Top 5 Restaurants for Tourists in Mississauga
We won't kid ourselves and call Mississauga a tourist town because that wouldn't be entirely accurate.
That said, its close proximity to Toronto—and the fact that Canada's busiest airport is located inside its city limits—makes it an ideal stop for anyone who wants to enjoy both TO and its vibrant and diverse satellite cities.
It was also recently selected as a high-ranking value destination.
As Toronto becomes more popular among international tourists (and maybe even rightfully petrified Trump dodgers), some people might choose to explore (or even stay in) Mississauga and take advantage of its classic hotels, picturesque parks and waterfront spaces, charming neighbourhoods and, most importantly, its exciting food scene.
Although there are no Hard Rock or Rainforest Cafes to speak of, here are some restaurants tourists might gravitate to in Sauga.
Every tourist likes to indulge in at least one high-end meal, yes? Rogues has been around for over 30 years and is the go-to anniversary dinner spot for your parents, your parents' friends and all your elementary school teachers. During my tender and formative years, I learned that Rogues—the long-standing fine-dining gem on Dundas Street West—was a destination for ultra-fancy couples who were refined, sophisticated and okay with the idea of accidentally hobnobbing with frenemy neighbours on Mother's Day. For a long time, it was probably the city's most recognizable and well-known high-end resto and it had a reputation for serving up succulent Italian and Mediterranean fare (which it still does).
This place may be old school, but it's iconic and, judging by its Facebook page, sometimes attended by Hazel McCallion.
Anyone who does even the most basic of research on the city will be sure to dine where Hazel dined to make the most of their time in Mississauga.
Since Mississauga has somewhat limited nightlife (which is perfectly normal for a more suburban city), tourists might be inclined to check out popular late night hotspot &Co. Tucked away in the heart of the City Centre core, the resto with Mississauga’s best rooftop patio is close to the Novotel Hotel (so it'll naturally attract hotel guests) and walking distance from Square One.
The resto is chic, hip and stylish and boasts a pretty solid menu and a few interesting events, including Latin Wednesdays and Country Thursdays.
As far as scenery goes, it also helps that &Co. overlooks the downtown core and sits in view of the aesthetically stunning Absolute (Marilyn Monroe) condos. Obviously known more for its nightlife, it transitions into an exciting club experience after dinner and sometimes hosts the most outrageous live performances you will find in the city.
If you want to drink and dance—and what tourist doesn't?—this place is probably the place to be.
3) Dairy Cream
While it's not a restaurant, it's iconic and almost any local would point a tourist in its direction during the summer months.
This supremely popular ice cream joint is an absolute relic (in a good way) and has been open since 1958. To give you some perspective, note that when this place was first built, the area was cottage country.
Basically, Dairy Cream is a local legend, occupying the same Lakeshore turf in Port Credit for over half a century. The space can probably attribute its long life to an ever-evolving menu that stays on trend even as the establishment still manages to stick to its old school look and feel. It's really a place to go if you just straight up love soft-serve ice cream (how all-American of you!), feel like you "should have lived through the 50s," or like to fight over picnic tables.
It would be a shame for any tourist to miss out.
2) Iron Chef
You know how I know this spot is great for tourists? Because it was one of the only Mississauga restaurants a group of 416 elitists (I say that with love) I once knew would dare set foot in when they ventured past the 427.
Iron Chef immediately gets points for being called Iron Chef (we live in the time of The Food Network and people are still into scary culinary masters) and gets even more acclaim for standing the test of time despite being located in the weirdest plaza to get into in the Tomken and Eglinton area.
This place has everything. It's got sushi, teppanyaki and seafood. It also calls itself a steakhouse, a term that tepid and timid eaters find very comforting.
1) Snug Harbour
Anyone who is visiting the city will be told to go to Snug Harbour.
While food is tasty enough, this long-standing hotspot is more known for its patio—and the patio is more than worth a visit when the weather is, well, less frightful. Situated in the picture perfect Port Credit neighbourhood, this resto’s location ensures it's busy day and night. This restaurant is also the only one in Mississauga with a lakefront view. Situated adjacent to the Port Credit Marina, the area attracts walkers, cyclists, rollerbladers and boaters looking to enjoy a day by the lake.
The seafood joint is extra tourist-friendly because it also offers live music and a full oyster bar.
In terms of atmosphere, the waterside setting is really what sets the place apart and attracts locals and visitors. You can stroll around the lake while waiting 45 minutes for a table on a hot July night, but be careful when sitting down and running your hands through the grass. I was once bitten/strung/touched in some capacity by an invasive fire ant species and my arm throbbed from my fingertips to my elbow for at least 10 full minutes.