Restaurants, Bakeries, Food shops and Coffee shops in [Southwestern Ontario] [London, Ontario] [Windsor, Ontario] [Stratford, Ontario]

In London, Ontario, I’ve been enjoying takeout from these places over the past year.

Los Comales ( Salvadoran and Mexican)

I have ordered takeout online from Los Comales twice in the past 6 months. It’s an affordable small restaurant in a strip plaza on Southdale Road.

Frozen Pies from Fancy Tart (open Fri and Sat only)
Beef pie

Arva flour! Available at the Arva Flour Mill shop and at Remark Fresh Market.

Yasmine’s, an upscale Lebanese restaurant in Masonville. Everything I have ordered has been delicious. They package their takeout beautifully. They have a wood fired oven for pita and lahmajun. The fish dishes are good, as are the lamb and eggplant dishes. There’s a lamb shank with freekeh and yogurt main which I enjoyed.

Craft Farmacy. This has become my go-to for special occasion takeout. I like everything. Especially good posh burger, good duck, nice lobster appetizer.

My first takeout meal in 2022 was a salmon dinner from Craft Farmacy in London. Good salad, sun choke gratin, creamed spinach , salmon with gnocchi.
The tuna poke wasn’t very good- there was something in the marinade that wasn’t quite right.

Tried the vegan Milanese which was good for something vegan. Probably won’t get it again, but I’m glad I ordered it.

The menu changes every few months.

Craft Farmacy has a great upscale burger. I pick it up the takeout myself. They also have an upscale brunch that I would like to try one of these days.

Grace Restaurant runs Grace Bodega, which is a lunch shop, coffee shop , gourmet shop and wine bar on Dundas St near Clarence.

At Grace Bodega,
I bought a very good flat white, some Squish gummies, local mustard, soba noodles, furikake, local chocolate and furikake at Bodega yesterday. Will definitely return next time I need some hostess gifts or a good coffee in downtown London.

The takeout pickerel cakes and salad are very good. They sell some super breads. A nice Pain de Mie was last loaf I bought. Excellent cookies, too.

I have been slowly trying London’s independent pizzerias.

I order Deluxe or the mushroom green pepper pepperoni equivalent to keep it somewhat consistent. So far, I’ve tried Through Thick and Thin’s NY Style, Bondi’s , Byron Pizza, Sissio’s and Pizza Projekt’s Deep Dish.

Byron is a classic London/ SW Ontario type pizza, which is not quite a regional thing like Windsor pizza. The Byron Pizza reminds me of pizza in the 1980s in London, something like my memory of Frank Vetere’s pizza or Mother’s Pizza. Byron Pizza and the NY Crust Pizza at Through Thick and Thin have been my favourite pizzas so far.

I order Fish & Chips from Kipps Lane almost once a month. I like their Captains’ Platters, haddock and halibut. They give a lot of fries with their dinners, so I get one dinner that includes fries, then order extra seafood à la carte. Lobster roll isn’t that great. I really like their mixed seafood platters, and usually upgrade to halibut for my fish. Halibut has gone up in price lately.

Congee Chan for Chinese
I’ve been twice now.

Enjoyed takeout from Congee Chan last night. Fried chicken dumplings, tai dop voy, char siu, salt and spice squid, and fried vermicelli in the Taiwanese style. They offer 4 free spring rolls if you pay cash and order more than $35 worth of food.
Also enjoyed the Lobster with Maggi sauce and the Buddha’s Feast chow mein.

London has quite a few mainland and Northern Chinese restaurants and dessert shops I haven’t tried yet. Amylie’s has good XLB and I like their MaPo Tofu.

For groceries, Remark Fresh Market. Excellent Faroe Island Salmon. Good Italian sausage. Better produce than national chains. Good refrigerated soups, esp the clam chowder.

Mark’s Fine Meats in the Covent Garden Market. Mark Kitching, who owns Waldo’s runs this. Fish you can’t buy elsewhere, such as Mahi Mahi. Top quality cuts, less common meats. Organic egg nog, eggs. This would be the equivalent of Cumrbae’s for London.

Mark’s Fine Meats

For coffee, Locomotive, which serves Pilot coffee, Sidetrack and Asmara.

Through Thick and Thin Pizza in Old South

Steelhead Fish Co fishmonger in St Thomas is very good.

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Nice take-out meal from Blackfriars Bistro in London, Ontario.

Seafood cocktail

Seafood brodetto (broth was separate). I didn’t expect the same shrimp, calamari and salmon mixture that was featured in the seafood cocktail. I think the fish mixture in the brodetto varies from week to week.

Roasted Vegetable Wellington with pumpkin and zucchini ratatouille

Little Gem salad with Devil’s Rock Blue Cheese

Carrot cake

And a nice tiramisu.

The dining room was full. One of the nicer independent restaurants in London.

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Interesting fact about Cambridge, ON. It has more bakeries than pubs.


Takeout from Massey’s tonight.

I’ve been a customer for close to 30 years.
Continues to be the most upscale Indian restaurant in town, I think. There are lot of cheape and cheerful Indian and Pakistani restaurants that have opened in the suburbs, and one outpost of a Toronto chain, which I haven’t tried yet.

I have tried 2 newer Indian restaurants, one of which has Malabari dishes on the menu, both were okay but the flavours seemed less complex than Massey’s.

I like the dal makhani a lot.

Find the bhindi (okra) and palak paneer (spinach with paneer cheese) pretty good, but I like other versions I’ve had in Toronto better.

Tandoori fish



Excellent quiche-to-go and perfect focaccia from Grace Restaurant’s Bodega on Dundas St in downtown London. Nice flat white.

They also sell some fancy coffee beans.

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My order from Kipps Lane Fish & Chips

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Takeout from Los Lobos:
Taco salad

Albondigas/ meatballs

Tacos: fish, tongue, carnitas and beef cheek

Chorizo enfrijoladas

Chicken and bean enchiladas- Eastern Canadians just can’t get enchiladas right. These were not baked in sauce. More like a skinny taco with toppings.

Corn fritters

A gift sent by my cousins in Calgary, baked by a bakery here in London. Carrot Cupcakes from La Noisette


I had takeout from Royal Paan, a South Indian chain in London (across from Fanshawe College on Oxford E), Windsor and the GTA.

We ordered masala dosa, bhel puri, samosa chaat, and mango lassis. It was great. I don’t have too much to compare it to, but seemed close to what I’ve had at Udupi Palace.

I didn’t take photos of the meals, but here is a photo of my lassi and some sweets.

Also tried the makhani dal and a spicer version of chicken tikka masala (they had 3 different tikka masalas on the menu) at Punjaabi, a chain with a location in London, as well as locations in Woodbridge, Mississauga and Windsor. The spicy tikka kabob, in the appetizer section, is called Punjaabi Special Murgh Tikka. It was a little too spicy /salty/ seasoned for how I like my Tikka, maybe roughly 5 chiles if one used the Salad King Chili scale for hotness. Not hot enough to make my gums hurt, but a little hotter than I prefer.

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Which bakeries are the best in Cambridge?

We will be in Stratford for a weekend in mid-June. Any intel on which restaurants remain good AND also have outdoor eating?

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I’ll ask my friend who is a chef, who works at the Chef’s School.

I’ve been shopping at their Sunday Market occasionally the past 2 summers. I’ve bought bread from Downie St Bakery, and coffee from Balzac’s and Revel over the past 2 years.

I haven’t dined in Stratford since Feb 2020.

The patio I’ve dined at the most is at the Bruce Hotel. I was dining there a lot after Sunday matinées from 2016-2019. I’m sure it would still be pretty good. Limited bistro menu.

Red Rabbit probably has some patio tables, and it has always had good pub food.

Braai House has a patio. I haven’t been yet, and I want to check it out.

I haven’t been to The Common since before March 2020, but it was in my rotation. They have a patio.

I like AO Pasta, no idea re: patio.

The Prune was pretty good last time I went. York St Sandwiches was operating out of the front room at The Prune last year. I’m not sure if that is still happening.

I remember seeing some patio tables near Pazzo, which is okay.

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According to their website, AO Pasta has transitioned to a retail shop, sans restaurant. I really liked a meal I had there last summer, but I understand and appreciate the owners’ desire for a healthy work-life balance.
Prune was very enjoyable last summer, and their backyard patio is lovely.


Thanks for the heads up!

What is on all the Mexican food?
Sesame seeds?
Don’t enchiladas by definition have sauce?

Thanks all. The Bruce Hotel doesn’t seem to be showing availability on Tock for the Saturday we want (or any Saturday). Red Rabbit does not appear to have a patio and also seem to have switched into a steak house format. Braai House looks promising and has availability. Might go with that for dinner on the Saturday.

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Yes, but for whatever reason, the people direct from Mexico or El Salvador serving enchiladas in Ontario have no idea how saucy an enchilada should be. This particular restaurant is run by non-Mexican white guys who don’t know better, but the enchiladas I’ve ordered at several other places in London, Ontario and Toronto don’t add enough sauce.

I have to make them myself, or wait until my next visit to California/ NYC , which I’m more likely to visit before other parts of the USA. I think my last half decent enchilada in a restaurant was in Montana in 2018.

I make enchiladas with canned or pouch enchilada sauce every few months.

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Take-out sides and desserts from The Coop Supply Co, which also sells fried and rotisserie chicken. I had made ribs, so I bought cole slaw, fries, potato salad, Caesar salad, butter tarts and cherry cheesecake.

The Coop is owned by Nicole Arroyas, who used to own a bistro, as well as the Petit Paris Patisserie inside the Covent Garden Market.

She still sells Petit Paris desserts, which has its production inside the same building, and supplies the desserts to The Coop.


I’ve tried the fried chicken and the roast chicken. The roast chicken has a smokiness that isn’t found in other roast chickens in London. (I prefer the fried) This restaurant is located on Commissioners Rd E near Highbury.

Another pastry chef , who is French, is running the current patisserie at the Market. He has no affiliation with Ms Arroyas. Nice man. The pastries have been hit or miss for me. Almond croissants are better than the French-style cheesecake and chocolate cake, in my experience.

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Excellent takeout from Yasmine’s.

Mixed Grill (chicken, beef, kofta), extra chicken shish tawook, eggplant dip, fattoush, stuffed grape leaves, kibbeh, baklava. My favourite place for Middle Eastern food in London.

Really nice fattoush, with mint.

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We recently spent a weekend in Stratford, taking in Chicago (fantastic production), All’s Well That Ends Well (great production, though not the most satisfying play), and Hamlet (interesting production, though somewhat truncated).

We decided to have our Saturday lunch en route (sort of), trying Crowsfoot Smokehaus, a BBQ place in Conestogo. It is the former site of a German restaurant called the Black Forest Inn, which we enjoyed a meal at many years ago. It has a large patio that is partially covered. The inside space looks quite spacious and good for events like weddings. The brunch menu is more limited, with some of the BBQ and German dinner options not available.

We went with the BBQ Brunch Platter for two:

  • brisket - impressive! Pink line, black crispy bits, great flavour. Fat could have rendered down further but overall moist and flavourful. One of the better versions we’ve had in Ontario.
  • pulled pork - straightforward and tasty.
  • Texas hot links - delicious, loosely packed, very spicy.
  • house smoked bacon - great! Smoky, thick, crisp, not too salty.
  • 4 poached eggs - nice and runny but no salt or pepper.
  • we subbed cheddar jalapeño cornbread instead of home fries - good, a little sweet, quite dense.
  • smoked beans - with bacon - tasty, kind of a mix of tangy/sweet with cumin too.
  • we subbed cole slaw instead of the fruit bowl - fine, not too mayo-y but kind of bland.
  • 2 angel biscuits - un-classically crisped on the outside but quite tasty.
  • side of bbq sauce - something tangy and pleasant, but not sure what it was meant to go with.

I had a Fixed Gear Cherry Training Wheels dry-hopped sour - nicely tangy and fruity.

For dinner in Stratford, we tried Braai House, a new-ish South African influenced place.

The patio was a back rooftop and is quite sun-exposed. On request, they did put up an umbrella so we didn’t roast. Service was friendly, if a bit intermittent (particularly with refilling water).

The cocktails were great:

  • Mango Horchata - tequila, mango syrup, lime juice, coconut milk, star anise, cinnamon - really delicious and tropical, though not particularly reminiscent of horchata at all.
  • Black Hole Sun (non alcoholic) - passion fruit, turmeric and clove, lemon juice, coconut mili, black sesame seeds, charcoal ice - amazing! This is what all mocktails should be like.

We then had glasses of Franschhoek Winery chenin blanc (pleasant, kind of mineral and herbal, but quite acidic) and Pearce Predhomme Cinsault/Syrah (very lovely and sippable, going particularly well with the food.

  • Meille with cultured butter and fig chutney - Round cornbread - delicate and delicious. Chutney was almost unnecessary.

  • Bobotie - curried beef and pork samosas with pineapple chutney and duck egg custard - very oily, crisp and tasty.

  • Boerewors with chakalaka, popcorn pap, shallot - lean, beefy sausage with ketchup and lovely roasted shallot, with crisply fried cornmeal nuggets.

  • Smoked Ribs - McIntosh Pork, pineapple monkey sauce, pistachio dukkah and kimchi beside, and crushed potatoes - ribs were very nicely done, fall off the bone and crusty on the edge. The sauce added some sweet and sour notes. Kimchi was one accompaniment too many and didn’t really fit.

  • Melktorte (celeriac, orange, spice) with caramelized milk, yellow dollops, root chips, and nasturtium petals - pretty, though less interesting in terms of flavour.

We had brunch scheduled on Sunday, so we just snacked on a sugar bun from Honey Tree:

  • croissant dough, rolled around cinnamon and sugar - flaky, not too sweet, and very similar to a San Francisco morning bun.

Sunday brunch was at The Bruce Hotel, which has a large and unsheltered patio. No umbrellas this time, so we roasted. Food and drink remain excellent. Service was attentive and exemplary. We were also entertained by a grackle nest in the adjacent tree, watching the wheezing nestlings get fed about every few minutes. One of them seemed to take its very first flight while we watched.

The brunch cocktails were fabulous:

  • Matcha Sour - Ungava gin, coconut, egg white, matcha - herbal and tropical.
  • Budmo! (Let Us Be) - Zirkova vodka, pineapple, butterfly pea flower, fresh lime - purple pea flower was on the bottom, when mixed it’s a gorgeous milky lavender, delightful light pineapple flavour with a bit of floral.

  • smoked albacore tuna with shredded snap peas, buttermilk, chive flowers and lovely olive oil - quite smokey, mixing nicely with the tang from the buttermilk, and kudos for having a sustainable tuna choice.

  • radish and raw bay scallops with sake emulsion and wasabi seedlings, and salmon roe, nori powder - great flavour combination with drops of herbal oil, very crisp and delicate radishes.

  • king crab cavatelli with lemon, black pepper, baby kale - gorgeous, al dente pasta, tons of crab, not overly buttery.

  • bourbon grilled cheese with caramelised onion, baby greens, grainy mustard (beside) - hard to detect the bourbon, but otherwise a pretty perfect grilled cheese, all gooey and buttery.

  • strawberry hazelnut tart with creme fraiche (side dollops and fresh strawberries too) - fresh sweet strawberries, rich nutty crust.

  • lemon verbena posset - very nice, herbal, flavourful, not too sweet.
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Looks like you had a wonderful time!

Happy Braai House was worthwhile. I wanted to get takeout but it looked like it’s mostly pizza for takeout, and their Braai menu if you dine in.

I will have to check out Crowsfoot Smokehaus

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