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When I’m out and about, I love to try different eateries. Here are some of my favourites.

White Owl Bistro (North Bay)
I always enjoy visiting North Bay for a stroll on the waterfront, then eating at the White Owl.  I love the cosy, classy atmosphere and they have a really interesting menu with choices you don’t typically see elsewhere. Just browsing the current menu makes me feel so hungry… curried avocado kale salad, roasted sweet potato and Portobello panini,  Thai wrap…

Spring Basil (Alliston)
Spring Basil was an unexpected find on the return leg of a trip to southern Ontario. If possible, we always like to avoid the main highways and meander on the back roads and this brought us to Alliston, close to Barrie. They have a huge range of veggie choices plus a selection of bubble teas, which I enjoyed trying for the first time.

ly tofu! Dinner at "Spring Basil"

Dinner at “Spring Basil”

The Keg (St Catharines)
I typically prefer to try independent restaurants instead of chains, but had to include this one as we’ve had many memorable meals there when visiting the Niagara region. The building is a converted mill, so it’s definitely not your typical Keg. I always used to order tempura snap peas and aspargus, but I think they’ve taken it off the menu now. Please bring it back!

Red Dog Grill (Whitefish Falls)
The Red Dog is popular with tourists and locals and it’s always nice to go back there each summer and chat with the owner. There are quite a few Tex-Mex choices on the menu to match the Mexican-inspired decor, as well as plenty of fish dishes. They also have beautiful artwork for sale displayed on the walls. The stunning local scenery attracts lots of artists to the area and there’s a big art show in Whitefish Falls every year.

The Red Dog Grill, Whitefish Falls

The Red Dog Grill, Whitefish Falls

Anchor Grill (Little Current)
Travel on a bit further over the swing bridge and you come to Little Current, the gateway to Manitoulin Island. I must have eaten at the Anchor Grill several times each year since I moved here, sometimes as a couple, sometimes with big groups, and the food is always fantastic. My husband is always on the look out for places that serve proper fish and chips (as opposed to fish and fries :) ) and this place definitely makes the grade. Plus they have always have several interesting veggie choices. If you’re lucky you can grab the prime seats for a waterfront view.

Jak’s (Sudbury)
Jak’s is a bit of a Sudbury institution and gets voted “best breakfast” restaurant every year in a local media poll. Friendly, efficient service and a good, unpretentious breakfast and lunch menu. Great for when you wake up feeling lazy (that would be me most weekends :) ).  It’s usually fruit and toast for me, but my husband enjoys some of the heartier options. And although I’ve never tried them, they always have a fabulous array of different sweet pies on offer.

Kinniwabi Pines (Wawa)
Fine dining in Wawa? Definitely! I’d been reading good reviews of the Kinniwabi Pines for years before we finally got around to trying it on the return leg of our Lake Superior Circle Tour.  It’s a beautiful restaurant and definitely a “fine dining” experience. It’s a very diverse menu including cuisine from Trinidad, Asia, and Europe. (I’ve eaten at both the #1 and #2 rated Wawa restaurants listed on Trip Advisor, and the Kinniwabi Pines should be #1, no question.)

View over the Michipicoten River from the Kinniwabi Pines

View over the Michipicoten River from the Kinniwabi Pines

The Norseman (Huntsville)
My husband and I visited the Norseman for a wonderful anniversary dinner way back before we’d even moved here. We were enjoying a winter vacation in Muskoka and thought we’d try the Norseman as it was close to the cottage resort where we were staying. I don’t think they’d ever had much call for veggie cuisine (at least back then), but the chef rose to the occasion and prepared some delicious dishes. The restaurant is part of the Walker Lake resort, so if you’re too full to move after your meal, you can stay over in one of the lakeside cottages.

Parlour Inn (Stratford)
Last year, we stayed and ate at the Parlour Inn right in the heart of Stratford. Very unusually for us, we actually made a reservation as we knew it would be busy with theatre goers, plus we had our own appointment with “Crazy for You” that evening and didn’t want to be rushing to get there. My dish of the night was a veggie chow mein with tofu. As befits a “vintage inn” (built in the late 1800s), the decor is beautiful with stained glass windows and intricate woodwork. I’d like to return out of season when it’s a little quieter.

Dinner at the Parlour Inn, Stratford, Ontario

Dinner at the Parlour Inn, Stratford, Ontario

Olde Angel Inn (Niagara on the Lake)
Now and then it’s fun to have a taste of the “olde country.” We’ve tried a few different British-style pubs, but my favourite was the Angel Inn. It’s no doubt packed in high season, but provided a quiet cozy spot for dinner during a winter trip. And the log fire was very welcome! Established in 1789 and rebuilt after the War of 1812, it bills itself as “Ontario’s oldest operating inn.” The menu is packed with traditional British favourite such as bangers and mash, Ploughman’s lunch, and Yorkshire pudding.

Next on my list to try is the Garden’s Gate Restaurant in Tehkummah on Manitoulin Island. Look out for a review in a few weeks.

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