A lot of people are talking about Hamilton these days – including some of North America’s top travel and lifestyle writers. The city was featured recently in no less than the New York Times, Elle Canada magazine and major dailies like The Globe and Mail and Montreal’s Le Devoir, where it’s been called “a burgeoning hipster haven” and “full of promises and surprises”. Read on to travel in the footsteps of those in the know, and get the experts’ take on not-to-be missed spots in this urban centre that is definitely trending!


Spectacular Sights

Webster’s Falls, Spencer Gorge

Benoit Legault of Montreal’s Le Devoir recently visited Hamilton and raved about the vibrancy of the city. The travel writer of Canada’s esteemed daily francophone newspaper spent time in the city exploring its culinary and live music scenes, along with beautiful historic sites and “remarkable” museums. Legault suggests that Hamilton has emerged from the shadow of Toronto to compete with Canada’s largest city as a must-see destination, with recommendations to visit Dundurn Castle, Whitehern, Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum and the Canadian Football Hall of Fame. To take in and enjoy the area’s “bucolic natural settings”, he suggests heading to Royal Botanical Gardens and Spencer Gorge Conservation Area.


The Local Food Scene

Radius

The consensus is that Hamilton’s local food scene has exploded, and according to the Globe and Mail, one reason is that restaurant veterans are “ditching Toronto for Hamilton”. It lists at least five top Toronto chefs who have relocated to open buzz-worthy spots like Hamburgr, Aberdeen Tavern, The Heather and The French. Benoit Legault of Montreal’s Le Devoir raved about some of the same spots, specifically recommending The FrenchRadius, and Aberdeen Tavern, while giving a special shout out to the Hamilton Farmers’ Market.

Elle Canada also explored a few of the spots that are pioneering the Hamilton foodie landscape, eating its way across Hamilton with delicious results. The magazine recommends Earth to Table Bread Bar for “truly insane pizza” along with The Burnt Tongue for its changing roster of hearty daily soups and Belgian fries.

Of the New York Times’ “five places to go”, three eateries were mentioned, including Nique, a spot that pays tribute to Canada’s ethnic mosaic with a menu that leaps from sushi nachos to braised beef cheek. The Times also praised its “playfully named cocktails”, specifically the bourbon-infused Thai Cat, a homage to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Saint James is described as a packed daytime-only eatery, where weekend crowds “queue for brunch staples like peppery avocado toast, crunchy falafel salad and house-made scones.” Steps from the James Street North strip, the tiny, all-white espresso bar Smalls offers “meticulous artisanal coffee alongside pillowy pastries from De La Terre, an organic bakery 29 miles to the east in Vineland”.


Arts Explosion

The Assembly

In its feature story on Hamilton, the New York Times noted that the city is getting a big boost from creatives fleeing Toronto’s skyrocketing real estate costs. The Times found much of the buzz centered on once-rundown James Street North, which is percolating with a vibrant art scene. At The Assembly, sixteen prominent Ontario artists, including the painter Daniel Hutchinson and the sculptor Andrea Carvalho, started a bi-level cooperative gallery as an incubator for edgier work — and an alternative to Toronto’s competitive art scene.

Read more about this up and coming city and see for yourself why everyone is buzzing about “The Hammer”.

Travel Deals View All >>

Experiences & Tours View All >>

July 6 - August 31

Behind the Scenes Tour – Interpreter-led

Hamilton Museum of Steam & Technology – National Historic Site

900 Woodward Avenue, Hamilton, ON, L8H 7N2

Date:       SATURDAYS July 6, 13, 20, 27 AND August 3, 10, 17, 24, 31, 2019...

Now thru December 21

Discover Hamilton Beer Tour

Beer Tours Hamilton

133 King St W Dundas

Weekly tours starting at 11 am in Dundas ending at 4 pm. Pickup at 24...

May 26

Medieval Illumination Workshop

Fieldcote Memorial Park & Museums

64 Sulphur Springs Road, Ancaster, ON, L9G 1L8

Cost:        $60 members, $65 non-members. Supply list provided upon registration. Time:        10:00 AM to 3:30...

May 4 - October 20

Tandem Yak Trip on the Grand River

Grand River Rafting Company

31 Mechanic Street, Paris, ON, N3L 1L1

November 16 - January 5

The McQuesten Family Christmas

Whitehern Historic House & Garden – National Historic Site

41 Jackson Street West, Hamilton, ON, L8P 1L3

Time:        12:00 PM – 4:00 PM (Tuesday to Sunday) Closed: Christmas Day, Boxing Day &...

May 1 - October 15

Grand River Tuscarora Route – Glen Morris to Brant

Grand Experiences Outdoor Adventure Company

115 Grand River Street North, Paris, ON, N3L 2M4

December 1

Victorian Christmas Delights: Historic Cooking Workshop

Dundurn National Historic Site

610 York Boulevard, Hamilton, ON, L8R 3H1

Time:        9:00 AM - 12:00 PM Ages:       14 years and up Cost:        $50 per person....

May 4 - October 20

Kayak Trips on the Grand River

Grand River Rafting Company

31 Mechanic Street, Paris, ON, N3L 1L1

There are no stores along the paddling section of the river... so you need to...

Now thru December 15

Ridge Road Wine Tour

Wine Tours Toronto

550 Eglinton Ave. W. Toronto, ON Canada

Saturday tours with 3 pick up locations. 9:30 am from Toronto, 10 am from Oakville,...

December 7 - 22

Christmas Evening Tours

Dundurn National Historic Site

610 York Boulevard, Hamilton, ON, L8R 3H1

Time:        7:00 PM - 9:00 PM Cost:        $30 per person. Pre-registration is required, weekends only.

Similar Stories View All >>

Four Ways to Satisfy Your Senses this Spring

Your guide to a sense-ational spring.

Read More

Indoor Activities in Hamilton

Hamilton is perfect for an outing with friends, a weekend getaway or some family fun!

Read More

Discover Even More Cool Claims to Fame

The list of our region’s claims to fame keeps growing.

Read More

A Montrealer’s Guide to a City of Culture

A travel writer explores the culinary, heritage and cultural scene in Hamilton.

Read More

5 Taste and Tour Ideas for Exploring Hamilton’s Craft Breweries

Sample the brewer’s craft at the source, with welcoming taprooms, retail outlets and tour-friendly facilities.

Read More

10 Reasons to Explore the Craft Breweries of Brant County

Ten reasons to “hop(s)” to it in Brant.

Read More

3 ways to sample local brews in Halton

Head to Burlington, Oakville and Milton for your ‘beer-cation.’

Read More

10 Tips For An Amazing Day At African Lion Safari

Road Trip-Worthy Restaurants

Recommendations for restaurants that are worth the trip.

Read More

Trips for Paddling Pros

In Hamilton Halton Brant, paddling adventures can be truly adventurous.

Read More

Where to Fall for Autumn Colours

It’s time to take in nature’s splendour.

Read More

4 Days of Big Fun in Small Towns

Head to Hamilton Halton Brant for communities that are big on small town charm.

Read More

Get Travel OffersEvent Details and Planning Ideas for Your Next Trip

Sign up to receive the latest Hamilton Halton Brant travel news delivered right to your inbox.