Tuesday, February 9, 2010

28 Reasons I Love Hamilton... Reason 9

Why write 28 reasons I love Hamilton?

1. Hamilton is a CITY.
2. The Location
3. The size (population)
4. The scale
5. Creativity and the arts
6. The buildings
7. The nature
8. The film industry

9. The markets and restaurants

I love food. I'm no chef, but I enjoy it. (And coffee/cafes will take up a whole future post).

In Hamilton, food is plentiful, affordable, delicious and diverse. And we're even lucky enough to grow some of it around here.

Regular grocery stores... they're all here. One a couple minutes away from me, a few others a little farther.

Specialty foods? No problem.
Just to start, we have Denningers, Duartes, a plethora of Asian grocers (I go to this one), Goodness Me!, Reardons, Locke Street Bagel, Zarky's (locations all over the city), cheese shops, Italian and Portuguese bakeries... need I go on?

A few weeks ago, I had canoli from Frank's Sicilia Bakery at Barton/Sherman. Unbelievably good.

Of course, there's also the markets - Hamilton Farmers Market, Ottawa Street, Westdale, the Mountain, Dundas, Skydragon... and different CSA/Foodshare boxes too (around the corner from me, you can get the Good Food Box ordered at the FRWY, fyi).
(not to mention the Makers Markets that also happen all year)

This is the first list of Hamilton Cuisine I saw, and I like Chowhound to find new grocery stores and new restaurants. Viewmag's "best of food" or Restaurantica are also starting points. I've barely scratched the surface.

Restaurants are my favorite... although I don't dine out that often. Here's my very short and very biased list of the ones I like the most.

Harbour Diner Pay the same as any other breakfast place, but nicer atmosphere and better food, plus creative options if you feel like it. (Beats the pants off the Egg and I, at least in the "pancake quality" and "level of background noise" divisions)
Rolly Rockets BBQ (real southern BBQ)
Go Tempura (for AYCE, I like it better than Sapporo, which is also pretty good. At Go Tempura, it's a bit fresher, a bit cheaper, and a bit more variety. You can get the $12 lunch menu at dinner. HUGE sushi portions a la carte for a great price too)
La Luna (locations in several places, Mediterranean, a little pricey but good.)
Rebel's Rock (Irish pub, good food, near to us. n)
Pho Dau Bo (Pho with good quality broth and other options)
Le Chinois (Chinese takeout at a good value without the grease of Forbidden City).
and of course Al Centro, the Italian place in Gore park.

I'm sure I've missed several that are fantastic.

There's many, many, many more like Affinity or Lulu's I still need to get to - and someday figure out how Wild Wing (which I do like) measures up to Right Wingers that I've heard about and I hear Bronzie's Place is good food and huge portions. Not to mention Mex-I-Can and Poco Loco

If Hamilton gets an AYCE Korean BBQ, another piece of the world will fall into place ;)

I'm always open to further recommendations. I like to eat, I like good food. I like making food and I like going out for it. Hamilton has food in abundance, it's really good, affordable, and there's all different kinds.

And that's another reason I love Hamilton.


Meg said...

yay for bronzies!
have you tried poco loco on ottawa st? best burrito i've ever had, in any city.

BC Johnny said...

Hey Meredith,

Thanks for producing such a brilliantly informative and advice-packed post.

I'm considering a move to Hamilton (from Toronto) and your nine reasons have really helped sell The Hammer to me!

So much detail and so many links make the collection an invaluable resource to folks like myself. Your hard work is greatly appreciated... :o)

Hope you & your hubby are doing well.