What to See On Your First Visit to London, Ontario

  • By Tourism London

Spending the day in London for the first time would not be complete without a self-guided walking tour. Start your journey at the iconic Covent Garden Market, a local tradition since 1845. Grab a coffee from the specialty-roaster Hasbeans in the market and take advantage of the free Wi-Fi. Take a leisurely stroll through the market and talk to the many specialty vendors. Every Thursday evening and Saturday morning in season, a bustling farmers’ market sets up outdoors in the square with locally-grown food direct from area farmers, growers and producers. 
Covent Garden Market

In and around the market are a number of specialty retailers — Jill’s Table, styled as a “Feast of Kitchen Essentials” alone could make a visit to London worth the trip — as well as a hub of friendly restaurants, bars and cafés along King and Talbot Streets. 
Jill’s Table

Visit London’s local upmarket eatery, Abruzzi Ristorante for house-cured charcuterie, risotto or a plate of delicious handmade pasta. Across the street, Waldo’s on King is the perfect spot for pre-Budweiser Gardens dinner or drinks. Be sure to try the braised beef short rib poutine with goat cheese and foie gras sauce. Waldo’s also have one of the best Caesar salads in town.
Abruzzi Ristorante

Around the corner on Talbot Street is the legendary eatery, The Early Bird. The “Bird” is the go-to spot for locals and those in-the-know. Trademark diner fare includes the King-sized Turducken club with turkey, chicken and duck; perogie poutine with duck or mushroom gravy, and sweet tea-brined crispy chicken and waffles. They offer a signature “eggs benny” on weekends.
The Early Bird

Walk west on King to Ridout Street, turn north. If you are wondering  what that castle looking structure is, it’s the Middlesex County Courthouse. You can’t visit inside but it makes a great photo opportunity. 
Middlesex County Courthouse

Take a walk around The Forks of the Thames which is the centerpiece of the Thames River redevelopment. Afterwards, you can pop into Museum London to view the museum’s art collection or walk north to the historic Eldon House for a tour of the stately residence and its striking heritage gardens. 
The Forks of the Thames

On Dundas Street, you can lose yourself in comic books at the award-winning Heroes Comics or LA Mood Comics and Games. Browse the amazing vinyl collection at Grooves or grab a cold-pressed juice at Rebel Remedy. Follow that with a poke around indie boutiques like Über Cool and galleries like Jonathon Bancroft-Snell Gallery. which features Canada’s largest collection of modern museum quality ceramics.  
Heroes Comics

After lunch head over to the Old East Village where the area bustles with shops, restaurants, cafés, and home to the city’s only workers co-operative and fully organic farm-to-table restaurant, The Root Cellar. For a bit of soothing relaxation and some lighter fare stop by Wisdom: Café, Teashop and Japanese Creperie for a selection of loose leaf teas, some traditional matcha or one of their delicious crepes rolled into an easy-to-eat cone.
The Root Cellar

The vintage and retro scene is thriving and Old East shops offer up meticulously curated mid-century merchandise including retro furnishings and fixtures, art and vintage glass. Shops like Funky Find and Mitch’s Treasures attract serious collectors and those aficionados who just enjoy the thrill of the hunt. While you’re in the neighbourhood be sure to take in The London Potters Guild or stay for some evening entertainment at the Palace Theatre or Aeolian Hall.
The London Potters Guild

Take a stroll on Richmond Row with its upscale shops like David E. White Clothier and Hangar 9, as well as other chic boutiques, salons and cafés. With wide sidewalks and leafy trees, Richmond Row is home to some of the most culturally-diverse restaurants in the city.
Richmond Row

For dinner, indulge in some locally-sourced fare from “swear by” spots like Black Trumpet, Garlic’s of London or The Church Key Bistro. Drop by Milo’s Craft Beer Emporium, one of Ontario’s premier craft beer destinations also known for its farm-to-table food. Afterwards, take in a play at the Grand Theatre, one of Ontario’s most venerated venues.
The Grand Theatre

Before heading to your hotel, stop by The Tasting Room for a night cap and a late-night nibble to wrap up your first taste of the city.
The Tasting Room

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