Our Favourite Hamilton, Ontario Restaurants

A selection of dishes from The French in Hamilton, Ontario
The French

Over the past decade, Hamilton, Ontario has quickly developed a reputation as a foodie destination. Lovingly referred to as the Hammer, Steeltown, and occasionally even Toronto’s Brooklyn, Hamilton’s affordability and proximity to Toronto have had new homeowners and restaurateurs alike flocking to the city. There’s been a steady stream of new restaurants, bars and cafes popping up alongside the long-standing restaurants that put Hamilton on the map long before it was cool.


But with so much choice, it can be hard to know where to start. Thankfully for you, our Food Network Canada team is made up of Hamiltonians new and old, so we’ve put together this comprehensive list of our favourite restaurants in Hamilton — including some hidden gems you probably won’t find on any other “best of Hamilton” lists. Read on for our top picks.

Get the recipe: #HAMONT Burger

Born & Raised

Address: 224 James St N, Hamilton, ON

Top Chef Canada fans may already be familiar with this go-to Hamilton spot: Chef-Owner Vittorio Colacitti was a finalist on the Food Network Canada series, and went on to open Born & Raised as an ode to his Italian heritage. Located in the heart of Hamilton’s James North neighbourhood, it’s the perfect spot for dinner after a day of shopping and checking out nearby art galleries. The rotating menu features fresh, local ingredients from the nearby Niagara Peninsula, and the permanent menu includes wood-fired pizza, hearty pastas and even Vittorio’s nonna’s meatball recipe.

Brothers Grimm Bistro

Address: 193 King St E, Hamilton, ON

This European-inspired cellar bistro in downtown Hamilton feels a bit like stepping into a special secret hideaway. The stone cellar walls and stacked wooden barrels add to the restaurant’s charm and overall theme of wild game. On the menu you’ll find elevated dishes like their signature chicharron with arepa, Japanese wagyu steak, smoked cornish game hen, wild game sausage and more, and many of their dishes are dairy-free and gluten-free. If you’re looking for an intimate setting and a total culinary experience, this is it.


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Bring Me Some

Address: 638 Concession St, Hamilton, ON

Our resident vegan expert Katherine Sousa can’t get enough of this vegan fast food joint, which also happens to be Hamilton’s first 100% vegan fast food restaurant. “I haven’t tried a single thing on their menu that I don’t love,” says Katherine, and considering that they offer everything from vegan fried chicken to vegan buttery biscuits to vegan milkshakes, that’s a seriously impressive feat. Bring Me Some started as a stall in Hamilton’s Farmer’s Market during the pandemic, and their intense popularity allowed for them to open their first brick and mortar shop on the Hamilton mountain this past summer.

Related: This Hamilton Popcorn Shop is Destigmatizing the Ex-Con Label, One Kernel at a Time

Electric Diner

Address: 96 George St, Hamilton, ON

There’s no shortage of great brunch spots in Hamilton, but Electric Diner is something special. The vibrant pastel colour palette of the restaurant itself is an Instagrammer’s dream, but their perfectly curated aesthetic is outdone by their truly excellent brunch menu. Featuring delightfully colourful pancake stacks and fun eggs benny options including the Electric Benny (it sits on top of cornflake-crusted French toast!), we promise the food tastes as good as it looks.

La Luna

Address: Five locations across Hamilton, ON

This Lebanese restaurant has developed a cult-like following in Hamilton thanks to their incredible flavours and generous portions. Standout menu offerings include their fattoush salad, chicken rice, mushrooms and fresh house made pita. Be sure to ask for extra garlic sauce on the side (you won’t regret it). If you’re a Caesar salad fan, you must add that to your order too: they swap out traditional croutons for crispy deep-fried pita and drizzle it all with their housemade creamy Caesar dressing.


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Mai Pai

Address: 631 Barton St E, Hamilton, ON

This tucked-away tiki bar on Barton Street will transport you to Hawaii with their playful decor and good vibes. They’re best-known for their Detroit-style pizza and fun cocktail offerings, and they also offer vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options for most of their menu. Owner Salar Madadi competed on Guy’s Grocery Games back in 2013 before going on to open the extremely popular Pokeh Bar in Hamilton’s Farmer’s Market in 2015, eventually expanding to a brick and mortar location. Post-pandemic, Salar’s focus has shifted entirely to Mai Pai Tiki Bar which is lucky for us, because this popular hidden gem is a guaranteed good time.

Marias Tortas Jalisco

Address: 438 Hwy 8 Unit 1, Stoney Creek, ON

This family-owned restaurant serves up the kind of authentic traditional Mexican food you just can’t find elsewhere, including birria tacos, tortas, quesadillas, and housemade salsas which are all prepared fresh daily. Run by mother-daughter team, Maria Ojeda (the restaurant’s namesake) and Helen Tafolla, just about everything on the menu is made from scratch — and while it may be off the beaten Hamilton foodie path in Stoney Creek, it’s so worth the trip.


McQueen’s Banh Mi Viet

Address: 103 Queen St N Unit #2, Hamilton, ON

According to our resident baking expert and banh mi lover Sabrina Stavenjord, McQueen’s Banh Mi Viet makes better banh mi than anywhere in Toronto, and after a taste test we can confirm these banh mi are simply on another level (and at a seriously affordable price, too!). All of their banh mi are priced at $4.45 for a “classic” regular size, and $5.45 for a “deluxe” banh mi that’s loaded down with extra toppings. On the menu you’ll find six different banh mi options, including a classic banh mi layered with pate, deli meat and barbecued pork, a vegetarian option featuring tofu, a Vietnamese meatball option and more.


Address: 186 King St W, Dundas, ON

This Korean-fusion spot is located in charming downtown Dundas (a short distance from downtown Hamilton) and serves up wildly delicious and inventive takes on traditional Korean flavours. Think: Seoul poutine featuring fried kimchi and wagyu beef bulgogi, handmade Korean BBQ ribeye bao, miso black cod and more. While Toronto is certainly home to a vibrant and bustling Koreatown, Namu is serving up dishes you won’t find anywhere else in the GTA.


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Photo credit: Tyler Johnston, Pauls and Johnston

Saint James Espresso Bar & Eatery

Address: 170 James St N, Hamilton, ON

At first glance, you might think this popular James North spot is just a stylish cafe, but their mouth-watering menu offerings beg to differ. While they certainly do make an excellent latte, their Drive Thru breakfast sandwich might just be the perfect hangover cure, and their rotating featured short stack pancake is always guaranteed to be a thing of beauty: think, banoffee pancakes drizzled with dulce de leche and topped with fluffy whipped cream cheese. Bonus: their massive front windows make for truly excellent people watching.

Related: Cake and Loaf Churro Waffle Cookies Recipe


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The French

Address: 37 King William St, Hamilton, ON

Fine dining gets a modern spin at this sophisticated French bistro on King William street. As part of the Equal Parts Hospitality group run by Chef John Forcier, its sister restaurants include Aberdeen Tavern, and Diplomat, all equally as delightful restaurants in Hamilton that offer similarly elegant menus. Their dinner menu includes the French classics you know and love like escargots, steak-frites, and duck confit, and we especially love their prix fixe brunch: for $30 per person you can enjoy a two-course brunch with starters like smoked salmon toast or a roasted pear and apple salad, and main options including a classic croque monsieur, duck waffles and tostada rancheros.


Address: 242 King St W, Hamilton, ON

This family-owned restaurant brings a taste of Syria to Hamilton’s downtown. Owner Mohamed Tomeh immigrated to Hamilton from Syria with his wife and children in 2016 and opened Tomah shortly after. The restaurant was met with great response from the Hamilton community, quickly becoming beloved for their housemade Syrian cheese and lusciously spiced sandwiches. Just last year, Mohamed was unfairly forced out of Tomah’s previous location by a landlord who tried to raise their rent by almost 50% after the restaurant found success (to the outrage of many Hamiltonians). Thankfully, Tomah relocated to their new King West location last summer and continues to be a favourite, both for their delicious food and unwavering passion for bringing Syrian flavours to Hamilton.

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