Any decent food in Niagara Falls ON ?
I haven't been there since last summer. When we visited we didn't have a car so we were only able to get to places within walking distance of our hotel. Summer prices are silly in Niagara in my opinion. For example the basic breakfast at Denny's was I think $16.99. Pass! I have heard fun things about the Flying Saucer Drive In for breakfast but didn't get a chance to try it.
Beef Baron was okay. Traditional old-fashioned steakhouse ambience and reasonable food at reasonable prices. They give away coupons all over the place for this one. Something like the Keg is even better but they don't have one in Niagara Falls!
Avoid the Sparks Steak and Seafood restaurant. I went in willing to splurge on a lovely seafood entree... maybe lobster or scampi. No. All seafood on their menu was battered, breaded and fried. I asked the waitress if there was any broiled seafood dishes available and she told me "No, it gets delivered that way, maybe you could pick it off". Ah... frozen fish sticks were not what I had in mind. Went with the Prime Rib... very very fatty and accompanied with a very watery undercooked baked potato and frozen corn/peas. Ooooh, all this for $29.00! Run away! Run away!
The best meal I had was actually at Mama Mia's. I can totally recommend the linguini with clams in red sauce. Great service... there are coupons all over the place... best and also cheapest meal I had... even including wine.
The only other good thing I ate there was a chicken entree salad at Kelsey's.
I hear there are some lovely spots if you can travel outside a bit but sadly we could not.
Oh wait... there was one place I wanted to try but we ran out of time! A little German or Swiss place just behind the new Hilton Hotel. It smelled amazing each time I walked by. Very old fashioned chalet atmosphere. Would not be surprised if a chowhoundish type schnitzel lurked inside. Any one been there?
I grew up there... so I've been to a few places in Niagara Falls. ;)
Stay away from the Flying Saucer on Lundy's Lane. The food there is okay, but I've had some pretty nasty effects from the "famous" meat sauce on the fries and other "delectables." The food's greasy and so are the cooks.
Out of the central area you'll find Kelly's Winghouse in Stamford Centre. Excellent food, though it is a bar, so you'll want to keep the kiddies away. Wimpy's Diner is also in Stamford Centre... good eats in a family atmosphere styled as a 50's diner. Popeye theme, in case you didn't notice by the name. The hamburger patties are HUGE. You'll know what I mean when you see them.
Betty's Restaurant in Chippewa serves excellent food and their breakfast is super. Mick & Angelo's on the corner of Montrose and Lundy's Lane is a great little bar with excellent portions and great taste. The service leaves a bit to be desired on busy nights. Fall's Manor Restaurant is also up on Lundy's Lane and they serve a superb broasted chicken dinner.
If you are going to eat in the city centre/tourist district (ie. Victoria Avenue/Clifton Hill/Ferry Street), be prepared to pay the price. Restaurants are a dime a dozen in that area and the prices are HUGE even if the portions aren't. If you absolutely MUST stay in the tourist area, try Mama Mia's or the Sheraton Fallsview. Expensive, but among the best.
I cannot, in good faith, discuss restaurants in Niagara Falls without mentioning Taki, which is one of the best Japanese restaurants in Ontario. It's located near the casino -- corner of Victoria Avenue and Bender Hill. It's in a big white building with Saitoh, a Japanese store. Taki's entrance is on Victoria Avenue with parking off of Ontario Street. HIGHLY recommended.
Frank's Tomato Pie (casual) and Carpaccio (less casual) are both good bets on Lundy's Lane. Casa Mia also has a very good reputation.
Outside Niagara Falls, you could try Terroir La Cachette at Strewn Winery; Hillebrand Estates; or Peller Estates, all in Niagara-on-the-Lake.
I live in Fonthill, about 20 mins. west of the Falls. There is a great new restaurant here called Zest; I'd recommend reservations. Open kitchen and imaginative cuisine.
I endorse every one of John's recommendations, except Peller Estates, which I haven't tried for a meal, although I thought pretty snotty for a glass of wine one evening. (Went on to Hillebrand; well received and well taken care of.) Don't all these people know they're there for us?
Frank's Tomato Pie is super for something casual; Carpaccio is almost across the street, and a fine restaurant by any measure. Attended there for a family dinner earlier this year with a two year old in the party and everyone, including him, had a great time.
I too live in Fonthill, and besides Zest, which really is good, there's the Wildflower in its new premises on the outskirts of Fonthill.
And back in Niagara Falls itself there's Mama Mia on Portage Road. I think it's the same ownership as Carpaccio, and it's very good indeed.