Sault Ste Marie has a rich cultural and industrial heritage that has seen the city transform over the years. However, one thing remains constant – the passion of its citizens. This translates into everything you experience in The Soo from the outdoor enthusiasts to the history buffs and, of course, the food scene. Sault Ste Marie never ceases to amaze me with its big city eats every time I visit! Bursting with flavour and character, these restaurants in Sault Ste Marie Ontario will have you fuelled for whatever adventures Algoma Country throws at you.
SOMETHING TO NOTE: With everything going on in Ontario right now, some of these restaurants may be temporarily closed or have limited hours. Be sure to check them out online in advance to avoid any disappointment!
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It wasn’t until I had visited Sault Ste Marie a few times that I finally made it to Chummy’s Grill on the Batchewana First Nation reserve, but it has become a staple stop ever since. As soon as you step through the door, you’ll be drawn to the gorgeous, intricate wood carvings that adorn the restaurant. I’ve spent plenty of time admiring the incredible talent use to forge each one while waiting for my meals.
Chummy’s Grill is a great spot to go for those hearty staples that will keep you going all day long. Their menu has quite the variety with all-day breakfast options, sandwiches, salads and poutine. If you’ve ever had an Indian Taco at a Pow Wow and have found yourself craving one out of Pow Wowseason, you’ll want to add a stop at Chummy’s to your day.
Now I’m not much of a burger person (yes yes, gasp all you like) BUT the Growling Grizzly Burger is what keeps me coming back to Chummy’s Grill. Each of their patties is made in-house and this one has mozzarella, caramelized bacon and onions woven in, along with a deliciously sweet maple sauce. However, you’ll be doing yourself a disservice if you don’t get it on a scone instead of a bun. Trust me – there’s a reason why this is easily the best burger in Ontario (according to my taste buds anyway).
Typically I’m not the biggest fan of hotel restaurants. I don’t have anything against them, I’ve just typically been disappointed by the quality of the food and service. That being said, I’m pleased to share that this is not the case at all at The View! Located on the main floor of the Delta Hotel, you’ll not only enjoy great eats but also a gorgeous view of the St. Mary’s River. This is easily the best spot for dinner with a view in the city, hence the name!
RELATED: If you’re looking for somewhere to call home for a few days in Sault Ste Marie, the Delta is definitely a great option. Not only are their rooms extremely comfortable, but many of them have waterfront views. After staying there myself, I can say with certainty that I highly recommend booking a few nights with them! If they don’t have availability, check out some of the other Sault Ste Marie hotels close by.
The View’s menu is seasonal, however you’ll find a typical array of salads and sandwiches along with a few fancier dishes. It’s not uncommon to see fish and chips on the menu along with items like pork tenderloin, steak and more. I’ve never had their steaks myself but I’ve heard that they’re some of the best in the city! You’ll have to give it a try and see if they hold up. Despite their changing menu, one thing I love is that they always have their Korean Fire Noodles or a similar dish. Chow mein noodles are tossed in a sweet yet spicy (but not too spicy!) sauce with carrots, broccoli and your choice of chicken or shrimp. This dish is what got me hooked on The View!
If you find yourself in Sault Ste Marie in the warmer months, be sure to stop in at the Delta’s seasonal outdoor patio. It’s definitely the spot to go for a drink while soaking up the summer sun! Oh, and a walk around the Sault Ste Marie boardwalk might be required to fight the food coma that The View’s food will induce.
Scott Coffee Co
As one of my favourite places in the city for an energy boost, Scott Coffee Co is a great way to start your day, beat the afternoon lull or the perfect pit stop to make before heading out for an adventure in Algoma Country.
Tucked into the corner of the shopping complex at the intersection of Great Northern Road and Northern Avenue, Scott Coffee Co creates a homey atmosphere where you’ll want to take a load off and stay awhile. Floor to ceiling windows allow for plenty of natural light as you sink into one of their cozy chairs. Pair this chill vibe with one of their specialty coffees and you’ve got the perfect spot to take a breather during a busy day! They make all of their blends from scratch and beans straight from
St. Joseph Island Coffee Roasters, meaning you’ll get a truly northern coffee.
One of the big reasons I love Scott Coffee Co is their emphasis on local. Not only do they utilize local ingredients whenever possible on their menu, they also support local artists and are continually working with fellow small businesses. Sarah and her team embody the true spirit of Sault Ste Marie that both residents and visitors will appreciate.
I’d be amiss if I didn’t mention their incredible cheesecakes which are absolutely to live for (if you die for them, then you can’t have them again!). With flavours like chocolate peanut butter, cookies and cream, and your favourite chocolate bar infusions like Skor, Rolo and Coffee Crisp… let’s just say there’s a reason I always plan for a hike after visiting Scott Coffee Co! They also have a number of gluten-free and vegan options in their dessert repertoire so no matter your diet, there will be a treat waiting for you.
Looking for the best hummus in the city? You’ll find it and plenty more scrumptious eats at Georgie’s Shawarma! They’re bringing a brand new flavour profile to the city with authentic Syrian cuisine. Owner George Al Khoury’s passion for food and how it brings people together shows in not just each dish but also in the warm welcome you’ll receive as soon as you enter the restaurant.
George has an incredible story all on his own. Born in Syria, he returned to take care of his ailing father and then found himself working in Lebanon working with the United Nations in food security while helping fellow Syrians fleeing the war. He would spend week after week in the camps, sharing his cooking and upbeat spirit with those around him. Eventually he realized he needed to find a country where he could really start building his life. Thanks to a kind friend, he was sponsored and found himself in Sault Ste Marie – and the city is lucky to have him!
On their menu, you’ll find shawarma (obviously) in plate and wrap form, appetizers like baba ghanoush, salads and more. Seeing as I’m definitely of the untraditional sort, I had to go with their Untraditional Chicken Shawarma. Slow-roasted chicken is smothered in their house-made garlic sauce. Nestled into a pita (or flatbread if you get a large!) with cucumber, pickles, pomegranate molasses, lettuce, tomato, pickled turnip and onion, this dish is bursting with flavour that has become a huge hit in the city. I also couldn’t resist getting an order of Georgie’s Yellow Rice for later. Basmati rice mingles with onion, garlic, green yellow and red peppers in a combination of tomato paste, turmeric, saffron, and coriander. Topped with toasted almonds and pomegranate, this savoury combo has just a hint of sweetness that will have you craving more!
Looking for a taste of Scotland? You wouldn’t think you’d find it at a restaurant in Sault Ste Marie, but the Whiskey Barrel delivers exactly that! Inspired by a trip to Scotland, the owner Melissa and her husband decided to bring a taste of the country back with them after they fell in love during their visit.
With items like leek and tattie soup, bangers and mash, and shepherd’s pie, the flavours of Scotland certainly shine through their eats. In case you’re wondering… yes, there’s even haggis on the menu! While it’s not my top pick for European eats, I’m sure it will be delicious for those who enjoy it. Personally, I’m a fan of their beer battered fish wrap as it’s light, flakey, and full of flavour. Dinner (or lunch!) at the Whiskey Barrel will transport you and your taste buds to a pub in Edinburgh or Glasgow when you can’t actually be in the country.
INSIDER TIP: On Tuesdays if you wear a kilt, you’ll get half off a Scotch Egg or Scotch Pie!
As you can probably guess by their name, Scottish eats aren’t the only focus of the Whiskey Barrel. They have over 20 varieties of whiskies and you can indulge in a flight to try some on the rocks, neat, or even in a cocktail. The Whiskey Barrel also has 12 beers on tap that are either imported directly from Scotland or are sourced from local craft breweries here in Ontario. This makes it a great spot for a casual pint at the city’s only true pub.
Yes I know I said I don’t like including hotel restaurants in lists like this but just like The View, Quattro Vinotecca is an incredible restaurant that just happens to be located in a hotel. The restaurant is casual yet upscale – think of it as the business casual of restaurants. Whether you’re looking for after-work drinks, to treat yourself or to celebrate a special occasion, Quattro Viontecca is the perfect spot to do all of the above!
A few years back, Quattro did an overhaul to their menu with a focus on farm-to-table eats with the goal of including top-quality local ingredients in their dishes. The chicken, rabbit and pork used in their meals are sourced from Quattro Farms in Thessalon, an hour southeast of Sault Ste Marie. Here the animals eat a clean diet and live stress-free lives to not only ensure a top-quality product but to honour the sacrifice they will be making by becoming our sustenance.
I can say for certain that their dishes are incredibly flavourful. I absolutely devoured the braised lamb shank during my visit and highly recommend it as a wonderful choice for a memorable dinner. Whatever you do though, make sure you save room for dessert. You do not want to miss their deep-fried butter tart.
Big Lake Cabin
One of the newer restaurants on this list, Big Lake Cabin has become a staple in Sault Ste Marie’s local restaurant scene. While you might be thrown off that the interior of the restaurant isn’t exactly cabin-esque, the bright, welcoming interior combined with their superb menu offerings will have you feeling the cozy cabin vibe.
Big Lake Cabin prides itself on having meals for every dietary restriction, meaning whether you’re gluten-free, vegan, dairy-free or anything else, there will be some menu items that cater to you. For the everything-eaters like myself, the tough part will be trying to choose just one item to indulge in! It was definitely hard for me, especially once I found out everything is made in-house.
As for what to eat, their Cubano sandwich has been a hit since day one and I can see why. Generous pieces of slow-roasted pork shoulder and schinkenspeck, Swiss cheese and pickles are wedged between fresh French bread garnished with Dijon mustard and cilantro aioli. Partnered with one of their specialty coffees, it’s a fantastic spot to grab lunch in downtown Sault Ste Marie. I should also mention that I’ve heard their cream puffs are absolutely incredible. Though when the recipe has been passed down through Chef Brennan Cumming’s family for generations… you know it’s going to be good!
OutSpoken Brewery & Shabby Motley
This is one dynamic duo that’s a fan favourite for locals and visitors alike! When a small brewery with a big voice partners with what I’d say is the most unique café in not just Sault Ste Marie but all of Northern Ontario, it’s going to be a match made in heaven.
Similar to how many craft breweries get their start, OutSpoken Brewery is the brainchild of two friends who took their homebrewing game to the next level. They brew over 15 types of beer and make a reserve batch with each one. These reserve batches are then fermented in oak barrels to bring out a unique taste that’s only available as a limited run. With a wide variety of beers to suit a range of tastes, chances are you’ll find at least one you enjoy!
Partner these great beers with the delicious eats of their neighbour Shabby Motley and you’ve got the blueprint for a great night out in Sault Ste Marie. A flight of OutSpoken and some nachos or their pretzel bites is always a good combination in my books! If the brewery is a little loud for your liking, just head next door. Shabby is one cool spot as craft store meets yarn shop meets cafe but above all, it’s a space for any and all are welcome. Bring your knitting or learn at one of their events, sink into one of their comfy seats and unleash your inner crafter.
The Boiler Room @ The Machine Shop
Chances are you’ll be stopping by the Sault Ste Marie Canal National Historic Site when in the city, so I recommend pairing this with a visit to The Machine Shop.
The historic stone building dates back to 1899 when it was once Francis H. Clergue’s paper mill. If you’re a history buff (or have visited the Ermatinger Clergue National Historic Site), you know he is a predominant name in Sault Ste Marie’s history. This piece of the past has been given a new life as it now houses a collection of fantastic restaurants and an event venue. It will also soon be home to the new station for Sault Ste Marie’s iconic experience – the Agawa Canyon Tour Train!
This is where you’ll find The Boiler Room, one of the only places in the city for some incredible wood-fired pizza. Grab a few friends and settle in for an evening of casual conversation over a few pints. While I do recommend their primavera pizza with its plethora of toppings including grilled zucchini, roasted red peppers, caramelized onions and more, their ‘not pizza’ items are also incredible. Let’s just say I’ve visited a number of times and I have yet to have a bad experience!
The Breakfast Pig
I’m saving the best for last and it’s not just because I’m thrilled to now call the owner, Angela, my friend. The Breakfast Pig had me at hello from the first time I visited many moons ago for a number of reasons. One being The Breakfast Pig’s commitment to the community. Whether that’s through their FeastON certification, sourcing local as much as possible like their pork from Sunnynook Farms in Echo Bay, or delivering meals to children across the city who needed the Feed the Kids program which was placed on pause with the current state of things, it’s clear that Angela and her team are passionate about the city and region.
RELATED: I can’t speak enough to the kindness and fervor Ange has for Sault Ste Marie… luckily she was kind enough to take some time out of her schedule so you can see it first hand! Don’t miss this fantastic interview I did and there’s even a recipe inside so you can enjoy a taste of Sault Ste Marie from the comfort of your own home. I guarantee it’ll tide you over until you can visit in person!
As you can imagine, I’ve eaten at The Breakfast Pig more times than I can count. I’ve had a number of their menu items from breakfast sandwiches to pancakes to poutine and there hasn’t been a single dish I didn’t make this face about. Though I have to say, their seasonal specials are seriously incredible. If you find yourself at The Breakfast Pig around Thanksgiving or Christmas, chances are they’ll have a special with their stuffing waffles which are the bomb dot com. Every time I’m in town I torment Angela into trying and making them for me but alas, it hasn’t worked… so I plan visits for those times of year whenever I can instead!
So, the biggest reason The Breakfast Pig is my favourite spot to eat in the city? It pumps out some of the best breakfast dishes I’ve ever had the pleasure of starting my day with. If you’re going to eat at any of the restaurants in Sault Ste Marie, this is hands down my top choice.
More Top Restaurants in Sault Ste Marie
Since I don’t live in Sault Ste Marie (unfortunately), you can imagine that new restaurants are popping up all the time! Some of these are even classics that I just haven’t had the chance to visit, but if you’re looking for more Sault Ste Marie restaurants, here are my suggestions.
Arturo Ristorante – If you’re looking for fine dining in downtown Sault Ste Marie, Arturo Ristorante will be your top contender. While it is on the pricier side, it’s definitely a top spot if you’re looking to treat yourself or celebrate a special occasion. Their menu offers a variety of items including salads, specialty pastas, lamb, veal and more.
Aurora’s – A staple in the city for over 70 years, Aurora’s prides themselves on serving meals made from scratch. If you’re looking for a home-cooked meal, they’re the is the real deal! They have two locations in the city: their Hillside location is take-out only while you can enjoy a sit-down meal at their Westside location.
Broers Jensen – While I have visited Broers Jensen myself, I have yet to indulge in any of their eats. So while I can’t speak to the quality of their food, I can say that their service is incredible with very personable staff that are lovely to converse with. They also offer a gorgeous spot to grab a drink whether it be a date night or girl’s night!
Burger Don – As the first restaurant I ever ate at in Sault Ste Marie, Burger Don was my first foray into the Soo’s local restaurant scene. Like I mentioned earlier, burgers aren’t my top choice but I have to admit that their doughnut burger is pretty amazing. Yes, it’s a burger with a doughnut instead of bread. It might sound strange (especially if you add peanut butter to it) but this sweet and savoury dish will be a hit with your taste buds.
Embers Grill & Smokehouse – This isn’t your average golf course restaurant! Embers is a top choice for fine dining amongst locals. Recently renovated, it has a gorgeous dining room along with a patio in the summer months overlooking the green. Their menu is vast with exquisite items like their escargot and smoked beef marrow, fresh Atlantic oysters and more.
Ernie’s – I’m still kicking myself that I haven’t been to Ernie’s yet because every time I come across their social media pages, I need a bucket to catch my drool. It may look like your typical diner but one look at their social media and you’ll quickly see they’re offering up some ravishing eats. I mean, would you expect to find Chinese style braised pork belly at a diner? How about chicken and ribs that look this good? I can’t get back to Sault Ste Marie soon enough.
Fratelli’s – Sault Ste Marie is no stranger to Italian cuisine as the city has a large Italian population. However, Fratelli’s has been a top destination for pizza, pasta and more for almost two decades now and there’s a good reason for it. Enjoy a taste of true Italian cooking that’s been past down through the Cavaliere family.
Low & Slow Fusion Barbeque – If you’re a carnivore and looking for some good ol’ southern cooking, Low & Slow Fusion Barbeque has your name written all over it. You’ve got pulled pork, brisket, shrimp and grits, Jambalaya and plenty more great eats. Be warned though – meat sweats are a real possibility after a visit to Low & Slow.
Muio’s – A city staple since 1961, Muio’s is near and dear to many Saultites’ hearts. Famous for its chicken on a bun, it’s also a popular spot for breakfast. No matter what you order, you’ll get plenty of bang for your buck as the prices are reasonable and the portions are huge.
Tempo Modern Mediterranean – The newest restaurant to appear in the Sault Ste Marie restaurant scene, Tempo is serving up Mediterranean flavours from the Marconi Cultural Centre. With the unique atmosphere of pod dining, you’ll not only be treated to an intimate experience but delicious eats including yellowfin tuna, Moroccan beef bavette and more.
The Soup Witch – I only heard about The Soup Witch during the last few days of my adventure as I made my way home from Thunder Bay, but it’s definitely at the top of my list to visit next time I’m in town. A play on your typical soup and sandwich combo, they’re putting a feminine spin on it that’s guaranteed to be a hit. I mean, I’m 100% down for a Lady Reuben or BLTease!
Vibe Eatery & Juice Bar – If you’re looking to feel well and live well, you’ll eat well at Vibe. Whether you’re conscious about how you fuel your body or if you’re looking for a healthier option for takeout in The Soo, the eats at Vibe have you covered. Their offerings include freshly made smoothies, healthy brunch items, quinoa bowls and more.
Ready to Chow Down at These Sault Ste Marie Restaurants?
I think you can agree that there are plenty of reasons here to ditch the fast food considering this vast list of incredible restaurants in Sault Ste Marie. It just shows that you’ll need to visit again and again to enjoy all of these amazing eats! In case you’re looking to plan a weekend of foodie adventures, check out these hotels so you can enjoy as many of these places to eat in Sault Ste Marie as possible. If you thought you weren’t going to find amazing eats in Northern Ontario, this list will certainly have you thinking again!
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