We may not have done a lot of travelling, but we LOVE to travel. And, although we may not be totally worldly, we have been to some pretty amazing places.
We are starting a new travel series to share our favourite things about the cities that we travel to.
We’re going to kick it off we our hometown, Hamilton!
Forget what you’ve heard about the city, because it was probably all negative. As true Hamiltonians, we know what’s up here. And, what’s up is amazing markets, incredible food, and even better people.
Keep reading for our top picks!
WHERE TO STAY
Sheraton Hamilton Hotel – 116 King St. W
Right in the heart of downtown Hamilton, this hotel is great if you really want to embrace the city. It’s fairly new but nothing special, just a nice clean hotel. It is walk distance to all most all of the hot spots but buses and ubers are SUPER cheap, if that’s more your speed.
Instead of telling you about another chain of hotel, we think you should check out an Airbnb. The great thing about Hamilton is that it’s not too tourist filled, yet. You can find some great sized rentals for a surprisingly cheap price. Just be sure to check the location and make sure it’s close to the rest of your planned destinations. They tend the spread out the city far past downtown on the site and you could find yourself no where near the downtown core in no time.
WHERE TO EAT
**DISCLAIMER: This will probably always be our longest list because food is life and who doesn’t love to eat on vacation.**
Saint James Espresso Bar & Eatery – 170 James St. N
If all day brunch is totally your jam and you feel that your body needs coffee more than it needs water, this is the place for you. We’re actually obsessed with it. If you’re a 20-something girl and consider yourself slightly basic, you probably love avocado toast and Saint James has the best to offer. The menu is always posted on the wall and changes slightly day-by-day. You have options like avo toast, breakfast sandwiches, and flapjacks. It’s pretty hard to choose. We recommend going with a small group so snag a table quickly. This place is the definition of ‘little gem’.
Berkeley North – 31 King William St.
This is where California meets Hamilton. If you prefer a lightened up menu with some slightly indulgent items, this is a great choice. They are a pescetarian menu, meaning the only protein is fish. They have plenty of vegan options, too. Everything on the menu is super fresh and you’ll never leave feeling guilty. Once upon a time they had brunch, and we’re all REALLY hoping it returns soon.
Mezcal TNT – 150 James St. S
Tacos, tequila, and churros. Need we say more? Believe it or not, there are multiple taco joints in the city but this is our personal favourite. The flavors are unique and always good. They also have great appetizers but make sure you save room for the tacos, it’s really all about the tacos. Oh, and the margaritas… if you think you don’t like tequila, you will here. The drinks are the real deal and you may just have to have two, or three.
Nique – 30 Vine St.
If you’re feeling like a little bit of everything, go to Nique. They’ve got flavors from around the world and nail every single one of them. If you go, you’ll probably see plates of sushi nachos going around to almost every table. It’s as if a california roll and nachos had a baby. Those are the fan favourite, but we haven’t met something on the menu that we didn’t like. And yes, these serve brunch. It leans more towards the indulgent side, so if you had a few too many the night before, this will probably be your cure.
Democracy – 202 Locke St. S
This is not a restaurant per se, but they still serve some killer food. And, it’s all vegan. They have an array of amazing coffee and vegan (and some non-vegan) desserts. On top of that is their sit-down menu. From vegan mac and cheese to cauliflower wing, this is your vegan ‘junk food’ go-to. If they have the pierogi pizza when you visit, get that, you won’t regret it.
(The food list in Hamilton could go on, and on, and on… and on. Comment if you want more recommendations)
WHAT TO DO
Hamilton Farmers’ Market – 35 York Blvd.
The Hamilton Farmers’ Market is smell and mighty. If you’re not in town for a long time, you probably don’t need product, but the food vendors are worth visiting. We recommend not eating before you go because there is a lot of snacking to be done. You can get tacos, samosas, ramen, poke, banh mi sandwiches, and a over-the-top delicious dessert from Cake and Loaf. The market is open on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.
Collective Arts – 207 Burlington St. E
Go for a tour of Hamilton’s local brewery. The craft beer is great and there bottles and cans feature the works of artists. It’s like hipster beer… but we’re okay with it. They frequently have events so be sure to check them out!
Hamilton is known for it’s waterfalls. They’re hidden, but they’re there. If it’s a nice day, especially in the autumn months, these waterfalls and surrounding paths make a great day spent outdoors.
WHAT TO DO – LATE NIGHT
Uno Mas – 150 James St. S
Located direction underneath Mezcal, the genius, Manny Ferreira, opened a tapas bar. This tiny space is open late and serves great small plates, including raclette (AKA wheel of melted cheese). They also probably serve the best moscow mules around. On top of all that, the music consists of a old school rap. *Mic Drop* Oh, and if you’re around on Sundays, visit them for a themed Sunday Social event.
Merit Brewing – 107 James St. N
This new spot is perfect for those nights where you just want to chill with friends and have a couple of pints. They’re serving craft beer on top and sausages and appetizers to go with it. It’s an open concept space with self serve picnic tables. And, if you fall in love with the beer, they have a retail shop where you can buy pre-filled bottles or fill up a growler.