When it comes to celebrating your birthday, you don’t just want another meal at a ho-hum chain restaurant. Luckily, London Ontario is bursting with incredible local joints that serve up delicious meals and friendly atmospheres that are the perfect place to celebrate that you’ve been alive in the world yet another year. Whether you’re looking for a date night birthday spot, a place for a group of friends, or something in between, we’ve got all the best places in London all set. And if you’re here because you’re planning a surprise birthday dinner for a friend or family member, then don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with the details so that you can choose the best option possible for that lucky birthday person.
Intimate Birthday Dinner Date
If your ideal birthday celebration is cozying up with your significant other and enjoying insanely delicious food just the two of you, or if your dream birthday dinner is just you and your bestie trying a new restaurant, then these are the best places in London that are smaller and better for more intimate birthday dinners.
Tucked in off the main road of downtown, this restaurant is truly one of London’s most hidden treasures. Reverie is the kind of restaurant that is not just a meal: it’s an experience. This tiny restaurant only seats 12 and only has one seating per night, so it’s a very intimate setting. It’s a set five plus course tasting menu where every plate, which looks like a work of art, is an amazing discovery of flavors, colors, and textures. If you choose to get the wine pairings with the meal you will absolutely not be dissapointed. The wines they serve have been expertly chosen and are nothing that you could get from the LCBO, coming from tiny little wineries all over the world. The service is outstanding and what is best is that they use local produce and can tell you exactly where each ingredient on the plate came from.
If you’re a foodie and are looking to splurge a little to celebrate your birthday, then Reverie is an absolute must-do. Make sure to make reservations because they do not take walk-ins. If it’s an especially special birthday that you’re planning on doing a party of 8 or more, you can connect with them in advance to try and work out an arrangement for one of the nights that they’re not open.
If you’re a fan of sushi rolls, then Roll Roll in Wortley Village is the place to go. This tiny little hole-in-the-wall restaurant is easy to miss and is one of London’s best hidden gems. There are only a few tables in the whole restaurant, so make sure that you call for reservations ahead of time to avoid disappointment.
You have to be warned though that once you try sushi rolls at Roll Roll you’ll never want to eat all-you-can-eat sushi rolls ever again. They are that good. The rolls are unique and inventive with amazing texture. The presentation of the rolls is absolutely gorgeous and the service is warm, welcoming, and very friendly.
Grab your date or a good friend and celebrate your birthday with Instagram-worthy sushi rolls at Roll Roll.
HUNTER & CO.
Hunter & Co. is another cozy spot that is great for foodies. They offer unique and adventurous plates that are full of flavor and incredible textures. On top of that, it’s an amazing choice for those who love cocktails. They create memorable cocktails that will absolutely ruin all other cocktails for you because they’re just that good. If you’re more of a wine drinker you’ll love the fact that their wine list is extensive and features wines that you won’t be able to pick up at the LCBO.
If you’re wondering what kind of food to expect, you can always get a fantastic charcuterie board, roasted bone marrow, and oysters. Their menu is always changing, but the kinds of delights that you can expect are things like Korean Fried Chicken, Pig Ear Poutine, and Chicken Liver Brulee. It’s not a long shot to say that you’ll not find plates like these elsewhere in the city, which makes it the perfect spot to celebrate your birthday.
Great For Groups
Whether it’s a milestone birthday like your 30th or 40th, or if you just have a larger group of people who want to celebrate you, sometimes you want to find a restaurant that can accommodate a group. The following restaurants are nicely sized, some with separated areas that can hold your group so that it feels like a separate party space, and can handle large reservations. You can host a birthday party without all of the clean up and need to run around beforehand cleaning like a maniac.
MICHAEL'S ON THE THAMES
Sitting just on the outskirts of downtown London, Michael’s on the Thames has been a loved part of London since 1983. With giant windows along the border that looks out at the Thames River, Michael’s has an upscale atmosphere and is considered to be casual fine dining, meaning that you can get gussied up if you want and you’ll experience beyond incredible service. If you’re looking for somewhere to feel celebrated, then this is the place to go. They often will even put birthday wishes on their sign outside!
If you want to host an event here, they have the ability to host private dining for your guests and have set dinner menus and have two separate spaces that can seat 25 or 60 people, respectively. Michaels has classic meals like steak, lobster, and stuffed chicken. They offer fun tableside meals like the interactive caesar salad and the flambeed beef tenderloin. For decor, they’ll help you make your birthday wishes come true and are open to allowing decorations to set the celebration stage.
TOBOGGAN BREWING COMPANY
If you’re a fan of craft beer, then celebrating your birthday with friends at Toboggans is a must! Not only is their beer amazing and their atmosphere casual, fun and hip, but their food is also seriously delicious. They use local ingredients and have deep roots in London. You can get anything that is a great accompaniment to beer such as wings, pretzels, pizza, tacos, gourmet sandwiches, and cheese boards. They also have their Beer & Gear Store so that if you plan on taking your birthday celebrations back home to keep the party going, you can grab some growlers of their delicious beer on your way out.
Fellini Koolinis has been serving Italian comfort foods to London since 1989 and boy do they ever do it well. They have a large selection of wine, make their pasta from scratch, and have tantalizing tapas, making this a great place to come with family or friends and just sit back and indulge. Their restaurant is set in an old house, so there are lots of rooms and an upstairs which help to make separate “areas” that are perfect for birthday parties. It’s a casual atmosphere with quirky decor, and if you get dessert you absolutely MUST try the Lindt chocolate gelato. It’s too good for words.
If the idea of a cold craft beer and an off-the-charts good burger is your idea of a perfect birthday, then Bungalow is the perfect choice to hold your birthday celebrations. Featured in an episode of “You Gotta Eat Here”, The Bungalow has seriously delicious burgers with so many topping choices that will make your head spin. The Bungalow is tucked in Old North off the beaten path and the service is so incredibly friendly. They have seating both upstairs and down, which means that they have the means to host larger groups. Just note that parking might be tricky, as they have a small parking lot.
Dolcetto is an Italian Cuisine and Tapas Bar restaurant. They house-make authentic Italian dishes and have a fantastic friendly and casual atmosphere. Celebrate your birthday with pasta and pizza from a place that made the Top 100 Italian Restaurants list from Open Table!
Casual Dates, Double Dates, Or Smaller Gatherings
If your birthday celebrations includes a double date, or a smaller group (as in 2-6 people or maybe 8, depending on the night) of friends or family, then here is a great list of restaurants that will help you celebrate your birthday with delicious food, amazing atmosphere, and friendly service. The places are large enough that you’ll be able to make a reservation for smaller groups, but are not quite large enough to accommodate really large groups.
Craft Farmacy is all about local, fresh ingredients, local craft beers, fantastic cocktails, tantalizing sharing plates, and oyster bars. Oysters are something that everyone should try at least once in their life and if you want really amazing Oysters you need to go to Craft Farmacy. On top of their Oyster Bar, they have incredible charcuterie boards and sharing plates like duck poutine, roasted bone marrow with oxtail marmalade, and pork belly bao buns. And their hand-crafted cocktails are good enough to stay in your dreams for weeks to come.
Choosing to celebrate the anniversary of entering into this world for the first time at Craft Farmacy is to choose inventive, surprising, and seriously delicious food, craft beer and cocktails, and a seriously good time.
Looking to celebrate your birthday by consuming delicious Italian-Inspired cuisine in an upscale but still casual atmosphere? Abruzzi brings you high-end dining with mouthwatering entrees, a fantastic wine list that changes with the seasons, and locally sourced ingredients. The atmosphere is upscale, but friendly and approachable. The brick walls and eye-catching light fixtures create a warm and welcoming atmosphere. If you’re in the mood to feel celebrated and a little fancy then throw on a cute dress, grab some friends, and celebrate your birthday with amazing wine and incredible dishes.
If you’re a fan of Greek food then spend your birthday enjoying scrumptious greek food in a super cute restaurant. The inside of the restaurant is totally adorable with greek decor everywhere and makes you feel like there is just the slightest possibility that perhaps you’ve been transported out of Canada and over to Greece. The atmosphere is very friendly and it’s always great fun to get the kefalotiri cheese which is flambeed with ouzo tableside.
The food is authentic greek and seriously delicious. Whether you want to order some wine and graze on skewers, spanakopita, and a mezes platter, or you want to enjoy hearty meals like moussaka and paidakia arni, the Mythic Grill has something for you.
THE TASTING ROOM
The Tasting Room is a great place to celebrate your birthday with people who love food and love to share. While they have amazing entrees, the best part about The Tasting Room is their appetizer menu that is built for sharing. Grab some close friends, order some wine tasting flights, and fill your table with delicious delights and find out why they call themselves the “tasting room”. You’ll get the chance to sample incredible dishes and enjoy the cozy low-lit atmosphere and incredible service.
THE SWEET ONION BISTRO
Located in the midst of the charming Wortley Village, The Sweet Onion Bistro is an adorable and quaint bistro that serves really delicious food and has an incredibly friendly atmosphere. They have their monthly Greek night, but throughout the rest of the month they serve Greek, European, and American dishes. Their Saganaki is a fun dish to get as it’s yummy cheese that they flambe tableside with Ouzo. They LOVE celebrating birthdays at Sweet Onion and do it up Greek style with smashing plates and shots of Ouzo!
GARLIC'S OF LONDON
Located only just a few short steps from The Grande Theatre, Garlic’s Of London is the perfect place to start your birthday celebrations before heading off to catch a play or hitting downtown for the nightlife! Since they like to use seasonal local ingredients, their menu is always changing, but you can expect seriously delicious and hand-made food (including their pasta and pizza dough) from Garlic’s. Their dishes are rustic and modern, their service is friendly and welcoming, and their drink list is worthy of birthday celebrations.
THE SPRINGS RESTAURANT
The Springs is a cute little restaurant located on Springbank Drive that is charming and unique inside with a high vaulted ceiling. They have live music, plenty of parking, and strive for local ingredients. They have an upscale vibe and offer traditional menu items like Rack of Lamb, Beef Tenderloin, and Chicken Supreme. They have an extensive wine list and have local craft beers on tap. It’s a great off-the-beaten-path place to celebrate your birthday and is just a couple of minutes from downtown, which makes it a great choice to start your celebrations off right.
TAMARINE BY QUYNH NHI
The atmosphere at Tamarine is the perfect way to start your night out celebrating your birthday. It’s hip and modern and the food will keep you coming back for your birthday year after year. They serve authentic Southern Vietnameses cuisine and their menu was created with sharing in mind, so it’s the perfect place to bring some friends! They also offer private dining adventures where you can meet their chefs and create a once-in-a-lifetime dining experience.
PLANT MATTER KITCHEN
Are you a Vegan, celebrating your birthday? Your options for dining out are not limited in London Ontario. Plant Matter Kitchen is a fun, plant-based restaurant that serves all organic and vegan meals that are seriously scrumptious enough that you can bring your non-vegan friends with you without complaint. From poutine, burgers, tacos, and mac and cheese, you’ll get to indulge on your birthday in a charming space with friendly service.
If your idea of birthday fun conjures up images of sipping mimosas and indulging in the most scrumptious and inventive food, then birthday brunch is the way to go. Whether you’re celebrating the morning after your night out with friends and are nursing a hangover with chicken and waffles, or you’re starting your birthday celebrations early in the day to take full advantage of the excuse to treat yourself, brunch is always a great choice.
THE RIVER ROOM
The River Room sits atop Museum London and has floor to wall windows that look out over Ivey Park and the Thames River. If you’re looking for a more classy and upscale brunch then head to River Room. You’ll love the atmosphere and the food is delicious too!
Brunch at River Room comes with mini muffins and scones, coffee and tea, as well as your choice of wine, beer, mimosa, rum punch, sangria, caesar, screwdriver, or juice, and of course your entree. Their entrees include things like frittata, house cured and house smoked salmon, a breakfast sandwich fancy enough to make you feel bad calling it a sandwich, and crepes.
THE CHURCH KEY
Calling all foodies. Brunch at The Church Key is an experience for the adventurous. Their brunch menu changes every week and is always accompanied by large basket of fresh-baked pastries like scones, loaves, muffins, croissants, and cakes. Looking over the menu you’ll find unique twists on classic favorites like steak and egg nachos and the fusion of different types of cuisine together.
If you’ve never been to The Church Key before then you’re seriously missing out. Inside gives off classic English Pub vibes with stunning stone walls and a gorgeous hardwood bar. The restaurant is committed to using local and seasonal ingredients and is a hidden gem in the downtown core.
THE EARLY BIRD
The Early Bird is this quirky, small local restaurant that is big into sustainability. They use local ingredients and get daily deliveries to avoid using frozen products because they truly believe in freshness. You’ve never witnessed a more eclectic and strange decor inside of a restaurant, but don’t be intimidated because the staff are friendly, the portions are generous, and the food is tasty.
You can get delicious favorites like eggs benedict, french toast, eggs & hash, and waffles at the Early Bird, but you’ll also find choices that are so decadent that you’ll want to bring your stretchy pants. Try the Fat Elvis that has french toast layered with peanut butter, bacon, fried bananas, honey, and maple syrup. Or enjoy chicken and waffles with bacon jam and crispy onions. Or for those who can never decide between sweet and savory, the Pancake Stacker comes with four pancakes layered with smoked bacon, peameal bacon, sausage, and an egg.