10 Amazing Places to Eat and Drink in Gananoque, Ontario

10 Amazing Places to Eat and Drink in Gananoque, Ontario
28 Sep 2022

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Gananoque and the Thousand Islands is a beautiful region in Eastern Ontario, along the St. Lawrence River. This unique area is known for its National Parks, historic castles, shipwrecks, world-class fishing, maritime museums, and being the birthplace of Thousand Island dressing.

While visiting scenic sites is fun to do, trying out local eateries is part of the reason we travel.

Here are 10 amazing places to eat and drink in Gananoque and the surrounding area:

Laverne’s Eatery

Right on Gananoque’s main stretch, you’ll find a “healthy twist on diner food” at Laverne’s Eatery. Fans of the television sitcom “Friends” will get a Central Perk vibe – cozy café setting where the locals come to hang out. And yes, there is a Laverne at Laverne’s Eatery. It’s Chef Ray’s middle name!

For breakfast, try the Huevos Rancheros (flatbread, refried beans, American cheddar, 2 fried eggs, avocado, white onion, salsa fresca, cilantro and lime), the French Toast (thick cut oven-baked bread with fresh strawberries and bananas, local maple syrup), or the daily Omelette special.

If you’re there for a light snack, try one of their freshly baked pastries or brownies, and wash it down with an iced coffee. Or just have that on the patio after your meal like I did!

Thinking of stopping in for lunch or dinner? Try the Cali Club (roast chicken, avocado, bacon, tomato, pimento cheese, pea shoots, smoked tomato chutney, sriracha mayo), Charleston Lake Benny (cheddar & bacon waffles topped with sautéed spinach, poached eggs, hollandaise), or the Cold Soba Noodle Salad (with sesame soy and seared Ahi Tuna). Friday nights are Mexican nights, so they usually have tacos, burritos, fajitas, and margaritas.

Laverne’s menu changes daily and is based on what ingredients they can source. The daily menu is posted at the front door and near the cash area. Go into Laverne’s Eatery with an “I’m going to have some great eats in a cozy atmosphere” attitude and you will not be disappointed.

Location

Laverne’s Eatery is located at 21 King Street East in Gananoque. There is limited parking available in their parking lot, as well as paid street parking.

Maple Leaf Restaurant

The Maple Leaf Restaurant has been a staple in Gananoque for over 30 years. This “Czech Schnitzel House” is known for its European home-style cooking, generous portions, and friendly atmosphere. The Czech-Canadian influenced menu features hearty comfort foods including fresh salads, burgers, bratwurst, seafood, pierogis, borsch, and many varieties of schnitzel.

For appetizers, try the Onion Rings, Garlic Bread, Bohemian Spaetzle (homemade spaetzle with bacon and sauerkraut), or Bratwurst (served with rye bread and sauerkraut, or roast potatoes and sauerkraut).

For main courses, try the Reuben Sandwich (corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese on rye bread), Maple Leaf Special Burger (cheese, crispy bacon, sautéed onions, and mushrooms), Rainbow Trout Fillet (grilled herb-crusted fillet served with rice and vegetable), Pilsen Goulash (tender beef stew with rich sauce and dumplings), or the Holstein Schnitzel (pork schnitzel topped with fried egg, sautéed onions, capers, with roast potatoes or spaetzle).

The Maple Leaf has many varieties of wine, draft and bottled beer, and signature cocktails, as well as many non-alcoholic beverages.

Location

Maple Leaf Restaurant is located at 65 King Street East in Gananoque. Paid parking is available on the street.

gananoque eats anthonys steak

Anthony’s Restaurant

Right across from Gananoque Town Hall is Anthony’s Restaurant, a classic eatery in a quaint Victorian house. They serve up pub fare, teaks, burgers, and Italian cuisine.

For starters, try a classic pub appetizer like Mozzarella sticks, Thai chicken bites, bruschetta, or deep-fried pickles. There’s also got an ultimate appetizer platter for sharing. I had the mozzarella sticks and they were pretty awesome.

For your main course, you have a choice of sandwiches, wraps, burgers, curries, pasta dishes, and steaks. I ordered the 10 oz Ribeye (with caramelized onions and sautéed mushrooms). It was cooked to a perfect medium rare, exactly how I ordered it.

All menu items are very well priced, and the portions are quite large. Unless you have a very large appetite, you’ll need a takeout container.

Location

Anthony’s Restaurant is located at 37 King Street East in Gananoque. Paid parking is available on the street.

Graydon’s Restaurant

Graydon’s Restaurant in Gananoque serves up fresh, local fare in a cozy and comfortable setting. This upscale eatery is located inside the historic Woodview Inn, and offers a truly unique dining experience.

The menu features seasonal dishes that are sure to please any appetite. Whether you’re looking for a romantic dinner for two or a night out with friends, Graydon’s is the perfect spot.

For appetizers, I would suggest the Sautéed Prawns (in French brandy & basil compound butter, garnished with toasted baguette and lemon), or the Fried Double Cream Brie (with red currant jelly, spiced honey, toasted walnuts, and grilled baguette).

For the main course, try the Pan Seared Snapper (skin on, with green olive gremolata & lemon infused olive oil, with rosemary roasted fingerling potatoes), or the New Zealand Lamb Shank (braised Osso Buco style with confit cherry tomato, served with brown butter mashed potatoes & sautéed seasonal vegetables).

And be sure to save room for dessert! The chef’s specialties change weekly, but they always include mouth-watering creations.

Location

Graydon’s Restaurant is located at 250 King Street West in Gananoque. Parking is available on site. Reservations are encouraged and can be made by calling 613-382-1110.

gananoque eats cornwalls pub pizza

Cornwall’s Pub

Cornwall’s Pub in Rockport is a cozy little waterside spot with delicious food and a friendly atmosphere. Located about 20 minutes east of Gananoque inside the Boathouse Country Inn, Cornwall’s Pub is the perfect place to enjoy a meal with friends or family.

The pub offers a variety of menu items, including appetizers, burgers, sandwiches, salads, and wood fired pizzas. Cornwall’s Pub also has an amazing patio and Tiki bar overlooking the St. Lawrence River, so you can enjoy your favourite alcoholic beverages with an amazing view.

For starters, try the Boathouse Salad (Romaine, cherry tomatoes, red onion and cucumbers), the East Coast Garlic Fingers (garlic cheese fingers served with donair or marinara sauce), or the Spinach & Artichoke Dip (warm spinach and artichoke dip served with grilled naan bread). The Crab Cakes (with homemade chipotle mayo) are also quite tasty!

For mains, try the Smokey Burger (beef burger on a Brioche bun, topped with caramelized onions, 40 Creek smokey BBQ sauce and Swiss cheese), the Chicken Caesar Wrap (crispy chicken, lettuce and bacon with parmesan and creamy Caesar dressing in a soft flour tortilla), or the Beer Battered Fish & Chips (house made battered cod, served with coleslaw). The Meat Lovers Pizza (pepperoni, chorizo, and bacon) is amazing, and comes in a pizza box.

If you’re looking for a fun and relaxing place to eat and drink, then Cornwall’s Pub is the perfect spot for you.

Location

Cornwall’s Pub is located at 9 Front Street in Rockport. Parking is available on site.

Riva Restaurant

This quaint fine dining establishment occupies a beautiful old historic building in Gananoque, which has been a restaurant since 1928. Riva Restaurant has two garden patios and a lovely dining room with a cozy fireplace and bar. The kitchen is open for diners to see the Chef’s team in action, and the dining area is very spacious and welcoming.

For starters, you have to give their Sourdough Bread basket with whipped brown butter a try. Other great options are the Caesar Salad (bacon, sourdough crisps, grana Padano), Beef Carpaccio (parmigiana Reggiano, truffle aioli, and fried capers), or the Italian Chicken Wings (pepperoni and gorgonzola sauce).

Then move on to your main course with selections like Spaghetti Aglio Olio (garlic, chilies, olive oil, Parmigiano, and arugula), Diavolo Pizza (spicy salami, tomato sauce, olives, mozzarella, chilies), Linguini Shrimp Scampi (shrimp, white wine, butter, garlic, parsley), or Enright Beef Tenderloin (potato gratin, seasonal vegetables, and garlic herb butter).

After dinner, grab a seat on the garden patio and enjoy a glass of wine or craft beer. If you are like me and prefer mixed drinks, try one of the many mixed cocktails on their menu, like the Sazerac L’Orange (Grand Marnier, Cognac, Blue Curacao, lime juice, absinthe). A great way to finish off an amazing dining experience!

Location

Riva Restaurant is located at 45 King Street West in Gananoque. Parking is available on site. Reservations are encouraged and can be made on their website.

The Stonewater Pub

Stonewater Pub is a classic pub with a waterfront patio, great service, and live music. They have really unique pub fare and drinks, so you won’t go hungry, or thirsty.

For an appetizer, try the Deep Fried Pickles (with chipotle aioli), Irish Nachos (kettle chips, cheese, smoky bacon, whisky caramelized onions, sour cream), Korean Cauliflower (southern fried cauliflower bites topped with a ginger gochujang sauce, sesame seeds and scallions), the Coconut Shrimp (six panko and coconut breaded shrimp served with lemon and a sweet and spicy Thai sauce), or the Butter Chicken Tacos (three butter chicken tacos on mini naan, tomatoes, coconut yogurt, pickled onion, and cilantro). You could pair up two or three apps for a filling meal.

For the main course, try the Chicken & Waffles (southern fried chicken strips, Belgian waffles, corn succotash, coleslaw, Canadian maple syrup, hot sauce), Shrimp Po Boy Sandwich (southern fried shrimp on a brioche bun topped with sweet and spicy bang bang sauce, red onion, and lettuce), or the Macho Burger (on a brioche bun topped with an onion ring, old cheddar, pickles, jalapeños, bacon, lettuce, and tomato).

Whether you are there by yourself, with friends, or with your family, you are sure to find something on their menu you’ll enjoy.

Location

The Stonewater Pub is located at 490 Stone Street South in Gananoque. Parking is available on the street.

The Ivy Restaurant

The Ivy Restaurant is a cozy little spot along the shores of the St. Lawrence River, known for its delicious food and friendly service. The Ivy’s menu features a variety of tasty options including pasta dishes, seafood, steaks, and New York style pizza.

Start your meal off with an appetizer! Try the Caesar Salad (Romaine, creamy Caesar dressing with anchovy, bacon & croutons), Risotto Cacio e Pepe (white risotto with pecorino and cracked black pepper), or the Middle Eastern Hummus Plate (olives, cherry tomato salad, roasted peppers, chickpeas, schug, grilled pita).

Great choices for main dishes include Chicken Suprême with Wild Mushroom Sauce (roasted fingerling potatoes, seasonal vegetables), Grilled AAA New York Strip (black garlic butter, fingerling potatoes, seasonal vegetables), or a Spanish Tapas Plate (Serrano ham, Chorizo di Belotta, Marcona almonds, honeycomb, Manchego, sheep cheese with saffron and peppercorns, Gordal olives, tortilla española).

Whether you’re looking for a romantic evening out or a casual night with friends, the Ivy Restaurant is the perfect place to be.

Location

The Ivy Restaurant is located at 61 Shipman’s Lane in Lansdowne, just 12 minutes east of Gananoque. Parking is available on site. If arriving by boat, there are docking spots reserved for patrons. Reservations are encouraged and can be made on their website.

Panache Bakery & Cafe

Panache Bakery & Cafe is a Gananoque institution. This awesome café serves up delicious coffee and freshly baked goods to locals and tourists alike. Panache is known for its friendly atmosphere and its wide selection of pastries, cookies, and other sweet treats. But it’s not just about the sweet stuff – they also have some delicious savoury pies, quiches, soups, and breads.

In addition to its regular menu, Panache offers a number of seasonal specials. Depending on the time of year, they’ll feature a selection of fruit tarts and pies made with fresh local berries, pumpkin spice scones, apple cider donuts, and gingerbread cookies.  They always have several types of cheesecake, turnovers, cookies, and cupcakes. The carrot cake and cream puffs are mouth-watering!

You can also order a custom cake for any occasion like buttercream cake, Black Forest cake, chocolate fudge cake, fruit with fresh cream cake, mirror glaze cake, and the popular St Laurent cake.

No matter what time of year it is, Panache Bakery & Cafe is always worth a visit!

Location

Panache Bakery & Cafe is located at 162 King Street East in Gananoque. Paid parking is available on the street.

Pistachio Café

Pistachio Café is a fairly new family-run addition to the Gananoque food scene, having just opened this past May. Brother and sister, Jenn and James, run the vegan-friendly kitchen and café, and their dad serves beer, wine, and cocktails on the patio bar during the summer months.

James runs the kitchen and makes fresh soups, salads, and sandwiches, daily. He also makes a fantastic breakfast, and the fresh baked goods will leave you wanting more. Try the Breakfast Burrito (egg, cheese, rice, black beans, corn, peppers, onions). Or, have Jenn and her friendly staff whip you up a yummy latte to enjoy with a freshly baked scone.

And you can’t go to Pistachio Café without having their delicious gelato! This award-winning dessert is made from scratch by an Italian-trained gelato chef. They always have 13 flavours on hand, including 4 flavours of dairy-free sorbet. I had the pistachio gelato and it was amazing!

Location

Pistachio Café is located at 90 King Street East in Gananoque. Paid parking is available on the street.

Eat Your Way Through Gananoque and Area

There are so many great places to eat and drink in Gananoque and surrounding areas. For me, it wasn’t just about the food and drink. The small-town hospitality was amazing and made for a really awesome experience while I was there. And, you’ll need to eat in between all of the fun things to do in Gananoque and the Thousand Islands.

If you are visiting the Gananoque area, stop at one (or all) of these great places for a meal. Trust me, you won’t regret it!

Cheers,
Big Daddy

If you are a PR agency or brand and would like me to review a travel destination, vehicle, restaurant, product or service, please send me an email.


Craig Silva

Craig is a passionate and seasoned travel, food, and lifestyle writer, whose words paint vivid pictures of the world's most captivating destinations. His work not only inspires others to embark on their own adventures but also fosters a deep appreciation for the beauty and diversity of our world. He captures the essence of each locale, offering readers a glimpse into the cultures, landscapes, cuisine, and experiences that make travel so enriching. Craig is a member of the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW) and the International Travel Writers Alliance (ITWA). If you are a PR agency or brand and would like Craig to review a travel destination, vehicle, restaurant, product or service, please send him an email.

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