Kawarthas Northumberland is home to truly innovative chefs, brewers, and food producers

With beautiful scenery and cottage country roads, taking a road trip for the day can be a delicious foodie adventure. Food culture in Kawarthas Northumberland embraced the “farm-to-fork” movement before it was a fad. Our chefs and restaurants know how to deliver a great taste of place that you can’t get anywhere else in Ontario. If you’re interested in the destinations that really embrace a local food ethic, check out our Feast On-certified restaurants.

If you’re looking for something sweeter, check out the Butter Tart Tour, which has over 50 stops and is the perfect opportunity to tour local bakeries for sweet and delectable treats. Also consider the Taste of the TSW program for even more unique flavours.


The culinary scene in the region is robust and full-bodied. Famous for an abundance of fresh ingredients and intrepid chefs, we are a unique area in Ontario thanks to vast quantities of fresh water and rolling hills with nutrient rich topsoil. Our farmers take advantage of the distinctive microclimates to cultivate flavourful produce and raise healthy, happy livestock. Fuelled by a zest for farm-to-table, and supported by a network of family farms, local markets, bakeries, and restaurants, our food scene is popular with foodies of all types.

Sign up for a cooking class, tour a winery or brewery, enjoy local food in our exquisite restaurants, and be sure to fill up on some award-winning butter tarts. Regardless of what you’re looking for, a visit to Kawarthas Northumberland is guaranteed to satisfy your culinary cravings.


Kawarthas Northumberland has a proud heritage of family-owned and operated craft breweries, distilleries, cider mills, and vineyards. Each is uniquely connected to its locale. Even if some of these award-winning craft brews are available at the L.C.B.O., you need to be here to experience their full range of unique flavours.

Breweries throughout Kawarthas Northumberland not only invite you to experience the heritage of local brewing but also welcome you to explore some unique, heritage buildings. Here are some of the most unique brewing locations you can pair with a pint.

Pie Eyed Monk

History is alive and on tap at this brewery. Located inside the 150-year-old C.L. Bakery Building, the Pie Eyed Monk/Lindsay Brewing Company is also right across the street from the iconic Lindsay Fire Hall, which was built in 1902. Pie Eyed Monk Brewery is home to a 7-barrel brew house and they are the first restaurant in Lindsay to boast an authentic Italian wood-fired pizza oven.

Church-Key Brewing

Have you been to church lately? Founded in 2000 by brewmaster John Graham, Church-Key was the first microbrewery in Northumberland. John has been an influential figure in the craft brew scene in Ontario. After working at Amsterdam Brewing Co. in Toronto, John purchased a 1878 Methodist Church on the outskirts of Campbellford.

He had the building beautifully restored, protecting the original architecture and stained glass windows, and incorporating the existing structure into how the brewery is designed. John’s also created a brewing process that is energy-efficient and draws on solar energy while re-using as much heat as possible. Church-Key is well-known for its aptly-named “Holy Smoke,” an award-winning peat-smoked Scotch Ale.  John brews a few staple and award-winning ales, ranging from the flagship deep golden-amber Northumberland Ale to his deep ruby red Irish Ale.

Publican House Brewery & Pub

While the family-owned brewery itself has been around since 2008 (and won several awards), in 2017 they moved into the 170-year-old Peterborough Arms building at 294 Charlotte Street. Check out our blog here to learn all about the local history (and huge patio) of this building and the delicious food they serve.

401 Cider Brewery

The area around Brighton, Presqu’ile Provincial Park, and Colborne is known for its great apple orchards. If you’ve ever driven that stretch of the 401 Highway just west of Prince Edward County, you’ll remember seeing the Big Apple. The world’s largest apple is home to more than just pies, treats and family fun—the 401 Cider Brewery is also housed there. Brainchild of Amy Baldwin, a local wine producer for Waupoos Estate Winery and Clafield Cider House, 401 Cider Brewery offers a dazzling variety of both classic and experimental craft ciders. Friendly staff can help you pair a flight of cider with a bite to eat that’ll increase your appreciation for each local flavour profile.

Family-owned and operated, the vineyards in Kawarthas Northumberland bring you a taste-of-place experience you can’t get anywhere else.

Villa Conti Oak Heights Estate Winery

The 100-acre Villa Conti Oak Heights Estate Winery commands a beautiful view of the rolling hills of Northumberland County, just outside the village of Warkworth (a local foodie destination in itself). Tommaso and Bambina were both born in Italy and they love welcoming guests to enjoy the tastes and sights of their rustic Italian roots. Please call in advance to confirm availability.

Rolling Grape Winery 

Jon Drew and Katie Dickson are the second generation to be working their family farm on the hills overlooking Rice Lake. They decided to start Rolling Grape Winery to introduce a fresh taste-of-place to the Kawarthas. Visitors are welcome to soak up the view on their patio – the sunsets can be amazing, as the photo above shows. While you visit, you can sample some of their local wines, including a signature Marquette and Frontenac, and their dry and tannic Amplified Orange. Bottles are available for purchase so you can take a taste of the Kawarthas home with you.

Kawartha Country Wines

Kawartha Country Wines is about an hour’s drive north of Rice Lake, up near the southern edge of Kawartha Highlands Provincial Park. This winery specializes in fruit wines, ciders, and jams and jellies. Since they began in 2004, they’ve won 7 awards at the All Canadian Wine Championships. They are typically open 7 days a week year-round from 10am to 5pm.


Black’s Distillery

Inspired by his own heritage and the strong traditions of craft distilleries in Scotland, Robert Black created Black’s Distillery with the goal of crafting distinctly local spirits made from the most naturally pure ingredients available. Red Fife wheat, a local heritage grain first developed in Peterborough in the early 19th century, gives a buttery smooth character to their gin and Heritage Vodka. They also offer rye, cassis, and other artisanal products. Read more about Black’s and Red Fire wheat on our blog.

Persian Empire Spirits

In the south-west end of Peterborough (close to Highway 115 & Highway 7), Persian Empire Spirits produces a wide variety of delicious spirits, ranging from a triple distilled vodka, Feni, Arak Saggi, and brandy, as well as flavourful liqueurs.


At its most basic, a butter tart is simply butter, sugar, syrup, and eggs. The magic happens when these simple ingredients are combined and baked in a pastry shell until golden brown and the filling is semi-solid–or really runny depending on your tastes and baking style. This simple combination is what was featured in the first known printed recipe from the early 1900s. Found in the Royal Victoria Cookbook by The Women’s Auxiliary to the Royal Victoria Hospital located in Barrie, ON, this simple tart has become a staple of the Canadian cuisine landscape.

While we didn’t invent the iconic Canadian treat that is the butter tart, we’ve most certainly perfected the delivery of these sweet treats. The Kawarthas Northumberland Butter Tart Tour combines dozens of stops offering some of the best butter tarts in Ontario in one fun-filled, family-friendly tour.

You can taste your way across Northumberland County, Peterborough County, the City of Peterborough, and Kawartha Lakes. Tour partners include our stellar local bakeries, charming cafes, and elegant restaurants as well as welcoming resorts and inns across the region each serving up their take on this Canadian classic treat.


Kawarthas Northumberland is an agritourism destination where animal lovers of all ages can connect one-on-one with some four-legged friends, from fuzzy alpacas to friendly pigs, goats, and donkeys. Learn about working farms and where your meat and dairy come from. 

Peterborough and the Kawarthas offer many farm-tastic experiences to enjoy, from alpaca walks to pig rescues to riding stables. If you’re more into farm goods and produce there are many farmers’ markets to take in across the region.

If you’re looking for a truly immersive experience, Haute Goat near Port Hope offers an Alpaca Sleepover where you will slumber in a private space inside the alpaca enclosure. Haute Goat is just one of the many ways of getting grounded in nature in Northumberland. you can also enjoy other experiences such as Primrose Donkey Sanctuary or the free range wildlife on Grasshopper island on Rice Lake, plus the many farm fresh farmers’ markets. 

In Kawartha Lakes, “farm-to-table” is a way of life. The region is covered in beautiful agricultural land that weaves around the shining lakes. The farm experiences, farm stands and farmers’ markets in Kawartha Lakes are a thriving example of the movement to support local foods and products. Learn where your food comes from in Kawartha Lakes!


Spring marks the arrival of maple syrup season in Kawarthas Northumberland and visitors can sample the bounty throughout the region.  With over 25 maple syrup producers in Kawarthas Northumberland, local restaurants, resorts, cafes and makers take advantage of this sweet local ingredient by adding maple flavours to dishes, creating tasty baked items, or adding sap to local craft brews. 

Tasting maple isn’t just reserved for harvest season. Food and beverage providers across Kawarthas Northumberland have artfully created with this iconic Canadian condiment to offer you maple flavoured, maple infused, or maple inspired ingredients.

Looking for more details? Visit the regional links to find festivals and events, or jump to our dedicated Maple page.


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The Kawarthas Northumberland blog is the place to go for longer stories and additional recommendations. Browse the articles below to find out more about food and drink in the region.

Jeff Bray holds a burger up to the camera
Food and Drink
Jeff Bray

Taste of the TSW with Jeff Bray: Lock & Anchor

Jeff Bray is the co-founder and festival director of the award winning Cultivate Festival in Northumberland County. He’s also an instructor at Centennial College, where he teaches about food tourism, a former restauranteur, and a previous contributing writer to Watershed Magazine. We asked Jeff to give us his thoughts on a few of the unique Taste of

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Two men toast pints of beer at Focal Brewing Co.
Food and Drink
Jeff Bray

Taste of the TSW with Jeff Bray: Focal Brewing Co. 

Focal is a portmanteau of focus and local, and it’s more than just a name—it’s the philosophy that makes Hastings’ latest brewery so exciting. Brandon Bickle and Matt Filion may have just opened the doors of Focal Brewing Co. in 2022, but the plans have been in motion for about 12 years.

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Small building displaying MoreRoses Apiary sign
Food and Drink
Jeff Bray

Taste of the TSW with Jeff Bray: MoreRoses Apiaries & Honey

What started as a hobby has turned into an award winning operation. 

About seven years ago, John and Linda Moroz got into beekeeping. John did it a little as a kid and always imagined it being a wonderful retirement hobby. Quickly, though, a small apiary turned into 200 hives across Hastings. It was too much, too fast, so they found their way to a comfortable 150 hives and hit their stride, producing award-winning honey and wax.

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