When we began the restaurant spotlight series, the idea was to, as the name suggests, shine a light on some of the best dining spots in Mississauga. If the restaurant in question also happened to be a little more under-the-radar or underrated compared to others, then that was even better.

No restaurant has ever embodied that idea more than the one we’re spotlighting today. Chelsea restaurant is a beautiful little spot and it’s located in Port Credit, right under the nose of most passers-by. It may be easy to miss Chelsea restaurant because it’s situated within a wonderful historic pier house and looks rather inconspicuous. What is inside however, is anything but.

As you can see in the picture above, Chelsea Restaurant is a very cozy little home, which can be found at 7 John Street South. The easiest way to find the restaurant is to turn left when you cross the bridge out of Port Credit, the first turn past Starbucks. It’s right around the corner and it’s well worth the hunt.

Chelsea has been around since 1987, and it’s certainly a different experience than you’re probably used to. Inside the house, are simple tan-coloured walls with golden wall lights, small tables for intimate dining, and a warm atmosphere. There are various seating locations throughout the house, depending on your group size, including a wonderful outdoor patio setting with vine-covered walls. If you’re looking for a change from the usual hustle and bustle of bars and restaurants, Chelsea is a perfect setting.

All of that window dressing wouldn’t account for much if the food wasn’t up to scratch. Thankfully that isn’t the case with Chelsea’s classic menu. The prices on the menu range from $10 starters, to the most expensive main course at $34. It’s affordable high-class dining.

Starting with the lunch menu, you’ll find four salads, bruschetta pizza, and soup of the day for the starters. The first three salads are Greek, Caesar, and Garden, but the third is an interesting option – Mandarin: chicken, Mandarin oranges, strawberries, iceberg lettuce, roasted almonds, and white wine dressing. The Mandarin salad costs $17.

The main lunch dishes then include Tuna Salad Sandwich, Seafood Croissant, Chef’s Daily Quiche, Vegetarian Fusilli Pasta, Shepherds Pie, Steak & Mushroom Pie, Chelsea Curry, and the Daily Grilled Fish. These options range from $13 to $23, and my personal choice was the Chelsea Curry with grilled chicken. It was some of the best I’ve had in Mississauga!

Moving on to the dinner menu then, we have the same starters as the lunch menu and some of the same main items. The additions however, include Stuffed Sole, Prime Rib, Chicken Parmesan, and Roast Leg of Lamb. These options look incredible and are cooked fresh to a high quality every day. As mentioned, Chelsea doesn’t have a huge menu or one that is particularly exotic, but what it does it does very well.

As always, my word is only the opinion of one person with individual tastes. Here are some other reviews of Chelsea from Yelp.com, where the restaurant holds 4.5 out of 5 stars:

This restaurant is so charming! It’s essentially a restaurant inside a little house, giving a very warm, homey feel.

We did the prix fixe, and went for the soup (soup of the day was potato & leek), daily grilled fish (rainbow trout), and creme caramel. All three dishes completely blew me away. The soup was incredibly creamy and flavorful, the fish was perfectly grilled, and creme caramel was absolutely delicious.

The owner was very hospitable–he was very patient in explaining each of the dishes, and even asked if we wanted more bread with our first course. Definitely hope to return to this gem!

– Karen Z

Nothing spicy or adventurous.  Just home cooked food served at a very leisurely pace.  You can bring your own wine (reasonable corkage) and will want to do that if you are looking for some choices.
I would love to see the owners invest in refreshing the decor, because this is an excellent concept…unpretentious dining in a house converted to resto with a very pleasant host.

– Zara C

We came here a couple of months ago and had the prime rib dinner Prix Fixe menus.  The food was excellent – every course was delicious and the pumpkin pie was so good my wife (who doesn’t eat pumpkin pie) gobbled it right up!  Fantastic to support a family-run establishment!

– Carol A.

Chelsea also offers a variety of beer, wines, desserts and soft drinks, to round off a very satisfying dining experience, as evidenced by the reviews above.

The restaurant isn’t going to win any awards for hottest new spot, fanciest menu, or most modern, but it provides something that is sorely lacking; something we may not even realise we need until we get it, and that is the feeling of home, the feeling of time slowed down, the feeling of peacefulness. It may sound like I’m being hyperbolic and perhaps I am, but every now and again you need to take a step back and just stop the forward motion, even if only for a couple of hours. And there’s few better places to do that in Mississauga than Chelsea Restaurant.