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12 Underrated Restaurants to Try in Thunder Bay, Ontario

By: Swena Kalra

Edited By: Scott Sidders

Updated on November 5, 2023

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Are you tired of going to the same old restaurants in Thunder Bay? Do you want to try something new and exciting? Look no further! We have compiled a list of 12 underrated restaurants that you must try in Thunder Bay, Ontario. From cozy wine bars to hidden sushi gems, this list has something for everyone.
Get ready to tantalize your taste buds and explore the culinary scene of Thunder Bay like never before.

Here are our top 12 underrated restaurants to try in Thunder Bay, Ontario:

1. The Growing Season Juice Collective

This restaurant offers a welcoming space to enjoy fresh and wholesome food made with local ingredients. The atmosphere is cozy and inviting, with plenty of natural light and greenery throughout the space.
The menu at The Growing Season Juice Collective features a variety of juices, smoothies, salads, sandwiches, and bowls. Some of their signature dishes include the Buddha Bowl, the Avo Toast, and the Green Goddess Smoothie. They also offer gluten-free and vegan options for those with dietary restrictions.

One unique feature of this restaurant is that they occasionally use local food sources during the growing season and even sprout their ingredients. This commitment to using fresh and sustainable ingredients sets them apart from other restaurants in the area.


2. Bistro One

If you're looking for a unique dining experience in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Bistro One should be at the top of your list. This restaurant offers a blend of American and Italian cuisine, with an extensive wine list to match. The atmosphere is cozy and intimate, making it perfect for a romantic date night or a special occasion.

One of the standout dishes at Bistro One is their homemade pasta. Whether you're in the mood for classic spaghetti and meatballs or something more adventurous like squid ink linguine, they've got you covered. They also offer a variety of seafood dishes, such as pan-seared scallops and grilled octopus.
But it's not just the food that makes Bistro One stand out. The service is exceptional, with attentive staff who are knowledgeable about the menu and wine list. And if you're a wine lover, you'll appreciate their award-winning selection of wines from around the world.

Overall, Bistro One is a must-visit restaurant in Thunder Bay. With its unique blend of American and Italian cuisine, cozy atmosphere, and exceptional service, it's sure to impress even the most discerning diners.

3. Rose Valley Lodge & Restaurant

Nestled in the heart of Thunder Bay, Ontario, lies a hidden gem that is sure to delight your senses - Rose Valley Lodge & Restaurant. This European-inspired lodge and restaurant offer a unique dining experience that is not to be missed. The ambiance of the restaurant is cozy and intimate, with warm lighting and rustic decor that transports you to a different time and place.

The menu at Rose Valley Lodge & Restaurant features Swiss-inspired cuisine with a focus on fresh, local ingredients. The five-course dinner is a must-try, featuring dishes like beef tenderloin with truffle butter and roasted root vegetables. For dessert, indulge in their famous chocolate fondue - it's the perfect way to end your meal.

One of the standout features of Rose Valley Lodge & Restaurant is its location. Situated on 440 acres of meadows, forest, and ancient mountains, this restaurant offers breathtaking views that are sure to leave you in awe. Take a stroll along one of the nature trails or simply sit back and enjoy the scenery while sipping on a glass of wine from their extensive wine list.

4. Prospector Steak House

This family-owned restaurant has been serving up delicious meals since 1984 and has become a staple in the community. The ambiance of Prospector Steak House is warm and inviting, with rustic decor that gives off a homey feel. The staff is friendly and attentive, making sure that every guest feels welcome.

As for the food, Prospector Steak House specializes in high-quality steaks that are aged and cut in-house from their specialty prime ribs. Their signature dish is the prime rib steak, which is blessed with a high fat and marbling content that makes it incredibly juicy and flavorful. But if steak isn't your thing, don't worry - they also offer seafood dishes like lobster tails and salmon as well as vegetarian options like their roasted vegetable linguine.

One unique feature of Prospector Steak House is their on-site brewery, where they craft their beer to pair perfectly with their meals. Be sure to try one of their signature brews, like the Prospector Pale Ale or the Thunder Bay Amber Ale.

5. Naxos Grill & Bar

This locally owned Greek restaurant offers a cozy and inviting atmosphere that's perfect for a night out with friends or a romantic dinner for two.

The menu at Naxos Grill & Bar features a variety of delicious Greek dishes, including souvlaki, moussaka, and spanakopita. But what sets this restaurant apart is its signature dish: the flaming cheese. This show-stopping appetizer is prepared tableside and involves setting a block of cheese on fire before extinguishing it with lemon juice. It's worth trying!

In addition to its fantastic food, Naxos Grill & Bar also offers an extensive wine list and creative cocktails. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable, making for an all-around enjoyable dining experience.

6. The Sovereign Room

The Sovereign Room is a gastropub that has been a staple in downtown Port Arthur since 2010. This restaurant has been recognized by the Food Network's "You Gotta Eat Here" for its innovative and delicious menu.

The Sovereign Room offers a casual environment with gastropub fare, local and craft beers, and an extensive wine list. The menu is diverse, with options ranging from classic pub food like burgers and fries to more unique dishes like chicken and waffles or lamb shank. The restaurant also offers vegetarian and gluten-free options.

The atmosphere at The Sovereign Room is cozy and inviting, with exposed brick walls, dim lighting, and comfortable seating. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable about the menu, making recommendations based on personal preferences.

Overall, The Sovereign Room is a must-visit restaurant in Thunder Bay for anyone looking for delicious food in a relaxed atmosphere. With its innovative menu, extensive drink selection, and cozy ambiance, it's no wonder why this gastropub has become a local favorite.

7. Masala Grille

This Indian and Thai restaurant offers a diverse variety of dishes that will satisfy any craving. From vegetarian to meat options, their menu has something for everyone.

Located at Algoma Street, Masala Grille is a cozy spot with friendly staff and an inviting atmosphere. Whether you're dining in or taking out, their food is always fresh and flavorful. Their menu features classic Indian dishes like butter chicken and biryani, as well as Thai favorites like pad thai and green curry.

One standout dish is the masala dosa, a crispy crepe filled with spiced potatoes and served with chutney and sambar. It's a must-try for anyone who loves South Indian cuisine. Overall, Masala Grille is an underrated gem in Thunder Bay's food scene. If you're looking to try something new or satisfy your cravings for Indian or Thai food, this restaurant won't disappoint.

8. Anchor & Ore

Anchor & Ore is a hidden gem in Thunder Bay, Ontario that offers a unique and memorable dining experience. This gastropub is the perfect launch point for a night out with friends or a romantic dinner with your significant other. The restaurant's distinctive food and beverages are delivered with superior service, making it a must-visit spot for locals and tourists alike.

The menu at Anchor & Ore features a variety of dishes that cater to different tastes and dietary needs. From classic pub fares like burgers and fries to more sophisticated options like seared scallops and braised short ribs, there's something for everyone. The restaurant also has an extensive drink menu that includes craft beers, wines, and cocktails.

What sets Anchor & Ore apart from other restaurants in Thunder Bay is its breathtaking views of the surrounding area. The restaurant is located in Delta Hotels by Marriott Thunder Bay, which overlooks Lake Superior and Sleeping Giant Provincial Park. This makes it the perfect spot to enjoy a meal while taking in the stunning scenery.

9. Tomlin Restaurant

This local gem is dedicated to working alongside nearby producers to create fresh and eclectic plates with an emphasis on sharing at the table. The menu is ever-changing, so there's always something new to try.

One standout dish that you won't want to miss is their charcuterie board, which features a variety of locally-sourced meats and cheeses. Pair it with a glass of wine from their carefully curated selection for the ultimate dining experience.

But it's not just the food that makes Tomlin Restaurant special - it's also the atmosphere. The restaurant has a sociable vibe that encourages diners to connect and share their meals. And with its prime location on Red River Road, it's the perfect spot for a night out in Thunder Bay. Don't miss out on this underrated restaurant - make sure to add Tomlin Restaurant to your must-try list in Thunder Bay.

10. El Tres

This restaurant offers a cozy and inviting atmosphere that will transport you straight to Mexico. The menu is filled with traditional Mexican dishes that burst with flavor, including tacos, enchiladas, and burritos. They also have a wide selection of handcrafted cocktails that perfectly complement the spicy and savory flavors of the food.

One standout dish at El Tres is their chile relleno, which is a roasted poblano pepper stuffed with cheese and topped with tomato sauce. It's a must-try for anyone who loves Mexican cuisine. Another popular dish is their carne asada, which features grilled steak served with rice, beans, and tortillas.

El Tres is located in the heart of Thunder Bay's waterfront district, making it a convenient stop for anyone exploring the area. Whether you're looking for a casual lunch or a romantic dinner date spot, El Tres has something to offer everyone.

11. Lot 66 Restaurant and Wine Bar

Located in the heart of Thunder Bay's restaurant district, Lot 66 Restaurant and Wine Bar offers a unique dining experience that combines the atmosphere of a cosmopolitan lounge with exceptional culinary delights. The restaurant's menu features locally grown ingredients that are globally inspired, resulting in dishes that are both delicious and sustainable.

One of the standout features of Lot 66 is its Prix Fixe menu, which offers a three-course meal for a fixed price. This allows diners to sample multiple dishes and experience the full range of flavors that the restaurant has to offer.

In addition to its food, Lot 66 also boasts an extensive wine list featuring both local and international wines. Their knowledgeable staff can help diners choose the perfect pairing for their meal. With its unique atmosphere, delicious food, and impressive wine selection, it's no wonder why this restaurant has become one of Thunder Bay's hidden gems.

12. Kangas Sauna

Kangas Sauna is a unique restaurant and sauna facility located in Thunder Bay, Ontario. The restaurant has been in operation for over 50 years and offers American cuisine for any occasion. The menu includes delicious salads, Finn pancakes, omelets, and great coffee. Kangas Sauna is also known for its sauna rentals, which are available daily from 8 am to 8 pm. The sauna is perfect for relaxation and rejuvenation after a long day.

The restaurant has a cozy atmosphere with friendly staff who provide excellent service. Customers can choose to dine in or grab n' go from the fridge and freezers. Kangas Sauna also has a restaurant that serves breakfast and lunch daily from 8 am to 3 pm.

Kangas Sauna is an underrated gem in Thunder Bay that offers a unique experience of dining and relaxation all under one roof. It's the perfect place to unwind after a long day or enjoy a delicious meal with friends and family.

Thunder Bay is full of hidden gems and underrated restaurants that you don't want to miss. You can find everything from traditional Mexican dishes to unique sauna experiences in the city. Whether you're looking for a casual lunch or an upscale dinner, there's something to satisfy everyone's taste buds in Thunder Bay. Don't forget to check out these twelve underrated restaurants in Thunder Bay and start exploring the city! You won't regret it. For more on things to do and see in Thunder Bay, click here.

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