Top 5 Casual Dining Restaurants in Mississauga

Casual dining is usually defined as a restaurant that serves moderately-priced food in a casual environment.

It is, without a doubt, the most popular type of restaurant there is -- in Mississauga and elsewhere. They sometimes have a full bar with separate bar staff, a larger beer menu and limited wine menu. They are frequently (but not necessarily) part of a wider chain, particularly in North America.

But there are alternatives to the chains and casual dining spots you see around the malls, and we've selected the city's best.

5 - The Open Cork

One of the most underrated places in Mississauga is The Open Cork, located on Dundas east just steps away from the Etobicoke border. In the summer months the patio is phenomenal. When it's wetter and colder out, you have a massive, modern lounge with a towering backlit bar to enjoy. There are two areas to choose from at the Open Cork. You can eat in the spacious dining room or make your way to the bar (which I always do). Each section has its own menu, with the dining area offering a higher-end casual dining experience and the bar offering apps like wings and nachos. We ordered the nachos with ground beef and got a shocking mound of cheese. Very rarely do you get nachos where you cannot see a single chip due to the amount of melted cheese and there is nothing wrong with that (unless you are lactose intolerant).

What you have to try: The Nachos

4 - Peter's On Eglinton

Located on the corner of Eglinton and Tomken is a place that you've passed by hundreds of times called Peter's on Eglinton. I ordered the Souvlaki Dinner and the server actually warned me about the dish's size and asked if I was sure. It's so big they had to make a Souvlaki Dinner Junior, which is still bigger than most normal dishes found at other restaurants. A quick scan of this place suggests it's geared towards a very chill and casual crowd. It's very nice inside with a lot of attention to detail in the interior design. As for my daring dinner, I couldn't believe size of it and the plate weighed about 10 pounds. It came with two knives, two tzatziki sauces, half a tomato, a full potato and three pounds of meat. It tasted good, in case you were wondering. This place is great for families dinners.

What you need to try: Souvlaki Dinner (if you dare)

3 - The Erin Mills Pump

Located in the nicest plaza in Mississauga is the Erin Mills Pump. The Erin Mills Pump (EMP) is the latest addition to proprietor Scott Smith's restaurants, which include The Clarkson Pump & Patio, Pump House Grille and Papa Giuseppe's Pizza & Pints. These restaurants have a great following and the Erin Mills Pump was built to expand the brand's base. Luckily the resto is located within walking distance of quite a few residential areas. The EMP space is unique in itself. It's a two-level facility with a dining area, a bar and an upper level lounge area. This menu includes pastas and pizzas that are freshly baked in a stone oven -- the same oven that can be found at Papa Giuseppe's.

What you have to try: The chicken wings



2 - Muddy Duck

Located just footsteps away from the Toronto border on Dundas is a classic gem that serves homemade comfort food called The Muddy Duck. This place has been around since 1978, so you know they are doing something right. This place has really old-school homey decor that's perfect for a casual family meal or low-key business lunch. They have a very popular breakfast buffet on the weekends and an Italian buffet every Friday. They also have huge portions. The dish we tried was the Schnitzel a la Duck and you can see by the picture that it was really enough for two people and was absolutely delicious.

What you have to try: Schnitzel a la Duck

1 - Union Social

Located in the northwest end of Mississauga by the huge Royal Bank building off the 401 is a non-chain restaurant called Union Social Eatery. The restaurant has an airy, open concept feel with a bar lined with large flat screen TVs that sits center stage. It is the ideal spot to catch a game and have a pint. The lounge area is to the right and the dining area to the left. Our waiter was very helpful and knowledgeable and explained that everything is made in-house, including their signature sauces, in-house smoked wings and hand-cut Yukon Gold fries. You know a place is doing well when they open up their first location in Mississauga and then expand into Toronto. Usually it's the other way around. This is the case for Union Social Eatery with their second location at St.Clair and Yonge. They are doing something right along with dishing out good food!

What you have to try: Almond crusted chicken fingers

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