Guide to hosting the holidays in Ontario 2023
If you’re hosting a holiday get-together this season, treat your guests to the best, locally made and sourced savory and sweet treats and beverages.
Online shopping, convenient shipping and delivery service make shopping even easier.
Appetizers and snacks
Here are a few amazing Ontario-made products to elevate your grazing platters and sweet trays.
Hummus spread and pita bread
Based in Prince Edward County, Papa Ganoush and Momma Hummus make the tastiest baba ghanoush, hummus, tabouli and pita chips, perfect for your holiday gathering.
Find their goods in several local stores, including Fawn Over Market in Carrying Place and Daughters General Store, a family-owned small business providing a curated selection of local comfort foods. Ten percent of proceeds from the sale of these products are donated to the KEYS Refugee Fund.
Toronto’s Stush Patties create four delicious options, so there’s a patty for everyone at your party. Get your vegan versions from Good Rebel on Dundas Street West in Toronto and meat options from at Yours Conveniently, a friendly café and speciality shop in Aurora.
These pair so well with the mild to hot flavours of Beko Foods, an exciting line of Toronto-based, Nigerian-influenced pepper sauces.
Smoked trout paté and Bannock
Add fresh Muskoka Smoked trout paté from this multi-generational family fish farm to your table. Stock up on delicious smoked fish and spreads from Caudle’s Catch Seafood, a Kitchener-Waterloo family business with Maritime roots.
Caudle’s Catch, 60 Otonabee Drive, Kitchener
Tea N Bannock, 1294 Gerrard Street East, Toronto
The Bannock Lady, 100 Fort William Road, Thunder Bay or email for local catering
Nish Scon, shop online
Gourmet samosas and chutney
What’s not to love about samosas? Baked or fried, these tasty Indian treats always hit the spot, especially with the right chutney. Find delicious frozen samosas ready to heat for your party like the colourful, gourmet samosas from The Samosarie in Toronto’s east end or samosas made with Ontario-grown apples at Niagara Samosas.
The Samosarie, 1904 Danforth Avenue, Toronto
Niagara Samosas, shop online
Muskoka Lakes Farm and Winery, 1074 Cranberry Road, Bala and online
Yummies in a Jar, 6 Bay Street, Baysville and shop online
Cheese platter with compote and jelly
Create a cheese platter that showcases the best Ontario-made cheeses from every corner of the province. You’ll want to include Hamilton’s Udder Way Artisan Cheese Co., a recent winner at the World Cheese Awards for the traditional sheep milk cheese.
Elevate the flavours with award-winning red pepper jelly or fig, apple and walnut compote from Wildly Delicious, based in Toronto. Thornbury Bakery’s line of gluten-free, plant based, low carb and all-natural breads, buns and flat breads are great options for hosting.
Udder Way Artisan Cheese Co., 410 RR 20, Hannon
Wildly Delicious, 11 Tank House Lane, The Distillery District, Toronto
Thornbury Bakery, 12 Bruce Street South, Thornbury
Cured meats and pepperettes
In addition to small-batch, artisanal sheep cheese, Secret Lands Farm produces the perfect charcuterie board lamb pepperettes and salami.
Smoked and cured summer sausage is a Mennonite specialty. Find quality summer sausage and more at Kitchen Kuttings in Elmira or the St. Jacobs Market.
Custom cupcakes, pastries and chocolate treats
Founder, Lenore Johnson, brings her MICHELIN star training to the Kitchener bakeshop, Lenjo Bakes and St. Jacobs café, The Shed. Get your order in for specialized and adorable cupcakes. Bex Baked Goods in Six Nations is another great source for custom cupcakes in a variety of designs.
Famous for the signature Texas donuts, massive apple fritters and Muskoka berry pies, Mariposa Market is a beloved landmark in Orillia. For a statement piece, check out the macaron tower from Quelque Chose Pâtisserie, Ottawa’s macaron specialists.
Finally, treat your guests to small-batch, hand-crafted chocolates from Raven Rising using ingredients sourced from Indigenous businesses. A portion of the proceeds support 60's Scoop, MMIWg2s, and Residential School organizations. Find even more chocolate goodies from Ontario’s top chocolatiers.
Lenjo Bakes, 132 Ahrens Street West, Kitchener
Bex Baked Goods, order via email
Mariposa Market, 109 Mississauga Street East, Orillia
Quelque Chose Pâtisserie, 379 Richmond Road, Westboro, Ottawa and online
Raven Rising, 66 Cedar Street, Sudbury and online
Beverages to celebrate
From soothing teas and aromatic coffees to wines, beers and ciders, make sure your drink cart is full and your guests are well hydrated. This season raise a toast to innovative beverage-makers in Ontario who are stepping up and giving back.
A selection of non-alcoholic options is a must for your gathering. In support of First Nations Clean Water, start with FN Clean Water, sourced from natural Canadian Shield springs and filtered by the limestone and minerals of Eastern Ontario. Several vendors sell this product, including Indigenous-owned Beandigen Café in Ottawa.
Harmon’s Craft Brewing also offers an award-winning line of core and seasonal non-alcoholic brews.
Wine, beer and cider
Serve the fresh and elegant Nyarai Cellars rose made from Gamay Noir Niagara grapes and feel good about every sip. With each sale, donations are made to the Walker Family Cancer Centres for the treatment of Breast Cancer. A portion of sales from the Dark Horse Estate Winery Unapologetically collection of Brash white or Sinful red blends go to local charities.
Sustainability is a key value in Ontario’s wine industry. Learn about some of Ontario’s eco-forward wineries as you plan your holiday party.
Treat the beer lovers at your party to a pilsner, IPA or lager from Mascot Brewing. Mascot works in collab with Black Calder Brewery to support black-owned businesses and give back to the community both locally and globally.
Other fine Ontario craft breweries who have committed to projects helping people and the planet include Wellington Brewery in Guelph, Town Brewery in Whitby, Anderson Craft Ales in London and Arbru Beer, Canada’s first off-grid, solar powered brewery.
Made with organic or locally sourced apples without the use of pesticides or chemicals, Farmgate Ciders are unique and delicious.
Nyarai Cellars, shop online
Dark Horse Estate Winery, 70665 B Line, Grand Bend
Mascot Brewing, 37 Advance Road, Etobicoke
Wellington Brewery, 950 Woodlawn Road West, Guelph
Town Brewery, 1632 Charles Street, Whitby
Anderson Craft Ales, 1030 Elias Street, London
Arbu Beer, 71 Quabbin Road, Mallorytown
Farmgate Cider, 4547 Mohrs Road, Arnprior and online
Tea and coffee
Tea Horse is an Indigenous-owned company producing a wonderful selection of wild rice teas blends based in Thunder Bay.
Organic, fair-trade Birch Bark Coffee Co. is a java that tastes and feels good. This cause-driven company diverts proceeds from sales to bring Certified Water Purification Systems to Indigenous communities.
Savour the rich and fresh flavours of Rebel Elixir Coffee, roasted in Haliburton Highland.
Gifts for the host
For guests attending a holiday party, bringing a thoughtful gift for the host is a great way to express your appreciation.
From the Union Ten Distilling seasonal gift boxes and the tasting kits and cocktail recipes at Wolfhead Distillery to the cocktail classes at Nickel 9, give your hosts the gift of leveling up their mixology game. Explore more exceptional distilleries in Ontario.
Keep the local theme going with our Ontario gift guide!
Last updated: November 22, 2023