Ancaster is a town with deep roots. Dating back to 1793, it’s one of the oldest towns in the province and was once the largest industrial centre in Canada. Its wealth is still visible today with gorgeous historical architecture and a small, but dynamic, downtown.
Run by a family for families, this local favourite serves up tasty fare like classic eggs Benedict for adults and bear-face pancakes for the kids. The regulars love the unique shredded home fries. The kitchen's open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
If you're craving a classic English pub experience, check out this favourite local haunt for some traditional pub and refreshing pints. The atmosphere is relaxed and friendly.
This casually sophisticated wine bar pairs great wine with amazing charcuterie – perfect for savouring and sharing.
There are many British pubs around but this one feels more authentic than most. It’s housed in a 200-year-old stone building some believe is haunted. Expect pub grub done well – chicken wings, beef dip sandwiches, meat pies and curries.
Blackbird Brewers offers a one of a kind experience with its location inside a stone house dating back to the 1830s right in the heart of historic downtown Ancaster. Think upscale bar menu items such as crispy eggplant or brisket nachos (with a jackfruit vegetarian substitute!) in addition to their own ales and lagers.
Special occasions call for an elegant backdrop – and it doesn’t get much better than dining beside a waterfall. Ancaster Mill is an iconic Hamilton fine dining institution housed in an old stone flour mill. With an earth-to-table ethos and seasonally inspired dishes, the menu is exceptional as the views.
Italian classics get a modern makeover with local, seasonal ingredients in an elegant, but laidback, setting. Think chicken parmesan, pappardelle Bolognese and stone-baked pizzas. To mix it up, there's a smattering of other favourites, like shrimp tacos and burgers.
Coffee shops and treats
Its fresh, flaky croissants and pain au chocolat sell out quickly, so go before noon. Crusty baguettes will satisfy the cravings of those who long for the authentic baked goods of Europe.
Scoops of premium ice cream flow steadily from this of this cute shop. Decisions are difficult, thanks to a selection of more than 30 flavours. Little ones will demand repeat visits so they can ride on its collection of purple ponies.
Hand-crafted premium chocolates and a huge assortment of bars, truffles, coated pretzels and dipped fruit makes this a must-visit for chocoholics. Beautiful gift baskets and shipping options mean this sweet spot is also gift-giving gold.
Many area Indian cuisine lovers can vouch for the authenticity of this popular spot. The draw is carefully prepared cuisine, made with freshly ground spices. Winning dishes include a perfectly spiced chicken tikka masala and lamb-based saag gosht. (There’s a second location in Dundas.)
SEE AND DO
It’s all about apples – 13 different varieties grown on-site and available at its retail outlet. Pick your own when they’re in season or take home an apple pie from the bakery. There’s also muffins (sour cream streusel!), cookies and meals to go.
With Ancaster’s rich history, it makes sense to showcase it. The small museum celebrates the past with rotating art and history exhibits. Enjoy the lovely gardens or sign up for a hands-on workshop for grownups.
For those looking to hit the links, Ancaster has several public, accessible courses offering private club style amenities, including Mystic Golf Club an 18-hole challenging course and Copetown Woods with a sprawling Victorian style clubhouse.
The flow of this tall cascading waterfall changes throughout the year according to the amount of rain. Regardless, it’s always beautiful. It’s a short ten minute walk from your car to get there. Hikers can venture further and hook up with the Bruce Trails or other marked paths.
Ancaster’s history stretches back centuries so there’s a lot of historic architecture to soak up. The Ancaster BIA has pulled together a great walking tour featuring some of the ‘village’s’ most interesting heritage buildings.
This small 19th century home has a big history. Built in 1827, it was purchased by Enerals Griffin, a Black immigrant from Virginia who settled here in 1834. The National Historic Site tells the story of this unique Black settler experience in the area.