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EVER WISH THERE WAS A COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE TO OUR REGION? A CURATED PUBLICATION THAT MIGHT OFFER SUGGESTIONS FOR (AND DIRECTIONS TO) THE COZIEST TAPROOMS, LOFTIEST RESTAURANTS, AND CHOICEST CLOTHIERS? A VERITABLE COMPENDIUM OF COOL THAT COULD TELL YOU, WITH SOME AUTHORITY, WHERE TO EAT, DRINK, SNACK, SHOP, PLAY, RELAX, AND HAVE A GREAT TIME WHEN YOU’RE SCOUTING ABOUT OUR COMMUNITIES? YA – US TOO. SO WE MADE ONE. AND IT SEEMS YOU’VE SNAGGED IT. SO CLUTCH IT CLOSE. PUT YOUR NAME IN IT. VISIT IT OFTEN. AND LET THIS LITTLE RED BOOK GUIDE YOU TO LOCAL DESTINATIONS WE BELIEVE ARE WELL WORTH THE TRIP. MIND YOU, WE DO NOT PRETEND THAT THIS DIRECTORY IS EXHAUSTIVE. INDEED, IT WOULD BE ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE TO LIST EVERYTHING AWESOME THAT OUR REGION HAS TO OFFER. BUT IT’S A STARTING POINT. A RESOURCE THAT WILL GET YOU STARTED BY POINTING YOU IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION AND SENDING YOU ON YOUR WAY. A TOOL FOR ADVENTURE AND DISCOVERY. YOUR OWN PORTABLE DAYTRIPPER. NOW GET ON THE HUNT. IN THE WORDS OF MARK TWAIN, ‘THROW OFF THE BOWLINES. SAIL AWAY FROM THE SAFE HARBOR. CATCH THE TRADE WINDS IN YOUR SAILS. EXPLORE. DREAM. DISCOVER.’ 5


CONTENTS 5. EDITOR’S LETTER 8. c ategory 1: BREWERIES & TAPROOMS 12. c ategory 2: TACOS 16. category 3: SUITED & BOOTED 18. c ategory 4: BREAKFAST & BRUNCH 20. D  AYTRIPPIN’ WITH CRYSTAL ELLIS & CHRISTINA MANN 24. C hris’ Picks: SIMPLE PLEASURES 26. c ategory 5: NOODLES 28. c ategory 6: GROCERS, BUTCHERS & CHEESES 34. c ategory 7: THINGS TO DO, PLACES TO GO 36. D  AYTRIPPIN’ WITH AIDAN WARE 38. D  AYTRIPPIN’ WITH MATTHEW FORBES 40. c ategory 8: COCKTAILS 44. c ategory 9: PAPER, STATIONARY & GIFTS 46. c ategory 10: SANDWICHES 48. D  AYTRIPPIN’ WITH ALANNA GURR & JARRETT WOOF 50. D  AYTRIPPIN’ WITH HILARY ABEL & EMILY ROBSON 52. C ai’s Picks: PEOPLE & PLACES 54. c ategory 11: COFFEE 58. D  AYTRIPPIN’ WITH WILL HUNTER & JENNA HARKNESS 60. c ategory 12: BURGERS & BEER 64. c ategory 13: FURNISHINGS & DECOR 66. c ategory 14: VEGETARIAN 70. D  AYTRIPPIN’ WITH JENNA VAN KLAVEREN & RACHELLE WATERMAN 72. D  AYTRIPPIN’ WITH BECKY HOOD 74. c ategory 15: BAKERIES 76. c ategory 16: SHAREABLES 78. C hris’ Picks: TRAILS 80. D  AYTRIPPIN’ WITH CHRIS TIESSEN & CAI SEPULIS 82. c ategory 17: SWEETS 84. c ategory 18: FINE DINING 86. C ai’s Picks: FAVOURITE DRIVES 88. c ategory 19: PIZZA 90. D  AYTRIPPIN’ WITH NICK & NAT BENNINGER 92. I NDEX 94. LISTINGS BY LOCATION 96. C  HECK-LIST: TOP 25 THINGS TO TRY IN OUR REGION

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All information as accurate as possible at time of printing. Please use discretion

Plan your own daytrip.


CAi SEPULIS, partner i l l u s t r a t i o n & d esign c a i @ t o q u e. ltd

CHRIS TIESSEN, partner w r i t i n g & p h o t o g r ap h y c h r i s @ t o q u e. ltd

Contributors: Hilary Abel & Emily Robson, Nick & Nat Benninger, Ryan Christodoulou, Crystal Ellis & Christina Mann, Alanna Gurr & Jarrett Woof, Jenna Harkness & Will Hunter, Becky Hood, Sonia Preisler, Aidan Ware, Jenna Van Klaveren & Rachelle Waterman. Special thanks to Nathan Lawr for all your efforts in helping to get this off and running. T OQUEMAGAZINE.c o m @toqueLTD

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FIXED GEAR BREWING CO.

1. BREWERIES & TAPROOMS COWBELL BREWING CO.

ELORA BREWING COMPANY

Like some grand castle on a hill, this craft brewery seems to beckon weary travelers looking for refuge. Soaring wood-framed cathedral ceilings. Secondstorey catwalks overlooking the gleaming brewhouse. A west coast chalet vibe that somehow feels cozy and expansive all at once. Order a flight of the good stuff, Cowbell’s famed thirty-six ounce tomahawk, and take a load off.

If the exposed stone walls, original wood flooring, second-storey loft overlooking the brewhouse and retractable glass garage doors of this heritage building aren’t enough to make you smile, the beer certainly will. Located in downtown Elora (just steps from the gorge), this brewpub is known for its juicy ales, farm-to-table menu, live music, and good times.

40035 Blyth Road, Blyth cowbellbrewing.com

*Cowbell is the world’s first closed-loop brewery and North America’s first carbon neutral brewery, which means that the pint you’re crushing is good for your palette AND the environment

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107 Geddes St, Centre Wellington elorabrewingcompany.ca

FIXED GEAR BREWING CO. 20 Alma St S, Guelph 355 Elmira Rd N, #135 fixedgearbrewing.com

1. 2.

Nestled deep in the heart of Guelph’s Junction neighbourhood, this garageturned-cycle-themed-microbrewery is a fave destination for families, their doggies, and most everyone else who wants a friendly locale with a hip vibe. Thirsty? Try one of the brewery’s lip-puckering sours. Hungry? There’s seemingly always a food truck right outside. Happy? For sure.


GOODLOT FARM AND FARMSTEAD BREWING

18825 Shaws Creek Road, Caledon goodlot.beer Ever imagined enjoying a pint in the same fields that grew the hops you’re tasting? Then this is the place to visit. During warmer months, grab your farm-raised pint from a re-purposed corrugated silo, order barbecue at the outdoor grill, and relax at communal tables set under bright-coloured canopies. During winter, grab bottles from GoodLot’s converted shipping container bottle shop.

GRAIN & GRIT BEER CO. 11 Ewen Road, Hamilton grainandgritbeer.com

There’s something utterly delightful about enjoying a pint at this cozy West End #hamont hangout. With sunlight flooding into this brilliantly-white former garage through glass garage doors, and brews on tap crafted with adjuncts like fruit, lactose, spices, and tea, it’s a fantastically-blissful stop along any journey. And don’t pass on the swag – we swear by the tees and crewnecks.

RED CIRCLE BREWING CO.

ROYAL CITY BREWING CO. 199 Victoria Rd S, Unit C8, Guelph royalcitybrew.ca

Tucked into a small plaza in Guelph’s ‘Ward’ neighbourhood, this craft brewery is home to ‘Exhibition Session IPA’ – gold medal winner at both the 2019 Ontario and Canadian Brewing Awards. The place’s taproom, featuring a long poured concrete bar and communal tables, is set up for conversation, laughter, and pints with friends and neighbours.

WELLINGTON BREWERY 950 Woodlawn Rd W, Guelph wellingtonbrewery.ca

Before (almost) everyone else, there was Wellington. Indeed, this Guelph staple has been blazing trails in the industry for over three decades. From killer label artwork to experimental small-batch and seasonal brews to community collabs (including the wildly-successful ‘Queen of Craft’), Wellington continues to lead the way. And with a renovated taproom, it’s definitely worth a visit – and flight. *Don’t miss the brewery’s annual Welly Cask Fest – a two-day party at the brewery Sept 11th-12th, 2020, featuring unique and collab cask beers and ciders, food trucks, live music, axe throwing, and more

137 Glasgow St, Kitchener redcirclebrewing.ca

TOQUE branded two of the breweries listed here, and has its own collab brew – to be released in LCBO this spring – with another. Any guesses?

ROYAL CITY BREWING CO.

Nestled into the corner of bustling Graffiti Market, this craft brewery draws inspiration from the creative drive and playfulness of Kitchener’s maker culture. Kveik wet hop pale ales. Japanese rice lagers. Norwegian IPAs. Nothing’s offlimits for the brew crew at Red Circle. Pair with Graffiti’s ‘Detroit-style’ pizza and visit your happy place.

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2. TACOS ETHEL’S

MEZCAL TACOS & TEQUILA

If you’re from Waterloo, there’s a good chance this place is your local. And for good reason: Ethel’s is a dyed-in-thewool, no-nonsense watering hole. Pool tables. Darts. A massive wrap-around bar. Tables for all your friends (unless all the seats are taken). A fantastic patio. And ‘Taco Tuesday’ – featuring four beef tacos for a song. Just remember to bring an appetite.

Ever wonder what coconut milk chicken and maple bourbon tastes like loaded onto a taco? What about braised squash and fried kale? Or Chinese five spice pork jowl? Hamilton’s Mezcal, designed to look and feel like an authentic cantina, crafts tacos that go beyond the traditional. So order a platter – and pair it with any number of Mezcal’s seemingly countless 100% agave tequilas.

LA REINA

TACO FARM

Located in the heart of Guelph’s entertainment district, this culinary doyenne is an amalgam of elegant design and authentic Mexican cuisine. The exposed brick walls, glittering chandeliers, and button-tucked benches set the mood while the tacos – like the ‘Taco Meli’ (shrimp, asadero, Mexican oregano, morita mayo, pork crackling) – seal the deal. As does La Reina’s selection of 60+ tequilas.

This Uptown joint executes Mexicaninspired dishes using quality ingredients sourced from regional farmers. And the best part: Taco Farm’s corn tortillas are made fresh, in-house, every day. So make the trip, order a taco platter (choose between crispy eggplant, carnitas, farmhouse chorizo, mole chicken, and more), and dig in. And get this – other than the delicious churros, the entire menu’s gluten-free.

114 King St N, Waterloo ethelslounge.com

10 Wyndham St N, Guelph lareina519.com

MARIA’S TORTAS JALISCO 432 Hwy 8, Stoney Creek mariastortasjalisco.com

Imagine a place where every Tuesday is taco Tuesday, and where every taco is crafted using the traditional flavours of Mexico. At this take-out only family-run Mexican eatery, you can choose from ‘Tinga De Pollo’ (shredded chicken), ‘Barabacoa’ (shredded beef), ‘Picadillo’ (ground beef), ‘Chorizo’ (homemade Mexican sausage), and ‘Vegetarian’ tacos – each for under three bucks. *In 2018, urbanicity.com named Maria’s ‘Tortas Jalisco’ the best taco joint in Hamilton, and remarked that ‘you haven’t lived until you’ve given the ‘Tortas Jalisco’ a try

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150 James St S, Hamilton mezcaltnt.com

8 Erb St W, Waterloo tacofarm.ca

*Taco Farm’s corn chips are crafted inhouse from their tortillas. And they’re to die for. Grab them at Taco Farm, or ask for them at grocers across the region

THE MULE

41 King William St, Hamilton themule.ca We travel to Hamilton for this place alone. And you will too. Whether coming for lunch, after-work bourbons or late night deejaying, you’re going to love The Mule. This spot, which features a stunning dining room (with exposed bricks, elegant chandeliers, in-your-face artwork, and graffiti accents) knows its tacos. Our faves: ‘Pork Belly Banh Mi’, ‘Halloumi’, and ‘Fish’ tacos. We’re drooling already.


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THE MULE

ETHEL’S, TACO FARM

LA REINA


We are an optometry and eyewear boutique in the heart of Uptown Waterloo. We work with the top independent designers and production facilities in the world. Let’s find your next pair.


POD

3. SUITED & BOOTED KENNEDY PARK

IF.. FOOTWEAR BOUTIQUE

You can scour NYC or LA for this stuff – or simply hit up this fun yet sophisticated women’s boutique, with its thoughtfully-curated clothing, accessories, and home and wellness product lines from Canadian and international makers and designers. Kennedy Park sources what’s worth buying. From vegan moto jackets to floral corduroy chore dresses to face balms to lover’s oils, Kennedy Park’s got it.

For any warm-blooded shoe lover, a visit to this family-owned downtown Guelph business is akin to being a kid in a candy store. Fashion-forward shoes, trendsetting boots, gorgeous handbags, and other quality products and accessories fill shelves, sit on stands, hang on racks, and even drop down from the ceiling. It’s where the TOQUE crew cops our Red Wing boots. It’s where you should, too.

KENNEDY PARK

13 Quebec St, Guelph shopkennedypark.com

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42 Wyndham St N, Guelph iffootwear.com

*Occupying the coveted corner spot in St. George’s Square, IF.. inhabits perhaps the most sought after commercial real estate location in Guelph

If you’re in Hamilton, be sure to check out White Elephant for women’s fashion and Steeltown Garage for great espressos and Deus Ex Machina apparel.


ILLBURY & GOOSE

POD

There aren’t many spaces more beautiful than the Illbury bricks and mortar. Like some sort of frontier provisions store, this place teems with old world character – and is filled with new world hipster fashion. Classic knit toques. Branded tanks. Dad hats. Tapered joggers. Flannels. Locally-made natural apothecary products. Designed in-house. Made in Canada. Meant for you.

This lovely fashion boutique, nuzzled amongst the vibrant and eclectic businesses of Carden Street, features thoughtfully-selected, ever-evolving collections of distinctive contemporary clothing, jewelry, footwear and accessories for women. In business for over fifteen years, POD focuses on items that are organic, ethically produced, and sustainable. Be sure to ask them about ‘Greening Your Wardrobe’ – you’ll be happy you did.

884 Dundas St, London illburyandgoose.com

INSIGHT EYE CARE

50 Carden St, Guelph podstyle.ca

49 Albert St, Waterloo insight-eyecare.ca

WHITE TIGER

Situated in a converted brick residence in Uptown Waterloo, Insight’s showroom is something you’d expect to find on Queen West. Minimalist design. Whitepainted bricks. Trish Abe mural. And row upon row of fabulous eyewear from international boutique brands you’ll be hard-pressed to find anywhere else. Blake Kuwahara. ROLF. Bruno Chaussignand. All poised to augment an optometry practice with six fantastic doctors.

It’s difficult to choose among the region’s vintage clothing boutiques – so let’s start here. White Tiger’s fantastic Instagram alone will have you loving this place. From ‘60s wool sweaters for him to ‘70s blue polyester mini dresses for her to ‘80s pinstriped jumpsuits for whomever, this shop’s probably got it. Looking for a pair of deadstock ‘70s platform shoes in size 7? Try here first.

248 King St E, Kitchener etsy.com/shop/whitetigervtg

*Insight buyer Neil Moser is always scouring the globe seeking out the best independent eyewear designers. Looking for something fresh and unique? Neil’s probably sourced it

LOOP

13 King St N, Waterloo loopclothing.net

*With over four hundred pairs of sneakers in his closet (including a staggering number of rare and classic Jordans), loop owner Al Keshvani walks the walk

LOOP

For sneaker heads, streetwear junkies, and folks who just want a shop with expertly-curated lifestyle brands, loop is your regional supplier. Reigning Champ sweats. Limited edition Jordans. Chippewa boots. Naked And Famous denim. Outclass bombers. Herschel bags. And lots of other stuff that’s bound to set you apart from the crowd. Word.

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SAINT JAMES

4. BREAKFAST & BRUNCH 39 CARDEN STREET

BOX SOCIAL

Want something more than bacon and eggs? 39 Carden does Asian-inspired breakfasts that will have you craving more. Steak & eggs with kimchi, spicy miso aioli, and sticky rice. Sweet and spicy fried chicken with egg, brioche, pickles, scallion aioli, and cilantro. Eggs benny with choy sum and pork loin. All wrapped up in an elegant, airy downtown space.

On any given weekend, the entire town of Elora seems to be enjoying breakfast at this culinary gem. Our bit of advice: bring a friend and split the ‘Box Social Club’ (with house-roasted turkey, bacon, cheddar, tomato, lettuce, and mayo) and ‘Mexican Benny’ (with cheddar, house salsa, and jalapenos). With grilled veggies, roasted potatoes, and sausage, to boot.

SEVEN SHORES

38-40 Carden St, Guelph 39cardenstreet.com

103 Geddes St, Elora find them on facebook

*If you’re keen to stretch your legs before breakfast at Box, or want to burn off the amazing food you’ve just enjoyed, mosey over to Victoria Park (just a couple blocks from the restaurant) and take the staircase down into the gorge for a traipse through the shallow water

Want something lighter? Grab an Americano and vegan / glutenfree almond butter bar from Elora’s Lost & Found Café – the perfect combo for a morning hike with the dog.

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BREAD BAR

SEVEN SHORES

1. 105

Gordon St, Guelph 2. 14 James St N, Hamilton breadbar.ca

10 Regina St N, Unit 4, Waterloo sevenshores.ca While it’s oftentimes tough to find a seat in this Uptown café, it’s always worth the wait. Seven Shores prides itself on its community owned business model; its close relationships with local farmers from whom the place sources ingredients; and its fresh, healthy food choices. Our tip: grab an ‘Urban Farmer’, pull up next to a stranger, and make a friend.

Let’s face it – there’s almost nothing better than Sunday brunch. Except allyou-can-eat Sunday brunch. With boozy drinks included. So get down to Bread Bar in Guelph and make it happen. ‘Pumpkin Spice Pancakes’. ‘Canadian Benny’ with brown butter hollandaise. ‘Korean Chicken’ with butter milk pancake, yuzu aioli, and scallion. ‘Vegan Curry’. And hip décor set under soaring ceilings.

SAINT JAMES ESPRESSO BAR & EATERY

MOTEL

170 James St N, Hamilton saint-james.ca

359 Barton St E, Hamilton motelrestaurant.com

The branding, design and decor of this place just calls out for Instagram. And the menu – a veritable orgy of food porn. Start with ‘Avocado Toast’ (sourdough, avocado, roast pepper, feta, fried egg, salsa verde, lentil), shift into ‘The Gatsby’ (house-baked croissant filled with cheddar omelette, bacon, pickled onions, arugula, chili mayo), and finish with ‘Blueberry & Ricotta Shortstacks’.

When is a motel not a motel? When it’s a restaurant, of course. Breakfast in this pastel paradise is always an over-the-top affair. ‘Captain Crunch French Toast’. ‘Buttermild Fried Chicken & Waffles’. ‘Cheesy French Toast’ – with melted old and mild cheddar, parmesan, sugar cured bacon, a sunny egg and hashbrowns with spicy sour cream. Outrageously divine. *Our all-time Motel fave: the ‘Champagne Pancakes’ – with Devonshire cream, raspberry and pink champagne coulis, and a heap of real gold flakes

THE YETI

14 Eby St N, Kitchener theyeticafe.com Folks worship this place. Straight up. And for good reason – The Yeti is that perfect mix of laid back vibes, eclectic décor, and fantastically-tasty dishes. If you get the ‘Brekkie’, be sure to get it with fried halloumi. If you’re feeling a sandwich, go all in with a ‘Pregnant Cowgirl’ (a ‘Cowgirl’ with an egg, of course). Bon appetit.

THE YETI

*The Yeti is located next to the Kitchener Market. Make a Saturday morning out of breakfast at the Yeti by following it up with shopping for produce, meat, dairy, and more

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DAYTRIPPIN’ CRYSTAL ELLIS & CHRISTINA MANN REGIONAL TOURISM PROMOTERS

MU ST ANG DRIVE- I N 5012 J O NES BAS ELINE, GU ELPH

1. We love nothing better on a hot summer Friday night than to watch a movie under the stars while indulging in treats from a retro snack bar straight out of the 60s – all at the Mustang Drive-In theatre in Puslinch.

A L A MODE CAFÉ + ICE CR EAM S H OP

2. We meet early Saturday morning and take a drive

12 WE LLING TON S T N, D RAYTON

and some sweet treats. Then it’s time to hit up a

MINT O FARMERS ’ MARK E T P ALME RSTON R AILW A Y HERI T AGE MUS EUM

3. Aberfoyle, Elora and the Guelph Farmers’

to a la mode café in Drayton to pick up a coffee local market. But which one?

Markets are open Saturdays, but we choose Minto Farmers’ Market in Palmerston because we love the relaxed atmosphere at this summer market situated on a train platform. It’s almost too easy to fill our baskets here with home baked goods, fresh vegetables, meats, maple syrup, plants and flowers; and we’re always inspired by the beautiful artisan booths, especially the unique macramé pieces by Up and Over Creations.

F L OWE RS TO F RAGRA NCE LAV E NDER FARM 6 275 H WY 89 R R 3, CLI FFO RD

4. After a bbq snack, and with our purchases stowed away, we hit the road and visit ‘the best smelling farm’ in Wellington County. Flowers to Fragrance, just outside of Harriston, grows lavender, bee balm and other herbs and flowers and distills them on-site into essential oils. We stroll through the fields and visit their farm store, testing their gorgeous organic creams, balms and oils before buying some.

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5 As part of their roles as County boosters, Crystal and Christina are always on the hunt for the best of Wellington County: local food, local colour, natural beauty, nostalgia.

FROM TOQUE ISSUE 5 MAPL ETON’S ORGANIC DAIRY 8548 WELLING TON R D 7 , MOOREF IELD

5. Back in the car, heading south, we can’t

E L O RA B REWING COM PANY 107 GEDDES S T, ELOR A

6. After browsing the many small shops,

pass up the chance to hit Mapleton’s for a short visit with their animals and, of course, some of their fabulous ice cream. Lavender for Crystal. For Christina: Dandelion.

galleries and boutiques in Elora, we head to Elora Brewing Company for dinner, a flight of craft beer, and live music. Then we call it a night.

GO O DFELLOWS FIELD TO FORK 155 MA IN S T S , RO C KWOOD

7. Our picnic basket packed full of goodies from yesterday, we start Sunday morning with a coffee and savoury treats at Goodfellow’s in Rockwood. Christina adores their sourdough toad in the hole.

RO CKWOOD CO NSERVATI ON AREA 161 FALL S T S BU T T ’ S B ERRY AND F L O WER FARM & 5838 5TH LINE, GUE LP H/ER AMOS A O L D MARI NA RE ST A URANT 1947 MCCLINTOCK DR , C AMB RIDG E T HE DANI S H PLACE 7150 CONCES S ION 1, PUSLI NCH

8. On to the Rockwood Conservation Area, where we survey the cliffs and caves and enjoy a morning paddle on the Eramosa. We pick strawberries at Butt’s Berry and Flower Farm before finding the perfect spot for our picnic lunch. 9. We spend the afternoon chilling with a Caesar, watching water skiers from the patio of the Old Marina Restaurant at Puslinch Lake Marina. Then, finally, we slip into The Danish Place nearby for a light supper of amazing smorrebrod. What better way to finish off another glorious weekend.

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CHRIS’ PICKS - SIMPLE PLEASURES ‘A few of my favourite things: items crafted by local makers or purchased from regional businesses that TOQUE has featured over its first ten issues. Some affordable. Others not. Their one thing in common: they all make me spectacularly happy.’

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1.

4.

2.

5.

3.

6.


1.

HANDCRAFTED BELT

Sauer & Steiner, Kitchener @sauer_and_steiner

When world-renowned plane maker Konrad Sauer felt the urge to develop and craft the most functional – and, ultimately, gorgeous – belts the world might ever see, I knew I needed one. The belt buckles, made in small batches from cast bronze, are beautifully proportioned and heavy to hold. Their matching leather strap, handcrafted by leather master Parker Murakami, are equally burly. I was gifted belt no.13 for Christmas. Such happiness. 2.

4.

True North Cycles, Belwood @truenorthcycles In my mind, few things in life are sweeter than a custom-fitted, handcrafted titanium bike. So when I was presented the opportunity for internationallyrespected frame builder Hugh Black to craft me something special, I leapt at the chance. Titanium frame. Carbon fork. Drop bars. Hydraulic discs. Anodized bits. Honestly, this thing fits me so well I expect to ride it forever. 5.

BLAKE KUWAHARA SPECS & SHADES

3.

CERAMIC BEER STEIN

Elora Brewing Company, Elora @elorabrewingcompany While this isn’t so much a wearable item like most of the other stuff on this list, it’s attached to my drinking arm pretty much all the time nonetheless. The Elora ceramic stein denotes membership in the brewery’s stein club – an exclusive band of craft beer enthusiasts who get to drink out of their ceramic beauties (all 25ozs of them) each time they visit the place. And there are other perks, too. I just can’t remember what they are. *Full disclosure: while Elora beer is among my faves (praise the heavens for Borealis Citra Pale Ale), my stein is most often filled with water and ice. After all, life is all about balance, it is

HANDMADE LEATHER WALLET

Little King Goods, Morriston @little.king.goods

Insight Eye Care, Waterloo @insightpulse I’ve always wanted glasses, yet, for decades, my damned perfect eyesight kept me from sporting them. Enter my fortieth year – the age when my eyes finally offered opportunity for specs. I may not see as well as I used to, but I definitely look better trying. Designed in California, hand-crafted in Japan, and sported by such luminaries as Brad Pitt, Halle Berry, Robert Downey Jr, Will Smith – and me.

CUSTOM BICYCLE

If you’re a fan of TOQUE Magazine, you’ll know how much of a fan I am of Ryan James and his exquisite leatherwork. Duffels. Totes. Ipad cases. And wallets like mine. Crafted from a hide of horse ass (‘the best leather there is’, notes Ryan) and branded with twenty-carat gold, this thing makes me feel rich each time I rediscover how poor I really am. If you want something from Ryan, get on his waiting list – now. 6.

JOB STOPPERS

Grand River Tattoo, Elora @c_anthon Chris Anthon – co-owner of Grand River Tattoo in Elora – is a monster in the tattoo world. So it’s with a lot of pride that I sport the custom ‘job stoppers’ he inked onto my knuckles – ‘BKLN’ on my right hand and ‘BRLN’ on my left, denoting TOQUE’s motto: ‘Brooklyn To Berlin’. Chris has given me a bunch of my tattoos, including a full late-medieval woodcut cityscape of Paris on my upper right thigh. *I love tattoos because of their inked permanence – much like the indelible pages I help craft. They remind me to triple-check before sending another project to the press

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5. NOODLES AO PASTA

GRAFFITI MARKET

Don’t let the simple décor, casual feel or counter service of this downtown Stratford joint fool you: AO Pasta is a culinary colossus. The place features simple, Italian-inspired dishes made from handcrafted noodles and made-toorder sauces. Start with the ‘Antipasti’, ‘Arancini’, and ‘Meatballs’. Follow with the ‘Radiatori’ (sausage, squash, sage, parmesan) and ‘Fettuccine’ (cream, gorgonzola, walnuts, black pepper). Mission accompli.

Believe it or not, some folks who eat at this Midtown mecca actually eschew the jaw-dropping ‘Detroit-style’ pizza for something different. But that’s okay, because Graffiti isn’t a one-trick (pizza) pony, but also has some of the best pasta dishes in the region. Indeed, with noodles made in-house from scratch, dishes like ‘Da Fungi Drummer’ (roasted mushrooms, brown butter, tarragon, confit garlic, local egg yolk, tagliatelle) bring the ruckus.

AUNTIE JOY’S SPRINGROLLS

NA-HA-THAI’S KITCHEN

Out of the way but well worth the drive, Auntie Joy’s specializes in homemade Thai, Vietnamese, and Filipino cuisine. What this little restaurant located in a non-descript strip mall lacks in cozy ambiance it makes up for in an abundance of phenomenal flavours. Our recommendation: ‘Singapore Noodles’ with shrimp and chicken, ‘Pansit Bihon Guisado’ with shrimp, pork and mixed veggies, and a large ‘Wonton Soup’.

If you manage to snag a table at this homey, yellow-painted, culinary mecca, thank your lucky stars. And then order the noodles. Whether it’s the fried rice noodles of ‘Dried Shrimp & Bacon Pad Thai’, crispy deep fried egg noodles of ‘Mee-Krob Rad Nar’, stir fried bean noodles of ‘Pad Woon Sen’, or stir fried thick noodles of ‘Drunken Noodle’, you’re in for a sumptuous feast.

38 Erie St, Stratford aopasta.com

75 First St, Orangeville auntiejoyspringrolls.com

CRAFTY RAMEN 1. 17

Macdonell St, Guelph King St W, Unit 5, Kitchener craftyramen.com

2. 276

There are few dishes that make you feel cozy like ramen does. And there are few ramen spots better than this hotspot. Noodles crafted fresh in-house each morning. Locally-sourced meats. Order the ‘Meat Lovers’ (pork jowl kakuni, pork chashu, pulled shoulder, chicken, green onion, pickled shiitake, burnt sesame oil in rich pork & duck broth), pair with a kombucha, and thank us later.

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137 Glasgow S, Suite 385, Kitchener graffitimarket.ca

471 York Rd, Guelph nahathaikitchen.weebly.com

*While it’s possible to eat in, most folks prefer take-out at this monstrously popular restaurant. Just be sure to order early to ensure you’re eating on time

NOODLE ME

1 Wilson St, Unit 7, Hamilton find them on facebook Love the amplified sounds of fresh dough being slapped down on a prep table? At this #hamont joint, it’s a seeming requisite as cooks slap, roll, and pull noodles on a prep table at the front of the restaurant. Enjoy noodles with soup (like ‘Spicy Pork Intestines Noodle’), sauced cold noodles (like ‘Beijing Bang Noodle’ with ground pork), stir friend noodles (including ‘Chicken Chow-Mein’), and traditional Chinese snacks too.


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CRAFTY RAMEN


DUNDURN MARKET

6. GROCERS, BUTCHERS & CHEESES ANGELINO’S

DUNDURN MARKET

Travel back in time at this traditional Italian grocer located in Guelph’s ‘Ward’. From fresh produce (including the best roma tomatoes around) to marvelous inhouse roast beef and Montreal smoked meat; from made-to-order sandwiches to mouth-watering hot counter features; from in-house Italian sausage to homemade pasta – Angelino’s is Little Italy in the Royal City.

Antique wooden crates filled with tantalizing fresh breads. Distressed wood shelving lined with enticing preserves in handsome glass jars. A central display case featuring housemade salads, sandwiches, and chia puddings. Specializing in hyper-local, nutrient-dense, ethically-produced foods, this neighbourhood grocer is just what our communities need. We come from out of town for the granola alone.

16 Stevenson St S, Guelph Angelinosmarket.com

*Got love for avocados? Angelino’s consistently has among the best in the region – perfect for anything from guacamole to freshly sliced on pizza

Don’t forget to check Legacy Greens in downtown Kitchener – a cute little shop for sourcing local hand-crafted preserves and seasonal produce.

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346 Dundurn St S, Hamilton dundurnmarket.com

MARKET FRESH

10 Paisley Rd, Guelph marketfreshguelph.ca This Royal City gourmet grocer is just a stone’s throw from the downtown core – and offers ample parking. Regulars come for the on-site butcher, bakery (featuring mouth-watering Portuguese tarts, cakes and Italian pastries), fresh produce, cheeses, hot counter (with fresh pizzas, sandwiches, hot meals and more), storeprepared salads (the Cobb is a TOQUE favourite), and other incredible stuff.


THE BAUER BUTCHER 150 Caroline St S, Waterloo bauerbutcher.com

Located inside Vincenzo’s in Uptown Waterloo, this local butcher has been providing our region with ethical and sustainably-raised meats from small, local farms since 2010. Beef. Poultry. Pork. Lamb. Game meats. Sausages. Burgers. The Bauer Butcher has it all. And with a team of trained chefs, former farmers, and knowledgeable butchers on staff, The Bauer Butcher knows it all, too.

TOMME CHEESE SHOP 34 Carden St, Guelph tomme.ca

When you’re touring Guelph’s downtown core, be sure to visit TOMME – a beautiful cheese shop that’s all about big wheels and fat wedges. Affable proprietor Andrew Wheeler and his expert staff are always keen to chat about and provide samples of local, Canadian, and international cheeses – including vegan options. TOMME will single-handedly make you (want to) forget your local big box grocer’s cheese section. What are you waiting for? *We all know that cheese is best served grilled – between two slices of locally-baked bread. That’s why TOMME sells grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch Fridays and Saturdays. Pair with a local brew and munch away

st o c king up the fridge ? A QUICK GUIDE TO SOME OF OUR FAVOURITES GREEN TABLE FOODS KIMCHI Available at Market Fresh

AGED RED LEICESTER CHEESE Available at TOMME

HOUSE-MADE GRANOLA Available at Dundurn Market

LUNCH-SIZE PORTION OF COCKTAIL SHRIMP

TOMME

Available at Victoria Street Market MORE LISTINGS

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VINCENZO’S

VICTORIA STREET MARKET

VINCENZO’S

Boasting over six thousand square feet of fresh produce and featuring a café along with deli and cheese counters, butchery, and seafood by Caudle’s Catch, this European market is many a local foodie’s favourite destination. And it’s perfect for a hot lunch, too – including anything from pastas to specialty subs, perogies to chicken parmesan.

What started over half a century ago as a small Italian grocery occupying the main floor of a brick house on Bridgeport has grown into a regional mecca for exquisite local and international fare. Make the trip for an endless assortment of cheeses, meats, fresh produce, hot counters, salad stations, fresh sushi, exquisite condiments and desserts. Pro tip: don’t ever skip out on the made-to-order sandwiches.

1575 Victoria St N, Kitchener victoriastreetmarket.com

Looking for a healthy grab ‘n go meal? Try the awesome salad and hot counters at Goodness Me – with locations across the region.

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150 Caroline St S, Waterloo vincenzosonline.com

*Vincenzo’s offers pop-up lunches from 11am-2pm, featuring treats like Korean bibimbap and dumplings, Vijay’s Indian cuisine, Jamaican Jerk dishes, and more


Free Admission Sponsored By


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U P TOW N WAT E R LO O


GUELPH NIGHTHAWKS

7. THINGS TO DO, PLACES TO GO ABERFOYLE ANTIQUE MARKET

GUELPH GROTTO CLIMBING GYM

For six decades now, the town of Aberfoyle has been hosting Canada’s largest outdoor antique market, where you’ll find over a hundred dealers selling collectibles, folk art, furniture, and more. The Market takes place every Sunday from late April until late October. There are two Saturday markets as well (in June and September) that feature an additional ninety guest dealers.

Ever feel the urge to climb some stuff? Then come on out to the Grotto, where you can enjoy 7,500 square feet of climbing – including forty-five top rope routes, a fifty-foot lead roof, bouldering areas, auto belays, a moonboard, two rope ladder climbs, and more. The Grotto is also a fantastic destination for birthday parties, hosts an abundance of kids’ camps, and even fields its own climbing teams whose members participate in regional, national, and international competitions.

57 Brock Rd S, Puslinch aberfoyleantiquemarket.com

*If you feel the need to fuel up while scavenging for antiques, there are plenty of snack and food vendors on-site, including ‘The Kitchen’ run by Taste Fine Foods Catering

A great outdoor activity? The Starkey Hill trail – a hilly 4km loop that’s perfect for year-round hiking.

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199 Victoria Rd S, Guelph guelphgrotto.com


GUELPH NIGHTHAWKS

JAMES STREET ART CRAWL

Want to enjoy a fantastic Friday night out? Then head down to Guelph’s Sleeman Centre to watch the Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL)’s Nighthawks play brisk, fierce, and wildly entertaining roundball. Featuring full concession service, unique halftime shows, a courtside bar, kids’ play areas and more, these games are perfect for the whole family – or just you and some buds.

On the second Friday of every month this iconic stretch of downtown Steel Town transforms itself into a veritable festival of arts, music, and community. While there are no strict guidelines governing the event, essentially the neighbourhood’s galleries, studios, stores, and restaurants (plus outdoor makers’ markets and more) agree to stay open late to welcome and host the thousands of visitors who fill the sidewalks from evening until late at night.

50 Woolwich St, Guelph thenighthawks.ca

*Hot tip: grab courtside seats. It’s incredible how fast-paced these games seem when you’re sitting right next to the action. Just keep your eyes peeled for loose balls and flying bodies

HALTON COUNTY RADIAL RAILWAY 13629 Guelph Line, Milton hcry.org

ROYAL CITY ROLLER DERBY

If you love trains and streetcars as much as we do, you must visit The Halton County Radial Railway – a train museum featuring two kilometres of scenic track where visitors can enjoy unlimited rides on historic trains and streetcars. When the riding’s done, explore the massive barn filled with retired TTC streetcars, century-old railway cars, locomotives, and more. The Railway is open May through October (with special night rides around Halloween and Christmas).

James St N, Hamilton find them on facebook

ROYAL CITY ROLLER DERBY arenas around the region royalcityrollerderby.com

Celebrating ten years in the community this season, Royal City Roller Derby offers action-packed, bone-crushing entertainment at arenas across Guelph. With two home teams, two travel teams, and one intro to derby team, there’s no shortage of games during the season – which spans spring to fall (while the ice is off the rinks). The camaraderie and community at games – both on and off the track – is contagious. Get out and see what we mean.

THEMUSEUM

10 King St W, Kitchener themuseum.ca Located in the heart of #DTK, TheMuseum is so much more than what we’ve all come to expect from museums. There’s ‘The Beer & Series’, for instance, which pairs unique activities (calligraphy, anyone?!) with local brew. The ‘KW Mac & Cheese Festival’ – enough said. ‘KW Brunch & Brews’ (because brunch without beer is ‘just a sad, late breakfast’). Wild dance parties. And more. Oh, and there are exhibitions, too. Always changing and engaging. Transformative. *Access THEMUSEUM for a full year with a (19+) AfterDark Membership. Get first dibs on events, partner discounts, and special invitations

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DAYTRIPPIN’ AIDAN WARE GALLERY DIRECTOR CAMBRIDGE ART GALLERIES

M E L V IL LE CAFÉ 7 ME LVI L LE S T, C AMB RI DG E

1. The morning begins with a stop at Melville Café where I order a London Fog and we settle in a corner of the spring patio overlooking the Grand River, Michaela at our feet. Straight across the river we can see the Old Post Office building – a Thomas Fuller-designed national historic site and new digital library hub.

RARE CH ARI TAB LE RE SE AR CH RES ERVE 1679 B LAIR R D, C AMB RI DG E

2. All fuelled up, we head to the rare Charitable Research Reserve Eco Trail for a morning hike. The trailhead is just east of the 1840s Slit Barn. On our walk, we check out the amazing limestone fossils and keep our eyes peeled for resident bald eagles roosting in the area.

K IT CHE NERWAT E RLOO ART GAL L E RY (KWAG) 101 Q UEEN S T N, KI TC H E NER

3. It’s time for a jaunt into Kitchener to visit the KWAG. We take the back roads following the Grand River north. At the art gallery, we take in the current exhibition – Mary Kavanagh’s ‘Trinity 3’. We also dip in to the Kitchener Public Library to catch a glimpse of the beautiful installation piece Flux by artists Deborah Moss and Edward Lam.

ST O NE CROCK BAKE RY 1396 KING S T N, ST J AC O BS BL O CK TH REE BRE WING 1430-2 KING S T N, ST J AC O BS

4. Now it’s off to St. Jacob’s for food and beer. We stop at the Stone Crock to pick up a couple of their legendary pies (for later) and for an amazing cobb salad (for now). It’s noon, so we head just down the street to Block Three Brewing! They’ve always got something amazing to try in their Tasting Room. My faves include ‘Vibrant’ (an oak-fermented Farmhouse Ale) and ‘The Loneliness’ (a Russian Imperial Stout).

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5 On weekends, Cambridge Art Galleries’ Gallery Director Aidan Ware loves daytrippin’ across the region with her partner Jamie and dog Michaela. Here’s what a great Saturday for these three looks like:

FROM TOQUE ISSUE 1 IGNATIUS J ES UIT CE N T RE O L D-GROWTH FOREST 5420 HIG HWA Y 6 N

5. Michaela is pretty restless by now. A visit to the Ignatius Jesuit Centre Old-Growth Forest is the perfect cure. The James Profit, S.J. Trail is my favourite because it winds under big pines and cedars, through hemlock stands and hardwoods, to the eastern boundary of the forest along Marden Creek and the Speed River. Gorgeous.

T HE BOOKS H ELF 41 Q UEBEC S T, D OWN TOW N G UELP H

6. A trip to Guelph is never complete without a stop at The Bookshelf, where I pick up the latest copy of Canadian Art Magazine. And

M IIJIDAA 37 Q UEBEC S T, D OWNTOWN G UELP H

while we’re here, it only makes sense to stroll

BL ACKS H OP RE ST AURANT 595 H ES P ELER R D, C AMB R IDG E

7. What a full day! On our way back into

Quebec Street before settling into Miijidaa for potted goat cheese and smoked pickles.

Cambridge we’re ready for dinner. We stop at Blackshop in Hespeler for our favourite dish – Roasted Chicken Supreme stuffed with crab and cream cheese. Delicious. Four feet, four paws, three happy hearts.

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DAYTRIPPIN’ MATTHEW FORBES PROPRIETOR AT ‘MATTHEW’S BARBERSHOP’

T HE CO MMON 36 WI LSON S T, G UELP H

1. Sunday mornings begin at The Common in downtown Guelph. The owner, Kia, is good people – as are her beautiful staff. I order a ‘Jewel of India’ black tea with milk and a touch of sugar, as well as something sweet or savoury (mood dependent) from Rockwood’s Goodfellows Field to Fork. I pay with cash, chat with friends, collect hugs, and move on.

BU T CHER S H OP AND GRO CE RIES 219 SI LV ER CR EEK PKWY N, G UELP H

2. Next stop is Butcher Shop And Groceries. This halal grocery is where I buy hibiscus flowers to make the best blood pressure-reducing tea. There’s so much more to this out-of-the-way business – but I restrict myself to hibiscus for my tea.

T HE YE TI 14 EB Y S TR EET N, KI TC H E NER

3. It’s still early, and I drive down the 7 toward Kitchener for more hearty fare. My destination: The Yeti. While everything on the menu is phenomenal, I settle on ‘The Brekkie’ – eggs any way I like them, choice of meaty deliciousness, potatoes of some sort, and beautiful tomato, avocado, fresh fruit, halloumi, salad, bagel or thick crust sourdough toast. The food’s incredible. The vibe’s just as delicious.

X-DISC-C MUS IC 7 MOYE R P L, KI TC H E NER

4. At X-Disc-C Music there are records everywhere. In racks. On shelves. Stacked. Piled. Leaning. Each time I visit I spend about forty minutes browsing. Until I’m overwhelmed. Sometimes I buy stuff. Other times I don’t.

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5 Matthew Forbes is a man about Guelph. Indeed, it seems there aren’t many Royal City residents who don’t know this former coffee-slinger-turned-barber. And while Matthew spends six days a week cutting hair at his Macdonnell St business, Sundays are for touring – from Brooklyn to Berlin. Wanna know Matthew’s fave haunts? Just follow along:

FROM TOQUE ISSUE 6 M I T IENDA LATI NA 103 O NTA R IO S T S , KI TC H ENER

5. After shopping for vinyl I stop for lunch at Mi Tienda Latina – a family-run Latin American grocery store and restaurant where you order in Spanish through a small hole in the kitchen wall. While the papusas and tamales de pollo are phenomenal, I usually settle for the soup of the day and whatever giant chunks of meat and vegetable accompany it. I eat at the communal table, chatting with strangers who soon become friends.

CAF É PYRUS 16 C H AR LES S T W, KI TC H ENER

6. Being stuffed from my hearty lunch doesn’t stop me from perusing the desserts at Café Pyrus – organic, vegan, delicious. I choose something amazing and settle into a cozy spot in the dining area, and read something local.

HU RO N NATURAL AR EA 7. Time for exercise. So off to the Huron Natural Area – an amalgam of forest, streams, 801 T R ILLIUM DR , trails and meadows, lookout areas and KI TC H ENER boardwalks that comprise Kitchener’s largest and most valuable natural space. Along with other hikers, joggers, photographers and bird watchers, I find myself rejuvenated and refreshed as I move through the great outdoors.

SHAWARMA G 328 SP EEDV ALE AV E E 31A, G UELP H

8. I drive back to Guelph for an afternoon siesta. (Midday napping is an indulgence worth taking up.) As evening approaches it’s off to Shawarma.G, a shawarma restaurant in Guelph that’s run by Syrian refugees. While I observe them preparing my authentic Syrian food, I reflect on our common pleasure in this region we all call home.

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SPRING MILL DISTILLERY

8. COCKTAILS GIN MILL

SPRING MILL DISTILLERY

Looking for a special place in the Royal City to whet your whistle with distinctive cocktails and indulge your appetite with dishes as cozy as fried chicken and waffles? Then stroll over to Gin Mill – an elegantly-appointed, two-floor bar where you can enjoy full meals, cocktails and craft beer at street level, and snacks and more inventive cocktails in the downstairs late-night speakeasy.

Featuring one of the largest handhammered copper stills in North America, this family-owned craft distillery doesn’t mess around. Snag a seat at ‘The Ward Bar’, order a signature cocktail and appetizer, and admire the exposed stone walls, tin ceilings, and original hearth of this nineteenth-century historic mill. While enjoying your drink, ruminate on the century-old tanks (remnants of Guelph’s rum-running past) that were discovered right beneath your feet. Chin chin.

107 Wyndham St N, Guelph ginmillgastro.ca

LOLOAN LOBBY BAR

14 Princess St W, Waterloo loloanlobbybar.com Grabbing a seat at the grand threesided bar of this elevated Uptown establishment (inspired by south Asian colonial hotel lobby bars) is like infiltrating the set of some Wes Anderson film; namely, it’s over the top in all the right ways. Tuxedoed bartenders. Ceiling paintings. Elegant chandeliers. And incredible drinks – like the ‘Butterfly Pea Flower Martini’ (vodka, butterfly pea flower, lychee, salty-sweet noodles). The region needs more of this. *After drinks at the bar, grab a (reserved) table for dinner. The ‘Moo Parlow’ (pork neck braised in star anise caramel liquor, steamed rice noodle, crackling, pickled duck egg, condiments) is a very good place to start

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43 Arthur St S, Guelph springmilldistillery.com

SUGAR RUN

somewhere in the #DTK sugarrun.ca Before you can enjoy this speakeasy’s cocktails, you’ll have to find the place. But trust us – it’s worth the effort. Once you’re in, cozy up to the bar for one of Sugar Run’s rum-based drinks. ‘The Collins Rum Affair’ (honey tincture, Havana Club 3, citrus, honey, egg whites, coconut cacao nib foam, seltzer) is a good place to start. Where you’ll end up is anyone’s guess. Looking to stock up your home bar with bitters? A trip to Dillon’s Small Batch Distillers, just outside Niagara, never disappoints.


GRAND TRUNK SALOON 30 Ontario St S, Kitchener grandtrunksaloon.com

The spot that spearheaded the #DTK’s (and perhaps the region’s) cocktail renaissance, Grand Trunk is a nononsense watering hole featuring soul food and a whole lotta mezcal. Choose your drink using the place’s ‘cocktail diagram’ (dividing cocktails into ‘dry’, ‘sweet’, and ‘bold’ categories), order plates of soft shell crab and crispy frogs legs, and tighten your bolo tie – because you’re in for a ride.

THE LOKAL

20 Queen St S, Kitchener walper.com The streamlined aesthetic, bold artwork, and custom chandeliers of this #DTK spot has it feeling more like ‘Queen West’ than Queen South. Located upstairs at downtown’s famed Walper Hotel, The Lokal is perfect for after-work drinks or an after-dinner night cap. (There’s a full menu too.) Sit at the impeccable white bar with a ‘Moscow Mule’ or settle onto a blue satin couch with a ‘Negroni’ and savour the moments. *A perfect way to end a night at The Lokal? With a room at The Walper – a hotel that’s hosted everyone from Louis Armstrong to the Queen Mother to Al Capone

bo t t o m’s up A QUICK GUIDE TO SOME OF OUR FAVOURITE CLASSIC COCKTAILS NEGRONI 1 pt campari 1 pt sweet vermouth 1 pt gin

OLD-FASHIONED soda water 3 dashes angostura bitters sugar cube 2 shots whiskey

GIN MOJITO soda water

LOLOAN LOBBY BAR

squeeze of lime

mint leaves 2 shots gin

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THE RICH UNCLE

THE RICH UNCLE TAVERN

WHITE RABBIT

Named after a cigar manufacturer once located on-site, this stunning #DTK destination is a sight to behold. While the worn floors, patina’d plaster walls and period portraits set the mood, the live fire menu and selection of inventive cocktails seal the deal. Grab a ‘Steak Frites’, add a ‘Kentucky Sidecar’ (bourbon, curacao, lemon juice, lavender syrup, edible flower), and settle in.

This cozy Uptown cocktail bar is a perfect destination for libations. Located smack dab in the middle of Waterloo’s entertainment district, the single-room space features retractable window bays (for warmer days), exposed brick walls, heavy wooden tables, and a dazzling array of hundreds of spirits showcased behind the welcoming bar. And with a full menu, it’s an easy place to spend an afternoon or evening.

45 King St W, Kitchener richuncletavern.ca

*When you visit, be sure to order the incredible duck wings – cooked to order and finished with sweet maple soy glaze and chili crunch

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47 King St N, Waterloo whiterabbitwaterloo.com


9. PAPER, STATIONARY & GIFTS ON THE VERGE

THE BOOKSHELF

For two decades now, this downtown boutique has put smiles on locals’ faces with its curated collections of cozy mittens, palm reader jewellery stands, unique decanters, irreverent cards, tarot boards, adopt-an-animal kits, painted vessels and vases, talisman necklaces, hilarious pins and mugs, and other whimsical gift ideas. Drop by the next time you’re touring Quebec Street – the Royal City’s avenue of food, fashion, and fun shops like this one.

The hub of all things arts and cultural in Guelph, The Bookshelf is two storeys of bookstore, independent cinema, late night club, and restaurant. Looking for the latest graphic novel? Award-winning nonfiction? Obscure (or not) literary journal? The Bookshelf’s probably got it – or has a way of getting it. Need another Moleskin notebook? T-shirt featuring your favourite classic book? Frisbee golf set? The Bookshelf’s got these, too. And some.

5 Quebec St, Guelph find them on facebook

MIXED MEDIA

1058 King St W, Hamilton mixedmediahamilton.com Next time you’re in Steel Town, don’t skip out on this place. With a fantastic selection of art supplies, journals, fountain pens, stationary, fine paper, and a plethora of pithy and playful greeting cards, calendars, puzzles, and local (and local-centric) art, this shop’s a goldmine. *Moving from its former location on James St N to King St W back in 2018 allowed Mixed Media to open a new bookstore – King W Books – next door. You can’t visit one without popping in at the other.

PHIDON PENS

63 Dickson St, Cambridge phidonpens.com For us, at least, there aren’t many things more decadent than writing with a great pen on sumptuous paper. If you feel the same way, then this downtown Cambridge specialty shop will seem like a dream come true. From Lamy fountain pens to Montegrappa ballpoints to Field Notes notebooks to Clairefontaine sketchbooks, Phidon has what you crave.

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41 Quebec St, Guelph bookshelf.ca

*The Bookshelf’s theatre is fully licensed, so when you come for dinner and a movie there’s really no reason to stop enjoying yourself when the curtain rises.

THE WITTY & CO

20 Ainslie St N, Unit 2, Cambridge find them on facebook Raw honey with cacao. Bonzai trees. Joe Beef steak seasoning. Cocktail sets. Bitters. Fantastic glassware. Sushi rolling kits. Bespoke chopsticks. The Witty & Co is downtown Cambridge’s newest boutique, and already this bright and spacious business is one of our favourite stops on any roadtrip along the Grand. When you pop by, be sure to ask about their custom matchboxes. Real conversation starters, those.

WYNDHAM ART SUPPLIES 125 Wyndham St N, Guelph wyndhamartsupplies.com

There’s good reason why Guelph’s army of makers and creatives come here for their paints, canvases, pens, paper, sculptural and modelling materials, portfolios, frames, and more – because Wyndham Art Supplies has it all. Because of Wyndham’s phenomenallyknowledgeable staff (most of whom are established artists themselves) and two stories of products filling every wall, nook, and cranny, your search for art materials can begin and end here.


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THE WITTY & CO

PHIDON PENS


VINCENZO’S

10. SANDWICHES BIG JOHN’S SUBMARINES

JIMMY’S FEED CO.

A staple of Belmont Village since the 1970s, Big John’s is a tiny take-out holein-the-wall with some of the greatest subs you’ll ever eat. Our personal faves: the ‘Mixed’ (salami, spiced ham, lettuce, tomato, onion, cheese, special sauce) and ‘BBQ Chicken Pompeii’ (grilled chicken breast, Italian provolone cheese, sour cream, garlic, hot peppers).

Looking to fill that craving for a thick, fresh-made hoagie? This intimate north end sandwich joint is your answer. The assortment of subs named after songs – including ‘Wonderwall’ (smoked turkey, salami, havarti, lettuce, tomato, pickles, mayo), ‘Le Freak’ (provolone, havarti, roasted red pepper, eggplant, lettuce, tomato, onion, special sauce), and ‘Burnin’ Love’ (smoked turkey, havarti, bacon, lettuce, tomato, special sauce) – will have your tummy humming sweet tunes in no time.

699 Belmont Ave W, Kitchener bigjohns.ca

*Whatever you order, get it on white and make sure it’s toasted. There’s really no other way

401 Weber St N, Waterloo jimmysfeedco.com

OSTEN BEERHALL

OSTEN BEERHALL

1103 Cannon St E, Hamilton osten1101.com

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It doesn’t get much simpler and to the point than Osten’s no-nonsense bologna sandwich. Meat, sauerkraut and yellow mustard on a round white burger bun. Grilled to perfection. Inspired by the fare at Montreal’s Wilensky’s deli, the dish is best washed down by a crisp pilsner. And then repeated again – because one of these is never enough.


PARK GROCERY

VINCENZO’S

While we’ve been known to hit up Park Grocery for its smoked beef brisket, applewood smoked chicken, and familystyle barbecue platters, their sandwiches are also fantastic hunger cures. Like the ‘Smoked Chicken Salad’ (with poblano salsa and arugula), the ‘Crispy Pork Belly’ (with coleslaw and herb sauce), and the ‘Turkey Reuben’ (with sour cabbage, swiss cheese and reuben sauce). Eat in or take away.

Simply put, the Vincenzo’s sandwich bar is a gift from the gods. With seemingly endless options (twenty-odd breads, fifty-plus meats, a dozen cheeses, toppings, spreads, and more), you could probably order a different sandwich every day for time immemorial. Our suggestion: Italian panini with jalapeno havarti, mortadella, a bunch of toppings, grained mustard, and artichoke caponata. Sweet heavens above.

294 Woolwich St, Guelph parkgrocery.ca

150 Caroline St S, Waterloo vincenzosonline.com

PEPI’S PIZZA

2880 King St E, Kitchener 87 Water St N, Kitchener 3. 390 Courtland Ave, Kitchener pepispizza.com 1. 2.

If you’re like me, and consider a hot dog a sandwich, then don’t miss out on ‘Hot Dog Thursdays’ at Elora Brewing Co – featuring unique dogs each week

PARK GROCERY

When local celebrity chef Nick Benninger speaks, folks should listen. We certainly do. So when Nick told us there’s nothing quite like Pepi’s Munchie sub, we knew it had to be on this list. Five meats, famous sub sauce, lettuce, tomato, and onion. Nick’s tip: don’t eat it right away. Instead, wait five minutes for the lettuce and mayo to ‘become one’. Thanks, Nick. And Pepi’s.

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DAYTRIPPIN’ ALANNA GURR & JARRETT WOOF OWNERS OF ‘THE SPRITZ’ – A MOBILE BARTENDING SERVICE BASED IN A VINTAGE CAMPER TRAILER

D E T OU R COFFEE ROAST E RS 41 KI N G S T W, DUNDAS

1. Want to start any Saturday off right? Then begin it at Detour Coffee Roasters in downtown Dundas – a quaint community just west of Hamilton that will leave you feeling like you’re in Stars Hollow. Our fave early morning fuel? Breakfast sandwiches and cortados (espressos cut with warm milk). Bottoms up.

SPE N CER GORG E CON SE RVATION AREA TE W FALL P A R KING LOT, H ARVE ST R D, DUNDA S

2. Next stop: a morning hike at Spencer Gorge Conservation Area – renowned for its geological formations and pair of waterfalls: Webster and Tew Falls. While Tew Falls is only a few metres shorter than Niagara Falls, we prefer the hike to Webster Falls – a marvelous tiered waterfall that’s worth the jaunt.

INGL E WOOD ANTI QUE M ARK E T 16083 HUR ONTAR IO S T, C ALE D ON

3. Feeling refreshed and ready for browsing, we

T HE CO MMON G OOD & GE NE RAL S TORE 758 B US H S T, B ELFO UNTAIN

4. Next we drive the scenic route down Forks of

hop into the car and head to Inglewood Antique Market – an old apple barn in Caledon that’s full of unique trinkets, fun antiques, and vintage furniture and décor.

the Credit Road toward Belfountain – the quaintest little village in Caledon. Our destination: an oldfashioned general store with the most amazing assortment of curated stuff. From baked goods to ice cream, ceramics to cushions, The Common Good has so much to offer.

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9 5 Around these parts, Alanna and Woof are known commodities. Having run in regional music (Alanna) and beer (both Alanna and Woof) circles for quite some time, they’ve become familiar with some of the region’s coolest kids – and spots.

FROM TOQUE ISSUE 9 T IN ROOF CAFÉ 4 MAI N S T, ER IN

5. All set for lunch, we head to Tin Roof Café in Erin. If the patio’s still open, we take a seat for prime people- and dog-watching. If the patio’s closed, we post up by the garage door window and do the same. We split an Apple Cheddar grilled cheese and Smashed Chickpea Salad sandwich and go to our happy place.

APOL LO CINEMA 141 O NTA R IO S T N, KI TC H ENER

6. Next? An afternoon movie at The Apollo Cinema in downtown Kitchener, of course. With a bag of popcorn and tasty local craft beer, we set up in a couple of this old-school-style cinema’s comfy chairs, put our drinks on an accompanying table, and take in the flick.

T HE L OKAL @ T HE WALPER HO T E L 20 Q UEEN S T S , KI TC H ENER

7. From The Apollo we walk to The Lokal – The

PU BL IC KI TCH EN & BAR 300 VICTOR IA S T N, KI TC H ENER

8. Ready for dinner, we drive to Public – where we

Walper’s hip and elegant second-floor bar – for pre-dinner house-crafted cocktails. The dehydrated fruit and flower garnishes, the celery salt, the syrups and house sodas – all are made in-house.

had our first date. Gulf shrimp in Romesco sauce with pickled fennel. Pork and beef meatball sliders with blue cheese sauce and crispy fried onions. Beef tartare with pickled onions, red wine reduction and fried capers. Honestly – just bring friends and order the whole menu.

COM MERCIAL T AVE RN 1303 MAR YHILL R D, MARYHILL

9. It’s late, but there’s still one place we need to visit. Maryhill’s Commercial Tavern – a real blast from the past. We order butter tarts and watch couples two-step to the sounds of the family house band. The perfect way to cap off the night.

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DAYTRIPPIN’ HILARY ABEL & EMILY ROBSON PUBLIC SERVICE SUPERHEROES

HE RRL E ’S COUNTRY F ARM MARKET 1243 ER B’S R D, ST AGATHA

1. A great way to start a regional day trip (except during winter) is at Herrle’s Country Farm Market. They open early and have an amazing selection of seasonal produce, yummy baked goods, frozen yogurt and gelato, supplies for canning and preserving (if you’re feeling ambitious), and other local grocery items. A pretty elaborate train set running around the ceiling keeps kids entertained while confined to a shopping cart. And there’s an outdoor playground and corn maze in the fall. We’ll let you decide how early you’ll allow your little people to eat gelato. No judgement. (Hot Tip: pick up some delicious and nutritious snacks for later in the day.)

SHAD E ’ S MI LLS PARK 450 AVENUE R D, C AMB RI DG E

2. A quick trip to Shade’s Mills for some swimming and sandcastle fun will totally amaze you. This spot is absolutely awesome for everyone, but particularly great for younger kids because it’s got a nice long beach and the water is pretty shallow. Lots of room to play and explore. (If you’re up for an overnight adventure, you can drive a bit further to Pinehurst Lake Park (Ayr), where they show movies at night and have superb daytime programs.)

CHIL D REN’S ART F ACT ORY 37 YARMOUTH S T, GU ELPH

3. A short drive, a few carefully curated tunes, and a travel mug of coffee will take you to the Children’s Art Factory. This place is a dream come true for creatives and their caregivers of any age. Affordable, welcoming, messy fun.

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As full-time working moms in public service, we have found that day trips are an awesome way to spend quality time with the kiddos while staying close to home. Real talk: this is too much to pack into one day. (There are only so many times a preschooler can handle being strapped in and out of a car seat.) But these are all really fantastic places that go beyond being familyfriendly: they make you feel truly welcome.

FROM TOQUE ISSUE 8 ARABES QUE F AM ILY RES TAURANT 869 VICTOR IA S T N, KI TC H ENER

4. There’s really only one way to get your kids out of the Art Factory’s magical world of paint, sand, instruments and more: the promise of food. Arabesque Family Restaurant serves up incredible fresh Middle Eastern cuisine, and some seriously fantastic family vibes. The staff always make you feel at home. The fresh pita and hummus are fan favourites.

D E SCENDANTS B EER & BE V ERAGE CO 319 VI CTOR IA S T N, KI TC H ENER

5. By now the munchkins are pretty exhausted, so a little car ride naptime might be in order. Recommended listening: Beck’s ‘Morning Phase’ album – it gets them every time. Leave one adult in the car with the AC running while the other pops into Descendants and grabs some delicious, locally-brewed tall cans for later. (The brewery is also an awesome kid friendly brewery & eatery. If you end up staying here for the day, we wouldn’t blame you.)

L IT T L E LOUIE’S BU RGER J OINT & SO U PERY 224 C LYDE R D, C AMB R IDG E

6. While the kiddos nap, take your time driving back out to Cambridge for dinner. Little Louie’s always pleases. And while it’s in a pretty strange location, the food will rock your world. Beer Nut Milkshake. Need we say more? Now this is one action-packed day. After burgers and shakes, drive on home and carry those exhausted tiny humans up to their beds. Once you’ve hung up bathing suits and towels, and cleaned out all the snack containers, it’s time for you to enjoy those deeee-licious craft beers you picked up earlier. (You’re welcome.) Now get your Netflix on and try not to fall asleep on the couch.

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CAI’S PICKS - PEOPLE & PLACES ‘You know that feeling you get when you fall in love with a space or with someone’s work, only to realize how amazing the people who created it are? Awesome people doing awesome things. Here are some of my favourite creative boss babes and what they’re up to.’

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1.

SPRING FEVER TATTOO CO.

4.

I had heard of (and coveted) Allie Charbonneau’s work long before she tattooed my largest piece – a fireweed, which is a blooming plant in Yukon (pretty much my favourite place on earth). Beyond her immaculate tattoo work (which is so in-demand that her books are closed for the foreseeable future), you might want to keep an eye out for the food drives Allie hosts out of her studio, as well as on her drop-in flash days, with proceeds going to a select not-for-profit. 2.

An off-shoot project of Wellington Brewery, this thriving annual beer education series founded by Karyn Boscarial brings together beer drinking queens for workshops and tastings, with all proceeds going to Guelph-Wellington Women-In-Crisis. And they’re not just messing around. In connection with the series every year, some participants win the opportunity to join the ‘Brew Team’ to design and create a new Wellington beer. *Humble brag: my 2014 crew ended up winning a 2015 Ontario Brewing Award for our chai stout, ‘2014: A Spice Odyssey’. I also co-designed the label

GRAIN & GRIT

11 Ewen Rd, Hamilton grainandgritbeer.com The. Best. Swag. I’ve said this over and over again: the best start-ups have a good designer with a great marketing sense as a founding partner. The design work coming out of Grain & Grit always gives me the shivers. Their labels, which are designed in-house by co-owner Lindsey Mrav and illustrated by the ever-talented Gillian Wilson, always give me jealous/excitement pangs. And oh, shoutouts to Joe (Grain and Grit’s other half) and head brewer Alex: the beer is pretty stellar too. Their stouts and IPAs are out of this world. High fives all around. 3.

SWEET VIOLETS

38 Wilson St, Guelph sweetviolets.ca Welcome home. Or at least the home I think most of us wish for, packed to the brim with fresh plants and flowers set off by beautiful curated pots and trinkets. The aesthetics and sensibility of Sweet Violets can be attributed to the powerhouse women behind it – Kelli O and her crew: Brenna, Mercedes, Anna and Jess. These remarkable women have made this shop a destination to brighten any day for well over a decade.

QUEEN OF CRAFT

950 Woodlawn Rd W, Guelph wellingtonbrewery.ca/events/queenof-craft

33 Carden St, Unit 207, Guelph find them on facebook

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OTHERWISE STUDIOS

490 York Rd, Building I, Guelph otherwisestudios.com Relative newcomers to the Guelph scene, Otherwise Studios is nestled deep in the Ward’s hip reclaimed old industrial area – and in good company with neighbours Rug & Weave, The Guelph Grotto, Royal City Brewing and Live Kombucha, to name a few. Founded by recent U of G grads, Abby and Ahmri, Otherwise is an inclusive space open to artists and community for collaborating, teaching and all around mess-making. Their rich array of collaborations and workshops (including printmaking, stained glass and embroidery) offers lots of opportunity for creative locals to meet and dabble with some new skills.

There are so many other amazing creatives in our region. Keep an eye on these ones: Bunny Safari, Stephanie Scott, Pearl Van Geest, and Frances Hahn.

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BLACKWING COFFEE BAR

11. COFFEE BALZAC’S COFFEE ROASTERS 1. 5

Gordon St S, Guelph 2. 151 Charles St W, Kitchener 3. 149 Ontario St, Stratford balzacs.com

You’ll feel a comfortable familiarity each time you step into a Balzac’s location. The intricate tile floors. Vintage coffee memorabilia. Bentwood bistro furniture. Warm lighting. Long granite-topped bars featuring ornate glass display cases filled with scones, brownies, and other goodies. And phenomenal coffee. With locations across our region, Balzac’s is the perfect spot to read a great novel. Or to write one.

BLACKWING COFFEE BAR 135 George St N, Cambridge blackwingcoffee.com

As younger sister of Waterloo’s DVLB and cousin to Kitchener’s Smile Tiger, this Galt port of call has impressive family genes. Located in a re-purposed industrial building on the Grand River (and featuring exposed brick walls, original wood ceiling, and elegant decor), Blackwing serves locally-roasted coffee, rotating regional brews, California and Ontario wines, and a streamlined savoury menu.

DVLB (DEATH VALLEY’S LITTLE BROTHER)

SMILE TIGER

84 King Street North, Waterloo dvlb.ca

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It’s all dark wood, conditioned leather, poured concrete and sultry vibes at this Uptown coffee and whisky joint. Students, profs, artists, and tech folk gather at communal tables (one crafted from re-purposed bowling lanes) for locally-roasted coffee, a wide range of international whiskies, and fresh-baked treats. Join them and you’ll know there’s nowhere you’d rather be.


MONIGRAM COFFEE ROASTERS

16 Ainslie St S, Cambridge Water St S (Old Post Office), Cambridge 3. 618 King St W, Kitchener monigram.ca 1.

l o o ki ng for a cuppa?

2. 1  2

Whether you’re enjoying poached eggs on rye with a macchiato at Monigram’s spacious post-and-beam Ainsle St site, a pastry with cortado at the roastery’s magnificently-restored Old Post Office location, or an Americano at its brand new Kitchener digs, Cambridge’s home town coffee roasters will leave you feeling comfortable and satisfied. Pair with friends or a good book and watch the time fly by.

PLANET BEAN COFFEE ROASTERS 2 Wyndham St, Guelph 2. 259 Grange Rd E, Guelph planetbeancoffee.com 1.

These coffee bars and roastery (with two locations in Guelph) have garnered a cult following with the Royal City’s laidback, progressive-bohemian set. And for good reason: Planet Bean is owned and operated by a worker co-operative, and showcases independent, fairtrade coffee producers from around the world. Planet Bean serves a mean cuppa, along with oh-so-delectable snacks. *Grab a bag of Gryphon blend – with beans grown by indigenous women living in the remote northern Andes, and a percentage of sales supporting Guelph Gryphons women’s varsity scholarships

A QUICK GUIDE TO SOME OF OUR FAVOURITES CORTADO milk foam espresso *for one of the best cortados, visit The Common in Downtown Guelph

AMERICANO water espresso

MOCHA whipped cream steamed milk chocolate syrup espresso

CAPPUCCINO milk foam steamed milk

PLANET BEAN

espresso

MORE LISTINGS

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DVLB

RED CIRCLE COFFEE CO.

137 Glasgow St, Suite 390, Kitchener redcirclecoffee.ca Located in the lobby of Catalyst137 – Kitchener’s massive makerspace – this spacious, airy coffee shop provides the perfect backdrop for strategy meetings, elevator pitches, skype calls, and even time away from screens. And get this: Red Circle roasts its own beans and bakes its own sweets and breads – the latter also used for sandwiches in the coffee shop and menu items at Graffiti Market next door. *Red Circle Coffee Co’s espresso is used to brew (sibling) Red Circle Brewing Co’s Night Shift Porter – a full-bodied, robust dark beer with notes of mocha, vanilla, and coffee

SMILE TIGER COFFEE ROASTERS

100 Ahrens St. W, Kitchener smiletigercoffee.com While the whitewashed wood-slat ceilings, custom green leather-appointed furniture, and in-house roastery visible through gorgeous muntindivided windows may draw you in, the phenomenal coffee, craft beer, and great menu will have you stay. Located in a repurposed industrial building just outside the downtown core, Smile Tiger is home away from home for coffee aficionados, Kitchener’s tech set, and folks waiting for the train to TO.

Relax on a church pew or play some foosball while sipping on your Americano at The Common in downtown Guelph. Just remember to bring cash – it’s the only option here.

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DAYTRIPPIN’ WILL HUNTER & JENNA HARKNESS TERRI TO RY MA NA G ERS, R E D C IR C L E BR E WIN G C O (W I L L ) & EL O RA B REW I N G C O ( J E N N A)

BO X SOCIAL 103 GE DDES S T, ELOR A

1. We begin any given Saturday at Elora’s favourite diner: Box Social. Like usual, the place is packed. Still, we manage to snag a table for two up against the massive front window and split three of our faves: a breakfast burrito, the peameal eggs benny, and their magnificent club sandwich. And two drip coffees.

SHE PHERD’S PUB 5 E MI LL S T, ELOR A

2. Finishing up just before 11am, we meander down the street to the new (larger) iteration of Elora’s storied Shepherd’s Pub. We come for two things: the tight-knit staff and first call. For Jenna: whatever’s pouring on the Red Circle tap. For Will: whatever’s pouring on the Elora Brewing tap.

T HE F AT DUCK GAST RO PUB 210 KO R TR IG HT R D W , GU ELPH

3. After piling into Will’s Nissan Versa we travel down highway 6 past glorious countryside toward Guelph. Our destination: The Fat Duck. A pub where (seemingly) everyone knows your name. For lunch, Jenna digs into the tofu burger while Will enjoys the butter chicken curry pie. We split the scotch egg.

ARCHIT ECT H AI R D E SIGN 324 J AMES S T N, H AMI LT ON

4. After filling our bellies, we head south-east to Hamilton where Architect Hair Design awaits. Part barbershop. Part bar. Part meeting place. Will grabs a trim, while Jenna plays chess with some of the regulars.

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9 5 As territory managers for two of our region’s most drool-inducing breweries, these besties have spent a ton of time discovering our communities’ most awesome locals. Tag along for one of their typical daytrippin’ Saturdays.

FROM TOQUE ISSUE 7 CAPITOL B AR 973 KING S T E, H AMI L TON

5. Next stop is Steeltown’s Capitol Bar – an east end local. We sit at the bar and chat with Derek about the spot’s upcoming live music programming. And while the Capitol’s collection of whiskeys has us tempted, we stick with beer: something clean and crisp for Jenna, and dark and smooth for Will. We split an order of house-made pickled things and pass the time.

JIM M Y’S FEED CO 401 WEBER S T N, WATE R LOO

6. As dinnertime approaches, we hop back into Will’s car and race toward one of Waterloo’s best kept secrets: Jimmy’s Feed Co. This tiny spot in a nondescript strip mall features some of the best sandwiches in the region – straightforward and wrapped in butcher paper. For Will: the ‘I’m Too Sexy’ with roast beef and smoked turkey. For Jenna: the ‘Hey Jude’ with smoked turkey and hot salami.

PIN U P ARCADE B AR 247 KING S T N UNI T 8 , WA TER LOO

7. Now we drive just a few blocks toward Pin Up Arcade Bar where Will plays Ice Cold Beer and Jenna gets frustrated at the pinball machines. We crush a couple short cans of Wellington’s Helles lager before heading back to Guelph.

T WO FACES 20 WI LS ON S T, GU ELP H

8. We roll into downtown Guelph, park Will’s car for the night, and head to one of the city’s newest bars: Two Faces. Featuring craft beer and cider as well as a bunch of biodynamic wines, this spot looks and feels as though it’s been lifted directly out of Montreal and dropped into the Royal City. We let Drea and Meg choose some wine for us, order some olives, pickled eggs, and pretzel sticks with Dijon, and finish the night in style.

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ARABELLA PARK

12. BURGERS & BEER ARABELLA PARK BEER BAR

BAKER STREET STATION

It’s bar service only at this Belmont Village staple. And for good reason – this minimalist-appointed locale takes its craft beer game seriously. Eighteen rotating taps. Always craft. And yet we come for the burger. Always. Smashed beef paddy (or two). Cheese. On a Wonder Bread bun. Juicy. Crushable. Served in a paper bag. Perfect.

If having Bellwoods’ Jutsu Pale Ale on permanent rotation isn’t enough to get you to this downtown mecca, the burger certainly will. While the toppings are everchanging (short ribs, old cheddar, and red onion marmalade for the win), the taste is forever on-point. And the fries? Legendary. Couple a burger and pint with Baker’s second-storey wraparound balcony, killer tap list, and intimate main floor bar, and you’re all set.

*If the burger and beer doesn’t drive you here, the bar’s bright, Scandinavianinspired interior certainly will. Community seating. Plenty of plants. Garage doors. Concrete floor. And sweet patio

Hot tip: many restaurants change their featured burger regularly, so if you haven’t visited in a while – it’s time to go back.

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76 Baker St, Guelph bakerstreetstation.ca

BAKER STREET STATION

740 Belmont Ave W, Kitchener arabellaparkbar.com


BRUX HOUSE

137 Locke St S, Hamilton bruxhouse.com So much about this place is perfect, from the ‘elevated gastropub’ menu to the century red brick that houses the place to the killer beer list to the two storeys of smart dining rooms (that recently played host to our Prime Minister). We fall in love with Brux House each time we visit. So grab a pint, order the ‘Brux House’ burger (beef patty, stout caramelized onions, aged cheddar, garlic aioli, lettuce, tomato, brioche bun), and feel prime ministerial.

HAMBRGR

49 King William St, Hamilton Ottawa St N, Hamilton 3. 233 St Paul St, Hamilton hambrgr.ca 1.

The name (minus some vowels) says it all. And while Hambrgr offers salads and poutine, why deprive yourself of what’s brought you here: a gaggle of jaw-challenging burgers. Like the ‘Praise Cheesus’ (‘merican cheese, white cheddar, crunchy swiss frico, BRGR sauce, crispy onion strings, iceberg). The ‘Hot-lanta’ (smash patty, Danish blue, Bartlett pear jam, mayo, crispy onions, iceberg). Or the ‘Classic’ (lettuce, tomato, pickles, onion, ketchup, mustard). Open wide.

HAMBRGR

2. 2  07

SMILE TIGER

LITTLE LOUIE’S BURGER JOINT & SOUPERY 234 Clyde Rd, Cambridge littlelouiesburgerjoint.com

MORE LISTINGS

LITTLE LOUIE’S

This off-the-beaten-path old school burger joint is worth the trip for its malted shakes alone. (Double Chocolate Chip Cookie shake, anyone?!) Pair one with a ‘build-your-own’ beef burger, take that first bite, and mentally clear a spot on your calendar for your next visit. While there’s no beer at Little Louie’s, that’s no reason to leave this heavyweight contender out of the category.

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OLD MARINA RESTAURANT 1947 McClintock Dr, Cambridge oldmarina.com

*Real hungry? Then take the ‘Puslinch Burger Challenge’ – one hour to finish a three-patty burger (with cheese rings), poutine and milkshake. Winners don’t pay. Losers pay dearly

THE FRIENDLY SOCIETY 102/8 Mill St W, Elora friendlysociety.ca

Those stone walls. Checkered flooring. William Morris wallpaper. Reclaimed wood ceilings. The giant resin stag head mounted behind the bar. There’s a lot to love about this gastropub with polish. Indeed, it’s the perfect destination for a house burger. Add parmesan fries with truffle aioli, braised beef beignets, and a pint (or negroni), and let your evening begin.

OLD MARINA RESTAURANT

If there’s one thing you should definitely bring with you when you trek out to this gorgeous lakeside restaurant for lunch or dinner, it’s your appetite. A big appetite. Because this is one honkin’ burger. The ‘Famous Puslinch Burger’. Massive patty. Bacon. Lettuce and tomato. And a melted two-cheese blend ‘pull and peel’ cheese ring. Pass the time watching jet skiiers while you settle into a burger-induced coma.

THE WOOLY PUB

Recognized as Guelph’s great meeting place, the Wooly is a pioneer in defining Canadian pub culture. Featuring a solid craft beer list, cask on tap, a sustainable locavore menu, and year-round covered front porch and fully-heated back patio, this destination guarantees for a great time – every time. Grab a pint and ‘The Smokey BBQ Burger’ (YU Ranch grassfed beef, double-smoked bacon, Taste of Ontario BBQ sauce, aged cheddar, lettuce, onion, tomato, pickle) and watch your worries dissolve.

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THE FRIENDLY SOCIETY

176 Woolwich St, Guelph thewoolypub.ca


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RUG & WEAVE

13. FURNISHINGS & DECOR BLOOMS + FLORA

IRON BUCKET ANTIQUES

What’s the surest way to beautify any space? With flowers and plants, of course. Over the past while, Blooms + Flora – located in downtown’s historic Raymond Sewing Machine factory – has become a destination for folks looking for garden-inspired floral arrangements, unique plants, and some pretty amazing handcrafted gifts too. Robyn and her team also offer flower and plant subscriptions and amazing classes – from tropical terranium worshops to floral design 101.

Love getting lost for hours among antiques and vintage artefacts? Then head to this antique hunters’ paradise in downtown Fergus. Crammed from floor to ceiling and everywhere in between with refinished (and refinish-able) furniture, wall-mounted clocks, pottery, china, collectibles, and old magazines – including stacks of vintage Playboys – you’re bound to be here a while. So grab your coveralls and prepare to get diggin’.

*While you’re here, why not stop by either The Wooly or Baker Street Station for a bite to eat and a pint? Both phenomenal gastropubs are mere steps from the flower shop

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380 St Andrew St W, Fergus ironbucketantiques.com

BLOOMS + FLORA

182 Woolwich St, Guelph bloomsandflora.com


RUG & WEAVE

THE TIMELESS MATERIAL CO.

Wanna put some history beneath your feet? This is the place. Located in a former factory building in the Royal City’s ‘Ward’ neighbourhood, this rad business specializes in the sale of antique and vintage Persian rugs – as well as fashionable modern furniture, blankets, throws, pillows, décor, and more. Pure gorgeousness that’s perfect for any (every?) room in your place.

In our opinion, you haven’t really lived until you’ve visited the barn at The Timeless Material Co. Three floors of the most incredible antique and vintage household finds. But the real treasure’s in the basement. Fantastic amounts of reclaimed wood floors. Shiplap. Planks. And timbers. Absolutely perfect for flooring, walls, and anything else you can imagine.

460 York Rd, Guelph rugandweave.com

SCHREITER’S

482 Belmont Ave W, Kitchener schreiters.ca While this locally-owned and operated business has been around for over a century, it certainly isn’t your grandparents’ furniture showroom. With stylish chairs, sofas, tables, and other household and office items by EQ3, Gus* Modern, Italian brand Calligaris and more gracing the floor, this place is like the world’s most stylish (and largest) living room. Looking for high-quality modern furniture that’ll set you apart? Come on in.

305 Northfield Dr E, Waterloo timelessmaterials.com

*Timeless is as much a regional history museum as anything else. While scouring about, see how many retired local (iconic) business signs you recognize in and around the place The Timeless Materials Co is one of my favourite places to go when starting a new art project. From reclaimed gym floors to old windows and door knobs, it’s got everything I need.

THE ART OF HOME

11 Ainslie St S, Cambridge theartofhome.ca

Check out the unique assortment of couches, loveseats, and awesome household décor at Karger Gallery – with locations in Elora and Guelph.

THE ART OF HOME

Next time you’re in picturesque downtown Cambridge, be sure to drop by this wonderfully-curated lifestyle boutique – specializing in everything from pillows and throws to objects for the garden and outdoors; from clothing and footwear to jewelry and accessories; from mirrors and clocks to artwork, and more. The vibe is warm. The staff are fantastic. And the selection is charmingly bang on.

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14. VEGETARIAN CAFÉ PYRUS

PLANTED IN HAMILTON

Located in the heart of #DTK, this spacious dining room serves up fresh, local, and organic gems. Whether starting the day off right with Pyrus’ ‘Breakfast Club’ (tofu egg, tempeh bacon, cheese, avocado, tomato, lettuce, aioli, sourdough toast) or keeping it going with ‘The Angry Vegan’ (tempeh, caramelized onion, tomato, spinach, artichoke spread, cheese, panini), you’re on the right track.

Ever wanted to try a vegan cheese board? BBQ pulled jackfruit sandwich? What about a lentil meatball sandwich? This plant-based, gluten-free, kosher #hamont restaurant and bakery proves that inclusive food can be familiar and taste amazing. So get down here, admire the whimsical interior design (including bright turquoise seats, warm barnboard walls, and colourful mural), and get chomping.

DEMOCRACY* COFFEE HOUSE

THE CORNERSTONE

16 Charles St W, Kitchener cafepyrus.com

202 Locke St S, Hamilton democracyonlocke.com

This vegan café and eatery is the perfect spot to post up and watch the Locke Street locals flutter by. Whether sitting by the retractable garage door or under the bank of skylights, you’ll be bathed in sunlight and enveloped by hearty conversation as you enjoy such unusual and enticing treats as cauliflower wings, pierogi pizza, fries supreme, and falafel salad.

JANE BOND CAFÉ

5 Princess St W, Waterloo janebond.ca Whether seeking plant-based fare or not, you’ll find that this Uptown staple’s allveggie menu is plain awesome. Case in point: Jane Bond’s must-have ‘Whoppie’ – a mushroom and cashew patty veggie burger loaded with lettuce, tomato, cucumber, dijon, and pesto mayo. Epic. Pair with a vegan caesar salad, plate of delectable antojitos or a fabulous soup, one of the joint’s craft pints, and taste how life’s getting better already.

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*Jane Bond’s more than menu deep. The fantastic subterranean-like space, live dj nights, unique cocktail pitchers, and uber-cool regulars help create a killer vibe. And remember to visit Orange Monkey – upstairs – for all your vinyl needs

225 John St S, Hamilton plantedin.ca

1 Wyndham St N, Guelph find them on facebook

This place is a downtown institution. Whether coming in for breakfast, lunch, mid-afternoon drinks or late-night live music, you’ll love The Cornerstone for its exposed walls, deep stone sills, high tin ceilings, open kitchen and boho staff. From omelettes to pad thai, huevos rancheros to pizzas, antojitos to cowboy cookies – you’re bound to find something that’ll tickle your tummy. *Look out for The Cornerstone Campfire Sessions – a late-night live music jam session where folks bring guitars, mandolins, fiddles and other acoustic instruments, huddle around a tray of tea candles, share songs and embrace community

V-EDGE SMOOTHIE CAFÉ

22 Metcalfe St, Elora vedgesmoothiecafe.business.site Planted in a gorgeous red brick across the river from Elora’s idyllic downtown, this vegan café specializes in smoothies and offers a full menu too. Stop by for lunch and try the ‘Cookies N Cream’ smoothie (coconut mylk, dates, maca, hemp and chia seeds, brown rice protein) and ‘Be Well T’ sandwich (smoked tempeh, cheeze, cucumber, spinach, mayo, organic sprouted bread). You can thank us later.


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JANE BOND CAFÉ

CAFÉ PYRUS


A modern day monster. The Audi RS6 Avant

2350 Shirley Drive, Kitchener 519.514.0100 | 1.844.566.2506 See all our inventory at

www.Audikw.com


EST. 1892 - BERLIN, ON



482 BELMONT AVE W (AT GAGE) KITCHENER

FREE PARKING

@schreiters_home


DAYTRIPPIN’ JENNA VAN KLAVEREN & RACHELLE WATERMAN MA RK ETI NG MA VENS

GAGE PARK 1000 MA IN S T E VINT AGE COFFEE ROAST E RS 977 KI N G S T E, H AMI LT ON

1. Hamilton’s east end is ideal for weekend mornings: a walk with the dogs, coffee, and a cookie. We begin in beautiful Gage Park and make our way west to Vintage Coffee, where Jesslyn, the owner, makes a mean compost cookie – and fantastic coffee. The café feels like your cool friend’s apartment – a place you never want to leave.

JAME S STREET NORTH N E IGHB OURH OOD J AME S ST N, HAMILTON

2. We make our way across the city to James Street North, where we pop into O’s Clothes, and usually walk out with at least one purchase: the new SNEEZE mag, a #HamOnt mug, or – depending on the season – a slip dress or flannel shirt. We peruse used books at Chaises Musicales and stop at White Elephant to stock up on pins and patches.

F RE E L T ON ANTIQUE M ARK E T 248 FREELTON R D, FRE E LTON HABIT AT FOR HU MAN ITY RE ST ORE 104 D AWS ON R D #300, GU ELPH

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3. We get pretty amped when it comes to antiquing – especially at Freelton Antique Market. We roam the aisles of terrifying dolls, vintage clothes and vinyl. Then we’re off to Guelph’s ReStore for retro furniture. Best find? A vintage teak credenza for just $55!


9 5 While both these childhood besties call Hamilton home, Rachelle and Jenna spend their weekdays working in Guelph and Kitchener, respectively. And their weekends? Across all three cities, of course. Take a peek:

FROM TOQUE ISSUE 3 T HE BAUER KITCH EN 4. Lunchtime! We head to The Bauer Kitchen – 187 KING S T S , #102, set in a restored warehouse nestled on the edge of Uptown Waterloo – to split a stone-oven pizza WATE R LOO and Bauer Salad, and enjoy an Elora ‘Lady Friend’ (Rachelle) and Block 3 ‘King Street Saison’ (Jenna).

L IV ING FRES H F L OWER S TUDI O 1-20 QUEEN S T S , KI TC H ENER

5. After lunch we head to Living Fresh in downtown Kitchener – a bright, sun-drenched flower shop that puts together the most gorgeous arrangements and bouquets, and also features a gaggle of the cutest potted plants. The shop’s monthly mini plant subscription is necessary for anyone looking to beautify the home front, and its flower school is awesome too.

ST U DI O 205 205 KING S T E, H AMI L TON T HE HAMI LTON ST O RE 165 J AMES S T N, H AMI LTON

6. What drives us back to Hamilton? Studio 205, a cozy little shop featuring exclusively Canadian handmade products and artwork, and The Hamilton Store – a downtown gift shop that sells posters and prints of Steel Town past and present; hot sauces, gourmet foods and lavender products made in Hamilton; local honey and maple treats, and more.

CAPITOL B AR 973 KING S T E, H AMI L TON

7. We drop our car and make our way back to the east end. Capitol Bar – a great spot for wine, beer and, when we’re feeling really fancy, a cocktail. (Corpse Reviver #2 is superb.) And the cheese plate, of course. As the night wraps up, we head back to one of our places for dog cuddles, tea, and a movie. And, of course, more cheese. Sleep tight.

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DAYTRIPPIN’ BECKY HOOD CHEF , O STEN B EER HA L L

ST . PAT RI CK’S WARD

1. I begin the day with a walk through The Ward

SO UTH EAS T OF D OWN TOWN

– my old Guelph ‘hood – with my dog and best bud, Lily. Century cottages dotting narrow streets. Eclectic homes that once housed butcher shops, grocers and cobblers. Craft breweries and ethnic restaurants – all of these make The Ward so special.

T HE CO MMON 36 WI LSON S T, G UELP H

2. I drop Lily with friends and meander to my favourite coffee spot – The Common on Wilson in Downtown Guelph. I order an Americano. Kids play near the café’s massive windows while regulars chat with Kia – the shop’s amazing owner. The music’s great. Everyone’s happily caffeinated. And the décor is light and whimsical – like a hipster cottage.

DIS-A-RAY ANTI QUES 18 WI LSON S T & 3 WYNDHAM S T N, GU ELPH

3. Americano in hand, I hit the streets on a quest for thrift. There’s no place like Dis-A-Ray on Wyndham – a destination for those who appreciate vintage, bikes and taxidermy. I pick up a taxidermy bat for my beau Al before deciding to tour into Cambridge for more antiquing! 4. I arrive at Southworks Antiques where I grab

S OU T HW ORKS A NT IQ UES 7 3 WATER S T N, CAMB RI DG E OL D M ARI NA RE ST AU RANT 1 947 MCCLINTOCK DR , CAMB RI DG E

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some classic Jays’ paraphernalia. Thirsty, I drive to The Old Marina Restaurant on Puslinch Lake. The patio view has me convinced I’m in Muskoka. I sit in the sun with a cold pint and watch the water-skiers.


9 5 As a full-time chef, Chef Becky Hood lives by the motto: ‘Wednesdays are my Saturdays!’ So here’s a tour of Becky’s perfect ‘weekend’ – a glorious Wednesday traversing the region – in her words:

FROM TOQUE ISSUE 2 DE E ’ S B UTTER T ART S 118 ST A NDR EW S S T, C AMB RIDG E ORAN GE MONKEY & JAN E B OND 5 PRI NCES S S T W , ( U PST AIR S & MA IN FLO OR ) WA TER LOO

BAKE R S TREET ST AT ION 76 B AKER S T, GU ELP H

5. I head from Cambridge to Waterloo’s Orange Monkey Music for vinyl. I stop on the way at Dee’s Butter Tarts where I grab treats for later. When I get to Orange Monkey, I smell deliciousness wafting from The Jane Bond Café’s kitchen next door. I grab some vinyl before heading back to Guelph for dinner with Al at Baker Street Station. I drop the car and walk to Baker where Al’s waiting.

6. Seated contently on Baker’s second-storey patio, I ask Johnny what’s good to drink. I settle on a ‘Cascade Black Raspberry’ from Portland while Al orders a ‘Lady Friend’ from Elora Brewing Co. We order Chef Heather’s beef tartare. Pure bliss.

ROYAL CI TY BRE WING CO. 199 VICTOR IA R D S , GU ELP H

7. There’s still light in the sky as Al and I walk back

N A-HA-TH AI ’S K IT CH EN 471 YOR K R D, GU ELP H

brewery, we stop at Na Ha Thai’s Kitchen for take-

through The Ward toward Royal City Brewing Co where we grab some ‘Two Rivers’ and a growler of ‘Hibiscus Saison.’ On our walk home from the out. Shrimp rolls, grilled beef salad and green curry!

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POLESTAR HEARTH

15. BAKERIES 324 Frederick St, Kitchener ambrosiapastry.com

Ever tried bean-to-bar chocolate? How about house-made marshmallow? Or French canelés – small cylindrical pastries with tender custard centre and thick honey-caramelized crust? Ambrosia Pastry Co, owned and operated by experienced chefs Tim Simpson and Aura Hertzog, offers all of the above, as well as an assortment of other delectable made-from-scratch pastries, tarts, cookies, and preserves. *Ambrosia’s bean-to-bar chocolate is made from organic, fairtrade, ethically-sourced beans that are roasted at the bakery. It’s sold as full bars, and is used in the place’s pastries too Look out for ‘Get Baked’ goodies – including their infamous Nuttah Bar – at coffee shops around the region.

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CITY CAFÉ BAKERY 1. 175

West Ave, Kitchener 499 Lancaster St W, Kitchener 3. 50 Ottawa St S, Kitchener citycafebakery.ca 2.

If you’ve ever visited the great city of Montreal, you’ve probably yearned for a good bagel ever since. Look no further. Boiled in honey malt water and then baked in a wood-fired oven, City Café’s Montreal-style bagels are the real deal. As are the place’s sourdough loaves and thin-crust pizzas – available as slices at lunch or whole pies (ready for re-heating) between 4 and 6pm each day.

ELORA BREAD TRADING CO.

AMBROSIA PASTRY CO.


ELORA BREAD TRADING CO.

POLESTAR HEARTH

Next time you’re in Elora hiking up Metcalfe Street, stop in at this marvelous little bakery. The poured concrete floor, worn wooden counters, stacked bags of flour, and shelves of fresh-baked loaves give this cozy spot a hip rustic vibe. Grab a loaf – or dig into a sourdough sandwich. The fixings and spreads – like meats from Thatcher Farms, house-made hummus, roasted tomato jam, and more – are just about as tasty as the bread.

There are folks in our region who schedule their weeks around their Polestar bread pick-up. Try a loaf and you’ll see why. The bakery’s naturally leavened loaves are crafted from organically-grown grains and seeds – resulting in beautiful nut-brown crusts and chewy deliciousness. With a wide selection of breads daily, and an array of European-style pastries and cookies, it’s wise to follow them on social to catch that special something they might only be making today.

ERIC THE BAKER

46 Carden St, Guelph find them on facebook When you’re walking along Carden Street, don’t be surprised if you find yourself being seduced by rich aromas of fresh-baked French pastries and savoury dishes. The source of this delicious distraction is Eric the Baker – a culinary mecca for locals who crave everything from quiches to croques monsieurs, fresh croissants to filet mignon sandwiches, mushroom tarts to duck confit cassoulet, rhubard gateau Basques to cranberry and apple danishes. It’s like a bit of France right here in our own backyard.

GOODFELLOWS FIELD TO FORK

155 Main St S, Rockwood goodfellows.ca For many folks around the region, this small independent bakery café is what put Rockwood on the map. Owned by Claudia Goodfellow – a young red seal baker and chef from the Big Smoke – Goodfellows is all about mouth-watering European pastries, jaw-dropping sourdough breads, espresso-based coffees, and more. Eat in or take away – just don’t forget the Nutella pockets. *Goodfellows is located blocks from the Rockwood Conservation Area – a sweet destination for camping, swimming, and canoeing past cliffs, ruins, and wildlife

535 Woolwich St, Guelph polestarhearth.com

*The bakery’s most popular loaves are the ‘Superseed’ (stuffed full of toasted sunflower and sesame seeds) and the ‘Country’ (a delightful blend of Mennonite-grown wheat with a hint of rye)

SABLETINE FINE PASTRIES 203 King St S, Waterloo sabletine.com

Looking for a special cake, or some fabulous bread? Each day this French pastry shop located Uptown along King handcrafts mountains of fine pastries, delicious cakes, and great savoury items too. Sabletine uses simple, whole ingredients with no fillers or preservatives to create such culinary treasures as tartes au citron, eclairs, pain au chocolat, orange flower brioche – and those fabulous baguettes. Fresh lunch items include daily sandwiches and quiches and salads. Eat in or take out – you’ll be satisfied either way.

GOODFELLOWS FIELD TO FORK

73 Metcalfe St, Elora elorabread.ca

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NIQUE

THE DANISH PLACE

16. SHAREABLES

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IZNA JAPANESE DONBURI HOUSE

NARANJ

137 King St E, Kitchener iznadonburi.com

646 Erb St W, Unit 101 & 102, Waterloo naranjrestaurant.com

There’s much to love about this #DTK destination – from the open concept kitchen where chefs craft dishes on open flames to the theatrical dining room featuring communal tables set under wood-framed awnings. Indeed, it’s the perfect spot to enjoy extraordinary shareable dishes with folks you love. Start with ‘Gyoza’ (deep fried homemade dumplings), follow with ‘Okonomiyaki’ (Hiroshima style layered pancake with veggies, bacon, cheeses, egg), and just keep going.

Middle Eastern cuisine was made for sharing – so gather your friends and head to this dining oasis. Enjoy scrumptious dishes made from scratch and served from gorgeous platters and tureens. Nothing ordinary about their staples like hummus and baba ghanouj. Enjoy other shareables like ‘Grilled Halloumi Cheese’ (drizzled with olive oil), ‘Fried Kibbeh’ (fried cracked wheat stuffed with minced beef and spices), the ‘Naranj Mix Grill’ (minced beef and cubed steak and chicken kebabs with chef’s sides). A gem.

When at The Danish Place be sure to try the curried herring or, better yet, plan your next visit on one of their ‘Baker’s Sundays’ so you can try a bit of everything from their smorgasbord.


NIQUE

THE PORCH LIGHT

This downtown hotspot is the perfect place to bring friends and get familiar with each other’s tastes. ‘Cauliflower Hummus’ (with pickled onions, pomegranate, olive). ‘Chicken & Waffles’ (with poached eggs, spicy syrup, hollandaise). And our fave: the ‘Sushi Nachos’ (the name says it all). Not in a sharing mood? The sandwiches and burgers are awesome too. And Nique’s cocktails? Out of this world.

While most folks rave about The Porchlight for its cocktails, wraparound second-storey patio, and beautifullyappointed bar and dining room, we come for the shareables. The charcuterie board. Smoked trout schmear. Or, if you’re visiting on the other side of midnight, the incredible nachos – featuring spicy salami – off the late-night menu. We hear the spicy gin caesars (for those lazy Sundays) aren’t bad, either.

THE DANISH PLACE

WARKA TREE

In the mood for something different? The Danish Place, nestled on fifty-two acres of woodland, specializes in authentic Danish cuisine. Start with the ‘Deep Fried Camembert’ (with toast and black currant jam), add some open-faced sandwiches (like the ‘Gravad laks’: cured salmon with capers, red onion & honey mustard), and keep it going with a ‘Viking Platte’ (filet of sole, frikadelle, cheese, roast beef, french and rye bread). Be sure to bring friends, because these dishes are made for sharing.

If you’ve never tried Ethiopian cuisine, it’s time you explored this great place. Just be ready to eat with your hands, because there’s no cutlery in sight. Our recommendation: bring that special someone and split the ‘Warka Platter’ – a combination of stewed lentils, cabbage, collard greens, split peas, lamb or beef, and doro wat (Ethiopian spiced chicken stew), served on a massive injera – Ethiopian flatbread that doubles as both plate and silverware for this rich, spicy, utterly satisfying treat.

30 Vine St, Hamilton niquerestaurant.ca

7150 Concession 1, Puslinch thedanishplace.com

82 Metcalfe St, Elora porchlightelora.com

67 Willow Rd, Guelph find them on facebook

LANCASTER SMOKEHOUSE Love sharing barbecue with your closest friends? Then make a beeline to The Lanc for one of their signature platters. Our suggestion: go all out with a five meat platter – ribs, brisket, chicken thigh, andouille, and whole wings. And don’t forget your four sides. We dig the cheese grits, braised collard greens, mac & cheese, and awesome tater tots. One thing’s for certain: you will not leave hungry. *A visit here’s never complete without an order of melt-in-your-mouth delicious pigtails

LANCASTER SMOKEHOUSE

574 Lancaster St W, Kitchener lancsmokehouse.com

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CHRIS’ PICKS - TRAILS ‘Our region is breathtakingly gorgeous. And meant to be traversed. My favourite way to cross it? By rail trail – on two wheels. Here’s a list of some great rides – for whenever the

VIGNETTES OF A GREAT DAY RIDING THE G2G

spirit moves.’

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ELORA BREWING CO TO GOODLOT FARMSTEAD BREWING

Elora Cataract Trailway 45kms point-to-point; 90kms round-trip

Love a cold pint at the end of a ride? What about at the beginning of one, too? This route’s for you. Gather at Elora Brewing Co. Fuel up with a farm-to-table EBC Burger and Borealis Citra Pale Ale before biking to the trailhead behind Elora Public School. From here, it’s rail trail-riding bliss (minus a short stint through Fergus) all the way to Shaws Creek Rd in Alton. Turn left there, cycle down the road a few minutes, and arrive at GoodLot Farmstead Brewing Co for outdoor pints under sunny skies. *Highlights include crossing the Belwood Lake dam, riding alongside the Grand, and grabbing an espresso and treat at Erin’s Tin Roof Café

HAMILTON TO BRANTFORD Brantford to Hamilton Rail Trail 32kms point-to-point; 64kms round-trip

We like to start this ride at the Hamilton end (parking our truck on Studholme Rd at Chedoke Civic Golf Course), where the first few kilometres have us cycling on pleasant bike paths through friendly west end neighbourhoods. Once the proper rail trail begins, you’ll have a slight climb for the first 15kms before you’re greeted with flatter ground and bucolic farmland. The trail ends (for us) in Mohawk Park – a perfect spot to picnic. Riding back to Hamilton is always a blast, with the last 15kms angled downhill. *When cycling back in to Hamilton, be sure to stop at Grain & Grit and Fairweather craft breweries – both just off the trail – for a post-ride pint or two

CAMBRIDGE TO PARIS

Cambridge to Paris Rail Trail 20kms point-to-point; 40kms round-trip This gorgeous gravel ride follows the Grand River from downtown Cambridge all the way to downtown Paris. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for the spectacular river vistas – including the great views from The Murray Overlook. Riding through Glen Morris, take heed of the old railway station site. There are plenty of parking areas along the way – which means you can start your ride at any number of spots along the trail. *Once you’ve arrived in Paris, take a load off at any number of riverside restaurants. We’ve been known to grab a mid-ride Caesar on the fantastic patio at Stillwaters! Plate & Pour

GUELPH TO COWBELL BREWING

Guelph to Goderich (G2G) Rail Trail 110kms point-to-point Ever tried a century? That is, a bike ride that’s one hundred kilometres long? This is a great option, with a superb reward – great eats and fantastic beer – at the finish line. We recommend starting out no later than 9am so you can arrive at Cowbell mid-afternoon. This ride’s got it all: Old Order Mennonite country, covered bridges, little towns along the way (including a sweet park in Milverton to grab some eats and picnic), rail trail and back roads, flat trails and rolling hills, and, of course, Cowbell at the end. Cheers. *We recommend parking a support vehicle at Cowbell the evening before you tackle this ride so you’ve got a less rigorous way back once you’ve made it the whole way

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DAYTRIPPIN’ CHRIS TIESSEN & CAI SEPULIS PA RTNERS, TO Q UE L TD .

D U ND U R N MARKET

1. We drive into Hamilton after the morning rush,

346 D U NDUR N S T S , H AMI LT ON

and head straight to this archetypal grocer for

DO NU T MONS TER 2 46 LOCKE S T S , HAMI LT ON

house-made granola for Chris, and beet salad (for later) for Cai. After filling Dundurn’s TOQUE rack, we cruise to Donut Monster. The long queue gives us a chance to check our phones for donut requests from loved ones. We stock a wall-mounted shelf and leave a few boxes with staff.

ST E E L T OWN GARAGE CO. 8 B ARTON S T E, H AMI LT ON

2. Next stop: Steeltown Garage, where we grab (decaf) Americanos. We drop a short stack of magazines in their reading room, and chat with owners Jeff and Tania while perusing the racks for Steeltown and Deus swag – each of us performing nonchalance while trying to snag the coolest piece before the other finds it.

MU L BE RRY S TREET C O F F E E HOUS E 1 93 J AMES S T N, HAMI LT ON

3. From Steeltown, we head back up James Street,

ME RIT BREWI NG 1 07 J AMES S T N, HAMI LT ON

IPA. Walking back to the truck, we stop at White

W HIT E ELEPH ANT 1 33 J AMES S T N, HAMI LT ON MIX E D MEDI A 1 058 KI NG S T W, HAMI LT ON

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popping in at Mulberry with magazines before heading to Merit to see what’s on tap and for a bite. We both pick the cauliflower bhaji and an Elephant to grab whatever items our significant others have been ogling on Instagram. 4. We head across town into Westdale to visit King W. Books and Mixed Media, which are joined sideby-side. Chris peruses the bookstore for something new for his kids, while Cai shops in the Mixed Media side for pens and notebooks.


9 5 As co-owners of TOQUE, Cai and Chris do everything with the magazine from writing and photography to design and final layout to deliveries. Delivery days in Hamilton are especially fun for these two, as they get to spend the day eating, drinking and shopping along the route. Come along for the ride (or do it yourself):

F AIRW EATH ER BRE WI NG CO. 5 O FI ELD R OAD, H AMI L TON GRAIN & G RI T 11 EWEN R D, H AMI L TON

5. We hop back into the truck and make a beeline to a couple of our favourite breweries – Fairweather and Grain & Grit. We stop at Fairweather first to drop mags, chat with Fuzzy, and enjoy the brewery’s hygge. We grab ‘Dream Pop’ sours to go, and travel down the block to Grain & Grit where we chat with owners Lindsey and Joe. We leave with new t-shirts and an armful of cans.

D E T OUR COFFEE ROASTERS 41 KI NG S T W, D UND A S

6. From the breweries, we drive up the escarpment

CU MB RAE’S 26 KI NG S T W, D U N D AS

morning while Chris places a stack of TOQUEs

to the idyllic small town of Dundas. It’s coffee time again, so we head into Detour for another mug. Cai grabs a bag of Detour Dark beans for tomorrow neatly on the window sill. From here it’s a quick dash across the street into Cumbrae’s – a one-stop shop where we know we can pick up fixings for an amazing dinner. The meat pies, fried chicken, bean salads, and pasta are all fantastic. Cai decides to take home some marinated chicken thighs and kale salad while Chris picks up some steaks. 7. Meandering back over the escarpment, we stop

WE ST AVENUE CIDE R H OUS E 84 C ONCES S ION R D 8 E, FR EELTON

in at West Ave to pick up a couple bottles of cider for the weekend. This place is awesome – from the gorgeous tasting room to the trail system out back that’s perfect for hikes with the dogs. After this final stop, we head home – excited to share what we’ve gathered (including all the good feelings we’ve accumulated throughout the day).

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DONUT MONSTER

17. SWEETS 246 Locke St S, Hamilton donutmonster.ca If you need an excuse to visit #hamont, this is it. This Locke Street staple creates a crazy array of mouth-watering donuts from scratch each day. Wanna know what’s available? Just check the place’s Instagram. From ‘Raspberry Shortbread’ to ‘Café Au Lait’ to ‘Sarsparilla’ (made with Nickelbrook Brewing’s root beer) to ‘Earl Grey Filled’ donuts, Donut Monster’s always got something that’ll hit the spot. Just remember: they sell out quick. *When you get to Donut Monster, stay a while. With espresso-based drinks, steeped teas, milkshakes (including vegan shakes), and of course donuts, this sunsoaked location calls out for laughter and conversation Love Portuguese tarts as much as I do? Grab them at Torreense Store – a taste of Portugal at the corner of Mill & Stirling in Kitchener.

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FOUR ALL ICE CREAM 1. 75

King St S, Waterloo (Scoop Shop)  41 Whitney Pl, Unit 105, 1 Kitchener (Factory) fourall.ca

2.

Do you ever long for real ice cream, handcrafted from all-natural, locallysourced ingredients? If you live around these parts, you’re in luck. Working with small farmers, local chocolate makers, food producers, distillers and brewers, Four All crafts magical flavours like ‘Maple Pine Nut Brittle’, ‘Coconut Cream Pie’, ‘Reid’s Tortoise’, ‘Lavender Honey’, ‘Whiskey Caramel Pecan’, and ‘MadCat Espresso’. Don’t wait til summertime. Ice cream’s perfect all year round.

FOUR ALL

DONUT MONSTER


KILLER CUPCAKES

SWEET!

Seemingly inspired by equal parts Las Vegas strip, Old Hollywood, and punk rock, this cupcakery crafts masterpieces you won’t soon forget. Like ‘Johnny Rotten Banana’ (Laffy Taffy Banana Choco Chip cake, banana frost, dipped in choco, peanuts), ‘Neon Barbie’ (Vicious Vanilla Lime cake filled with watermelon vodka whipped cream, electric lime frost), and ‘Bad Mother Fluffer’ (Peanut Butter Choco Chip cake, marshmallow frost, choco chips). Hunter Thompson would eat it all up.

Love the nostalgic feeling you get when you step into an old-fashioned candy store? Interested in checking out chocolate bars and jelly beans and a huge range of colourful and intriguing confections you’ve never tried before? Like ‘Jelly Belly Beer Flavor Jelly Beans’, for instance? Or ‘Sweet Cinnamon KitKat’ bars? What about ‘Lump O’ Coal’ gum? Or ‘Harry Potter Every Flavour Beans’? Sweet! won’t fail to surprise and delight you. (Toothbrush not included.)

REIDS 1. 42

Ainslie St N, Cambridge 2. 39 Elgin St S, Cambridge 3. 55 Wyndham St N, Guelph reidchocolates.com Walking into a Reids location is like taking a stroll through paradise – if your idea of paradise is handmade chocolates from floor to ceiling. Try this family-run business’s ‘Buster Clusters’ (peanuts and raisins covered in milk chocolate) or ‘Jinkies’ (caramel corn and cashews in dark chocolate) or ‘Big Toms’ (caramel and roasted cashews with a layer of milk chocolate on top) and enjoy imagining whatever else they might make with the mighty cacao bean.

22 Carden St, Guelph find them on facebook

THE BOATHOUSE

116 Gordon St, Guelph theboathouseguelph.com When the weather turns balmy, there’s one destination for everyone in Guelph. The Boathouse. For ice cream. The routine’s always the same – get in line, wait your turn, order your favourite flavours – including vegan – in a bowl or cone (we recommend waffle for you and bowls for the kids!), and then enjoy your treat either on the stout muskoka chairs overlooking the river or across the street at Royal City Park. *A trip to The Boathouse isn’t complete without grabbing a canoe from the place’s small army of vessels. Paddle either up the Eramosa or down the Speed. Take delight in the fine weather and relax

REIDS

32A Wilson St, Guelph killercupcakes.ca

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ELORA MILL

18. FINE DINING BHIMA’S WARUNG

BIN 23

This uniquely eccentric culinary staple unites Asian-inspired cuisine with modern and classic French cooking. The result? Exquisite. Dishes like ‘Poo Lon Baru’ (monkeyfish and lobster tail roasted in garlic and lemongrass butter over steamed mi xao noodle with lobster, coconut and thai basil curry), ‘Bistik Tandoori’ (grilled angus beef tenderloin, taro mash, red onion pickle, and Singapore style tandoori sauce). Need we say more?

This downtown establishment across from City Hall enjoys a rabid following of regional foodies who appreciate its incredible consignment wine collection, fantastic locally-sourced menu, intimate dining room, and (for warmer months) awesome sidewalk patio. Whether you’re there for grilled Angus tenderloin with sausage or seared cod loin with crispy sweet corn and salt cod brandade – or anything else – you’re in for a treat.

262 King St N, Waterloo bhimaswarung.com

6 Carden St, Guelph bin23.ca

ELIZABETH STREET EATERY

ELIZABETH STREET EATERY

447 Elizabeth St, Guelph elizabethstreeteatery.com

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If food porn’s your thing, it doesn’t get much better than this. Just check the restaurant’s Instagram. Chefs Joey Bornino and Zachary Stachyra work with small producers to create fantastical foodscapes prone to change weekly. Like ‘Maple Smoked Mussels’ – with smoked mussel liquor steeped with sunchoke flowers, preserved lemon, saffron and black garlic, tossed in malt vinegar and garnished with sage flowers. Yep.


QUATREFOIL RESTAURANT

THE BRUCE

77 W Mill St, Elora eloramill.ca

8 Parkview Dr, Stratford thebruce.ca

Imagine enjoying your meal in a floor-toceiling glass atrium (built onto an almosttwo-century-year-old restored mill) cantilevered directly overtop a rushing river that’s thundering downstream between towering gorge walls. Now imagine the food’s as good as the view. Grilled market fish. Roasted duck breast. Wood-fired dry aged ribeye. Grilled lobster with lemon thyme butter. And that view.

Executive Chef Arron Carley describes what he does as ‘New Canadian Cuisine’ – and it’s no wonder. Every single ingredient on the menu at The Bruce is grown naturally in Canada. Which means you won’t find black pepper, olive oil or lemon juice on this menu. What you will find is everything from foraged ramps and pinecones to local beef cheek to fermented black currants. Give your tastebuds the ride they deserve.

*Extend your stay by spending a night at the Mill. With wood-burning fireplaces in most rooms and a killer spa and rooftop pool, it’s decadence redefined

THE EVELYN

QUATREFOIL RESTAURANT 16 Sydenham St, Dundas quatrefoilrestaurant.com

This fine dining establishment – named one of Canada’s ten best new restaurants by enRoute and Toronto Life since opening in 2010 – is situated inside a beautifully-refinished heritage home in picturesque Dundas. Exhibiting the pinnacle of culinary execution, Quatrefoil’s Chefs Fraser Macfarlane and Georgina Mitropoulos use local ingredients to create contemporary French cuisine that will enkindle your palate and linger in sweet memories. *When the climate suits, be sure to grab a seat on the place’s serene (and spacious) patio and revel in the joys of life Not sure what to order? Quatrefoil’s 3-course prix fixed lunch can help steer you in the right direction.

130 Metcalfe St, Elora theevelynrestaurant.com When restauranteur Maclean Hann opened his French restaurant – named after his late grandmother-in-law – in downtown Elora just over a year ago, he managed to create a refined culinary destination that single-handedly drives folks to this most road-trippable town. Tourtières. Duck Cassoulet. Coq au vin. Chicken Basquaise. Ratatouille. Beef Shank Bourguignon. And a cozy dining room whose custom wallpaper, antique silverware, and deep-purple velvet couch backs promise romance. Dig in.

THE BRUCE

ELORA MILL

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CAI’S PICKS -FAVOURITE DRIVES I’ve always loved longish drives with good company. Winding roads. Catching up on podcasts, Spontaneous sing-a-longs. Here are some of my favourites when I’ve got an afternoon to spare:

1.

4.

2.

5.

3.

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1.

SPIRIT TREE

4.

1137 Boston Mills Rd, Caledon spirittreecider.com

OAST HOUSE BREWERS 2017 Niagara Stone Road, Niagara-On-The-Lake oasthousebrewers.com

5.

I realize Toronto is out of the usual TOQUE territory and there is nothing romantic about heading down the 401, but this place is well worth mentioning. Opened by our pal Lev, a former Guelphite, it’s a dream come true: smoked salmon (smoked by Lev), smeared with cream cheese (an in-house plant-based cashew cream cheese is also available), served on a Montreal bagel from St. Urbain and topped high with pickled onion, alfalfa sprouts, capers, cucumber and dill. It’s simple and it’s heaven. On a bagel.

*Among their great events, their Backcountry Boil (poster designed by yours truly) is an incredible seafood feast not to be missed – king crab, oysters, shrimp. Appropriately decked out, from checkered tablecloths to plastic bibs.

MERIT BREWING

107 James St N, Hamilton meritbrewing.ca I have a love for the Wes Andersonesque qualities of Highway 6. The giant dinosaur. The kitchy craft market. And then the huge descent into the valley, that almost always pops my ears. Once in Hamilton, I find Merit Brewing right in the action on James Street, with great shops and coffee mere steps away. Sure, their beer is good, but it’s Merit’s plant-based Cauliflower Bhaji Sausage that brings me here. Served with or without a naan and topped with spicy carrots, curry mayo, tamarind sauce and green onion. It’s the sausage that keeps me coming back for more.

LOX + SCHMEAR

1030 St Clair Ave W, Toronto loxandschmear.com

The drive into Niagara is one of my favourites. Oast House features an incredible patio overlooking the surrounding vineyard; The Federal Stage, a 1930 Federal Flatbed Farm Truck where they regularly host live music; and an on-site restaurant called the Brushfire Smoke BBQ. This is the perfect place for savouring a summer brunch and watching the swallows glide by.

3.

298 Kerr Street, Oakville kerrstreetcafe.com The road to Oakville doesn’t need to be a blast down the 401 when the back roads are so much more enjoyable. Heading out Highway 7, we often go through either idyllic Eden Mills or Rockwood (so we can stop into Goodfellows for a coffee, of course). Located just north of historic Downtown Oakville, Kerr St Café is well worth the drive for brunch. Avo toast, ricotta pancakes, and my spouse’s favourite, Shakshuka -- to name a few. Pair with fresh coffee or cold press juice made onsite. Then take a short drive to the lake for a walk along the waterfront.

The Forks of the Credit road is the way to go; the narrow windy road passes through Belfountain and has tight hairpin turns as it meanders in the valley through the hills. (Be sure to take a small detour to see the Cheltenham Badlands). Spirit Tree has everything. It’s an orchard, a country store and bakery, a ciderhouse and restaurant. Bask in the afternoon sun while you sip on a flight of ciders and enjoy a farm-to-table meal. 2.

KERR ST CAFÉ

6.

MIDTOWN KITCHEN AND COFFEEHOUSE 59 Grand River St N, Paris midtownparis.com

Meet up with the Grand River in Galt, then follow it (or paddle it) down to Paris. Nobody does a riverside patio quite like the town of Paris. Midtown, one of a series of sister restaurants in the same building, features New York style deli sandwiches, pizza slices and espresso. What can be more mesmerizing and relaxing than sitting high above the water on a sleepy summer day, enjoying an Americano while you watch paddlers navigating the fast moving river below.

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BREAD BAR

19. PIZZA Gordon St, Guelph 2. 14 James St N, Hamilton 3. 258 Locke St S, Hamilton breadbar.ca While this bustling joint’s sandwiches and salads are pretty incredible, in our opinion it’s their seasonally-inspired stone-baked pizzas you’ll write home about. Like the ‘Vampire Slayer’ (white sauce, mozza, brie, lemon, arugula), ‘Meat Mountain’ (red sauce, mozza, bacon, sausage, pepperoni, roasted red peppers, hot pickled pepper), and ‘Cheese Louise’ (white sauce, mozza, oka, goat cheese, truffle honey, chili flakes, parsley). #nomnom

Craving a slice in Hamilton? Check out Shorty’s in the East End – a wicked spot for New York-style pizza available by the slice or by the pie.

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CITY CAFÉ BAKERY 1. 175

West Ave, Kitchener Lancaster St W, Kitchener 3. 50 Ottawa St S, Kitchener citycafebakery.ca 2. 499

It’s all about the honour system at this trio of Kitchener bakeries and pizza meccas. Come in at lunch for a slice, drop your money in the antique trolley fare box, and devour the wood-oven fired, thin sourdough crusted pizza. Or, in late afternoon, pop by for whole pizzas ready for re-heating at home. Just remember to bring cash. *The bakery’s most popular wood-oven fired pie mates tomato sauce, cheese, roasted red peppers, chicken, and pesto to the place’s signature sourdough crust

GRAFFITI MARKET

BREAD BAR

1. 105


LA FONTANA

15 Mill St E, Elora la-fontana.ca What’s better than enjoying a woodoven fired, Neapolitan-style pizza in an elegant century-old building sitting on the banks of the Grand River in downtown Elora? Not much, that’s for sure. La Fontana specializes in local, seasonal and sustainable food, fresh pasta, and killer pizzas. Start with the warm olives, follow with the wild boar belly, and then dig into a ‘Hot & Honey’ pie (fresh mozzarella, spicy n’duja, chorizo, white onion, goat cheese, fresh basil, honey drizzle).

GRAFFITI MARKET

137 Glasgow St, Suite 385, Kitchener graffitimarket.ca Wanna try something different? Get to Graffiti Market for their ‘Detroit-style’ pizza. Extra thick yet amazingly light crust with caramelized bottom. Toppings layered upside down. Rectangularshaped. Grab a ‘Southern Hospitality’ pie (pulled chicken, house-smoked bacon, mozzarella, brick cheese, braised collard greens, porter onion, roasted garlic aioli, bbq sauce, scallions, crispy chicken skin), pair with Red Circle’s ‘Belmont Village Blonde Ale’, and get oh-so-pleasantly stuffed.

WILLIBALD FARM DISTILLERY, BREWERY & RESTAURANT 1271 Reidsville Rd, Ayr drinkwillibald.com

What do you get when you put legendary chef Byron Hallett on a 100-acre farm with a wood-fired oven that once pumped out bagels and pizzas at City Café Bakery’s former Preston location? Culinary genius, that’s what. And among the most heavenly pies to hit our region – ever. Why are you still even reading this!? Get to Willibald Farm. Now. You will not leave a crumb on your plate. *Start any meal here with an order of Willibald’s sourdough bread – baked in the wood-fired oven and served with Willibald’s honey-infused butter (made with help from the farm’s bees) topped with sea salt

WILLIBALD FARM DISTILLERY

*Be sure to challenge your dinner mate to a game of air hockey on Graffiti’s smart dining tables

PIE BY NIGHT

535 Woolwich St, Guelph find them on facebook So the rumours are true: there really is an exclusive, one-night-a-week craft pizza joint that operates Sunday nights afterhours out of the Royal City’s favourite bakery. Pick-up only. Roasted mushroom and goat cheese pies. Broccoli and smoked cheddar pizzas. Potato and raclette. Margheritas. And more. Just be sure to order early, because these things consistently sell out. And sell out fast. *Want a pizza? You’ll have to DM the place, or emailpiebynightguelph@gmail.com

When you’re gorging yourself on pizza at Willibald, be sure to add the farm distillery’s amazing fennel oil to your pie.

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DAYTRIPPIN’ NICK & NAT BENNINGER B A D A SS RESTA URA NT E U R S

CIT Y CAFÉ B AKERY 175 WE S T AV E, KI TC H E NER T&J SE AFOODS 2 6 E LM S T, KITCHENER HU RO N NATURAL ARE A 801 T RI L LIUM DR , KI TC H E NER

1. A great Saturday morning starts with a quick trip to City Café Bakery (for Montreal-style bagels) and T&J Seafoods (for smoked salmon), before heading home for a lazy and delicious breakfast with the family. 2. After we’ve had our fill, we head with the kids to the Huron Natural Area – a hidden gem in the heart of Kitchener’s still-thriving industrial district. Packed with forests, streams, trails and meadows, this oasis is perfect for a late morning hike.

CAM E RON CHIN E SE S EAFOOD RE ST AU RANT 19 C AMER ON S T S , KI TC H E NER

3. We drop the kids at home and head to what’s become a place of worship and sanctitude for us. Our go-to: the dim sum. The food and service here are awesome – as is the quality control. Case in point: when the chef travels home each year, the restaurant shuts down the dim sum service until he returns.

S HO RT FING ER B RE WIN G CO 2 0 H U RS T AV E, K I T C H E NER

S T JACOB S FARM E R S ’ MARKET 878 WE BER S T N, WO OLWICH

4. After lunch, it’s off to what’s (in our opinion) the most stand-out brewery in town – and the perfect spot for a ‘couple-splitting-a-drink’ brew. Brewmaster Rob Hern is a genius – can’t say enough good things about this darned good beer. 5. Next up: the farmers’ market – our destination for apple fritters, butter-aged steaks, summer sausage and wolf sweaters too. We never get tired of coming here (with or without the kiddos), but it’s not often enough that we do. We’re trying to change that.

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9 5 Nick and Nat are a regional tour de force. But these rock star restauranteurs (owners of Uptown Waterloo’s Taco Farm, Marbles, and Nick & Nat’s Uptown 21; and St. Jacobs’ venerable Stone Crock) don’t rest on their laurels. Nor do they rest on weekends, when they pack their Saturdays with as much local goodness as they can. Need proof? Take a look-see – and then try replicating their daytrip yourself.

FROM TOQUE ISSUE 10 T HE SH OPS AT WAT E RLOO TOWN SQ U AR E 75 KI NG S T S , WATE R LOO

6. After the market, it’s back Uptown to check out the pop-up installation, SPECTRUM | The Climate Emergency Experience by THEMUSEUM in Waterloo Town Square. There are so many amazing things happening Uptown now that the dust from the construction is a thing of the past. Shops. Restaurants. And installations like this one.

WIL L IB ALD FARM D IST ILLERY, BRE WERY & RE ST AURANT 1271 REIDS V ILLE R D, AYR

7. It’s nearing dinner, which can only mean one thing: a trip to Ayr is on order for a meal at Willibald. While Nick might not admit these things often, he’s certain that this farm distillery (and now brewery) is the best restaurant in the area. Indeed, chef Byron is doing things in the Willibald kitchen that are undeniably magnificent. We order ‘fancy food’ to eat here, and one of those stupendous Willibald pizzas to take home. So romantic.

GRAND S URF L OU N GE 87 O NTA R IO S T S , KI TC H ENER

8. We drive home. The kids are ok. We take an

GRAND TRUNK SAL O ON 30 O NTA R IO S T S , KI TC H ENER

different vibes, but either can carry the title for the

PE PI’ S PIZZA 87 WATER S T N, KI TC H ENER

for munchie subs. Order one with the works and

Uber into downtown Kitchener for cocktails either at Grand Surf or Grand Trunk – really, whichever has an open table. These two bars definitely offer region’s best cocktail. 9. Finally, against Nat’s wishes, on the ride home we ask the Uber driver to stop by Pepi’s Pizza additional hot sauce, let it sit at least five minutes in the foil, and devour. When we play this card correctly we leave no evidence for the morning after. No shameful pizza box littered with cold crust and empty garlic sauce. Just a perfectly ambiguous tinfoil ball in an otherwise nondescript garbage can.

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INDEX 39 Carden Street 18 A la Mode Café and Ice Cream Shop 20 Aberfoyle Antique Market 34 Ambrosia Pastry Co. 74 Angelino’s 28 AO Pasta 26 Apollo Cinema 49 Arabella Park Beer Bar 60 Arabesque Family Restaurant 51 Architect Hair Design 58 Art of Home, The 65 Auntie Joy’s Springrolls 26 Baker Street Station 60, 73 Balzac’s Coffee Roasters 54 Bauer Butcher, The 29 Bauer Kitchen, The 71 Bhima’s Warung 84 Big John’s Submarines 46 Bin 23 84 Blackshop Restaurant 37 Blackwing Coffee Bar 54 Block Three Brewing 36 Blooms + Flora 64 Boathouse, The 83 Bookshelf, The 37, 44 Box Social 18, 58 Brantford to Hamilton Rail Trail 79 Bread Bar 19, 88 Bruce, The 85 Brux House 61 Butcher Shop and Groceries 38 Butt’s Berry and Flower Farm 21 Café Pyrus 39, 66 Cambridge to Paris Rail Trail 79 Cameron Chinese Seafood Restaurant 90 Capitol Bar 59, 71 Children’s Art Factory 50 City Café Bakery 74, 88, 90 Commercial Tavern 49 Common Good & General Store, The 48 Common, The 38, 72 Cornerstone, The 66 Cowbell Brewing Co. 8, 79 Crafty Ramen 26 Cumbrae’s 81 Danish Place, The 21, 77 Dee’s Butter Tarts 73 Democracy* Coffee House 66 Descendants Beer & Beverage Co 51 Detour Coffee Roasters 48, 81 Dis-A-Ray Antiques 72 Donut Monster 80, 82 Dundurn Market 28, 80 DVLB (Death Valley’s Little Brother) 54 Elizabeth Street Eatery 84 Elora Bread Trading Co. 75 Elora Brewing Company 8, 21, 25, 79 Elora Mill 85

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Eric the Baker 75 Ethel’s 12 Evelyn, The 85 Fairweather Brewing Co. 81 Fat Duck Gastro Pub, The 58 Fixed Gear Brewing Co. 8 Flowers to Fragrance Lavender Farm 20 Four All Ice Cream 82 Freelton Antique Market 70 Friendly Society, The 62 Gage Park 70 Gin Mill 40 Goodfellows Field to Fork 21, 75 GoodLot Farm and Farmstead Brewing 9, 79 Graffiti Market 26, 89 Grain & Grit Beer Co. 9, 53, 81 Grand River Tattoo 25 Grand Surf Lounge, The 91 Grand Trunk Saloon 41, 91 Guelph Grotto Climbing Gym 34 Guelph Nighthawks 35 Guelph to Goderich Rail Trail 79 Habitat for Humanity 70 Halton County Radial Railway 35 Hambrgr 61 Hamilton Store, The 71 Herrle’s Country Farm Market 50 Huron Natural Area 39, 90 IF..Footwear Boutique 16 Ignaitus Jesuit Centre Old-Growth Forest 37 Illbury & Goose 17 Inglewood Antique Market 48 Insight Eye Care 17, 25 Iron Bucket Antiques 64 Izna Japanese Donburi House 76 James Street Art Crawl 35 James Street North 70 Jane Bond Café 66, 73 Jimmy’s Feed Co 46, 59 Kennedy Park 16 Kerr St Café 87 Killer Cupcakes 83 Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery (KWAG) 36 La Fontana 89 La Reina 12 Lancaster Smokehouse 77 Little King Goods 25 Little Louie’s Burger Joint & Soupery 51, 61 Living Fresh Flower Studio 71 Lokal, The 41, 49 Loloan Lobby Bar 40 17 Loop Lox + Schmear 87 Mapleton’s Organic Dairy 21 Maria’s Tortas Jalisco 12 Market Fresh 28 Melville Café 36


Merit Brewing 80, 87 Mezcal Tacos & Tequilia 12 Mi Tienda Latina 39 Miijidaa 37 Midtown Kitchen and Coffeehouse 87 Minto Farmers’ Market 20 Mixed Media 44, 80 Monigram Coffee Roasters 55 Motel 19 Mulberry Street Coffeehouse 80 Mule, The 12 Mustang Drive-In 20 Na-Ha-Thai’s Kitchen 26, 73 Naranj 76 Nique 77 Noodle Me 26 Oast House Brewers 87 Old Marina Restaurant 21, 62, 72 On the Verge 44 Orange Monkey 73 Osten Beerhall 46 Otherwise Studios 53 Park Grocery 47 Pepi’s Pizza 47, 91 Phidon Pens 44 Pie By Night 89 Pin Up Arcade Bar 59 Planet Bean Coffee Roasters 55 Planted in Hamilton 66 POD 17 Polestar Hearth 75 Porch Light, The 77 Public Kitchen & Bar 49 Quatrefoil Restaurant 85 Queen of Craft 53 rare Charitable Reserch Reserve 36 Red Circle Brewing Co. 9 Red Circle Coffee Co. 56 Reids 83 Rich Uncle Tavern, The 42 Rockwood Conservation Area 21 Royal City Brewing Co. 9, 73 Royal City Roller Derby 35 Rug & Weave 65 Sabletine Fine Pastries 75 Saint James Espresso Bar & Eatery 19 Sauer & Steiner 25 Schreiter’s 65 Seven Shores 19 Shade’s Mill Park 50 Shawarma G 39 Shepherd’s Pub 58 Shops at Waterloo Town Square 91 Short Finger Brewing Co 90 Smile Tiger Coffee Roasters 56 Southworks Antiques 72 Spencer Gorge Conservation Area 48 Spirit Tree 87 Spring Fever Tattoo Co 53 Spring Mill Distillery 40

St Jacobs Farmers’ Market 90 St Patrick’s Ward 72 Steeltown Garage Co. 80 Stone Crock Bakery 36 Studio 205 71 Sugar Run 40 Sweet Violets 53 Sweet! 83 T&J Seafood 90 Taco Farm 12 TheMuseum 35 Timeless Material Co, The 65 Tin Roof Café 49 Tomme Cheese Shop 29 True North Cycles 25 Two Faces 59 V-Edge Smoothie Café 66 Victoria Street Market 30 Vincenzo’s 30, 47 Vintage Coffee 70 Warka Tree 77 Wellington Brewery 9, 53 West Ave Cider 81 White Elephant 80 White Rabbit 42 White Tiger 17 Willibald Farm Distillery, Brewery & Restaurant 89, 91 Witty & Co, The 44 Wooly Pub, The 62 Wyndham Art Supplies 44 X-Disc-C Music 38 Yeti, The 19, 38

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LISTINGS BY LOCATION BLYTH

Cowbell Brewing Co. 8, 79

BRANTFORD

Brantford to Hamilton Rail Trail 79

CALEDON

Common Good & General Store, The 48 GoodLot Farm and Farmstead Brewing 9, 79 Inglewood Antique Market 48 Spirit Tree 87 Tin Roof Café 49

CAMBRIDGE

Art of Home, The 65 Blackshop Restaurant 37 Blackwing Coffee Bar 54 Cambridge to Paris Rail Trail 79 Dee’s Butter Tarts 73 Little Louie’s Burger Joint & Soupery 51, 61 Melville Café 36 Monigram Coffee Roasters 55 Phidon Pens 44 rare Charitable Reserch Reserve 36 Reids 83 Shade’s Mill Park 50 Southworks Antiques 72 Willibald Farm Distillery, Brewery & Restaurant (Ayr) 89, 91 Witty & Co, The 44

DUNDAS

Cumbrae’s 81 Detour Coffee Roasters Quatrefoil Restaurant

ELORA & FERGUS

48, 81 85

Box Social 18, 58 Elora Bread Trading Co. 75 Elora Brewing Company 8, 21, 25, 79 Elora Mill 85 85 Evelyn, The Friendly Society, The 62 Grand River Tattoo 25 Iron Bucket Antiques 64 La Fontana 89 77 Porch Light, The Shepherd’s Pub 58 True North Cycles (Belwood) 25 V-Edge Smoothie Café 66 Elora Cataract Trailway 79

GUELPH

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39 Carden Street 18 Angelino’s 28 Baker Street Station 60, 73 Balzac’s Coffee Roasters 54 Bin 23 84 Blooms + Flora 64 Boathouse, The 83

Bookshelf, The 37, 44 Bread Bar 19, 88 Butcher Shop and Groceries 38 Children’s Art Factory 50 Common, The 38, 72 Cornerstone, The 66 Crafty Ramen 26 Dis-A-Ray Antiques 72 Elizabeth Street Eatery 84 Eric the Baker 75 Fat Duck Gastro Pub, The 58 Fixed Gear Brewing Co. 8 Gin Mill 40 Guelph Grotto Climbing Gym 34 Guelph Nighthawks 35 Habitat for Humanity 70 IF..Footwear Boutique 16 Ignaitus Jesuit Centre Old-Growth Forest 37 Kennedy Park 16 Killer Cupcakes 83 La Reina 12 Market Fresh 28 Miijidaa 37 Mustang Drive-In 20 Na-Ha-Thai’s Kitchen 26, 73 On the Verge 44 Otherwise Studios 53 Park Grocery 47 Pie By Night 89 Planet Bean Coffee Roasters 55 POD 17 Polestar Hearth 75 Queen of Craft 53 Reids 83 Royal City Brewing Co. 9, 73 Royal City Roller Derby 35 Rug & Weave 65 Shawarma G 39 Spring Fever Tattoo Co 53 Spring Mill Distillery 40 St Patrick’s Ward 72 Sweet Violets 53 Sweet! 83 Tomme Cheese Shop 29 Two Faces 59 Warka Tree 77 Wellington Brewery 9, 53 Wooly Pub, The 62 Wyndham Art Supplies 44 Guelph to Goderich Rail Trail 79

HAMILTON

Architect Hair Design 58 Bread Bar 88 Brux House 61 Capitol Bar 59, 71 Democracy* Coffee House 66 Donut Monster 80, 82 Dundurn Market 28, 80 Fairweather Brewing Co. 81 Freelton Antique Market (Freelton) 70


Gage Park 70 Grain & Grit 9, 53, 81 Hambrgr 61 Hamilton Store, The 71 James Street Art Crawl 35 James Street North 70 Maria’s Tortas Jalisco 12 Merit Brewing 80, 87 Mezcal Tacos & Tequilia 12 Mixed Media 44, 80 Motel 19 Mulberry Street Coffeehouse 80 Mule, The 12 Nique 77 Noodle Me 26 Osten Beerhall 46 Planted in Hamilton 66 Saint James Espresso Bar & Eatery 19 Spencer Gorge Conservation Area 48 Steeltown Garage Co. 80 Studio 205 71 Vintage Coffee 70 West Ave Cider 81 White Elephant 80

KITCHENER

Ambrosia Pastry Co. 74 Apollo Cinema 49 Arabella Park Beer Bar 60 Arabesque Family Restaurant 51 Balzac’s Coffee Roasters 54 Big John’s Submarines 46 Café Pyrus 39, 66 Cameron Chinese Seafood Restaurant 90 City Café Bakery 74, 88, 90 Crafty Ramen 26 Descendants Beer & Beverage Co 51 Four All Ice Cream 82 Graffiti Market 26, 89 Grand Surf Lounge, The 91 Grand Trunk Saloon 41, 91 Grand Trunk Saloon 91 Herrle’s Country Farm Market (St. Agatha) 50 Huron Natural Area 39, 90 Izna Japanese Donburi House 76 Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery (KWAG) 36 Lancaster Smokehouse 77 Lokal, The 41, 49 Living Fresh Flower Studio 71 Mi Tienda Latina 39 Monigram Coffee Roasters 55 Pepi’s Pizza 47, 91 Public Kitchen & Bar 49 Red Circle Brewing Co. 9 Red Circle Coffee Co. 56 Rich Uncle Tavern, The 42 Sauer & Steiner 25 Schreiter’s 65 Short Finger Brewing Co 90 Smile Tiger Coffee Roasters 56 Sugar Run 40 T&J Seafood 90 TheMuseum 35 30 Victoria Street Market White Tiger 17

X-Disc-C Music Yeti, The 19, 38

LONDON

Illbury & Goose

38

17

PARIS

Midtown Kitchen and Coffeehouse 87

PUSLINCH

Aberfoyle Antique Market Danish Place, The 21, 77 Little King Goods 25 Old Marina Restaurant

ROCKWOOD

Goodfellows Field to Fork Rockwood Conservation Area

34 21, 62, 72 21, 75 21

ST JACOBS

Block Three Brewing 36 Farmers’ Market 90 Stone Crock Bakery 36

STRATFORD AO Pasta 26 Balzac’s Coffee Roasters Bruce, The 85

54

WATERLOO

Bauer Butcher, The 29 Bauer Kitchen, The 71 Bhima’s Warung 84 Commercial Tavern (Maryhill) 49 DVLB (Death Valley’s Little Brother) 54 Ethel’s 12 Insight Eye Care 17, 25 Jane Bond Café 66, 73 Jimmy’s Feed Co 46, 59 Loloan Lobby Bar 40 17 Loop Naranj 76 Orange Monkey 73 Pin Up Arcade Bar 59 Sabletine Fine Pastries 75 Seven Shores 19 Shops at Waterloo Town Square 91 Taco Farm 12 Timeless Material Co, The 65 Vincenzo’s 30, 47 White Rabbit 42

WELLINGTON COUNTY

A la Mode Café and Ice Cream Shop 20 21 Butt’s Berry and Flower Farm Flowers to Fragrance Lavender Farm 20 Mapleton’s Organic Dairy 21 Minto Farmers’ Market 20

VENTURING OUT OF OUR REGION Milton: Halton County Radial Railway 35 Niagara: Oast House Brewers 87 Oakville: Kerr St Café 87 Orangeville: Auntie Joy’s Springrolls 26 Toronto: Lox + Schmear 87

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C H ECK- LIS T

TOP 25 THINGS TO TRY IN OUR REGION:

☐ 1. Add a marinated egg to your bowl at Crafty Ramen ☐ 2. Check out the Heather Kocsis architectural sculpture at Red Circle Coffee Co ☐ 3. Grab a mason jar of in-house granola at Dundurn Market ☐ 4. Peruse the new graphic novel by SETH at The Bookshelf ☐ 5. Sample the infamous chocolate tofu cheesecake at The Cornerstone ☐ 6. Try the ‘Butterfly Pea Flower’ martini at Loloan Lobby Bar ☐ 7. Enjoy a grilled cheese from TOMME Cheese Shop ☐ 8. Get a ‘toad in the hole’ from Goodfellows Field to Fork ☐ 9. Cop a pair of limited run Jordans from Loop ☐ 10. Devour the ‘happy hour’ bologna sandwich at Osten Beerhall ☐ 11. Pick up a gurgling fish water jug from On The Verge ☐ 12. Bike the cataract trail to Goodlot Brewing ☐ 13. Spy the patina’d tanks – used to run rum during Prohibition – outside ☐ 14. ☐ 15. ☐ 16.

Spring Mill Distillery

Try the ‘Detroit-style’ pizza at Graffiti Market Order the keto pad thai from Na-Ha-Thai’s Kitchen Admire the view of the gorge from Elora Mill’s gorgeous two-storey restaurant

☐ 17. Enjoy a sweet potato fritter from Donut Monster ☐ 18. Spend an afternoon wandering through TheMuseum ☐ 19. Make friends with the margherita pizza at Willibald Farm Distillery ☐ 20. Dream about a new sofa or bedroom set while perusing the showroom ☐ 21. ☐ 22. ☐ 23. ☐ 24. ☐ 25.

at Schreiter’s

Heckle the opposing players at a Guelph Nighthawks’ game Pick up a loaf of sourdough from Polestar Hearth Share some obscenely delicious tater tots at Lancaster Smokehouse Drool over a pair of Red Wing boots at IF.. Footwear Boutique Grab a day pass and tackle ‘the boulder’ at The Guelph Grotto SCORE 0-10: What are you waiting for? Get out there! 11-20: Seasoned Daytripper 21-25: Acclaimed TOQUE veteran

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TOQUE PARTNERS CAI & CHRIS RESEARCHING FOR THIS LITTLE RED BOOK SOMEWHERE IN THE REGION


Profile for Toque Magazine

TOQUE Little Red Book  

Our spring 2020 directory of all things worth a visit in Guelph, Kitchener-Waterloo, Cambridge, London and Hamilton.

TOQUE Little Red Book  

Our spring 2020 directory of all things worth a visit in Guelph, Kitchener-Waterloo, Cambridge, London and Hamilton.