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Niagara Falls - I know, I know

For reasons that are better left unexplained, I will be taking some young cousins to Niagara Falls overnight. Are there any good restaurants there at all? We could also stay in Niagara on the Lake instead but that would mean we would miss the lit-up falls at night. This trip is going for the full irony effect. But the food shouldn't be ironic.

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    1. I would suggesting reading this thread for some good suggestions of the area:

      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9830...

        1. re: kitchengardengal

          I assume he means doing all the tourist trap stuff that snobs turn their noses at, wax museums etc. but if you claim to only be doing it for the irony you don't have to admit that some of it can be actual fun.

          1. re: bytepusher

            Oh! We had a blast there when the kids were about 10 & 12 years old. We stayed at the Brock (?) Hotel in Canada, a beautiful, elegant old place. Did the boat and the walk down the wood decks, got wet, strolled along the scenic wall overlooking the falls... I have only been there that one time, and would go again in a heartbeat.
            We didn't do the wax museum or whatever's in the little tourist area, but we did walk around there just to soak up the atmosphere . Funny, I don't remember what or where we ate, but we always find interesting places to eat no matter where we go.

            1. re: bytepusher

              You can have fun while being ironic. You can even admit you're having fun while being ironic. I'm taking some young girls who have travelled everywhere and done everything so it's not possible to impress them with fabulousness. The only thing that works is weirdness. So that's why Niagara Falls. Definitely plan the boat and the tunnels and all that stuff, maybe with some wax museum or something thrown in for good measure.

              Will check out the links. I did do a search on the board, but much of the information was fairly old. I wondered if there was anything more recent. Thanks, though.

              And I'm a "she".

              1. re: Nyleve

                The butterfly conservatory is really great and I can't imagine a couple of young girls not being fascinated by it! I haven't been to Bird Kingdom, but it's on my list.

                I don't know if you saw the Niagara Falls section in the link that ylsf posted, but I recommend The Regal Diner, Paris Crepes Cafe, and Moksha Indian Bistro for eats. For Italian, I have friends that enjoy Napoli, though I've only gotten take out pizza there once and didn't love it. I'm guessing the pastas are better.

                If the girls have traveled everywhere, maybe they might enjoy a border crossing they can walk across. Bring your passports and walk the Rainbow Bridge into the U.S. and check out the falls from that side (though our side is more impressive).

          2. Actually Massimo Capra has a resto in the Crowne Plaza - the Rainbow Room. Food is great, and the wine prices are actually really really good (bottle of Tignanello for $135?!? It's $102 at the LCBO!). If you can make it there on a weeknight it's easy to get a window seat...

            1. Not sure the age of your cousins but if they are girls (maybe younger boys may like this too) they may especially enjoy the Queen Charlotte Tea Room is highly recommended.

              Their afternoon tea is under $20, comes with scones, tea sandwiches and dessert very tasty and filling.

              Went with my girlfriends recently and we all had a lovely time and were stuffed with yummy food. The couple who owns it is also very very lovely.

              http://www.queencharlottetearoom.com/...

              1. Pizzeria Antica has really nice food and decent prices. It's located near the top of Clifton hill at 5785 Victoria Avenue. It has a nice patio out front and has expanded twice in the last few years to keep up with demand.

                1. AG- last time we were there about 2 years ago- it was great- and great if you're staying by the falls. Their decor is awful though- don't get thrown off by all the purple and weird lighting.

                  1. You may have already come and gone, but you might be interested in the Flying Saucer restaurant, on Lundy's Lane, which ticks your 'something different' box. The building is shaped like... a flying saucer and the interior decor is space-ship-ish (round booths, lots of red and silver - not sure how that makes it 'space-ship-ish' but I'm sure you get the idea). Food is standard Canadian-ish: burgers, salads, and blue-plate dinners. I was expecting it to be pretty awful, but was pleasantly surprised. My spinach salad was fresh with lots of big fat chunks of home-cooked bacon. Teens at the table loved their foot-long hot dogs. The place gets really busy around dinner time, and service can get a big hectic. Otherwise, a kinda fun place to hit. Here's their link:

                    http://www.flyingsaucerrestaurant.com

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: crowbar

                      Hi all - sorry for disappearing. We actually haven't gone to Niagara Falls yet. This Thursday. Thank you for all the suggestions. I still haven't decided on our dinner for Thursday night. It's kind of tough - the girls are from New York so I'm not going to do pizza with them. Or, for that matter, anything Italian. The other adult won't eat any meat and none of them will eat shellfish. So wherever we go will have to have plenty of vegetarian or fish choices. I'm considering Paris Crepes Bistro for maybe dinner. Anyone have a comment about that place? And the Flying Saucer might just work for breakfast (if they're open for breakfast - I will check the website).

                      1. re: Nyleve

                        I just came back from trip with 13 year old niece and her Grandma. We packed a picnic. So many spots to eat outside along the water. And the weather is perfect. Bug free. Even the seagulls were well behaved and not a nuisance. Everyone was happy and no one went hungry.

                    2. Report!

                      Had silly fun in Niagara Falls. We arrived around lunchtime and had a picnic at the little conservation area just past the falls. You can park for free and throw your leftovers to the ducks, which is what we did. After that we parked our car beside the Skylon tower ($5) and walked to the boat thing ( no longer called maid of the mist, but the same thing). Did the tunnels, then went to our hotel. Dinner ended up at Antica Pizzeria (or whatever it's called) because it had the most veg options and the pizza was actually quite good. I think we could have done much much worse, so thanks for the recommendation. I tend not to do Italian when eating out because it's usually not as good as what I can make at home, but this was fine. Visited the Criminal Hall of Fame (ugh) for dessert. Breakfast at the Flying Saucer Restaurant - silly place with typical diner food. We kept saying that they could really do much much more with that theme, but we don't own the place so it is what it is.

                      Niagara on the Lake was a bit twee for my taste, with nothing to interest teenaged girls so we just breezed through it. Stopped at a farm stand on the way to the QEW to load up on peaches. Thanks everyone for your help. It think it'll be a good few years before I do Niagara again, but it was a fun trip.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Nyleve

                        I love Niagara Falls so glad to hear you had some silly fun! I adore the glitz and frivol of the Falls but every destination has its challenges… and in the Falls that challenge seems to be finding decent food. I have no problem with fudge stands, hot dogs, and other fair food… I love strolling down a crowed street or midway with a pogo and a bag of rocky road fudge. Much as I might think I’d like to, though, I can’t do it for 4 days running (the duration of our last Falls trip). And, since I’m also no fan of chain restaurants, I’m swallowed up in a food conundrum as soon as I’ve eaten my last hot dog (which is often also my first, but sometimes my second). So a-foraging we go…
                        The options in the falls, though, are really few. I agree with you about the Flying Saucer: they could do a lot more with it, but it did give us an option for dinner other than Boston Pizza, so kudos for that. Thanks, too, for the comments about Antica Pizzeria. Like you, I’m usually reluctant to eat Italian out for the same reasons, but next time I’m in the Falls, I’ll try Antica.
                        Absolutely agree that NOTL is twee. Really twee.