Exterior of Lock & Main Marketplace in Port Dalhousie

Must-Try Port Dalhousie Restaurants: Mexican, Italian & More

Port Dalhousie has a surprising amount of fantastic restaurants.

I was born and raised in the Niagara Region, but only started to appreciate Port Dalhousie’s foodie scene after moving to St. Catharines a few years ago.

There’s authentic Mexican food, wood-fired pizza, German-style schnitzel, traditional chimney cakes, and more—and I’m letting you know where to get it all. 

I’ve categorized the restaurants in this article so it’s easy to find what you’re after, whether it’s restaurant on the water or something more budget-friendly.

I’ve also included cafes, bakeries, and ice cream shops to cover all the foodie options here.

The Best Restaurants in Port Dalhousie

Don’t feel like reading through the whole article? Here are my top 3 favourite spots (and the best restaurants, in my opinion):

  1. Patio Andaluz: Spanish-Mexican restaurant with an awesome patio.
  2. KaiserHaus: European-inspired bistro and wine bar.
  3. Castillo Shawarma: Super tasty and budget-friendly.

Restaurants With a Patio

1. Patio Andaluz

Patio Andaluz is a Spanish-Mexican restaurant founded by a husband and wife duo hailing from the Andaluz region of Spain and Mexico, respectively. 

The menu here features delicious dishes from both countries, with Spanish tapas, paella, and a selection of traditional Mexican dishes.

After eating here several times, I’d say this is easily one of the top restaurants in Port Dalhousie. Their tacos are some of the best I’ve tried in Niagara, and their paella is delicious as well. 

I love the vibe of their big, bright, colourful patio, and you can’t go wrong with their margaritas (pineapple is my favourite). I’ve heard they also have a secret sangria recipe, so that’s on my list to try the next time I visit.

Price: $30 – $40
Reservations: Yes
Hours: Closed Mondays

Tacos and a margarita at Patio Andaluz in Port Dalhousie

2. KaiserHaus

KaiserHaus is a little gem in Port Dalhousie. The decor is beautiful, the ambiance is inviting, and they have a great (but tiny) outdoor patio.

In terms of food, they’re all about hearty, European-inspired dishes—think schnitzel, spaetzle, and goulash.

A few must-try menu items include their butter-dipped Bavarian pretzel, schnitzel plate, and apple strudel. The food here is excellent and the portions are generous.

I haven’t been for Sunday brunch yet, but their options sound delicious: duck confit and waffles, and schnitzel benedict.

FYI: They don’t take reservations, but you can call 20 minutes ahead and they’ll hold a table.

Price: $20 – $40
Reservations: No
Hours: Open Wednesday to Sunday

3. The Twisted Pig

When it comes to Italian food in Port Dalhousie, this is the place to get it.

Pasta and pizza make up most of the menu, but they also have mains like chicken milanese and veal parmesan. 

Wood-fired pizza is a favourite here, along with dishes like their gnocchi gorgonzola (house-made potato gnocchi with gorgonzola cream sauce and local wildflower honey). 

I enjoyed their seafood pasta with ‘nduja and spicy tomato sauce (I subbed gluten-free pasta).

Price: $20 – $40
Reservations: Yes
Hours: Open every day at noon

Plate of pasta on table at the Twisted Pig in Port Dalhousie

4. Portside Social

Portside Social has a fairly big menu selection with shareable apps, wings, burgers, sandwiches, and pizza. 

For entrees, you’re looking at dishes like striploin steak, salmon with lemon dill sauce, and spicy jambalaya.

I went in the summer for a pizza and an Aperol spritz on the patio and really enjoyed the food.

Price: $20 – $30
Reservations: Yes
Hours: Open every day at noon

5. Lock St Brewing Co.

This brewery has plenty of outdoor seating with a patio and a spacious beer garden.

As you might expect, their food options pair well with a pint of beer. They’ve got chicken wings, burgers, hot dogs, chicken sandwiches, and a bunch of different apps.

There’s also a dog menu so you can order a pupsicle or barkuterie board for your BFF.

Price: $15 – $25
Dog-friendly patio: Yes
Hours: Open Wednesday – Sunday

Restaurants on the Water

6. Dalhousie Yacht Club

This is essentially the only restaurant in Port Dalhousie with a patio on the water. If that’s the number one factor you’re looking for in a restaurant, this is your best bet.

According to their website, the Dalhousie Yacht Club patio is 

open to the public every day for walk-ins (only members can make reservations)—with the exception of Fridays. 

On Fridays, they’re open to the public for walk-ins and reservations (which are recommended).

Price: $20 – $40
Reservations: Available on Fridays. Walk-in only the rest of the week.
Hours: Open Wednesday – Sunday

Budget-Friendly Restaurants

7. Budapest Bakeshop

Budapest Bakeshop is known for something you can’t find anywhere else in St. Catharines: Hungarian chimney cakes. 

If you haven’t tried them before, chimney cakes are made with a sweet yeast dough that’s wrapped around a dowel, dusted with sugar, and baked until the outside is golden brown.

The result is a pastry that tastes like a cross between a donut, croissant, and churro.

There are a variety of sweet chimneys with different topping options, but I love that Budapest Bakeshop makes savoury chimneys as well. Every chimney cake is made from scratch daily, so you know it’ll be fresh when you visit.

If you’re looking for an affordable lunch, try their chimney sandwiches—an aged cheddar chimney sliced open and filled with deli meats, cheese, veggies, and house-made Hungarian mayo.

Price: $10 – $15
Hours: Open every day

Chimney cakes behind the counter of Budapest Bakeshop

8. Rozie’s Cafe

This family-owned cafe is a great spot for breakfast and brunch. 

The menu features mostly classic diner-style dishes: omelettes, eggs benedict, pancakes, home fries, and soup and sandwiches. 

What sets Rozie’s apart is the amount of options they have for different dietary preferences. Whether you’re vegan, vegetarian, keto, or gluten-free, you’ll find something to suit your needs.

Price: $10 – $20
Reservations: No
Hours: Closed Tuesdays

9. Castillo Shawarma

If you’re looking for a good takeout meal or something more wallet-friendly, Castillo Shawarma has you covered.

The food is freshly made and delicious, and the portions are generous, too.

In terms of pricing, their wraps are $10 and their kebab plates are $15—so you can get a filling meal for less than $20 per person.

Price: $10 – $20
Hours: Open every day

10. Captain’s Cabin Cafe

This no-frills coffee shop is cheap and cheerful with a range of things on the menu—from muffins and bagels to baked goods, sandwiches, doughnuts, and sausage rolls.

It’s family run and the owners are very welcoming. They also have an outdoor patio area that’s dog-friendly.

Price: $5 – $10
Dog-friendly patio: Yes
Hours: Open every day

Front patio area outside of Captain's Cabin Cafe in Port Dalhousie

Pub Food

11. Kilt & Clover

Kilt & Clover is a lively spot offering a mix of American and British pub classics.

Take your pick from nachos, poutine, burgers, shepherd’s pie, fish and chips, and more bar food.

They have live entertainment in the evening on Fridays and Saturdays, and a dog-friendly patio, too.

Price: $20 – $30
Dog-friendly patio: Yes
Hours: Open every day at 11:30 a.m.

12. Scorecard Harry’s

This sports bar has pizza and wing combos, happy hour drinks, and different specials from Sunday to Thursday.

They also have live music, monthly trivia nights, and an outdoor patio so you can bring your pup for lunch or dinner.

Price: $15 – $25
Dog-friendly patio:
Yes
Hours: Closed Mondays

Snacks & Ice Cream

13. El Chiringuito 

El Chiringuito is owned by the same family that runs Patio Andaluz.

They offer a random mix of small bites, snacks, and (what I think) they do best: Mexican street food.

Their Mangonada—a sweet and spicy frozen drink with homemade mango puree, chamoy, Tajin, and fresh cut mango—is a must-try.

I also have to mention that they sell gelato from Il Gelato di Carlotta—AKA the best artisanal gelateria in Niagara-on-the-Lake. 

Price: $5 – $10
Hours: Closed Mondays

14. Old Port Dairy Bar

This ice cream shop has been around forever. I remember it being here when I used to come to Port Dalhousie as a kid.

They have a huge selection of ice cream that you can get in a cup, waffle cone, or sugar cone.

You’ll also find all those classic summertime treats, from old school milkshakes to sundaes, banana splits, and frozen yogurt.

Price: $5 – $10
Hours: Open every day

Muskoka chairs outside of Old Port Dairy Bar in Port Dalhousie

Cafes & Coffee

15. 416 Coffee

The father and son owners of this shop do one thing, and they do it well: coffee. 

They’re true experts at their craft; they roast their own beans, they’re incredibly knowledgeable and passionate, and they make an effort to ethically source the best coffees from around the world.

It’s no surprise they make some of the best coffee in the Niagara Region.

If you drink flavoured lattes, you’ll be happy to know they make all their syrups from scratch.

The coffee shop itself is fairly tiny and essentially take-out only. In the summer, they put a few small tables on the sidewalk in front of their shop if you want to hang around.

Price: $5 – $10
Hours: Open every day at 8:30 a.m.

16. Thistle Bookshop & Cafe

If you love books and coffee (or tea), you’ll love this independent bookshop.

The staff are lovely and the cozy ambiance makes it a great place to linger for a while.

Enjoy your coffee surrounded by books inside or grab a spot at one of their outdoor tables.

Price: $5 – $10
Hours: Open every day at 9 a.m.

Person holding a cup of tea at Thistle Bookshop in Port Dalhousie

17. Balzac’s

Inspired by Parisian cafes, Balzac’s brings a bit of European coffee culture to Port Dalhousie.

This coffee shop is housed in a historic two-storey building with outdoor patio seating on each level (there’s more seating on the lower level though).

Beyond coffee, they have matcha lattes, seasonal hot and cold drinks, and a handful of baked goods. I’m a fan of their citro booster: fresh squeezed lemon, ginger, maple syrup, cayenne, and pepper.

Price: $5 – $10
Hours: Open every day at 7 a.m.

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