Bonobo's: Take-out and grocer, healthy and affodable!
Bonobo's is awesome! They are located just down the street from the university, and sell mostly vegan, vegetarian and organic groceries and take-out food, although they also sell pop and other things that aren't necessarily organic or meat-free. Most things though are made locally with organic ingredients. Its a very popular place and definitely worth a visit.
There's no website for this place as of yet, but if you google them they have very positive ratings. Very helpful on the phone if you contact them inquiring about their menu (they emailed me their menu right after I called.)
Favorite Dish: The burgers are great. The first time I came here, I had the mushroom melt veggie burger (perfect for if you like mushrooms and cheese.)
Thai Kitchen: Great pad thai!
This is a cute little place located right in the heart of Thunder Bay. Good for casual dining, or take out. A huge bonus is that they will offer you a 5% discount if you bring your own plastic tupperwear for them to put your take-out order in. I applaud them for this effort to be environmentally friendly!
The food is great, and fairly authentic - all the chefs are either Thai, or Thai trained. They can cater to any level of spiciness desired.
Favorite Dish: Pad thai with tofu
Masala Grille: Not a great experince
Masala Grille is a mix of Thai and Indian cuisine, which would normally be my favourite sort of food. My family and I had a bad experience here though, and never went back. Not only was some of the food terrible, but we waited over an hour for our meal. The staff was unkind and it was all around a bad evening. I've mentioned this place to others around the city and have heard bad reviews from them as well.
My advice is that this place is probably good for Indian food, but NOT for Thai. I tried a family member's pad thai and it tasted nothing like the dish. I would never have recognized it.
It could also be that it is better to order from the buffet as opposed to the menu, like we did. Maybe then the service wouldn't be as slow or as unpleasant.
For very good Thai food, I would try Thai Kitchen (see my other restaurant tips) in the centre of the city.
The Growing Seasons: Healthy, and lots of vegetarian/vegan optios
This is a small locally owned place where everything is made from scratch, delicious and healthy.
I've been here twice and find the staff to be some of the friendliest in the city.
They have wraps, salads, soups, juices, smoothies - all homemade with fresh ingredients. The prices are pretty reasonable too.
This is more of a casual place, as opposed to fine dining. You can sit down, although it can get pretty crowded (its very popular) you can also take out.
Great place I'd highly recommend!
Favorite Dish: The salads are great, try the sesame-ginger dressing.
Sweet Peas: Delicous vegetarian and vegan food
Sweet Peas is a vegan/vegetarian restaurant on Memorial that also serves dishes with meat . I spoke to one of the managers and he told me that they wanted to cater to a meat-eating audience as well as vegetarians, but wanted to do it ethically, thus they only use beef in their dishes that has come from local, free-range sources in their cooking.
This used to be a catering service which the owner turned into a restaurant only a few years ago.
Everything I've tried here has been delicious - all homemade, but still very high quality and delicious.
Unlike the Growing Seasons (another vegetarian place just down the street) Sweet Peas has more of a dining, 3-course meal atmosphere. They do take out as well though, and I was very impressed with the fact that they use only biodegradable take-out containers.
Favorite Dish: I love their Shanghai noodle soup. The broth was perfectly spicy, and it had a variety of vegetables and tasty noodles inside . The poutine is also very good, and for about 50 cents extra, can be made with dairy-free cheese.
They also often do special events, such as Ethiopian dinner night and things like that.
Tokyo House: All you can eat sushi and Chinese food!
This is an all you can eat Asian restaurant located in the south of Thunder Bay. I've never gone to Tokyo House and not had a nice time. The cost for the all you can eat lunch buffet is about $15 (as of 2014) and it includes the Chinese food and desert buffet, plus any sushi or other dishes you order from the menu. It's a pretty good ideal. The only things extra would be pop or any alcoholic beverages, water and tea is free.
The indoor decor is very nice and they always have relaxing, spa type music on. I've come here many times with my significant other and young daughter as a toddler, and have found it to be a nice family environment but is also a nice place to bring friends, or a date.
Like many other sushi places in Ontario, you can be charged for food that you leave behind so its best not to bite off more than you can chew.
Prospector: A Popular Restaurant With a Varied Menu
When we go to Thunder Bay we usually stay for two nights, and eat out both nights. We always eat at Armandos, and for the second night we enjoy the Prospector. Here you will find beef, chicken, seafood, and fish dishes. The owners of this restaurant have been in the restaurant and ranch business for 20 years, and they take pride in their beef, serving only the finest quality of Canada Grade beef, which comes from the Hockenbull farms which is located southwest of Thunder Bay. A variety of steaks and prime rib is offered. We have not tired the steaks, but the prime rib is excellent, and you can get it in four sizes, so there is a cut for every appetite. A small cut of only 5 oz., as well as an 8 oz. cut, a 12 oz., and a 14 oz. for if you have a really big appetite. Last time we were there, I just wasn’t in the mood for beef, and I ordered the walleye, called pickerel in Canada. I was pleasantly surprised at how nice this fish was. I ordered it breaded, and the breading was a nice, crispy, light breading. The fish was cooked perfectly, and tasted like walleye should. All entries come with a choice of baked potatoes, mashed potatoes, homemade French fries, or rice, as well as a choice of Caesar salad or their salad bar. We have always gotten the Caesar. It is not quite a traditional Caesar, but the dressing is made in the kitchen and is very nice. This restaurant is open 4:00 daily, and only serves dinners.
Favorite Dish: I have a hard decision between the walleye or the prime rib.
- Food and Dining
Armandos: Armandos, Great Italian Food
If you are an able walker, Armandos is an easy walk from the Marina Park. This restaurant is open Tuesday - Saturday, and is closed on Sunday and Monday. For years this has been our favorite restaurant near the water front, serving great Italian food. Last time, however, we were disappointed, so I have down graded my recommendation from a great experience to satisfied. (see my note at the bottom of this description) Just to give you an idea of what they serve here is a list of some of the things we have eaten there: tiger shrimp scampi, breaded calamari, mussels, specialty salads, pork tenderloin in a garlic butter and wine sauce, fettuccine Alfredo, a seafood pasta, Italian desserts, as well as rich chocolate desserts. Armando is a friendly man from Southern Italy who sometime sings opera as he moves around this small, cozy restaurant, and whose photographs of his hometown decorate the walls. If you ask him he will point out the apartment he grew up in over looking the Mediterranean in one of his photos.
NOTE: Last time we were there, we were disappointed, the seafood in my sea food pasta was very small in size, and there was too much pasta, with too much garlic. My husband's pork tenderloin had too much garlic, and was over cooked, therefore on the tough side. The other couple we were with, however, loved what they had.
- Food and Dining
Seattle Coffeehouse: popular coffee chain
If you want to go for coffee at somewhere other than a Tim Horton's, I can recommend the Seattle Coffeehouse. There are several in the Thunder Bay area. Well brewed coffees and fresh pastries in a muted environment. I saw that several of the Seattle Coffeehouses offer cultural events, such as book groups and poetry readings.
Bistro One: "Elegant and sophisticated" comes to Thunder Bay
Wow. This is a beautiful restaurant with some serious food coming out of the kitchen. The master chef obviously knows his way around the kitchen, and has created a menu that is orginal and inspired, offering the residents of Thunder Bay a taste of the good life that they might have once thought could only be found in Toronto or Winnipeg. I had some apprehensions going into the place - Bistro One is in an area of the city which is quasi-industrial and mostly forgettable: strip mall center. But you can't judge a restaurant by its neighbors! Admittedly, the decor indoors is muted and romantic, and I thought the service was quiet and professional. If I'm ever back in the area, I'll definitely plan a return visit here.
- Food and Dining
Gargoyles: Casual chic in the Port Arthur side of town
Comfortable bar/restaurant in the Port Arthur side of town, just a few blocks from the lakefront/Marina. Gargoyles has an interesting menu featuring designer pizzas and specialty salads. Although the space inside is somewhat cavernous, the interior of the restaurant has been creatively decorated, and you'll feel comfortable spending some time here. Thunder Bay's yuppies seem to make up the bulk of the clientele here - not that there's anything wrong with that!
- Food and Dining
Hoito: Finnish Breakfast
"Hoito" is a "collective" Finnish restaurant that has been in existence for over fifty years. It is a local legend for its simple fare, large portions, and inexpensive prices. Originally intended to serve the Finnish immigrant community in Thunder Bay, Hoito now attracts a cross-section of local Ontario society as well as travellers who are passing through. On any given morning, the line may stretch out as the door as patrons wait for an open table.
- Food and Dining
Caribou Restaurant + Wine Bar: Amazing!
Everything about this restaurant makes it my favourite in Thunder Bay. The wait staff are knowledgeable and helpful, the food was outstanding and the wine selection appropriately matched the foods. When you're looking for a special place - go to Caribou.
Favorite Dish: Try anything on the menu!
- Business Travel
- Wine Tasting
The Prospector on Cumberland St.: Prime Rib that will make you come back
A recreation of an old Prospecters house .They have an extra thick cut of prime rib that you cut with a fork.The owner makes his own fresh bread and soups,the salad bar is a meal in itself.The price of 15.00 well what can I say "Kudos To Leo"
Favorite Dish: They are all excellent
Scandinavian Home Restaurant: Second Choice Breakfast Place
A fellow sailor who always eats here when in town recommended the Scandinavian Home Restaurant to us. Similar to the Hoito, this Finnish restaurant has large portions at reasonable prices. Located near the Hoito in the Finnish part of town it is a fairly long walk from the marina, but an easy bicycle ride. This restaurant has Finnish pancakes, various breakfast items, sandwiches, desserts, Finnish specialty items, home made buns, muffins, butter tarts, pies, cookies, and cakes. We tried it for breakfast for the first time in 2003. We both ordered the Finnish pancakes and found them to be good, but not as delicious as the Hoito. If the Hoito was closed for some reason, or if we were going to spend a series of days in Thunder Bay and wanted to eat breakfast out a number of times this would be my second choice breakfast restaurant. This restaurant is open Monday through Saturday from 7:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M.
- Food and Dining
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