Ruffino’s Pasta Bar and Grill, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario

No matter where he’s been, Chef Ryan Crawford has celebrated Food Day Canada every year since its inception; once to the point of nearly getting arrested for doing a pop up restaurant at midnight on the main street of Niagara-on-the-lake.

Named as one of the best new restaurants in Canada, by Enroute magazine, Backhouse continued to celebrate all that Canada has to offer till he decided that a more casual approach was in order. And he and his team launched Ruffino’s this spring. They have not looked back.  Ruffino’s, named after his personality-rich dog, is about interesting food and local growers.  With Covid, he nimbly pivoted to take out and one of the best small bottegas around. 

Ryan writes: Part of me thinks I was a Nona in a past life. I’ve also had great teachers in my life who taught me what it means to be Italian. I get great pleasure from cooking for people. I love seeing my family and friends laughing and enjoying a great meal together. I love my backyard garden/farm. I’ve been making Prosciutto and Salumi for almost 25 years, I get excited about making 100’s of litres of tomato sauce every fall. And now I’m riding a Vespa! I will never call myself Italian. But I’m sure as heck living my life like one!” 

He is totally committed to integrated cool climate cuisine and own a 2-acre farm where they source seasonal and locally sourced ingredients. When they’re available, they serve Ontario-raised shrimp – AWESOME! Ryan even makes his own prosciutto. Veggies are roasted in front of the fire and poultry is often smoked/roasted at the back of the massive grill.  Their chefs even haunt old Niagara orchards, chain-saws in hand, for firewood.

The bar and wine program employs a bar chef and lead sommelier, ensuring inspiring craft cocktails and a detailed and heavily-curated international wine list that sources small producers from around the globe. Senior servers are seasoned industry professionals with a commitment to enlightened hospitality. Individual guests needs are a priority

For anyone heading to The Shaw Festival or on a wine touring adventure…or simply wanting to experience the food on one of the Province’s most dedicated and creative chefs, this restaurant is a cornerstone destination.

Contact Ruffinos at the number below to reserve a Food Day Canada table.

Contactez Ruffinos directement, au numéro ci-dessous, afin de faire votre Journée des terroirs réservation.

242 Mary Street, (Garrison Plaza)
Niagara on the Lake, Ontario L0S 1J0

T: (289) 819-0179



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Author: Anita

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