The Best Foodie Road Trip to Prince Edward County Ontario
I am so hungry as I write this. I am reminiscing of the incredible meals I devoured, the flavours I enjoyed, and the calories I consumed. The epicurean within me is speaking. I ventured east to Prince Edward County, Ontario – a beautiful area of the province that boasts flavours, independent artisans, and beautifully quaint local charm. I excitedly wanted to check out their famous wineries, farms, and community. And boy was I satisfied in appetite, in thirst, and in life. See our itinerary below that took ordinary flavours to the sublimity that a foodie like myself would expect. Now classed as one of the top culinary kingdoms in the world, do yourself a favour and venture out here for Canada 150. This trip will impress you with every bite and have you salivating for years to come.
First Stop – Colborne’s Big Apple
Make your way from Toronto Eastbound. On the way, make your first stop at Colborne’s Big Apple! You cannot miss this gigantic mascot from the highway and will find the in-house apple pie hard to resist.
So What Exactly is the Big Apple?
The Big Apple is a fun activity space and restaurant just off the highway. Watch your slice of confection baking right in front of you as you order your apple-infused lunch. Meander through the gift shop of all things orchard and bring home all the apple flavoured sauces, desserts, preserves and breads you could possibly want.
Travelling in the spring or summer? Why not enjoy lunch outside on one of the many picnic tables? Enjoy your meal in the sunshine before a round or two of bocce ball, miniature golf, hide and seek and more! Pair your dish with a thirst-quenching apple cider and pulled pork sandwich for the ultimate in satisfaction.
Stop 2: Belleville
After indulging in some incredible apple treats, make your way to Belleville as you continue heading east.
Belleville brings visitors face-to-face with nature, lakeshores, delightful restaurants, and town charm. Sometimes when I visit I forget I am in Ontario thanks to the porch swings, picket fences, gardens, Ma and Pa independent shops, and old fashioned Victorian homes.
A frequent stop on the way to Prince Edward County, Belleville, where nearly 50,000 call home, brings chic bed and breakfasts to guests ensuring a pleasant stay en route. We highly recommend the Inn by the Rose Garden set literally beside the city’s rose garden (aka its pride and joy). This inn brings shabby chic decor, hot breakfasts, a lovely homey ambiance with great amenities, and a quiet atmosphere for the tired traveller.
If you have a little time to spare, here are some fun things to do in Belleville:
- Go hiking! There are 26 kms of trails near the Bay of Quinte!
- Check out Zwick’s Park for a fun bit of time for the kids to run around and expel energy
- Laze in the city’s rose garden
- Go fishing on the Bay of Quinte
- Play a round of Golf at one of the 15 courses in town
- Window shop some of the quaint independent artisans
Next It’s Time to Explore the County!
After leaving Belleville, you are now on your way to Prince Edward County! So much to see, do, eat, and drink! Head to Bloomfield, Wellington, Picton, Hillier and other great little towns that are huge in flavour and personality. Prepare for the ultimate foodie experience that will have you hungry for that first bite.
Head to Slickers for Ice Cream!
On a hot day, nothing beats the homemade ice cream at Slickers in Bloomfield! This local parlour has some of the creamiest of frozen treats around with such unique flavours! Our favourite was the original roasted marshmallow flavour! A creamy blend of vanilla and toasted marshmallow flavourings. It is absolutely heavenly and I swear I tasted the campfire within it.
Check out Karlo Estates Winery!
This lovely barn complete with a tasting room, wine lounge, loft gallery and gift shop, is the perfect place to begin your wine-tasting tour in the county! There are so many wineries out there and Karlo Estates is definitely worth a drop-in among the lot.
The new owners bought the winery from the original family who owned the property for 200 years! It is amazing how this winery came to be in the region. It was built entirely from scratch! Until the planting in 2006 there were no vines to make the incredible wines visitors enjoy today. Enjoy a tasting paired with one of their incredible tasting plates and chili available daily.
Planning a celebratory occasion? Well, Karlos Estates is the perfect venue for any event. Enjoy the tasting plates with your group as well as specialty dishes including vegan charcuterie boards, Chili, Waffles, corn on the cob and veggie burgers using all local produce. These dishes are available for special events for all your guests to enjoy.
Visiting for Canada 150? Celebrations will be in full swing with a live Disc Jockey, turning this wonderful venue into a giant celebratory dance party!
Other incredible facts:
What truly makes this winery stand out is that they were named the first vegan certified winery in North America with plant-based offerings! This means the delicious cheeses you enjoy with your tastings are strictly nut-based non-dairy treats. Other incredible vegan offerings to consider during your visit are Guacamole, Edamame, BBQ Cauliflower Steak with hot mayo, spring rolls, hummus, salsa and black olive tapenade with flat bread. Contact the winery to make your arrangements.
Plus, Derek Barnett, their winemaker is deemed one of the country’s best after being named Wine Person of the Year by the National Capitol Sommeliers Guild! You do not want to miss a stop here on your County getaway!
We certainly enjoyed our experience and hope the utmost best for you!
Rosehall Run Winery & Food Truck
We stumbled upon this wonderful place as we explored the county! Enjoy a tasting at the winery as your appetite is whetted for a delicious lunch. We loved the dessert wine “The Finisher” here and ended up taking some home with us. Do yourself a favour and give it a try. Canada is world famous for its delicious dessert and ice wines and Rosehall Run has some of the best we have tried.
Picnic PEC Food Truck
The food truck was such a pleasant surprise! I never imagined finding a food truck with vegan and gluten free mouthwatering options. Set right in the backyard of the Rose hill Run winery, PICNIC PEC offers a delicious variety of meatless favourites for diners to enjoy right in the heart of the vineyards.
Enjoy a vegan burger coupled with garden salad, washed down with an incredible lavender lemonade! It is absolutely divine. The spiciness of the burger patty complemented with the fresh bun and fixings brings a normal everyday veggie burger from ordinary to sublime.
Barley Days Brewery
Next, head to a local brewery! Barley Days is the perfect stop for a refreshing brew after a hearty lunch. Learn about the various beer and ales made here by taking an interactive tour and capping it off with sampling some of the unique flavours using apples, cherries, and other fruit.
Dinner at the Agrarian Bistro
Rustic meets ravenous! I was so excited to try this restaurant after it was recommended in the area! It is such a quaint bistro with a delightful outdoor patio, extensive wine list featuring local vineyards, and gastronomic dishes fit for any appetite. When we arrived it was summer with a menu emulating the season. We enjoyed a curried cauliflower soup, fresh salads, and incredible entrees. Read more about our lovely experience here.
The Prince Edward County Lavender Farm
This was such an incredible haven for lavender lovers! Here you can walk through the gardens of various lavender species and see the bees at work with their cross-pollination. It truly is a fragrant site to see. After walking through row upon row of this aromatic plant, head to the gift shop to stock up on essential oils, soaps, home decor, infusers, and more.
The Grange Winery
The Grange is an incredible family-owned winery bringing delicious whites and reds to thousands of visitors yearly. We had the pleasure of learning more about their processes through a guided tour, then capped the experience with a tasting of three of their blends. Pair them with cheese and wheat crackers for the perfect fusion of flavours. While enjoying your tastings, have a browse at their additional offerings. Crafts and pottery from local artists are on display and make perfect gifts while supporting individual businesses.
Hinterland Wine & the Beer Tent
Here you will experience some of the best sparkling wine in all of Ontario! I personally loved the wine here and wouldn’t hesitate to go back for more. An alternative to the usual bubbly, the Hinterland wines bring out the sweetness of fruit within each bottle. They exclusively offer sparkling wines here, so enjoy a tasting before heading to the attached beer garden!
The Beer Garden was the perfect complement to the sparkling wine tasting! After enjoying a glass or two head to the tent and order some of their many delicious dishes. We particularly enjoyed the grilled sourdough and seafood salsa with chips. They were a foodie’s dream.
Enjoy this family-owned winery that boasts some incredible flavourful wines. We enjoyed the pairings her of their exclusive ice wines with a selection of cheeses. Enjoy white and red blends as well should you wish a drier tasting experience!
East & Main Restaurant
Another lovely eatery here in the heart of Prince Edward County, East & Main will definitely satisfy your appetite and tantalize your tastebuds with its delicious dishes and local wines. We enjoyed our experience here even more thanks to my husband’s birthday celebration and the staff truly made it special for him.
Enjoy daily specials, seasonal flavours, and of course staple items for every palate.
Black River Cheese
Head to the Black River and stock up on some of the best local cheese in all of Ontario! Head straight to the edge of the actual river and you will find this delicious shop ready to fill your cheesy shopping list. The cheese is made using only 100% pure fluid milk from Prince Edward County dairy farms. Grab a slab and enjoy with one of the many local wines visited on this itinerary. Plan your visit right and you just may catch the annual cheese festival proving a very entertaining and delicious event for visitors and the community.
Waupoos Estates Winery
This had to be one of my favourite stops in Prince Edward County. One of the most picturesque of all wineries we visited, the Waupoos Estates was brimming with florals, gardens, vineyards and flavours. What I particularly loved was that you could purchase a glass of wine and walk freely through the complex admiring the scenery and taking in the ambiance.
Next enjoy a delightful lunch in their exclusive gazebo restaurant! We thoroughly enjoyed our meal here and the service was absolutely top-notch. On top of that, you are surrounded by local artist paintings waiting for a new home. See landscapes, florals, and even a few portraits for purchase. It was an art lover’s dream.
We ordered the fish and beef burgers with a lovely red wine pairing from their vintages. The food tasted unreal! The crispy fish fillet was unlike anything I had enjoyed before! We then capped off our meal with a chocolate peanut butter tart that seriously was an ultra gourmet Reese butter cup. It was indulgent, rich, and final piece of luxury to conclude our foodie road trip.
This is seriously only a FRACTION of the offerings here in Prince Edward County. There are oodles more wineries, tours, and restaurants to try. I know after heading here for a week and experiencing all that we did that a second trip is definitely in order. We simply cannot wait to come back.
Head to the County for Canada 150 and celebrate in style with delicious meals, artisan wines, and a pure sense of community. Stay tuned for the next leg of this adventure in Kingston coming soon to the blog!
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