A table covered in a barbecue feast

Restaurant Renaissance: New and Newly Renovated Eateries in Kawarthas Northumberland

Photo Courtesy of Chemong Lodge

After a long and trying lockdown, Kawarthas Northumberland is feeling cautiously optimistic. While COVID-19 protection is still a priority, vaccination and other safety protocols have made it safer to step out and enjoy some of the in-person experiences so many of us have been missing. Better yet, local restauranteurs have braved the uncertainty to bring us new and exciting flavours. Read on to discover why we’re calling it the Restaurant Renaissance.

Kawartha Lakes

Outdoor sign for Lotus Indian Bistro
Photo Courtesy of Lotus Indian Bistro

Lotus Indian Bistro (69 Colborne St, Fenelon Falls)

The lotus flower symbolizes rebirth, and Nazmun Rozon and Deb Blackmore couldn’t have chosen a more fitting name for their new restaurant. After the pandemic left them both out of work in March 2020, they took matters into their own hands and sought out a location for their new venture. Their recently opened restaurant at 69 Colborne St. offers a wonderfully varied menu of flavourful Indian dishes, carving out a fresh niche in Fenelon Falls’ burgeoning food scene.

The Cow and Sow Eatery (38 Colborne St, Fenelon Falls)

The name might be familiar, but new owners Emily and Lorraine Forbes are looking to continue the Cow’s tradition of excellent pub fare with a few new twists. The Forbes have recently reopened after extensive renovations to the former 19th century hotel, and the updates should please locals and cottages alike; the family-friendly atmosphere and quality service remain much the same.

Dolmades on a plate with tzatiki, olive oil, and lemon
Photo Courtesy of The Olympia Restaurant

The Olympia Restaurant (106 Kent St. West, Lindsay)

The Olympia Restaurant is another Kawartha Lakes business with a longstanding reputation for quality. The tradition started in 1906 when Olympia Candy Works opened in 1906, and current owners Nicki and Kostas Dedes used the COVID-19 downtime to take on some extensive renovations to the kitchen. The Olympia has now reopened and is serving sumptuous Greek food to a hungry public again; reservations recommended.

Peterborough & the Kawarthas

The El (P) (380 George St. North, Peterborough)

The El (P) hadn’t opened yet at the time of writing, but it certainly has us excited. Occupying the former location of Hot Belly Mama’s and The Olde Stone Brewery, the new gastropub brings a funky energy to downtown with its graffiti murals and street-food influenced menu.  Expect good things when it opens the doors to the public in January 2022.

The Pizza Bodega (201 Hunter St. West, Peterborough)

The Pizza Bodega is set to stand out in Peterborough’s crowded pizza scene with its New York-style pies and fun, unpretentious vibe. Currently accepting online orders for pickup, this is a great choice next time you’re feeling peckish downtown—or just want to tell your friends you’ve tried that cool new place on Hunter St.

Interior of Real Thai Cuisine, Peterborough
Photo Courtesy of Real Thai Cuisine

Real Thai Cuisine (415 George St. North, Peterborough)

Looking for authentic Thai food in Peterborough? The name says it all—new owners of Real Thai cuisine Samantha and Sathit Thanomphan are bringing their natural enthusiasm plus the experience gained at Scarborough’s popular Kub Khao Thai Eatery to Kawarthas Northumberland. Come to check out the renovations, stay for the food.

The Chemong Lodge (765 Hunter St., Bridgenorth)

The Chemong Lodge is a Bridgenorth institution, but former owners have passed the torch to Adam and Addison Brown. Rest assured it’s in good hands—as anyone who’s eaten at the Brown’s Peterborough restaurant, Dr. J’s BBQ and Brews, can attest, this family is serious about food. Take in a meal overlooking Chemong Lake and savour the delicious seasonal menu.

Pizza Kollo (230 Charlotte St, Peterborough)

A pizza joints needs a twist to distinguish itself, and Pizza Kollo’s is truly unique—they’ve added ingredients inspired by Sri Lankan cuisine. Try the Indian Chilli Chicken pizza, or if you’re eating vegetarian, sample Mary’s Green Pizza, with its yogurt and mint sauce base. If you’re not in the mood for a slice, the chicken biryani’s an excellent bet.

Northumberland County

The Dockside Bistro (67 Queen St, Campbellford)

Early reviews are in for Campbellford’s The Dockside Bistro, and all signs point to a hit. Named for its unique location, you can actually tie your boat off beside the restaurant and enjoy a meal beside the water, or inside a beautifully renovated former Baptist church. Owners Sandy & Sarah Sanyal bring decades of experience and a carefully crafted menu to their new venture. Read Kawarthas Northumberland’s expanded coverage of The Dockside Bistro here.

Xperience (795 Northumberland Heights Rd, Cobourg)

An extension of Northumberland Heights Wellness Retreat and Spa, Xperience promises a lavish gourmet menu with perfect drink pairings. Vegetarian options are plentiful, though meat lovers will find delicious options like mussels, duck, and curried lamb. Table booking recommended.  

County Flame (9 Prince Edward St, Unit 1, Brighton)

Food options in Brighton just got more varied, as County Flame’s Sri Lankan owners SuThar-San Vithu San and Kajenthiran Sathiya Kumar have created a diverse menu of curries, Carribean-style roti, and Canadian fare. Another great choice for vegetarians seeking new flavours to try.

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