A drive down a picturesque country road could lead you past a roadside stand or even weave into town to a farmer’s market. Open air markets and farm stands bring with them a level of freshness that is unparalleled with colourful, fresh-picked seasonal fruit and vegetables in abundance. Restaurants here also create signature dishes using local produce like apples, Brussel sprouts, kale and cauliflower, and foodies will love the seasonal bounty and the year-round staples, like squeaky cheese curd, locally-raised meats and fresh bread.
The heart of a city is its market. South Eastern Ontario is known for its flavourful local feasts and artistic kitchen creations that pair well with local craft brew or drink. To that end, farmer’s markets and farm stands are buzzing all season, offering an opportunity to connect farm to plate.
Discover the Downtown Belleville Farmer’s Market: older than Canada itself and still carrying on a deeply-rooted farm to table tradition in the Bay of Quinte region. Find fresh produce, meats and baking, as well as everything from natural health items to locally-roasted coffee.
Since 1801 farmers from the area surrounding Kingston have congregated in Market Square for the Kington Public Market. Friends and neighbours continue to gather here today, in the city’s historic downtown. Down the road, handmade meets home grown at the Greater Napanee Hometown Market!
The 1000 Islands region yields amazing crops and perfect market fare. That’s evident in the heart of Prescott as shoppers and vendors mingle at the clocktower three days a week for market! The Gananoque Farmers’ Market adds freshness to Town Park every Thursday from June to October, while The Brockville Farmers’ Market offers local wines, cheese, homemade breads and preserves – as well as artisanal goods.
With farm stands dotting the landscape in Prince Edward County, it’s no secret that enjoying local food is a way of life here. The Wellington Farmers Market is the largest in the County , typically operating three days a week. Locally made items like a mix like grown produce, fresh meats, homemade preserves, baked good and artisan vendors can be found at the Cornwall Kinsmen Farmers Market.
Food grown close to home plays a big part of creating the authentic foodie experience – take home some bounty from the boonies!
The secret is out: the local food and drink in South Eastern Ontario should be celebrated while showcasing our unique taste of place. Restaurants like Tomasso’s Italian Grille in Trenton or the County Cider Company in Picton work with local farmers, cooking with the seasons and preserving South Eastern Ontario’s ever changing food identity. Agri-product entrepreneurs are putting together flavours and fusions that will make you want to stock up – because you’ll likely eat half before you get home. To discover more about the Feast On restaurants involved visit: https://ontarioculinary.com/restaurants/
The next step: retreat yourself
Now more than ever, food is becoming a destination – and part of the journey. A century farm across the road from Wendy’s Country Market in Lyndhurst has been restored to welcome visitors to stay at a unique country retreat. At Furnace Falls Farm along the Rideau Heritage Route, a talented culinary team is also on site, with guests having the opportunity to dine on first class farm fresh cuisine. Visitors can learn from the pros, as in-house and guest chefs combine talents to lead a supper club, cooking classes, food preparation and canning workshops, seasonal foraging and more.
When visiting Prince Edward County, it only makes sense to take home some culinary souvenirs – but what if those souvenirs are practical skills? Indulge in a culinary experience that will leave you with memories to last a lifetime. Try hands-on cooking classes in a 1830s farm house in Prince Edward County. One of the few dedicated cooking schools in the County, From the Farm Cooking School year-round private, group, and public sessions at this rural refuge.
South Eastern Ontario is the apple of our eyes
South Eastern Ontario grows more than grapes – it’s also a superb region to pick your own apples for a satisfying late summer or fall crunch.
Events like the Apples and Art Studio Tour in the Cornwall area give art lovers the rare opportunity to visit studios, chat with artists and experience demos while enjoying some delicious apple treats along the way. The colourful fall foliage provides the perfect backdrop for visiting our picturesque orchards, which offer many varieties of pick your own apples.
Hall’s Apple Market Bakery and Country Boutique just minutes from Brockville is a lovely spot to stop and pick your own apples – there is even a playground on site for the kids.
The ‘Pick Your Own’ apple season generally runs from the last week of August through to the middle of October at Marlin Orchards near Cornwall, Waddell Apples just outside of Kingston and Loughborough Heritage Orchard in Inverary. Be sure to bring the whole family for a great farm fresh outing.
Sweet experiences with authentic Canadian Maple Syrup
Celebrate the sweetest sign of spring in South Eastern Ontario! The warm late winter and early spring temperatures bring one of the most favourite times of the year – the maple syrup season. Headlining maple season in South Eastern Ontario are three family-friendly events – Maple in the County in Prince Edward County; Maple Madness in Kingston and an open house event at Gibbons Maple Sugar House in Frankville, near Brockville. Amazing experiences await, including eating pancakes in a sugar shack, hiking through a sugar bush, dashing through the snow on a horse drawn wagon, snowshoeing in a vineyard and eating taffy off of fresh snow.
Eat, drink and be merry!
Our extraordinary culinary culture: your inner foodie will lead you to delightful venues, entertaining hosts and unforgettable tastes. With all that South Eastern Ontario has to offer for food and drink, it’s no wonder celebrations focus experiencing the fine fare produced here. We dare you not to salivate at the exciting choices of home grown food from our area!