McCartney & Son 282 James Street North

I eat healthy and am pretty good about working in all my fruits and veggies. So when I’m out and I’m presented with the soup, salad, or fries option, I always go with the fries. Treat yo self! But when a salad comes as appetizing as the ones Chef Shane McCartney is dishing up at McCartney & Son, the salad ends up being quite a treat.


The “Salad Emporium and Eatery” has been open for a few months now in what used to be a fish market. It’s near Jack & Lois, where Shane used to run the kitchen and designed their delicious menu. He ventured on to create a new restaurant, filling a gap in the Hamilton food scene by coming up with a 15-foot salad bar.

You can create your own salad by choosing from about 70 different ingredients, or do what I did and choose one from the menu. I went with the “West Coaster” – avocado, tomato, corn, cheddar cheese, and red onion on romaine and topped with homemade red pepper dressing. Delish!

West Coaster salad
West Coaster salad
Ham & Swiss sandwich
Ham & Swiss sandwich

Also on the menu are soups and sandwiches. The soups change daily and the sandwiches vary in size. You can choose from the 4oz, 6oz, and 8oz. My dad sampled the Jambalaya soup and the Ham & Swiss sandwich. Breads come from Ola Bakery, just a few storefronts down, and from Cake & Loaf. It looked like his sandwich was made from C&L’s classic Cheddar Onion Beer loaf.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a hip place on James North without some local art. I love the colourful pieces by Kiki LeFont that line the pale green and brick walls. My favourite is the rainbow-coloured canvas that reads, “What’s meant to be will always find a way.” Beautiful! The sentiment really hit me. I also really like the guitar-shaped piece that has the face of This Ain’t Hollywood’s Lou Molinaro on it.

Art by Kiki LeFont
Art by Kiki LeFont

It was a bright, cheery atmosphere, and I know with the warmer weather will come and even greater craving for those leafy greens. If you’re lucky, you’ll snag the coveted booth right at the front window, a prime place to people-watch along the street.

– Kristin

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Kristin Archer is the creator of I Heart Hamilton (, where she has blogged about experiences around her hometown since 2011, growing a 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.

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