Visiting Niagara Falls in the summer is a popular Canadian ritual, but sometimes the buzz of the tourist attractions and downtown establishments can be a bit much. If you want to escape the downtown madness for a bit and enjoy a quiet riverside dinner, drive 15 minutes southeast of downtown Niagara Falls to Chippawa and enjoy a casual meal at the Riverside Tavern.
The Riverside Tavern features a patio overlooking the Welland Canal where you’ll be able to watch boats go by as you enjoy your meal. Dining by the river reminded me of being in cottage country, not in Niagara Falls.
With a new chef with credentials that include experience at Fairmont Hotels, the Riverside Tavern emphasizes a menu featuring fresh foods. You’ll find items such as wraps, pizza, steaks, salads and stir-fries.
My dining partner opted for the Caesar Salad, $8, and she and I decided to split a Basket of Hand Cut French Fries, $5. The Caesar Salad was fresh with crispy croutons and a mild parmesan-based dressing.
The fries were fantastic, obviously house made. They had the skins on and were just crispy enough and quite hot when they arrived.
I ordered the Riverside Burger, 14, which was topped with cheese, tomato jam, pickles and sautéed onions and came with fries or a side salad. I opted for the side salad.
I could tell from the flavour that my hamburger was made in-house. The meat was juicy and the patty was not uniform. Just what you would expect from a tavern. My side salad wasn’t terribly exciting (I would have preferred all the ingredients to be mixed), but it was fresh.
We so enjoyed escaping downtown Niagara Falls to enjoy a 30C-evening with cool breezes coming off the Welland River at the Riverside Tavern Niagara Falls.
When we were finished dining, we watched a band playing 60s and 70s favourites in Cummington Square, in the centre of the village. An enthusiastic crowd sang and danced to “Sweet Caroline”. What a lovely, small town, summer experience.
Riverside Tavern, 8163 Cummington Square, Chippawa, (905) 295-4211