A seven-day food & beverage tour? Pinch me. This rambling adventure will make you feel like you’re visiting relatives you haven’t seen since that summer at the family cottage when you were nine years old. The food is familiar, and it’s all your favourites – made from scratch. Refer to the passport, the day trip and two -day itineraries for more to explore while you’re in Lanark County – Ontario’s Maple Capital.
Day One (Walkable)
- Sunflower Bake Shop
Stroll through beautiful downtown Perth as you make your way to this Tay-side gem. Made fresh every morning, their maple walnut sticky buns are a dream come true. Best known for their nutty carrot cake, this is the place to go for superior slices, squares, tarts and cookies.
- Perth Chocolate Works
It’ s never too early for chocolate. Just around the corner in historic Code’s Mill, pure Belgian chocolate wraps every piece of Lanark Maple and Maple Moonshine Chocolate, made with Top Shelf Distillery’s finest spirit.
- Blackfly Grub Hub
In the same building, wander over to see the colourful flavours of the day and be sure to try the fresh, handmade Maple Bacon Doughnut sprinkled with real maple sugar.
- The Stone Cellar Restaurant
Wine pairing with dinner? Chopped Canada Champion Chef Nick Valliquette has developed an exceptional menu for the discerning palette, using in-season produce from the Perth Farmers Market. Historic stone architecture adds to the wine cellar vibe.
- Best Western Plus Perth Parkside Inn and Spa
Overnight at this locally owned and operated downtown hotel overlooking Stewart Park – a flagship property of its luxury chain. Book a maple manicure at their full-service Aveda Spa to complete the experience.
- Under Pressure Coffee House
But first, coffee. Named in honour of David Bowie’s music, this café is tucked between government offices in the Carleton Place Mews. The staff have a passion for coffee and baking, and it shows!
- The Beckwith Kitchen
Freshly baked bread and maple butter, soups, meals to go, diabetic and gluten friendly loaves, pies, bars and cookies. Great for car snacking, late night treats or to take home for later. More maple products are right next door at The Beckwith Butcher.
- Stalwart Brewing Company
Start off the afternoon of brewery visits with this hidden gem. Dedicated to bold beer, this friendly bunch specializes in good times! Grab some local preserves by Tasha’s table, a bar of Hummingbird Chocolate, and try one of a dozen beers like the new “Canned Heat” or the popular “Zigzagger” red IPA.
Founded by Ottawa native Rohit Gupta, after an inspirational three-year residency in Austria, a mission to bring the friendly, welcoming beer culture of Europe to the beer-loving people of Ontario was born. This euro-inspired beer house is located right on the Ottawa Valley Recreational Trail (OVRT), a former CP rail line that is now a multi-use off-road trail that runs over 200-kilometres from Smiths Falls to Mattawa.
- The Old Mill at Ashton
Set on the Jock River, the historic “Ashton Brew Pub” developed their signature Beckwith Bitters in celebration of the 200th anniversary of Beckwith Township’s establishment in 1816. Stay for dinner at this authentic English pub style restaurant and try seasonals such as Blueberry Wheat and select brews like West Coast IPA.
- C’est Tout Bakery
Get caffeinated. Great coffee and baked goods were the answer for owner Amy Rensby, who switched gears from a career with the federal government and as an IT professional to follow her passion. Living the dream, this crew takes the extra step to source from local farmers and producers to make your morning delicious.
- Harvest Social
As you meander through downtown, swing by “Davidson’s Courtyard” to find this homestyle sandwich shop. The menu has a sophisticated twist that you can taste in specialties like the Caprese sandwich with house made “tomato butter” on freshly baked flatbread. Lounge with a local brew on a street side patio or try the new PICNIC program and pick up a boxed picnic lunch then head to Centennial Park overlooking the Rideau Canal.
- Valley Custom Cutting
Local Food? This butcher shop is the real deal. Pick up some exquisite sheep milk cheese made by Milkhouse Farm & Dairy to take home, and try the ice cream as you peruse the pantry filled with local preserves, pickles, spices, hot sauces, jams and of course local maple syrup.
- The Vault Eatery & Pub
This brand-new restaurant in heritage downtown sources local ingredients for their seasonally inspired menus. Featuring vegetarian and vegan options, you can expect a variety of salads and classic pasta dishes with flavourful flair. Alternatively, signature offerings such as the Red Ale-Braised Brisket promise to pack a savoury punch. So far, the most popular item is the Pad Thai and of course everyone loves the locally roasted Mighty Valley Coffee.
- 4 Degrees Brewing Company
Opened by a group of five friends, these beers were named with a sense of humour. Grab a six-pack to show your friends back home. Known best for their two distinctly unique lifestyle beers: “Livin’ North of 7” – an easy drinking Helles Lager with subtle hoppiness undertones, and “Livin’ South of 7” – a Red Cream, crisp amber-hued ale with just a hint of caramel undertones. Yum.
- Harvest Bakery
Grab a specialty coffee from Café Bean in the historic Brown Shoe Factory Building before you set out for a drive on the backroads to Elphin, where this front yard bakery will surprise you. There are no shortcuts taken here – pies, breads, and squares are made with time and you’ll taste it with each bite. Their motto is “butter makes everything better!” and who could argue with that?
- Wheelers Pancake House
Woodland trails and museums are open on weekends (contact tracing required), including the Maple Heritage Museum which holds the Guinness record for the most maple artefacts in the world. Marvel at the chainsaw display and the agricultural machinery exhibits in Forest and Farm museum. Call ahead to dine-in for the best pancake breakfast you’ve ever had, served with maple sausage made with their very own maple sugar. The restaurant is open on weekends by reservation only. 613-278-2090.
- Ugly Apple Cider and Wines – reservations required
Set on a 55-acre property, this cider-tasting attraction was opened by B.J Hogue after his 2017 wild apple cider received a silver medal for a Natural Cider. Highlighting the apple heritage of the region, the winning El Escanciador, (a traditional Spanish-styled “sidra”), is made using the rare Lanark Greening apple along with select heritage varieties. In the same competition, Ugly Apple Wilding Apple Wine received a bronze medal, under the category of Specialty Cider and Perry. Only wild or “ugly” apples are harvested for this uniquely natural beverage. Book your tasting in advance.
- Lanark Landing
Known for ample servings at a fair price, this family-run restaurant and local meeting place caters to travellers by car, motorcycle, snowmobile or ATV. Come as you are and have a bite. People rave about the French fries and the camaraderie.
- Village Treats
Part of Lanark County’s Chocolate Trail, these chocolatiers pride themselves on high-quality, hand-crafted chocolates made with traditional recipes and techniques that have been in the making for 40 years. Their signature “Northern Nuggets” made with maple syrup are sure to impress!
- Coutts Coffee Roastery & Café
Start your day with a short walk to grab a fabulous locally roasted cappuccino or specialty tea before getting into the car for today’s adventure.
- Picnic Café
Breakfast is served! From avocado toast to breakfast sandwiches, from breakfast cookies to power bowls and energy balls, this is a super- heathy and delicious spot to get fed on your way out to farm country.
- Little Stream Bakery
Artisan loaves are in hot demand. A quick drive out to Glen Tay will bring you to this little eco-friendly treasure, where you can pick up wood-fired oven baking and divine breads made with spelt, kamut, wheat or organic sourdough. It’s so amazing that it’s become a wholesaler to specialty shops across Eastern Canada and the U.S. and offers direct home ordering.
- Bowness Family Farm
If it’s in season, you’ll find it at Bowness Family Farm. Located just outside of Glen Tay, you can’t miss the log barn perched along the Scotch Line. Everything you find in this store is either grown right on site or from the local agricultural community. Visit the loft to see work by local artisans before heading across the road for your next stop.
- Scotch Line Farm
After nine generations, this family of farmers know what they’re doing. Drop by their on-site farm store and see what good things have been growing (and baking) on their farm. Famous for their fall pumpkins and pumpkin pies, freshly baked just for you. Once you decide to head back into town, and you get settled at the hotel, walk over to O’Reilly’s Ale House for dinner as part of your evening.
- Mill of Kintail Conservation Area
After you hit Penny’s Place for a hearty breakfast, grab a latte and a picnic lunch from Fieldhouse before you head out of town. Set out for a scenic walk through forested waterfront trails on conservation lands. This stunning property is one of the Seven Wonders of Lanark County. Parking fees may apply.
- Penny’s Fudge Factory
Famous for its production of over 50 flavours of fresh home-made fudge, this popular stop overlooks the mighty Mississippi River in Pakenham. Get a photo at the park under the historic five-span stone bridge and walk up the hill to see the Italianate exterior of St. Peter’s Church. Village Tour maps are available at the Pakenham General Store.
- Cartwright Springs Brewery
Visit the woodsy taproom and scenic patio at this off-the-beaten-path brewery. A popular overnight stop for travellers of the Ottawa Valley Recreational Trail (OVRT), beers are brewed here using natural artesian spring water, and the environment is a priority. Property tours are available by appointment. Try creative blends like the Bourbon Vanilla Brown Ale or the Spruce Tip IPA. On your way back to Perth, stop for dinner at The Hungry 7.
Day Seven (Walkable)
- North Folk Café
Start your final day with a great coffee or tea at this all Canadian cafe and market featuring the largest Kombucha On Tap and a curated selection of loose-leaf teas. Pick up some fine Maple Chocolate made by Ludwig and choose your flavour of premium organic Artizen Kambucha.
- Perth Pie Co.
Entirely from scratch. Sweet and savoury pies, crumbles, tarts, cookies, biscuits, and squares made from real and locally sourced ingredients, without the use of artificial flavourings or colourings, or preservatives – available at your fingertips. While exploring Perth’s spectacular downtown, stop into the Rideau Candy Shop or the foodie section of Fall River & Co. and look out for Lanark County Maple Syrup in a souvenir leaf shaped bottle.
- Crossroads Tea Room
Over 55,000 scones served. Made fresh daily in-house, the lunch menu includes the Queen Mum’s tea, or with a little planning, experience an “Afternoon High Tea” by calling 24 hrs ahead.
- Weatherhead Brewing Company
Follow the Rideau Trail Towpath to this hip tap room and patio. The old Wampole pharma building located right on the Tay Canal has been transformed into a modern and lofty pub by a group of community-minded investors that got together for the sole purpose of making really good beer. Ask about the story behind the name for an interesting tale.
- Maximilian’s Restaurant
The legendary Wienerschnitzel is a local favourite, made fresh daily from their famous recipe that put them on the “Where to Eat in Canada” list for over 20 years.
The Great Taste of Ontario Road Trip: Lanark County