September 9, 2019 9:13 pm
Updated: September 10, 2019 12:22 pm

Hamilton’s ‘culinary prowess’ soon to rival that of Toronto’s: Westjet magazine

A number of Hamilton restaurants make the grade in Westjet magazine's latest edition.

Don Mitchell / Global News

Hamilton is now on the radar when it comes to fine dining in Ontario, according to the author of a new culinary piece in Westjet magazine.

Michele Sponagle, who wrote “The Best Places to Eat and Drink in Hamilton, Ontario,” a piece for the low-cost carriers seatback pocket, says the city has shed its steak and seafood image.

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“Hamilton is now on the radar in terms of the culinary world. It’s a great place to use as a hub to explore other areas, whether it’s Toronto or Niagara,” Sponagle told Global News Radio.

Sponagle says Hamilton has been a place for good food over the years, but its close proximity to Niagara wineries and ideal farmland is attracting culinary talent.

LISTEN: Michele Sponagle, who wrote a culinary piece on Hamilton, talks with Global News Radio 900 CHML’s Scott Thompson

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I think all those elements were there before, it’s really just a question of them coming in the forefront now and people noticing and really appreciating them.”

The uncommon nature of Hamilton’s eating establishments was a prerequisite to Sponagle’s Westjet story, which she says has been a catalyst for its “unique personality.”

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“It’s not like Brooklyn, it’s not Toronto light. It really is its own thing and a very unique personality,” said Sponagle, “They’re not followers. There’s a lot of first that happened in Hamilton. You look at Pokeh, that was the first poke bar in Canada.”

Must-try restaurants include the Paper Crane in downtown serving Japanese specialties and Mezcal Tacos and Tequila Bar on James Street South.

Caro is one of the best places for a hearty brunch with an Italian flair, Merit Brewing for its sausages. Odds sports-bar, the Heather and the Donut Monster also get special mentions.


The Donut Monster’s menu rotates a number of strikingly unique flavours.

Don Mitchell / Global News

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