Hamilton has a great collection of unique bars in the city, all with cold beer on tap to keep you hydrated for the night. The key to a truly great bar is matching your libations with great food, whether it’s a pound of wings, shareable apps, or even a charcuterie board. This list is here to help guide you to great eats that go along with that smooth draft beer.
Here’s Steeltown Chowdown’s top 10 bar eats in Hamilton!
Mush: Major props to these guys for taking every element of the pub experience and making it great. Authentic ambiance, great pub food, ample beer selection, and friendly service. As good a place for watching the game as it is for sitting down with old friends.
Todd: Ye Olde Squire does everything well but unfortunately suffers on our list from the lack of doing anything exceptional. They’re an 8/10 on everything and there’s no reason you shouldn’t go. It’s a good place to watch a game or enjoy some solid pub food with friends after golf but they would be even better if they could just find themselves a signature item.
Todd: You’ve probably driven past The Doors many times and wondered, what’s going on in that dark basement bar just off of Hess? It’s time to answer your curiosity: it’s not intimidating inside. In fact, they’re downright polite and their simple tacos are done just right.
Mush: Great tacos are like great heavy metal. No frills, few ingredients, cooked with attitude. And like a kick in the teeth when done well.
Todd: I really enjoyed Moodys’ pizza. It was a simple pie executed quite well (although you can get more adventurous menu options and be equally as happy). When you’re done stuffing your face you can shoot upstairs to Arcade and play any of their old school arcade cabinets or finally become a pinball wizard. Best of all, they have carnival food options to snack on while you’re up there too.
Mush: Todd and I used to play the Terminator 2 arcade game at the Lime Ridge Mall arcade a lot. Like A LOT. And Arcade lets us re-live that experience. If only they served Mrs. Vanellis pizza and MMMuffins like the Lime Ridge food court it would be exactly as it used to be.
Todd: Uno Mas benefits from sharing their kitchen with Mezcal. Therefore you can get some of their solid tacos or deviate a bit and go for a charcuterie board. I’ve never had bad service here either; this bar literally has some of the best bartenders in the city and the gothic feel is so unique.
Mush: I wish more restaurants would do a goth version of themselves. Imagine a goth Tally Ho? A goth Greek Palace? A goth Hutch’s? This should be some sort of monthly pop-up event.
Mush: One of the best overall combinations of quality, price, and experience on our list. Excellent specials every day of the week means if you’ve had a tough day at work, you just pull up a seat on the patio, grab some food, and just people watch on Hess for a few hours.
Todd: Every Thursday from 5 – 9, Gown & Gavel offer up their burgers for half price with the purchase of a drink. I have but one wish to make it even better: warm sunshine to sit on their huge patio with a cocktail in my hand. Oh, and for every day to be Thursday.
Todd: The Fool & Flagon is worth every minute of your time. They have wing specials during the week and one of the best appetizers of all the options on this list: their Jalapeno Rolls.
Mush: A true pub in every sense of the word. The jalapeno rolls are like an egg roll meets a fancy jalapeno popper and 3 times better — then cool down your taste buds with a Labatt 50.
Todd: Shaolin is one of the best options in the city for drinks, music, and food. They’re associated with Born & Raised across the street and Marina on the ground floor so you know the tapas items are dynamite. Enjoy some live DJs, moody atmospheric lighting, and a cocktail with your Asian-inspired brussel sprouts (just trust me on these!)
Mush: I don’t think that bar food and brussels sprouts should be mentioned in the same Top 10 list, but the word Shaolin reminds me of Wu-Tang, so I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt.
Todd: Chuggy’s is the most underrated bar in the city. Fantastic wings, including a 79¢ wing special on the weekends. They also have an often overlooked hamburger on the menu which is the perfect option to have when you aren’t there on one of their wing nights.
Mush: I’m not sure I’ve been to a bar that felt more like Cheers. Everybody knows everybody and the service makes you feel welcome as soon as you walk in the door. And every entrée is served with a mountain of fries. It’s like if Five Guys was your neighbourhood bar.
Todd: The Thirsty Cactus is my go-to when in Dundas for their Antojitos. They’re served warm, soft, and with a perfect touch of spice that only a cold drink can pair perfectly with. It’s no wonder it’s one of the bars I still regularly visit since graduating high school.
Mush: At first, I was wishing that we had more Tex-Mex options in the city. Then I realized we don’t need more when we have the Thirsty Cactus. I don’t need to get a Tecate and Tequila Lime dip anywhere else.
Mush: There’s probably no better bar music than Stompin’ Tom Connors at full volume. And in his honour get the Bud The Spud Burger when you’re here. It’s basically a loaded baked potato burger which is even more delicious than you’d imagine
Todd: The Ship has so much going for it! They’re in the perfect location to meet up with friends, they’re surrounded by other bars to visit if you want to do a crawl together, they offer an extensive beer list, and have some of the best burgers in the entire city. Their #1 ranking on this list is well earned and their Reuben burger locks it down for me, uncontested.
Been to any of these? Unlock them!
Authored By: Todd & Mush of Steeltown Chowdown (IG: @steeltownchowdown)