Food and experiencing local cuisines is one of the biggest drivers for UK travellers when picking a holiday destination. Here are some of the top foodie experiences to be enjoyed in Ontario, Canada
- Toronto’s Summerlicious is a city-wide restaurant event taking place in July each year offers affordable fine dining experiences with fixed price menus at nearly 200 restaurants.
- For cheese fans, the Great Canadian Cheese Festival, which takes place each year in June in Prince Edward County, just 2.5 hours east of Toronto, is one festival they Gouda go to. The festival showcases the finest cheese from Canadian artisans across the country and is the biggest artisan cheese festival in North America.
- A more unique festival, the Bala Cranberry Festival in Muskoka, 2.5 hours north of Toronto, is an event not to be missed. Taking place in the third week of October, the cranberry harvest is a beautiful site to see (and taste!) with bright red cranberries set against a backdrop of auburn and golden trees ablaze with autumnal hues. Visitors are encouraged to grab a pair of waders, head into the marsh and immerse themselves in a sea of these little red berries.
Take in Ontario’s food scene on one of their famous food trails
Ontario offers a number of food trails to delight the taste buds including Butter Tart Trails and the Apple Pie Trail. Quintessentially Ontarian, butter tarts are traditional gooey goodness and there a number of trails on offer that take visitors on self-guided adventures through the province including the Butter Tart Trail in Wellington North, 1.5 hours south-west of Toronto, the Butter Tart Trail in Prince Edward County, 2.5 hours east of Toronto, and the Butter Tart Trail in Kawathas, 1.5 hours east of Toronto. All just short drives from Toronto, these trails give visitors the chance to indulge in the local treat from a number of farms and bakeries.
Meanwhile, the award-winning Apple Pie Trail is another culinary treasure for those visiting Blue Mountain and north of here, along the shores of Georgian Bay. In Apple Country, orchards are abundant and dedicated foodies should hop in a car and hit every stop along the trail, sampling hot sweet treats from local family-run bakeries to cafes to farmer’s markets. Every October Blue Mountain also plays host to the Apple Harvest Festival, where visitors can enjoy live music and street performances, hiking, biking, and of course everything apples!
The two cities for foodies to stay in Ontario
Toronto – Kensington Market, a National Historic Site of Canada, is the perfect neighbourhood to bite into with a number of eclectic food stalls and eateries offering different cuisines from around the world. Alternatively, Toronto has a number of vibrant ethnic neighbourhoods such as Chinatown, Little Italy and Greektown that visitors can explore. Toronto’s Distillery District is another must-visit neighbourhood for foodies, and chocoholics should treat themselves to something from Soma Chocolate who have created their own unique flavours including Douglas Fir and 8-year aged Balsamic Vinegar as well as ice cream. A delight for all senses, St. Lawrence market in downtown offers visitors the chance to sample local produce and treats from over 120 vendors; the historic market sells fresh seafood, pies, jams, cheeses and meats and is unmissable for any food connoisseur. For an authentic taste of Toronto visitors should ensure they hit some of the city’s food trucks including Caplansky’s Delicatessen, offering deli-style hot smoked meat sandwiches; Food Dudes who offer some of the best Mac N Cheese in town; Mexican favourite, Gourmet Gringos; and Gorilla Cheese for an exquisite grilled cheese sandwich.
Ottawa – No trip to Ottawa would be complete without stopping by bustling ByWard Market to refuel. Considered to be Canada’s oldest and largest market with over 250 different stalls and 500 specialty food shops, restaurants and pubs, it’s a great spot to quench your appetite and sample the finest local delicacies, whatever your palate. Visitors should try a signature BeaverTails treat, consisting of fried dough topped with mouthwatering sweet or savoury additions such as cinnamon, chocolate, maple syrup, cheese or garlic whilst there. One of the best ways to see the market and Ottawa’s other foodie hotspots is to take one of the walking tours on offer from C’est Bon including the Chocolate Lover’s Tour, Tastes of ByWard Market tour and the Taste of Wellington Street tour. Known as a year-round culinary destination, Ottawa has developed Savour Ottawa, a brand promoting recognition for local producers at farmer’s markets, grocery stores and butcheries across the city. Gastronomic highlights of the initiative include its Tables events where local restaurants shine the spotlight on local food to create delicious fixed-price menus or tasting events featuring Savour Ottawa products.
For more information visit https://www.ontariotravel.net/uk/home