The grills are sizzling, the drinks are flowing and the sun is shining. That’s right, it is patio season in Haldimand County once again! As a Haldimand resident and an experienced patio go-er myself, I wanted to take you on a virtual patio tour to show off some local hot spots and best-kept secrets. Please be warned that this tour will get your mouth watering as I will be sharing some tantalizing menu options and thirst-quenching drink pairings at each location.
Starting out in my hometown of Caledonia, I will take you to the infamous Argyle Street Grill. As the name suggests, “The Grill” is located right on Caledonia’s main drag and boasts a large permanent patio that gives off a warm and fun vibe. With its string lights, luscious flowers, and natural shade provided by nearby mature trees, this is a local hotspot. And what is my favourite part you may ask? The grill has a captivating mural of Caledonia acting as a feature wall, showcasing some of the historic landmarks that make Caledonia unique, such as the nine arch bridge and the Caledonia Mill. Not only is this patio’s atmosphere impressive, but The Grill has a menu to match. With all kinds of food and beverage options to choose from, you will be sure to find something you fancy. My favourite is the Three Cheese Cappelletti, a cheese-stuffed pasta covered in a rose sauce, then baked in more cheese. For a drink pairing I always like to switch it up; however, lately, I have been ordering Moscow Mules. Check out their full menu HERE.
After a quick trip down highway 6, you will arrive at Main 88 in Hagersville. This little neighborhood pub has a quaint picturesque patio with rustic string lights that really set the ambiance for an evening meal. This restaurant also makes some of the best pizza in the county, as they are fresh and handcrafted daily. My favourite pie to enjoy is the Breakaway specialty pizza, which has a combination of all of the best toppings (in my opinion), including ham, mushroom, green pepper, bacon, and onion. Pizzas aren’t the only menu items here though, they have a HUGE selection of authentic Italian eats, as well as traditional pub-style food such as wings, fingers, burgers, wraps, and poutine. Also, nothing screams summer to me more than pairing these delicious eats with Main 88’s Bucket of Beers special, where you receive 6 bottles of your choice for 32 dollars. Learn more about their full food and drink menu HERE.
If you continue travelling down Highway 6, it will take you to the quaint town of Jarvis, where you can find Concession Road Brewing, Haldimand County’s first brewery, and tap room. Here you can try a vast range of delicious craft beers, sours, and seltzers. With a constant rotation of what’s on tap, you can always find a new treat. You will find me enjoying these delicious drinks on Concession Road’s patio, situated just outside of the tap room. Their patio is partially covered, and open to the taproom via garage door, so you always feel like you are a part of the action. You can also order some appetizers from the brewery or purchase some of the best smoky BBQ in the County, courtesy of Talbot St BBQ which is located on-site. On the recommendation of my mother, I tried the hummus, and a flight of beers, and all I can say is mom knows best! Check out their taproom menu HERE along with Talbot Street BBQ’s info HERE.
From Jarvis you can head along Highway 3 to Cayuga, where I decided to stop at Twisted Lemon. At Twisted Lemon, many ingredients in their dishes are picked straight from the garden behind the restaurant. It doesn’t get fresher than that! What isn’t grown at Twisted Lemon is sourced locally and of the highest quality. Plus, if you’re looking for a memorable date night, then look no further. They offer blind date menus, which you can pair with their delicious line of Clarity cocktails. Even better, Twisted Lemon has a wonderful semi-covered patio that is beautifully decorated with shrubbery and florals, where you can enjoy afternoon drinks with friends, that special date night we mentioned, or a night out on the town. No matter the occasion, Twisted Lemon should be high on your list of great outdoor dining stops within Haldimand County. Click HERE to view their full menu.
Next I would recommend heading toward Lake Erie and plan to stop in Fisherville, where you will find “The Tav”. In addition to being a fantastic food spot, The Tav is also a historic landmark. It was originally built in 1853 as a hotel for travelling salesmen. Today, The Tav still operates as a hotel, and caters to people that love historic country getaways. My go-to meal at The Tav is the Yorkshire Beef Bowl, and I always order the Tav Smashed Potatoes to share. They are creamy and delicious and topped with bacon, pepper and green onion, who doesn’t love that! If you order the Yorkshire, the roast beef is drenched in delicious gravy and is well seasoned, and the crispy onions make the perfect topper. I would pair this savory dish with an oaky red wine. The Fisherville Tavern is a stop that is worth your time. Don’t forget to check out their menu HERE.
I am a sucker for lakeside eats, and since this is my blog and my rules, I had to make an honorable mentions category. Although these places were not on our route today, I would really encourage you all to make the detour and visit them. The honorable mentions go to Hoover’s Marina and Hippo’s at Mohawk Marina, which are two of the most beautiful spots in Haldimand County to go enjoy an ice-cold beverage, or unforgettable food. With breathtaking views, these two patios are hidden gems, and are a must-visit for all residents in Haldimand County. Both restaurants offer phenomenal fresh Lake Erie fish and chips, fish tacos, fish on a bun, and more. Considering I have lived in Haldimand County my whole life, and only learned about both of these spots this summer, my hopes are that this article reaches others who are interested in exploring the hidden gems of Haldimand
Now that I have provided you will my personal favourites, I want to give you a summer challenge. I want to encourage you to try as many new patios as you can this summer. Grab your friends, parents, partner, or more, and get out there to see what Haldimand County has in store. In addition to the list I noted above, you can find a comprehensive listing of all outdoor dining in Haldimand County by clicking the button below. See how many stops you can make it to and be sure to take pictures and tag TourismHaldimand throughout your travels.