For those of you who believe the “it’s the journey, not the destination” theory and are happy enough just riding and touring around, it’s still a great idea to pick a place to ride to. A day on the bike sure can take a lot out of you, so it certainly can’t hurt to take a break, grab a bite to eat and plan the next leg of your adventure. Sometimes, finding those places to stop can be a bit of a challenge unless you plan ahead or know the area you are riding in. Gravel parking lots, uneven terrain and stops that aren’t biker friendly can put a real damper on your day.
This summer, I toured around a fair bit to find some of those biker friendly spots to stop at. Whether you are enjoying some nice fall riding or are planning ahead for next season, I recommend you give some of these places a try! This certainly isn’t a complete list of biker friendly diners, but rather a brief list that I hope to keep adding to as I continue to discover new riding areas in Ontario.
Cruising around on a Kawasaki Vulcan was the perfect vessel for checking out my top 5 biker-friendly diners in Southern Ontario. Not only was this bike a nice combination between a peppy sport bike and lightweight cruiser, but it was also incredibly comfortable with its ergo-fit options and forward controls. Click here to learn more about the Kawasaki Vulcan.
If you are cruising along the Niagara Parkway either to or from Niagara Falls, the Boat House is a great place to stop for a rest and for some people watching. This restaurant offers a paved parking lot with reserved parking for motorcycles and a huge patio that can accommodate large groups of people.
Just across the street is a local Tim Hortons that is also a popular stop for motorcyclists, so there are always bikes cruising by. The Niagara Parkway is a must-ride location in the Niagara Region, and offers a beautiful view of the Niagara River along the way. Be sure to dress warm if cruising along the parkway in the fall, as the cool air coming off of the water can make for a chilly ride.
I always pass by the Jordan House Tavern when I’m riding through Lincoln. Some of the roads in this area are the best that Southern Ontario has to offer with their twists, turns and fun dips. Make sure you cruise down King Street towards St. Catharines and then explore the Pelham Road/Effingham area if you are looking for a nice ride.
The Jordan House Tavern offers a paved parking lot with patio, while the inside is a newly restored tavern. The original roadhouse was built in 1844 so it still maintains a rustic feel with modern updates. The restaurant has a nice fireplace for those cooler riding days, and a pool table for some friendly competition among biker buddies. Make sure you give the hand cut fries a try—they’re always a fan favourite!
Located between Grimsby and Hamilton, this BBQ joint is always a nice stop for bikers. While the parking lot is not paved, bikers can easily park their bikes right next to the patio where they can sit during peak-season times. This restaurant is a great stop along highway 8 that can be visited after riding down Ridge Road in Grimsby, or perhaps on your way to the Devils Punch Bowl in Hamilton. A local hot spot, this place is a must stop for burger and pulled pork lovers.
If you plan on cruising the coast of Lake Erie, the Palmwood is either a great starting point or end point, depending on which direction you are headed. This beachfront restaurant has been around for what seems like forever. Featuring a large patio in the summer, and amazing views of Lake Erie, this restaurant makes for a great stop with enough paved parking to accommodate large groups of motorcycles. During peak season, there are often bands lined up in the evening, along with several motorcycle events close by, including the Fort Erie Motorcycle Swap Meet, poker runs, charity events and more.
I visited the Beach House earlier this summer, when I went cruising along Ontario’s South Coast. If you’ve never heard of Port Dover, then stop reading right now, and revisit whether you are (a) Canadian, and (b) a true motorcyclist. Just kidding, but most people who are from this area are well aware of and have likely been to a Friday 13th event in Port Dover before. It’s an interesting place to visit when it isn’t during the rally; while it’s still a hotspot for bikers, the town is transformed by tourists and beach-goers. The Beach House offers a great patio to sit on as well, where you can people watch, or simple enjoy the beachfront view while chowing down on the fresh catch of the day.
If you have a favourite biker-friendly joint that you think I should know about please add a comment below!