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A local’s guide to living in ontario, california

Reset your expectations if you’re thinking cold and snowy Canada the minute you hear “Ontario.” There’s also a quintessential southern California city that bears this name. In fact, Ontario, California, offers the best of West Coast fun and sun. The city prides itself on offering an easy base to visit all the top California destinations.

If you’re thinking about moving to this city, you’ll have plenty to do and see. We’re located in Ontario and know the ins and outs of this fun town. Learn more about Ontario from our guide.

All About Ontario

Image via Flickr by Bonita la Banane

Located in southwestern San Bernardino County, Ontario is just east of Los Angeles County. It’s also 35 miles east of downtown Los Angeles and considered part of Greater Los Angeles. Various parks, restaurants, and stores make this a nice city to live in. It’s a safe place to live and great for families.

Eat and Drink

There’s a wide variety of food and drink to enjoy in Ontario. Here are our favorite spots:

Vince’s Spaghetti

Vince’s Spaghetti has been in a mainstay in the city since 1945, though it got its start as a French dip stand. Today, this is the place to go when you’re craving a heaping plate of hearty Italian food. This family-owned spot offers an old-school feel along with its delicious eats. Try out the enduring favorite — the spaghetti with meat sauce — or go for lasagna or a sandwich. Top things off with a classic wine for the ultimate experience. You’ll feel at home from the first time you step inside this restaurant.

Zeke’s Eatin’ Place

Another longtime favorite spot, Zeke’s Eatin’ Place, offers delicious all-day breakfast and hearty lunches. All the breakfast favorites are here, from pancakes to omelets to a famous biscuit and gravy platter. You can also try out a classic hamburger with a side of fries. Finish off the meal with some homemade bread pudding or a chocolate brownie.

Market Broiler Ontario

You can’t go wrong with a good seafood meal in California. That’s where Market Broiler Ontario comes in. You’ll enjoy a dock-to-dish seasonal menu, not to mention a drink from the wine list or selection of handcrafted cocktails. Stop in for the happy hour and stay for a delicious meal, followed by a dessert made in-house. If you’re looking to host an event, this restaurant features a private VIP lounge, too. It’s a great spot for a birthday party or rehearsal dinner and comes complete with a customized menu featuring your favorite dishes.

San Antonio Winery

California is home to plenty of renowned wineries, and Ontario is no exception. San Antonio Winery features a tasting room and event space right in our city. It’s been named the Inland Empire’s premier wine destination and is ready to host everything from intimate daily tastings to private events. Stop by the Tasting Room to sample the family’s award-winning and popular varieties — you’ll find special vintages and blends to enjoy. If you’re reserving a tasting with a bigger group, you can also try out the traditional or artisanal tastings.

COVID Update From Kevin Franke, Winery Manager
“The Riboli Family of San Antonio Winery, proud recipients of Wine Enthusiast Magazine’s 2018 American Winery of the Year, continues to operate a beautiful Tasting Room in Ontario. Covid-19 has certainly changed the way we do business, but we are still here to serve you. We cannot offer wine tastings in the winery currently but we are offering wine flights on our beautiful Country Patio daily from 10:00-5:00. A wine flight consists of four different wines. Three wine flights are offered. Reservations are suggested for weekends. We ask that you limit your group to 6 or less.”


Check out these unique Ontario attractions when you’re out and about:

Graber Olive House

Graber Olive House isn’t just a place to grab delicious tree-ripened local olives. It’s actually the oldest existing business in the city. Franciscan missionaries from Spain planted the first olive trees in the area at the Mission San Diego de Alcala way back in 1769. The trees thrived, sparking the ongoing tradition of Californians setting the table with wine, fruits, and olives.

You can take a tour of the Graber Olive House facility throughout the year. Of course, you can stock up on olives and award-winning olive oil, not to mention other fine foods and gifts. From dates to almonds to cake and more, there’s sure to be a gift box perfect for you in the shops.

Ontario Reign

You might associate hockey with Canada’s Ontario, but Canada’s favorite sport also plays a big role in this California city. The Ontario Reign are the AHL affiliate of the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings. If you’re a sports fan in Ontario, you’ll want to find time in your schedule to go to a game. The Reign play at the Toyota Area in Ontario, where you’ll see the future stars of the NHL before they make it big.

Cultural Offerings

Ontario is home to plenty of museums and centers, including:

Chaffey Community Museum of Art

The Chaffey Community Museum of Art is one of the oldest area organizations supporting art locally. Explore exhibitions from nationally-recognized artists, and learn about some you might not know as well. CCMA has shared visual arts with residents of Southern California’s inland communities since 1941.

These days, it’s an important regional museum, providing access to fine art to the public while supporting the local artistic community. Even better, admission is free! Check out the permanent collection and any current rotating exhibitions, or look at the calendar for regular events. The museum is housed in the historic 1919 Ontario Power Company building.

Ontario Museum of History and Art

Located near the CCMA is the Ontario Museum of History and Art. This museum is dedicated to collecting, preserving, and interpreting Ontario’s history as well as the history of the surrounding region. You can experience various events and educational exhibits while you’re there.

The museum is located in the old city hall building, which features beautiful Spanish-Mediterranean architecture. You’ll also want to take in the interesting exhibits there, such as Gem of the Foothills and Road Ways. The former promotes Ontario’s unique history, while the latter delves into how the modern roadway changed America. It’s a must-see for any history buffs in the area.

There you have it! Lem Garcia Law gave you this exploration of the best things to do and see in Ontario, California. Did we miss a favorite spot you’re eager to have us check out? Contact us and let us know so we can add it to our list of places to visit!