From froths to broths, food festivals to tart tours, and chardonnays to craft brews, follow your passion for flavour on these foodie trip ideas. We’ve got your cravings covered with fall-inspired craft beer, ciders and wine, creative local and fusion cuisine and sweet treats.
GRAPE STORIES FOR WINE LOVERS
Do the words ‘fragrance’, ‘bouquet’ or ‘aroma’ immediately send your mind to wine? You are officially an oenophile
Take your love of wine to the next level on this tour through the Niagara region, a place blessed with the perfect combination of weather and soil for cold climate wine-making. Move over Napa, Ontario’s food-friendly and dessert wines are making quite a splash.
Not only will you swirl, sniff and sample exceptional wine, but also meet the equally exceptional people who craft it. Get the backstory on the estate, the history of the vines and the origin of the techniques. Meet winemaking families, hear tales from talented winemakers, learn cellar secrets and engage with informative staff and innovative proprietors.
Collect your most trusted vino-panions, (including a champion designated driver), and set out on a grape adventure.
Owned and operated by industry visionary, John Howard, Megalomaniac Winery began as a retirement project to help raise funds for the Kids’ Health Links Foundation, and turned into a business that continues to support the foundation. That and their bold-flavoured 2015 Bigmouth Merlot will leave you feeling warm and fuzzy.
There are so many reasons to visit the family-run Sue-Ann Staff Estate Winery … from the Sparkling, Icewines and Fancy Farm Girl label to special shows and concerts. For fans of four-legged friends, there’s one more great excuse – pick up your 2018 Winery Dogs of Ontario calendar that features the winery’s favourite resident, Brix the Bernese Mountain Dog. A portion of the proceeds go to local dog rescue associations.
Niagara’s star power shines! Celebrities who have teamed up with Niagara wineries include one of Canada’s greatest golfers, Mike Weir, hockey’s Great One at the Wayne Gretzky Winery & Distillery and actor Dan Aykroyd. Replace star gazing with star tasting. Pick up a bottle of Cuddy by Tawse, a partnership between Blue Rodeo singer Jim Cuddy and Tawse Winery or the Tragically Hip White ‘Ahead by a Century’ from Stoney Ridge Estate Winery in Vineland.
FOODIE FIX IN THE SIX
If you love food, Toronto is where you need to be
Two key ingredients make this place quite possibly the tastiest city in the world. Long heralded as one of the most multicultural cities in the world, Toronto is a kaleidoscope of language, culture and flavour. Sprinkle in a healthy spirit of culinary creativity and adventure in fusion …the result is palate pleasing perfection.
Early risers are rewarded with an abundance of coffee shops and cafes, with unique java flavours and styles, from the Margret Atwood inspired blend at Balzac’s to the hip Cortado at Fahrenheit Coffee. Brunch, a Toronto tradition, serves latecomers to the day with signature Caesars, like The Canadian at Mildred’s Temple Kitchen. Retro-style Aunties and Uncles is a local go-to for pancakes, egg creations and challah toast. Le Petit Dejeuner specialized in Belgian waffles, or wake up to Cuban inspired fare at La Cubana.
Neighborhood foodie tours through Kensington Market, Little India or Chinatown with Toronto Food Tours or Culinary Adventures Co. will let you in on local insights and secrets. Pair cheese and charcuterie boards at wine and cider bars, or delight your insta followers with the whimsical décor, dishes at drinks from Café Cancan.
Not only does Toronto serve up great food, it celebrates great food. Get serious about poutine at the Smoke’s Poutinerie World Poutine Eating Championship and polish up on your manners at the Gourmet Food and Wine Expo.
Tip: Look up! 360 Restaurant at the top of the CN Tower will have you dining in the clouds!
Hungry yet? Here’s a food trip to Toronto with a few ideas of things to see and do in between bites.
CRAFT BREW SAMPLER
Join the craft brew revolution this fall!
If you are passionate about small batch craft beers, it’s time you check out the flourishing craft brew culture in Southwestern Ontario’s London and Waterloo Region.
There’s a community-focused, locally-sourced atmosphere in London’s Old East Village, a sentiment that rings more like a manifesto at London Brewing Coop. Sample their Local 117 organic beer; its ingredients are from within 117 kilometres. The brewery ‘s co-op is also owner of The Root Cellar Café, with a seasonal menu that is dedicated to sourcing ingredients from a 45 minute radius.Similarly, family run Anderson Craft Ales produce seasonal ales using only four ingredients: Canadian-grown barley, North American hops, crisp clean water, and yeast.
In October, Waterloo Region is host to the world’s largest Oktoberfest outside of Germany, October 9-14, a nine-day long celebration of all things beer. In German, the word ‘Emütlichkeit’ embodies a sentiment of warmth, friendliness, good cheer, public festivity and social connectedness and is often used to describe the atmosphere around Oktoberfest. There is no equivalent English word, but we’re pretty sure it could describe the area’s craft beer breweries. And you don’t have to don lederhosen or dirndl to taste these creative brews.
Abe Erb Brewing Company coin themselves ‘the founder’s brew’ and is named after Mennonite brothers, Abraham and John Erb, generally considered to be founders of Waterloo. Their seasonal brew is the Pumpkin Pie Milkshake Ale.
Descendants Beer and Beverage in Kitchener give a nod to Canada’s beer pioneers while crafting decidedly evolved beers and ciders; try one out in their European-style bierhalle. Sample a beer flight at the mischievously named brews at Innocente Brewing Company in Waterloo. Each brew guarantees you a different tasting experience.
Tip: let the beer experts guide you! Ottawa visionaries Brew Donkey Tours have extended their operation to KW, and they present a variety of tour options.
RELEASE THE KID INSIDE
“A second butter tart? Oh, I really shouldn’t” … said a kid, NEVER. Be that kid again.
Take a break from adult-ing to explore the fun and flavours of Haliburton Highlands and Peterborough & the Kawarthas.
Climb a lookout tower, walk in the clouds, howl with the wolves, and devour sweet treats!
DYK: the melt-in-your-mouth butter tart is widely considered to be a quintessential Canadian dessert. Common in pioneer cooking, the first known published recipe was found in The Women’s Auxiliary of the Royal Victoria Hospital Cookbook from 1900 in Barrie. This would explain why Ontarians are so unapologetically passionate about their tarts.
No self-respecting sugar addict should miss Kawartha Northumberland Butter Tart Tour, the biggest self-guided butter tart tour in Canada, and weigh in on what the best ingredients are for the perfect tart. In honour of Canada’s 150th birthday, it’s really your duty to sample the ‘Canadiana Collection’; a signature assortment of tarts that include the Trudeau and the CANADA 1-5-0.
Peterborough is a key stop on the tour. Get the Nanaimo Bar butter tart at The Magic Rolling Pin and the Maple Ice Wine at Firefly Bakery in Lakefield. Stick with the Canadian theme at The Whistle Stop Café, with over 100 poutines to choose from, as well as award-winning butter tarts, try the bacon butter tart or the The Lumberjack. The smallest and cutest butter tart on the tour, The Fabulous Fenelon Tart at Sweet Bottoms Coffee in Fenelon Falls is pretty irresistible.
There’s a not-so-secret sweet treat in Muskoka that is making a lot of mouths water. This celebrity pastry is lovingly created at Henritetta’s Pine Bakery in Dwight (second location in Huntsville). It’s basically a doughy biscuit filled with cranberries and cream cheese and sprinkled with sugar on top, or otherwise described as pure heaven. Go ahead and spoil your dinner.