The Canadian City of Thunder Bay
We think that one of the ‘cool’ sounding names when discussing Canadian cities is Thunder Bay, Ontario. Although it is kind of in the middle of nowhere – deep in the northwest, between two capital cities: Toronto & Winnipeg – it has a rich history and is a worthwhile stop on any cross-Canada road trip. Thunder Bay is actually an amalgamation of two historic cities: Port Arthur and Fort William. Even today, locals refer to these names when giving directions to either side of town.
Eating Your Way Through Port Arthur
Visitors to Thunder Bay must check out the famous Bay Street area which showcases the Finnish culture of Thunder Bay. The Hoito is a famous spot known nation-wide for delicious Finnish pancakes. First time visitors will not soon forget the casual and traditional atmosphere, the large portions and the delectable food offered at this national treasure. Complete your meal by weighing yourself on the rustic scale in the entryway. Chances are you will be leaving with a full belly and a few extra pounds.
Lunchtime offers a couple of options, depending on your mood and appetite. If you are looking for something casual, check out Roosters Bistro. Tucked away only a couple blocks up from the marina, this quaint eatery offers a wide variety of tasty sandwiches. My personal favorite is the Monte Cristo. If you’d like a little more separation from the hustle and bustle of the city, treat yourself to the upscale flair of Gargoyles Grille & Ale. Here you will find some truly unique dishes ranging from homemade pizza (try the Duck & Fig) to Filet Mignon. There is sure to be something on this menu that catches your eye and makes your afternoon meal one to remember.
Enjoy The Evening
Port Arthur features a highly recommended dinner stop which offers the best of both worlds. The Prospector Steak House is famous for its prime rib, but it surpasses the predictability of similar-styled restaurants. You can ensure a large portion of food with incredible value by combining the Salad Bar option with any entrée or appetizer. In fact, the Salad Bar is a meal all in itself. You can help yourself to multiple portions of salad topped with a wide assortment of garnishes and warm up with a choice between two delicious soups. The beef barley soup and fresh homemade rolls are enough to get many returning customers back in the door.
If all you are looking for is a night cap for the evening, check out The Mad House which is located on the same block as the Hoito. This establishment offers a casual environment with some local ales and bites. The burgers and chicken tenders are both great options.
Before I Let You Go….
I must mention one more unique Thunder Bay treat – The Persian. This has nothing to do with geography. This is a pink-icing pastry found only in Thunder Bay and something visitors have probably never heard of…until now. Try one at Holland Bakery on Victoria Avenue. Enjoy!