ON THE MENU: What’s opened and closed on the local restaurant scene - Hamilton City Magazine Skip to main content
Celebrating all things Hamilton / Welcome Message
Food + Drink

ON THE MENU: What’s opened and closed on the local restaurant scene

Here's a list of what has come, gone and changed in Hamilton and Burlington in 2023, along with some glimpses of what's launching in 2024.

It has been a turbulent time in the restaurant business and the waters could be getting choppier.  

The restaurant game is always risky but the lingering effects of the pandemic, soaring rents and interest rates, the enormous hikes in food costs and the ongoing difficulties in attracting and retaining staff are just adding to the ever-present challenges of keeping a restaurant open.

It’s not for the faint of heart.

Add to that is Thursday’s deadline to pay back pandemic loans backed by the federal government under the Canada Emergency Business Account program.

A recent survey released by Restaurants Canada found that one in five of its 27,500 independent members said they'll likely close at least one location because of the CEBA repayment.

But where there are closures, in some cases of longstanding and beloved fixtures in Hamilton and Burlington, there have also been an astonishing number of openings, rebrandings and evolutions.

Here is a recap of 2023 and what we know about what's on tap for 2024.

Launched & opening soon

22 Blossom Sushi (Stonechurch Road, Hamilton). Classic and unique sushi. Instagram: 22blossomsushi

A.M. Breakfast Café (Rebecca Street, Hamilton). Premium coffee with classic and creative breakfast menu. IG: ambreakfastresto

Butties of Scotland (Panabaker Drive, Ancaster). Traditional dishes, including all-day breakfast. IG: buttiesofscotland

Chipotle TexMex (Martindale Crescent, Ancaster). Burritos, tacos, bowls and more. (We won't typically include chain restaurants in our future lists, but this opening has generated a lot of social media buzz.) IG: chipotlecanada

Coati Fine Chocolate (Hamilton Farmers’ Market). Beans-to-bar chocolate shop with creative handcrafted truffles and confections.

Comma Café (Barton Street, Hamilton). Specialty coffee, breakfast and other sandwiches, pastries and brunch. IG: comma_lots_more

Conversate (King William Street, Hamilton). Traditional steakhouse with seafood in contemporary setting. IG: conversate.restaurant

Crown and Press Gallery and Café (Ottawa Street, Hamilton). Charming café with comfortable seating in an art gallery setting. IG: crownandpressgallery

District Tapas + Bar (Barton Street, Hamilton). Tapas drawing from global cuisines, entrees (and brunch) and extensive drinks selection. IG: districttapasbar

Eldercamp (Hamilton Farmers’ Market). Aiming to preserve traditions, offering mainly German comfort food, fermented products, pickling and preserving. IG: eldercamp.ca

Ellis Kitchen (Ottawa Street, Hamilton). Caribbean dishes including beef patties, fried dumplings, and jerk chicken. IG: elliskitchenca

Fuh Café (Locke Street, Hamilton). Vietnamese specialties such as pho (even at breakfast) bahn mi and Vietnamese coffee. IG: thefuhcafe

Fuwa Fuwa (Newton Avenue, Hamilton). Soufflé pancakes that are light and fluffy with a variety of toppings. IG: fuwafuwahamilton

Genesis Chocolate (King Street West, Dundas). Wide range of delicious treats from high end ingredients made with Belgian chocolate. (Opening soon) IG: genesischocolatecompany

Germania Club. (King Street East, Hamilton). Founded in 1864, iconic club is open Thursdays and Fridays from 3-8pm with a large menu and weekly specials. IG: germaniaclub

Goldie’s (James Street South, Hamilton). Popular for their smash burgers, fried chicken and fries. IG: goldies_fastfood

Joey Turk’s Island Grill (Locke Street, Hamilton). Barbados Chef Tony Bradshaw celebrates Caribbean cuisine. IG: joeyturksislandgrill

Kapadokya Kebab House (Brant Street, Burlington). Turkish and Mediterranean cuisine. IG: kapadokyacanada

Lemon and Ice (Concession Street, Hamilton). Healthy takeaway including keto. IG: lemonandiceconcession

Le Tambour Tavern (James Street North, Hamilton). French-inspired cuisine in a newly renovated setting that was once home to beloved music venue This Ain't Hollywood. IG: letambourtavern

Lobby (James Street South, Hamilton) Global cuisine and creative cocktails. IG: lobby.hamilton

Lot 88 Steakhouse (Appleby Line, Burlington). Modern twist on traditional steakhouse with the option of lava rock grilling at your table. IG: lot88burlington

Matamak Restaurant (King Street West, Hamilton). Membership based eatery offering meals to members at a reduced cost. IG: matamak.ca

Menya Kyu – Hamilton Ramen (James Street South, Hamilton). Chef Yoshiyuki Aiba offers authentic Japanese dishes, featuring ramen. IG: menyakyu

Momo Chowmein – The Hakka Spot (Fennell Avenue, Hamilton). Hakka and Nepali cuisine. IG: momochowmein1

Moms Bakedagain (Wentworth Street, Hamilton). Food Truck offers daily fresh baked sweets; vegan, gluten and nut free. IG: moms__bakedagain

Next Door Café (King Street West, Hamilton). Variety of coffees made with house blend coffee beans, sandwiches and desserts served in cozy café. IG: nextdoor_coffee

Peabody’s Eatery (John & Augusta, Hamilton). A variety of dishes, such as burgers, gourmet sandwiches, charcuterie boards, and breakfast items. IG: peabodys_eatery_

Pizzaiolo (Ottawa Street North, Hamilton). New location for gourmet (including gluten-free) pizzas. IG: pizzaiologourmetpizza

Pizzeria Bros (Hess Village, Hamilton). Artisanal thin-crust pizza ready in 90 seconds in high heat ovens. IG: pizzeriabroshess

Pleasant Cookies (Ottawa Street, Hamilton). Homemade small-batch cookies and treats – located inside the Crown and Press Café. IG: pleasantco.ca

Portuguese Grill House (Dundas Street, Waterdown). Traditional Portuguese dishes. IG: portuguesegrillhouse

Prime Steak & Raw Bar (Brant Street, Burlington). Previously SB Prime; acquired by B Social Hospitality Group (which owns seven other eateries in Hamilton and Burlington) and rebranded as an Asian influenced steak and raw bar. IG: primesteakandrawbar

Punjabi Shaan Sweets & Restaurant (Main Street East, Hamilton). Traditional Indian dishes showcasing various regional styles. IG: punjabi_shaan1

Rajdhani Sweets and Restaurant (Queenston Road, Stoney Creek). Popular franchise offers Indian cuisine and sweets. IG: rajdhanisweetsandrestaurant

Rosales Diner (Dundurn Street, Hamilton). Family-friendly diner serving breakfast, lunch, and eventually dinner. Owned by Roman Kremnev of Artie’s on Locke Street. (Opening soon) IG: rosalesdiner

Tacomex (King Street West, Hamilton). Mexican cuisine and hospitality. IG: yourtacomex

Timmy’s Tanur (Upper Wentworth Street, Hamilton) Middle Eastern menu and market. IG: timmystanur

Tony G’s Pizzeria (John Street North, Hamilton). Italian and Greek heritage creates popular pizzas. IG: tonygshamilton

Townhall Social Eatery (Concession Street, Hamilton). Contemporary “food court” with various eateries - The Taproom, Salted Pig, Tuesday’s, Incline Coffee, The Parlour, and Bread & Wine. IG: townhallsocialeatery

Tribeca Coffee (corner of Lakeshore & Brant, Burlington). Coffee and community-building with game nights. IG: tribecacoffee.burlington

Zehra Turkish Cuisine (Cannon Street, Hamilton). Authentic Turkish cuisine including dips and kebabs. IG: zehraturkishcuisine

Rebranding & evolving

541 Eatery & Exchange (Barton Street, Hamilton). Recently reopened non-profit café serving breakfast, sandwiches and desserts. It was closed for four months due to staffing challenges and increased demand for services. IG: 541barton

Baked by Batches (Dundurn Street, Hamilton). Bakeshop has now permanently taken over the former Cake and Loaf space. IG: bakedbybatches

Candi Werx (Previously on Concession Street, Hamilton). Storefront has closed, with plan to soft launch a new website for online purchasing in 2024.

Cat and Fiddle Pub (John Street South, Hamilton). Classic pub has reopened under new ownership after closure in fall 2021. IG: catandfiddlehamilton

Cowabunga (Vine Street, Hamilton). New dine-in setting; popular dish is Slice Flight, featuring choice of four different pizza slices. IG: cowabungapizzeria

Dear Grain (Vine Street, Hamilton). Sourdough bread offerings have expanded to include loaf cakes, babkas, croissants and more. IG: deargrainbakery

Electric Diner (King William Street, Hamilton). New, second location for the '80s themed eatery with creative breakfasts, brunches and classic lunch/supper foods (burgers, bowls and sandwiches). IG: electricdinerhamont

Fox & Fiddle Pub (Limeridge Mall, Hamilton). Location closed and moved to Hess Village with new name – Pub 36 on Hess. IG: pub36_onhess

Green Machine (Concession Street, Hamilton). Well-known food truck offering healthy street food has moved to a bricks and mortar location in the space previously occupied by Jonny Blonde. IG: greenmachinefoodtruck

J. Waldron Butchers (Barton Street, Hamilton). “Out-of-the-way” shop imminently opening storefront on Barton. Offerings include meat pies by Ray Turner of Salty Espresso and Sunny Corner Bar repute. IG: j.waldron_butchers

Momoco Donuts (Catharine Street, Hamilton). The My Sweet Tooth (owners) have added delicious Bao to their donut menu, available on Thursdays and Fridays with advanced ordering advised. IG: momocodonuts

Mystic Ramen (King William Street, Hamilton). After several years in the Farmers’ Market, they have moved to a bricks and mortar dine-in setting serving popular ramen as well as appetizers and desserts. IG: mystic.ramen

Pinbones (King Street West, Dundas). New location that combines fish market with seated indoor dining. IG: pinbonesfishmkt

Pintoh (John Street North, Hamilton). After closure of Burlington location, they have reopened a dine-in setting with Chef Keng’s creative Thai cuisine. IG: pintohcuisine

radius (Hess Village, Hamilton; Brant Street, Burlington). After closure of Corktown location they have reopened in Hess Village in a beautifully renovated space with talented chef Dan Burcher. A second location is now open in Burlington. IG: radiusdining

Seasoned (King William Street, Hamilton). Continuing to serve locals and Theatre Aquarius patrons, it was recently included in Open Table’s Top 100 restaurants. IG: seasonedhamilton

West Plains Bistro (Plains Road East, Burlington). Owner Irene Burns retired after 18 years. The Bistro has been sold but will continue to run as usual with the same name and staff. IG: westplainsbistro

Closed & closing

BN Local. (Dundurn Street, Hamilton). Eatery was sister to King William’s Berkeley North; closed in November with no reason offered.

Castelli Cucina (James Street North, Hamilton). Closed In December with hints about a new restaurant in the future. Many of their specialties are available at Castelli Mercato (Ancaster).

Emerald Coffee. (Barton Street, Hamilton). Since 2018 had been a community hub and coffee spot. Closed in December.

The Heather (Locke Street, Hamilton). Featuring Chef Matty Cowan closed in December; currently running a supper club in Toronto (The Atelier) and will soon begin an at home project in the GTHA area.

Kitchen Island (King Street East). Artisanal bakery that offered delivery services closed in August.

La Cantina (Walnut Street, Hamilton). Closed to public dining in November after 37 years, with hints at a next chapter one day.

Lady Glaze Doughnuts. (Concession Street, Hamilton). Hoping to reopen elsewhere.

La Piazza Allegra (James Street South, Hamilton). Closed in November after 27 years. The family continues to run Sasso Pizza Market & Bar and plans to announce future projects.

Limoncello (Ottawa Street, Hamilton). Rustic Italian eatery losed after nearly two decades of operation at the end of 2023. The nearby Simply Italian Bakery, owned by the same family, remains open.

Lockesmith (Locke Street, Hamilton) Was previously Brux House; closed August 2023 after only a few months of operation.

Paninoteca (Upper James Street, Hamilton). Italian sandwich bar closed in December.

Queen’s Head Pub (Brant Street, Burlington). British-style pub was a popular gathering place for 20 years but closed in September.

Rugantino (Locke Street, Hamilton). Closed with space now occupied by Joey Turk’s Island Grill.

Whoa Nelly (Locke Street, Hamilton). Closed after brief period in space previously occupied by Lockesmith and Brux House.

– List compiled by HAMILTON CITY Magazine food contributor Diane Galambos.

If you have a restaurant opening or changing, please let us know at meredith@hamiltoncitymagazine.ca. And be sure to watch for the March/April edition of HAMILTON CITY Magazine – it’s our food issue!