Northern Ontario foodie highlights
You can find everything from locally grown food to hearty diner comfort meals. Experience satisfying culinary offerings at restaurants, farms, markets, bakeries, breweries and more.
Here are some foodie hotspots you won’t want to miss in Northern Ontario.
An award-winning restaurant and bakery, Radical Gardens in Timmins offers seasonal dishes that are cooked using ingredients sourced from their own organic farm.
Some of the most popular items on the menu are the Classic Burg (made with local bacon, cheddar cheese, tomato and lettuce on a brioche bun), chipotle beef street tacos and lemon pepper apple brie. In the bakery, you’ll find a weekly rotating selection of sweet treats that include cinnamon buns, cream cookies, coconut cheesecake and more.
Radical Gardens is open Tuesdays to Saturdays from 11:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Location: 163 Fifth Avenue, Timmins
Split Rail Brewing Co. began when Andrea Smith and Eleanor Charlton started brewing from their garage and the two opened Manitoulin Island’s first craft brewery in 2015.
Local ingredients such as hand-picked strawberries, grapes and sumac are used to create top-quality small-batch beer and soda. Visit the brewery’s taproom and patio to choose from a selection of drinks including strawberry ale, copper lager and Manitoulin Gold Pilsner.
Split Rail Brewing Co. is open year-round on Wednesdays from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and on Thursdays to Saturdays from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Location: 31 Water Street, Gore Bay
Enjoy delicious Italian cuisine at Respect is Burning Kitchen & Bar. Classic movie posters decorate the dark brick walls of this dimly lit family restaurant, where you’ll be seated at cozy tables with checkered naperies.
Pick from a variety of classic Italian dishes such as grilled rustic ribs, ravioli with beef and cheese, gnocchi dumplings and rigatoni with sautéed mushrooms. For dessert, try the dolcemisu: layers of fresh mascarpone and ladyfinger tiramisu with sweet toppings.
Respect is Burning is open on Tuesdays to Thursdays from 4:00 to 10:00 p.m. and on Fridays and Saturdays from 4:30 p.m. to midnight. Reservations can be made over the phone.
Location: 82 Durham Street, Sudbury
Enjoy fine dining at the North46 Restaurant in the Manitoulin Hotel and Conference Centre. Find a seat on the outdoor patio for amazing views of the LaCloche Mountain range and the North Channel on Lake Huron.
Specializing in Indigenous cuisine, this restaurant’s diverse menu offers an array of breakfast and dinner dishes like pancakes, bison burgers, Anishinaabe tacos, pan-seared Manitoulin whitefish and North Channel poutine.
North46 Restaurant is open every day from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Located on the east side of Lake Nipissing, Lake House Bistro serves a variety of gluten-free dining options like stuffed chicken breast, pesto noodles, North Saskatchewan Arctic char and the Nipissing Burger (made of beef, garlic mayo, lettuce and other toppings). For dessert, try the cheesecake or chocolate mousse torte cake—both are also gluten-free. The restaurant sources local and seasonal ingredients from farmers in Powassan, Trout Creek and Sturgeon.
1886 Lake House Bistro is open on Mondays to Fridays from 11:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. and on Saturdays and Sundays from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Location: 392 Main Street South, Callander
With its warm atmosphere, homey décor and friendly staff, the Fishbowl Restaurant has been a staple for Timmins locals since 1976.
Overlooking the Mattagami River, you’ll experience breathtaking views while browsing through the menu for your next meal. Choose from a range of scrumptious seafood dishes like house-made coconut shrimp, crab cakes, lightly dusted pickerel, bacon-wrapped filet mignon and the Fishbowl famous fish and chips.
The Fishbowl Restaurant is open on Tuesdays to Thursdays from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. and on Fridays and Saturdays from 4:00 to 9:00 p.m.
Location: 942 Riverside Drive, Timmins
Whether you’re looking for a casual night out or a quick stop to refuel, Burger World is the perfect place for you.
This eatery offers a variety of classic comfort foods, ranging from all-day breakfast favourites like French toast, omelettes and gluten-free pancakes, to delicious dinner dishes such as clubhouse sandwiches, vegan fajita wraps, chicken fingers and hamburger steak. Enjoy a drink from their extensive beer, liqueur and wine menu.
Burger World’s Algonquin Avenue location is open on Sundays to Wednesdays from 7:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and on Thursdays to Saturdays from 7:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. The Hammond Street location is open every day from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Conveniently located along Highway 11 and a short walk away from the Holiday Inn Express in New Liskeard, Ali’s Grill and Bar is well-known to locals in the Temiskaming area for its tasty steaks and seafood dishes.
The creative menu includes firecracker shrimp, chicken penne carbonara, Northland pickerel fillet, peppercorn-crusted striploin and much more. Pair your meal with incredible draft beer or craft beer, or juice for the little ones.
Ali’s Grill and Bar is open on Mondays to Saturdays from 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. and on Sundays from 4:00 to 10:00 p.m.
Location: 998006 ON-11, Temiskaming Shores
The town of Sturgeon Falls is famous for its chip stands, but none more so than Riv Chip Stand and Larry’s Chip Stand. Both stands have been open since the 1960s and are situated directly across the town’s Main Street from each other, close to the Trans-Canada Highway.
Various owners have been carrying down the two businesses’ competitive rivalry through the decades. In addition to the famed fries, these two chip stands also offer pogo sticks, poutine, char-broiled burgers and milkshakes. Order your food to-go or enjoy your food in the stands’ outdoor seating areas.
Riv Chip Stand is open every day from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Larry’s Chip Stand is currently closed due to a fire in 2022 but is set to reopen once repairs are complete.
Location: 235 Main Street, Sturgeon Falls and 230 Main Street, Sturgeon Falls
Sault Ste. Marie and Algoma
A popular destination for tourists to the region, Rheault Distillery is an award-winning, Francophone family-run business.
This artisan Hearst distillery produces hand-crafted small-batch spirits for connoisseurs using distilled, home-grown Northern Ontario wheat. The liqueurs are made with real fruit like apples, pears and cherries. Find cherry liqueur, Loon vodka, port, whiskey and more on their shelves, with products packaged in glass bottles to preserve the authentic flavour.
Rheault Distillery is open every day from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Location: 6 Highway 583 Nord RR 2, Hearst
Originally a pick-your-own strawberry farm, Thomson Farms is situated on 22 scenic hectares of land west of Sault Ste. Marie.
The farm has expanded to include a winery and cidery, producing amazing drinks such as fruit wines and hard cider. The fruits are locally sourced, with strawberries from their own farm, blueberries from Wawa, raspberries from Sturgeon Falls and apples from Collingwood and Thornbury.
Sit down for a casual drink at the farm’s Wine Bar & Patio, open year-round.
Thomson Farms Cider & Winery is open on Mondays to Wednesdays from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., Thursdays to Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. and Sundays from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Location: 4057 Third Line West, Sault Ste. Marie
A staple for all-day breakfast food in Sault Ste. Marie, The Breakfast Pig has won the Best Breakfast in The Sault for two years in a row from The Sault Star.
This unique eatery uses ingredients like pork, fish, maple syrup and dairy products locally sourced from nearby farms. Some of their most popular dishes are breakfast mac and cheese skillets, buttermilk pancakes, Korean gochujang pork and “The Angela” (grilled potato hash with poached eggs and goat cheese). If you’re visiting around the holidays, check for their seasonal specials like the Thanksgiving Eggs Benny.
The Breakfast Pig is open every day of the week from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. for takeout, eat-in and patio service.
Location: 265 Bruce Street, Sault Ste. Marie
When you spot the bright blue and red neon diner sign hanging above the unassuming stone exterior, you’ll know you found Ernie’s Coffee Shop.
This small Sault Ste. Marie diner is a hidden gem known for its seasonal ingredients locally sourced in the Algoma region. Many items like bread, pickles and sauces are made in-house to be as fresh as possible. The menu changes regularly, with some past favourites including the classic chicken sandwich, mushrooms on toast, salmon tartare and steak and fries. If you have a sweet tooth, order the coconut cream pie for dessert.
Ernie’s Coffee Shop is open for reservations on Tuesdays to Thursdays from 11:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. and on Fridays and Saturdays from noon to 10:00 p.m.
Location: 13 Queen Street East, Sault Ste. Marie
If you’re craving pizza or pasta, head to Aurora’s Westside. This family-friendly restaurant has been providing the Sault Ste. Marie community with affordable, high-quality Italian and American food for more than 70 years.
Everything on the menu is made from scratch with fresh ingredients, and you’ll discover a variety of incredible dishes like Italian wedding soup, pesto pizza, chicken parmigiana, baked tortellini, ribs and ravioli and more. Ask your server about the daily “Karen’s Desserts” for a sweet finish to your meal.
Aurora’s Westside is open on Mondays to Thursdays from 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays from 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 9:00 p.m. Call ahead to book a reservation.
Location: 300 Second Line Way, Sault Ste. Marie
Located inside a 109-year-old firehall, Lake of the Woods Brewing Company features beer brewed in an on-site, German-engineered two-kettle system crafted by “Kaspar Schulz,” the world’s oldest brewery plant manufacturer.
Sit on the outdoor patio and enjoy a refreshing house brew from the taproom, whether you prefer beer, hard seltzer or soda. Non-alcoholic beer is crafted with the same old-world style brewing techniques. Local ingredients are used to cook the pub fare like burgers, pizza, tacos and a variety of appetizers.
Lake of the Woods Brewing Company Taproom is open Wednesdays and Thursdays from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays from 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Sunday Brunch is 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Location: 350 2nd Street South, Kenora
Wood’s Quality Bakery has been a hidden gem in the Rainy River district for 110 years, located close to the Ontario border with Minnesota.
On the bakery menu, find tasty treats such as sugar doughnuts, jam-filled bismarcks, apple fritters, cinnamon buns, Nanaimo bars and more. If you’re looking for something more filling for breakfast or lunch, opt for eggs, French toast, popcorn chicken, poutine or sandwiches.
Wood’s Quality Bakery is open on Mondays to Fridays from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and on Saturdays and Sundays from 8:00 to 11:30 a.m.
Location: 214 Fourth, Rainy River
Learn the traditional and contemporary methods of harvesting wild rice, and the Ojibwe peoples’ spiritual connection to the harvest, with the Anishinaabe Wild Rice Experience.
About an hour’s drive west from Thunder Bay, this hands-on experience runs two-day camps during the wild rice season from early September to late October.
In small groups, you’ll go through the process of harvesting the rice: canoeing through rice beds, using cedar sticks to knock rice grains into the canoe, drying the rice on the shore, heating the rice over a wood fire and cleaning the rice of any leftover debris. Then enjoy a lunch of cooked, popped wild rice, similar to popcorn.
The Anishinaabe Wild Rice Experience can be booked between early September and late October. To book, contact owner Rhonda LeClair by email or through the website contact form.
Location: Whitefish Lake
Located in the trendy Bay and Algoma district in Thunder Bay, The Growing Season Juice Collective was opened in 2009 by four local women.
Among the top sustainable restaurants in Thunder Bay, it offers chicken and vegan dishes, made from scratch with seasonal, locally sourced ingredients. Take a seat at one of the yellow bar stools in this cheerful, bright red café and choose from a wide selection of colourful and nutritious sandwiches, wraps and salads. Tea lovers will enjoy the rooibos, ginger, black and green tea. Alternatively, drink options are coffee, milk latte or kombuchas.
The Growing Season Juice Collective is open on Mondays to Saturdays from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Location: 201 Algoma Street South, Thunder Bay
Discover authentic and delicious Finnish pancakes at Kangas Sauna.
Available in mini, small and large sizes, you’ll be able to customize your pancake with toppings like strawberries, whipped and syrup, and add a side order of bacon, sausage, ham, poutine or coleslaw. In addition to their famous Finnish pancakes, this cozy diner offers breakfast foods like omelettes and toast, and quick lunch dishes like soup, sandwiches, burgers and salads.
Kangas Sauna is open on a first-come, first-served basis, every day from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Call ahead to book a reservation.
Location: 379 Oliver Road, Thunder Bay
Tomlin Restaurant works with local producers to create an ever-changing menu based on fresh, seasonal ingredients.
Past dishes have included eggplant schnitzel, beef tartare, fried chicken with artichoke and tortiglioni pasta with duck confit. Pair your meal with the perfect cocktail, whether it’s a coconut vodka, sloe gin, smoky scotch, bourbon amaro or honey whisky.
Tomlin Restaurant is open on Tuesdays to Saturdays from 5:00 to 10:00 p.m. Reservations can be made by email or over the phone.
Location: 202 1/2 Red River Road, Thunder Bay
If you’re looking to try a “Persian” while you’re visiting Thunder Bay, there’s no better place than at The Persian Man.
This must-try Thunder Bay delicacy is a round pastry that’s fried and frosted with bright pink berry icing, and sometimes toasted and topped with butter. You can order a single Persian or a dozen. The shop frequently runs events where special doughnuts with varying icing colours are offered, with proceeds being donated to local organizations to help those in need.
The Persian Man’s Tungsten location is open on Mondays to Fridays from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and on Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The Balmoral location is open on Mondays to Fridays from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
For a unique fine dining experience, stop by the Caribou Restaurant.
You’ll step into a gently lit, warm interior decorated with colourful paintings and accented with plush violet booths. The menu, inspired by contemporary North American cuisine, was crafted by executive chef Craig Vieira and features creative dishes such as maple teriyaki salmon, porcini fillet, squash ravioli, sienna margherita pizza and much more.
The Caribou Restaurant is open on Tuesdays to Thursdays from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. and on Fridays and Saturdays from 5:00 to 10:00 p.m. Reservations can be made over the phone.
Location: 727 Hewitson Street, Thunder Bay
Last updated: August 22, 2023