Top 10 Recommended Restaurants in St. Catharines, Ontario

I moved my therapy practice to St. Catharines in 2020 and I wanted to get to know the city a bit better. Plus, when busy with counselling in St. Catharines, sometimes I need to get a nutritious meal in between seeing clients and don’t always have the time available to prepare a dinner to bring with me.

I had lived here before during my undergraduate schooling at Niagara College, but working downtown has given me a great opportunity to get to know the restaurant scene better. Despite COVID, I have been able to try a mix of dine-in and takeout (depending on the restrictions at the time).

One of the benefits of takeout food in St. Catharines is being able to bring the food on one of the many great trails and walks for an outdoor picnic break.

Do the restaurants a favour and call and order directly instead of using SkipTheDishes (who take up to 30% from the owner as a service fee). This will help continue supporting local businesses in St. Catharines.

A View of Brock University building downtown, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada

Our 10 favourite restaurants in St. Catharines

Alright, let’s take a look at our 10 favourite restaurants in St. Catharines. These are listed in no particular order, it just depends on what we’re feeling when we decide to eat out or grab take out.

1. Bansaree Indian

Cozy little Indian restaurant with traditional décor and music located within walking distance of the Meridian Centre and Performing Arts Centre in downtown St. Catharines. Bansaree offers friendly service, traditional Indian offerings, and a daily lunch special.

Order “family style” and share a few dishes with the table, you won’t be sorry! Highly recommend the Saag Lamb, Beef Bhoona, Mango Chicken, and their Garlic Naan Bread.

Location: 342 St Paul St, St. Catharines, ON L2R 3N2

Phone Number: 905-684-3411

Website: bansareeindian.com

Special offer: 10% off takeout and delivery orders $50+

2. Spicy Thai

Located across from the now-closed Bingo Hall on Queenston St., this restaurant is not in the best location for walking access, so I would recommend driving and trying to nab a spot curbside. The restaurant has traditional Thai décor and features private booths to have a nice intimate dining experience. Pre-COVID, the also featured a larger back room for bigger parties, which can be reserved in advanced. They offer very reasonable lunch specials and their portions are generous. I would highly recommend the Panang Curry with Beef and Coconut Rice and their Bangkok Pad Thai.

Location: 208 Church St., St. Catharines, ON L2R 3E9

Phone Number: 905-687-8424

Website: spicythai.com

Currently closed for dine-in and offering takeout and delivery only

3. Chang Noi

Small, more upscale Thai décor and intimate seating arrangements. This restaurant is small enough to fill up fast (even pre-COVID), so make sure you make a reservation. Their parking lot is very tiny and shared with a convenience store, so consider carpooling if you’re meeting friends there for dinner. Highly recommend the Green Curry with Chicken or Shrimp over Coconut Rice, the Fried Bananas and Coconut Ice Cream for dessert and a Lychee Martini if you partake in drinks.

Location: 225 Queenston St., St. Catharines, ON L2P 2W9

Phone Number: 905-228-6067

Website: changnois.com

Currently open for dine-in, take-out, and delivery

4. Miele Trattoria

Beautiful little Italian restaurant on a lovely street in downtown St. Catharines, perfect for a nice stroll before or after dinner. There are only about 6 tables here and reservations fill up days in advance. Takeout is now available during COVID as well, with a small rotating menu set by the chef. Featuring the former location and chef of La Scala Ristorante, anything on the menu is sure to be delicious. Personal favourite is the Eggplant Parmiagana appetizer and Sausage and Brocollini with Oriechette main dish.

Location: 26 Church St., St. Catharines, ON L2R 3B6

Phone Number: 905-685-6353

Currently offering takeout and dine-in (no delivery)

5. The Valley Inn

This hidden gem in the North End of St. Catharines was taken over a few years ago by the owners of Café Amore and continues to be a lovely dining experience. Their homemade Ceasar Salad is always a great choice of starter, followed by the long-time favourite Lasagne for a main.

Location: 93 Arthur St., St. Catharines, ON, L2M 1H6

Phone Number: 905-646-4000

Website: valleyrestaurant.net

Their website features its own online ordering portal for takeout or delivery and they also offer reservations for dine-in.

6. Rise Above

This vegan restaurant (just a short walk from Cameron Counselling) was the “first-born” of the owners/operators of Beechwood Doughnuts (where they initially sold small powdered versions of their now-famous donuts)! Although a bit on the pricier side, this restaurant has great ambiance and a plethora of tasty vegan offerings that are enjoyable whether or not you choose to eat meat. Highly recommend the Crispy Seitan Wrap with Kale Ceasar Salad followed by the Nanaimo Bars for dessert.

Location: 120 St. Paul St., St. Catharines, ON L2R 3M2

Phone Number: 289-362-2636

Website: riseaboverestaurant.com

Currently offering takeout or delivery only on Tuesday – Sunday from 4PM-9PM.

7. Amakara Japan

This incredible sushi restaurant has been a mainstay in St. Catharines for decades (it used to be located on St. Paul St. but moved to its new location some years ago). Their Beef Teriyaki appetizer (with homemade sauce) is delicious and so is their Green Salad (with amazing house special ginger dressing). Highly recommend the Spicy Salmon and Spicy Tuna Rolls and the inventive and delicious Spider Roll (featuring a generous portion of deep fried spider crab)! Follow up your dinner with a Mochi Ice Cream Treat.

Location: 19 Geneva St., St. Catharines, ON L2R 4M3

Phone Number: 905-684-0612

Website: amakarajapan.ca

Currently offering takeout and delivery only, directly from the restaurant

8. The Keg

The only chain to make this list, The Keg is a classic in every city for a reason. You know that you will get excellent service and a large portion of fresh and delicious Canadian Beef. The Keg is located near the Pen Centre in a beautiful old brick building transformed into a great dining experience with mostly booth tables. Upside your meal by taking it Keg Style and start with the incredible Wedge Salad! Finish off with an enormous Billy Miner Pie (chocolate, caramel, and almond ice cream treat).

Location: 344 Glendale Ave, St. Catharines, ON L2T 4E3

Phone Number: 905-680-4585

Website: kegsteakhouse.com

Reserve your table ahead of time using Open Table.

9. Fresco’s Euro Grill

Fresco’s has been located on the busy 4th Avenue for over 20 years and features a large and appealing patio for warmer months. Whether you’re looking for a small bite at lunch, drinks and appetizers with friends, or a full dinner, they can fit any need. The service can tend to be a bit slow so I would recommend making sure you have time if you’re choosing to dine in. Their Coconut Shrimp appetizer is delicious and the perfect sharing plate, and the Spaghetti & Shrimp Al’Olio is a nice light yet filling dinner. They’re now offering online ordering including a Family Style Dinner for 4.

Location: Ridley Heights Plaza, 100 4th Avenue Louth, St. Catharines, ON L2S 3P3

Phone Number: 905-687-8088

Website: frescoseurogrill.ca

Currently offering dine-in, take-out, and delivery.

10. Chile & Agave Mexican Grill

This well-known restaurant is located “off the beaten path” in Merritton. They have kitschy Mexican décor and music, daily drink specials (including a very extensive tequila menu), and delicious and affordable traditional Mexican food. With this one, I recommend sharing a bunch of different options so you get to try as much as you can; its all delicious!

Location: 51 Hartzel Rd, St. Catharines, ON L2P 1M6

Phone Number: 905-688-8383

Website: chileandagave.com

Currently offering curbside/no contact pickup, dine-in, and delivery (BONUS: Get 20% off if you pay cash for takeout).

Final Thoughts

As a therapist in St. Catharines who works downtown, I sometimes work late into the evening. If things are already busy in my life outside of work, I don’t always have time to prepare a dinner to bring with me to work.

It’s during those times that I am thankful to have such great options for eating out in St. Catharines, and also for the many activities that help improve mental health.

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