8 Restaurants On Locke Street That Locals Love For Food & Vibes!

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Last updated on March 12, 2023 by Wandering our World

As one of Hamilton’s (Ontario) busiest shopping destinations, Locke Street offers a plethora of incredible restaurants for you to take your taste buds on an exotic culinary journey.

Dozens of local eateries line this historic street, but that also means it can be overwhelming to decide which one to visit. But that’s where we can help!

We know Locke Street well, so below are our the restaurants we think you should check out.

Once you’ve shopped till you’ve dropped, experience everything from Italian fare, sushi, and classy steaks to comfy pub grub here – bon appetit!

Chef cooking in kitchen
Photo for illustrative purposes only: Unsplash+

Our Top Eight Restaurants In Locke Street, Hamilton: Food Worth Waiting For!

1. Peruviano

Family-run eatery specializing in Peruvian and Italian staples served within warm and friendly vibes and a comfy patio

Although it’s been just over a year since they opened, Peruviano already has a cult following among locals who enjoy the light and refreshing flavors of Peruvian cuisine.

With some Italian influences on the dishes too, you’ll love tucking into their delectable and unique food in a very comfortable yet chic atmosphere, where the owners often greet you themselves and make you feel at home.

Their dining room, though small, has quite a cozy vibe to it, with red brick walls and trendy decor, while the backyard patio is spacious and just as comfortable.

And although their menu isn’t very vast, you’ll find new specials every other day that are worth every buck you shell out.

Appetizers include fried plantains with a mix of onion, cilantro, and lime, and some wonderful empanadas stuffed with beef, olives, and raisins – one of their best-selling items.

From among the mains, you have to try the garlic, lime, and pepper cured ceviche, and the hearty cilantro-infused braised beef shoulder with smoked pancetta and canary beans.

Other staples like lomo saltado and a creamy rotini bolognese are also up for grabs and are just as flavorsome. 

Get some sangrias to go with it, and you’ll be planning your next visit here before you even leave. Swing by from 5 pm onwards on Tuesdays and noon onwards between Wednesday-Sunday.

Address: 254 Locke St S, Hamilton, ON

Latin American fried empanadas with tomato and avocado sauces. Top view.
Photo for illustrative purposes only: iStock.com/LarisaBlinova

2. The Burnt Tongue 

Hearty and creative soups and classic burgers served in a small and casual dining area

You might quite literally burn your tongue at The Burnt Tongue, because their soups look and smell so ridiculously good you’ll want to dive right in.

It’s been around for almost a decade with four locations across Hamilton, which speaks volumes about its success and quality of food.

Their focus remains on dishing out great food because the restaurant itself has quite a straightforward layout. Order at the counter, grab one of the few seats in their red and black-themed dining area or the summer patio and slurp away.

The menu mainly revolves around gourmet quality soups, but they’ve also got burgers and sandwiches that are always fresh and juicy. And although they never really have a fixed menu with new soups put up every other day, you’ll definitely find a few all-time favorites.

Their rich and creamy tomato tortellini bowl is one of the super hits, as is the potato leeks soup topped with chili oil and crispy fried onions.

Specials like clam chowder and Fasolada – a Greek delicacy – grace the menu every now and then. You’ll also find dairy-free, gluten-free, and vegetarian options.

With their fresh salads, burgers, and oh-so-hearty soups, they’re always super busy during lunch, but very efficient in what they do. Swing by any day from 11 am onwards.

Address: 182 Locke St S, Hamilton, ON

Female hands with bowl of pumpkin soup
Photo for illustrative purposes only. iStock.com/thesomegirl

3. Sushi Azuki 

Popular takeout restaurant specializing in vibrant sushi, sashimi, and poke

Sushi Azuki may just be a takeout restaurant, but the food that comes out of their little venue looks nothing less than from a 5-star hotel’s kitchen.

We aren’t exaggerating either, because anyone who has tried their sushi has definitely raved over its expert execution.

Sushi is more than just rolling a bunch of fish together with some rice, and this place really gets that. With beautifully and expertly rolled pieces for that perfect bite, these rolls are vibrant, oh-so-fresh, and always delivered looking fantastic and appetizing. 

A variety of rolls grace their menu, and while all of them are worth a try, their spicy salmon love roll with fresh avocado is drool-inducing, to say the least.

We also recommend their cheesy, saucy, and fried-onion-topped sunshine rolls, shrimp, yam, and crabmeat stuffed Mountain roll, or the iconic salmon and cream cheese Philadelphia roll.

Most of these are larger than your average sushi rolls, but you can also get smaller and simpler ‘Chibi’ sized ones.

Oh and, they’ve got poke bowls (including a gochujang and sashimi-topped bowl) and a huge variety of vegetarian picks too, and boy are they good! 

Top it off with some of their Japanese sodas for the complete experience. And although they have limited slots available for ordering, they’re always very accommodating about the whole process.

Get takeout or place online orders between Tuesday-Thursday, 3 pm onwards, and Friday-Sunday, 11.30 am onwards. 

Address: 184 Locke St S, Hamilton, ON

Sushi platter arrangement
Photo for illustrative purposes only (iStock.com/AtlasStudio)

4. Victoria’s Steak and Seafood 

An upscale steakhouse with elegant vibes in an airy interior, lounge area, and patio

Just across from Locke Street lies Victoria’s – the finest of fine dining places among restaurants in the region.

With fine cuts of aged Canadian Prime beef and Japanese A5 wagyu, you’ll be able to put that carnivore inside you to rest while sipping on wines from among a global list.

Their atmosphere is refined and quite beautiful, with royal blue upholstery, modern design and decor, a separate lounge/bar area for indulging in creative cocktails, and a small cozy patio.

Featuring Angus-reserve and grass-fed varieties, cuts like tenderloin and ribeye are cooked to absolute perfection, with a juicy pink center and a deliciously seared exterior.

And if you’re feeling extra splurgy, they’ve got beautifully marbled Japanese A5 Wagyu steaks for a whopping $30/oz.

Top it off with some black butter truffle or bearnaise sauce for that oomph factor. Other menu highlights include scallops over a lemon risotto and caramelized fennel and a miso-marinated Alaskan black cod.

The menu tends to change seasonally and you’ll often see treats like Ozaki Wagyu from the Miyazaki prefecture in Japan and beautiful cuts from local farms. 

Do pair it with something from their fantastic wine selection. It’s best to make reservations in advance to avoid any fuss – they’re open every day from 5 pm onwards. 

Address: 470 King St W, Hamilton, ON

beef steak display
Photo for illustrative purposes only: iStock.com/lisovskaya

5. CIMA Enoteca

Rustic Italian flavors with elevated twists served in a bright, upscale, and upbeat atmosphere with a patio

Gourmet Italian fare that’s made from scratch can airlift you to the quaint streets of Italy, which is exactly what CIMA Enoteca accomplishes.

Focusing on pasta and authentic Neapolitan-style pizza, the food here is elevated yet full of those rustic comfy flavors.

The same goes for their atmosphere which is trendy and bright, with a sunlit dining room, white marble-top tables, and a spacious bar area. The vibes are very family-friendly and relaxed inside, though, while the shaded outdoor seating on the porch offers a quieter ambiance. 

Their menu mainly focuses on small plates, gourmet-style pasta, and wood-fired oven pizzas. The doughs are prepared in-house and the pasta is rolled out fresh every day, so you can clearly taste the freshness and vibrancy. Plus, the menu changes frequently, so you’ll always find new stuff on it.

Start with something like their burrata or grilled octopus with rosemary and sundried tomato pesto, then hone in on the pasta.

Expect a hearty seafood linguine, Barolo wine-braised short rib pappardelle, and on some days of the week, the fluffiest gnocchi ever.

Don’t forget the pizzas, which are as authentic as can be, with a thin crispy crust and very Italian flavors.

Reservations are often necessary for dinner here – they’re open from 5 pm onwards on Monday, and 11.30 am onwards between Tuesday-Saturday. 

Address: 190 Locke St S, Hamilton, ON

Italian pastas with different kinds of sauce
Photo for illustrative purposes only: iStock.com/Roxiller

6. Democracy 

Roomy yet cozy cafe offering 100% vegan breakfast, lunch, and dinner picks

Serving a concise menu of vegan bites, Democracy is easily one of the most popular cafes and restaurants on Locke Street.

Come here for their plant-based takes on the typical Banh Mi or breakfast sandwiches, and stay for the warm atmosphere.

With their newly renovated interior, people love cozying up in their very homey and sun-lit dining area for either delicious vegan meals or a cup of joe while reading a book. 

Using only the best vegan alternatives like Beyond patties and Just Egg, their food is always fresh and scratch-made, down to the sauces and even the pickles.

Breakfast (till noon) comes with standard offerings like a platter of eggs and sausages, and avocado BLT with tempeh bacon, while mains offered during lunch and dinner are even more hearty and delectable. Think marinated tofu and mushroom walnut pate stuffed Banh Mis and mac and cheese in a homemade sauce topped with cashew parm.

And let’s not forget the city-wide famous cauliflower wings that are huge and satisfying and have no less than a cult following.

Get some mango-orange mimosas and vegan pastries to finish off, and you’ll understand why even meat nerds appreciate their ever-so-refreshing food.

Find them open every day of the week from 8 am onwards, with Sunday brunch offerings available till 4 pm – do try and get reservations for dinner nights as they are one of the most popular restaurants on Locke Street.

Address: 202 Locke St S, Hamilton, ON

Vegan cauliflower buffalo wings on white wooden board.
Photo for illustrative purposes only: iStock.com/DronG

7. Earth to Table Bread Bar

Farm-to-table fare served in a relaxed and easygoing setting with a roomy and comfy patio and occasional live music

At Earth to Table Bread Bar, the ingredients speak for themselves in all their freshness and glory. Using only organic produce with a strict locavore policy, the food here leaves guests in awe with its bright and farm-to-table fresh flavors.

Although their atmosphere is quite relaxed, with a straightforward layout and plenty of lighting, the food is definitely not casual. Their airy patio might just be the perfect setting to enjoy their delectable food on summer days, especially with the occasional live music.

With a seasonally changing menu highlighting local meats and veggies, you’ll love the handcrafted dishes and the care that goes into preparing them.

For lunch, expect stuff like a beef pork burger with mushrooms, truffle aioli, and a strong umami sauce, or an overstuffed muffuletta sandwich with aged coppa, ham, olive and red pepper spread, and an oregano vinaigrette. And the stone-baked pizzas? Worth a trip alone!

Dinner comes with gourmet picks like fennel and black pepper-rubbed roast chicken with walnut pesto and farm greens, alongside a creamy truffle linguine infused with tarragon and garlic. Don’t forget the bread board featuring high-end, premium ingredients.

With vegan options and an ever-increasing wine list, your taste buds are in for a ride here. 

Find them open every day from 9 am onwards (with some great breakfast picks), and do remember to get reservations for busy nights. 

Address: 258 Locke St S, Hamilton, ON

wood fired pizza on table
Photo for illustrative purposes only: iStock.com/JulyProkopiv

8. Ye Old Squire 

Refined pub fare served in a chic setting and a spacious patio with street views and live entertainment 

As the neighborhood’s go-to pub, Ye Old Squire does a fantastic job of offering elevated pub fare, great drinks, and a lively atmosphere.

Come here for a quick delicious lunch or relaxing drinks and shareable bites with your pals – either way, we promise you’ll leave in love with the food.

The atmosphere is unlike a traditional pub, as it’s pretty bright and chic inside their dining area, with a nice bar area and plenty of TVs. The wrap-around patio offers a view of the busy street, and that paired with the regular live entertainment makes for an unbeatable atmosphere.

They’ve got an ever-changing menu of pub classics, but it’s nowhere near your average greasy and heavy pub food. The stuff here is freshly-made with perfectly-balanced flavors, and when paired with their summery cocktails, it’s an experience worth coming back for.

Shareable platters include wonton nachos with a sweet Thai sauce drizzle, or you could also opt for the rich and cheesy lobster dip with cheese.

For mains, your options range from a hearty house-made meatloaf, fish and chips, and spicy stir-fried ramen to an adventurous Moroccan lamb burger with tzatziki and feta. Most of the items can be prepared as gluten-free and vegetarian, so everyone can join in on the fun.

The seasonal Sunday brunch comes with stuff like lemon mascarpone pancakes, smoked salmon toasts, and steak tostada with a beautifully poached egg.

So swing by between Monday-Saturday, noon onwards, and 10.30 am onwards on Sundays.

Address: 225 Locke St S, Hamilton, ON

Fish and chips with beer
Photo for illustrative purposes only: iStock.com/Daviles

The Best Restaurants In Locke Street, Hamilton: Our Final Thoughts 

Whether you want to make the most out of your day with a splurge-worthy dinner or just want a quick bite mid-shopping, there are many local gems among the restaurants in Locke Street worth indulging in.

Do give our favorites a try – thank us later!

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  • Wandering our World

    Hi and welcome to Wandering our World! This article was written by one of the Wandering our World team - a team of travel enthusiasts who live around the globe.