We love a good ‘eat local’ restaurant, and does Hamilton ever deliver. Below you’ll find just 4 of the city’s most excellent eateries, showing how eating local food can be fun, exciting, varied and just might include a french fry or two! Enjoy!
HamBRGR, Hamilton ON – Burger Joint
Bacon Fat Popcorn. Not exactly an item you’d expect to find on a burger menu. But, as you scan the options available to you at HamBRGR; you’ll soon come to realize there’s not a ton you’d expect to find in the first place.
Food is on fire in Hamilton right now and at HamBRGR that’s actually quite a literal statement. Cooked on an open flame grill, this joint is serving up some of the most creative burger concoctions we’ve come across in Ontario.
Whimsical creations such as the Montezuma’s Revenge with house made pickled jalapeños, the Blue’s Your Daddy with Granny Smith Apples, and of course, the Mushroom Barley BRGR made from a ground mushroom blend for those who prefer to only eat their veggies.
Carnivorous folk please rest assure, every patty at HamBRGR is made from antibiotic, hormone free beef with no fillers and no gluten. It’s 100% locally sourced beef and well, they had us at locally!
With two locations available through out Hamilton, there is so much more to discover at HamBRGR. From artfully crafted caesars, to snacks and salads, to equally fresh, locally sourced, and hormone free chicken dishes. My goodness you can even add a local egg to any one of their burger menu items. Cracking idea, don’t you think?
The Aberdeen Tavern, Hamilton ON – Restaurant
The upscale dining experience offered at “the Aberdeen” took Hamilton by storm when it opened it’s doors in 2015. It has already staked it’s claim as one of the city’s most treasured foodie institutions.
Chef Matt Beasley aims to cook comfort food, well. And, after ordering it up for ourselves from the establishment’s highly curated menu (almost completely inspired by regional ingredients), we determined that he actually does cooks it very well indeed.
We attended brunch at The Aberdeen and got right into some of the house magic. We started with freshly brewed coffee and mimosas made from freshly squeezed orange juice. Between our table, we shared the Stuffed French Toast, the Tavern Benny with side salad, and the vegetarian Tostada Rancheros with home fries (to die for).
Everything we ate was made in house, from scratch, and was incredibly delicious. And, if we may, we’d like to give a special shout out to the delicious local preserves and apple butter served in pretty little pots set at each table. It’s the little things and we noticed them.
Above all, we were tickled to learn that The Aberdeen has made a responsible decision to work closely with local farmers and sustainable food importers to create hearty honest food. We swear, every time we meet up with Chefs making this commitment in their kitchens, it truly makes each and every bite more scrumptious.
Earth to Table (Bread Bar), Hamilton ON – Restaurant
Inspired by the bestselling book, Earth to Table: Seasonal Recipes from an Organic Farm, Earth to Table Bread Bar is an open-door almanac to fresh local eating in Ontario.
Their philosophy is simple, good ingredients matter and when you practice that, everything tastes better. And, their small but bustling cafe on Hamilton’s trendy Locke Street is setting that bar high for the rest.
Our staff here at Love Local Food we have zipped in and out of ETT a few times and have never been disappointed. From scones to pizzas, each bite has been delicious and has hit the mark on our sustainable, locavore foodie checklist.
However, what we find really sets the Bread Bar apart from the rest is the multitude of resources on local organic eating that they’re willing to share with their following. Direct from their website, you will find links to slowfood.com, sustainontario.com, featured house recipes, and a quick reference guide to what’s in season in Ontario.
Mezcal Tacos & Tequila, Hamilton ON – Restaurant
After a little online research, we found this quote that so eloquently sums up the art of Mexican cooking: “Mexican cuisine is about using what is available locally in a resourceful, uncomplicated way. The result of which is a style that is accessible to anyone with just a few key, raw ingredients or the desire to run down to their local, neighbourhood Mexican restaurant.” activediner.com. Aye carrrrumba! We love this.
Reading it made us wonder, might these be the same principals that ignited Chef Manny Ferreira, a native Hamiltonian, to fall hard for Mexican cuisine? According to his story, he saw a void in the Hamilton food scene and opened Mezcal to showcase his love of it AND wait for it… local food!
Well, we think the answer might be yes. You see, although Mezcal seemingly serves up a ton of Mexican tradition via their James Street South cocina; with menu subheadings such as tacos and burritos. Upon taking a closer look, there is actually more Ontario in there then we dreamed possible!
Locally fresh seasonal produce abounds this place. We found squash and kale hiding in tacos, fresh peppers in the salsa and pico, and house made pickled veggies popping up all over the place. Smoked cheeses, tortillas, and slow roasted beef are just a few of the other delectable bites made right on site.
Sure, there are a few imports lurking at Mezcal. For instance, they only serve 100% agave tequila and if another ingredient can’t be found locally, only the highest quality is sourced out abroad. We love our local food but we also love our quality and give mucho props to the businesses who make the effort to seek out responsible alternatives.
By Catherine Mombourquette