Benchmark

4.5
1227 reviews
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CAN$30 and under
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Contemporary American
The Canadian Food and Wine Institute's state of the art facilities are nestled into 114 acres of abundant Niagara land.
Benchmark is the next evolution of the hands-on learning process. Students begin their careers in the culinary and hospitality industry at this unique teaching restaurant.
Benchmark has been created to offer local, fresh food options for college students, staff and the external community at affordable prices.

Features of Benchmark include a focus on fresh, local and Canadian cuisine, an educational kitchen and food, wine and beer pairings. We welcome all students, staff and members of the community to experience Benchmark.
What 1227 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.4
food
4.4
service
4.4
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Quiet
92% of people would recommend it to a friend
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AM
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Very polite staff.. great food and awesome prices!

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SD
Toronto
5 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

Second visit and Benchmark did not disappoint. High standards. Great service. Delicious food. I wish the menu was a bit more extensive but considering that its winter, i completely understand. You KNOW that its a freshly picked green when you take the first bite. Kudos.

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D
Toronto
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food, ambiance and service are superb! With a spectacular view of the escarpment and a beautiful dining room you will not be disappointed. The food is creative and also elegant with service to match. Benchmark is a wonderful dining experience for a lovely lunch or special occasion!

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OT
Toronto
1 review
Dined on December 12, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 4

Birthday celebration

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BM
1 review
Dined on December 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This was our first visit in a couple of years, and it did not disappoint! The gluten-free options were plentiful. We especially enjoyed the tempura fries. The entrees were fabulous and the service was great. We were not rushed at all and were able to linger over cappuccino and cafe au lait (in lieu of the flourless chocolate cake which we resisted). A lovely place to celebrate any occasion, it was a bit pricey but definitely worth it.

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ST
Toronto
1 review
Dined on December 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

I am a new local to the area and heard about this place. Pleasantly surprised and will be going again soon.

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PF
Toronto
1 review
Dined on December 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I love dining at Benchmarks and am never disappointed with the food, service or ambiance. I do wish that the lunch menu had a few more, reasonably priced options. I don't think a $30 entrée really works for lunch. How about a pasta? I did feel that my options were limited to burgers or pizza. However, it was an outstanding burger.

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L
Toronto
16 reviews
Dined on November 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My girlfriend & I always go to Benchmark for our day out. We love the scallops & parsnip soup. The service is always excellent. Very well priced & gluten friendly.

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R
Toronto
9 reviews
Dined on November 24, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Deserving of a Michelin star. No joke. Just fantastic.

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c
Toronto
6 reviews
Dined on November 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fabulous lunch and great service!

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OT
1 review
Dined on November 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food. They need to put a few signs from the road so it is found easier. Google takes you to the residents instead.

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LF
1 review
Dined on November 11, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Nice use of local seasonal ingredients with lovely presentation of our meals. Appreciated that they accomodated my request to include a birthday candle on a dessert order.

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SP
1 review
Dined on November 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

our golf foursome always makes a point of going to Benchmark on our annual shopping trip to Niagara-on-the-lake in November.We have never been disappointed.there was something for everyone on the menu and each one was outstanding. Our server was knowledgeable about the wine list and gave great service
and the desserts were to die for . The prices are outstanding and it's always one of the highlights of our trip.
Keep up the great work.!....Benchmarks is a gem!

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OT
Toronto
2 reviews
Dined on November 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

The dining experience is awesome. From the hostess to our waitress everyone is courteous and pleasant. The food is fantastic. Absolutely fresh and tasty. Will definitely come back again.

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SR
Orlando
1 review
Dined on October 30, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

As a culinary training restaurant, great wine options to showcase student and local wines. Food well prepared overall. Pizza offers inconsistent, crusts too thick.

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BS
Toronto
2 reviews
Dined on October 27, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 2ambience 3

We were very excited to try out Benchmark and support Niagara College while visiting the area. However, our experience was less than stellar. Service was subpar and we waited 1.5 hours from the time we sat down to the time God’s arrived. A bit long even considering we took a few extra minutes to ponder the menu. I would by say they were overly busy, but too busy to handle? We paid the $3.00 for a bread basket but the 6 pieces it came with were hardly enough the keep the 4 of us satisfied until dinner. Food was good, but not great.

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AN
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on October 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

First time at Benchmark and it did not disappoint. Will definitely be back.

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CJ
Toronto
1 review
Dined on October 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My wife and I have previously visited Benchmark restaurant and enjoyed the excellent service, the quality of the food, the cleanliness of everything in the restaurant - as well as the reasonably priced menu. This was the first time that we brought our friends and their 3 and 1/2 year old daughter. To my surprise and relief, the hostess put my concerns at ease by immediately bringing crayons for the youngster. Not only is Benchmark restaurant a family and adult enjoyable location for fine dining; but I can also recommend Benchmark to those with children. Thank you, Benchmark, for a very enjoyable experience.

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C
Toronto
3 reviews
Dined on October 26, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Benchmark is always outstanding. The students do it all and they do a fantastic job. The setting is scenic and the prices are terrific; this is a learning exercise rather than a strictly for-profit business. It's, frankly, the best deal in Niagara on the Lake, bar none.

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S
Toronto
12 reviews
Dined on October 21, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

I know this is nitpicking but crust on my crème brûlée was almost burnt, but still good.
If I had to give a mark, (seeing this is a college), I would give ‘C’.

Joanne Young

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J
1 review
Dined on October 20, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 2ambience 3

Myself and my daughter in laws went for one of their birthdays for lunch. Everything we ordered had no flavour. We shared the squash tempurA, if not for the sauce , nothing. Then we order 2 pizzas , the gentlemen said it was the size of a dinner plate, they were the size of approx. 7” pizza but there was 1 inch around edge with nothing but dough, and lacking items on it flavourless. Ordered two orders of fries as side they were cold our response was it is already 1:30 we close soon! Excuse me, but you are open now. N8thing was said about a birthday, not impressed. Brenda

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a
Toronto
24 reviews
Dined on October 19, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Seven of us gathered for an evening meal and conversation expecting a fine meal, maybe a little different or experimental. Our expectations were met with two things in particular, the tempura fried butternut squash (none of us regular restaurant goers having ever heard of this before) and the very 'delicate' butter poached Fogo Island cod. One of our group had the steak and found it perfectly done and one had the cavatelli alfredo that also went over very well. And to wrap up evening with a nice bow, the service was excellent. We will be back yet again.

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JO
1 review
Dined on October 16, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

The quality of our lunch was decent. By charging $3 for a basket of rolls and $3 for a glass of 'home made Perrier,' the restaurant came across as 'cheap', ironic for the cost of the mains was pricey. They would have been better off to have included the price with the mains and upped the overall cost. The tap water had an off-taste, a bit rusty, well-water perhaps, off enough to affect the overall experience. Quite a let-down from the 'old days', but I suppose 'the only constant is change' holds here also.

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R
Cleveland
10 reviews
Dined on October 13, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Stopped in for lunch while wine tasting in the region for the weekend. We like the innovative menu, the freshness of the food and the attention to detail. We know that this is planned and executed by culinary students and that enhances the experience. Every one is friendly and goes the extra mile to make sure you not only like what you are served but they want you to enjoy the experience as well.

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j
Cleveland
4 reviews
Dined on October 12, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 4

For an appetizer we tried the panko breaded and fried butternut squash. The squash was inconsistently done. Some pieces were cooked thoroughly while others were undercooked and still crunchy. The lemon aioli served with the squash was great, but there was not enough of it. For entrees we had scallops and cod. No issues with the scallops, but the cod was very bland as if no seasoning had been used during cooking. We understand this is a teaching facility, but the staff should be keeping a closer eye on the quality of dishes being served.

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AS
Toronto
2 reviews
Dined on October 12, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I had a spectacular dinner with “my girls” my two daughters in law. We enjoy the awesome dinner and our time together. This will be an event we will happily repeat.
Looking forward to enjoying a meal with my four sisters in the future. Thank you for a great memorable evening.

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HG
Toronto
7 reviews
Dined on October 12, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Loved our meal and our server was great! We came from out of town and the trip was worth it. Everybody was very friendly.

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TP
New York Area
1 review
Dined on October 11, 2018
Overall 2food 1service 2ambience 3

We have eaten at the Benchmark several times in the past and enjoyed the experience. On this occasion the menu was somewhat limited and there were no specials. We were told by our server that the menu only changes seasonally. For a culinary college one would have expected the dishes to change on a daily basis. The food was unexceptional, especially the pizza which was the size of a small plate with a wide rim of crust. Everything was grossly overpriced. We will not be returning.

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G
1 review
Dined on October 10, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

I find that the menu needs to change more frequently

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SF
Toronto
9 reviews
Dined on October 5, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food is always amazing but the servers make the experience the most enjoyable with their enthusiasm, care and knowledge.

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b
Toronto
2 reviews
Dined on October 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

First experience with wine tasting. Will be back. Great food and very attentive service.

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E
Toronto
4 reviews
Dined on October 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great attentive service. Outstanding food. Lovely venue.

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SB
1 review
Dined on September 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Benchmark is a favorite whenever I am in Niagara on the Lake. I brought my aunt and cousin who were travelling from Alberta and they loved it! I had the duck breast and it was sublime! The red wine taster to accompany was thoughtfully chosen for me, and I thought they did an excellent job. Keep up the great work!

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CB
Toronto
1 review
Dined on September 28, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 4

We had a great hostess and server. Food was delicious. We will definitely be back when we are in the areaz

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JP
Toronto
2 reviews
Dined on September 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The freshness of the food, and the quality of the service and menu at Benchmark are outstanding. The ambience is great and it was lovely to be able to stroll around the college campus after lunch, visiting the greenhouse, brewery and wine tasting facility. Benchmark is an easy drive from Burlington, nestled on a scenic property below the Niagara Escarpment, just minutes away from the QEW. Top marks to everyone involved in the success of this wonderful facility!

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SU
1 review
Dined on September 25, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 4

"The cod was delicious" "the duck was very good". the soup was awesome!
The fries were very average and didnt appear to be handcut (? frozen) they were a little burnt.
The burger was average...needs more flavour.

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KP
Toronto
10 reviews
Dined on September 23, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

We didn't realize when we reserved a table that all the food is grown cooked and served by students until you walked through the college doors. The restaurant itself is in a cylindrical room with lots of windows and has a nice ambiance. We shared some bread and salad for an appetizer both were really fresh tasting. For the main we had the tofu and the scallops. The scallops were amazing and one of the most popular dishes which was very flavourful and good presentation. The tofu was fried, it lacked a bit of flavour but if you are it along with the vegetables it had a bit of a kick.
Overall a good experience.

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BB
1 review
Dined on September 22, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 4ambience 4

Steak was over cooked and main meal portions were very small...

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SB
1 review
Dined on September 22, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

The Kenyan ambassador and his delegation were there for lunch. Fun for people watching.

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KT
Cleveland
1 review
Dined on September 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Been here before loved it! Told friends about it, they loved it. came back for another meal and will be back again!

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