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Any recommendations for Thunder Bay??

On my way now to Thunder Bay and will be there for the week at a conference. Any recommendations for places to hit for coffee, lunch and dinner when there???

Staying at the Best Western Norwester Resort Hotel


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    1. Definitely the Hoito. Its an institution in Thunder Bay. The Finnish community is very strong there.


      Hoito Restaurant
      314 Bay St, Thunder Bay, ON P7B1S1, CA

      1. Joey's Seafood is supposed to be good. I ate there many years ago, and don't remember too much, but it's a bit of an institution (if it's still around). It's on Arthur, so close to the highway that takes you out to the Norwester.

        1. For dinner I suggest Caribou restaurant and Wine Bar. This IMO is the best restaurant in Thunder Bay. Fairly impressive wine list, well executed, ambitious menu. Its at the corner of Balmoral and Harbour Expressway.

          1. Thunder Bay has some of the best food, if you know where to look! First off, definietely check out the Hoito- it has your basic breakfast foods, but at amazing prices for the amount you get. If you go on the weekend, get there early if you don't want to be standing in line.

            As for Joey's- i wouldnt recommend this place any more. It's kind of like a cheap version of Red Lobster.

            Caribou- this place is good. Kind of on the pricey side and it is always loud in there. Wonderful things to pick from off the menu though.

            The three other places i would recommend to you is Ceasars Place, Masala Grille and Carrie's Corner. These are by far the 3 best places in Thunder Bay.
            Ceasars- has the BEST panzerottis you will ever taste in your life. Its a little hole in the wall restaurant on Syndicate Ave (off of Arthur). It's a huge panzerotti (you dont need anything bigger than a medium sized one).
            Masala Grille- Delicious Indian restaurant. Has a buffet every day of the week (very small, and fresh) or the menu. I haven't been able to find an Indian restaurant this good, even in Toronto.
            Carrie's Corner- This is just a little corner store that sells the best burgers. Homemade burgers, cooked and made right in front of you. People tell me it reminds them of the Original Lick's Burger (but better).

            Carrie's Corner
            61 Windemere Ave N, Thunder Bay, ON P7A6A9, CA

            Hoito Restaurant
            314 Bay St, Thunder Bay, ON P7B1S1, CA

            1 Reply
            1. re: foodiegirlo1

              Thanks! I hope I will have the time and opportunity to check these places out.

            2. Bumping this thread, I'm going to be in Thunder Bay for about a week next month. Can anybody verify if these recommendations are still good/operating or if there are any other must-try's?

              Thanks in advance folks!

              Oh and also need a recommendation for a place to get good and drunk. A nice pub or something would be great, me and the other half are definitely gonna be looking to knock back some drinks on at least one of the nights

              6 Replies
              1. re: duckdown

                Lol. Last time I was there, the "go to" place was said to be Boston pizza. For real. I cried.

                1. re: justxpete

                  Hahah.. That's exactly how I imagined it too, I haven't been in over 10 years and am really expecting the worst so anything besides a chain would really be exceeding all expectations I supose

                  1. re: duckdown

                    In my opinion, Thunder Bay's real culinary strengths are its diners. Thunder Bay Restaurant is my fave. Their Finn pancakes rival the Hoito's and the hostess Denise will sit with you, hug you, and possibly take your picture and email it to you after you leave. A real gem. McKellar Confectionery is famous for the old man who lines up 3 or 4 burgers on his forearm to ladle delicious orange-brown Coney sauce on them. If this blatant health-code violation doesn't dissuade you, the grub is transcendental.

                    The Hoito is quintessential for Finnish breakfast. The Finn pancakes are a must, but my favourite order is the Karjalan piirakka with egg salad with a side of fries with gravy. A Finnish/Northern Ontario mashup that makes this Thunder Bay ex-pat misty-eyed. It's a really interesting place with quite the history. Canada's oldest cooperatively-run restaurant (opened in 1918) originally to serve left-wing Finnish bushworkers.

                    For really good classed-up pub fare, check out the Sovereign Room (220 Red River Road). They cure their own bacon, bake all of their burger buns, and make their own ketchup etc. Totally legit. A real game-changer on the Thunder Bay culinary scene. Three words: duck confit poutine. Also, I live in Montreal and I don't know of a bar here that has a better imported beer selection than The Sov. And it's all very affordable. Can't speak positively enough about this place.

                    If you want something a bit fresher and healthier than the above-mentioned options, Bonobos is a good vegetarian takeout place with really great veggie burgers. Eat Fresh is a sort of hippie/fusion place that is also quite good.

                    1. re: pizzaghetti

                      Mmmmmm...the mentioning of piirakka gets me all misty eyed/nostalgic for my childhood days in Northern Ontario too!

                    2. re: duckdown

                      Hi there! all the places I mentioned a couple of years ago are still there and delicious. Another one I would add though would be the Growing Season on Algoma-- soo good and fresh. Reminds me of the 'Fresh" restaurants in Toronto.

                      Also really good is Thai Kitchen-- really good thai food for a reasonable price.

                      As for a pub... I would recommend Shooters. Its central and pretty good. Also the Sovereign Room as mentioned below.

                      1. re: foodiegirlo1

                        Oh yeah, when I said "Eat Fresh," I actually meant The Growing Season. Eat Fresh is another newish place that I hear is good but didn't get a chance to try when I was last there.

                        I second Thai Kitchen!

                        And there is another pub opened just down the street from the Sovereign Room called the Foundry that sounds like it'll be interesting. Mad House is another decent pub with good food.