Dundurn Market 346 Dundurn Street

By Ciara McCann

Names can be deceiving. Dundurn Market is not exactly a “market,” but something much more.

From the outside, it looks like an elegant New York restaurant with a bold letter “D” stenciled on the window, shaded by a chic black and white awning. Inside, I slowly discovered the true concept behind Dundurn Market, and it’s a really smart one. Part café, part takeout counter, with the warm and comforting feel of a traditional neighbourhood market. A place to do some light grocery shopping, while also experiencing the sights, sounds and tastes of your favourite restaurant.

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Upon entering on a recent Friday evening, a friendly young man named Colin greeted me. He asked if I was looking for something for dinner or just browsing around. After a long day at work I knew I wasn’t going to cook, so I asked him what they had to go.

Behind the L-shaped counter at the back of the market, there were a number colourful pots and pans, each one containing a different main and side dish – chicken parmesan, roasted potatoes, rice pilaf, pulled pork, cooked vegetables and a mushroom lasagna. Colin said the lasagna was a big hit that day – they had just replenished the last batch with a brand new one. One glance at the layers of mushroom and cream sauce topped with baked cheddar and I knew it had to be mine. I opted for the “Dinner for One” special and chose the lasagna, assorted vegetables and potatoes – a wholesome Friday night meal, much better than the same old weekend pizza delivery.

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While Colin arranged my dinner, I browsed around and surveyed an assortment of fresh fruits and vegetables lined-up neatly in crates, along with fresh baked pies, jars filled to the brim with cookies, imported and local sauces, jams and pickles and one last bouquet of flowers in a hanging tin pot. There was also a surprisingly large area to sit down and stay for a meal or coffee, decorated with an inviting brown leather couch and round Parisian-style tables.

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I asked Colin to recommend a dessert. He showed me some pecan tarts, banana bread and carrot cake. He then pointed to a jar of maple bacon cookies and said he didn’t have a chance to try them yet but they sounded pretty tasty. I trusted his recommendation and grabbed one from the jar, along with some bananas for my morning smoothie.

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At the checkout counter, I admired a tall wall of exposed brick and wooden shelves displaying bags of coffee. I was already looking forward to coming again on a Saturday to get comfy on the leather couch and sip an espresso while reading the paper.



My final bill was under $20, and after taking the first bite of my lasagna I thought it was an excellent price for the quality, portion size and taste.

It’s exciting to see Dundurn Market joining a burgeoning community of eateries in the Dundurn St. South area, including Cake & Loaf Bakery and Aberdeen Tavern. Hamilton’s newest café/market/takeout hybrid is set win over the hearts of foodies and families alike.

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kristin
ihearthamiltontour@gmail.com
Kristin Archer is the creator of I Heart Hamilton (www.ihearthamilton.ca), where she has blogged about experiences around her hometown since 2011, growing an influential social media presence along the way. Encouraging locals to “be a tourist in your own city,” she promotes arts and culture across her various social media platforms, blog, and weekly radio show on 93.3 CFMU.

7 thoughts on “DUNDURN MARKET: PUTTING A NEW TWIST ON AN OLD NEIGHBOURHOOD TRADITION”

  1. fantastic place, have the carrot cake for dessert, it’s fantastic the best I’ve ever had.

  2. The quality of the food is really good( minus the hair I found in my Bacon and Tomato Melt) I was trying to look up the store online, and brought me to their website, where it says I can order from their “fancy-smancy mobile app” but I was unable to find said app on my phone, was looking forward to getting my delivery via bicycle… They were serving a quiche, which looked delish, but it was not on any of the menus… Not saying this is a terrible place, just that a little organization is required. Also their bowl of “fresh fruit” was hardly fresh, and charging $1.00 for a rotting apple is a little much. Great environment and great caring staff, but if your going to allow pets in the store, make sure the hair doesn’t get in my food.

    1. it’s coming! I work at the Aberdeen Tavern next door, same owners, and we were just talking about this during brunch today. the website is currently under construction and will allow online ordering. the Market is still coming into it’s own and has evolved significantly since opening (including features) and will continue to do so – and as with anything young, comes with it’s own growing pains. thank-you for coming in! as for the pets thing, definitely not allowed.

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