By Marc Smith
I feel like I have been given an impossible task. In three days and covering over 450km, I am to share with you where to eat in the Kawarthas Northumberland. This is impossible. I would need three days just to cover the top restaurants in Peterborough. I am not one to be daunted at a near impossible task though and I am always up for a challenge so I am going to give it my best. From Cobourg to Trent Hills, Fenelon Falls to Apsley and of course, Peterborough I will give it my all. Wondering where to eat when you visit the Kawarthas Northumberland? Here are some of my suggestions.
We have so many delicious choices all across the region. Be sure to check our Trip Planner for more great ideas and start planning your next trip to Kawarthas Northumberland.
Before I get into the restaurants let’s explore the number one dairy product in the Kawarthas Northumberland. I scream, you scream, we all scream for Ice Cream! Kawartha Dairy has been in operation since 1937 and when they started making Ice Cream in the 1950’s it was transformative. They’re 100% family owned you can’t go anywhere in the Kawartha Northumberland area without finding Kawartha Dairy Ice Cream being served. There are 8 retail locations to visit plus virtually every restaurant serves it. I visited the original store in Bobcaygeon and sampled a few flavours before I settled on the Black Raspberry Thunder in a cone. It doesn’t get any better on a hot summer day than this, or any day of the year for that matter.
Black Raspberry Thunder Cone
Not far away from Bobcaygeon in the town of Fenelon Falls is The Cow & Sow Eatery. A favourite of the locals this eatery serves up cold brews and hand crafted food in a casual and fun environment. The burgers are on point and if you like it a bit messy try the Grilled Cheese with Ham and Spinach. It’s ooey gooey good.
Grilled Cheese and Poutine
Craving some authentic schnitzel? In the town of Apsley you will find a Swiss lodge that serves up home cooked schnitzels and pastries that will have you coming back for more. You can have your schnitzel in a bun as a sandwich or as a full meal on a plate. I went for the plate and could not get enough of it. Comfort food at its best. The Swiss Bear is also a stop on The Butter Tart Tour so make sure to grab one of the sweet treats before you leave.
Schnitzel on a Bun
You are driving through the backroads of Otonabee South and you see a sign for BBQ. Would you think to stop? Probably not, but you absolutely should. Muddy’s Pit BBQ is a food destination worthy of your visit. Brisket, Sausage, or Ribs? Can’t decide? Have the carnivore platter and try them all. make sure to order a couple of sides because everything is made scratch in house! The Baked Beans are smokey sweet goodness.
Carnivore Sampler Platter with Baked Beans
You may have to line up at this burger joint in Port Hope. You Gotta Eat Canada recently filmed here and when the secret gets out everyone will know how good the burgers are. Named after the Greek Gods, each burger offers something unique. I feasted on the Zeus Burger which has Peameal Bacon, Aged White Cheddar and Sautéed Onions. If you are in the “know” go online and search for the secret menu of Burgers. You won’t find them listed in the restaurant, it’s a secret.
Zeus Burger with Fries
A short walk away from the Coburg Via Rail station and only 15 minutes away from the beach is the historic Woodlawn Country Inn & Restaurant. If you are not lucky enough to stay overnight here then book a reservation for dinner in their dining room. It’s fancy enough to be a treat yet casual enough that you can relax while you dine. The menu is sophisticated and delicious plus they have a nice wine list to pair each dish with. If you get the chance to meet the owner ask him to share some of the history of the Inn as he is a great story teller and is a wealth of Cobourg Historical facts.
Spinach & Strawberry Salad
Spinach & Ricotta Cheese Raviloi
If Steak is your thing then Rare Grill House will set your lips to smacking. Sophisticated decor and excellent service sets the background for what I promise will be a great meal. You can order off the menu or try one of the daily features that are prepared with in season ingredients. If you ask nicely enough the Chef may just create something for you like this Blue Cheese Burger with Boudin Sausage. One of the best burgers I’ve had in ages.
Burger with Blue Cheese Boudin Sausage
Part of the Butter Tart Tour, the Whistle Stop Cafe is famous for having over 100 types of Poutine on offer. You heard me right, 100 different Poutines! The go to spot for late night munchies if you can’t find a poutine here that you like then you are impossible to please. I sampled a Vegan, Classic and Pulled Pork Poutine. Which did I prefer? Funny enough the Vegan was AMAZING, although I would eat any of them and be quite happy. Who doesn’t like french fries smothered in Cheese Curds and Gravy after all?
Three Poutines (of over 100 Varieties)
It is a rare thing to visit a restaurant on its second day of operation and be blown away, but that is exactly what happened at the newest Italian restaurant in town, Johnny Vino’s. Even though it was a small menu there were plenty of appetizing options to choose from. My dinner date had Lasagna while I went for the massive Veal Chop that I could barely finish. Coming soon the desserts will all be made in-house and I hear the Chef is particularly good at making cannoli. I will be back just to try those.
Don’t feel like eating out? Perhaps you want to pick up some cheese and some crackers for a picnic while you road trip through the region? The place to stop for the best and biggest selection in town is Chasing The Cheese. With an amazing selection of local Ontario cheeses as well as those from around the World you are bound to find a favourite and a new favourite here. Stock up on some Olives and some condiments and you are all set for a lovely treat at your discretion. Perhaps a cheese plate in your hotel room as you wind down from a day of exploring? Sounds perfect to me.
A Cheese Plate Sampler
This is just what I’ve uncovered in three days. Imagine if I had a few weeks to find every culinary gem in the area. From casual dining to finer fare there is something for everyone in Kawarthas Northumberland. You just have to get here to experience them for yourself!
Marc Smith is a travel and lifestyle writer at 30 Day Adventures. What started out as being a tourist in his own city has blossomed into a nomadic adventure exploring Canada, the United States, and the World one adventure at a time. You can follow along with his adventures on his blog at www.30dayadventures.ca or live via his Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. Be warned you may just get inspired to get off the couch and have an adventure of your own.