Monday, April 16, 2012

Eat Like a Local In Niagara Falls

The locals know where to eat for good reliable food at good prices. That's why, whenever I travel, I try to hang out with some of the neighbourhood characters who will share the secrets of their town with me.
In Niagara Falls, there are a huge number of places to dine, many of them on the touristy side, and many of them more expensive than they should be. If you want to avoid the fast food route without breaking the bank, there are several delicious choices, but you may not find them on the standard tourist list.
Here's a few of the places that a friendly resident of Niagara Falls would direct you to, if you asked him where to get a great meal at a reasonable price:

Betty's Restaurant

(Photo courtesy of Betty's Restaurant)
This casual and unassuming restaurant has been in the Chippewa neighbourhood for over forty years and has been an enduring favourite for families in Niagara Falls for a reasonable and filling meal. Famous for their fish and chips ( $11.99) and their generous slices of Trudy's homemade pies ($3.29) this is a perfect place for a relaxed dinner with the kids. The decor is simple and the service is fast and friendly.

Napoli Ristorante & Pizzeria

(Photo courtesy of Napoli Pizzeria)
There's an explanation for the abundance of really fine Italian restaurants in Niagara Falls. A large influx of Italian immigration in the early part of the 1900's and again after the second world war brought many Italians to Canada. The Niagara area has the largest concentration of Italians in the country and the culinary scene has reaped the benefits. When in doubt in Niagara Falls, choose an Italian Restaurant and chances are you will have an exceptional meal. Napoli's is one of the long time places where the food is freshly prepared, with Italian zest. The gnocchi are freshly made and the pizzas are excellent. The Classic basic pizza with tomato and mozarella, a bargain at $8.50, is a great choice. Pair that with a fresh salad, a glass of wine and some good Italian bread, and - Cia, Bella! -you have some good eats.

Johnny Rocco's Italian Grill

(Photo courtesy of Johnny Rocco's Italian Grill)
This is the place for calzones - those half-circle stuffed pizzas that are filled with meat, vegetables, or cheese, then folded over to resemble a large turnover, baked and served with tomato sauce. Try "Johnny Rocco's Choice ", with mozzzarella, kalamalta olives, mushrooms, hot peppers, pepperoni, proscuitto and chicken ($13.99). The pizzas and calzones are done in a super-hot pizza oven. Sit out on the patio, enjoy a good cold beer, and try a calzone. Lovely.
These are three of the "frequently-frequented by locals" restaurants that will give you a more intimate, less big chain, dining experience in The Falls.
Tell them a local sent you.

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