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About
Small intimate bistro in the heart of downtown Burlington. Award winning cuisine that keeps our customers coming back. We have been serving Burlington for 14 years.
PRICE RANGE
US$7 - US$26
Special Diets
Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options
Meals
Lunch, Dinner, After-hours
CUISINES
Canadian, International
FEATURES
Takeout, Parking Available, Gift Cards Available, Reservations, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Street Parking, Free off-street parking, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Wine and Beer, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Table Service
Reviews (270)
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268 results
Traveller rating
176
67
18
5
2
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Time of year
LanguageEnglish
Traveller rating
176
67
18
5
2
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All reviews jambalaya risotto balls brie penne creme brûlée short ribs burger seafood fries city parking heart of downtown wonderful dinner last night small place appetizers server buds
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Reviewed today via mobile

“Highly overrated” We based our choice to celebrate an important anniversary on a recommendation. We now regret not doing our usual research before visiting this restaurant. First, the restaurant is small with too many tables wedged in to seat too many people. To extricate myself...at the end of our meal, I had to enlist the help of a fellow patron to help me up! But I digress. The meals themselves were a mix of very good and “OK”. But our server was what turned a reasonably good dining experience to one we would like to forget! She bordered on rude the way she served and took away the dishes. Look out if you dared get in her way! Sorry Downtown Bistro, but we will not be returning any time soon.More

Date of visit: February 2023
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed 4 days ago

The first thing you will need to know about this cozy little place, is not to go here for a dinner that you will need to discuss anything that you don't want to share with the people sitting next to you. The tables are very...close to each other. The other thing that you need to consider is if you would like to have a relaxing dinner? If the answer is yes, then you this is not the place for you. We felt rushed the moment we sat down. We were asked what we would like to drink within seconds even when it was clear that we hadn't looked at the wine list. This rushed feeling continued throughout our stay. In fact an hour and a half into our visit, we were told that we only had another 15 minutes. I understand that this is a small restaurant and that they would like to turn tables, but for the cost of the meal I would have like not to feel rushed out the door. If you would like a quick meal, by all means have dinner here. The food was really quite good. The service was friendly and dare I say a little too efficient.More

Date of visit: January 2023
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Mike L, Owner at Downtown Bistro & Grill, responded to this reviewResponded 3 days ago

Thank You for your review, if you could reach out to me via email at mike@downtownbistro.ca and give me the date and time of your disappointing experience . This is not how we operate and never intend to rush anybody.

Reviewed December 13, 2022 via mobile

In the area for business, I stopped in for a very late lunch (5pm). It appears that the establishment was previously a single family home. It's a quaint small place with 10 or less tables. I ordered a burger and fries with a hot tea...with lemon and honey. My server was a mature team member who appeared more interested in dinner setup than servicing my table. Not sure that I would return. All in all, food quality taken into consideration....average at best for a meal. Might be a nice place to grab a drink or snack as a couple.More

Date of visit: December 2022
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Reviewed November 29, 2022 via mobile

Have been to this restaurant many times…it was a very special occasion..and we went on a Tuesday night.. I had requested a table but did not get it.there were only two other couples in the whole restaurant.. My meal was over spiced with powdered thyme,...and was supposed to be Cajun pasta….hardly edible and I should have sent it back… No eye contact from the server, and seemed like she would rather be somewhere else… Will not return…More

Date of visit: November 2022
Helpful?1  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed November 10, 2022 via mobile

Cozy spot with a comfortable elegance indoors and outdoor seating also available. Enjoyed all dishes which were flavourful and beautifully plated. Service was excellent. Reservations are recommended and they take a credit card up front with a cancellation policy in place. A wise move in...todays economy and I expect other top notch places to follow suit. The mussels were served in a curry sauce with tropical salsa. Best I have ever had and wise choice to combine this salsa. Seafood and chicken jambalaya was delicious and ample in serving size. The pecan crusted chicken is a must try. When we return I probably should try another dish but I may have to have it again,yum! Expect quality and excellence in your dining experience here.More

Date of visit: November 2022
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Reviewed October 2, 2022

We chose this restaurant because of the great reviews. The service was courteous and friendly and the food quite good, although some parts of the meal were a little cold. We ordered a bottle of wine, finished our meal and were just receiving our coffee...when we were politely asked to leave as the next party had arrived. We were not forewarned that there was a 2 hour dining limit and were quite surprised to be shuffled out the door after spending over $200 for our party of 3. To be honest, we ordered promptly but the meal did not come very quickly (the restaurant was getting busy and this was understandable). I realize proprietors have to ensure brisk business to optimize profits but it soured our experience. We may have been 10 minutes longer to finish our drinks. In decades of dining out, this was the first time I have ever been asked to leave. Our visiting guest who travelled from Europe was quite surprised at this experience. I would not recommend this restaurant for business meals or special occasions.More

Date of visit: September 2022
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Reviewed August 7, 2022

We went to Downtown Bistro & Grill for my sons' 23rd birthday. He is a foodie and had been wanting to go for quite some time. From the time we arrived we knew we found a great spot. Mobina greeted us and led us to...the table. Though we were a last minute show (no reservation) she fit us in and told us the table needed to be ready for a reservation which was 90 minutes later. We said we understood and from there is was perfect. The appetizers chosen (grilled calamari was easily shareable and quite tasty with the roasted peppers. The crispy risotto ball (2) was quite good. The entre was the penne all vodka which my daughter loved. My son and I had the Louisiana linguine with blackened chicken and sautéed shrimp. It was dynamite!! Wine selection was good too and we had paired it with a nice white. My son is rather quiet about his birthday, but when away from the table I asked Mobina (who I thought was the owner, as she takes pride in her team) said she would help and brought out a dessert discretely. That made the day. The venue is a nice quaint home, small, but cozy and what I loved about it, was the fact Mobina treated us like family and we treated her like family. Definitely going to make this a regular place to bring family and friends. And, did I say it is in the heart of downtown Burlington and close to the lake for the much needed walk after a great meal.More

Date of visit: July 2022
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Reviewed July 17, 2022

I have eaten at this restaurant literally dozens of times and it was always our favourite. However, last night I dined on the rear terrace with a friend. I waited alone while she parked the car and was seated on the terrace. All around me,...diners were being served and in one case, entertained by endless stories of birth order in the family. All I wanted was a glass of water. I waved, I gave a look and then finally, after 15 minutes, I called out. "I'm not your server", came the reply from the endless story teller serving the next table. My friend had still not arrived and finally another server arrived. I asked for a glass of water (it was very hot) and what the specials were. She brought me the water. I asked about the specials again. "I will wait to tell you when your friend arrives". I guess, as the lowly customer, my wishes didn't matter. Then she called me "dear". I ignored this condescending title and waited. My friend arrived and we were finally served. Our server called me "dear" twice more and finally I asked her not to call me that. she then proceeded to call my friend "darling" and "love". I really wish I had asked her name. She will remember me, as I did not leave her a tip. The meal was delicious as always- the service brutal. It will take a lot of convincing to get me to return to my former Burlington favourite. Train your staff. Teach them how to address people. Teach them to be polite and professional. Some of your staff are ruining your previously stellar reputation.More

Date of visit: July 2022
Helpful?4  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed June 16, 2022 via mobile

The food was absolutely fabulous. We knew it was well-rated and deservedly so. Best meal out in a while, and we look forward to returning again soon

Date of visit: June 2022
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Reviewed June 1, 2022 via mobile

Went on a quiet Tuesday night. Staff were great (thanks Kim). Food was really, really good. Great flavour, good portions, great presentation. My wife and I share two apps and a main and that was more than enough food for the two of us. Pricing...was reasonable - not somewhere we could go weekly but not out of our price range. Location is great - on a quietism street with city parking available across the street. We’ll be going back again to try more of the menu.More

Date of visit: May 2022
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Reviewed May 4, 2022 via mobile

Great experience overall from the server to food to ambiance. I had the chicken crepe and my husband had the salmon crepe. Super yummy

Date of visit: May 2022
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Reviewed April 3, 2022

I'd read that this restaurant has the best burger in Burlington so as some former work colleagues were getting together for the first time since the pandemic, we thought we'd find out how good the burger was. We arrived for our reservation on time and...seated promptly. The restaurant was crowded surprisingly. You definitely need reservations. A fair selection of local craft beers and a lot of choices on the menu. Prices are mid to upper high. All but 1 of us ordered the burger. Considering how busy the restaurant was, the food arrived relatively quickly. The one waitress on, was excellent. Managed the 15 tables like a pro. The burger was very good. Ground sirloin and unlike my previous review for this restaurant 9 years ago, the food was not overly salty. The only critique was that the fries were bordering on cool and there wasn't that much of them. The cost was nearly $60 for a burger, fries and 2 beers. Prices have gone up now with pandemic induced inflation. Was it worth it? Would I go back? Absolutely. The waitress's service, personality and sense of humour wants me to go back.More

Date of visit: March 2022
Helpful?1  
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Reviewed March 8, 2022 via mobile

We really liked this place, a quaint and cosy Bistro. Very attentive and warm service. The food had a real home cooked style, delicious . We’d be sure to visit again, the ribs were incredible!

Date of visit: March 2022
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Reviewed January 23, 2022

We thoroughly enjoyed our meals last night. Generous portion sizes, premium quality ingredients and excellent presentation. The order was ready for pick up on time. Found a gem that we will order from again!

Date of visit: January 2022
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Reviewed October 22, 2021 via mobile

Excellent dinner at the bistro. Really enjoyed our appetizers - baked Brie and garlic, bruschetta and truffle fries. The beef short ribs were amazing. Daughter really enjoyed her salmon and they accommodated her dairy restrictions without hesitation. French onion soup was really good as well....Good size portions and great friendly service.More

Date of visit: October 2021
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Questions & Answers
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Pioneer12213120881
November 22, 2021|
Answer
Response from colleenva | Reviewed this property |
Hi! There is a public parking lot very close. You go to the machine and pay for as long as you wish and put the ticket on your dashboard. Enjoy!
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905getbeached
November 29, 2017|
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Response from Ann I | Reviewed this property |
no this is a small bistro for dining
1
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joshields11
November 23, 2017|
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Response from Elisa08 | Reviewed this property |
Hi Josh , I would suggest going to their website and taking a look at their Menu . Its all there and you can see for yourself to get an idea as to what is Gluten Free or at least what can be prepared Gluten Free for you . I... More
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DOWNTOWN BISTRO & GRILL, Burlington - 441 Elizabeth St - Updated 2023 Restaurant Reviews, Menu & Prices - Tripadvisor

Frequently Asked Questions about Downtown Bistro & Grill

Yes, Downtown Bistro & Grill offers takeaway services.

Downtown Bistro & Grill is rated accordingly in the following categories by Tripadvisor travellers:
  • Food: 4.5
  • Service: 4.5
  • Value: 4.5
  • Atmosphere: 4.5