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Good Food in Hamilton?!

I've only recently moved to Hamilton (to my dismay) and I always go to Toronto to eat out on weekends. I admit that I haven't explored Hamilton's food scene enough, if it even has any, but I'd like to know what you guys suggest!

Of the places I've tried, these are my favorite and the ones I tend to frequent the most:

- Pho Dau Bo
- La Cantina
- La Luna
- Wass Ethiopian Restaurant

Any other suggestions to make my stay in Hamilton more tolerable?!

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La Cantina
60 Walnut St S, Hamilton, ON L8N2L1, CA

Pho Dau Bo Restaurant
15 Cannon St E, Hamilton, ON L8L1Z6, CA

La Luna Restaurant
834 Brant St, Burlington, ON L7R2J5, CA

WASS Ethiopian Restaurant
207 James St S, Hamilton, Ontario, ON L8P 3A8, CA

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  1. This has been covered quite a bit in the past, you may wish to use the search utility here on Chow:

    My usual places (in order of preference) are The Harbour Diner, Mexi-I-Can, Earth to Table, La Luna, Chicago Style and Karolinas

    Harbour Diner (Diner food done right, great weekend brunches and their specials are usually pretty good)
    B&T (Thai, Vietnamese, Pho)
    Le Chinois (Chinese, the location on King East is the most consistent location, although I've had takeout from their Upper Wentworth/Limeridge location).
    August 8 (Dim Sum and Sushi)
    Matsu Sushi (Dundas)

    Mex-I-Can (Mexican street foods)
    Karolina's (Polish)
    Chicago Style Pizza Shack (self-explanatory and some of the best "red sauce" style Italian)
    Capri (Italian)
    The Sirloin Cellar (Old school steak house)
    Wild Orchid
    Ventura (Portuguese, specializing in seafood)

    My Dog Joe (Coffee House)
    Mulberry St. Coffee House
    Detour Coffee
    Earth To Table (baked goods and artisanal pizzas)
    Locke St. Bakery (bagels done right)
    Sapporo (AYCE Sushi)
    Black Forest Inn (German food, killer schnitzels)
    Waxy's Deli
    LoPresti's (Fine Dining)
    Boos Bistro

    In Burlington:
    Pepperwood Bistro

    -----
    Harbour Diner
    488 James St N, Hamilton, ON L8L1J1, CA

    Sirloin Cellar
    14 James St N, Hamilton, ON L8R, CA

    Chicago Style Pizza Shack
    534 Upper Sherman Ave, Hamilton, ON L8V3M1, CA

    3 Replies
    1. re: Mike from Hamilton

      I agree with your list except I think the Black Forest has gone downhill. There is a much better choice for Austrian food; Zum Lintzer on Main St E. We also love the Express on Gray's Road (Italian) and The Cat and the Fiddle on Augusta (British Pub). Another fine dining choice is The Purple Pear on Barton. Reasonable prices fabulous food.

      1. re: 02putt

        Don't let the downtrodden neighbourhood put you off or the tired facade of the restaurant. Some money could be spend on a new sign outside and on updating the interior. These remarks aside, the food and service here is ace. The food is prepared with best ingredients, and with skill and attention to presentation. Service is a throwback to the friendly and solicitous service found in best hotel dining rooms in the '60's. The Purple Pear is a funky, rather retro restaurant with the right things in place. The rack of lamb with its vegetable accompaniments is superb and salads are excellent. Steaks are average. Lobster is a popular choice and is good. Try it!

        -----
        Purple Pear
        946 Barton St E, Hamilton, ON L8L3C5, CA

        1. re: 02putt

          I have to agree .. three years ago the black forest served a rather tasty meal.
          I was psyched for the next visit 6 months ago; even bragged to freinds who were joining on the trip. The service was good; the food didn't sit well with any of us ... what wasn't swimming in sauce was mighty dry. Huge lunch bag let down.

        1. Thanks guys for the fantastic list of places.
          I've been meaning to check out Mex-I-Can for a while now, but always get turned off by the interior decor of the place. But hey, the grungy look adds to the atmosphere, I'm sure it serves great Mexican street food. I DID try some of their booth during Hamilton's Food and Wine exhibition at Cops Coliseum and it was fantastic. That's how I also found Wass.

          2 Replies
          1. re: jingloh

            Hi jingloh, and welcome to Hamilton. I too was dismayed when I moved to Hamilton 6 years ago, but now I am ashamed of my ignorance, because Hamilton is a great place to live. I know Mike from Hamilton and his list and you can count on both. One more thing: if you're really going to enjoy living in Hamilton, you can't be too put off by appearances. Some of the greatest treasures of the city don't look like much.

            1. re: foodiemommy

              Thanks for the warmest welcome, I'm going to keep an open mind from now on. I might as well enjoy this city while I'm here! All those eating suggestions will now make my To Eat list....

          2. If you are into fine dining, there are a couple of excellent options in Burlington:

            Blacktree - one of my favourite restaurants anywhere. Locavore menu changes monthly. Eclectic menu with a lot of unusual combinations. Not cheap but worth every penny. Well reviewed on this website.

            Red Canoe Bistro - a new location in Burlington that serves fare with a Canadian theme. Small restaurant that offers great value at moderate prices.

            Spencers on the Waterfront - Nice venue on Lake Ontario overlooking the Burlington Skyway. Excellent Sunday brunch that is a mix of buffet and a la minute. Love their steaks.. amongst the best in Burlington. Much better value than the over priced steak houses, i.e. Landmark, Napoleon and Lord Nelson.

            -----
            Blacktree
            3029 New St, Burlington, ON L7N, CA

            2 Replies
            1. re: cynalan

              I second cynalan's comments - probably my top 3 choices for Burlington (although Blacktree is my favourite by a landslide).

              -----
              Blacktree
              3029 New St, Burlington, ON L7N, CA

              1. re: Redshifted

                I would also add Incognito on John St for decent, well-priced bistro fare. My only criticism is that they don't change up the menu enough.
                Affinity on John is a real treat for Chinese vegetarian - very fresh and innovative. They are the masters of fake meat :-)
                For a splurge, I vote for Quatrefoil hands down. Seven Windows is decent, but Quatrefoil is really a step above everything else in the region.
                I also put in a vote for Red Canoe - fun local cuisine with a good price point and great service.
                Best splurge for brunch is Spencer's for sure - it's delicious & you really will only need to eat once that day!
                For great Thai, try Pomelo in Burlington (Fairview just W of Guelph Line) - it's truly excellent.
                Try the duck curry with the mandarins and lychees - it's so yummy. Thai Memory is good in Hamilton as well, but don't go if you are in a rush - there is only usually one person serving the
                whole place. Good food though.

                For the only sushi I'll actually eat W of Mye in Oakville, I vote for Sakai on Fairview in Burlington between Walkers Line and Appelby. They have pretty decent Korean as well - their dol sot bibimbop is delicious. The fish is very, very fresh - they even had super fatty toro the other day. I can't eat at August 8 - the fish is mushy and fishy. Ick.

                For Indian, try Bombays Chutney in N Burlington (Dundas St near Guelph Line) - it's a friendly place with consistently good food. Their naan is very good. The "chicken lollipops" are really good and I've honestly enjoyed everything I have eaten there. In Hamilton, the best veg Indian IMHO is Himlaya (yes, they spell it like this) off on a little mall just E of Centennial Parkway. It's really only take-out but awesome. Their ras malai is awesome for dessert and the samosas rock.

                -----
                Seven Windows
                432 Aberdeen Ave, Hamilton, ON L8P2S2, CA

                Thai Memory
                25 King William St, Hamilton, ON L8R1A1, CA

            2. Hello,

              Here are some good restaurants - I just moved to Hamilton after 25 years in Toronto..and so far, I'm a happy camper! Matsu Sushi in Dundas, Ship on Augusta Ave., has great seafood, August 8th for Dim Sum (downtown), The Bread Bar on Locke St., better pizza than anything i've had in Toronto, including Libretto Pizzeria which claims to be the best, in T.O. - NOT.
              I haven't tried Pappagayo for Mexican which apparenlty is the best in Hamilton. I've tried Mex-I-Can and wasn't impressed. Seven Windows is expensive but fabulous food. Slow service. I've gotta run right now though, heading out to Matsu.

              -----
              Seven Windows
              432 Aberdeen Ave, Hamilton, ON L8P2S2, CA

              Matsu Sushi
              107 Hunter St E, Peterborough, ON K9H1G7, CA

              1. Found this place while surfing around recently. Gets good reviews on Urbanspoon.

                http://www.memphisfirebbq.com/

                Going to try it if I'm ever in your neck of the woods.

                1. Have you been to Kneads & Harvest in Burlington? its 10 minutes away and had very good sandwiches and pizza. its upscale but cheap. they have a decent wine-beer list.

                  1. Hi:

                    My wife and I are going to be relocating soon to Hamilton from the GTA, we've found many good restaurants but I don't think anybody's mentioned Rolly Rockets BBQ yet. It's a cool place with great BBQ ribs, pulled pork and even corn dogs!

                    It's at 470 King St. W

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: bogie

                      Im looking for some good BBQ in Burlington or the Hammer now that my favourite local haunt has closed down (Hillbilly Pete's). I've driven by this place on King many times but never seriously considered it. Frankly, it does not have a lot of curbside appeal. Maybe I'll give it a try one of these days.

                      1. re: cynalan

                        Memphis Fire BBQ (mentioned earlier by LTE), a short drive south east on Hwy8 from Hamilton, is one of the best BBQs in Ontario.

                        1. re: cynalan

                          I had the very same "drive by observation" of Rolly Rockets! Except that I cycled by it last summer, and was able to breathe in the enticing aroma of proper wood smoke...
                          The owners learned to pit-smoke with pecan and other woods in the South, and have set up a decent shop---with rather inexpensive prices to boot--
                          They do a more vinegar-based marinade, and have good smoked wings, as well as ribs, hush puppies, beef brisket, and smoked pulled pork. Accompaniments include a selection of draught beers, and deep fried Mars bars. It's worth checking out.

                          1. re: cynalan

                            Definatelty the best BBQ place in Hamilton is Hillybilly Heaven on Upper James.
                            Juicy and generous portions of ribs - to "die for"!
                            They have this sandwich called the Mason Dicksie Line - bring your appetite.
                            After going to HH I would not go back to Rollys - their portions are smaller, the ribs are dry and the seats are uncomfortable.
                            The only thing Rollys has going for them right now is cheap pitchers of beer that basically attracts the wrong crowd in the that neighbourhood. Jus' saying....

                        2. I really enjoy Koosh Bistro on King St. W. Very cozy atmosphere with good pizza and pasta and nice variety of daily specials.

                          http://www.kooshbistro.com/

                          1. Casual Restos in Westdale include the Bean Bar and Valentinos. Two of my faves when I go back to Hamilton.

                            And for wings...nothing beats Bronzie's.

                            1. Bit of a drive, but I've had Twisted Lemon (in Cayuga) highly and repeatedly recommended. It's on my "to do" list.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: PoppiYYZ

                                Went to the Twisted Lemon for my birthday recently and loved it. We sat at the back where you can watch Chef Dan and his team prepare the meals. He would chat with on and off and is a really laid back nice guy. Our waiter was amazing and new the menu inside out. He described the dishes in such detail I let him decide on my appetizer something I never do. He choose the Bison Carpaccio for me. Awesome! My husband wanted lamb and had 2 choices. New Zealand or local prepared 2 different ways. He wasn't sure and I told him to go for the local. The waiter agreed. I had the steak which also came from a local farmer and was superb. A little salty for my taste but I don't eat a lot of salt. I think someone who is used to salt wouldn't be phased by it. When we go back (and we will) I will ask them to go lightly on the salt. Because it was my birthday they gave me a gift of hot chilli oil made on sight. A nice touch. Worth the drive, and not outrageously priced for fine dining. I think Quatrefoil is highly overrated with exuberant prices. Besides, ever since they were featured in the Toronto Magazine there is a four month waiting list for reservations.

                                -----
                                Carpaccio Restaurant
                                6840 Lundy's Lane, Niagara Falls, ON L2G1V6, CA

                              2. Check out an older thread on Restaurants in Hamilton:
                                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/514581

                                1. Try Hillbiily Heaven.

                                  http://www.hillbillyheaven.com/

                                  When I come down from Pickering, I always go there.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: paulcol

                                    Hillbilly Heaven is a franchise? Always worried about chains and franchises since you usually find novices in charge of the food preparation. Give Memphis Fire a try to compare.

                                    1. re: PoppiYYZ

                                      Hillbilly Heaven, is very good I'm happy to report. I think the Burlington outpost has closed down, but this one seems very busy to me. My wife and I got a coupon from either Groupon or WagJag, I don't remember, and that prompted our visit. It is very much a casual place, with a busy takeout counter and seat yourself tables. We ordered a sampler for 2, regular price $32. It came with a 1/2 rack of side ribs, HUGE piles of smoked chicken, pulled pork and brisket, potato chips and 2 sides (we had coleslaw and beans). They have mild, medium and hot barbeque sauces on the table which are tasty and not overly sweet. It is genuine and tasty southern bbq for sure and what a pile of food! It was enough to feed us, as well we took home enough meats to assemble a further 4 large sandwiches over 2 meals. So the value is definitely there too. They have a good little selection of hot sauces for sale. We will definitely return and want to try a couple of their signature sides that were sold out, their smoked potato and also the burnt ends and black bean chili.

                                  2. Not a restaurant, but friends in Hamilton swear by the meat pies from McVicars Scottish Butcher & Bakery. 184 Eight Rd East in Stoney Creek.

                                    Also, there is an amazing butcher / grocery store called Highland Country Market at 432 Highland Road East in Stoney Creek (no relation to Highland Farms). If I lived close, I'd never shop anywhere else. European flair, all meats prepared on site, fantastic selection, and unbelievable prices.

                                    5 Replies
                                    1. re: PoppiYYZ

                                      Thanks I know McVicors very well. I prefer Opies on Concession Street. Excellent Scotch, and Steak and Kidney pies. But not the type of butcher I was looking for.

                                      1. re: PoppiYYZ

                                        Sorry, I sent before I read the whole reply. I like Highland too for every day meat. But I am looking for someone who will age the beef for me.

                                        1. re: 02putt

                                          I'll try Opies and pass on the tip.

                                          I too have been looking for well aged beef. My range is from Hamilton to Ottawa, and still no luck. My next attempt for dry aged steaks will be Mise en Place in Oakville. I also saw an Alton Brown were he did some refrigerator aging, maybe that's the next step.

                                          PS recent trip to Florida and two shops there were selling Aged Angus (ribeyes $10 - 13/lb) and they were amazing. Gave me new zeal to keep trying to find something similar in here.

                                          1. re: PoppiYYZ

                                            When you go to Opies you must get the original Bachelor peas and a can of beef gravy. (I know not really gourmet but fast, easy and delicious) Make with french fries and don't forget the bread for french fry sandwiches...The steak pies take a little longer to cook than the scotch pies. Just throw in the oven at 350. While there pick up some black pudding for breakfast (an acquired taste but really good)
                                            Going to try C'est Cheese today based on recommendations from fellow chowhounds. I'll let you know how it goes. I want to make Carpaccio so I need really good beef. My husband loves T-Bone and Rib Eye but I like NY Strip and Flank which is getting quite pricey for a tougher cut of beef. And who doesn't love Prime Rib? My arteries are hardening just thinking about it.

                                            -----
                                            Carpaccio Restaurant
                                            6840 Lundy's Lane, Niagara Falls, ON L2G1V6, CA

                                            1. re: PoppiYYZ

                                              Heads up to all who are looking for a good butcher with aged meat. VG Meats just opened on Upper Hwy 20 (behind Boston Pizza) Quite enjoyed the Rib Eyes, Sausage, and chicken. They also sell lamb which I did not purchase (already spent enough for one day) He will be selling veal in the spring. More expensive than Costco but cheaper than Cumbrae's. I paid 12.99/pound for the Rib Eyes and Sirloins were the same price.

                                              -----
                                              Cumbrae's
                                              481 Church St, Toronto, ON M4Y, CA

                                        2. Just an update..and look to the future. MATSU SUSHI in Dundas (best place for sushi in the area, although I haven't tried the place in Oakville) is moving. The landlord is selling the building..will happen sometime in May. Also, there's two new restaurants opening on Locke St. One is a pizza restaurant (financial suicide so close to the Bread Bar?) across from Locke St. Bagel, and there's a Burger place opening almost beside Locke St. Bagel.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: oconnelm

                                            The burger place beside Locke St. Bagel (actually beside the Cheese Shoppe on Locke) is "Chuck's Burger Bar" and is owned and operated by the same folks responsible for the Harbour Diner. I have reviewed it in the following link:

                                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/775155

                                            I was there again on the weekend and, as usual, it was jam packed. The service chaos is improving somewhat and the food remains quality!

                                            -----
                                            Harbour Diner
                                            488 James St N, Hamilton, ON L8L1J1, CA

                                          2. Does anybody know what happened to the Chez Benito restaurant that used to be near Main St E? My Italian friends in Hamilton loved this tiny mom and pop joint. Benito and Anna served excellent Italian food with dishes from various parts of Italy (which I've enjoyed more than what I've had at Toronto's Via Allegro or Hamilton's La Cantina, the old La Costa of the 1990s, etc) always with friendly genuine service, though they knew us well. It's been 8 or 9 years since I've last eaten at chez Benito, and when I was in the area last year they were gone. Sadly.

                                            5 Replies
                                            1. re: Tony8952

                                              The father retired and/or passed away. It used to be on John St by Main. The son took over and the restaurant apparently moved to somewhere in the area. But I tried to find it once (because it is/was excellent) to no avail. I'll ask around and see what people know. The Barbara Cafe on Barton St out towards Winona has excellent Italian food and even better desserts. Not as good as Chez Benito but still good all the same.

                                              1. re: 02putt

                                                chez Benito was originally on Main St E by Gage (in the 1990s), before moving to John St. I hope Benito (the father) is ok. Yeah, their desserts (which I believe they got from a supplier) were not as special as the rest of their menu cooked inhouse. I'll have to try Barbara Cafe when I'm in the area. Thanks.

                                                1. re: Tony8952

                                                  Yes you are right. It was by Gage. Then Leghorns moved in there. They are now across from Buddy's Roadhouse down the street on King. A donair place is now at Gage. If you go to the Babara Cafe make sure they are open. They have funny hours. And since you love Italian, Sam's Bakery on Queenston east of Parkdale has the best Cannolis in the city. We also like the Express on Grey's Road and Chicago Style Pizza for their pasta.
                                                  Thanks for testing my memory!

                                                  1. re: 02putt

                                                    Thanks for the tips, I'll have to visit Hamilton soon. I love good cannoli whenever I can find it! I mentioned chez Benito's Main/Gage location only because I've been salivating dreaming about their melt-in-your-mouth polenta since my first post and now have an Italian meal deficiency that needs to be satiated, lol. Unfortunately, Mississauga (where I live) does not have an extraordinary Italian restaurant. However, we do have excellent Tiramisu cake at La Sem's Patisserie on Eglinton/Dixie (though a few Italians prefer the version at Irene's Celebrity Cakes across the street).

                                                    1. re: Tony8952

                                                      I have found that Mississauga has a few gems. For Italian, I think Rogues on Dundas St/ Erin Mills is the best. I have had nice meals at Michael's Back Door in Pt Credit and Ali Olio at City Centre. If you decide to make the trip to Hamilton, Claudio's Ristorante in the Corktown area is my all time favourite for formal Italian dining. The price is at the high end for Hamilton, but well worth it.

                                            2. There will be a new restaurant opening on Queenston Road, East of Parkdale (where the Memento Cafe was located). The sign says Tandoori BBQ. Can't wait to try it. I will report back. On the line of new restaurants has anyone tried La Dolce Vita on Main? (The old Don Cherry's)

                                              -----
                                              Don Cherry's
                                              290 Rideau St, Ottawa, ON K1N5Y3, CA

                                              1. A few more places to mention,that my wife and I have tried since moving to Hamilton in April:

                                                Gate of India on James St. N-Family recipes type of Indian restaurant. Excellent food and menu including some not often seen dishes like achar chicken, special mushroom chicken curry, egg curry, phall (incendiary, hotter than vindaloo). Very reasonable prices, most mains under $10.

                                                Parkdale Fish and Chips on Parkdale-Old school chippery in business for over 40 years, with suprisingly light and delicate tempura-like batter. They even fry up fresh Ontario perch, and I can attest that it is mighty tasty. Brown-hued frying oil indicates use of beef tallow and is no doubt responsible for the outstanding chips. They have a fish of the day, often 2 pieces of cod and chips for an unbelievable $6!!!

                                                Union Burger-new location on Queenston-This is definitely an up and coming franchise, in a few smaller markets in SW Ontario already. Properly grilled medium and juicy 1/3 lb. cheeseburger on Ace Bakery bun with choice of toppings, Yukon Gold fries and a refillable pop for around $10. Let's face it, it's almost that much for the same meal at McDonalds now and there is no comparison believe me.

                                                St. Vladimir's Ukranian Orthodox Church on Barton-Last Friday and Saturday of every month (except July and Aug), they sell homemade cabbage rolls and perogies as a fundraiser to rebuild their roof. Support them and get some good cheap eats.

                                                -----
                                                Gate of India
                                                201 James St N, Hamilton, ON L8R2L2, CA

                                                3 Replies
                                                1. re: bogie

                                                  Thanks for the review on Union Burger. I drove by it on the way to a friends place and was curious about it.

                                                  1. re: ylsf

                                                    Did you ever try Union Burger (UB)? I doubt it's still good...

                                                  2. re: bogie

                                                    Very good recommendations to try, bogie. I've only had Gate of India from your list and I can attest to the intensity of the Bangalore Pall. No doubt its insanely hot, but its also a great curry experience.

                                                  3. Casual: Chuck's Burger Bar on Locke, same owner as the Harbour Diner both are ones not to miss! They are great!
                                                    7 Windows for a special evening out.

                                                    1. Here are a few of the spots that I’ve enjoyed recently in Hamilton:

                                                      LoPresti’s at Maxwells (fine dining)
                                                      Memphis Fire Grill (BBQ – great pulled pork, brisket and ribs!)
                                                      1010 Bistro (upscale dining – excellent quality food in a cozy atmosphere)
                                                      Na Roma Pizza on Locke (casual contemporary italian – unbelievable soups and pizza slices, my favourite new dining spot)
                                                      Chuck’s Burger Bar (casual burger spot – great fresh burgers and fries) this place is WAY better than Union Burger
                                                      Jimmy Gringo’s Burrito Factory (take out burrito’s on Main West, behind 1010 Bistro – AWESOME)
                                                      Sapporo AYCE Sushi (recently added Thai to the menu… decent spot for sushi fix)

                                                      1. Also, for wings – The Whistling Walrus has deadly jumbo hot wings for half price on Monday. I went this past Monday and they are phenomenal. I’m a huge wing critic and I was in heaven eating these ones.

                                                        5 Replies
                                                        1. re: cupidom

                                                          I know wings are personal preference and everyone argues about who makes the best just like who makes the best bbq. But for some reason I am seriously addicted to Jack Astor's wings. There fresh bruschetta with feta is also excellent. I don't really care for anything else on their menu. They took the Chop Stick Salad off the menu which was extremely disappointing.

                                                          1. re: 02putt

                                                            Jack Astor's Wings are really, really good. Not quite as big or tasty as WW's, but among the best in the city. JA's has vastly improved their menu over the last year or two. Great wings.

                                                            1. re: cupidom

                                                              Well since you approve of Jack Astors (which means we have similar criteria in the wing department) I'll definitely check out WW. Thanks for the tip!

                                                              1. re: 02putt

                                                                Perhaps refocus on restaurants in the Greater Hamilton area, special to this locale, that will generate good restaurant ideas? I'm thinking that comments about chains are okay, if they represent a particular local flavour, or do something different in the Hamilton area, but the emphasis should be Hamilton restaurants, not restaurants that just happen to be in Hamilton (and everywhere else).

                                                                1. re: unturtlesoup

                                                                  I believe in my previous eight or so posts I did in fact comment/recommend restaurants in the Greater Hamilton area. Although I have never heard of Hamilton being referred to this in this way. Sorry unturtlesoup for deviating for a moment with my post about chicken wings from a chain albeit 4 months ago. I guess I had better recommend a local restaurant in the hammer to keep within the rules. How about a shout out to the West Town on Locke for their all day breakfast? YUM!!!

                                                        2. OP mentioned Pho Dau Bo at the very beginning. Anyone know if they are related to the Pho Dau Bo at 2437 Finch Avenue West in Toronto ?

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: PoppiYYZ

                                                            Probably as they have about 8 locations in total.

                                                          2. Homegrown Hamilton is excellent. http://www.homegrownhamilton.com Local roaster of amazing coffee.

                                                            I also had a very good solo meal at Quatrefoil in Dundas last summer. They also have a lovely big patio but the bees kept me inside in the air con.

                                                            2 Replies
                                                            1. re: Food Tourist

                                                              Just for the record, as a beekeeper wishing to protect the reputation of the gentle honey bee, it was more likely those mean Yellow Jackets that chased you off the patio. They were particularly bad last year.

                                                              1. re: PoppiYYZ

                                                                Yes, those wasps are the bullies of summer!

                                                            2. Stopped into the Harbour Diner on James for breakfast on a relatively slow weekday morning based on the good reqs. Good strong coffee, but the breakfast was most un-inspired.

                                                              OK bacon and peameal, undercooked funky tasting sausage, fried eggs without any colour (like what you get from a warm nonstick pan), untoasted "toast", Kraft jam in a packet. Service was quick and friendly, food arrived fast, but the cold plates made everything lukewarm as it hit the table. Poor ingredients and execution.

                                                              Do yourself a favor and drive to The Regal Diner in Niagara Falls for a breakfast to see how it should be done. Get some house made bacon, locally sourced ingredients, homemade jam, great service, and proper cooking.

                                                              BTW I should have known by the Yelp and Urbanspoon pounding this place is getting...

                                                              1. I had some great central American food near the Hamilton Supercrawl yesterday.

                                                                My friend and I did pick up some items from the huge row of food trucks, but were underwhelmed. Busters Sea Cove, Gorilla Cheese, and some perogi truck, whose name I forget, were all good food, but at the steep prices, $10 to $15, do not inspire return visits if I see them in the future.

                                                                The highlight came at the north end of the crawl at Barton Stret, where a tiny sign was advertising central american food at All Souls church around the corner. When we arrived it was apparent a Spanish language service was in progress, but two friendly gentlemen outside happily escorted us to the basement, where it looked like a hall was being setup for a social event with a dj and food and drinks. A little hesitant, I wondered if this was just for the parishoners, but they reassured me the food was for anyone who stopped by.

                                                                The menu looked appetizing, papusas, tamales, tacos, and more, all for $2 each. I had the papusas and tamales. The papusas came topped with a vinegary cabbage slaw and diced tomato salsa. I've never had them before, and the interior stuffed with pork was a delicious surprise. They were very hot and fresh. The tamales came steamed in banana leaves and were filled with chicken, potatoes, and olives, all in a light tomato sauce, which Wikipedia tells me is probably Guatemalan style. Perhaps these would not qualify as 100% authentic, the olives were obviously from a jar as they had the pimento paste inside, but they were still the best food I had at the Supercrawl. This was real food cooked on the spot by some loving grandmothers in the kitchen, and in typical grandmother style, insisted I order extra to bring home. An extra $4 donation to their church made them ecstatic.

                                                                I don't know if this is a weekly or monthly event, but I intend to find out and go back.

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: JDAWG

                                                                  Awesome discovery. Please do keep us updated.