Thunder Bay's Culinary Scene is on Fire!

Grilled delights at the Red Lion Smokehouse

people at smoker

Within a month of opening, in October 2014, the Red Lion Smokehouse attracted a loyal following, and nearly 5 years later their menu and craft beer selection have grown a following around the world. 

Originally on the corner of Park and Cumberland, Red Lion has recently moved just a few steps (67 to be exact) up the street to 16 S. Cumberland St. - Don't worry - they brought the bar with them...

The owners are John and Alex, a youthful couple and first time adventurers in running their own restaurant business. John trained as a chef in Toronto, lived and worked in England for eight years in a number of Michelin starred restaurants. The English influence is the reason for the “pub” feel, the stack of board games by the entrance, and the name and décor.

burger fries

Only the burger buns are not made from scratch. Everything else is, which is pretty phenomenal for our Northern location. As Alex states, with her broad smile, “We make our own ice cream, barbeque sauce, aioli sauce – everything. Nothing comes into this place that is made by someone else. And the brisket is smoked for 14 hours!”


As for the menu, expect surprises along with the basics. They have all the traditional English pub food and drinks you might expect; burgers, pulled pork, fish and chips, ribs, mac and cheese, etc., but they will thrill you with novel creations and healthy choices. The menu changes from time to time but the favourites are always there and you can never go wrong. 

About Duncan Weller

A writer and visual artist, Duncan Weller is a Governor General's Award winner who lives in Thunder Bay. You can visit his website at His latest two books are a novel, Flight of the Silk, and an expanded edition of the award-winning children's picture book, The Boy from the Sun.

Recommended Articles

The Best Sights to See in Thunder Bay

From the legendary Sleeping Giant to Indigenous art galleries these Thunder Bay attractions are not to be missed.

6 great hiking trails in and around Thunder Bay

Hike the famous Sleeping Giant or the Flett railway tunnel in this Northwest Ontario city.

Conquer a Giant

This iconic Northwest Ontario landmark rises 1000 ft above the surface of Lake Superior.

Top 5 places to view the Sleeping Giant

Thunder Bay's Most Famous Landmark and the best places to see it

Time to change your clocks—but why?

The Thunder Bay and Northwest Ontario Connection to Daylight Savings Time.

Fall Colours on Superior's Shore

5 Ways to Experience Thunder Bay's Incredible Autumn Foliage

Green Mantle and Nanabijou's Wife

Discover the Legends of Thunder Bay's Natural Wonders

The Hunger Cabaret

Get your costumes ready for one of Thunder Bay's best (and biggest) parties!

12 Best Places to Stay in Thunder Bay

A boutique courthouse, art-filled hostel, or a luxe waterfront hotel—TBay has accommodations for every taste.

Experience Your Perfect Summer in Thunder Bay

An A to Z guide to outdoor adventure in this scenic Northern Ontario city

12 Places to Go Walleye Fishing In and Around Thunder Bay

Catch your limit and experience the province's best angling near this Northwest Ontario city.

Haunted Fort Night

Halloween Fun At Fort William Historical Park

Memories of a Legend

Remembering Terry Fox at Memorial Sites near Thunder Bay

Treasure Hunting in Thunder Bay

A longtime thrifter's story—and some hot tips!

5 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Thunder Bay

Trails at Shuniah Mines

Come Ride in Thunder Bay

Getting Bites Under City Lights

Urban Angling in Thunder Bay

To the Bat Cave!

A Backwoods Hike to Find the Bat Cave at Cavern Lake

Nordic Skiing in Thunder Bay

Ski Some of the Best Cross-Country Trails in Canada

It's All About The Cheese, Famous Thunder Oak Gouda