Psssst: just in case you forgot, Valentine’s Day is approaching pretty quickly.
Don’t panic! Thankfully, Hamilton has got plenty of fantastic spots in town that are perfect for date night: restaurants and bars that stand out for their immersive, romantic atmosphere just as much as their top notch menus.
To help you figure out a place to head with bae this Valentine’s Day, we’ve curated a list of 10 standout spots in Hamilton that are pretty much guaranteed to impress.
From laidback vibes to fine dining experiences, here’s our list of Hamilton’s top 10 date night spots for 2022!
Who says date night always has to be fancy?
James North’s popular craft beer bar may not have the sleek decor or polished food menu of some other entries on this list. But what they do have is a totally approachable vibe with a killer rotating selection of Ontario craft beer on tap and rare, shareable fermented finds in the fully-stocked bottle fridge. They even have lit candles on the tabletops after dark for extra intimacy.
With wine and cocktails also on offer, along with a playful menu of small bites like fresh samosas and homemade slices of pie, The Brain is one of our favourites for a no-frills night out.
This restaurant feels classy from top to bottom. Aberdeen Tavern is nestled by the corner of Aberdeen and Dundurn in the former home of a bank, and it sports some upscale vibes with a hearty menu to match.
Straightforward fine dining dishes like salmon, steak, and pasta are given some gentle flourishes with a thoughtful culinary touch that doesn’t shy away from adding a twist here and there. The atmosphere is rustic yet polished, and the food here consistently earns high marks. If you want a romantic dinner that makes an impression, Aberdeen Tavern is a spot that delivers.
The Hamilton Mountain isn’t exactly known as a destination for quality dining, but La Spaghett is a rare exception.
This longstanding Italian bistro may not look like much from the outside; it’s located in the corner of a small strip mall on Upper James and doesn’t exactly catch the eye.
But once you head inside, you’re met with moody, cozy, charmingly classic atmosphere and a particularly great menu of pastas and traditional, old-school Italian dishes, most of which are made from scratch to order. A nicely curated wine list rounds out La Spaghett’s offerings, making this spot a well-loved favourite for a few hours of delicious indulgence.
Hamilton certainly has a fair number of steak houses, but Victoria’s Steak & Seafood stands out for a decidedly modern approach to its atmosphere and cuisine.
The former home of Rolly Rockets BBQ at the corner of King and Locke is virtually unrecognizable in this new incarnation helmed by the folks behind elevated Italian spot Caro. Victoria’s sports a bright, inviting space with a striking blend of blues, whites, and woodgrain alongside a menu with fine cuts of steak, quality seafood, and shareable options like burrata and salads. This is the ideal spot for a Valentine’s Day splurge.
The name of the restaurant literally translates to ‘good times,’ and that’s exactly what Hamiltonians can expect here.
The small John South restaurant space headed by Chef Dave Fauteux features elevated bistro fare that takes notes from French-Canadian cuisine, putting particular emphasis on shareable options like oysters, charcuterie boards, and expertly-prepared meat and seafood dishes. A thoughtful wine list and selection of cocktails seals the deal.
This is the second Italian spot on our list, because let’s be real: is there anything more romantic than a heaping plate of pasta and a glass of Merlot?
Castelli goes above and beyond your standard spaghetti and meatballs with modern, elevated takes on rustic Italian classics, which include exceptional pastas, pizzas, and much more made with top quality ingredients.
Combine that with an inviting and attractive aesthetic, and Castelli Cucina cements itself as one of James North’s prime date night indulgences.
When locals think of romantic date spots in Hamilton, The French is probably a restaurant that readily springs to mind.
This fine-casual French bistro is a favourite on King William Street’s restaurant row, with an aesthetic that’s chic, attractive, and romantic without feeling unapproachable.
You pretty much can’t go wrong with any of the numerous menu options, from simple-yet-stellar fare like a classic Steak Frites to something even more decadent like Duck Confit with sweet potato, Brussels sprouts, and Concord grape. Combine that with excellent hospitality, and any visit to The French is likely to feel special.
If you want stunning old-world charm that practically screams romance, Brothers Grimm Bistro might be exactly what you’re looking for. In just a few short years of operation, it’s become a go-to for something special on Valentine’s Day.
Located in the subterranean space that used to house the Sandbar Tavern on King Street East, Brothers Grimm Bistro is serving up tantalizing Euro-fusion bistro fare with a focus on game meats and shareable dishes, served alongside carefully curated selections of wine and craft beer.
Exposed brick, woodgrain, and decorative stacks of reclaimed wooden barrels complete the picture for this moody and totally transporting dining experience.
It shouldn’t be a surprise that Berkeley North has made this list: this King William Street restaurant has earned numerous national accolades after only a handful of years in operation.
With emphasis on fine dining dishes made with fresh, locally-sourced ingredients, Berkeley North uses its exceptional seasonal menus and romantic atmosphere to noteworthy effect. Share plates like lamb spring rolls and mushroom dumplings remain favourites, and memorable entrees like glazed duck or rockfish crudo practically demand to be savoured.
With such strong nationwide acclaim and one of the best kitchens in town, Berkeley North is an absolute must for that next special night out.
A local favourite for foodies and beer nerds alike, Brux House pretty much never misses.
This longstanding Locke Street gastropub – a sister restaurant to Dundas’ acclaimed Quatrefoil – serves up elevated Belgian-inspired bites paired with a rotating tap list of the best craft beer from Ontario and beyond.
A softly-lit, woodgrain-forward aesthetic hosts second-to-none service and an eclectic menu by Executive Chef Fraser MacFarlane. Seasonal food options always include plenty of diverse share plates to split with your favourite person over a flight of barrel-aged beers, or a thoughtful cocktail designed in-house. It’s hard to imagine anyone leaving Brux House unsatisfied, Valentine’s Day or otherwise.
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What changes would you make to our list? Let us know in the comments!