5 Must Try Restaurants In Windsor, According To A Canadian

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This is first in a series of posts contributed as in-kind partnership with WindsorEats, who have been covering the food and drink scene in Windsor and Essex County since 2004. They believe that Windsor and Essex County has some of the best restaurants in Canada and the world, and we think as our neighbors, it’s important to highlight what’s happening on the other side of the river. Daily Detroit will also be contributing pieces to their site.

The restaurant landscape in Windsor is constantly changing with innovative new restaurants popping up all over the city. It’s tough these days to decide what restaurant to choose, but we’ll help make that decision a little easier for you. Check out our top five must-try restaurants in Windsor. We’re sure you’ll be drooling and out the door by the end! 


1. Motor Burger

Motor Burger needs to be a staple in every burger lovers diet. They’re not only known as one of the best burger joints in Windsor, but worldwide. Motor Burger was featured on the Food Network’s “You Gotta Eat Here!” and named one of the top 5 best burgers in Canada by Readers Digest.

Think that’s impressive? Try being named one of the best burgers in the world, outside of the U.S. by Thrillist! If that doesn’t convince you that Motor Burger is a must than head down to Erie street and try one of their world renowned burgers, like the F-1 (my personal favourite) for yourself. And what goes perfectly with a burger? A fresh in house pint of Motor Craft Ales finest. Their beers are handcrafted with the same authenticity as their burgers. For a burger dining experience unlike any other, you gotta check out Motor Burger.

888 Erie Street East – Windsor, Ontario


Photo via Facebook
Photo via Facebook

2. Tiki Sushi

The next favourite on the list is located just steps from Motor Burger and is an example of just how amazingly diverse Windsor really is. Windsor is the fourth most ethnically diverse city in Canada and it can’t be more showcased more than Tiki. Sushi and Japanese cuisine, located in Windsor’s Via Italia (little Italy) and made by a Greek!

Their stylish décor and modern music selection sets the mood, but it’s their fresh and eclectic menu that keeps people rolling in. Tiki Sushi specializes in sushi, ceviche, fish tacos and their ever so popular oysters, which are offered for $1 as part of their infamous Buck-a-shuck feature.

900 Erie St E – Windsor, Ontario
Photo via Willistead Facebook
Photo via Willistead Facebook

3. The Willistead

The Willistead was a no brainer for our top 5 picks, with their one of a kind menu and superb drink selections. Located in the trendy and popular historic neighbourhood of Walkerville, the Willistead focuses on a farm to fork approach to food, using only the freshest and in season ingredients sourced from farmers around Essex County.

Their menu is an eclectic mix of food items like their delicious beef tongue sliders, or mouthwatering red velvet deviled eggs. The Willistead also offers a delicious selection of signature craft cocktails, which are whipped up behind their beautiful wrap-around bar. They’re also a stop on WindsorEats’ Drinks of Walkerville walking tour, which was named an Ontario Signature Experience.

1840 Wyandotte St E. – Windsor, Ontario
Toscana interior via Facebook
Toscana interior via Facebook

4. Toscana

We’re pretty sure that the crowds of people eagerly waiting for tables on a daily basis is an indication  of why we chose this hot spot as a must try. Chef and owner Jonathaon Reaume, one of Metro Detroit’s most accomplished chefs, provides guests a traditional North American nouvelle cuisine with an added kick of adventure.

Dining at Toscana is more than just a meal, it’s an experience, incorporating a menu that changes to include fresh seasonal ingredients every month. Their drink selections are no exception, challenging guests to step out of their comfort zone to order a signature drinks like their delicious grapefruit and basil cocktail. If you’re coming for an all-around dining experience, then Toscana is right up your alley, but reservations are strongly recommended because half the city has the same idea.

3891 Dougall Avenue – Windsor, Ontario
Main bar at the Giovanni Caboto Club, via website
Main bar at the Giovanni Caboto Club, via website

5. Giovanni Caboto Club

Most Windsorites know that when it comes to pizza, we’re number one! Windsor is known for their delectable pizza locations, but there’s one spot that’s definitely a must try if you’re craving a slice of cheesy goodness. Giovanni Caboto Club pizza is located in the members lounge in the lower level of the Caboto Club. The older look and feel may throw a few of you for a loop, but that’s all part of the experience.

While the pizza here isn’t in the traditional Windsor style, we still consider it one of the best in the city. Caboto Club is one of South Western Ontario’s oldest Italian clubs, which lends to the deliciousness of their authentic pizza, baked in a wood burning oven. They also have unreal weekly pizza deals, like their buy one get one for $2, or Saturday night all you can eat.

2175 Parent – Windsor, Ontario

Editor’s Note: Out of consideration for our Canadian friends at WindsorEats, we’ve left the “u” in “favourite” and “neighbourhood.” 

  • Coincidence that 3/5 of the restaurants belong to the same ownership group?
    A bit biased.

    The best reason to dine in Windsor is for Erie st. and The best restaurant for Italian food is Nico. Hands down.

  • Pretty solid list really coming from this Windsor resident.

    Anchor Coffee House is one worth mentioning. The quality is up there with the best of Detroit coffee. Great seasonal menu and baked goods as well.

    My personal favorite restaurant is The Cooks Shop but it is not new or trendy. Basically they haven’t changed in 20+ years but for Italian food it is #1.

    The Manchester also offers really good bar food and is underrated perhaps?

  • I’m from Montreal but been to Windsor very ofthen and still come down once in a while, sorry but how does NICO not make the list is crazy…. who ever this food blogger or critic is, needs to get out more if not your in wrong field……

    • There are many, many, many amazing restaurants in Windsor. Nico’s is amazing. This is only a list of 5. We could have easily added 20 more.

  • My dad lives in Windsor in Walkerville so I love the Willistead and Motor Burger, The Twisted Apron is also great .

  • There are many amazing places to eat, Eddys Mediterranean Bistro on Tecumseh, Nico’s, Spago in Erie….

  • Motor Burger! Simply the nuts and bolts of a fantastic burger. Great service, great food.

  • This author is amazing. Her work is researched and brilliant! Keep publishing Jessica Dennis articles!

  • Where is the Penalty Box on your list??…they are a Windsor Icon..the chicken delight is to die for!!!!
    I went to The Willistead and I tell everyone Don’t go there unless you have money to burn. There are so many other restaurants that are mk ore worthly.

  • I think you guys should also come and try the only Portuguese restaurant in Windsor, Tony’s Chargrill on Tecumseh Rd. East, great home made style food, all fresh, even the desserts are made fresh in house, buffet everyday for lunch and dinner, also menu if you wish to order. Come give it a try, you won’t be sorry.

  • These restaurants are all great, but I am very surprised Mezzo did not make the list. The food and service are exquisite. My girlfriends and I love mezzo’s variety of wine selections and my personal favourite is their Pollo Sorrentino it’s a must try.

  • The best restaurant on Erie street is Nico by far. Spago a close second with Vesta in third for their pizza. Outside of Erie Street I do agree the pizza at Cabotos on Tecumseh Road is great and my favorite in the city. I personally was not crazy about Motor Burger, not sure what all the hype is about. Maybe I was in on a bad day. If you want a great burger Mamo on Ottawa or Manning in Tecumseh. Gennaros Cafe is the best spot on Erie for an after dinner gelato or espresso. Frenchy’s on Ouellette for the best poutine in town!

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