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Peterborough to Kawarthas: Food Finds?

We're heading up to the Kawartha Lakes area for a few days. Does anyone know of any good non-chain restaurants, artisanal bakeries, local food shops, etc. in the region?

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  1. Ralph's Butcher Shop in Norwood (east on Hwy 7 from Peterborough) is always worth stopping by. Their selection of sausage is amazing. It's also a good place to pick up Empire Cheese, easily the best cheddar in Ontario, I think, that's made a little farther down the road in Campbellford and not available in Toronto, sadly.


    2 Replies
    1. re: tbonetak

      Second Ralph's and his sausages. Great stuff!

      Here's a strange one. Great wonton soup at the Havelock Garden Restaurant on Highway 7 in Havelock. Everything else is fried and over-battered, but the soup, homemade broth and dumplings, yum.

      1. re: Mila

        Had the Won-Ton soup at the Havelock Garden Restaurant..."Home of the Chinese Smorgasbord" today. It was fantastic.

        Thanks for the suggestion Mila

    2. peterborough is a mecca of good restaurants in the mid-price range. i love eating out there. search for peterborough on chowhound site and you will see some recommendations.

      1. I stopped by a funky little restaurant in Peterborough on my way up to the Kawarthas a couple of years ago - I think it was called "The Electric Banana"? Cool little place with quite good food and moderately priced from what I remember. Seemed like the type of place that would attract the student & faculty crowd looking for something better than pub grub.

        4 Replies
        1. re: Amac

          Are you thinking of the Electric Clove? They shut down.

          There are so many great options non-chain in Peterborough and heading up to Lakefield. I am from Lakefield - but I know Peterborough pretty well too. Do you have particular foods that you prefer? What about price point?

          If you Google 'kawartha dining', you will get some sites that can help, but the short list includes:
          * Tapas: Cervantes on Hunter Street - they're doing some nice plates and all reasonably priced.
          * Artisanal baking: Sticklings Bakery on Charlotte Street.
          * Higher style: Old Bridge Inn, Young's Point (n. of Lakefield). Excellent dining in a casual environment, right by the lock in Young's Point.
          * Olde Stone Brewing Company - Brewpub - more pub than anything else but nice.
          * Lunch: Ward Street Grill in Bridgenorth. They have a wicked avocado wrap with sweet pot fries and spicy aioli that is to die for...

          There's tons more... Happy eating!

          1. re: kawarthagirl

            I'm very much into restaurants serving seasonal and local foods whenever possible, as well as local artisanal foods (makers and purveyors), interesting farm stands and farmers' markets, etc.

            So far, you've all been great with your responses. Thanks!

            1. re: FlavoursGal

              farm stands... on the glenarm road (west of the 35, south of rosedale, north of lindsay) there are heaps of mennonite farms most of whom sell fresh produce and eggs (but never on sunday!) some also sell meat, and some will sell you butter if you ask (mmmmm). while i'm sure they're not certified organic, i'm sure they are all organic in practice, seeing as they don't use electricity or gas-powered vehicles. speaking of, don't drive too fast, there may be a horse and buggy up ahead.

          2. re: Amac

            ALSO! In Lakefield, there is Nuttshell Next Door cafe (yum sandwiches, etc... all high quality ingredients!)

          3. There's a new place my mom took me to that recently opened in Ptbo- it's called Periwinkle's.

            Great home cooking- you can taste the love!

            They have clotted cream & preserves too!

            1. Stop in at Herma's on Highway 28 north of the 401. Lots of fun stuff for decorating, quality kitchen equipment, plus a vaaaaaast selection of preserves, condiments, frozen foods, gourmet cheeses... Definitely worth checking out.

              6 Replies
              1. re: Full tummy

                That reminds me! The Cheese Shop in Peterborough is very well stocked and the BEST place for sauces, rubs, condiments, whatever is Firehouse Gourmet, on Hunter St. East. They even have some you can taste -- there is a truffle mustard that is phenomenal as well as some seriously suicidal sauces --- way to hot for me!

                1. re: kawarthagirl

                  Kawarthagirl, have you been to Herma's? I haven't been to Firehouse Gourmet, but I have to tell you that Herma's non-perishable food section is really unparalleled in my experience, in what I think of as fairly rural Ontario. Hope you have a chance to drop by and share your thoughts.

                  1. re: Full tummy

                    Kawarthagirl is ALWAYS awesome for 'patch suggestions. Makes me miss the place. The downtown core really is an excellent spot for interesting restaurants.

                    Another nice spot is the Planet Bakery Cafe on Water Street. I haven't been there for quite a while but I have been assured by a few friends that it is still just as good. They specialize in vegetarian fare as I recall.

                    Enjoy your visit. Cheers.

                    1. re: Full tummy

                      We have been to Herma's many, many times... They sell a lot of brands of sauces, tapenades, etc.. that are available at other stores in Peterborough, so we stopped making the trip unless we happeend to be headed to Port Hope/Cobourg.

                      What I like about FireHouse is that they are focused. They don't have knick knacks and cakes and cheeses and frozen foods and so on and so on and so on. Their focus makes their product knowlege quite impressive... They have tried everything that has come through their door and regardless of who is at the counter, they can pretty much tell you what you want to know.

                      Peterborough is well on its way, with a little help, to becoming another PEC. There is so much going on with food, with a particularly interesting focus on 'field to fork' concepts... It's great to see a place growing this way...

                      1. re: kawarthagirl

                        Hi guys, new to this board and resident of Kawarthas. Just wanted to add a note about Hermas. I buy expensive gift baskets for my corporate clients every holiday season. Someone recommended Hermas because I wanted to something really artistic and wanted to support local businesses. I was very specific about what I wanted in each basket, for example, I mentioned that one of the baskets was for someone who had lost a lot of weight and didn't want to be tempted by sugary treats. Well, I found out from my client who received it, that they had loaded it with chocolate and short bread cookies. I called Hermas owner to ask how the miscommunication happened and she got miffy, defensive and angry at me. Not impressive customer service tactics, especially considering that I had just dropped over $350 with them. I will never order from them again. It was embarrassing.

                  2. re: Full tummy

                    AHHHH Hermas! One of the finest shops in the land, if you go there on a weekend, youll see it is a destination shop for visitors from Toronto as well. Now that Im back in Ottawa, it is one of the many things I miss about life in Ptbo. Want to know what is hot in fine foods? Go see Hermas, the store dosent look like much from the outside, "dont judge a book by its cover!"

                  3. for Thai food, I always loved cosmic charlies (amazing spring rolls)

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: hungryabbey

                      Triple ditto for Cosmic Charlies. Their food is original, consistent and totally awesome. Every time we go, we order something new off the menu because everything has been so tasty. There was only one occasion where the food was ordinary and disappointing and I cannot remember what it was called. Sorry! However, you can't go wrong for almost every dish on the menu. That is an incredible endorsement. Plus the service is always friendly and fairly fast and the atmosphere is really funky and cool.

                      1. re: hungryabbey

                        Totally agree with Cosmic Charlies. Ecclectic, cozy, and excellent noodles. Pad Thai and Mee Goreng are my favs. Chicken and Shrimp are always good. Don't forget to try the dumplings (usually on as a special appetizer).

                        Heard some people complain about takeout, but this food doesn't travel well. Eat it there and enjoy.

                        Cosmic Charlie's Cafe
                        170 Charlotte St, Peterborough, ON K9J2T8, CA

                      2. Second vote for the Old Bridge Inn. My family loves that place. We found it last summer. I went up to the cottage 3 times, ate there every time.

                        1. ...and don't forget the Farmer's market in PTBO on Saturdays from 7:00-1:00, always some good baking and produce there.

                          10 Replies
                          1. re: jdavies

                            Don't forget the Farm Gate Sales Association hosts the Downtown Peterborough Farmers Market (on Charlotte St., between George St. and Water St.) every Wednesday from 9:00am - 2:00pm, May - October.

                            The folks who sell at this market are GUARANTEED to be local and most if not all are supporters of KawarthaChoice!

                            1. re: kawarthagirl

                              Really fresh eggs, corn and vegs. at the Kennedy farm, 3 km.north of Omemee on county rd 7.

                              1. re: jayt90

                                My favorite cajun restaurant outside of New Orleans is in Peterborough, next to the old stone brewary, on george just south of hunter. I highly reccomend the Pulled Pork po'boy, The Cuban Beef sandwich, and especially the Blackened Catfish. For appetizers, the gumbo is always filling but lovely, the nachos with clillantro and cheese, and the Hush Puppies. Avoid the vegetarian roti, and other than that I've heard no complaints. Oh yes, the crawdads are great, as are the yam frites with spicey mayo. I have also heard great things about the Hoshi sushi, which is on Charlotte just west of george on the north side. And the Only Cafe is well known for it's great breakfasts and sandwiches, but also for service with an attitude.

                                1. re: mzmcgee

                                  It's called Hot Belly Mama's....

                                  Also, for sushi, I would go to Matsu Sushi on Park Street (also a second shop on Hunter East).

                                  Interestingly, Peterborough has more restaurants per 10,000 population than even Toronto does, so it is amazing how many of them have service without a smile!

                                  But you can always find a good bargain... Value for dollars...

                                  1. re: kawarthagirl

                                    Ha ha... can't believe I said all that and forgot to mention the name of the place... the thought of hush puppies and catfish made me loose my mind

                                    1. re: kawarthagirl

                                      How long would a drive from downtown Toronto be? I think that it's amazing how many restos there are and would love to try out Matsu and the cajun spot.

                                      1. re: Zengarden

                                        1.5 hours from Peterborough downtown to Leaside in Toronto (Bayview & Eg), where my Mom lives :)

                                      2. re: kawarthagirl

                                        Yeah but...most of them are mediocre chain restaurants...not exactly a ringing endorsement of Peterborough as a culinary oasis

                                        1. re: Finnegan

                                          True but we're improving - a new place in Lakefield is Riverhouse Co. I haven't been yet but other foodies we know have enjoyed it enormously!

                                          1. re: Finnegan

                                            ^^that is not really a fair statement. Chains are everywhere, but there are lots of great little spots there.

                                2. Just for The Halibut (17 king St.) is a nice, clean, friendly fish and Chip resto in Bobcaygeon. In additton to the erxcellent traditional battered fish, they'll also pan fry or grill your fish of choice. very nice.

                                  A new find is the Waters Edge Cafe (50 Canal Street) in Bobcayeon... a small, nicley decorated resto with a large deck overlooking the river and marina. Linen Table cloths and napkins is a nivcve touch. Good place for brunch or a light dinner...homemade soups, fresh salads, grilled salmon. Nothing too fancy just fresh food done well.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: Finnegan

                                    Tried the Waters Edge Cafe today based on the recommendation. I like food with attitude and service without. This place had neither. Take your business and taste buds elsewhere....

                                  2. Friends in the P-dot rave about this Belgian esto. Haven't been there myself, but food and drinks menu looks pretty good. Any reviews?

                                    5 Replies
                                    1. re: Finnegan

                                      dont have a full review, but I used to live in the peterpatch and st veronas was an excellent spot for lunch or dinner. All of the sandwiches are amazing. One of the best spots in Ptbo in my opinion.

                                      1. re: hungryabbey

                                        Used to be better.... they changed the menu last year and took off ALL my faves... UGH.

                                          1. re: hungryabbey

                                            well, with more restaurants per capita than any other town in the area, including Toronto, there's always another choice ;)

                                    2. Cassis Bistro in Lakefield was amazing. Poached pear salad was nice and the 10-12 vegs with the lamb shank were all superb. Despite the chow raves, we almost went elsewhere after reading the boring menu descriptions of the entrees. Basic french fare but done superbly. They've opened another spot in Ptbo, so I guess this disqualifies them from the non-chain category? ;)

                                      Old Bridge Inn just north in Young's Point was another one in the category of boring menu descriptions but great execution. What a nice change from the adjective-laden exotic-sounding but disappointing menu descriptions elsewhere. Blueberries on George St. in Ptbo for brunch would be a good example of the latter - the decor is great and props for wanting to be creative and imaginative, but we were disappointed after the hyped-up menu descriptions. Unfortunately, we missed Hot Belly Mamas/Olde Stone Brewery due to a typo in the tourist brochure and everything else in Ptbo was closed for Sunday brunch (what's with that?).

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: Imbo

                                        Can you give me an example of what you consider to be a boring menu description? Just curious!

                                        1. re: Imbo

                                          Cassis 211 seems very similar but more after work casual... Of course, you want to follow the chef - Michael - he is the real master here...

                                          As for Sunday's, only the chains are really open downtown. I think there is a prevailing theory that people don't eat on Sunday. :) We don't even bother. We get coffee and bagels at Timmies and go to the zoo!

                                        2. India Food House is an institution in Peterborough.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: Ivriniel

                                            India Food House shut down years ago! there's now an amazing thai place ( Karma's Cafe" ) where it used to be.

                                          2. looking for a nice spot near CLoyne, any suggestions?

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: melmary

                                              Sorry - once we leave the county of Peterborough, my knowledge gets sketchier... :)

                                            2. The independents will become more competitive when Costco opens this fall in Peterborough.
                                              They'll have to.

                                              5 Replies
                                              1. re: jayt90

                                                Costco affects restaurants? I'm not being facetious... I don't know what you mean... :)

                                                1. re: kawarthagirl

                                                  Just looking at the original post, and thinking that a one stop, low cost, high quality place for food, groceries, fish, meat, take out, and camping stuff, will be convenient when I get off 115. Costco is likely to affect bakeries, food shops, grocers, fast food stops, and general supplies on the way to the Kawarthas. There will be an impact, and the local shops will respond or close.

                                                  1. re: jayt90

                                                    In Peterborough, most store owners have found that despite the wish that this was a major tourism destination, they need to cater to locals... 9 months of the year, there isn't anyone else. I am hoping that the smaller shops who were able to stave off the stream of chain restaurants in the downtown strip (Lansdowne) will be able to get their message out loud and clear over Costco... But you're right... It's bound to have a short term impact as people 'try it out', as they do with each new restaurant in town...

                                                    1. re: kawarthagirl

                                                      I suspect that cottagers who are likely to go to Costco are more likely to go to that one as opposed to the Costco closer to home really. As to local places, I would imagine that the stores that will be more directly affected will be the larger places like Loblaws, no Frills etc.

                                                      The smaller places (bakeries, fast food, butchers etc) may not (hopefully) be as affected as one might originally think. The local independent places have had to battle their way for quite a while so I suspect that many of them will survive this new thing too.

                                                      Places like the smaller bakeries, fer example, are probably better known for their quality as opposed to their quantity and as a result have become a staple for both locals and tourists. The Planet Bakery is a good example or some of the awesome spots in Lakefield. They aren't cheap but they are sooooo good!

                                                      But I guess we shall see what happens...

                                                      1. re: Otonabee

                                                        Thankfully for the area, cottagers (people who own, not rent) tend to be people with funds... So Lakefield, for example, is quite busy on the weekends with cottagers stocking up... In fact, the local IGA even caters to this by staying open until 11 on Friday's in the summer. Cross our fingers that we won't see more big box damager around here :)

                                                        As for restaurants, Lakefield is seeing some growth: there is the Lakefield Restaurant (yes, crappy name) but good pizza! and Devonshire Tea House is cute if you have an event or want something more than a take out sandwich - they have a liquor licence now, so you can get a glass of wine with your scone, if you want :)

                                                        Cassis is still going strong and has in fact even gotten better over time and the Nuttshell next door cafe is ALWAYS busy. I haven't been to some of the others in a while (Lakeside Dining, Hamblin's) but the 'old' standby's are still busy too...

                                              2. Just a little update:
                                                I tried to go to Ralph's today but it was closed. Closed at the beginning of February. Sign says they will be back open April 1st. 2009.

                                                P.S. Tried a slice of pizza next door. Probably one of the worst I have ever had. Oh, and for those looking for Stirling Creamery butter...it's in the grocery store across the street.

                                                1. Another fine dining establishment that almost every single student and budget conscious savvy Peterborough resident knows, is Island Cream,an authentic West Indian restaurant. Their boneless chicken roti is to die for as is their jerk chicken dinner. The food is fresh, hot, made with love and absolutely delicious. It is especially fantastic considering we are all the way out here. When we lived in Toronto, we used to go to Island Foods on King and Dufferin, specialiaing in roti. Island Cream is just as good, if not better! The owners are extremely cool. The only drawback is that the restaurant is hot in the summer and a bit cold in the winter. We have worn our coats sometimes, but the food is soooo good, it is worth it!

                                                  1. if you are driving up Hwy 45 from Cobourg north - there is a great little place on the south west side of the bridge in Hastings - called 'Banjos' - great fish, fresh local veg, very tasty desserts and extremely reasonable - not much in the way of decor but the view of the Trent is pretty and the deck over the water in summer is very pleasant. They do a very good breakfast as well.

                                                    4 Replies
                                                    1. re: gharris

                                                      Not on the way but folks going from the GTA through Orno (north of clarington), there is a lovely dutch bakery there with what tastes like very fresh and delicious items. I don't know exactly where it is but it's on their main street, I remember a chocolate shop, an antique shop, a church and so forth.

                                                      1. re: BamiaWruz

                                                        Finally got to the Village Dutch Bakery in Orno. Stopped in for a sandwich on the way through. Pretty little town, OK sandwich, lots of baked goods and sweets. Worth a detour.

                                                        The funniest thing though is their "Wall of Licorice". Lots of sweet and salty types. The Dutch obviously like their licorice !

                                                        1. re: PoppiYYZ

                                                          Wall of licorice? How silo they sell the licorice? In bulk? Packs? Individual pieces?

                                                          1. re: Full tummy

                                                            Couple of dozen (at least) containers mounted on the wall. Help yourself to as much as you want. Sweet, salty, hard, soft, small pieces, large pieces, some filled,...

                                                            It's pretty good stuff. The sweet isn't too sweet, but I didn't try the salty. I found out later that it packs quite a pucker.


                                                            Better go to the dentist first though, and make sure any fillings you have are in there good and tight ! ;-)

                                                    2. the farmers market in lindsay is worth checking out also, saturdays before noon. the red tomato in bobcaygeon at the old inn is okay, mostly pub food but the specials are nice and the patio over the river is great. kawartha dairy has great ice cream, although i'll take empire cheese and their salsa cheddar/mozz anyday.

                                                      There is a great veg/fruit stand on hwy 36 just past scotch settlement road, about 20 km north of lindsay on the way to bobcaygeon. the woman who runs it, kelly, grew it from a tiny little stand to quite the production over the last few years. grows most of the veg right there and buys the rest as local as possible. her beans are fantastic, i love making a fresh nicoise salad using beans picked that morning!

                                                      the airport in lindsay is a great breakfast/lunch stop as well, on hwy 35 just north of town, and if you have kids its fun to watch the planes. have a small patio, always very crowded weekends tho.

                                                      thats all for now, happy feasting!

                                                      3 Replies
                                                      1. re: torontochris

                                                        Just returned from a relaxing 3 days in the Bobcaygeon region. When we turned up at the Kawartha Dairy in Bobcaygeon on Monday afternoon, I hadn't brought this thread with me, so the assistant manager was kind enough to go online and check your post so that I could hunt for the right cheese! Sadly, that location doesn't stock Empire (they said the nearest was over 30 minutes away) so I bought the Black River salsa mozzarella which I'll open later this week.

                                                        Walked all through Bobcaygeon searching for a "Red Tomato" sign and was told later that it's in the Inn on the waterfront (again, didn't have this post with me) though it's definitely not marked as such.

                                                        On the bright side, that meant we decided to eat at Donattela (their spelling) which has FANTASTIC salads. Although expensive at $12, both the pear with proscuitto and the Donatella (their spelling) (with bocconccini, tomato, and amazing red pepper)were tasty and refreshing summer meals. They also have a longer than average list of wines by the glass (nothing exciting but it's nice to have choice). Another highlight was tasty bread served with a plate of oil, vinegar and chile flakes. I wasn't hungry when I arrived and I'm slightly suspicious of uncharted restaurants but our server at Eganridge had recommended Donattela and I'm so glad we took a chance.

                                                        See the thread on Eganridge Inn for more hits and misses.

                                                        One word of warning: the Kawartha Dairy located in Bobcaygeon overcharges for its ice cream. On Tuesday evening, I ordered a baby cup of "unlocked and loaded" (great if you like sugar). On the menu board it says $2.30 plus tax. The girl wrote down my order on a paper napkin including the words "baby cup" and asked for $3.05. I paid $3.05 and asked if this was indeed the cost of a baby cup. She said yes. I kept thinking but realized it was way too much tax so then asked for a receipt. She gave me a receipt for $2.94, the cost of a small cone. I asked a different girl why there was a discrepancy. They asked if I simply wanted an extra amount of ice cream, so I said no, I just wanted my change back. The original girl came back and gave me $3.05 and told me to keep the whole amount.

                                                        I would chalk this up to busy-ness and stress but there were barely any customers in line and 3 girls working the counter. Also, the EXACT same thing happened to my friend who ordered immediately after me, except that she didn't question the excessive amount and didn't go back to ask for a refund. My friend ordered a baby cone ($2.20 plus tax) and was charged $2.94. The girl even wrote down her order "baby cone".

                                                        Have you noticed any poor math skills and poor receipting at Kawartha Dairy Bobcaygeon?

                                                        1. re: Food Tourist

                                                          "Have you noticed any poor math skills and poor receipting at Kawartha Dairy Bobcaygeon?"

                                                          Not specifically - but I find this is a flaw throughout the area. As a business owner (though not food related), we have the most interesting people show up for interviews. My favourite was the woman who came with three of her kids and answered her cell phone in the middle of the interview. So a lack of math skills, on the whole, is a small price to pay if they are reasonably personable... hahahahaha

                                                        2. re: torontochris

                                                          I opened the salsa mozzarella today and couldn't stop eating it! Wow, it's delicious! I used to be a total snob about flavoured cheeses but this one has won me over. Thanks torontochris!

                                                        3. We're passing through this region on a camping trip (from Virgina/DC) and stopped yesterday in Petersborough to check out the farmers market and Canoe Museum. Farmers market was small but we bought some nice corn, dragon beans (red speckled), and blue potatoes. All delicious when cooked that night on the Coleman stove.

                                                          We had a wonderful Indian lunch at Shafiq's Taste of India at the corner of George and Lake. My son spotted it on the way in and requested to go back. Quite delicious, very earnest and friendly (but inexperienced) waitstaff. We had the sampler for two (because the party at the next table had it and it looked so good) plus some extra appetizers because we were 2 adults and 2 kids. Highly recommend if you're in P'borough at lunch time.

                                                          2 Replies
                                                          1. re: tcamp

                                                            Thanks for the tip - haven't been there yet.

                                                            1. re: tcamp

                                                              The big farmers market is on Saturday - many more vendors there.

                                                            2. I rarely post bad reviews but in this area of few good eats, please just avoid this one. Grandpa's 2 for 1 Pizza in Marmora. $25 for Large $28 with cheddar. No two for one.
                                                              Bad service, long waits and cheap ingredients.

                                                              Please see attached photo of cheddar ( ! ) pizza.
                                                              That's right, 3 slices of plastic cheese.

                                                              1. I lived in Peterborough for a year. It is a charming, if somewhat boring town with some very nice people and a few very good restaurants. The aforementioned St. Veronus, Hot Belly Mama and Cassis ae all excellent on a good day. I have tried all the sushi joints and to me Hoshi is by far the best and most creative. Very nice people who run the place. In fact, I have not yet found sushi I enjoy more since arriving in TO, although I am sure I will eventually. When all is said and done however, if I make a trip up to P'boro for a day and have time for only one meal, there is no question where I would go: Reggie's! This is a chip truck with aspirations and is already legendary among those in the know.. It is just past the entrance to Trent University off Water St. Reggie and his staff produce a burger that is little short of greatness. 100% fresh beef on a good bun with your choice of condiments. Sweet potato fries to die for (have the cajun dip). Poutine that is as close to Quebec standard as you are going to find, with fresh, squeaky curds. My favourite burger is the Drop Out burger, which is made with a slice of peameal. Reggie's is no longer just a little cart.. Since Reggie took over the spot from the previous guy (who was found dead in his chip truck...yummo!), he has been so successful that he had a new, large prefab trailer installed. In summer, there can be huge line-ups, but it is worth the wait. To me, this is a destination burger, if there is such a thing. Grab a meal and sit at the picnic tables by the river. Pretty close to heaven, actually.

                                                                6 Replies
                                                                1. re: munchieHK

                                                                  OMG - this chip truck is all some people up here talk about. I haven't gotten there myself but now I'm going to have to!

                                                                  1. re: kawarthagirl

                                                                    Yep, you gotta try it. Let me know what you think.

                                                                  2. re: munchieHK

                                                                    Good news, Reggie's fans. Reggie and Cam have opened a permanent location in addition to their seasonal chip truck by Trent. Their restaurant is open daily at 89 Hunter Street East in East City, Peterborough. Same delicious homemade burgers and fries as well as breakfast. At lunchtime I step out the front door of my neighboring business just to catch a whiff of the grill!

                                                                    1. re: firehouse

                                                                      Excellent news! I wish them the very best of luck, Reggie's a lovely guy and makes a serious burger. Almost makes me wish I was back in Peterborough...almost.

                                                                        1. re: firehouse

                                                                          Went to Reggie's (Hunter Street ) for the first time about a week ago and was very uninspired. I tried the basic cheese burger and it left me disappointed. Small thin dry pattie and oversized dry bun. My wife ordered a special burger with some type of sauce and it was a bit better.

                                                                          Oh to have a burger joint like The Burger Joint NYC or the Corner Bistro NYC in Canada...

                                                                      1. Any serious foodies heading to the Kawarthas need to check out Riverhouse Co. in Lakefield. It is truly a gem. Carrie, the chef, comes with a stellar pedigree from the big city, and has developed a small but excellent (and frequently changing) menu that makes the most of local foodstuffs. We've eaten there 4-5 times now and have never been disappointed. She makes everything in-house. The waitstaff is excellent and the wine list is also small but good. A recent meal included ravioli with house-made ricotta and wild leek pesto, smoked lamb shanks with a five-spice bbq glaze (amazing!)... previous delights have included venison, roast lemon chicken with truffled gnocchi, scallops in a citrus glaze that made me lick the plate... I could go on and on. Desserts are also fantastic, my fave being the lavender creme brulee.
                                                                        This is a terrific addition to the local food scene, and has quickly become my favourite restaurant. Really, if you thought Cassis was good, this will blow your socks off, and won't cost you much more. Appetizers are in the 8-10 range, mains 15-28, and worth every penny.
                                                                        If you're coming by car, it's the red brick house on the left, just before you cross the bridge in Lakefield going north. If you're on a boat, it's a short walk from either the marina or Lock 26 in Lakefield.
                                                                        Mmmm, I'm getting hungry just writing this, and might have to make a reservation for tomorrow.....

                                                                        5 Replies
                                                                        1. re: orphish

                                                                          I wholeheartedly echo Orphish's post regarding Riverhouse Co. in Lakefield. We were there on Saturday evening, when a party of 10 was in attendance upstairs. Despite being told that it could be a bit of a wait to get our food, it really wasn't much of a wait at all. Our server was knowledgable about wines and dishes and gave recommendations for both. Wines are interesting and reasonably priced. Two of us shared the ravioli with house-made ricotta and wild leek pesto. The single ravioli was nearly the size of a side plate. It was not difficult to divide in half. Upon seeing a nearby diner's appetizer of cedar planked prosciutto-wrapped asparagus bundles, I was sorry we didn't share that app as well. We both opted for our server's recommendation, which was the 15-hour smoked lamb shank with 5-spice and hoisin glaze. The shank was sided with some delicious basil-smashed roasted baby new potatoes and grilled asparagus. All plates were garnished with seasonal snow pea shoots. Everything was rich, yet delicate, if that's possible. We left sated, but not stuffed whatsoever. We're not dessert eaters. Our shared ravioli appetizer, two lamb mains and a bottle of PEI county gamay came to $120 before tip. Had we each had apps and desserts, I figure our grand total would be in the $175-180 range. Pricey for cottage country, perhaps, but fantastic food in a lovely house with impeccable service in any locale. We'll be back to sample the summer and fall menus, and perhaps even more often!

                                                                          1. re: 1sweetpea

                                                                            Making the rounds of the various farmer's markets (Apsley, Lakefield, Marmara, Bobcaygeon, etc.) is Balkan Express Catering. The owner and chef is Croatian and everything coming out of her home kitchen is rich and tasty. I stumbled upon her kiosk at the Sunday Apsley market and took home some cevapcici, cabbage rolls and gibanica, which is a noodle pie made with feta or feta and spinach. All three treats were delicious. I took a business card and emailed an order to be picked up from her home in Peterborough. She happily provided me with pljeskavica (homemade hamburger patties) and more cevapcici, which are larger than the ones they offer at the markets. I also took more gibanica (both types) and more cabbage rolls. I presented the cevapcici to a Croatian cottage guest, who declared them better than any she had eaten in restaurants in Croatia, meaning that Mihaela's homemade touch made them special.

                                                                            This is hearty fare and not for those counting calories, but for a splurge, it's a treat. A more complete menu is available via the website. Balkan Express is available for catering large parties and can either provide the food to you to barbecue/heat up/plate, or else they can come to your home or venue and do the cooking. Give this start up business a try. I did and am glad to have the help when I don't feel like doing all the cooking at the cottage and don't have much in the way of restaurant options.

                                                                            Other Balkan goodies available are burek, Croatian takes on moussaka, goulash, paprikash, baklava, razjnici (kebabs) and a variety of chicken, pastas and assorted meats.

                                                                            If you aren't in the Peterborough area, you can make an order and pick it up from the farmer's markets nearest to you on the appropriate day of the week.


                                                                            1. re: 1sweetpea

                                                                              I'm so glad to hear about Riverhouse Co. I've been eyeing it as we back and forth across the bridge, and am anxious to try it now. If anyone is venturing a little farther up the road to Burleigh Falls, there's a fantastic new roadside stop, an elaborate Chow-worthy chip truck really, called Stella's (previously a fish and chips joint). Not sure who Stella is, as it's always Wendy working the grill when we stop by. Terrific takeaway burgers, sandwiches, salads and even cedar plank salmon - not the usual fare for this kind of place - and extremely friendly service. We usually grab the food and head back to our cottage, but there are picnic benches out front and a fully enclosed deck out back for dining on the spot. Future plans for the adjacent log house include baked goods and cheese. We can't wait!

                                                                            2. re: orphish

                                                                              Totally agree with the positive comments about the Riverhouse in Lakefield.

                                                                              Some of the best meals I've eaten this year came out of Karrie's kitchen. Her reduction sauces and Braised Lamb Shanks are to die for. My wife and I are dedicated regulars.

                                                                              We've eaten everywhere and this place is the excellent.

                                                                              1. re: PoppiYYZ

                                                                                Went to the Riverhouse again this week and it was wonderful. There have been a few changes to the menu (heirloom tomato salad, cheese plate) but some of the favorites remain (chicken with truffled gnocchi and lamb shank - this time with a hoisin glaze). Food, service, wine, and atmosphere were all excellent. Can't wait to go back.

                                                                            3. Hello CH's,

                                                                              A great tip on excellent wings is the Thirty Loon in Lakefield (10 minutes north of Peterborough). About a year ago they switched to fresh wings delivered daily and they are one of the best in Ontario. Large, meaty, non-battered, with a tangy hot red sauce (VERY Toronto Duff's like, but I still think the Anchor Bar is transcendental).

                                                                              Thursday's are wing day with 45 cent wings. We order hot, well done and have always been delighted. Get there before 5pm and enjoy beer specials too...Mmmmmm

                                                                              6 Replies
                                                                              1. re: PoppiYYZ

                                                                                Are there any farm fresh/gate fresh eggs available in the area? I'm pretty sure I've seen a sign here and there but am not sure where. Something along #28 would be great, but anything between Peterborough and Bancroft would be reasonable.

                                                                                1. re: 1sweetpea

                                                                                  heya sweetpea.

                                                                                  I don't know about between PTB and BC, but I know there are several farms offering fresh eggs along hwy 36 between Lindsay and bobcaygeon. Look for the signs, or stop at any of the mennonite farms.

                                                                                  Kelly's is a wonderful stop closer to bobcaygeon, just north/east of scotch line road.



                                                                                  1. re: torontochris

                                                                                    Thanks, TC! I'll have to take a little drive from the cottage next time I'm up. I try to bring some from home, but if we run out, it's nice to be able to grab some locally.

                                                                                    1. re: 1sweetpea

                                                                                      Also County Rd 7 and 14, just west of Emily park: Kennedy Farm on the corner has fresh eggs, corn, tomatoes etc. http://maps.google.ca/maps?rlz=1C1RNP...

                                                                                  2. re: 1sweetpea

                                                                                    Excellent resource for finding all kinds of local products here :


                                                                                    Then click on "Find Local Products" on the banner, and then "Farms". You can refine your search by area and products too.

                                                                                    1. re: PoppiYYZ

                                                                                      That link is so helpful. Thank you PoppiYYZ!

                                                                                2. Can't believe no one has mentioned Godfather's Pizza yet!

                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: Full tummy

                                                                                      Okay, time for a bit of an update with a couple of new places in Lakefield.

                                                                                      The former Dixie Lee location is now something called Jack's that does chicken, ribs, fish & chips & etc. Haven't tried it yet.

                                                                                      The former tea house/bakery and two-time wood burning pizza joint has reopened as a bistro and ladies wear shop. Bizzie's Bistro seats only a dozen and has a limited, light menu. However, they've made a cozy nice space. Stopped in and my wife had a fritatta, while I had a bowl of cream of broccoli soup and a grilled cheese sandwich (Gruyere w/fig jam on homemade bread). Was delish. Lots of interesting and sharp flavours happening through the meal - fresh honey, good cheese and bread, tomato jam with the fritatta, nice dressing on the salad. The broccoli soup was great - nice and cheesy (in a good way). Simple, well prepared food. Coffee needs works though, as it was insipid compared to everything else. All out at $27 + tip for two. Looking forward to trying it again.

                                                                                      And, oh yeah, ladies wear. The majority of the space is clothing retail, so have a wee bite and shop (for the ladies). My wife ended up with a new top and a watch. Same woman looks to be operating both ends of the place with lots of cheery help from partners/friends? Interesting. Hope it works, coz the food was tasty.

                                                                                  1. Stopped in Madoc, (just south of Hwy 7) and dropped into Amazing Coffee. Wow, great coffee! Nice to have a place that serves something other than Tim Horton's. They had a great selection of brews, and are affiliated with the Madoc Tea Company. So you can pick some tea up there as well.


                                                                                    1. Bohemian BBQ in Lakefield is (sadly) no more as a store front. Strictly catering now. The Village Bakery on the main drag near the Home Hardware also bites the dust :( No more cinnamon buns for me.

                                                                                      We have a new Works burger emporium on Water St. in Peterbourough. Tasty and a nice vibe, but $40 for two burgers, a beer, and an ice tea. Ow.

                                                                                      Le Petit Bar in Peterbourough beside St. Veronus. Tiny, simple and elegant. Euro style offerings.

                                                                                      Kettledrums, by the entrepreneurs behind the late Reggies. Also the guys behind El Caminos burritos, which is for sale if you want to get into the resto biz. They've also bought up McThirsty's, refreshed the menu and the beer line up (which is still decent) and killed 2-for-1 wings on Monday nights (rats), but I believe is offer two-fers on Wednesdays. Verdict still out on what has long been my favorite wings place in town.

                                                                                      New Keg and Swiss Chalet in town for those who care. All the local McDonalds remodelled in the McCafe motif. And yes, their coffee is far better than the dishwater on offer at Timmy's.

                                                                                      Short-lived Kawartha Fried Chicken in Bridgenorth being reborn as something else, not sure what yet, but probably something generic (once again).

                                                                                      Third or fourth incarnation of an AYCE Chinese buffet in the old Shoeless Joes site on Lansdowne opposite Shoppers Drug Mart. Food at Red Rice is standard fare of the sort, but awesome pricing, so a good enough place if you're feeling the need to gorge yourself for next to nothing.