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Jun 24, 2008 10:34 AM

Road trip through Ontario and Quebec

My wife and I are taking off for an 18-day road trip next week.

The trip is roughly: Chicago → Iowa City → Trempealeau, WI → Mississipi River → Minneapolis → Apostle Islands/Lake Superior → Upper Peninsula → Sault Ste Marie → Sudbury, Ontario → Ottowa → Montreal → Quebec City → Lake Champlain, Vermont → Adirondack Mountains → Niagara Falls → Pittsburgh → Cedar Point → Ypsilanti, Michigan → Chicago.

You can see the Ontario part of the map here:

We're interested in seeing all sorts of stuff, but most important to us are the restaurants. I'd be happy to base the entire route on hitting three good spots a day. I can get good big city recommendations from other threads, but I'm not sure about the places in between. If you've been on those paths, where would you recommend we stop?

Also note that everything is flexible. For instance, we're considering bypassing the upper road and going through Manitoulin and Bruce Peninsula if we can get the times to work out. If you feel that'd be more worth it, by all means let me know.


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  1. Hey, fellow ex-Zeferite! What a surprise to see you on this board and what a great road trip!

    Unfortunately, you're going to be way out of the zone I'm familiar with, but here are a couple of recent threads on Sudbury to help you out.

    And here are a bunch on Ottawa:

    For your Quebec stops, you'll need to post on the Quebec board. Lots of great eats over there. Enjoy your trip!

    2 Replies
    1. re: TorontoJo

      There are no major roads through Manitoulin, or Bruce to Toronto or 407/401 east, but it is worthwhile if the ferry to Tobermory doesn't eat up too much time. There is good whitefish and pickerel anywhere near Lake Huron or Georgian Bay. Toronto Hounds can recommend any number of good spots if you come as far down as 407 and head east. Let us know what you are interested in if you come this way.

      If you were to scratch Pittsburgh we could help on two days through Niagara, Kitchener (Mennonite country) London, Sarnia, and on to Ypsilanti.

      1. re: jayt90

        We have a cottage on Lake Champlain; on your way back from Quebec City, you might want to stop by the Hovey Manor in North Hatley, Quebec; very fine dining in a beautiful country inn. Probably need to reserve.

        And, for Lake Champlain, I'd suggest heading down to Burlington (not quite an hour south of the Philipsburg Quebec crossing on the quite scenic I-89). You can easily spend an enjoyable hour or two on the outdoor shopping mall in the heart of downtown. Pauline's Cafe in South Burlington serves local Vermont specialties, and you'll be arriving just in time for early harvests. And time everything so you can take the sunset ferry from Burlington across the lake to New York State (pray for a clear day!). It takes about an hour, and gives you some spectacular views and opportunities for great photos (plus, I'm willing to bet, a nice respite from all that driving!).

        Finally, if you plan ahead, you may be able to hit one of many county fairs in upstate New York (might be a bit early; I think most are in August). If you do find one, forget the diet, and go nuts on all the varieties of deep fried something topped with some dairy product (cheese, whipped cream, ice cream, cream cream, etc.).

        And if you're planning to visit the theme park at Cedar Point, you may think the one hour wait for the 12 second ride on Top Fuel Dragster is too much time to invest for so short a ride - and you'd be wrong.

    2. If you go through from Sudbury to Ottawa on Hwy 17, then you absolutely must stop in Sturgeon Falls for some fries and a pogo. You can hit one of two chip stands (right across from each other) - Le P'tit Riv or Larry's.
      Otherwise, unless things have changed in the past ten years, I can't recall much between Sudbury and Ottawa.

      P.S. Don't be surprised if they ask you for your order in French - but don't worry, everyone speaks English.

      5 Replies
      1. re: foodiemommy

        If you take Highway 17 between North Bay and Ottawa, stop at the Laurentian View Dairy in Deep River. Fabulous, old school road trip diner.

        1. re: foodiemommy

          Absolutely, unequivocally second the Le P'tit Riv or Larry's for poutine in Sturgeon Falls. They are right on the main drag through the town, you won't miss them. Although I've been a Larry's fan since birth, they are both good. I grew up on the authentic Quebecois stuff and let me tell you, this is the best!
          Oh god, I want some right now...

          If you are going through Wawa, stop at Cedar Hof for some German grub, and great homemade lemon meringue pie.

          I also second the nurse's rec for the Laurentian Dairy in Deep River.

          For Sudbury, check out Respect is Burning in the downtown core and order one of Rob's pizza's-the Werewolf by Night is frickin' awesome. They are open for lunch and dinner. Classic well executed Italian trattoria fare.

          I'll think of more...just give me sec to rack my brain...

          1. re: Splendid Wine Snob


            Just a note about Le P'tit Riv or Larry's Chip Stands in Sturgeon Falls. They are not on the main drag (The Highway). They are on a side street (easily missed if don't know what to look for. Easy way to find them is look for the Tim Horton's Sign and turn the opposite way. onto the side street.

            1. re: Conductorchris

              Main Street, intersecting with Hwy # 17...but your right, look for Timmy's sign then turn left at Main St.

            2. re: Splendid Wine Snob

              I just had some this weekend past, (Aug 1st)....went to both and they are as good as ever...prices have steeped up a bit, at the Riv the wife and I split a medium poutine, medium fries and a pogo...$11.00 plus taxes and we are stuffed. We had small fries and pogo at Larry's on our way home for we couldn't be prejudice!!!

          2. And to add to the Sudbury list...

            Go to the Beef N' Bird at 923 Lorne St. It's affectionately known as the "Beef" by locals. Get the Porketta, or better yet, go play "Porketta Bingo" to win some of the stuff. Yes, I am not joking here. Once you taste this, you'll start eating like an animal on steroids. You may even see a few hockey "celebrities". This joint is real, very traditional, and has strong ties to Sudbury's hard town nickel mining no bullshit hockey lovin' roots. I've attached a link to a local story.


            Also, I recommend stopping in at Leinala's, a traditional Finnish bakery, at 186 Caswell Drive, just off Regent St.

            Things to get are:

            1. Pulla-a traditional braided coffee bread, similar to challah, but with cardamom

            2. Doughnuts-the sugar coated, glazed, or jelly pigs. Tim's has nothing on these guys.

            3. Lappi cheese-kind of like havarti, but with higher acid and a firmer texture. Actually like a cross between havarti, aged cheddar, and swiss.

            4. Smoked whitefish.

            Also in the downtown core in Sudbury, a lovely little spot to have a light lunch is La Boulangerie du Village.


            1. Montreal:

              Do NOT miss a meal at Au Pied de Cochon on Duluth Ave. If you search the Montreal board, you will see why.