Nestled in the Thousand Islands region of south eastern Ontario is the charming small town of Gananoque. At 3 hours east of Toronto, it makes for the perfect getaway. Visitors will find a long list of things to do and see in the area, including boat cruises, hiking, and scenic drives. In addition, there’s a diverse mix of restaurants in Gananoque. Whether you’re craving pizza or Italian, you’ll find a place to suit your cravings.
Thanks to its picturesque location along the St. Lawrence River, many of the best Gananoque restaurants feature waterfront patios. And while you’ll be fed well whenever you visit, I think the best time to visit Gananoque is in the summer to take advantage of those incredible patios!
9 Best Restaurants in Gananoque
On the edge of downtown in a historic building is one of the best restaurants in Gananoque. That restaurant is Riva. The food, the atmosphere, and the service are exception! Surrounded by lush greenery, the restaurant boasts two gorgeous garden patios to dine on. Inside you’ll find a warm and welcoming space that’s classy yet comfortable. It has a fireplace, plush banquet seating as well as décor that hints at the boat building community.
Riva Restaurant serves contemporary Italian cuisine that include dishes like Seafood Linguine and Gnocchetti alla Norcina. Plus, the menu features a variety of other items including steak, lamb, and Cornish game hen. You’ll also find pizza and classic Italian cocktails like Aperol Spritz. A favourite lunch item is their Lobster Roll and for dinner, their plate of oysters is a must.
Whether you’re looking for romantic places to eat in Gananoque or somewhere to celebrate, Riva ticks all the boxes. The food is made with the freshest ingredients to produce fantastic flavour in every bite.
Riva Restaurant Information
Address: 45 King St W, Gananoque, ON K7G 2G1
Hours: Monday to Sunday 11am – 3pm and 5pm to 8pm
Phone: (613) 887-2487
The Purple House Café
In a quiet residential neighbourhood between downtown and the waterfront sits a purple house. This colourful home is one of the best restaurants in Gananoque! The Purple House Café has a cool boho chic interior. However, you’ll love the side garden patio that’s filled with lush greenery and blooming flowers. Plus, strung above the patio are twinkle lights that make it a truly romantic spot for an evening meal.
The Purple House Café is best known for serving the best Gananoque pizza! On their patio is a funky wood fired pizza oven that has its own legs. You’ll find a variety of pizzas on the menu. There’s a classic margherita with fresh basil from their garden. Plus, they have spicy sausage, vegan and vegetarian pizzas.
If you’re thirsty, you’ll delight in the fact that they are licensed! Along with a wine list, Ontario craft beer and cider are also on the menu. Or if you’re a coffee nut like me, you’ll love a cup of their sustainable fair-trade coffee from Birds & Beans, an Ontario coffee roaster from Toronto.
Travel Tip: Please note that The Purple House Café is open seasonally, May thru October.
The Purple House Café Information
Address: 165 Main St, Gananoque, ON K7G 2M1
Hours: Monday to Sunday 11:30am – 9:30pm
Phone: (613) 463-9296
The best place to grab a coffee in downtown Gananoque is the Pistachio Café! Along with a list of great drinks, including coffee from North Roast in Kingston, you’ll find a line up of delicious eats.
Owned and operated by two siblings, Jen and James, who’ve created a welcoming space for locals and visitors alike. With an array of plants, exposed brick walls, and a splash of colour here and there, the atmosphere inside warm and cozy.
With a relatively small interior, the café boasts a massive patio. It’s a great spot to indulge in one of their smoothies, which are a dream in the summer. I loved the Raspberry sorbet with berries! It’s also one of the best places in Gananoque for ice cream. They have a variety of flavours of gelato, which comes from Stella Luna in Merrickville. The patio also features a bar in the summer where you can order up a glass of wine, a cocktail or a beer.
Along with a fabulous assortment of divine desserts, Pistachio Café has soups, sandwiches and salads. All of which are made fresh daily! Plus, you’ll find plenty of plant-based options available on the menu.
Pistachio Café is always a buzz with community events. They host a number of fun things to do throughout the year, including live music, tastings, and so much more!
Pistachio Café Information
Address: 90 King St E, Gananoque, ON K7G 1G1
Hours: Monday to Sunday 8am – 10pm
Phone: (613) 382-0222
Maple Leaf Restaurant
For over 30 years, Maple Leaf Restaurant has been a staple among Gananoque restaurants. This family-friendly restaurant has a homey feel inside that can also be felt in every plate they bring out.
Known for their Czech cuisine, you’ll also find an assortment of Canadian fare too. There’s everything from burgers to club sandwiches and seafood platters too. But I strongly recommend you order Czech here! I ate the best schnitzel I’ve had outside of Europe at Maple Leaf! They also make a fantastic Thousand Islands salad!
Maple Leaf Restaurant produces some incredible meals. Beyond the schnitzel, a few crowd favourites from their menu are their goulash and spaetzle. Everything is made fresh and cooked from scratch. They also use local produce and ingredients, when possible, for even more freshness. Families dining with kids will be excited to know that there’s a kid’s menu too!
On the drink menu you’ll find a mix of local beers, like from Gan Brewing Company, and classic European imports. There’s also a long wine list and fun signature cocktails.
Maple Leaf Restaurant Information
Address: 65 King St E, Gananoque, ON K7G 1E8
Hours: Wednesday to Sunday 11:30am – 9pm, Tuesday 4pm – 9pm & Closed Monday
Phone: (613) 382-7666
Panache Bakery & Cafe
One of the best bakeries in Gananoque to grab a bite to eat is Panache Bakery & Café! This family-owned King Street gem is the perfect place to go in the morning for coffee and a fresh pastry.
Panache Bakery & Cafeis a literally ray of sunshine inside! With walls that warm and calming pale yellow and accents of baby blue, you can’t help but smile when you walk in. If the colours don’t get you smiling then the warm scent of fresh baked goods will!
I’m a huge fan of sourdough bread and Panache has some incredible loaves. Other great finds at the counter include their raspberry Danish, almond croissant and sausage rolls. But there’s everything from cookies to cakes to tarts.
If you’re looking for some homemade goods to bring home to cook, then be sure to browse their fridge. Inside you’ll find homemade soups, pies, and other meals.
Insider Tip: Panache also serve a variety of made to order sandwiches, which are perfect to pack for a picnic.
Travel Tip: Panache Bakery & Café is not currently open for dine in, only take out.
Panache Bakery & Cafe Information
Address: 162 King St E, Gananoque, ON K7G 1G2
Hours: Tuesday to Saturday 8am – 3pm, Closed on Sunday & Monday
Phone: (613) 382-1412
Old English Pub
With a classic British theme, exposed brick walls and even a library room, the Old English Pub is one of the best Gananoque pubs! This lively pub doesn’t have a bad seat in the house. Even the King Street patio, with a large awning and strung with fairy lights, is ideal on a beautiful day.
The Old English Pub is best known for their fish and chips. Every weekend they have a special on their English style battered Cod & Chips for two! Other top dishes include their Yorkies, shepherd’s pie as well as bangers and mash. However, you’ll find a mix of menu items like vegetarian pasta, burgers, and chicken curry. And the best part is that everything is made fresh to order!
I highly recommend leaving room for dessert! A solid go-to is their sticky toffee pudding. But other favourites include crème brulee and spiced apple crumble.
As one of town’s top watering holes, you’ll find a drink to wet your whistle. You’ll find a ton of local Ontario beers like Gan Brewing Company and Barrie’s Flying Monkeys. And if beer isn’t your thing, check out their specialty coffee list.
Old English Pub Information
Address: 124 King St E, Gananoque, ON K7G 1G2
Hours: Sunday to Thursday 11:30am – 8pm, Friday & Saturday 11:30am – 9pm
Phone: (613) 382-8008
One of the best restaurants in Gananoque is the Pho Hut! Serving up the perfect blend of Vietnamese and Thai cuisine, the Pho Hut is a great place to eat for lunch or dinner!
The lovely ladies working at Pho Hut we met are originally from Vietnam, so you know you’re getting authentic food! Pho Hut has an extensive menu and large portion sizes. A few of the top dishes include their Pad Thai, Pho, and vegetarian vermicelli. I loved all the crispy veggies in my stir-fry! If you’re looking for appetizers, I highly recommend the spring rolls and my father loved the crispy shrimp. In addition to delicious food, the staff are so friendly and helpful when trying to decide what to order.
Inside you’ll find plenty of seating and typical tasteful Thai décor. Plus, in the summer months, they also have a great patio out front!
Pho Hut Information
Address: 138 King St E, Gananoque, ON K7G 1G2
Hours: Monday to Sunday 11am – 9pm
Phone: (613) 382-8238
Moroni’s Restaurant & Sports Bar
Another one of the best places to eat in Gananoque is Moroni’s! This downtown restaurant serves the best of Italian, Greek, and Canadian cuisine. Inside are traditional restaurant tables but surrounded with fun accents that include lampposts and wall murals that are reminiscent of the Mediterranean.
Moroni’s Restaurant & Sports Bar is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The menu for lunch and dinner is full of items that will delight everyone’s taste. My favourite menu item is their chicken souvlaki with a Greek salad. Other patron favourites include the chicken parmesan, fish and chips, as well as steak and potatoes. However, they make an amazing pizza too!
Along with the option to dine inside, Moroni’s has a side patio. I love the fact that it offers a perfect view of one of the many murals in Gananoque on a neighbouring building. Plus, because of its location to the side of the building, you don’t feel like you’re out in the street.
Address: 155 King St E, Gananoque, ON K7G 1G3
Hours: Monday to Sunday 11am – 9pm
Phone: (613) 382-3083
For those looking for places to stay in town that has it all then the Gananoque Inn & Spa is a solid choice. This historic inn dates to 1896 and features a full-service spa and two restaurants. The main Gananoque Inn restaurant is Watermark. The restaurant is Muskie Jake’s Tap & Grill which has a classic pub vibe.
If you’re looking for Gananoque restaurants on the water, you’ll love the views from Watermark’s patio. The Inn is located along the picturesque shores of the St. Lawrence River. Sitting on the full covered patio means you’ll have a front row seat to watch the boats along the river. Plus, it faces west, meaning it’s one of the best patios in Gananoque to watch the sunset.
Currently, due to staffing shortages, Watermark Restaurant is using the same menu as Muskie Jake’s. It’s a diverse menu with everything from Atlantic Salmon to a Vegetarian Curry Bowl. Along with a great wine list, they make some fun cocktails. I couldn’t resist the Malibu Barbie with its refreshing citrus taste and sunset colouring.
Watermark Restaurant Information
Address: 550 Stone St S, Gananoque, ON K7G 2A8
Hours: Monday to Sunday 8:30 – 10pm
Phone: (613) 382-2165
More Amazing Gananoque Restaurants to Check Out
During your getaway to the Thousand Islands, you’ll have a wide assortment of places to eat in Gananoque. Whether it’s Indian, Japanese for classic fast food, this small town has a variety of fare.
1000 Curry – If you’re craving flavour then your taste buds will delight with a meal at 1000 Curry. This incredible Indian food restaurant makes every dish fresh to order. Come hungry and with friends so you can try a variety of dishes. A few top picks include their samosas, butter chicken, garlic naan, Kadhai Paneer, and Paneer Butter Masala.
Grekos Pizzeria – For a great slice of pizza in Gananoque then pop into Grekos Pizzeria! This over 30-year staple on King Street is the go-to spot for pizza and other tasty fast food. The menu also includes subs, poutines, fried chicken, and more. I still remember my first slice years ago; it was the perfect blend of cheese and sauce.
Sushi Sun Restaurant – Serving up authentic Japanese cuisine, the chef at Sushi Sun is all about fresh ingredients and delivering delicious food. Best known for their sushi, there’s a mix of dishes on the menu. A crowd favourite to add to your sushi plate is their shrimp tempura. Plus, they also have a drive-thru!
Graydon’s Restaurant – Set within a historic building that’s now a boutique hotel is a fabulous fine dining restaurant called Graydon’s. The Woodview Inn restaurant serves top-notch cuisine and also has a lovely patio. Meat lovers will rejoice with their two famous dishes, the beef tenderloin and New Zealand rack of lamb.
Stonewater Pub – Another favourite on the list of Gananoque pubs is Stonewater! Located across from the water, their best known for their patio, live music and craft beer! Along with classic pub grub like fish and chips, you’ll find fish tacos, chicken and waffles, and vegetarian portobello burger!
Fun Things to do in Gananoque
In between all the time you’ll spend eating in Gananoque you’ll find a long list of things to do! And the best part is there’s a diverse range of attractions in Gananoque to suite everyone’s interests, whether you’re an outdoor adventurer or culture seeker.
- One of the top activities, especially during the summer months is hop aboard a 1000 Islands cruise. With a variety of cruises to choose from, each give you an incredible taste of the natural beauty of the area. Plus, you’ll learn a wealth of interesting facts and history.
- Adrenaline junkies will love one of the top things to do in the 1000 Islands – soaring high above the land and water on a helicopter ride! There are 10, 20 and 30 minute tours available. Each of them offering the best views of the picturesque 1000 Islands.
- The area is full of outdoor adventures, from paddling to hiking the Thousand Islands National Park. Throughout the park and even right in Gananoque, visitors will find a ton of great trails. Two popular spots are Jones Creek and Landon Bay.
- Theatre goers will love taking in a performance at the Thousand Island Playhouse! Known as Canadian’s dockside theatre, the Playhouse is set within a historic building that’s right on the shores of the St. Lawrence River.
- For those looking for indoor things to do in Gananoque or want some history, there are a number of museums in town. To learn more about the area’s past, visit the 1000 Islands History Museum. With a rich history on the water, there’s also the fascinating Thousand Islands Boat Museum, which also offers tours on antique boats!
Where to Stay in Gananoque
With so many amazing Gananoque restaurants as well as lots to see and do you’ll want to plan to stay for a few days! Across the small town you’ll find an array of different accommodation styles, from romantic bed and breakfasts to stunning historic inns. One hotel I highly recommend is the Gananoque Inn. It features a great location that’s close to downtown and right on the water, as well as an on-site restaurant.
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