by Michelle Blackley
What you eat is where you are - and there's no better way to know a destination than through its food. Niagara USA is home to 800 farms, 20 wineries, one brewery and even a cideria, so it's no wonder that our culture has seeped into some of the best eateries around.
In Niagara Falls, there are one-of-a-kind restaurants so authentic, so beloved by locals and visitors alike, that I can't imagine visiting the Honeymoon Capital of the World without experiencing them.
Like many cities in the U.S., Niagara Falls saw an influx of Italian immigrants in search of a better life for themselves and their families in the early 1900s. The legacy of this movement includes amazing restaurants where recipes from the old country are found on the menus.
Here is a trio of some not-to-miss haunts while in Niagara Falls USA.
Not much has changed at Fortuna's since 1945 - not even the sauce and salad dressing recipes. For authentic Italian food, head to Fortuna's - in Little Italy, near Niagara Falls State Park. Every generous dish can be enjoyed in a cozy atmosphere or ordered for take out.
Try the antipasta and don't skip the handmade gnocchi or ravioli. Steak, veal, poultry and fresh seafood are also on the menu.
Fortuna's is located at 827 19th St., Niagara Falls.
As much of a landmark as the falls themselves, the Como Restaurant is another great option in Little Italy. Four generations of the Antonacci and Colucci families have been perfecting specialized Italian dishes, which are still prepared in true old-world style. Every dish is a reflection of Francesco Antonacci, who started the business in 1927. Try a pasta dish, and pair it with one of the Como's many wines.
The restaurant is open for lunch, dinner and take out. Visitors can also catch a meal as they are leaving town, as the Como has a second location, which is just past the Niagara Falls International Airport.
As seen on the Food Network, the Como Restaurant is not to be missed.
The Como Restaurant is located 2220 Pine Ave., Niagara Falls.
Wine on Third Pizza Bistro
For a modern version of Italian - pizza, that is - head over to Wine on Third Pizza Bistro for lunch, or its neighbor, Wine on Third, for dinner. Brick oven pizzas with unique toppings, and a fresh chef salad with house dressing, make for a perfect lunch.
Wine on Third has an expanded menu, including sushi, tapas and more. Don't forget its happy hour and drink menu - and the excellent wine list and scrumptious martinis will leave you toasting the Cataract City.
Wine on Third is located at 501 Third St., Niagara Falls.