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If you’re on the hunt for good things to eat and drink, the trail begins and ends right here in Grey Highlands. While in the area, there are plenty of culinary delights to satisfy your palette with cafés providing breakfast, lunch and dinner menus and unique shops selling gourmet cheeses, meats and other locally produced food items. Most of them are licensed with summer outdoor seating too!
A selection of products available at Artemesia Cheese Market in Flesherton. Source: Artemesia Cheese Market
From North American and Indian Cuisine in the Restaurant at Leela’s Inn with curries, butter chicken, beef, lamb, fish and vegetarian options to a variety of international dishes at the Bicycle Café with African Stew, Vietnamese rice bowls, savoury soups, sandwiches and more, there’s always something cooking in Flesherton. Add to that, the Spatula Diner serving hearty fare served quickly and without fuss offering a slew of old favourites plus a unique spin on traditional diner cuisine featuring local bread and meats and in-season produce. To round out your selection, there is not one, but two pizza parlours within close proximity. Village Pizza & Grill will fix your craving for delicious ‘za, subs, wings, salads and/or garlic bread as will Goodfellas Pizza just a couple of blocks up highway 10 towards Markdale.
From here, we can head due north along highway 10 to the town of Markdale where more great restaurants are ready to tempt your taste buds. Stevens Bar-B-Q Restaurant specializes in chicken, ribs, seafood and steaks but they are also known for their signature souvlaki and dessert pies too. Local fare is on the menu at the Barrhead Pub & Grill on West Back Line featuring favourites like local beef burgers, homemade soups and desserts, salads, sandwiches and their popular Nova Scotian haddock and chips. Technically it is located just past the border into the municipality of West Grey but holds honorary Grey Highlands status. Fire & Ice in the old Markdale Firehall serves sandwiches, muffins and coffee roasted on-site, salads and soups but also offers more indulgent food like Belgian waffles and chicken wings. Close by is The Market Shoppe with a take-out lunch counter where you can find delicious soups, salads, sandwiches, and baked goodies or grab a coffee or tea. Sidekicks on Highway 10 promises to satisfy your hunger serving all-day breakfast, lunch and of course, coffee. But Kim's Place is not to be outdone, serving breakfast and lunch to perfection. Markdale is not without its own quality pizza parlour. Big Cheese Pizza on Main St. is a favourite spot for locals and visitors alike.
Top o’ the Rock in Eugenia is your one stop shop for convenience foods, frozen meals, bread and beverages but also serves freshly made pizza, subs, salads and ice cream. On your way to or from the falls, you also have to visit Eugenia Falls Emporium, an old-fashioned garage that was reimagined into a soft serve ice cream parlour, candy store, and café, offering fresh ground espresso, coffee, and delicious sandwiches, salads, soups, and pastries. This is also ground zero for The Pickle Guy products made on-site and promising that “Wow” experience. A more substantial gourmet meal can be had at Flying Chestnut Kitchen just a little further down the road where chef Shaun Adler creatively prepares organic, fresh-from-scratch Bistro-style dishes. Reservations are recommended.
Wood oven pizza is always on the menu at Justin's Oven in Kimberley. Source: www.justinsoven.ca
A small village celebrating its 150th anniversary in 2018, Kimberley is home to Justin’s Oven, a cool little eatery backdropped by the Niagara Escarpment. Here you can enjoy Justin’s famous wood oven pizza but may also want to check out some other great options such as schnitzel, pork ribs, vegan curry or prime rib. Reservations recommended.
Serving ice cream and food take out, Gilberts Country Café and Gilberts To Go will keep you well fed on your journey through Grey Highlands.
An unassuming little community at the eastern edge of the municipality, Singhampton is home to a couple of notable restaurants. Mylar & Loreta's is famous for their prime rib and home cooked meals like roast pork or turkey dinner, fresh grilled salmon, apple crisp and creamy cheesecake. At Haisai, a small but mighty little restaurant in town also known for its culinary prowess, you can expect dishes deeply connected to the surrounding bounty of local organic farmers and gardeners. But for a truly memorable experience, Eigensinn Farm will take you on a culinary journey serving spectacular foods in a forest setting, meticulously prepared by award-winning chef Michael Stadtlander. Reservations are a must.
If a freshly brewed beverage and a delicious baked treat or fast lunch is your choice, Flesherton has many options here as well. Highland Grounds is open early and closes late to keep you well fed throughout the day with homestyle baking, lunches or soups and will also hook you up with some tasty tea or fair trade coffee too. The Bakery is another must-stop on your foodie tour through town with freshly baked bread, tarts and pastries, cappuccinos, lattes, teas and espresso. New in town, Brilliant Bread will also provide you with some freshly baked goodness as well as gourmet takeout meals prepared with a French flair.
For a little coffee shop with a vibe, try eCulture on Main Street displaying an eclectic mix of self-serve coffee in pods and musical instruments! Fire & Ice is another great place to hang out.
Handcrafted sweet and savory pies, butter tarts, muffins, cakes and lunches to go are the order of the day at Blackbird Pie Company just off the main road through town.
Stroll up Toronto Street just past The Bakery and step into the Artemesia Cheese Market where you’ll find delectable dairy and goats’ milk cheese, fine foods and charcuterie. Right next door is Peasmarsh Farm with quality meals and gourmet sandwiches for takeout. Yummy!
The (aforementioned) Market Shoppe on Toronto St. S. carries a variety of frozen foods including Meals 2 Go, meats, baked goods, gluten free products and delicious scratch-made soups. When in season, they also carry Ontario produce and products made by local entrepreneurs.
You simply can’t take a drive through the Beaver Valley without a trip to the Kimberley General Store. Inside this circa 1905 store, it is packed with fresh baked breads and treats, locally produced products, homemade soups, hearty sandwiches, and strong coffee.
Just 5kms north of Kimberley along Grey Road 13 on the way to Heathcote, the Beaver Valley Orchard and Cidery is nestled in the heart of Beaver Valley. Have a seat outside or wander through the historic post and beam century barn, sample and purchase cider fermented in small batches from select varieties of heritage apples.
Ice Cream cones in Grey Highlands are like no other in terms of size and quality, serving Chapman’s Ice Cream manufactured right in Markdale. You owe it to yourself to stop into any one of several shops and enjoy this super delicious local treat. Jolley’s Dairy Bar & Video on Collingwood Street in Flesherton is one such place that serves up scoops in abundance.
Eugenia Falls Emporium offers soft-serve ice cream as well as previously mentioned nibbles. The Top o’ the Rock is not to be outdone with a good selection of ice cream on hand to keep both the tourists and the locals at bay. Each establishment is a great choice while in this picturesque little village situated on top of the Niagara Escarpment, just steps from the Bruce Trail.
Are you full yet? These are not all of the many food locations in Grey Highlands. We didn't even mention the many chip wagons or all of the quick-fix coffee and snack bars you'll find along your travels. Prepare to be dazzled by the food choices available while you explore this amazing place.