Stratford is foodie heaven! There are so many fantastic restaurants, bakeries, confectioners, and distillers in this small artistic town. Not surprising if you consider a gastronomic experience like performance art–with a very tasty satisfying ending.
Stratford, Ontario is brimming with culinary delights. It sounds cliché but there really is something for everyone. From savoury to sweet, you’ll be coming back for more with food and drinks! Here’s our top 12 to entice you and help you decide on where to eat in Stratford.
Best Restaurants in Stratford Ontario:
- Café Bouffon – 70 Ontario Street |
A neighbourhood French Café with a casual daytime menu, full dinner service, and weekend brunch. It was previously the Taverna at Pazzo and has transformed into a stunning European restaurant and complementing menu. Every dish is made with locally sourced, organic, and sustainable ingredients. If you’re a fan of the Taverna thin crust, they still have pizzas available next door.
- Mercer Kitchen + Beer Hall – 104-108 Ontario St |
Looking for a relaxing izakaya experience? Mercer Kitchen + Beer Hall is the perfect place to unwind with its informal atmosphere and relaxing vibe. Downstairs, the Beer Hall holds Stratford’s largest craft beer menu. Let your mood float upstairs to the restaurant with a menu fusing style and substance. It’s hard to pick a favourite but the Korean Crispy rice bowl is pretty close!
- The Relic Lobby Bar – 6 Ontario St |
It’s the new cocktail bar in town, with a classic feel and Cuban-inspired designs. Pull up a chair and escape your worries. The Relic Bar has a cocktail for every occasion. If you want to mingle with the locals, grab the dominos off the mantle and settle in for a game or two. There are plenty of stories to share amongst friends.
- Brch & Wyn – 245 Downie Street |
Another new face on the block, this cafe and wine bar exudes sophistication. The artisanal cafe offers delicious charcuterie boards and plant-based platters to enjoy. They have the right combination of cheese and savoury delights. Sweeter tastes should check out the baked goods and settle in with a warm cup of coffee. For a nuttier-tasting drink, their oat milk lattes are superb.
- The Planet Diner – 118 Downie Street |
We absolutely love the retro vibe at The Planet Diner. It says it all in the logo: “Where Herbivores can bring their Carnivores”. This place has a majority of plant-based food with a few limited meat options for the friends. But to be perfectly honest, the vegetarian food is so good, you won’t even look at the alternatives! The team at The Planet Diner works with local growers, bringing you the best produce in its most original and natural setting. We highly recommend their Chick’un burger, made with a crispy soy chick’un breast on a warm pretzel hoagie and topped with their creamy planet sauce. As we said, so good!!
- El Cactus Taco Shop – 2 Ontario St |
The best authentic Mexican restaurant in Stratford, Ontario. The owner/chef Alondra Galvez was born in Reynosa, Mexico and spent much of her childhood there. Well, particularly in her Abuela’s kitchen. That’s where she developed for food and flavour. El Cactus Taco Shop is Alondra’s love letter to her grandmother and you can taste the love in all of her food. It is mostly a takeout restaurant but the taco bar can host up to 10 guests. Get in quick because this place is HOT!
- Sirkel Foods – 40 Wellington Street |
Located in the heart of Stratford, Sirkel is a local favourite and popular with visitors who keep coming back. It’s a small takeout restaurant with some of the best sandwiches and salads you’ll ever have! Sirkel Foods is generous with both their sandwiches and their service; the staff are always ready with their fave suggestions if you can’t decide. Start with the homemade bread or stand out from the crowd with one of the famous Sirkel Crepes, stuffed with goat cheese, mushrooms, caramelized onions, roasted red peppers and spinach. They are only open Monday to Friday so you may want to order ahead through their website.
- York Street Kitchen Bistro – 151 Albert St |
This cute local sandwich shop has a surprisingly good selection of sandwiches on offer.
Grab a seat in the cute garden patio out back and feast yourself on their deluxe sandwich rolls. Always loyal to Stratford, the menu includes a selection of ‘Show Stopper Sandwiches’, named or inspired by theatre performances. The Othello is amazing with roasted peppers, local goat cheese, kalamata olives and pesto on fresh sourdough bread. Make a reservation for lunch and check out the quirky artwork inside.
- Bru Garden – 156 Waterloo St |
A new fun, food truck experience thanks to Kens French Fries. They’re currently closed for the season but when they open again in spring, you better race to the front of the line! This is the place to go for a good ol’ American/Canadian Barbecue. Their summer menu is filled with burgers, BBQ’d ribs, and the most heavenly poutines in Stratford. Sitting at picnic tables outside with really flavoursome comfort food is a Stratford past-time, so saddle up and enjoy! While you wait for the weather to warm up, keep an eye out for their smaller food trucks at 1093 Ontario St in the Canadian Tire Parking Lot, and 477 Huron St in the KW Surplus Parking Lot. Both have smaller menus but they’ll keep you warm in winter.
- Braai House – 34 Brunswick St |
Feel the heat of open-fire cooking with a South African-inspired menu at The Braai House. Inside, the decor is set up with a natural feel especially if you score a seat on the large deck behind the restaurant. The wood-fired pizzas are always a hit but for something a little different, try the duck with peri-peri, freekeh, charred lemon and rapini. One look at the menu can easily tell you why it’s one of the best places to eat in Stratford Ontario.
- The Alley – 34 Brunswick St |
Previously known as Keystone Alley, The Alley has had a recent renovation to both the restaurant and the menu. Located immediately downstairs from The Braai House, The Alley offers a lighter meal selection based on Asian Fusion and casual fine dining. The name comes from the well-known ‘alley’ adjacent which is frequently used for patio dining in both summer and winter. The Head Chef, Marc Chartrand, is a graduate of the local Stratford Chef school and knows how to weave his magic with the local produce. You can’t come to this Stratford restaurant without trying one of their Coconut Desserts!
- Features – 159 Ontario St |
When you need to start the day off with the best breakfast, head to Features on Ontario St. To be fair, they serve breakfast all day but the specials are available until 10 am. Voted Best Breakfast in town since 2007, Features offers traditional Canadian breakfasts as well as a few varieties with their own personal charm. It’s an old-school diner with great service and even better food. If you’re on the hunt to find to where to eat in Stratford, you can’t go wrong starting your day here.
I would give all my fame for a pot of ale (Best places to eat and drink in Stratford, Ontario)
- Romeo and Juliet: Act 4, Scene 2
While the culinary scene is kicking in Stratford Ontario, there is also plenty to see (and taste) with the craft beer, wine bars, and distilleries. Stratford has an ever-growing number of establishments, each with its own unique twist to your favourite beverages. Here are a few starters for your next visit.
- Black Swan Brewing Company – 144 Downie Street |
Stratford is famous for its Chocolate Trail, including a stop at the Black Swan Brewing Company for a pint of their dark chocolate ale, the Porter. Located just a few steps from the Avon Theatre, Black Swan Brewing Company is a great place to unwind with a post-show beer or two. The guys at Black Swan are all about drinking quality beer and not quantity, focusing on brewing the best flavours in beer.
- Junction 56 – 45 Cambria St |
Looking for ‘the Taste of Stratford’? Junction 56 Distillery uses 100% Ontario-grown grains from local businesses for their handcrafted flavoured liqueurs. Try their very popular Fireshine liquor, made from a combination of local cinnamon herbal tea blended with their own signature moonshine. It is sublime in a Late Night Cinnamon Latte (the recipe is on their website). They also have a small batch selection of Gin, Whisky, and Vodka. Check out their website for upcoming tasting sessions.
There is always a good reason to visit Stratford Ontario. And with all the great food here and this guide to help you find the places to eat in Stratford including some of the best restaurants that need to be on your list, you’ll be coming back again and again!