Heading there on the weekend, I've been many times before, but wondering if anyone has any secret places for me to check out?
What (or where) is the best thing to eat there?
Country Crock if it's still there. Good French dip beef sandwiches.
sample all the food, that may get you full quickly
I think the whole show is overrated. The market/outlet shopping area is really tacky and full of touristy kitsch and/or stuff available almost anywhere around the GTA. The actual market outdoors does repay a careful once-over for offbeat/unusual produce. I got a load of damson plums(the key hard-to-find ingredient for killer Brit-style plum jam)and some heirloom tomatoes from a nice Mennonite lady a few weeks back. As fall goes on, you will see rare, old-school apples unavailable outside the K-W area. Friends love the big summer sausages that look like a chunk of smoked firehose. Sorry but there's not much else for me. Work in a trip to West Montrose to see the covered bridge, too.
Definetly check out picards peanuts (if you haven't already) its a little peanut shop right before you get into the downtown swing of things.
They grow their own peanuts and were the inventors of chipnuts too!
They have soooo many different flavors of peanuts and other nuts too.
As well, there are samples of almost every variety.
Its not too expensive either.
(there is also a picards peanuts right beofre you get into niagara on the lake too!)
At the St. Jacobs Market, I can never remember the vendor name, but the sausages sold just outside the south entrances of the main food building are excellent. You can buy them to take home for around $3.99/lb in a dozen or so varieties (farmers and cajun are particularly good).
Resto in Elmira, just a little north of St Jacob's,has a buffet (or table service)with Mennonite style foods. Nice homey atmosphere, too. It's called At The Crossroads. I never miss it when I'm up that way..
I always liked Vidalia's market dining in St. Jacob's - the buttermilk poppyseed dressing is addictive and I often went there just to buy a bottle to take home. Their pizzas and meat dishes were always decent. However, Stone Crock, the restaurant and bakery beside Vidalia's, and Benjamin's never impressed me.
New Hamburg and Elora are other interesting options around the region, and the covered bridge in West Montrose is a lovely spot (though the ice cream there isn't the best) on the way to Elora Gorge. Afternoon tea at Elora Mill isn't that impressive; much better is the one at Langdon Hall in Cambridge. There is a nice kitchen supply shop in Elora, where they sell Bridgewater pottery, my favourite!