About Benchmark

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.

135 Taylor Rd
Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON L0S1J0
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Dining Style:
Casual Dining

Cuisines:
Contemporary American

Hours of Operation:
Lunch: Tuesday - Saturday: 11:30 am - 2:00 pm;

Dinner:-Friday: 5:00 pm - 9:00 pm;

Saturday: 5:00 pm to 9:30 pm
Our dining room is closed on Sunday and Monday.

Cross Street:
Glendale Road

Dress Code:
Business Casual

Price Range:
CAN$30 and under

Payment Options
AMEX, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(905) 641-2252 ext. 4619

Website:
http://www.niagaracollege.ca/dining

Catering:
Let us help make your day a success by catering your special event. We can accommodate 80 Guests for a sit down dinner in our dining room, 16 Guests in our private dining room and up to 120 guests with a stand up cocktail reception overlooking our greenhouse, winery & spectacular vineyard setting.
We use top quality, often locally sourced ingredients to make simple, delicious and affordable food showcasing the talents of the Canadian Food and Wine Institute. Please contact Sarah Scott to discuss a custom made menu for your special event.

Executive Chef:
Alex White

Private Party Contact:
Sarah Scott: (905) 641-2252 ext. 4623

Additional:
Banquet, Beer, Farm to Table, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, View, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Benchmark Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.4

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.5

service

4.3

ambience

4.3

value

4.3

Noise

Quiet

96% would recommend it to a friend

Creative Cuisine (31)
Local Ingredients (31)
Good for a Date (29)
See All
Fit for Foodies (21)
Special Occasion (21)
Scenic View (21)
Great for Lunch (20)
Worth the Drive (20)
Casual (19)
Seasonal (19)
Good for Birthdays (18)
Good for Anniversaries (17)
Neighborhood Gem (17)
Healthy (17)
Quiet Conversation (16)
Romantic (15)
Notable Wine List (13)
Good for Groups (12)
Great Beer (11)
Good Vegetarian Options (10)
Authentic (9)
Fun (9)
Great for Outdoor Dining (9)
Great for Brunch (8)
Cozy (8)
Organic (8)
Business Meals (8)
Tasting Menu (7)
Pre/post Theatre (6)
Sunday Lunch (6)
Kid-friendly (5)
Comfort Food (5)
Disabled Access (5)
Gluten Free Options (5)
Vegan (5)
Handcrafted Cocktails (4)
Hot Spot (3)
Afternoon Coffee (1)
Afternoon Tea (1)
Bar Seating (1)
Late-night Find (1)
Paleo Friendly (1)
People Watching (1)
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1057 reviews
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 (Toronto)·Dined 2 days ago

Friendly staff, great atmosphere, and fun concept. It’s great that the restaurant supports the college and gives people the chance to experience what students at the college are learning! We had a great host and really enjoyed our meal. Try the beer and wine tasting flights!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for a Date, Notable Wine List, Great Beer, Cozy, Authentic
1 person found this review helpful.
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food5
ambience5
service4
value5

 
·Dined 2 days ago

Great experience and amazing value. Would come back for sure.

Tags: Good for Birthdays, Casual, Local Ingredients, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Toronto)·Dined on December 7, 2017

Waitress was hands on, very friendly and food was delicious. Perfect portions. 2nd time there and 2 nd time loved it. Will definitely be back. Very accessible and being in a wheelchair, found no problems...bathroom included. A great place to go.

Tags: People Watching, Neighborhood Gem, Good for Groups, Good for a Date, Fit for Foodies, Great for Brunch, Disabled Access, Fun, Scenic View, Great for Lunch, Special Occasion, Worth the Drive, Good for Birthdays, Local Ingredients, Casual, Seasonal, Good Vegetarian Options
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on December 7, 2017

We enjoyed the food very much and were happy to be told it was local however my sweet potatoe fries were not very hot when they were served to me so consequently became quite cool as the dinner went on. The bread with the honey butter was delicious but possibly could be a free item. The other meals were wonderful- scallops; Alfredo. The coffee was superb.
The restaurant was decorated for Christmas and looked fabulous.
We lunched at a time when the restaurant was filled with high school students which was a little distracting & noisy but they were very well behaved and we were able to have conversations with no problem. Our service was good with good attention to detail. We didn’t have any cocktails at lunchtime but when I come back will definitely try your wine.
I would recommend the restaurant because of the wonderful menu choices and the use of local fare. It has easy access from the highway as we were coming from Burlington and the free parking was a bonus.
All and all, a great experience.

Tags: Organic, Creative Cuisine, Casual, Healthy, Worth the Drive
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
·Dined on November 26, 2017

Overall our experience was very good. France our waitress was excellent and very courteous. Both my wife and I are Niagara College alumni so we were very proud to see how the college has grown over the years. We are foodies and we were very happy to be able to spend some time at The Benchmark Restaurant while away from our home in London. We will come back for sure!

Tags: Handcrafted Cocktails, Seasonal, Creative Cuisine
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food4
ambience2
service5
value4

 
·Dined on November 25, 2017

We've been many times before, but this time the entire experience was great. The salad was tasty, the Digby scallops were excellent (can I please have the recipe) and the dessert was scrumptious . It was a really good experience and a very good way to impress an out of town guest who was taking me out . Thank you!

Tags: Pre/post Theatre, Seasonal, Scenic View, Paleo Friendly, Tasting Menu, Quiet Conversation, Good for Birthdays
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Toronto)·Dined on November 25, 2017

I took my wife for dinner to celebrate her birthday. Neither of us had been at Benchmark for dinner previously and we had heard good things. The setting is great and the room very attractive with a lot wood and glass, and high peaked ceiling. We unfortunately had to wait for several minutes to be seated as there was no one to greet us when we arrived. The hostess let us know our server's name and that she would be with us shortly. However, we ended up waiting almost 15 minutes for our server, by which time I had actually forgotten which entree I wanted. After that, the service was generally good. Our dishes were beautifully presented and very tasty. My wife had 'Roasted Beet Salad' and 'Butter Poached Fogo Island Cod', while I had "Puree of Parsnip Soup' and 'Ontario Lamb Cavatelli Bolognese'. Our only complaint about the food was that the entrees did not arrive hot enough; presumably too much time was spent on presentation with the food not under the heat lamps. All in all, it was enjoyable, but not memorable.

Tags: Local Ingredients, Creative Cuisine
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food4
ambience4
service2
value3

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on November 19, 2017

The only reason I gave the BenchMark a "fair" rating is because it is a teaching restaurant. The waitress recommended an appetizer which was terrible and a bottle of wine which was not suited to drink with a meal. But the worst part was seeing both the supervisor and a waiter wipe their nose with the back of their hand in the restaurant for all to see. We stopped eating after this event as we did not want to get sick.
OK, i know the restaurant is a teaching restaurant for new chefs, but really???
The food was nothing special and the serving staff were terrible.
And as we saw, the staff were being supervised/coached by an teacher who was any better.
We have eaten at BenchMark before ... never again.

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food2
ambience2
service1
value1

 
 (Toronto)·Dined on November 17, 2017

We have been to benchmark on several occasions and always enjoyed our experience. However, on this occasion, we found that the servers were very unexperienced and spoke to each other in their own language at our table, the service was very inadequiate in comparrisib to previous visits. Everything was exceptional other then the service.

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Casual, Romantic
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food5
ambience5
service3
value4

 
 (Toronto)·Dined on November 4, 2017

Nice location with beautiful view of the gardens! Dinner was great! Close to area shopping and amenities. Would definitely go back!

Tags: Business Meals, Creative Cuisine, Romantic, Special Occasion, Good for Groups, Good for Birthdays, Scenic View, Pre/post Theatre, Good for a Date
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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

 
·Dined on October 28, 2017

We had a lovely time. The vegan option was excellent.

Tags: Good for Birthdays, Good for Anniversaries, Comfort Food, Vegan, Local Ingredients, Romantic, Worth the Drive, Creative Cuisine, Scenic View, Good for a Date, Organic, Quiet Conversation, Great for Lunch, Good Vegetarian Options, Special Occasion, Healthy
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Toronto)·Dined on October 21, 2017

Absolutely an awesome experience. From the moment you walk in to the time you leave. You feel well taken care of and satisfied. Definitely will be coming back.

Tags: Hot Spot, Good for Groups, Good for a Date, Good for Anniversaries, Healthy, Gluten Free Options, Kid-friendly, Organic, Romantic, Local Ingredients, Authentic, Special Occasion, Cozy, Tasting Menu, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on October 20, 2017

Attend with several co-workers for a nce meal. The food and ambiance was high quality. The service was superb, with a high attention to detail.

A reasonably priced menu for a locally-sourced Restaurant. Happy to support student learning, both culinary arts and hospitality.

Worth a visit...unquie experience.

Tags: Romantic, Casual, Special Occasion, Worth the Drive, Good for Groups, Good for Anniversaries, Creative Cuisine, Local Ingredients, Good for Birthdays, Fit for Foodies, Notable Wine List, Seasonal, Gluten Free Options, Vegan, Scenic View, Good for a Date
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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

 
·Dined on October 14, 2017

There were four at our table. Three ordered a pasta dish the other a scallops dish. The scallop dish was amazing, but all three past dishes were small portions (given he price point) and the sauce was tasteless ..in a word underwhelming. We get this is a college and students are in training ...so with this in mind, don't charge prices like it is an upscale restaurant. The young servers were pleasant and attentive. Overall one in four.

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Casual
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food3
ambience3
service3
value2

 
·Dined on October 6, 2017

This place was such a pleasant surprise. Food was excellent and service was pleasant. A hidden gem.

Tags: Creative Cuisine
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on October 6, 2017

We had a wonderful experience! Loved everything. I especially enjoyed how the meals were labeled with dietary restrictions. We will be back for Sure! Thank you so very much!

Tags: Scenic View, Worth the Drive, Fit for Foodies, Romantic
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food4
ambience5
service4
value5

 
 (Toronto)·Dined on October 6, 2017

The meals are always outstanding, the servicer knowledgeable and friendly and the atmosphere welcoming. My daughter has a peanut allergy and they take great care to ensure a safe meal.

Tags: Good for Birthdays, Seasonal, Local Ingredients, Great Beer, Quiet Conversation, Business Meals, Creative Cuisine, Fit for Foodies, Notable Wine List, Good for Anniversaries, Neighborhood Gem, Scenic View
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on October 6, 2017

This is a great place for a beautiful lunch. I've never been for dinner but every lunch I've had has been delicious, timely and well served. Always enjoy this restaurant. And they have meal restrition options like Gluten Fee and Vegetarian. Also very accomodating to my time restriction. Thank you.

Tags: Healthy, Business Meals, Local Ingredients, Creative Cuisine, Seasonal, Good for a Date, Notable Wine List, Special Occasion, Scenic View, Great for Lunch, Romantic, Gluten Free Options
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food4
ambience5
service3
value5

 
·Dined on September 30, 2017

The food was amazing. However if your going to be a five star restaurant you should have a five star look and five star service. The service was good it just wasn't great. Worth going for the food though. Next time I won't wear a tie.

Tags: Casual
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food5
ambience3
service5
value5

 
·Dined on September 30, 2017

Our second visit to Benchmark was delightful. The food and service were excellent. The restaurant is certainly showcasing its talented students. The restaurant can be rather noisy at peak times.

Tags: Gluten Free Options, Pre/post Theatre, Creative Cuisine, Local Ingredients, Worth the Drive, Bar Seating, Good for Anniversaries, Organic, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (Toronto)·Dined on September 29, 2017

4 friends back together after more than a year. All had excellent meals and shared a bottle of their Pinot Noir (excellent)

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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (Toronto)·Dined on September 29, 2017

Great food, great value. We have been 2 times and will be returning again.

Tags: Organic, Good for Birthdays, Creative Cuisine, Great Beer, Good for a Date, Gluten Free Options, Special Occasion, Great for Outdoor Dining, Vegan, Fit for Foodies, Casual, Good Vegetarian Options, Great for Brunch, Great for Lunch, Disabled Access, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Miami)·Dined on September 29, 2017

This restaurant was a pleasant surprise I was from out of town and it was recommended from the hotel. Great recommendation.

Tags: Healthy, Worth the Drive, Casual
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Toronto)·Dined on September 23, 2017

We had an amazing meal. Service was exceptional.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on September 22, 2017

We had high expectations for this restaurant. The raspberry sorbet was a delightful way to finish the meal, but the main dishes seemed one dimensional in flavor. The ancient harvest salad might have been healthy, but it was aching for spice or zest. The small plate of Sicilian cavatelli also lacked depth in its flavor. The apple fritters were enjoyed by the 13 year old who ate them. Everyone thought the local honey butter on the fresh bread was wonderful. The beer was a beautiful amber color and quite tasty. Overall , the staff was friendly and helpful.
The steak dish that went to another diner looked perfectly seared.

Tags: Good for a Date, Casual, Healthy, Sunday Lunch, Seasonal
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Toronto)·Dined on September 20, 2017

We enjoyed a delicious lunch at Benchmark -- such a beautiful restaurant with big windows, great views and a menu that is always interesting and always superb! A very welcoming and comfortable atmosphere with top notch service! Bravo to Niagara College, staff and culinary students!

Tags: Sunday Lunch, Great for Outdoor Dining, Comfort Food, Great Beer, Kid-friendly, Scenic View, Good for a Date, Great for Lunch, Special Occasion, Quiet Conversation, Casual, Creative Cuisine, Fit for Foodies, Authentic, Worth the Drive, Business Meals
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Naples)·Dined on September 19, 2017

Extremely busy that afternoon. The service was excellent but the delivery of food and drinks took over 45 minutes. Not that we were in a hurry. We assumed not enough servers and/of chefs???

Tags: Great for Lunch
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food5
ambience4
service3
value4

 
·Dined on September 16, 2017

First time there and will definitely return. The menu was quite varied and it will change seasonally so that is something to look forward to. Pricing was very fair for our party of 6.

The wine selection was great! Dessert was fantastic. We all shared several appetizers and each had different entrees and shared as well.

A really fantastic evening with GREAT service.

Tags: Seasonal, Quiet Conversation, Business Meals, Good for Birthdays, Sunday Lunch, Local Ingredients, Good for Anniversaries, Romantic, Vegan, Great for Lunch, Great Beer, Good for a Date, Creative Cuisine, Great for Brunch, Notable Wine List
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Toronto)·Dined on September 16, 2017

Service was great, as was the food. We were served in a timely fashion as we were going on to the theatre. We will return, thank you for your hospitality.

Tags: Great for Lunch, Comfort Food, Seasonal, Fun, Good for a Date
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food4
ambience4
service5
value5

 
·Dined on September 16, 2017

Friendly and welcoming staff! Beautiful restaurant, love the large windows that allow you to enjoy the floral scenery outside. Service was good. My dad ordered a salad with his burger and got fries, our server apologized nicely and brought him out a salad no question. The Fried Tempura Korean BBQ Tofu was incredible, coming from a vegetarian and often struggles to find vegetarian food at restaurants, definitely coming back for this. My family had the burger, chicken sandwich and Soppressata pizza they also said was very good.

Tags: Romantic, Good Vegetarian Options, Healthy, Creative Cuisine, Good for Birthdays, Cozy, Neighborhood Gem, Business Meals, Good for a Date
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on September 14, 2017

I previously visited for dinner and this time for lunch. Both times were excellent. Will be back!

Tags: Casual, Neighborhood Gem, Good for Groups, Seasonal
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Toronto)·Dined on September 14, 2017

Nice restaurant. Pricing higher than expected

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food4
ambience5
service4

 
·Dined on September 10, 2017

The staff went above and beyond to make our visit memorable. We did have to wait even with having a reservation, but the hostess/manager promptly brought complimentary appetizers to us even though none of us has taken issue with having to wait. Our server, Kristian, was attentive, knowledgable and polite. There was a group of 8 of us, and not one of us had a single complaint about the atmosphere, service or food. I would not hesitate to recommend to a friend and look forward to my next visit.

Tags: Good for a Date, Great for Lunch, Local Ingredients, Good for Groups, Kid-friendly, Neighborhood Gem, Creative Cuisine
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on September 9, 2017

This is our favourite restaurant. I have no complaints whatsoever.

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Creative Cuisine, Special Occasion, Fit for Foodies, Romantic, Good Vegetarian Options, Scenic View, Notable Wine List, Good for a Date, Worth the Drive, Seasonal, Local Ingredients
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on September 9, 2017

We thoroughly enjoyed our anniversary dinner at Benchmark! Will definitely return!

Tags: Local Ingredients, Good Vegetarian Options, Handcrafted Cocktails, Healthy, Creative Cuisine
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Toronto)·Dined on September 8, 2017

Always great food. Service was slow this time and I did not think the dessert was worth $8.00

Tags: Local Ingredients, Fit for Foodies, Special Occasion, Seasonal
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food5
ambience5
service3
value4

 
 (Toronto)·Dined on September 8, 2017

Excellent as always. Both the students and staff make extra effort. Our favourite restaurant in Niagara.

Tags: Authentic, Good for Groups, Organic, Casual, Great for Brunch, Great for Lunch, Romantic, Special Occasion, Neighborhood Gem, Disabled Access, Good for Anniversaries, Good for Birthdays, Seasonal, Worth the Drive, Comfort Food, Fit for Foodies, Sunday Lunch, Scenic View, Tasting Menu, Healthy, Creative Cuisine, Business Meals, Fun, Good for a Date, Quiet Conversation, Local Ingredients
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Naples)·Dined on September 2, 2017

Good food, excellent service- you won't go wrong here. Will be back. Some suggestions if I may? Add light Dinner music -piano, lower the lighting for ambiance, keep up the good work.

Tags: Hot Spot, Creative Cuisine, Neighborhood Gem, Cozy, Good for Groups
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Ottawa)·Dined on September 2, 2017

We did have a very challenging time finding the place. There is very little signage and the restaurant description did not indicate it was on the campus. As well the phone number went to the college switchboard and not the restaurant. Once we did find it though...service and food was excellent

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food4
ambience3
service4
value5

vip
 (Detroit)·Dined on September 2, 2017

The students do a wonderful job. Our food was delicious. My husband had the steak and it was tender and a perfect medium rare. My scallops were also prepared perfectly. Presentation was beautiful. If the weather allows I'd recommend outdoor seating.

Tags: Worth the Drive, Great for Outdoor Dining, Local Ingredients
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

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