The NCT Guide
Each of the 5 culinary regions are colour coded so you can navigate within a colour. The maps and the information in this guide give you a great starting point; travel through the back roads to discover it all and don’t forget if you want to travel from region to region, use the centre fold out map for a complete view of Niagara.
This is a brand new Guide to the 5 culinary regions of Niagara. Pick a region, pick a day and explore. You’re guaranteed to uncover new sites you never knew existed and in between your destinations you’ll find dozens of delicious reasons to return for a longer stay. The back roads of Niagara are sure to unearth the freshest flavours and most endearing farm and country conviviality.
Niagara Edibles - Niagara-on-the-Lake
Niagara-on-the-Lake is where you’ll find the highest concentration of the region’s farm-to-table restaurants. This is where the region’s wine country cuisine took hold, starting here and spreading out across the rest of the peninsula, sometimes in the most unexpected places. Inventive chefs from this eclectic culinary region, influenced in part by the wine industry, took the area’s produce and created dishes with a sense of place, a dollop of pride and a large infusion of delicious purpose.
Gourmet Diversity - St Catharines & Jordan
In this culinary region you have all the amenities and excitement of a big city enhanced by the romance of the Jordan Hollow. Gourmet dining and a quaint rural village; lights of a big city and fragrant orchards of the country. The St. Catharines Farmers’ Market is one of the region’s largest and operates year round. Located in the centre of the city on King Street right behind city hall, this new market square building is a virtual feast for the eyes in the summer with fresh fruit and vegetables, a traditional cheese truck and meat vendors. You can also pick up some prepared ethnic foods or a fresh loaf of bread.
Field to Fork - Vineland, Beamsville, Grimsby
This region has the drama of the escarpment benches, the romance of pockets of rolling hills and the quaintness of the collection of little towns. Vineland, Beamsville and Grimsby are all connected by one road, Highway 8, (King Street) or “Old 8” as the locals call it. This part of the region is a little more laid back, a little more authentic than the Niagara-on-the-Lake region, even though they share one obvious similarity; wine country cuisine. This is where the similarity ends because these towns are influenced by Smithville just to the south, a tiny little village that was the chicken capital of Ontario and that plays a big role in the cuisine of this region. Here are a few more unique properties in this western wine country.
Harvest the Hills - Welland, Fonthill and the Effingham Hills
The town of Pelham sits in the heart of the Niagara Peninsula and combines five historical communities, Fonthill, Ridgeville, Effingham, North Pelham and Fenwick, into a single blossoming community with a perfect blend of successful farming and village commercialism. Savvy urbanites know that Niagara’s best flavours are to be found in the lazy backroads. But few people know about the stunningly beautiful rolling hills of Effingham, a beautiful part of the region that people tend to overlook It offers a tranquil commingling of hills and valleys, densely wooded forests, farms and fields. Effingham’s crops are particularly varied and include just about everything except tender fruit. Most notably, this is the region for apples, sweet corn, melons and maple syrup.
Epicurean Trek - Niagara Falls, Port Colborne, Ridgeway and Crystal Beach
The city of Niagara Falls is built around the spectacular thundering waterfalls many believe are approximately 12,000 years old. No visitor can leave the region without first experiencing its mesmerizing beauty by day and its romantic night time allure made even more captivating with illumination and fireworks. This Honeymoon Capital of the World is spectacular in all four seasons, but especially in its dramatic icy winter dress. Enjoy one of the most famous places in the world and discover how delicious it can be. The area from Niagara Falls through to Fort Erie and west to Crystal Beach, Ridgeway and Port Colborne is mainly cash cropping with small farms hidden between the vast expanses of land.