The Best Bakeries in Niagara Falls

image0011-300x242A good bakery is one of the surest proofs a town is civilized, whether that bakery specializes in donuts, croissants, or Portuguese Sweet Bread. When it comes to finding a good bakery in Niagara Falls, visitors and locals have a healthy handful of excellent options from which to choose — a reality that suggests Niagara is even more civilized than previously thought. From Italian bread to gourmet cakes, here are some of the best bakeries in Niagara Falls to check out while enjoying a vacation here.

1. Criveller Cakes

Known as the Chocolate Craft Store, Criveller Cakes makes some of the finest pastries, cakes, and chocolates in all of Ontario. When it opened in 1979, it was known primarily as a wedding cake spot, and while that’s still true today, their wedding offerings have greatly expanded. Liquor-filled chocolates, icewine truffles, chocolate-dipped strawberries, and many other confectionary wonders routinely come out of this excellent bakery’s kitchen. As a humble visitor just off the street, you’ll find plenty of handmade treats to enjoy, including: cookies, truffles, scores of pastries, gourmet mini cakes, and much, much more.

2. Portage Bakery

Rumored to be the busiest bakery in Niagara Falls, Portage Bakery is much more than a place to get bread — although it does that remarkably well. Fresh, perfect loaves and delectable pastries are on hand for purchase, and they’re shipped as far away as Ohio and Pennsylvania. Portage also boasts an excellent deli with plenty of cheeses and house-made ready-to-eat meals that include pastas, meatballs, and house subs. Family-owned and operated by the Barone’s since 1934, Portage Bakery is a must for anyone spending some time in Niagara.

3. Moodie’s Bakery

image003Cakes, cookies, breads, chocolates, and pastries are all delicious and readily available at Moodie’s, another family-owned and operated bakery that’s been in business since 2008. Noted for their fern tarts and meat pies, the bakery is located down on Queen Street, and it opens each morning (except Sunday when they’re closed) at 8:30 a.m. Try them for lunch, too. They have hot, fresh pizza slices available starting each day at 11 a.m.

4. Thorowest Bakery

Thorowest Bakery is an Italian bakery family-owned and operated — like so many of the local businesses in Niagara Falls. Utilizing Old World-style baking techniques, the bakery makes exceptional paninis, rolls, breads, and a number of traditional Italian desserts and pastries. They also have a deli and a hot lunch menu that includes such fare as lasagna and veal parmesan. They’re open seven days a week at 8 a.m.

5. Pure Cake Design

A true event-specific cake bakery, Pure Cake Design is the brainchild of Mark Gerbrandt, a pastry chef who specializes in gourmet and artisan cakes. From classic wedding cakes to unique and one-of-a-kind three-dimensional cakes, whether you’re in the Niagara area to celebrate a birthday, job promotion, engagement, or anniversary, if you need a cake specific to your celebration, try Pure Cake Design.

Let yourself eat cake. Book a stay in Niagara Falls, and whether you hope to dine on cannoli or baguettes, rest assured that all your dreams of delectable baked goods can come true.

Experience Niagara’s Best Restaurants with New Niagaralicious Series

niagaralicious-2Falls Avenue Resort has launched the brand new Niagaralicious culinary series, offering guests an incredible opportunity to experience Fallsview dining at The Rainbow Room by Massimo Capra, Windows by Jamie Kennedy, and Fallsview Buffet Restaurant, and high-energy themed dining at Hard Rock Café Niagara Falls. Dining experiences can be paired with world-class accommodations at the Sheraton on the Falls or Crowne Plaza Niagara Falls-Fallsview, making for a truly unique and exciting Niagara Falls getaway.

At The Rainbow Room by Massimo Capra guests can indulge in a specially crafted Niagaralicious menu featuring delicious Italian cuisine that showcases the very best local ingredients. This menu, combined with sweeping dining room views of the Falls and first-rate hotel accommodations, is sure to make for an unforgettable and special Niagara Falls experience.

Discovering All About Umbria

rrblog.jpegUmbria is Italy’s fourth smallest region and home to some of the country’s most beautiful landscapes. Massimo Capra will be celebrating the amazing wine and cuisine that have emerged from this region on Friday, March 6th with A Tour of Umbria Dinner, as part of the Niagara Culinary Experiences Series.

Bordered by Tuscany, Umbria has a rich history of tradition and culture that dates back as far as 1000 BC. With vines growing all over the region, it has established itself as a producer of fine wines, such as those made by the Arnaldo-Caprai Winery. The region is also known for its delicious cuisine that features olive oil made from the region’s many olive trees, lentils, black and white truffles, and Prosciutto di Norcia.

Umbria is a small region, but its impact on cuisine and culture is worth a celebration. On March 6th, come and find out what makes the “green heart of Italy” so remarkable.

Experience a Hotel with History at the Crowne Plaza

The normajeanamericanfalls has a very rich and interesting history that dates back to 1929 when it was the first high-rise hotel to be built in Niagara Falls. When it opened on July 1, 1929 as the General Brock Hotel, it featured eleven floors, a roof garden, and a large grand ballroom. The top floor was known as the Rainbow Room and featured glass windows that offered a spectacular view of the Niagara Falls.

The General Brock Hotel, currently known as the Crowne Plaza Niagara Falls-Fallsview, quickly gained a reputation for its world-class elegance and has had many notable guests throughout the years, including Walt Disney, Queen Elizabeth, Bruce Willis, Shirley Temple, and Marilyn Monroe while she was filming “Niagara”.

Today, the Crowne Plaza is still known for its world-class charm and elegance and features the Rainbow Room by Massimo Capra, which is a fine-dining experience that continues to boast one of the most incredible views of Niagara Falls in the city. To experience all of the history and charm, reserve your table.

Upcoming Niagara Culinary Events with Massimo Capra

2013-11-08 20.07.12-1There are still two amazing opportunities to experience the culinary talent of Chef Massimo Capra as part of the Niagara Culinary Experiences Series. On March 6th, 2015 the Rainbow Room by Massimo Capra will be hosting A Tour of Umbria with Massimo Capra dinner that will celebrate the fine Italian cuisine and wine associated with the beautiful and historic Umbria region.

The last stop on Chef Massimo Capra’s culinary tour of Italy and the final dinner in this year’s Niagara Culinary Experiences Series is A Tour of Campania with Massimo Capra, taking place on April 17th, 2015. This dinner will showcase traditional food and wine from the enchanting Campania region in a five-course menu, and feature classic wine pairings from Feudo di San Gregorio Winery.

Seating is still available for both events and can be purchased at

Niagara Gearing up for Icewine Celebrations

NiagaraFallsBrinkWinterThis year marks the 20th year of the Niagara Icewine Festival and there are a number of exciting activities and events scheduled to help people celebrate the famed dessert wine. For three weekends in January, the Niagara Icewine Festival offers visitors amazing wine and culinary creations, and features unique events such as the Xerox Icewine Gala, an Icewine Dinner with Jamie Kennedy, Peller Estates Icewinemaker’s Dinner, and the Niagara Icewine Festival in Niagara Falls at the Scotiabank Convention Centre.

Visitors looking for the complete Icewine Festival experience can purchase Discovery Passes that offer up to eight experiences per pass. This gives visitors access to the very best wine and culinary offerings while travelling along the wine route, and the perfect chance to become fully immersed in Niagara’s Icewine culture!

Winter Fun at the Shaw Festival Film Series

Shaw-SpeakersSeries-LandingThe Shaw Festival Film Series is a unique experience in Niagara-on-the-Lake that screens some of the best Canadian and international films and documentaries in association with the Toronto International Film Festival Group. From December 6th to February 21st, you can experience these acclaimed films and documentaries at the Shaw Festival Theatre for $12 per film. And if you’re looking to attend multiple screenings, you can purchase a 12-film Festival Film pass, 8-film “Stocking Stuffer” pass, or 5-film documentary pass.

Topping off the Shaw Festival Film Series experience is the Lunch Market at the Shaw Festival, which offers delicious food options from food trucks and local vendors before the Saturday afternoon screenings.

The Shaw Festival Theatre is a revered institution, having opened its doors in Niagara-on-the-Lake in 1973, mounting incredible productions of the plays of George Bernard Shaw and his contemporaries. This film series is a great opportunity to visit the theatre this winter and experience some of the best feature films and documentaries from Canada and the around the world.

How to Celebrate American Thanksgiving in Niagara

DSCF5262Many people will be celebrating American Thanksgiving this upcoming weekend and the Niagara Parks Commission is offering a number of great activities to help you get into the holiday spirit while in Niagara Falls.

From November 27th to November 30th Elements on the Falls Restaurant will be serving Thanksgiving inspired menus that feature traditional Thanksgiving food served in direct view of the thundering Niagara Falls.

The OPG Winter Festival of Lights is a free and worthwhile activity for visitors and locals to check out this weekend, with colourful light displays and sparkling tree installations lighting up the Niagara Parkway. The Festival is running now until January 12th, 2015 and will feature amazing fireworks displays on Thursday, Friday, and Sunday nights this upcoming holiday weekend.

And for a unique and historical holiday activity, you can visit the Laura Secord Homestead on Saturday, November 29th for a Regency Centerpiece Workshop during which participants can create festive and beautiful holiday centerpieces for just $10 per person.

The exciting and beautiful holiday season is coming to life in Niagara Falls and all of these activities will help visitors and locals get into the spirit and celebrate Thanksgiving.

Holiday Shopping in Niagara

christmas-tree-wallpaper1024x768-562x421The holiday season is quickly approaching, which means it is the perfect time to start shopping for your holiday gifts and treasures! The Niagara Region is home to a number of exciting stores, malls, and craft shows that are sure to make this season’s shopping fun and easy. A few must-visit holiday shopping destinations include:

Just Christmas in Niagara-on-the-Lake: This year-round Christmas store offers 5000 different Christmas items, including unique ornaments, lights, tree tops, and more. Just Christmas offers personalized items that make for perfect gifts, and is a unique and fun holiday shopping destination.

Christmas by the Falls in Niagara Falls: The 17th Annual Christmas by the Falls craft show is taking place December 6th-7th at the Scotiabank Convention Centre in Niagara Falls. This seasonal craft show features over 100 vendors, a Christmas tree raffle, on-site hairstyling, and chocolate demonstrations, and is the perfect activity for people of all ages.

Outlet Collection at Niagara in Niagara-on-the-Lake: The Outlet Collection at Niagara is a new mall that features brand name outlet stores that offer unbeatable items and fashion finds. Promotions run year-round, allowing you to find great deals on the latest items and approach the gift-giving season with satisfaction and ease.

5 Exciting Things To Do in Niagara Falls This Winter

NFHorseshoeMC3Winter is an exciting time in Niagara Falls, and there are plenty of fun and exciting activities happening in the city that you won’t want to miss out on. Here are five things to look out for when visiting Niagara Falls this winter:

  1. OPG Winter Festival of Lights– The Ontario Power Generation Winter Festival of Lights will be running from Nov. 15, 2014 to Jan. 12, 2015, featuring millions of sparking lights in dazzling displays set up along the Niagara Parkway. This wonderful winter attraction attracts millions of visitors annually and is a one-of-a-kind winter experience in Niagara Falls.
  1. New Year’s Eve Concert– Ring in 2015 at ET Canada’s New Years Eve in Niagara Falls outdoor concert, which features exciting musical artists in a setting that directly overlooks the beautiful Niagara Falls. The concert is completely free, and will also feature fireworks shows and food and beverage vendors, which will help you to ring in the New Year right!
  1. Winter Fireworks– As part of the OPG Winter Festival of Lights, fireworks shows will be happening by the Falls every Friday night at 9pm, starting in December, with additional shows during the holidays. The fireworks will run throughout the OPG Winter Festival of Lights season and will light up the beautiful Niagara skyline like you’ve never seen before.
  1. Floral Showhouse Christmas Display- The Niagara Parks Floral Showhouse Annual Christmas Display is a beautiful site for visitors to experience, with sparkling lights, ribbon, and garland adorning the Floral Showhouse. The display will be running from Nov. 27, 2014- Jan. 12, 2015 and also features selections from the original Cullen Miniature Village collection, various horticultural wonders, and free-flying tropical songbirds that add to the beauty of the season.
  1. Casino Niagara- For 95,000 square feet of indoor gaming fun, make sure to visit Casino Niagara, located directly across the street from the Niagara Falls. Featuring live entertainment, over 1,300 slot machines, 40 gaming tables, and the largest Poker Room in Ontario, it is a thrilling and exciting 24-hour gaming experience.