Top 5 Places for Winter Comfort Food in Burlington
Anything hot, cheesy, gooey, or hearty will warm you right up on a wintry Burlington day. And who doesn’t love all of the above? Whether it’s a pasta dish, dessert, or something featuring meat on meat on meat, there’s always something you’ll turn to in the dead of a Canadian winter. If you’re all out ideas, we’ve got you. Here are our top 5 places for winter comfort food in Burlington.
This long-running Fairview St. pub has a loyal following, and it's a family-friendly place, with lots of booths and plenty of sports enthusiasts by the bar. Servers know the regulars by name. Mostly known for fish and chips, the casual restaurant offers super-friendly service. House-made Sticky Toffee Pudding arrives … it’s filled with dates, decadent spiced rum toffee sauce, and whipped cream. It’s light, it’s on point, and it’s just right. Next time you're in the mood for something sweet (but not too sweet) and comforting, you should try it.
Don't mess with the wild west. Chaps has been the king of wings for about 30 years now and this favourite on Fairview is the only location left. People from all over the world head to Chaps, the waitress says, adding there's a couple who lands from Japan and takes a taxi straight from Pearson airport. There's good reason. First they got me with their carrot cake and wings, and now I'm down with their mac and cheese. You'll have to order it as part of a platter (we went with pierogies and flautas ... all three were slathered in cheese on cheese on cheese. There's no question about it ... Chaps does comfort food so good. Giddy up!
Law textbooks line the walls at this Walker's Line British pub (making it an ideal watering hole for journalists and other temperamental scribes). An enormous piece of battered haddock arrives perfectly seasoned. It's fresh, crispy (not soggy) and served piping hot. The fries are nice, too, although they're frozen. Tartar sauce is made in-house, accompanied by a side of fresh slaw. This pub opened in 1998 and still feeds a steady stream of hungry Burlingtonians seven days a week.
There’s good chicken and there’s chicken that’s tasty as cluck (that wasn’t a typo). Brant St. is home to this fun, laidback resto … you may recognize the name from Hamilton’s original King St. W. location. Doors opened in March 2017 and locals are flocking to the place. Featuring lunch, dinner, and boozy weekend brunch, Coop Wicked Chicken offers fresh in-house food made with high-quality ingredients. Offerings include Deep-Fried Deviled Eggs (fantastic!), Sriracha Honey Cauliflower (for the vegans in your life), Hardcore Pulled Chicken Poutine, and Chicken & Waffles topped with an egg -- this was absolutely phenomenal. There’s no better way to soothe yourself on a blustery day. The atmosphere is unpretentious and fun. Service is great.
This hip Italian bar-slash-gastropub is one of the newest along Brant St., taking over the former Eatalia spot. I found this place while strolling downtown … the stunning aesthetic caught my eye so I went in to find out more, quickly realizing it’s Burlington’s best-kept (burger, pasta, bread … carb-loading) secret. Just order the gnocchi and wait … it’s made in-house and you’ll quickly realize you’re in a legit Italian resto, despite the absence of lasagna on the menu. There’s oodles of dairy and flavour and it’s so stellar you may nearly explode with happiness. The friendly owner, Jerod, and staff work hard to provide a stellar experience. Oh, and by the way, they’ve got craft beer on beer on beer on beer! Dozens … close to 100 varieties. Culaccino opened around summer 2016 and weekends are fully booked.
Go for the brisket ... leave having sampled everything because the ravenous carnivore in you will surface and the meat is *that* damn fantastic. Barque Smokehouse first opened in Toronto’s west-end Roncesvalles Village in 2011, heading further west to Burlington in summer 2017. Once you're seated, you're served popcorn and complimentary sparkling water. Don't look at the menu. Just order the Smoked Beef Brisket with red cabbage slaw, fried onions, and horseradish mayo. Now, the popcorn. It's amazing. You might sneeze or cough but you must keep snacking. (Turn the container upside down, RIGHT over your mouth, if no one is watching). The seats are so comfy, the vibe is fun and casual chic, and the meat speaks for itself. For the plant-based lovers in your life, the Chopped Kale Salad is downright lovely, with pickled cabbage, red onion, turnips, and heirloom carrots ribbons. Barque serves locally grown ingredients when possible. The menu also offers Southern Fried Chicken, Baby Back Ribs, Pulled Pork, and Smoked Wings. Service is awesome.