Happy Wanderer Restaurant - Niagara Falls

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Cuisine: European
6405 Stanley Avenue, Niagara Falls, Ontario  L2G 3Y6 Canada 905-354-9825

       
   

This place is a HOOT! Vintage...walk in the door and see the tables & chairs from the 50's. Kitzh all the way. Menu is varied and prices are reasonable. Ya can tell its a family owned restaurant cuz no owner would put up with the people that work there (unless they're relatives..which they are). Blast from the past. If you're feelin' nostalgic...give it a go...but don't expect too much. Quick, someone sing something German and pass me a stein of beer

If you're looking for a true German experience then this is your place. Reminiscent of a small Beer Garden in Rudesheim along the Rhine Vally. Food's wonderful, and the beer is served at a perfect temperature. I would suggest whatever your menu choice you start with the Goulsh Soup... Service was provided by a wonderful elderly german women dressed in traditional clothing, so don't hesitate to practice your high school germany if you still remember any.

Terrific! The restaurant doesn't take reservations but had plenty of space to accomodate a party of 14 (walk-up). The food was great. The service was excellent...wait staff very attentive and on the ball. I thought the menu was a little pricey but it is a tourist area and therefore, probably, very competitive with any other restaurant. The menu also had quite a variety, too. Schnitzel, spatzke, Hungarian Goulash (like American beef stew, not like American goulash), potato pancakes, saurbraten, Becks and Heinekin Beer...Several desserts, too = apple struedel, black forest cake, cheesecake. Overall, an awesome experience. Worth the experience. And the decor was extraordinary with authentic fixtures and furniture.

Very authentic right down to the clothing worn by the wait staff. The food was right on the money and plenty of it. This was our second visit and both were excellent. The staff was courteous and interactive with the customers. They were willing to pose for some "as close to authentic" German photos as one could get without crossing the ocean. The prices were nominal and actually better than down the street to Clifton Hill. Also on hand is a large variety domestic and German beers. The restauant is conveniently located within walking distance of the newer Casino and The Hilton as well as other Fallsview hotels. Make sure you sign the guset book as they keep them forever and it's fun to look back to when you visited.

Called a week in advance for a planned 50th birthday celebration . Arrived to find they had no liquior liscence. Left less than 10% gratuity as the service did not warrant a large tip. Waitress made a scene in front of the other partrons insisting it was law to leave 15% gratuity. Told us not to come back if we did not like the way we were treated.

We saw an ad for this restaurant, and that they had a $1.99 breakfast, which they described as "Niagara Falls Most Memorable Breakfast". Anyway, we decided it was worth a try, especially since the building looked interesting. They open at 8 a.m. and we arrived about 8:30. A waitress seated us quickly and brought us menus. There was nothing about a $1.99 breakfast on the menu, so I asked about it. The waitress sniffed, a little exasperated that I would ask (because her tip would go down?), and said that, yes they had it and it consisted of two eggs, hash browns, and two slices of toast. Perfect! We all ordered it and it was pretty good, but is also a meal that's difficult to mess up. A cup of coffee was about the same price as the meal and was also good. Apparently the "Most Memorable" part of the breakfast is that if you don't remember to ask for it, you won't get it. I'd go again for the cheap breakfast, but probably for no other reason. Service was okay, the food was adequate, and the atmosphere was pure "beer hall, the morning after". I guess it was memorable after all.

Great Food Very Friendly Service, Love the dresses!!!!

My husband and I have dined here on a few occasions. As my husband is of German descent, he really wanted to see how close to homemade German cooking this restaurant really had. Both of us were really blown away! The Hungarian Goulash is exactly as his mother has made it for years! The food is incredible and the atmosphere is a bit dark, but an appropriate representation of the German culture. Overall, if you really like authentic German food, then this is the restaurant for you. The prices are reasonable and the food is delicious! If it weren't for the need for a passport, my husband and I would definetely visit again!

I read the other reviews before going to this restaurant. The bad reviews were accurate. If you read all the reviews, you'll get an accurate picture of the restaurant. The vegetables were terrible, definitely freezer burnt. I had the spaetzle with my dinner and they were acceptable but not homemade. Each plate had the same vegetables, the side of potatoes and the meat in the center. Since six of us ate, it was easy to see the plates came off an assembly line, nothing special. I personally like red cabbage, but it may not go with all items on the menu. The fish was a bad copy of frozen, battered, no-name grocery store fish. Don't expect top notch food here. We must have been lucky with service. While she didn't speak German, she was friendly.

i love ur french yogi lmao ! kianna

My family and I patronized the Happy Wanderer Restaurant in Niagara Falls. Everyone hated it except for me. It reminded me of my youth when I was in Army Basic Training; bad found and disciplinary drill sergeants. The waitress reminded me of my old drill sergeant who was a Vietnam war veteran who would tag team you with other drill sergeants just to make it seem everyone was against you. The waitress at the Happy Wanderer did the same thing, when we did not order enough food she walked away from me while I was talking to her and assigned a different waitress, but not before chastising me for failing to discipline my 10 month old daughter for trying to grab the menu. The food reminded me of army field rations (bland, dry, canned, etc.) except you will pay even more than the U.S. Army pays for things. The waitress was so old and mean I think she came to Canada sometime between 1933 and 1945 because she was too mean to join the German Army at that time. If you did not do your duty and spend a couple years in the service- you can make for it by going to this restaurant- it will make a man out of you, but bring someone else’s credit card.

Obviously something bad happened at the Happy Wanderer during the time that elapsed while these reviews were posted. If all was good, they surely wouldn't have closed! Thanks for the clue that they were Under New Management at some point. BINGO!! In the late 70s, early 80s - when we, as teenagers, used to get mom's car and pile a bunch of our friends in and head down to the Falls for the evening, this was a 'dress-up' restaurant, and the clientele was better-heeled than most, and I believe there used to be dancing on the weekend too. The schnitzel-lovers in the group insisted we eat there once, and - while I don't recall the meal at all, it was with fondness that I spotted the Happy Wanderer once again, c. 2005. My husband and I were looking for a dinner spot after a day at the Niagara Ice Wine Festival that January, when we spotted the rustic Bavarian hut window all aglow thru the frosty panes from a distance. It was a nostalgic trip down memory lane, just our kind of throwback place! At least 3 other tables were full, which is all one would expect on a Sunday in January, and 2 German ladies behind us were discussing the Hitler days over their schnitzels, so we figured if they eat here, it must be okay! Still - we were in a tourist trap, so we were wary. But in the end, pleasantly surprised! Hubby had schnitzel, and loved it. I ordered the veal stroganoff - at least it's not deep-fried, and it arrived piping hot with lots of meat, served with the most delicious and obviously homemade spaetzle that had been lightly pan-fried in a bit of real butter to give them a flavourful crunch under the stroganoff. Red cabbage filled out our plates, and everything went really well with our German beer! I'm thinking "Mama was in the kitchen" that visit! We were having such a pleasant time that we ordered apple strudel and coffee, both good. The crusty old waitress was fine, and we even engaged her in conversation. My husband attended school in Switzerland, so he spoke to her in German, but she claimed not to understand German (yeah right!) Nary a raised eyebrow when we got up from the table to read the plethora of grime-tinged postcards from Old Papa on his travels that adorn one of the wooden walls. So, this stroganoff/spaetzle combo stayed on my mind, and the next year, we looked forward to having dinner there again after the wineries. We were the only diners, although some rather large and hungry men came in before we were done, and that 1.99 breakfast sign had appeared in the window. Times are tough in the Falls for year-round businesses, but I did wonder about how one sustains pricey ingredients in a restaurant kitchen when you can't count on a definite bottom line from day to day. We ordered the same meal, and it arrived in fine form. Hubby offered me a taste of his piping hot schnitzel, and the veal had that 'just-starting-to-turn' taste to it. He didn't seem to mind, and made short work of his meal. My stroganoff plate looked the same, but the spaetzle were not prepared with care this time, and did have that uniform ready-made look about them. The red cabbage had been made a couple of days ago, but was not bad - just not as good as the first time! Trepidaciously, I bit into a chunk of veal, anticipating some awkward treatment as I returned it to the kitchen, but fortunately my veal chunks did not suffer from the same fate as the schnitzel. The mood was definitely different, and there seemed to be some sort of family tiff going on between the stern old Fraulein and the dippy younger hausfrau server, because she awkwardly stood at the butler station fidgeting with a newspaper, and only zipped into the kitchen while the older one was out front in the dining room. We skipped dessert that time. No tip hassles for us, but I find the brusque demands other reviewers have written about absolutely hilarious! So typical for career waitresses in Europe, and now - in Canada too! The past couple of times we haven't even sought out the Happy Wanderer, but it isn't at all surprising that they have shut down. They no doubt got rid of their head cook/chef to save money and the switch to readymade did them in, as it should have. Now, who out there is going to start an Eastern European place of their own, as the locals and tourists are feeling a void!

Glad to see that the happy grease went out of buisness. Place was dirty , service was slow and food was awful and greasy.

My husband and I ate at the Happy Wanderer in 1989 and we still joke about it. It was the single worst meal we'd ever endured. Canned veggies and gravy - dark, dusty and we were seated practically in the front doorway.

LOVED THIS RESTAURANT GREAT AUTHENTIC GERMAN FOOD . JUST WISH THERE WAS A OMP PAH PAH BAND. I CANT WAIT TO GO THERE. ONE OF MY 1ST PLACES I GO TO WHEN I VISIT NIAGRA FALLS. I HAVE NEVER BEEN DISAPOINTED OVER THE PAST 15 YEARS I HAVE BEEN GOING THERE. WILL VISIT OCTOBER AGAIN

Unbelievable!!
Arrived, sign says "wait to be seated". Waitress shouts from somewhere "sit anywhere". We do, ask what is on draft and are informed that since "the restaurant is under new management, there is no liquor license"; at least not for two more days. Funny, there was none 6 months ago either, according to one of these reviews.
Ask waitress, in German, what is better; Wiener Schnitzel or Schweinebraten; waitress, though dressed the part, does not speak German and leans toward the Schnitzel. Goulash soup comes and is delicious, accompanying bread is as dry as a desert, hard and stale. (The roman numerals depicting the "best before date" should have been a clue to us). The Schitzel came greasy, red cabbage and beans straight out of a can, instant mashed potatoes with ready-made gravy (from the fifties) would have been any pig's delight, but we were not amused. I enjoyed the music once switched from noise to authentic German folk and pop. In summary, the food was atrocious, (save the goulash), the place was grey with dust throughout and the waitress surly at best. We were the only 3 diners and should have cought on that there was probably a good reason for this. The washroom (men's) was clean, the carpets filthy, the entire event very embarrassing as our guest did not finish his Hamburger. He said something like he was not hungry since he had breakfast at 8:30 that morning and it was only about 5:30pm when we were served. At least my measly 10% tip was accepted without threats of eviction. If you have never been there, keep it that way; if you're with someone you want to disown you, bring her/him along and make sure you stick to the goulash. Ah yes, bring your own bread.

Big disappointment as the food was very bland and dry as well. Mashed potatoes, (instant?) were scooped onto plate with an ice cream scooper, veggies right out of the freezer bag, and gravy from a can. No presentation, no passion, even the service was bland. Big disappointment.

This is by far, the best restaurant I have been to in Niagara Falls. I would definetely return here. The service and food were absolutely wonderful. If possible, ask to be served by Erika.

Pleasant atmosphere, authentic dining room and kind and patient staff. the best dining experience in the Fallsview area.

Just happened to stop by for breakfast. Great food. good atmosphere; a little warm in the restaurant but it was very good.

Terrrible disappointment. We were the only diners at the time (Indication?) The schnitzel was good, but the vegetables strait from the freezer bag and the fries greasy, but the home fries were good. Unpleasant service, premises not clean and music from radio station, not real German music as expected in a place like this. As I gave her my credit card when presented with the bill, she asked me if she should add a 15% service charge, but I replied that I would take care of the tip myself. Since our experience had been unpleasant, I decided to be charitable and added only 10%, which I considered more than warranted. The waitress stayed right at our table until I had completed and signed the transaction slip. When I gave it to her she was heard to say "Oh brother" and was obviously miffed. We will NEVER return to this place!

Went for my birthday with family (5 people) since it looked "campy". Service was terrible, food pretty bad too. Waitress tried to sneak 15% tip on to our bill, when tip left was less than 15% she shouted at my family - including following us out the door shouting. Several months later another charge for Happy Wanderer for the exact previous total mysteriously turned up on credit card bill. Guess she thought she'd get her tip another way... Credit card company reversed the charge, but I would never, never return.

Hahaha...It is very true what is being said about the Happy Wanderer. With instant Mashed Potatoes and Gravy that they added water too and heated, and budget schnitzel that you could find in any freezer section of your supermarket - the food is not good. The Chef was ruder than the waitresses. He came out of the kitchen and just glared at us like we killed his dog or something. Waitresses are too funny. They wear the full getup german beerhall maiden outfit - only they do not look sexy at all in it. However, they are actually the only friendly thing about the place. I was happy to be full after my meal, until we received a $100 check for food you could buy for $30 at a grocery store. It is not worth it to go to this restaurant.

GOOD $1.99 BREAKFAST, ALOT OF PEOPLE COMPLAINING THAT THE COFFEE WAS $1.75, but that is everywhere. Don't want to pay $1.75 for the coffee , DON'T ORDER IT! Every place we check,the breakfast was between 
$7-12.95 (w/o coffee.) Yes the waitresses weren't 20 yrs.old but they get the job done. We ate there three times in two days. The night menu... all our party (7) loved it.All was friendly to us. So I guess you reap what you sow.

The absolute worst dining experience & service I have ever encountered. Sick as a dog for 2 days. That pretty much says it all!

First let me begin by saying that I will NEVER EVER BE RETURNING to this restaurant again. I have never in my life left a restaurant without leaving a tip. Well this was a first. The food was ok. The atmosphere was cute (yet dark and dirty) but the waitress (the old lady who in my opinion should have retired 20 years ago)was a complete B_T__H (you fill in the blanks)Not once, not twice but three times during our visit she rolled her eyes and actually let out a sigh along with looking at us like we were aliens. The first time was because we asked if they had cabbage soup (roll of the eyes and a look like we had just landed from outer space) second time was because my friend asked if she could have double mashed potatoes instead of the vegetable (side: potatoes obviously instant)_this came with the sigh and a bit of a grunt (I kid you not) and the third time was because we asked for seperate bills (I beleive she almost fainted at that request)....WELL that was it. I paid the bill (and not one cent more)and as we were getting up to leave she reminded us (infront of the other guests) that the bill did not include tip, and actually stood there waiting for a tip. Needless to say she did NOT get one and with that we walked out (as she stomped away)Gratuity is a gift of money for a service well done.....hhhmmm????

Most of the reviews explains why the parking lot was always empty...well it's gone now and I hope they put a good restuarant there...The best place close to the casino's is Wolfgang Puck...the most expensive dish is like $18....

I lived in Niagara Falls, ONTArio for over 45 years and always went to eat at that restaurand. Now we live in the North of Ontario and miss this restaurant. Good food and wery excellent waitresses. Some people are never happy unless the food is FREE. A shame of some people

Thirty four years My wife and I frequented this restaurant as newlyweds many night while we honeymooned from Canada to the Carolinas USA . We remember it fondly as in those days it was itself new . We do not remember any of the pejorative qualities describes by those who have written comments here. One thing is certain change is inevitable and what is for many years very good can become oh so bad .However it bears noting that some people should never frequent restaurants or any other establishments,far from the truth often are the stories they tell leaving most notably out of the account what insufferable patrons they are themselves , arrogant in mannerism crude in conduct to staff and owners alike.
Conveniently they leave this aspect of accountability out of the story. The Happy Wanderer was a decent family restaurant in a tourist trap area and in my opinion did well at performing as such.Although 40 years of managing a
business is capable of souring anyone to a task I wonder if its demise has more to do with the classless pretentious generations which came into being from the 1980`s to present . A rhetorical question really I know that it is likely the latter which caused it because in dealing with the public all of my working career one truth stands above all others:90% customers 
patrons ,or consumers ,are obnoxious rude and uncouth knuckle dragging imbeciles:oafs who would be better served from outside the cage where they would be more comfortable aboding 
as opposed to being allowed free range in society.
Sorry to see it closed , moreover the negativity surrounding its reputation before finally closing its doors.
If only it could be revived to its former
status of 34 years ago.Really too bad.
I had recommended to a friend that he should visit it while touring the Falls , I will have to amend my recommendation .

 

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