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Delicious restaurants just outside of London

Photo of multiple original paintings on a wall inside The Planet Diner.
Image Credit: Svitlana Stryhun

Sometimes we get stuck in the routine of everyday life and forget about the interesting and beautiful places our province can offer. Regardless of whether you are Canadian or an international student, there’s always an urge to travel around.

Before going on a trip there’s a lot to prepare for, but one thing you shouldn’t worry about is food. The towns around London have a great number of restaurants where you can not only savour delicious food, but also contemplate the atmosphere or the view of a new city.

Stillwaters Plate & Pour

61 Grand River St. N., Paris, Ont.

Stillwaters Plate & Pour will give you the full European experience right here in Ontario. Its menu is designed to make you experience a full range of tasteful flavours. It includes sophisticated dishes full of locally sourced ingredients such as coconut shrimp with maple soy sauce or grilled peach and prosciutto salad, as well as typical Canadian chicken wings or the popular Caesar salad. It also has several vegan and vegetarian options.

Stillwaters is one of the most featured restaurants in this pretty little town. This multi-level restaurant has a gorgeous view of the Grand River and its patio combines the unforgettable experience of a gorgeous sunset with a delicious dinner. Open from 11:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m., this is a perfect spot from brunch to dinner.

Zander’s Fire Grill and Brew Lounge

190 King George Rd., Brantford, Ont.

Zander’s is a perfect place for celebrations or late nights out, a busy place made to catch the rhythm of youth and help to explore Canadian cuisine.

Evenings are usually crowded at this spot, both during weekends and working days, so it’s recommended to make a reservation so as not to miss the opportunity of a delicious dinner. Amongst Brantfordians (or is it Brantfordites?), it is a known fact to make reservations because it is so busy.

Zander’s offers mostly typical Canadian or American food and the portion sizes are very generous, with quality food that is reasonably priced for what you are getting. The restaurant also offers gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian options. This place is perfect for dinner or late lunch as it’s open from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. They also offer takeout and delivery options.

The Planet Diner

118 Downie St., Stratford, Ont.

Taking a break from the 403, another worthy stop is a restaurant called The Planet Diner in Stratford. Even though it’s far from any 400-series highway, it still only takes about 50 minutes to drive there via Highway 7. Be aware that this vegan/vegetarian place is only open from Wednesday to Sunday, so plan your trip beforehand so as not to miss the experience. The restaurant is open from 11 a.m. till 8 p.m. so you have almost all day to come for a visit.

The majority of their menu is derived from plant-based foods, with a few limited meat options intended to allow everyone to eat together no matter their preference. Whether you’re gluten-free, a hearty carnivore or a happy little herbivore, The Planet Diner has something for you.

“Our passion is comfort food, and we are so excited to bring tasty plant-based options to Stratford,” reads their website.

The Royal Turban

443 Norwich Ave., Woodstock, Ont.

If you’ve lived in London for a while, you’ll definitely get to know someone from Woodstock, and chances are, they’ll recommend you visit an Indian restaurant called The Royal Turban.

Located in the heart of Woodstock, this spot is influenced by the incredibly beautiful palaces of India, with an ambience that will transcend you to a truly unforgettable royal dining experience. The Royal Turban offers the finest food, service, and atmosphere to cater to their guests. The restaurant came into existence to take their visitors on a delightful journey of rich culinary delights inspired from recipes passed on through centuries. The menu includes vegan and vegetarian options that have the same delightful taste but help everyone enjoy their food experience. The main and most important menu item is curry. The restaurant offers a variety of options and everyone can find something to satisfy their desires.

It is best suited for dinner, but is also a good stop for lunch or special occasion meals. Plus, it’s just a quick 40-minute drive down the 401 or Highway 2 from London.

Mango Salad

95 Thames St. S., Ingersoll, Ont.

Ingersoll is another neighbouring town with a small population, but many visitors. It’s also home to the locally famous Mango Salad, a restaurant specializing in authentic Thai food. They are open all day long from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., so you can stop by whenever you feel hungry. Even better, Ingersoll is just a 25-minute drive from London.

Here you can find a vast variety of different food options, including spicy, vegetarian, vegan-friendly and gluten-free options. From mouth-watering rice dishes to their classic Pad Thai, you will fall in love. The restaurant also offers lunch combos so you can try more for a better price.

There are dozens of hidden gems just outside of London waiting to be discovered. Wherever you go, remember that every good day trip should include a delicious meal.