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Jun 7, 2011 07:09 PM

Modestly Priced in Niagara Falls?

Im bringing my daughter to Niagara for her 9th birthday. We are leaving Saturday morning, and coming home Sunday evening, so we'll need breakfast, lunch x 2 and dinner. We are staying at the Crowne Plaza, but can travel. Modestly priced, kid friendly.



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  1. Cross the border to the U.S. side and get authentic BBQ, Buffalo-style pizza (it's a New York-Chicago hybrid), wings, and Mexican... plenty of options and for a lot less than you'll pay on this side of the river.

    7 Replies
    1. re: TexSquared

      I concur, bring your passports and hop over to NF NY or Buffalo. Honey's for wings or pizza if you are not willing to travel far down the I-190, Texas Roadhouse in Tonawanda I-290 exit Colvin for a moderately priced decent steak dinner where you can choose your steak when entering. La Tolteca Transit Rd. in Williamsville is not bad for Mexican, better than anything North of the Border. Or head down the road to Cracker Barrel for some country fried steak if you are feeling like more Americana. Those would be my choices, not gourmet by any means, but not gouging neither.

      1. re: ebay3392

        Personally I prefer Anchor Bar for wings (as I duck the expected mudslinging from Duffs fans), Pizza Junction (PJ's) for pizza, and La Galera for Mexican, but if you want to treat your 9-year-old to something she'll never see in Toronto these are the kinds of places to go. Do we have anything in Toronto that serves Southern food? That alone would be a reason to bring your 9-year-old to Cracker Barrel, that's an experience you won't see at home.
        I wouldn't bother going to Buffalo for steak since we have plenty of that here. Unless Buffalo gets a Ruth's Chris, since RC charges a lot less in the U.S. than they do here.

        1. re: TexSquared

 wife and I go often to Texas Roadhouse, I get a 6oz Sirloin with chili and salad, all the buns you can eat, she gets chicken critters which are massive hunks of white meat probably the equ of a full breast American sized huge, deep fried, with french fries, we are on their loyalty program so spiffs galore, free blooming onion sometimes, and the bill rarely exceeds $20 for both of us. We are not boozers so that may be part of it but value, oh yeah! And the food is good! They also have a seasonal spiff 'Texas 2fers' 2 can dine for $15.99 two full meals. Yup. Try to find that in GTA, other than Master Steaks in Mississauga.

          Master Steaks
          5895 Dixie Rd, Mississauga, ON L4W1E8, CA

          1. re: TexSquared

            I've been wanting to try Pizza Junction since drooling over it in DDD reruns. I usually travel to the falls with my partner who has hit or miss border issues so don't want to cross over just for dinner. Would it be practical for me to cross the border for PJ and bring it back to our hotel in Ontario falls? Border delays can be all over the map but figure if we did it on a weeknight visit it wouldn't be too bad.

            1. re: abigllama

              You could do that. I'd recommend calling your order in advance since they do take their time filling orders (quality doesn't come fast).

              I always get their Beef on Weck Pizza which is amazing (it was featured on DDD), while my wife prefers plain cheese and sauce, also excellent.

              They also have frozen partially baked pizzas in their take-out area if you want to buy one of those and take home, probably the ones they sell on this page:


              Always check for border wait times, but if you're going back in the evening avoid the Lewiston crossing which gets the longest waits, and come back on Rainbow or Peace (or optimally Whirlpool but I don't have NEXUS, yet).

              1. re: TexSquared

                Thanks for the info Tex. If we were staying in Fallsview or Clifton area Rainbow would be the most convenient. Looks like it's about a 10-15 minute drive once into the US. Sounds like a plan!

                1. re: abigllama

                  Yeah, that's perfect. Rainbow Bridge lineup is rarely worse than 1/2 an hour unless it's the Monday night after a long weekend or anytime during U.S. Thanksgiving weekend with all the shoppers.

                  It's an easy drive to get to PJ's. Just get on US 62 (Niagara Falls Blvd) and when you see the Wurlitzer building, turn right at the next traffic light, PJ's will be on the left another block away. On your way back, stop at Supermarket Liquors and Wines (northwest corner of Niagara Falls Blvd and Military Rd). Once you shop there you'll swear never to shop LCBO again.

      2. For breakfast, I like the Falls Manor on Lundy's Lane. The rustic atmosphere is old-fashioned and so are the prices. Very good food, friendly service.

        1. Antica Pizza for dinner. Reasonably priced, pretty good pizza. One of the better deals in the Falls.

          There are also 2 crepe places that I haven't tried:

          1. The deocor has not changed in decades but you cannot go wrong with little-known local favourite John's at 6535 Thorold Stone Road for dinner or lunch. Traditional family-style restaurant and all homemade. Fish and chips popular and lots of selection for kids. Specials like cabbage rolls, perogies and rouladen reflect the owners' heritage. Hearty food. Decent prices. Friendly service. It's not in the tourist districts but nothing in Niagara Falls is more than a 10 minute drive away. I'm also a fan of Antica. Surprisingly good and reasonably priced for being so close to the Clifton Hill area. (Agreed there are good deals on the U.S. side but crossing the border can be very time consuming with lengthy delays at U.S. Customs.)

            1. My advice: just beware.
              Few years back, the wife and I stopped in Niagara Falls after visiting the Niagara wine region. We chose a weekend package at a Best Western (If I remember correctly) because they threw in 2 coupons for Denny's breakfast for $20 each, plus a $100 coupon for Bullseye steakhouse.
              A good deal, right?
              Well breakfast for 2 (eggs/bacon/homefries/juice) AT DENNYS cost $38 - less $20 coupon, still $18 for 2 people. (we gave our remaining coupons to people in line on the way out).
              Bullseye. 2 steaks, 2 sides, maybe a couple of appetizers and a bottle of wine: $300+, less $100 coupon, still $200+ for mediocre meal.
              I think the closer you eat/sleep/drink to Falls Avenue/Bender/Victoria, the more $$$ it will be. The farther away, the more reasonable (and real) it should be.
              Just my rule of thumb.
              As for exact places, well, maybe do a search.
              Let us know about your experience as well!

              6 Replies
              1. re: porker

                Wow, what a ripoff, no surprise they gouge the tourists. Vote with your wallet and cross the border!

                1. re: TexSquared

                  I would love to, but my passport expired, and my daughter doesn't have one, so I think we're stuck on this side of the border for this trip.

                2. re: porker

                  The good news is both of those places are closed now. The Dennys is now a second tower at the Hilton. There's still one ripping people off up on Victoria near Clifton Hill. Bullseye closed when the Sheraton became a Mariott and is now a Milestones.

                  Good rule of thumb is to avoid anything the resembles an American chain resto in the Canadian Falls. It's at least double, sometimes triple the price in the case of Dennys, as it is across the border and mysteriously horrible. I broke my own rule on a quick visit recently where I had a craving for a Quesadilla Burger at Applebee's. I had low expectations but even this was horrible, the service was bad, and it was crazy expensive. Lesson learned,,,again,,,personal policy reinforced.

                  1. re: abigllama

                    I guess the OP has come and gone...maybe get a few comments?

                    As for rule of thumb, I learned that the closer you are to viewing the falls, the more expensive a bottle of water: hot summer day, lots of walking, you're going to be thirsty, and the guy at the cart is charging $6 for a bottle of Naya (this is what, 9 years ago).
                    Whattyagonna do?
                    Purchasing a backpack with half dozen Evians on ice would be cheaper than being gouged down by the falls.
                    But alas, 'tis the game of an international tourist trap.

                    1. re: porker

                      Haven't gone yet (not until August), but thats a great tip for the water, lol. I do remember thinking how expensive they were when my husband took me there a long time ago.

                      1. re: cheezwhiz

                        cheez this is a helpful thread as I'm going to be meeting family there in July including a couple of great kids. My mid priced standby was always Lucky's in the old Casino but that's obviouslly not kid friendly. But I'm scratching my head thinking of where to take them that's walkable from Clifton HIll. My sister isn't keen on crossing the border again for food with the kids.

                        Antica is a safe bet. But they're coming up from Connecticut which has amazing pizza everywhere. The other kid friendly standby is Mama Mia's which is decent but not great. But again they're coming up from CT which has killer Italian food so probably don't want to take 'em there so I'm at a loss. Think Antica will work for one night since the wood burning oven will be a good novelty for them but at a loss for the second night.