The most interesting local, independent Mississauga restaurants on the charming lakeshore.
There are over 1800 restaurants from over 150 countries in Mississauga. This is a city where you could nearly eat at a different restaurant each night for five years.
I know Mississauga has incredible restaurants and fantastic patios with killer views so it wasn’t easy to narrow down where I wanted to go.
Traveling the world I love finding the local spots, the entrepreneurs, the family businesses.
These places don’t often have marketing budgets or million dollar interiors with Instagram friendly decor, but they build their clientele on word of mouth.
People come for the food.
I thrive on finding these places, meeting the people and hearing their stories.
I realized if I really wanted to explore the energy of the city I needed to find the small independent businesses in Mississauga.
What You Need to Know About Mississauga
I lived in Toronto off and on for nearly 15 years. And I am embarrassed to say that I’d never visited Mississauga.
Looking back it seems so silly to have so much great food and interesting culture at my doorstep, but I never went.
Despite being from a very small town in Nova Scotia, I quickly fell into a common belief in downtown Toronto that EVERYTHING you needed was in the downtown core and Mississauga was VERY FAR and too complicated to get to unless you had a car.
Spoiler alert, I was wrong in so many ways.
Mississauga is a city of 24 neighbourhoods and villages. Three quarters of a million people live in Sauga. Of course there are lots of great things to see, eat and do there.
Today, living in Toronto is a distant memory, which made it the perfect time to correct my ways. I arrived in the Greater Toronto Area for one purpose, to visit Mississauga.
I decided to keep it manageable. I chose the neighbourhoods of Lakeview, Port Credit and Clarkson.
It’s about a 10km stretch of Lakeshore, which was perfect to put on a good pair of sneakers to hunt for the most interesting restaurants.
And it started off with me feeling really silly because I decided to travel in from Toronto. Now that seems silly as it’s a quick GO Train ride from Union Station to Port Credit or Clarkson Station. You can come in and explore the Lakeshore for the day and head back home.
Lakeview & Port Credit Restaurants
I noticed their sign for Hyderabadi biryani in an unremarkable row of stores and thought immediately, why not? Google reviews are great for both the biryani, shawarma and service so I went in with solid expectations for the food.
But what really stole my heart was the family who runs this restaurant. They opened the winter of 2020 in the thick of it all. And despite everything they have such fantastic attitudes.
I had a lot of questions because I knew nothing about the dish but I knew I wanted to try it.
While his wife Muna was preparing it, Ali took the time to explain what makes this biryani special, how it’s prepared, the State of Hyderabadi and a brief relevant history of India as it pertains to the dish.
It was so light and just the right amount of spice. Vibrant pungent flavours that really enticed me to eat more when I was already full.
I can never finish a meal, especially when portion sizes are as healthy as here. So I took the rest with me and ate it for breakfast.
It was absolutely one of my favourite spots. Highly recommended!
Stonehooker Brewing Company
On a sunny day the Stonehooker Brewing front grassy area reminds me of a European beer garden with lots of space for friends, strollers and pets.
That said, I visited on a rainy afternoon and I have no complaints as the small cozy interior is warm, dry and encourages conversation between tables. It starts out with a remark about when the rain will end and evolves into more interesting topics.
Service is as delightful as the Gollywobbler IPA – Session, the nautical theme suits it well as it reminds me of hospitality in the Maritimes.
Stonehooker Brewing Company
866 Lakeshore Rd E, Mississauga, ON L5E 1E1, Canada
Although I had only left South America a few days prior I was immediately drawn to this Colombian bakery.
Colombians make fantastic bread, killer empanadas and are some of the friendliest people in the world. I had intended to just go in and try a beef empanada but it all looked so good.
After ordering a beef empanada, pan de guayaba (guava bread), carimañola (cheese stuffed yuca) and buñuelo (fried dough) I had to stop.
Though I now regret not also trying the pan de queso (cheese bread) because everything was delicious.
If you’re curious about Colombian food this is a great place to start. They also sell prepared foods such as sancocho, frozen foods, and imported drinks and candy.
803 Lakeshore Rd E, Mississauga, ON L5E 1W8, Canada
Only open during the summer months, Dairy Cream is a must- eat in Mississauga according to locals. And it’s not just lip service as all weekend long there is a long line to this historic ice cream shop.
Many come for the nostalgia and the tradition of visiting since they were children. They have been around since 1958 serving funnel cake and soft serve ice cream.
Although the funnel cake is the long reigning popular dish at this 60+ year old ice cream parlour, that doesn’t mean it has not innovated.
Along with the traditional chocolate dipped soft serve, you can get brightly coloured dip flavours including cherry, blue raspberry and birthday party. For the more conservative try the white chocolate or tasty peanut butter dip.
715 Lakeshore Rd E, Mississauga, ON L5G 1J7, Canada
Perhaps the best kept local secret along the Mississauga Lakeshore, although there are lots of new flashy restaurants this small cafe is busy with a steady stream of take out orders and neighbours just stopping in to say hi.
It’s known for generous portions of home cooked Italian pasta classic sandwiches at unbelievably reasonable prices.
The Macerola family operated Aielli Alto since 1973 in the restaurant space next door. It was an incredibly popular Italian restaurant in Mississauga for over 40 years. In 2022 they decided to downsize. The former space is now occupied by Colossus Greek Taverna that was previously its neighbour next door.
And while the space is smaller, I don’t think the demand for their food decreased. I was greeted so warmly like I was a regular and promptly devoured the popular veal sandwich with tomato sauce so rich I contemplated buying it (yes, they sell it).
Other popular menu items here include the chicken sandwich and the tomato gnocchi.
286 Lakeshore Rd E, Mississauga, ON L5G 1H2, Canada
A mix of Mexican flavours and French cuisine, Huevos Gourmet is a family run brunch spot owned by a couple from Guadalajara.
They serve an all day breakfast that ranges from traditional eggs benedict to huevos rancheros, the house specialty.
Although they mention Tabasco hot sauce on the menu, ask for their homemade hot sauce, but beware that even just a tiny bit packs a punch.
The brunch spot is packed on weekends offering the “warmth of a Mexican family and the allure of the Parisian passion” so go early.
Or do what I did and arrive early on a weekday where service is just as warm and you won’t feel rushed to finish so other eager diners can feast.
But make sure to get your fix early as it closes at 4pm daily
241 Lakeshore Rd E, Mississauga, ON L5G 1G8, Canada
As much as bacon is magic, it takes much more confidence in a cook to allow vegetables to sing.
It’s true, this is a vegan joint up on my list of best Mississauga restaurants. But I’m a firm believer that vegan restaurants are the most exciting and innovative.
I love that Nourish Moi makes all the food from scratch and serves vegan wine, beer and has great cocktail options. It’s accessible to everyone who just wants delicious food.
I arrived early on a Saturday for a snack and the sweet black bean tacos were full of flavour. I loved the balance of sweetness, spice and the warm tortillas served on a warm plate.
The brunch options are plentiful and one of the most popular items is the Beirut Bowl, which is worth coming back to try.
229 Lakeshore Rd E, Mississauga, ON L5G 1G8, Canada
I was tempted into Palm Bites when Malak, standing outside, offered me a delicious date and I realized there was so much more inside.
If you’ve never tried a chocolate covered date you need to head over there right now. They have samples, but I warn you that it will result in buying some because they are outstanding.
They also have fantastic coffee, a number of nut butters and lots of different healthy snacks. And if Malak is working be sure to spend time and chat, she’s very friendly and so helpful.
167 Lakeshore Rd E, Mississauga, ON L5G 4T9, Canada
There is lots of pizza along the Mississauga Lakeshore, but none was recommended as much as Pizza Nostra.
It’s a family owned New Jersey-style pizzeria. The two brothers grew up at their father’s butcher shop in Toronto. One brother decided to go to New Jersey to work at their cousin’s pizza shop. The other stayed to learn the art of salumi/ curing meat.
Today Pizza Nostra combines their strengths using house cured meats on thin crust pizza with incredible pizza sauce and rich cheese.
It’s been a local favourite since it opened 7 years ago but it really skyrocketed when Barstool Pizza Review gave it an 8, which means it’s worth traveling for and now they are opening a second location.
They are so busy that they open at noon and serve until they run out of pizza, which can be as early as 5pm. The wait time is around 45 minutes so call in advance.
It’s worth the wait.
362 Lakeshore Rd W, Mississauga, ON L5H 1H3, Canada
Wanda’s Caribbean Kitchen
I’d heard Wanda Thomas was serving the best food in Clarkson and so I had high hopes coming into her restaurant.
It was just after the lunch rush and she was cleaning, although the place already looked spotless. Opening during 2020 wasn’t easy but her reviews are consistently great.
I knew I wanted to try the oxtail with rice and peas, which was remarkably tender and so delightfully rich.
And her macaroni salad has become so popular that they go through the equivalent of 4 buffet sized trays a day. And if people come late in the day and she’s out they turn around and return earlier the next day.
Although she’s trying to encourage people to instead get the coleslaw, which she says is just as good as the macaroni.
Although I arrived at an empty restaurant it was clear that it was a fleeting moment. A handful of minutes later there was a procession of people entering, all greeting her with enthusiasm and talking about how much they loved her food.
A young guy said he always orders the boneless chicken because it’s incredible and so he has no need to try anything else, of course he had a double side of macaroni salad.
Wanda is familiar with all the regulars and already knew he didn’t like rice and would want the double mac salad. When I asked her about the boneless chicken she shared it was the most popular and asked if I wanted to try a bite.
Very kind of her but also a savvy move as she knows her food is so good that it gives me yet another reason to return.
Wanda’s Caribbean Kitchen
1842 Lakeshore Rd W, Mississauga, ON L5J 1J7, Canada
Clarkson Fish and Chips
As a Maritimer, as a rule I do not eat fish unless I’m on the coast, but Clarkson’s has been around for 43 years and known as the best Mississauga restaurant for fish and chips.
It usually has a line-up and the dining room is packed so I visited mid-afternoon on a weekday for fear that I wouldn’t get a seat during peak hours.
I immediately saw that they offered several options for fish (halibut, haddock, cod), which is always a good sign that they know what they are doing.
And then two options for coleslaw (creamy or vinegar), wow!
It’s not fancy here but as someone who grew up on fresh fish and chips I was really impressed.
It just goes to show you that you should never say “I never…”
Clarkson Fish & Chips
1848 Lakeshore Rd W, Mississauga, ON L5J 1J7, Canada
Where to Stay on Mississauga Lakeshore
While there are many places to stay along the Mississauga lakeshore I absolutely adored the Waterside Inn.
The waterside views looking out onto the lighthouse and boats are so picturesque both during the day and at night.
It’s a comfortable spot that is a great location for walking everywhere. And you’re only a couple of blocks from the Port Credit Go Train Station.
The Waterside Inn
15 Stavebank Rd S, Mississauga, ON L5G 2T2, Canada
Would I Recommend Mississauga as a Foodie City?
Absolutely. Without a doubt. 100%.
Mississauga is for food travelers. Those who love to explore the world on a plate. It’s a city of global flavours and local stories.
I regret not visiting sooner, when it was right at my doorstep. But now I am hooked.
There are 24 neighbourhoods and villages in Mississauga and I have only visited 3 yet ate so many delicious foods.
I can see more Mississauga trips in the future as I have been getting so many recommendations for more places to eat in Mississauga.
And if you are living in Toronto I urge you to learn from my food revelation. Both Clarkson and Port Credit are just a short Go Train ride. It’s a great day trip to experience new cultures and is easier than buying a flight!
Map: Lakeshore Mississauga Restaurants
Disclosure: This post was created in partnership with Tourism Mississauga. They did not request that I visit any specific restaurants in Mississauga, only to share what I loved.