Top 5 Alternatives to Madelyn’s Diner in Stratford
The recent closure of Madelyn’s Diner came as difficult news for many Stratford residents and out-of-town visitors alike. The beloved family-owned diner had been serving up homestyle breakfasts, lunches, and dinners in Stratford for over 35 years. Madelyn’s was cherished as much for its friendly service and cozy atmosphere as its butter tarts and Fish Fridays. The shuttering of this staple Stratford diner leaves a noticeable hole in the town’s dining scene.
Yet, luckily for fans of diners in Stratford, Ontario, this charming city still has no shortage of tasty, highly-rated eateries to consider on your next visit. For those seeking options similar to Madelyn’s crowd-pleasing comfort fare in an unpretentious atmosphere, here are five of the top alternatives to visit.
⭐ TripAdvisor Rating: 4.5; #5 of 79 Stratford restaurants
🍴 Address: 105 Erie St, Stratford, ON N5A 2M5
Wednesday – Saturday: 4:45 pm – 9:00 pm
For fine dining with a distinctly local flair, check out Bijou. Blending French technique with Canadian ingredients, this intimate restaurant spotlights ultra-seasonal dishes courtesy of its dedicated farm-to-table approach.
Buttery mushroom galettes, succulent duck breast glazed in Stratford Brewery beer, and rainbow trout lightly fried in cornmeal are just a few standouts. Their decadent chocolate ganache torte makes a perfect ending.
Location & Hours
Downtown on Erie Street, Bijou serves dinner Wednesday through Saturday. Reservations are strongly recommended due to its small size and popularity.
⭐ TripAdvisor Rating: 4.0; #8 of 79 restaurants
🍴 Address: 70 Ontario Street, Stratford, ON N5A 3H2
- Tuesday to Thursday: 11:30am – 9pm
- Friday and Saturday: 11:30am – 10pm
- Sunday: 11:30am – 9pm
- Closed Mondays
For delicious flavours of Italy without the formalities, Pazzo Pizzeria hits that craving. Their bubbly, thin-crust pizzas pair nicely with made-in-house pasta and salads. It’s an excellent spot for casual Italian fare.
Crowd-pleasing picks include the Don Corleone pizza with pepperoni, pancetta and hot peppers or the Sausage Rigatoni studded with radicchio and parmesan. Save room for a Nutella pizza for dessert!
Location & Hours
Conveniently located downtown, Pazzo serves lunch and dinner daily, with late-night hours on weekends – perfect for post-theatre bites.
Fellini’s Italian Cucina
⭐ TripAdvisor Rating: 4.0; #7 of 79 restaurants
🍴 Address: 107 Ontario Street, Stratford, ON N5A 3H1
Wednesday to Saturday:
- Lunch 11:30am – 3pm
- Dinner 4:30pm – 8pm or 9pm
- Closed Sundays through Tuesdays
For 30 years, this family-owned Italian spot has delighted patrons with its cozy charm and scratch-made pasta, pizzas, entrees and more. Expect all the classics done right – just like Nonna used to make!
House specialties include pillowy gnocchi in tomato basil sauce, chicken parm blanketed in marinara and mozzarella, tiramisu for a sweet ending. Gluten-free and vegan options are also available.
Location & Hours
Also located downtown on Ontario Street, Fellini’s serves lunch Wednesday through Saturday from 11:30am to 3pm. Dinner is offered Wednesday through Saturday from 4:30pm to 8 or 9pm, closed Sunday through Tuesday.
Demetre’s Family Eatery
⭐ TripAdvisor Rating: 4.0; #18 of 79 restaurants
🍴 Address: 1100 Ontario Street, Stratford, ON N5A 6Z3
Tuesday to Sunday:
- Closed on Mondays and statutory holidays
Demetre’s Family Eatery brings a taste of Greece infused with Canadian hospitality. Taverna-style plates like moussaka, souvlaki and spanakopita will satisfy cravings for Mediterranean flavours in a family-friendly setting.
Beyond the Greek specialties, Demetre’s also serves up ribeye steaks and seafood pasta, along with all-day breakfast – except fluffy pancakes, eggs benny topped with peameal bacon and homemade corned beef hash.
Location & Hours
A little outside the downtown core on Ontario Street, Demetre’s serves breakfast, lunch and dinner Tuesday through Sunday. Closed Mondays and statutory holidays.
⭐ TripAdvisor Rating: 4.5; #1 of 79 restaurants
🍴 Address: 34 Brunswick Street (Upper Level), Stratford, ON N5A 3L8
- Friday and Saturday evenings from 5pm late
For an exceptional dining experience centred around fire and flavour, check out Braai House. Their open-flame grill infuses steaks, kebabs, seafood and more with irresistible South African spice rubs and peri peri sauce.
Standouts include prawn skewers marinated in garlic and chillies, boerewors sausages stuffed with lamb and pork, and malva pudding with Amarula cream for dessert. There are plenty of vegetarian/vegan options, too.
Location & Hours
Located above sister restaurant The Braaibar downtown, the seasonally-open Braai House requires reservations for Friday and Saturday dinner seatings.
Remembering Madelyn’s Diner, Stratford
For over 35 years, Madelyn’s Diner occupied a special place in the hearts and stomachs of Stratford residents. We still miss grabbing a booth at this classic diner that doused the town in homestyle comfort. Their menu offered crowd-pleasing fare like the golden, crispy fish and chips served every Friday, juicy Banquet Burger loaded with fixings, and hearty Western sandwiches stacked sky-high with meats and veggies.
Beyond familiar menu fixtures, Madelyn’s kept things fresh by partnering with other area businesses like Birch Bark Coffee from St. Marys or hosting pop-ups for local pizzeria Fired Up. Their community-focused hospitality centred on each dining experience, whether it was breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Madelyn’s Diner Menu
Madelyn’s Dinner menu had something for everyone across all meals. For breakfast, the peameal bacon and eggs or farmers’ breakfast sausages always hit the spot. At lunch, the Reuben with housemade kraut competed with the secret-recipe broasted chicken sandwich for top billing. Then, arriving at dinner hours on Fridays, battered cod and slaw or fries delighted diners ready for a taste of the legendary fish and chips.
And certainly, no discussion of Madelyn’s is complete without highlighting those now-famous butter tarts, available in endless decadent flavours from classic raisin to more unique versions with pecans or coconut baked daily by Madelyn herself. These sweet morsels were the stuff breakfast dreams are made of. We’ll be searching far and wide for tarts that hit that sweet spot again!
Great Place for Gatherings
In addition to much-loved dishes and specials, Madelyn’s Dinner itself occupied a special spot as a community gathering place where everyone felt welcome. The loss of this beloved hub where memories were made still stings over six months later. Yet thankfully, several quality alternatives now exist, allowing fellow fans to find new go-to spots while still honouring Madelyn’s long legacy in Stratford.
While Madelyn’s can never be replaced, Stratford still offers a wealth of culinary variety for all tastes and cravings. Visitors and locals alike are sure to find fresh favourites without having to look far. We’ll cherish our memories of Madelyn’s comfort food and hospitality as we make new discoveries ahead. In this article, we’ve reviewed top alternatives such as Bijou, Pazzo Pizzeria, Fellini’s Italian Cucina, Demetre’s Family Eatery, and Braai House among those highly rated options in Stratford.