Top Five new openings in Hamilton of 2023


Published December 29, 2023 at 10:54 am


Numerous businesses open up in the Hammer every year and while each is cause for celebration, some stand out as particularly exciting. Here are the five most exciting openings in Hamilton in 2023.

Honourable Mention: Krispy Kreme

This one’s cheating a little bit since it hasn’t actually opened yet. However, the famous Nashville donut chain announced a new location in the city is set to open next year. Krispy Kreme began to expand into Canada from the United States in the early 2000s but the economic crisis at the end of the decade derailed these plans.

As a result, only 11 locations managed to survive, mostly in Toronto. The busiest Krispy Kreme in Canada though is actually in Mississauga, which serves a whopping 48,000 donuts per day. Some 15 years after the chain’s Canadian expansion stopped, they’ve decided to try again.

Krispy Kreme is still in the permitting phase to open a location at 1200 Rymal Rd. so it doesn’t have a firm opening date. However, they expect to open in 2024.

Number Five: Chipotle

Mexican food fans were in for a treat earlier this month when Chipotle opened its first branch in Hamilton. The restaurant marked the 40th Canadian location for the Mexican grill chain. The fast-casual joint specializes in burritos, bowls, tacos, quesadillas, and salads made with real ingredients and no artificial colours, flavours, or preservatives. Chipotle’s food is prepared fresh daily and its restaurants do not feature freezers or can openers.

Chipotle has more than 3,250 restaurants with 110,000-plus employees in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France and Germany and is the only restaurant company of its size that owns and operates all its locations.

Number Four: Capri Gelateria

Hamilton’s culinary landscape got much sweeter back in October with the opening of the Capri Gelateria in Ancaster. Capri serves an array of homemade gelato flavours, with a rotating selection of Pumpkin spice gelato and caram,  classic pistachio, Bacio, Tiramisu, and even a vegan chocolate sorbet, catering to various preferences and dietary requirements.

They also feature Bombelatos, a classic Italian Bomboloni doughnut rolled in sugar and filled with gelato. In the future, the Gelateria is also set to expand into cannoli.

Number Three: Hotties Smashburgers

Hamilton found a new kind of burger when Hotties opened in September. Fans believe smash burgers taste better because they are flattened or smashed into thin patties, a method that supposedly releases the flavours. A mystery employee is believed to have come up with the original smash burger decades ago and it got its name from that person’s boss, hamburger shop owner Bill Culvertson, according to

The eatery moved from Toronto to 659 Barton St. E. in Barton Village, opening its doors with its distinctive hot-pink sign in Hamilton. The menu includes numerous burgers and other item such as the Hottie, the Hot Toddie, a Chili Cheeseburger, all-beef hot dogs, Cajun Fries and Hottie Style Chili Cheese Fries.

Number Two: Chaska

Chaska (lit. Obsession) brought Indian street food to Hamilton over the summer. The name speaks to owner Naveen Seth’s passion has for the street food he encountered during his childhood travels across various Indian cities.

“These trips were a feast for the senses,” Seth said on the eatery’s website, “The authentic street food experience that I remember as a young boy is brought to life for you at Chaska.”

The highlight is their selection of ‘Khati rolls,’ where kebabs/veggies are wrapped in warm roti and sauces. However, the restaurant also offers chaat, samosas, and poutines. Seth’s recipes had already proven successful in with seven other locations in  Toronto, Oakville, and Mississauga.

Number One: Kajun Chicken & Seafood

A GTA-based fast food joint, known for its crispy fried chicken and seafood opened its first Hamilton location back in July. The joint is located within Jackson Square Mall, Kajun Chicken & Seafood serves and several sandwiches, seafood selections, and sides.

One of the key highlights of the eatery is their unique cooking process that ensures the chicken and seafood remain crispy for an extended period.

“Boneless and bone-in tenders are marinated for 12 hours before frying and served with sides like fries, onion rings, biscuits etc,” the eatery’s website stated. In addition to their crispy fried chicken, they serve fish fillets, tenders, and nuggets, along with a selection of desserts including apple pie, fried cheesecake, churros, and ice cream.

with files from Cristl Dablu, Glenn Hendry, Ashley Newport, and Nandika Ravi.

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