Discovering Hamilton’s Hidden Gems

hamilton supercrawl
Streetside Art around James Street North

I would have never guessed that Hamilton, of all places, would be a food and art lover’s haven. Just under an hour west of Toronto, Hamilton is known to most as home of the beloved Tiger-Cats, and also for it’s rich history and preservation of National heritage sites. Contrary to popular belief, Hamilton is an undiscovered wonderland for foodies and art lovers alike. I’ve been to the Hammer several times back in my University days, but have never actually seen anything outside of Hess Village (which I’m kind of embarrassed to admit). Lucky for me, my friends at Travel Massive and Tourism Hamilton gave me a true dose of what Hamilton is really like – here are some hidden gems that I had the pleasure of discovering:

Food & Drink

saltlick smokehouse hamilton

Lake Road Restaurant

Lake Road Hamilton

We spent an entire day touring downtown Hamilton and enjoying the best of what the city has to offer, which was conveniently right up my alley: food and drink. We wined and dined our way through the city, and it was nothing short of fabulous. From the delicious brews and abundance of meat at the Saltlick Smoke House to fancy cocktails and tapas at the Lake Road, I was then lulled into a food coma and was somehow brought back to life again with a live concert and beer garden fun.

hamilton beer garden


Though my inner foodie was blown away by the city’s culinary scene, I also enjoyed the art vibe. I’m by no means an artist, but the vast array of art flowing through Hamilton could appeal to almost anyone. I even tried my hand at screen painting and made this masterpiece at Centre[3] Art Studio:

screen printing in hamilton ontario
Screen Printing at Centre3 Studio

St. James Street North is lined with traditional art galleries, local clothing designers, craft shops, art institutions, and music studios. In fact, the arts scene is so lively in Hamilton that the city hosts an annual Art Supercrawl every September for an entire weekend. They shut down the city centre and artists from all ends of the spectrum emerge to showcase their talent. Larger-than-life exhibits are planted across what are usually traffic-ridden streets, with a wide variety of performers including singers, dancers and poets sprinkled in between.

If you can’t make it to Supercrawl in September, fear not! The city hosts an Art Crawl every second Friday of every month – it’s free to attend, self-guided, and a great way to support local artists.

If you’re looking for a fun evening out, take a quick drive or GO Train down to Hamilton for some killer food, delightful cocktails, and wonderful ART!




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