A Tiger-Cats Guide to the Best Things to See and Do in Hamilton During the 2023 Grey Cup Festival

With the 2023 Grey Cup Festival just around the corner, we asked three Hamilton Tiger-Cats ambassadors to share their playbook on what to see, do, and eat in Hamilton – before and after the big game.

KIONDRÉ SMITH: Ticats receiver on where to grab the best slice and views in the city

Kiondré Smith has been a receiver with the Tiger-Cats for the past two years and has lived in Hamilton for the past two seasons. His father Adrion also played for the Ticats in 1994.

Favourite Restaurant?

Shorty's Pizza on Cannon. It's super close to the stadium so always nice for a post-practice snack. I'm a big fan of their slices.

Favourite Outdoor Experience?

Sam Lawrence Park on the edge of the escarpment is great for getting outside and taking in great views of the city. You can even see Tim Hortons Field from there.

Favourite Coffee Shop?

Tim Hortons of course. The very first Tims is on Ottawa Street North, not far from the stadium. It's even got a museum on the upper level about the history of Tim Hortons.

Best Souvenir to Bring Home?

You can never go wrong with a black and gold Ticats jersey. No better way to rep Hamilton than with its team. The city loves this team so much it’s part of the identity.

Grey Cup Festival Experience You're Most Excited For?

I'm most excited for the Built in the Hammer Grey Cup Music Festival and seeing all these different unique acts. A lot of great local music will be happening downtown on James Street and it's absolutely free!

What Do You Love About Hamilton?

The people for sure. As soon as you join the team, the city welcomes you with open arms and endless support. Definitely grateful to be here.

NATALIE SEXTON: Hometown ambassador chases waterfalls, tacos, and the best short-stack in the city

Natalie Sexton is a born and raised Hamiltonian and lifestyle and fashion expert, who has worked with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats since 2017.

Favourite Restaurants?

The French and Berkeley North, both on King William Street downtown, are top of my list. The French serves French bistro fare in super fashionable and Instagram-able digs while Berkley North shares creative and delicious food and drinks with service that is warm and attentive.

Favourite Post-Game Hangouts?

The Mule on King William Street for Mexican fare like tacos & baja wings plus tequila, bourbon, and of course margaritas. They also have vegetarian items and a gluten-free kitchen. Bar Sazarac is a gem on James Street North, with the most incredible cocktails in the city, served by top mixologists.

Favourite Outdoor Experience?

I still have many of Hamilton's 150 waterfalls on my bucket list to explore but one of my favourite spots to hike is Tiffany Falls in Ancaster.

Favourite Breakfast?

Electric Diner is one of the best spots in the city for amazing brunch fare and the coolest 80’s style diner design with two locations in Hess Village and in the Lister Building on James Street North. I recommend their Strawberry Cheesecake Short Stack to everyone!

Best Souvenirs to Bring Home?

Dawson's Hot Sauce is a local family-owned business, selling their famous hot sauces in stores across the city. Fun fact: it's even been featured on one of my favourite shows Hot Ones! Also, check out the "Growing Up Hamilton" prints, tees, and tote-bags from the beautiful downtown shop, Pretty Grit. And football fans can pick up limited-edition Grey Cup items like hoodies, tees, knit hats, and mugs online or in person at the Tiger-Cats Shop.

Grey Cup Festival Experience You're Most Excited For?

As the Grey Cup Festival Host, I can't wait to interact with all the fans and showcase how awesome our city is. As a music lover, I'm so excited for all the major concerts happening. More than 40 artists performing free concerts at Fan Central on James Street North, the Carrie Underwood concert at FirstOntario Centre, and the Green Day halftime show on game day.

What Do You Love About Hamilton?

We are a steel town, but we are also art, music, food, and fashion. We are diverse and we keep growing and evolving. We welcome others in, we support our community, we work hard and we are genuinely proud to be Hamiltonians!

DYLAN WYNN: Ticats defensive lineman shares friendliest restaurants and why he feels so welcome here

Dylan Wynn has been a defensive lineman for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats since 2019 and has spent the last four seasons living in Hamilton.

Favourite Restaurant?

My go-to is Lulu's Shawarma downtown. They're huge Ticat fans, with great people, serving amazing food. I also love Brewer's Blackbird in Ancaster. They have great nachos, fish and chips, and cider made from 100% Ontario apples.

Favourite Outdoor Experience?

I love going to Royal Botanical Gardens during training camp. Also, recommend climbing the stairs connecting the lower city to the Niagara Escarpment.

Favourite Breakfast?

The eggs benedict at Steve's Open Kitchen on James Street South is my game-day go-to. I also go to Sammy's in Ancaster, a friendly family-owned spot serving generous portions.

Grey Cup Experience You’re Most Looking Forward To?

My wife is definitely excited for Carrie Underwood on November 17. FirstOntario Centre always puts on great concerts.

What Do You Love About Hamilton?

Definitely the people. I love the attitude – we work for what we get and I feel like I fit in here. I'm always thankful for the love and support Hamiltonians have shown me over the years.