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Windsor, Ontario Restaurants

Live in Michigan and looking for great restaurants accross the boarder in Windsor. ANy sugestions?

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    1. it's a shame Sweet T's Soul Food closed.. they had awesome fried chicken & waffles with smoked maple syrup

      1. Is Blue Danube still good? Is it still there?

        1. Welcome to Windsor! I've lived in the city for just under a year, and have had a lot of fun exploring both sides of the border.

          One of the unique things about this town is the pizza. All the local establishments have a particular style found nowhere else in the province; key elements include cheese from the local Galati cheese factory, shredded (not sliced!) pepperoni, and a crispy, airy crust. Many establishments to choose from, most are take out, such as Arcata and Antonino's. Capri is a local chain, but offers a sit down location on Dougall Ave. Others exist, these three are my favourite.

          Some other highlights:

          1) Salute Espresso Bar - excellent, passionate espresso in the fantastic Walkerville neighbourhood.
          2) Squirrel Cage - located in downtown Windsor, good atmosphere
          3) Taloola Cafe - good coffee, great selection of teas, excellent panini

          Restaurants, in no particular order:
          1) The Willistead - upscale casual, locally sourced
          2) Rino's Kitchen - slightly more casual, locally sourced
          3) South Detroit - recently opened, well done bar food, great selection of local whiskies and brews
          3) Dolan Restaurant - recently opened, Uyghur (Central Asian) food
          4) Sun Hong - good Hong Kong BBQ joint
          5) Bi Bim To Go - excellent Bi Bim Bap, must get it in the stone bowl!
          6) Mazaar - upscale Lebanese food
          7) Marathon - excellent Ethiopian
          8) Mi Casita - haven't had anything but the pupusas here, which are delicious (essentially corn tortillas stuffed with pork, beans and cheese, topped with a vinegary coleslaw)

          1) Walkerville Brewery - local, delicious

          1) Earnest Bagel Company - best Montreal style bagels I've had outside of Montreal. My many coworkers from Montreal agree.
          2) Gennaro Cafe - excellent homemade gelato
          3) Galati Cheese - it's a factory, and all they make is mozzarella. But boy, is it ever incredible. Get the Uniondale - it's higher fat, and worth it.

          10 Replies
          1. re: hailing

            Hailing, have you eaten at Dolan yet? I just learned of it a week ago and am planning a visit in a week or so. Any recommendations? Can't wait to try mantu, laghman noodles, and all the lamb dishes and hot pots.

            1. re: 1sweetpea

              I did about two weeks ago! Admittedly, I haven't had Uyghur cuisine before, but I did enjoy the lagman noodles, though they were a touch oily. I'm looking forward to going back and trying the kebabs - another table ordered them and they looked incredible.

            2. re: hailing

              thank you for this post! very helpful

              1. re: glenjoseph

                I finally tried Dolan a couple of weeks ago. We had the lamb soup, which was really simple yet lovely. The lamb was melt-in-your-mouth tender each ingredient worked in harmony with the others. We also tried the meat pie, which didn't wow me, and the lagman noodles, which were fantastic! I did not find them particularly oily, so perhaps that issue has been corrected or else was a fluke. A simple side condiment of what looked like coleslaw appeared as well and though it looked unexciting, I loved the taste! It packed a garlic and sesame punch that really complimented the meatier dishes.

                I will definitely return to try the spicy chicken, the kebabs and the hot pot.

                1. re: 1sweetpea

                  Glad to hear! I had the lagman a second time, and it was perfect, too.

                  1. re: hailing

                    Next up: The Ukrainian Restaurant on Marion Avenue and Matryoshka, which is a new-ish Russian restaurant on Pellissier.

              2. re: hailing

                Ate at South Detroit tonight and I quite liked it. Mrs Sippi liked it but not as much. She did bring up a good point, nothing we at WOWED us.
                From the appetizers we had a cup of Clam Chowder which was really good. It had a bit of a cheesiness to it. Not something I've seen before.
                The Gumbo was pretty respectable. It had more tomato than anything I've had but all in all, enjoyable.
                From the sides menu we had the Mac n Cheese which was pretty tasty in an old school creamy kinda way.
                The Duck Fried Rice I loved. Fried rice is a favourite of mine and made with duck............
                From the sandwich (burger) menu we opted for the Turducken which was a chicken burger with turkey bacon and duck crisps (which I think were duck cracklin's). It was really good but I felt like it was missing something. Upon reflection, it maybe needed mustard.
                The Rubber Ducky I think was the biggest hit. A burger with waffle fries, duck bacon, cheddar and duck gravy. Really terrific I thought.
                So all in all, a nice dinner but nothing simply awesome.


                1. re: Davwud

                  Do they have a website, do you know? We're in Windsor every other month and always looking to try somewhere new on each visit. I can't get a grasp of the menu from the few results on Google

                  1. re: duckdown

                    On Sunday I couldn't open this website so you many have problems. As I post this, it works.


              3. We ate at Motor Burger last month and loved it. It's a fancy burger place that doesn't miss it's mark. At least, on the two burgers we had. The Shrimp Fuel is a very good shrimp burger and the Autostrada was an Italian sausage burger that was outstanding.


                2 Replies
                1. re: Davwud

                  Pho Nguyen Hoang has great pho and other Vietnamese dishes, such as Bun Bo Hue, com dishes, Hu Tieu, Bun and beef stew with either French bread, noodles or rice. Xic Lo is also good, but not my favorite.

                  Mezzo serves upscale Italian and has great service and a pretty nice wine list.

                  Toscana is very popular and does a mix of Italian, international and some creative fusion sushi.

                  The Thai food at Thai Palace on Lauzon is quite good. The chefs are Lao and a couple of Lao dishes have crept onto the menu. They are capable of making really spicy dishes, if you request them that way.

                  Tantalizing Asian is right next door to Pho Nguyen Hoang on Wyandotte. The menu offers a mix of Chinese, Thai and Malaysian, but the Malaysian dishes are the most interesting and tastiest items, IMHO.

                  The Twisted Apron has an eclectic brunch and lunch menu and now serves dinner too.

                  Jade and May Wah both serve good dimsum (menus on weekdays, cart service on weekends and holidays).

                  Last but not least, several places serve great thin crust, wood oven pizza: Vito's in Walkerville, Vespa on Erie, the Caboto Club's restaurant, the Ciccaro Club's restaurant, Armando's, La Zingara.

                  1. re: 1sweetpea

                    I went to Lorelei bistro a few weeks ago and thought it was very good.

                2. Had a great meal Saturday night at Toscana, Dougall/Cabana. Sushi/Italian upscale. Left very satisfied

                  1. A restaurant I just ate ate is a bit outside of Windsor called Foia, in Tecumseh. Not a lot of people know about it because it's in a plaza somewhat hidden. Heard a lot of great thing lately from a few people and decided to check it out. probably one of the best meals I have had in the city! I was told they have a new chef who took over the kitchen in early summer so it has changed a lot from the past which I am told is a good thing. A really fun menu, lots of tapa style plates so getting a lot and sharing was easy. Very modern and clean presentation but with still appropriate serving sizes. And unlike many restaurants I go to where the food is good but always very unhealthy, the food here seems too actually have some balance.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: kookin

                      The wifes family lives in Forest Glade which is pretty much the border for Tecumseh, so thanks for the tip - will see if I can find a menu online

                      1. re: duckdown

                        Checked it out before I went, website is pretty dated. Menu is totally different then from the website. Their face book page has a more updated menu, but they now have their fall menu out!

                        1. re: kookin

                          I have not yet been to Foia, simply because it's in Tecumseh and I live in Lasalle. I've heard good things about it for a while now. They are vegan friendly, for those who lean that way. That online menu has been outdated for a long time. A bit annoying, because if I could look at a current menu, it might motivate me to get in my car and drive across town to give it a try.

                    2. The Dolan is great. The should announce they make the King Fu Panda noodles...My wife is Russian and we knew it was a good sign that they were playing Russian music. We spoke with the owner, and he is from Uzbeikistan. Yes Russian is different from Uzbeikistanian, but in the region they are familiar with and can share each others cultures. Based on the reviews I read, he said i was correct to order the Polov and Lagman Noodles (the signature dish). My favorite was the Polov. I don't know how they get the rice to glisten like that. This isn't foo foo food. More like you are sitting in someone's home having a traditional evening meal. Now about the Lagman noodles. I didn't know what they were before I went, so I did an internet search, and watched a couple videos of them being made. Have you seen the bonus feature on the Kung Fu Panda disk, where the guy magically makes noodles by taking a ball of flour and bouncing it around until it becomes (one long) strands of noodles. Well that's what they do here. The lady that serves the food also prepares the noodles in the kitchen. She said I could watch next time. Yes, the noodles are spicy and oily--but shouldn't they be? She gave us a knife, but I'm not sure what the proper way to eat them is. Slurping from one end to the other would be fun, but probably wrong. We'll definitely go back. The lady suggested the meat pie for next time..

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: freddyeats

                        The meat pie was my least favourite dish that I've had at Dolan. The lamb and chicken skewers are really tasty, though, as are the lagman noodles and the lamb soup.

                        1. re: 1sweetpea

                          I should add that the Big Plate Spicy Chicken at Dolan is incredible - though a dish meant to share with a few friends!

                          In other restaurant news, the porchetta at The Carvery is wonderful; and the coffee at Anchor Coffee House is great, in spite of the fact that it's located beside an Applebee's, hah.

                          1. re: hailing

                            IP Ramen and Tropical Hut (Filipino cuisine) are relatively new downtown Windsor options. I enjoyed my tonkatsu ramen at IP. I haven't yet tried out Tropical Hut, but plan to.

                            1. re: 1sweetpea

                              tropical hut has decent pancit .. and their pork bbq sticks are good.

                      2. New places open on Pelissier: Matryoshka (Russian food), EmoNe (Korean), Pho Maxim (Vietnamese).

                        1. If you like to support good causes, there is a small diner called Ten Friends Diner, they help people with mental health issues. They put out a pretty good breakfast or lunch. They close around 2pm though. Worth a try.

                          1. Hi there,

                            Nothing fancy but when I used to spend time in Windsor I was very find of the Shawarma Palace. Also a fan of Bubi's for burgers and the Penalty Box for their chicken delight sandwich.


                            1. Anyone else got anything new to try? Headed there for 3 nights on Wednesday.

                              Already got South Detroit on my list

                              10 Replies
                              1. re: duckdown

                                Go to Tantalizing Asian and order the Malaysian items. Awesome. Pho Nguyen Hoang has the best Pho and Bun Bo Hue in town. Al Sabeel is the best Lebanese in town. I've not been, but a lot of people like Motor Burger. Pizza at Vesta on Erie. Fusion Italian at Toscana on Dougall near the 401. EmoNe is brand new Korean on Pelissier. The Willistead for good beers and interesting food, and Twisted Apron (breakast and lunch).

                                1. re: duckdown

                                  A must try: Twisted Apron (for breakfast) or The Squirrel Cage. Google is your best bet to get the low down on these.

                                  Search Term: "Twisted Apron, Windsor, Ontario"
                                  Search Term: "The Squirrel Cage, Windsor, Ontario"

                                  Rockhead Comedy Quarry is something my wife and I tried last night actually. Was a blast. If you are around on a Fri, Sat hit it up. Worth the trip!

                                  1. re: duckdown

                                    I'm going to bop into Windsor for an afternoon next month and am trying to figure out where to eat. South Detroit sounds good but I'm intrigued by the Dolan. It's Russian food with lots of noodles? Is there one area of town to wander around and have lots of options to make a decision? Anything in Windsor I can't get in Boston? Will be staying in Detroit for a few nights. Thanks.

                                    1. re: Joanie

                                      Dolan is not Russian. It's Uyghur, which is a minority group that hails from the far western provinces in China. The restaurant is Halal, as the owners are Muslim. They hand-pull their own noodles, and use cumin, peppers (sweet and hot), onions and garlic liberally in dishes, especially when lamb is an ingredient. Dolan has a fairly concise menu, but don't be intimidated by the unfamiliarity of the dishes. The noodle dishes and meat dishes are very tasty.

                                      You can wander freely in the downtown core or in Walkerville, but good spots are scattered about in different areas. If you don't have a car, hop in a cab. What are you looking to eat?

                                      1. re: 1sweetpea

                                        I'll have a car but just want to make a quick zip into the city to check it out. Not looking for anything in particular, something unique which Dolan seems to have. I feel like my time is already getting cut short in Detroit and Ann Arbor. Can you park easily in the downtown area? That's where the riverfront is? Or is Walkerville more interesting? Thanks.

                                        1. re: Joanie

                                          Another great unique-for-this-area place is the Earnest Bagel - fantastic Montreal-style bagels: https://www.facebook.com/earnestbagel.... No need for even toasting - the bagels are that good.

                                          EDIT: Looks like I'd already discussed this place in an earlier post - whoops! Recommendation still stands, however, haha.

                                          1. re: Joanie

                                            There are both parking meters and lots in the downtown area. Dolan has a small lot with a handful of free parking spaces. Otherwise, there's street parking or a pay lot only a few doors south of it.

                                            I don't want to diss Earnest Bagel. It's Windsor's only bagel joint. The bagels are very tasty, but they are bagels on steroids: huge, over-proofed calorie bombs. I grew up in Toronto eating both Toronto-style and Montreal-style bagels, which are nearly 50% smaller. The explanation the owner gave me is that their recipe is similar to Montreal-style, but they a) prefer a fluffier, rather than dense bagel, and b) they were worried that Windsorites would regard the true Montreal-style bagels as too small and thus, wouldn't want to pay whatever they charge for them. That, to me, is ludicrous. It's all about quality, not quantity. I don't have the self control to stop after eating a half a bagel. I'd rather have a realistic bread portion, personally.

                                            Many Windsor restaurants feel the need to offer "American restaurant chain-sized portions". The all-you-can-eat concept is alive and well here.

                                            Windsor has some nice thin crust wood-oven pizzas. There is a large Italian presence in the city. Vito's in Walkerville make nice pizzas, as does Vesta on Erie Street. Erie is a lovely street to stroll in the evening, with lots of restaurant options, espresso and gelato bars. I like Vesta for pizza and Mezzo for a higher end meal, but many Windsorites are die-hard Nico's adherents. I just haven't had good luck there, food-wise. The service, however, is great!

                                            1. re: 1sweetpea

                                              The bagels at Earnest Bagel are definitely larger than when they first started - which I agree is not true to the Montreal style. Still, they're better than the bagels elsewhere in town - and as close to Montreal as we can get without a flight, haha.

                                              1. re: hailing

                                                I couldn't agree more, hailing. I will never buy grocery store bagels. If I want bagels in Windsor, I'm going to Earnest for sure. I just wish they hadn't tweaked the size. The sesame bagels have lovely toasty sesame flavour, though they are super messy. Never attempt to eat one in your car. LOL!

                                                1. re: hailing

                                                  They almost sound like New York bagels which are def bigger (and my preferred style). I wasn't thrilled with Montreal style the one time I got them (at some famous place whose name escapes me, St. V...?). Do they have egg bagels?

                                      2. Well, I have to say that our visit to Windsor was not a happy one.

                                        I printed out the recommendations of "hailing" and we had the worst meal ever at " Dolan Restaurant - recently opened, Uyghur (Central Asian) food" was horrible and I don't say that lightly about any establishment as I realize it is their lively hood.

                                        The place was virtually empty which should have been a warning but I thought it was suggested so let's try it. We shared a dish, thank god, for $10. and got about 3/4 cup of dried out rice with 10 tiny pieces of dried out beef. I am not exaggerating it was pathetic. The gentleman gave us serving spoons to eat with. My friend who was with me said the next day that she thought is might not really be a restaurant but a front for some illegal dealings.

                                        I had to post and let others know that it has changed and to avoid this place at all cost. Maybe they had a change in ownership.

                                        We tried to find Rino's and it was closed.

                                        We did eat at Vito's http://www.vitosct.com/and that was a very good meal and the Twisted Apron were delightful to us as we explored eating establishments http://www.thetwistedapron.com/

                                        I hear there were a couple more restaurants in the couple blocks surrounding these two places as well that had good food.

                                        I have other suggestions for Ancaster and Nigara-on-the lake if you need them. I'm a foodie as well.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: Diasgut

                                          I'm sorry to hear about your experience at Dolan. It sounds like you ordered the polov, which I agree is something on the menu that I have not enjoyed.

                                          However, as previously mentioned, the lagman - which uses hand pulled noodles - is good.

                                          But my favourite there has to be the Big Plate Spicy Chicken. Even the Toronto Star's food editor was impressed: http://www.thestar.com/life/food_wine...

                                          I have no idea if the restaurant is a front - but judging from the family discussed in the article, I doubt it.

                                          I'm glad you enjoyed Vito's and the Twisted Apron - Vito's certainly is decent. Perhaps I need to give the Twisted Apron another try - every time I go I find the food interesting, but execution totally botched.