While Niagara certainly doesn’t have the speakeasy and prohibition-style cocktail reputation enjoyed by larger urban areas such as New York City, that doesn’t mean the spirits snob will suffer. Here are a handful of places where you can get a great cocktail in the Niagara region, whether you’re enjoying it along with dinner or as the precursor to even more cocktails.
The Rainbow Room
One of the finest restaurants in the region, The Rainbow Room by Massimo Capra also boasts an excellent wine list, a full bar, and a delightful cocktail selection. Whether you make a reservation for dinner or you come in for a mid-afternoon drink and snack — something light and fresh-tasting that will pair well with a salad, for example — you simply cannot go wrong with this establishment. Everything from the food and decor to the view is top-notch, which makes the cocktails taste that much better.
The Keg Steakhouse
A chain that has numerous locations throughout Canada, The Keg Steakhouse is a great place to get a steak or a martini. Especially if you like your martinis made in line with the classic style — a.k.a. gin-based — their Cucumber Collins is a must. Hendrick’s Gin is shaken with simple syrup, fresh lemon juice, muddled English cucumber, and fresh rosemary before being topped with a bit of 7up.
Two Black Sheep
Located in St. Hamilton, this small and hip space is the perfect place to grab an unusual and expertly crafted cocktail. Charcuterie plates, local wine, chocolates, oysters, and booze abound. If you’re looking for a cocktail experience that feels like it’s a direct homage to Brooklyn, Two Black Sheep will fit the bill. They’re open every day from 4 p.m. until 2 a.m., and they also feature dollar oysters between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. every day. It’s the perfect place for an early evening hangout or an after the party nightcap.
Avanti Bar and Grill
An Italian restaurant in Niagara Falls, Avanti Bar and Grill can be counted on to provide a good cocktail, regardless of the type of liquor you’re seeking. A simple establishment that features excellent fare, you can easily sit down at the bar and enjoy everything from a Manhattan or a Negroni to a Chocolate Martini. Should you also be hankering for a meal, their pizza is excellent, too. They also offer plenty of beer specials for whenever you decide you need to pace yourself a bit.
Whatever it is that calls you to Niagara, don’t neglect the cocktail-loving side of yourself. Whether you find yourself in Niagara Falls proper or in St. Catharines, the region has plenty of restaurants and bars where your love for fine spirits can be both awakened and sated.