, I think it would be nice to have your lunch near NOTL as an added experience - if you are picnicking, there are definitely some pretty spots along the parkway. Enjoy!

          -----
          The Pie Plate
          1516 Niagara Stone Rd, Niagara-ON-the-Lake, ON L0S, CA

          4 Replies
          1. re: peppermint pate

            It's my understanding that Ravine and Anna Olson have parted company and a different culinary team is running the show there.

            1. re: bytepusher

              Oh, that's too bad, I really enjoyed our lunch there last summer. Has she resurfaced somewhere else (beyond her Port Dalhousie bakery, I think that's still there)?

              1. re: peppermint pate

                Hi TG, I haven't been to Niagara for a few years but will be going this Fall (on the way to Washington DC and Philly). We used to stop and eat at Hillebrand Winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake. It's very pretty there and they have an outdoor area. But, it's certainly more expensive than a picnic. If you're planning a fancy dinner that same night, I think your idea of picking up some stuff from St. Lawrence Market and having a picnic is a great idea. I like the Portuguese roast chicken place although they might open too late for you to pick up and get to Niagara for lunch. On a previous trip towards Pennsylvania, we stopped in Niagara, parked in the big lot by the falls and ate some homemade fare while gazing at the rushing waters. That beats sitting in Denny's any day!

                Here's a link to a previous thread on NF dining. I found it when I was doing research for my own trip.
                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6936...

              2. re: bytepusher

                Yes, Anna Olson is no longer there, but from what I have heard, it is still worth stopping in.

            2. Its been about 4 years since my last trip to Niagara Falls. The only standout I recall is the exorbitant prices for mediocre food.
              Its funny Aleta mentions Denny's: we had $20 coupons for breakfast at Denny's as part of our hotel deal. So I'm thinking "$20 for breakfast? Pretty good." Two of us ate a basic breakfast: 2 eggs over easy, bacon, toast, homefries, coffee.
              The bill came to $47.
              I still had to add $27 out-of-pocket to the coupon, then add tip...for a lousy egg breakfast! Even at $27 it was way overpriced!

              We ate at a steak house ("Bullseye" if I remember) 'cause we had a $100 coupon. So I'm thinking "$100 coupon for dinner? Pretty good."
              Well that story pretty much ends up like the first...

              Sad fact, but with over 20 million visitors a year in a small town, the food doesn't have to be good or fairly priced.
              Just my 2c...

              2 Replies
              1. re: porker

                Wow! $47 at Denny's. That's amazing. Will make a note to avoid Denny's when we are in Niagara Falls this August. You could feed a family of 4 at a Toronto Chinese restaurant for that amount.

                I just had a look at our itinerary for the August trip to Washington DC and Philly. I'm a Type A planner and I have our meals and sightseeing all mapped out in advance. For the one day we spend in Niagara, here is the food entry:

                " "

                ;-)

                1. re: Aleta

                  But I feel its not simply Dennys, but likely all of touristy Niagara. Its loaded with TGIF, Applebees, things like that, all charging primo+ prices.
                  Perhaps in a more quiet area or less trodden section, you might find a mom and pop operation serving real food, I don't know.
                  As others suggest, Niagara-on-the-Lake might be better for meal choices, it certainly is quaint and a nice get-away.

              2. For a real treat, take a little detour to Niagara on the Lake and check out Stone Road Grille http://www.stoneroadgrille.com/. They also have a pizza/sandwich take-out storefront.
                Also consider going to Port Dalhousie and Treadwell Farm to Table http://www.treadwellcuisine.com/index...
                Hope you have a great day and find some good lunch!!

                -----
                Stone Road Grille
                238 Mary St, Niagara-ON-the-Lake, ON L0S, CA

                Treadwell
                61 Lakeport Road, St. Catharines, ON L2N 4P6, CA

                1. AG and Sandstone Grillhouse are rated the top two on TripAdvisor.

                  1. while i can't think of the names off the top of my head, there are a few winery restaurants that offer a packed picnic for when you're in wine country. if you'd like to just plop down anywhere and enjoy the scenery then this might be a fun option. otherwise i'm quite keen on the ravine suggestion. while i haven't eaten there i do quite like the space.

                    but if you're a constant snacker like me then i'd stop into starsky's on the way down and peruse their gigantic selection of meat and cheeses and nab up as much as i could for nibbling. it's not gourmand like cheese boutique and the such but there is still a very very good selection. i recall one day that i was able to get about 3 or 4 different serrano hams to taste test side by side at home. if you hit traffic you'll be glad to have these snacks.

                    1. When I'm in Niagara Falls and don't have time (or a car) to leave the central tourist area I eat at Antica Pizzeria on Victoria Ave near Clifton Hill. The food is decent and so are the prices, and it's not a chain. For Niagara Falls, that's like striking gold.

                      -----
                      Antica Pizzeria
                      5785 Victoria Ave, Niagara Falls, ON L2G3L6, CA

                      1. If you like Vietnamese, I've heard nothing but good things about Vivian on Dunn St. in the Falls, though I doubt it's that much better than the good Vietnamese places in Toronto.