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Dining with a View, These Riverside Restaurants Offer the Best Views of Niagara Falls

Embark on a delicious adventure with this epic quest to find the restaurants with the most breathtaking views of Niagara Falls. Mouthwatering meals meet million-dollar panoramas.

A father and son share a cheers as they search for the restaurants with the best views of Niagara Falls

There is, perhaps, no more iconic location in Ontario than the dramatic and powerful Niagara Falls. This collection of three separate waterfalls that roar over the Niagara Escarpment between the twin cities of Niagara Falls, New York, and Niagara Falls, Ontario, have, for many, been considered the eighth wonder of the world.

I’m a regular visitor to “The Falls,” as it’s often referred to, locally. With each visit, I seek out new angles to explore the majestic Niagara River and the incredible attractions within the city of Niagara Falls, Ontario itself.

I’ve explored the serene trails of the Niagara Glen, where the churning water bubbles up to the bank of the Niagara Gorge with furious force and the Dufferin Islands, where serene stone bridges connect a series of idyllic islands where countless birds have made their homes into what is now one of the region’s greatest urban birding sites.

On a bright spring day this June, my son, Dylan, and I made the drive from Toronto to Niagara Falls with an entirely new Niagara Falls experience as our goal. We had food on our minds, but no mere meal would do.

With his head held high and his chin pushed forward, he stated, “If you’re going to eat in Niagara Falls, the view is just as important as the meal.”

Dylan made it his mission to seek the restaurants with the best views of Niagara Falls.

As the only one of us with a driver’s licence (and a wallet), I was charged as his comrade-in-arms for this important culinary mission.

Dylan had made it clear that no simple semi-obstructed view would do. We had to search for epic, clear, and sweeping views of the falls from both patios and indoor dining areas. With research in our hands, we hit the road and set out to scour the city.

Skylon Tower Revolving Restaurant

A yellow
A yellow “bug” elevator slides up the Skylon Tower in Niagara Falls – Photo credit: Niagara Falls Tourism

The first stop for our search for a meal with a view of Niagara was the famous Skylon Tower.

Built in 1964 and rising 158 metres from the ground, the Skylon Tower Restaurant was the go-to destination for scenic dining in Niagara Falls for decades. Similar to 360 The Restaurant at the CN Tower in Toronto, the Skylon Tower Restaurant runs in a steady rotation, offering all diners sweeping views of the American Falls, the Bridal Veil Falls, and the roaring Horseshoe Falls.

These days, the Skylon Tower definitely shows signs of its 60-year lifespan, but it remains one of the most popular restaurants overlooking the falls. The windows of the glass elevator that took us to the upper levels were in need of a wash, but we were launched to the restaurant level in less than a minute.

Upon stepping out, we were greeted with sweeping views of the Niagara Gorge along with the skylines of Niagara Falls, New York.

We sat down for our meal at a window-side table. The slanted glass offered a better angle to view the waterfalls than either of us had expected given the restaurant’s distance from the Niagara River. Dylan’s initial view of the restaurant was that it was pretty “epic,” but “I think we can do better.”

A father and son smile in front of the White Water Walk in Niagara Falls
Showing off our favourite part of the White Water Walk

The meal was good. But it was definitely priced for the view more than it was for the quality of food that was served.

Our father and son search for the restaurants with the best views of Niagara Falls was underway, and it was a solid start.

In order to work up an appetite for our next meal, we made our way to the White Water Walk where we took a stroll along the base of the Niagara Gorge where Class VI whitewater rapids, some of the most treacherous on earth, churned the waters of Niagara River into a foaming monster.

Prime Steakhouse Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls lit up red and white at night.
Niagara Falls lit up red and white at night. – Photo credit: Niagara Parks

Dinner during our first evening in Niagara Falls would be a feast that, would stretch our budget a little thin. Prime Steakhouse Niagara Falls is located on the 10th floor of the Crowne Plaza on Falls Ave right near the base of the popular Clifton Hill.

It’s strategic position in the corner of the hotel gave us excellent views looking up the gorge at all three waterfalls.

As the sun dipped below the horizon, the Niagara Parks Nightly Illumination began. The Horseshoe Falls exploded into brilliant colour as we munched on sticky duck wings followed by a shared surf and turf platter that included a Petite Angus Fillet, 1/2 Atlantic Lobster, lobster ravioli, and lobster “americano.”

The food was fabulous and the views, gorgeous. However, as we waited for our dessert to arrive, Dylan gazed out over a Horseshoe Falls lit in a blazing Canadian red and white, and stated “This is a great view. But I think Niagara Falls can do better.”

Following his gaze, I nodded in agreement. Prime offers fantastic views of Niagara Falls. But they aren’t the absolute best in the city.

Queen Victoria Place Restaurant

The Niagara Parks Aero Car glides over the Niagara Gorge Whirlpool
The Niagara Parks Aero Car glides over the Niagara Gorge Whirlpool

The following morning, we woke early to catch a morning ride on the Whirlpool Aero Car.

The adventure-filled experience took us out on a cable car that swung above the swirling Niagara Falls Whirlpool located at a sharp bend in the Niagara River.

The thrilling ride worked up an appetite, and we mapped out what I thought would be the perfect meal to start a second day of our culinary exploration of Niagara Falls, Ontario.

We had picked up a couple of Niagara Parks Adventure Passes that gave us access to many of the city’s top attractions and hopped on one of the included WeGo busses that zip Niagara Falls’ thousands of visitors along Falls Ave. from attraction to attraction.

Dylan Wagar enjoys the view of Niagara Falls from the Queen Victoria Place Restaurant Patio
Dylan enjoys the view of Niagara Falls from the Queen Victoria Place Restaurant Patio.

The bus dropped us off in front of a stately manor just a stones throw away from the Horseshoe Falls. As Dylan and I looked up at the sprawling building that was once the former residence of the Niagara Parks Commissioner’s, we agreed. The Niagara Falls views from here are going to be amazing!

The manor was built in 1904 and features a distinctive green copper roof and walls built from boulder stones pulled from the riverbed just south of the Horseshoe Falls. Beyond being one of the best places to eat in Niagara Falls, the restaurant has been touted, time and time again, as having the city’s best patio.

We had reserved a rail-side table that gave us a sweeping view of all three of the Niagara Falls waterfalls. The patio was close enough that we were cooled by a whisper of the Horseshoe Falls’ ever-present mist but not so close that we got wet.

We enjoyed a delicious cheese platter and some chicken sliders paired with mocktails as we drank in our best yet meal-with-a-view in Niagara Falls.

The Keg Embassy Suites

A young boy in a yellow poncho is framed in front of Niagara Falls by the Niagara Parks Tunnel
Dylan is framed in front of Niagara Falls by the Niagara Parks Tunnel

We drifted from our spectacular breakfast along the waterfront to one of the city’s newest attractions. The Niagara Parks Power Station. This historic building had sat quietly since the hydro generators it used to supply power to businesses around Niagara went quiet in 2006.

But in 2021, the majestic building was given new life as a museum and experience centre. The cavernous interior took us through the history of Niagara Falls’ legendary status in the North American hydro-electric industry, detailing the ways that it captured energy from one of the world’s most powerful waterfalls as well as the lives of those who worked there.

55 metres below the building lies a brand new experience, The Tunnel. A 670 metre hand-dug service tunnel that once acted as a water egress point for the power station. It now offers a brand new, and very unique angle to view Niagara Falls.

I had a couple of gift certificates from the Keg that were burning a hole in my pocket. Normally, I try to skip the chain restaurants when I’m out exploring, but I knew from a past bachelor party that I had attended that The Keg Steakhouse in the Embassy Suites Hotel has a popular dining room overlooking Niagara Falls.

This seemed like the perfect opportunity for a budget-friendly lunch in the city.

The Keg Niagara Falls sits high up on the escarpment, offering a brilliant panorama of the upper Niagara River and the clouds of mist breathing up from deep within the Niagara Gorge. As we munched on a Gruyere mushroom dip and a shared Top Sirloin (with paired garlic mash, of course), Dylan remarked that the view was “pretty good.” But he felt that a view with more of the front side of the falls would be better than looking out over the crest of the Horseshoe Falls.

I knew exactly where to take him next.

Table Rock Restaurant

A crowded platform full of people in yellow ponchos next to the roaring Horseshoe Falls in Niagara Falls
Crowds enjoy Journey Behind the Falls in Niagara

We took the Falls Incline Railway down to the edge of the Niagara River before strolling along in an effort to get as close to the magnificent Horseshoe Falls as possible. We caught a glimpse of the massive abandoned barge, the Iron Scow, that drew attention in 2022 when it got loose from its island hold and threatened to tumble over the falls.

As we continued on our walk, we made our way to, what is quite possibly, the most popular attraction in Niagara Falls outside of the views themselves.

After getting waved through the line thanks to our adventure passes and picking up our rain ponchos, we descended 38 metres into the hard stone of the Niagara Escarpment. We hadarrived at a network of tunnels carved behind the curtain of the great Horseshoe Falls.

The attraction had two “portals” that allowed us to peer out from within the rock at the pounding curtain of water that flows over the falls at an unimaginable 3,160 tons per second. Thrilling as that was, it was nothing compared to our journey to the edge of the falls.

Outside of the attractions own “tunnel” is a series of lookout platforms that brought us right to the edge of the tumbling waterfall. The roar and wind caused by the torrential power is so much that we struggeled to even hear ourselves speak.

Oh, and the water. We were completely soaked, even with our trusty rain ponchos.

It was glorious!

My extensive Niagara Falls experience had led me to pack an extra pair of clothes in my backpack. So after getting changed, it was time for our final dinner with a view of Niagara Falls. And we did not have to travel very far to get there.

A father and son cheers their mocktails in front of a window overlooking Niagara Falls at Table Rock Restaurant
Enjoying a mocktail cheer at Table Rock Restaurant in Niagara Falls

Table Rock Restaurant is located right at the edge of Niagara Falls, and there is no restaurant closer to the Horseshoe Falls than here. The restaurant serves delicious food that is surprisingly affordable considering the elite location.

I had the chance to dine here on a few occasions before, but this was Dylan’s first time at Table Rock. As we were led down to our table (Table #8 for those who want the best seat in the house), his eyes lit up, and he breathed out an enthusiastic “whoah!” as the “you can almost touch it” scenery emerged before us.

We enjoyed several glasses of berry mocktails as we drank in the views of one of the world’s mightiest and most beautiful waterfalls.

Our meal was an appetizer of crispy calamari, and for our meal, Dylan enjoyed a salmon fillet with dill sauce while I happily enjoyed beef ribs with mashed potatoes. The highlight of the meal, though, was the salted caramel cheesecake,k which hit as hard as Niagara Falls itself.

The Restaurants With The Best Views Of Niagara Falls

When my son and I embarked on our mission to uncover the restaurants with the best views of Niagara Falls, we knew that it was going to be hard, dirty work. But, hey, somebody had to do it.

Along the way we learned that some of the city’s most famous culinary landmarks have been surpassed by new culinary experiences in the city, and that there are new “kings of the kitchen” that are worth returning for.

Table Rock Restaurant holds the undisputed crown, but Queen Victoria Place is the top destination for those beautiful summer days when you want to enjoy patio life with a view.

What will our next Niagara Falls mission be? Only time will tell.

Disclosure: Some of the activities in the article were supported by Niagara Parks. All opinions remain those of the author.

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