Sunday 9 December 2018

My Favourite Places in Hamilton, Ontario

Once November draws to an end, so does my traveling schedule for the year. While I'm not one to get on an airplane during the snowy months of late-November and December (I actually hate traveling during the holidays) it doesn't bother me much since there's so many amazing places to explore that are just a short car-trip away from downtown Toronto. Lately I've been really enjoying taking the short drive to Hamilton, Ontario to explore it's vibrant restaurant and café scene.

While I've been having the best time exploring and trying out new spots in a city that isn't my own, there's been a few places that have quickly become my favourite and a must-visit anytime that I find myself in Hamilton. These places speak to my little pink soul in terms of décor, food, friendliness of staff and just general amazingness.

Without further ado, here's a list of some of my favourite places to visit when I find myself in Hamilton, Ontario.

Frats Cucina

Take one look at the décor at Frats Cucina and you can see why this beautiful restaurant tops my list as favourite spot in Hamilton. What keeps me coming back is their food - omg, the food. Napoli-style pizzas made fresh in-house, charcuterie boards, delicious salads - everything is just so good. I love how the menu is a beautiful mix of traditional Italian fare, with modern elements and fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Wether you're in the mood for a quick drink, or an all-out feast, I would definitely give Frats Cucina a try.

Hello Baked

Imagine the most beautiful little shop that houses and entire wall of bulk candy, offers a curated section of local gift offerings and smells like freshly baked cookies. That's Hello Baked for you. You  may recognized Hello Baked's beautiful iced sugar cookies from events and vendors all over the GTA, those little beauties are made and sold at this beautiful shop too. Owner Jessica is such a sweet woman and, fun fact - we actually discovered that we were in the same elementary school class decades ago. Such a small world! Whether it's for a box of candy or just to enjoy the scenery, I always make it a point to stop into Hello Baked while in Hamilton (hint - check out the mural on the side of the shop. You can't miss it!)


Part café, part bistro, part bookshop, Synonym is a recent discovery for me and has quickly landed a spot on my must-visit list every time that I find myself in Hamilton. The coffee and matcha selection is excellent, and I'm partial to any café that offers oat milk as a dairy alternative. Decor is simple yet purposeful and front of the space boasts amazing light, while the back nooks are perfect if you're craving a more subdued area. All around a solid café with great atmosphere, a friendly staff and delicious coffee to boot. Make sure to stop into Synonym, at the very least to grab an oat-milk matcha latte for the drive back to Toronto.

Although these three places top my list as must-visit spots to hit up the next time you're in Hamilton, there's also a few other establishments that I've really enjoyed but have only been able to visit once:

What do you guys think? Are there any places in Hamilton that you've really been enjoying? Keep in mind that this post is written from the perspective of a Toronto-based girl visiting the area, so I'm definitely no expert! Let me know!

xo Joëlle



  1. I haven't been to Hamilton in ages, but there are so many cute places popping up, I need to go! I really want to try the brunch at Hotel & Hello Baked looks super cute too!

    x Sheila

    1. YES! I've only been to Motel once, I need to go back! Hello Baked is a must!

  2. Motel is great! And so is Mulberry Coffee House and Nique. They have sushi nachos there and amazing cocktails. Signed, a Hamilton Original

    1. OHHHHHH okay these are all on my list now - thanks for sharing! I went to Motel, but literally the week that it opened so I'm definitely due to go back.

  3. I love how you laid this out. Lately since I have such a short period of time in canada and most of my family is in Hamilton, I spend more time here. I never realized there are such cute places like this there!

    Ps. Totally need to go to that Hello wall! :)

  4. Was going to say, Motel seems like a perfect spot for you! They’ve changed some of their menu items since they opened, but you can never beat the classic champagne pancakes! Also, hash browns with a delicious sauce that even a hash-brown hater like me loved! And sugar bacon... enough said.

    Also, check out Crumbled! It’s a different concept dessert place that just opened in the same little corner of Barton that Emerald Coffee, Motel, and Hello Baked reside in! They have crumbled cake pieces in a cup with lots of yummy toppings!

    I’d also recommend Amo Gelato on Locke Street, Cafe Baffico, Cima and Born N Raised for some of the best pasta and pizza in Hamilton, and Earth to Table Bread Bar on Locke! If you liked the French, you should try their sister restaurants The Diplomat and Aberdeen Tavern - both fantastic!

    1. Oh and bonus - like Hello Baked, Crumbled also has an epic Instagram wall ;)

  5. I and my husband are going to Hamilton, Ontario these summer holidays. It was a very helpful post for us because we love pizza too. Thank you for the tips.


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