If you’ve never been to Niagara Falls, you might imagine it as a majestic wonderland of thundering water and enchanting rainbows. When you do visit, you’ll see that one word beats its beauty — kitschy. Kitschy museums, kitschy neon lights, and kitschy gift shops surround the falls. However, if you want to find the kitschy restaurants, you’ll have to get in a car and drive straight to the allegedly oldest restaurant in Niagara Falls.
When you peek into Simon’s Newstand & Restaurant, you’ll think it’s closed, abandoned, or moved. It’s not. Open the door, walk inside and embrace the mess. Two walls are lined with floor-to-ceiling shelves overflowing with newspapers and antiques older than your grandma. A group of coffee-drinking newspaper-reading old men who speak a grumpy mix of English and French will occupy a table or two.
Grab a stool at the bar and order breakfast or lunch. (Note: It’s cash only!) A very old couple, Mr. and Mrs. Simon, runs the restaurant so the service is a bit slow. They’re very old and they make everything one at a time right in front of your eyes. On the flip side, the food is cheap. Like, really cheap. (See menu pictured above.)
Before you leave, Mr. Simon will place a metal Niagara Falls pin beside your empty plate. A ridiculously cute gesture from a sweet old man who runs a messy little restaurant on a quiet Canadian street.