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The Part of Niagara Falls You Actually Want to Spend Time In

a crowd of people walking on a street
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So I’m not going to lie, while I loved seeing Niagara Falls and the parks on both sides, I was not in love with the tacky tourist feel of all the shops, restaurants, and hotels immediately adjacent. Not sure why I didn’t expect that, but I wasn’t prepared for the garish lights and plethora of cheesy haunted houses and mazes on the hill above.
a crowd of people walking on a street
Fortunately, I lucked out in my choice of evening entertainment. One of the goals of my weekend trip was to learn more about Niagara wine and craft brews, which is how we all found ourselves a few miles north of the tourist traps on Queen St, which reminded me of a small town Main Street.

a bicycle leaning against a tree

It was a $10 CAD UberX ride directly from the Falls to Taps On Queen Brewhouse & Grill. The day had been brutally warm but the evening was cooling off quickly so we were able take advantage of their outdoor patio.

a building with tables and umbrellas

Friday nights they have a $17 CAD special – nachos and a pitcher of any of their 4 beers on tap. A good place to start.

a menu of a craft beer

a plate of nachos and beer

Service was great and the food and beer enjoyable. Indoors, in which I spent little time, was open and spacious, and at the time had a pretty decent live band.

One of the other highly ranked places for craft beer and local wine, Old Crow Bar & Bistro, was just a short walk down Queen St which had basically shut down by 9PM. We arrived and discovered Old Crow Bar & Bistro is definitely a locals bar.

a bar with a row of chairs and a television
Low key, no pretense, a friendly bartender, and a great selection of local offerings. Not what we were expecting, but all the better for it! Surprisingly empty for a Friday

a group of chalkboards on a wall

a glass of beer on a coaster
Incidentally, Old Crow is close enough to the US side that you can pick up cell phone service on Verizon which made it easy to catch an UberX back to our hotel.

The evening finished at the Spyce Lounge in the Hilton adjacent to our hotel. They had no local beers and the wine list had the usual terrible hotel pricing, but the TNT blues band was pretty awesome. If you’re not up for Queen St, go for that, though not for the food or drinks.

More From This Trip

Taking a Rental Car to Canada? 3 Things You Should Know
Pittsburgh Views & Brews
Hotel Review: Four Points Fallsview Niagara Falls

Full Disclosure: I may receive affiliate credit from links in this post or on this site which will help fund my travels. Thank you for your support!

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  1. I grew up near the falls and always felt bad for tourists who came and were expecting more. There are plenty of better options than Clifton hill on the Canadian side, and honestly the US side is pretty crappy. On the Canadian side, check out Niagara on the Lake for some vineyards and some awesome food. If it’s summer, get a bike and ride around the river trail. On the US side, Buffalo is a 20 minute ride and has a lot to offer in comparison.

  2. I went to Niagara Falls a couple weeks ago and also stayed at the four points. We thought it was a good deal for 3000 points plus they upgraded us to a whirlpool jacuzzi room. Did you get a chance to check out Niagara on the lake? They had lovely ice wineries and we were glad to have gone as the Niagara Falls area itself was quite touristy and boring after a day.

  3. Queen St also has the Paris Crepes Café, which has very good and filling savory and sweet crepes. On the Canadian side there is Niagara Glen Nature Reserve and on the US side multiple state parks that enable hiking in the Niagara River gorge.

  4. I don’t remember the name of the
    street or restaurant name. But we found a hole in the wall restaurant that was locals only with really cheap food.

  5. On picture looks like Las Vegas, I have always thought it is just a great waterfall there, didn’t image that there is resort. Nice to visit someday

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