The Grit Pit, Steel City, The Hammer, The Armpit…Hamiltonians have tirelessly suffered through the underdog label for long enough. Finally, The Big Smoke’s scruffy little cousin is earning the nod for it’s sprawling art scene, craft breweries, culinary creations and photo-worthy landscapes. If you dare make the hour trip west of the 6, you’ll want to check out these Hamilton hotspots. [Image credit: iStock.com/benedek]
Located on Burlington Street East, Collective Arts Brewing offers a thirst-quenching blend of music, art and craft beer. In partnering with the app Blippar, CAB manufactures each beer bottle (or can) which a unique piece of visual art on it. Scan the bottle with your phone to experience an animation, short film or piece of music (yes, we know, it’s awesome). As for flavours, a rich portfolio of nine different tastes are available on tap, ranging from blonde ales to dark IPAs. Drop by to fill your growler, tour the brewery, browse their art gallery and enjoy live music while sipping pints in their kid and pet-friendly beer garden.
#HamOnt monogrammed hats, local art, adult colouring books, greeting cards and stationery items stock this century-old storefront located in Hamilton’s creative hub, James Street North. Whether you’re a designer, painter or treasure hunter, Mixed Media’s curated assortment of hand-picked items will make choosing just one souvenir next to impossible.
Hailing as the only Thai-chef owned and operated restaurant in Hamilton, Thai Memory is the go-to spot for authentic Thai cuisine. Ornate décor, suspended tropical greenery and hand-crafted wood tables invoke an exotic indoor garden vibe in this dimly lit locale. Their most unforgettable menu items include crispy roasted duck (coated with a spicy red curry sauce), the fish Cakes (garnished with peanut sweet chili sauce) and the Galangal coconut soup.
Located beneath Mezcal Tequila & Tacos Bar, Uno Mas was inspired by the need to accommodate the waitlist of the trendy micro-sized restaurant upstairs. Skull décor, Mediterranean-influenced wallpaper, exposed brick, and candlelit high-tops summon a spooky Spanish twist in this contemporary basement bar. An exotic cocktail menu features Fire in The Fields, a smoky gin creation with muddled blackberries, lemon juice and torched rosemary garnish. For small bites, try their tacos, tapas and fresh buratta board.
Historic brick homes converted into cozy pubs and patios line the infamous Augusta Street (as known aa Hamilton’s built-in block party), and naturally, Augusta House is the mother ship. On a Saturday night expect the quaint space to be buzzing with live music, flowing craft beer and a raging dance floor. After a day pounding the pavement to discover the city’s local gems, this is a one of Hamilton’s best picks to kick back or get your party on.