We’re Guelph Realtors and a family of 5 that is heavily involved in the community. Clients always ask us: where are the best Guelph restaurants if you’re a local? So, we thought it would be useful to provide you with a list of Guelph restaurants that we love best!

The Guelph restaurants listed below are in no particular order, but do contain a focus on locally owned businesses. However, we also will feature franchised businesses as they often have local owners and staff as well!

We do not receive compensation in any way for this list. If you believe there are other restaurants in Guelph that we should feature in the top 8, please contact us!

York Road Kitchen (YRK), 648 York Rd, East Guelph

The owners of York Rd Kitchen are no rookies to the restaurant world. Formerly owners of Guelphs long time favourite Other Brothers, they branched out to east Guelph with a very cool and unique concept with York Rd Kitchen (AKA YRK)

There are many diehard lovers of YRK in the area, likely because their food is something special, especially the desserts. There is an English pub flare to the place with stilton mushrooms, fish and chips and pub fare.

However, their steak, salads, pasta and appetizers are really unique and worth trying. Tip: try the Mexican Spiced Chocolate..

The dessert menu here is something else, so if you have deserving kids this is a special treat. Lava cake, s’mores, cake, fondue and their signature milkshakes are legendary.

Yorkrd.ca is where you can find out more, but you can order for takeout or make a reservation right from their website.

They even serve our own Beth and Ryan’s Local Beer, a partnership with a craft brewery in Guelph (Royal City Brewery)

Beth’s favourite: Mushroom ravioli

Ryan’s favourite: Cali striploin

Price (out of 5 stars): 4

Manhattans Guelph, 951 Gordon St Kortright West

According to their website, Manhattans pizza bistro/  music club is an independently owned neighbourhood restaurant boasting a unique dining experience that features live music almost every night of the week.

From their website: “Our hard-working kitchen crew serve up a delicious menu that includes something for everyone. Made with love and fresh ingredients, dinner options include New York-style thin crust pizza, pastas, grilled entrées and mouth-watering desserts all prepared in-house.

Since inception, we’ve maintained a deep fryer-free kitchen that reflects our commitment to both wholesome food and a healthy work environment.”

Centrally located, Manhattans’ warm and inviting atmosphere is the perfect setting for romantic and relaxing late-night eats and drinks. No dress code is required. Reservations are always appreciated. More info at manhattans.ca or reservations at 519.767.2440

Beth’s favourite: Gillespie pizza

Ryan’s favourite: Margharita pizza

Price (out of 5 stars): 4

Royal Electric, 52 MacDonnell St Downtown Guelph

One of our kids favourites, this restaurant/ bar is the former home of Guelph’s legendary Trasheteria night club of the 1990’s.

Royal Electric is a “pub marries gourmet” restaurant that also has live music. The food here could be called experimental at times. You can get Nashville chicken sandwiches, wings and even tuna poke bowls while watching some sports on the multiple TV screens.

The restaurant is large with some of favourite Guelph patios: both a summer downtown Guelph patio and a somewhat secret back patio. As a result, it’s not often you’ll find this restaurant full.

Royal Electric offers a long bar and long beer list, mostly local brews. Even cooler, they have a “bottle shop” menu with 22 pages of unique, one off and rare beers to try.

They’re open for brunch, lunch and dinner and have a friendly, hipster type staff. Visit royalelectricguelph.com for menu and hours

Beth’s favourite: Tuna Poke Bowl

Ryan’s favourite: Buttermilk Fried Chicken sandwich (if you like spicy, do it “Nashville”)

Price (out of 5 stars): 3.5

Miijidaa, 54 Quebec St downtown Guelph

Pronounced me-gee-da, this is a new concept in Guelph restaurants. From their website, the word ‘Miijidaa’ is from the Ojibway language that loosely translates to “let’s eat”. It’s a celebration of our roots, foods, wine + brews; a chance to showcase cuisines that influenced our culinary landscape and to show off our northern bounty.

There are many influences in what has come to define “Canadian” cuisine starting with the First Nations, followed by the influences of the French, English, Vikings, Portuguese and more. Our menu is a modern take on our northern gastronomic history with each cuisine and tradition inspiring the tapestry of our culinary landscape that we hope to celebrate on our menu.”

The back patio here is a favourite in the warmer months and often fills quick. The food is not traditional- which in our minds is a good thing. Expect to find a few things on the menu that you haven’t seen or tried before, like the Elk Scotch Egg.

Their menu is online and you can make a reservation or order takeout there, too: https://www.miijidaa.ca/

Beth’s favourite: Pan roasted chicken

Ryan’s favourite: Venison burger

Price (out of 5 stars): 3.5

Buon Gusto, 69 Wyndham St N downtown Guelph

If you’re on a lunch meeting or looking for a more high end location for lunch or dinner, it’s probably been recommended to you to check out Buon Gusto.

From their website: “As a locally owned business, our community is important to us. Buon Gusto supports local food suppliers and providers. We cook heavily with genuine Italian ingredients to maintain the authenticity of our cuisine, however we feature drinks and ingredients from Guelph and Ontario producers whenever possible.

During the spring, Buon Gusto constructs their wood patio in the plaza of the restaurant. Trees and planters offer a bit of shade and seclusion for our patrons, but the patio is also open to enjoy the energy and events of the downtown streets.”

Their menu is mainly traditional Italian fare such as pizza, pasta and Italian desserts, with a few exceptions. Local beer and wine, as well as higher end foreign options are available. Their website is buongusto.ca

Beth’s favourite: Caprese salad with grilled chicken

Ryan’s favourite: Charred octopus and zuppe di pesce (seafood in a tomato broth)

Price (out of 5 stars): 4.5

Earth to Table Bread Bar, 105 Gordon St Guelph

Also known as Bread Bar, this popular location is located on the south side of downtown Guelph. Although not a one off local business (there are 3 other locations in Hamilton/ Burlington) , we’d be missing if we didn’t include Bread Bar on this list.

Earth to Table Bread Bar offers a wide variety of options for breakfast, lunch and dinner. From appetizers to salads and burgers, there is something for everyone. However, their big draw is their stone baked pizza (Ryan loves the Bee Sting!). In fact, they made a secondary list of ours on best pizza in Guelph. They have a variety of wine and beers on tap.

Earth to Table Bread Bar has a great dine in area and a bar area if you prefer to people watch. Alternatively they have a large patio at the back that overlooks Royal City Park downtown, one of the better parks in Guelph. You can visit them at breadbar.ca

Beth’s favourite: Buddha Bowl

Ryan’s favourite: Bee Sting pizza

Price (out of 5 stars): 4

Lucky Belly, 763 Woolwich St, North Guelph

A bit of an unknown to some, this place seems to have stolen the hearts of Guelphites. If you’re ordering takeout food on a Friday or Saturday, make sure you do it early as this place is very busy after 5pm.

It’s a kitchy spot all around, in a strip mall in a small 60’s standalone building that feels like it was once a Tim Hortons or Dairy Queen. They’re not fancy, nor are they trying to be.  Their website seems like it was created in the early days of the internet, but the food is what sells this spot.

Tacos, sandwiches are the main menu items, but there are also their popular “healthy boxes”, all of which are very good. They have a kids menu, craft beer and desserts as well. You can dine in, although seating is limited and you cannot make a reservation online. Check out their website at theluckybelly.com

Beth’s favourite: Cali Box

Ryan’s favourite: Chicken Cheddar Jalapeno sandwich

Price (out of 5 stars): 3

Sugo on Surrey, 117 Surrey St E, Downtown Guelph

A relatively new addition to Guelph, Sugo on Surrey is downtown Guelph.

From their website: “Sugo on Surrey is a casual-fine dining restaurant with Italian influence. We love our Guelph community and are doing everything we can to only use local suppliers who are as close to home as possible.

We’re taking a casual fine-dining approach meaning that we want to present ourselves beautifully but in a way that is approachable to everyone. We pride ourselves on our amazing food and above-and-beyond service. The Sugo on Surrey team is committed to treating our guests as if they were guests in our own home. We are looking forward to sharing our new home with you soon!”

It’s one of those restaurants that you feel comfortable going to. You can view their menu and make a reservation online at sugoonsurrey.com

Beth’s favourite: Pickerel

Ryan’s favourite: Cajun shrimp pappardelle

Price (out of 5 stars): 4

More support local pages

This list is part of our ongoing Support Local initiative to help small businesses get more support. Visit them if you can:

Pubs in Guelph

Guelph florists

Used cars in Guelph

Guelph funeral homes

Guelph hair salons

Lawyers in Guelph

Walk in clinic Guelph

Guelph electricians

Guelph auto repair

grocery stores in Guelph

Need more info?

Do you think we’re missing a restaurant on this list? Need real estate advice? Get in touch! Beth and Ryan Waller are Guelph real estate agents who help people buy and sell homes.