WindsorEats thought it would be a great idea to highlight a few of Essex County’s restaurants located in historic residences or nestled into heritage buildings. 

Our region is rich in history and you can really get a sense of our past when visiting our city centre or surrounding towns and stroll down their main streets. 

I’ve talked about this restaurant before but it’s always worth mentioning again, because it’s over 100 years old….a rarity for any building in this city. 

Located in downtown Windsor, Hikari, 345 Victoria Avenue, offers up Japanese cuisine in one of Windsor’s oldest homes.  Hikari resides in the Sutherland-Sheppard House which was built in 1896. It was once home to Major Ralph F. Sheppard, a commander of the Essex Scottish, who served during World War II and was distinguished as a Member of the British Empire.  The home was built in the Queen Anne Revival style, elements of which can be seen in the unique ornate front porch. 

The Victoria Rose Tea Room, 64 Main Street East, is located in the heart of Kingsville.  The home was built in 1883 and has seen a number owners throughout its history.  Today, owners Louise Morrison and Theresa Morrison have kept the character of the home intact.  The tea room is a favourite amongst locals for their use of fresh ingredients and are well known for their homemade desserts.

Our region has a number businesses located within heritage designated buildings as well. 

Mazaar’s Lebanese Cuisine, 372 Ouellette, is located in the historic Canada Building. Next time you take a trip to Mazaar’s look up.  When the Canada Building was completed in 1930, at 12 stories high, it was the largest office building in Southwestern Ontario!  A few details to look for on the exterior of the building are the brass doors leading to the lobby of the main building, the brass Canada Post box which is still in use today and the ornate metal canopy over the entrance way. 

Taloola Cafe, 396 Devonshire Road, is one of those spots you can envision in any metropolitan city.  Serving organic and fair trade coffees, the cafe is situated in historic Olde Walkerville and sits in what was once the former Crown Inn Hotel.  Built in 1892 and designed by the architectural firm of Mason and Rice, Detroit for the Walkerville Land & Building Co. the hotel was built for Hiram Walker and Sons and is considered to be one of Windsor’s most important heritage buildings.  It was the first hotel in Walkerville, housed the first telephone in the area and it is even rumoured to have entertained Al Capone himself.

Independent restaurants, cafés and local businesses are what make where we live unique.  Whether it’s their historical connection or their location in a bustling neighbourhood, they provide an authentic experience of the city or town we live in.

Windsor and Essex County have many restaurants, cafes and independent retailers scattered throughout its boundaries. They are quaint, creative, distinctive and extraordinary.  So the next time you head out to lunch, dinner or are just looking to grab some coffee, think about supporting one of the many great local businesses that call Essex County home.  They are what makes our city unique.

Check these and other great culinary spots throughout Essex County on!