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5 new places in Hamilton we can’t wait to try in 2020



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5 new places in Hamilton we can’t wait to try in 2020

As the New Year gets off to a busy start in Hamilton, one can’t help but look forward to all the food scene will be bringing this year.

There’s so much to look forward to in terms of newcomers (and not so newcomers) doing exciting things in the city in 2020.

So here’s 5 new restaurants we’re really looking forward to checking out this year.

5. Duke’s Pub Pastas and Pizzeria
From the people who bring you Hamilton’s legendary One Duke pub, Duke’s Pub Pastas and Pizzeria will be opening on Barton Street in February. The menu will focus on the Duke’s signature pub pastas and will also offer some of their classics from the original location. There’s no doubt (in my mind at least) that if they bring even half the game they brought to One Duke, Duke’s the second will not fail to impress.

4. Victoria’s

We’ve been getting sneak previews of Victoria’s for a number of weeks now and at this point, they’re starting to tease their upcoming menu and it’s practically torture. Victoria’s comes to us from the owners of Caro — that gorgeous little Italian eatery at the corner of Main and Ottawa. Caro has earned a reputation for quality, innovation and service and for having pretty much the best Italian in the city (at least, according to our latest Top 5). Victoria’s will be heading a bit of a different direction by offering steak and seafood. I’m pretty sure there’s going to be lineups out the door for this one.

3. Rapscallion
When Rapscallion closed on John Street, I’m pretty sure you could hear Hamilton’s collective heart breaking. When it was revealed last month that Rapscallion would be returning to the city and taking over the space previously occupied by Ventura’s on James, the buzz has been undeniable. Everyone wants to see the return of The Other Bird’s flagship meat-focused and chef-driven experience.

2. Meanwhile Wine Bar

Located at the corner of James and Barton, Meanwhile Wine Bar opened in December. The wine menu features a number of international brands as well as many local names that they say staff will be happy to help patrons navigate. Not only do they boast an incredibly impressive wine list, Meanwhile also serves a mix of sweet and savoury snacks and small plates. Judging from their Instagram, their snacks are basically works of art.

1. Mai Pai Tiki Bar

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We’ve been getting a lot of questions asking what Detroit style pizza is – so here’s a little background for ya! It’s a style that originates in Detroit all the way back in the 40s, by Gus Guerra of Buddy’s. He took a rectangular thick steel pan and made a sicillian style pizza in it. We learned how to make this style in Detroit, and gave it a few tweaks to make it our own. Our Detroit inspired pizza is made in real Detroit steel pans, with our 48 hour cold fermented dough. It’s thick crust, but light and airy with a satisfying crunchy exterior. We use a blend of traditional brick and mozzarella cheese that goes edge to edge in the pan, so when it bakes you get a crispy cheese frico all the way around, making our crust the best part of the pizza. Our pizzas are loaded with cheese too – with ¾ of a pound on a large. After it’s done cooking, we put strips of our chunky red tomato sauce on top. The sauce is uncooked, so it gives a nice acidic bite to cut through the richness of the cheese and toppings. We’ll be open soon – keep watching for date and menu details!

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This place just looks like it’s so much fun. If there is a restaurant theme more exciting than Hawaiian I have yet to find it. Mai Pai, which is currently in the midst of a soft open, is located on Barton Street and it’s just beautiful. All the Hawaiian mugs, bamboo furniture and palm fronds just scream summertime fun. While the decor and drinks are largely Hawaiian inspired, the food menu has a decided Midwestern vibe with a focus on Detroit-style pizza. Who doesn’t love doughy pizza and rummy drinks? Sounds like a match made in paradise to me!

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