FOOD AND DRINK
Five Places to Eat and Drink in North Bay Right Now
Located right on the shores of Lake Nipissing, North Bay is one the most scenic cities in Ontario. Combining the spaciousness and sense of community of a small town with the bustling, thriving lifestyle of the city, North Bay is a city of surprises. The city’s culinary scene features a burgeoning craft beer presence and hidden dining spots that range from classic hearty pub grub to high-end, locally sourced fine dining, meaning you may find that your favourite place to eat or drink is in the unlikeliest of places. Here’s a list of our top selections for good food and drink in the “Gateway of the North.”
New Ontario Brewing Co.
New Ontario Brewing opened in summer 2015 with a mandate to bring excellent-tasting craft beer to Northern Ontario while keeping the image purely local. Friends Ron Clancy, Dan Delorme, and brewmaster Mike Harrison have been using the space, which is named after the city’s original brewery that operated during the early 1900s, to be so much more than just a brewery. It’s a community hub. Expect an eclectic mix of patrons at the brewery’s taproom sampling some of the gorgeous beers on offer and picking up some growlers for home consumption. Make a point to try their IPA, a fantastic beer that balances well with galaxy hops, a variety of hop known for bringing in tropical fruit notes in both the aroma and taste.
1881 Cassells St., 705-707-1659
Dave’s Green Papaya
Ask any local for a good place to eat in North Bay and Dave’s Green Papaya is bound to be on their list. Although it does serve Chinese cuisine it’s mostly known for having the best Thai food in the city. The warm, inviting atmosphere and excellent service are mere preludes to the hidden gem of culinary talent this place holds. While their stir-fried spicy basil with eggplant and beef is rich and stick-to-your-bones delicious, their classic pad Thai with shrimp and chicken is notably fresh and hearty.
652 Fraser St., 705-476-8883
Cecil’s Brewhouse & Kitchen
Situated on the corner of Wyld and Main, Cecil’s Brewhouse & Kitchen is the place to go for live music and good, classic food. While the dining selections mainly consist of traditional pub fare such as nachos and their famous double dusted wings, the real attraction is their house beers, fermented on site with the tanks forming a centrepiece around the dining area. Notable brews include the Shamus IPA, an English-style IPA with a decent malt backbone accompanied by a subtle note of citrus, and the Temagami Amber, which has a refined, roasted grain character balanced with a hint of sweetness.
300 Wyld St., 705-472-7510
The White Owl Bistro
If you’re looking for North Bay’s blue chip casual fine dining experience, The White Owl Bistro ticks all of the right boxes. A farm-to-table approach and emphasis on seasonal, healthy ingredients from nearby farms and businesses (with sources listed on its web site)? Check. Commendable wine offerings with an emphasis on bargains over blockbusters? Check. All topped off with a beautiful lakeside view – and patio where you can soak it in, during the warmer months? That is certainly a check.Since 2006 owners René and Laura Dubois have been showcasing the best of Ontario’s local food offerings from the free range organic chicken found in their delicious supreme of chicken and their potato-crusted Ontario pickerel to their house-made ice cream and rotating selection of pies made with locally harvested fruits.
639 Lakeshore Dr., 705-472-2662
While you wouldn’t normally expect one of the province’s best Japanese restaurants to be in Northern Ontario, that’s just where you’ll find this culinary diamond. Since 1989 Kabuki House has been providing the people of North Bay with quality Japanese cuisine and exceptional atmosphere. While dinners tend to be on the pricey side (a chicken teriyaki bento box will run you $30) the real time to go to Kabuki House is for lunch, where the prices are lower and the meals filling. From a simple salmon teriyaki lunch served with soup or salad, fried rice and vegetables ($14), to the mouthwatering katsu curry ($11), you’re sure to walk away from Kabuki House impressed. A few handy tips: Book a table beforehand to avoid long wait times. Additionally, if you can get a table in the beautifully atmospheric second floor you will not be disappointed.
349 Main St W., 705-495-0999