The long weekend is drawing near and what better a reason to explore the Ontario. As we celebrate our country’s 150th birthday, rather than travelling abroad, stay and surround yourself with what Canada has to offer…. like stunning Grey County, Ontario.
This region hugs the South West shores of Georgian Bay, starting with Collingwood and working it’s way North to Owen Sound and back down South to Minto. Also known as the Georgian Bay Triangle, this region is bursting with sips, sights and bites.
Just under two hours drive from downtown Toronto, Grey County makes the perfect Foodie Getaway.
So round up your local-loving friends and get ready for a deliciously scenic time. From maple syrup, to a cheese lover’s paradise to top knotch cider, read on for our list of Foodie-certified spots.
We suggest starting as far North as Grey County stretches, right at the mouth of Owen Sound. Here you will most likely need to top up with gas, and what better place to do so than the incredibly charming ‘Gas Barn & Dutch Store’.
Once you’ve topped up on Dutch treats, keep heading North to DeJong Acres . This sweet family-run farm is a full agri-experience and maple syrup farm!
You can see all of their animals, from lambs to pigs and explore their syrup farm. Plus, Anita DeJong hands-down makes the best scones I have ever eaten in my life...pick some up at their store on your way out.
Owen Sound is fast becoming a hub for locally-sourced, innovative bites. Casero Kitchen Table and their beachside Casero Taco Bus is leading the way with their FeastON designation as they create an innovative and authentic Mexican menu using ingredients produced in and around Owen Sound.
Their taco menu immediately had me at ‘hello’. So many amazing options from lamb tacos, using DeJong Acres Lamb, to seasonal fish tacos, using white fish from Wiarton. Their house-smoked beet taco is a stand-out that I highly recommend trying.
Grey Country has two wineries, four cideries and six micro-breweries. The Thornbury Village Craft Cidery has opened a tasting room offering the ability to sip on ciders not available anywhere else, like their perfectly subtle and soft honey cider. Dubbed the Cider House, this beautiful new loft space offers outdoor seating and lots of indoor seats to settle in and taste away.
Wine more your style? Coffin Ridge Boutique Winery in Annan, Ontario will first take your breath away with their phenomenal view over Georgian Bay and then tempt your tastebuds with their outstanding selection of wine.
Their L’Acadie Blanc was my favourite. A highly aromatic white that is crisp and vibrant, what is interesting about this grape was developed at the Vineland Research Station and is unique to this area.
Remember the TV show, ‘Cheers’...where everybody knew your name? Thornbury has a similar place...except swap out the beer for cheese! The Cheese Gallery is possibly the friendliest, coziest place I have been to that serves up the finest selection of local and international cheeses. Cozy up at the ‘bar’ and order a cheese tasting board. You will never want to leave.
While in Thornbury, stop in for live music, deliciously local food and a fantastic wine list at the Bruce Wine Bar. Opening in 2011, this restaurant uses 12 local farmers and produce from Chef Shaun Edmonstone's own garden to create the unique dishes on their seasonal menu.
With a passion for sustainability and fresh, local ingredients, Chef Shaun Edmonstone’s eclectic and friendly restaurant is both FeastON and OceanWise designated.
And finally, a restaurant you simply can not miss on your Grey County adventure - The Flying Chestnut Kitchen in quaint Eugenia. Chef Shaun Adler is possibly the busiest Chef in the business with the Pow Wow Cafe in Toronto and many others. His take on local cuisine had me wanting to go back again the next day. Innovative without being too far out there, this restaurant creates memorable dishes that are just plain delicious.
Don't leave Grey County without picking up their local cookbook - "Come to Our Table". You can create some of the region’s tastiest recipes with this beautiful book. All the recipes are easy to follow and were contributed by Grey County chefs, restauranteurs, farmers, B&B owners and food professionals. You can eat well knowing that 10% of book sales fund Grey County breakfast clubs, school gardens, and other food programs for children.
We hope this Foodie Getaway Guide to Grey County has been a deliciously local thought starter and would love to hear about your favourite must-eats from this area!
Megan is a lifestyle, food, beauty & travel writer. Her passion for travel has taken her to 36 countries and she now calls Toronto home. Follow Megan at @immfab