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World Travel Guide > Guides > North America > Canada > Ontario

Ontario Food and Drink

Ontario has an eclectic food and drink scene. There's a wide range of global cuisines and a strong focus on farm-to-table dining. Toronto's diverse neighbourhoods and cultures mean you can taste everything from Italian and Greek to Indian and Chinese. Ottawa's international population helps feed a dynamic selection of laid-back restaurants featuring high-end dishes.

Beyond the major cities, you can explore apple orchards and vineyards, load up on fresh produce at farmers' markets, or follow local food trails, such as Stratford's Bacon and Ale Trail (www.visitstratford.ca/stratford-bacon-and-ale-trail). Popular Ontario food and drink festivals include the TO Food Fest in Toronto (July) and the Niagara Wine Festival (September).

Specialities

• Maple syrup can accompany everything, from waffles and toast to pancakes and even baked beans!
• Ontario’s huge range of artisanal cheeses include Guernsey milk cheeses, cheddar and Dutch Gouda cheese.
• Try one of the dazzling varieties of fish from the countless lakes and rivers.
• BeaverTails (fried pastries topped with sweet treats) originated in Ottawa and are now sold in stores across the country.
• Butter tarts: small pastries filled with baked butter, sugar, syrup and egg.
• Wild blueberries grow in northern Ontario; peak picking time is July and August.
• Pickerel is a small pike commonly found in northern Ontario’s lakes.

Things to know

Beer, wine and spirits are sold in government-run liquor stores. An increasing number of supermarkets also sell beer, cider and wine.

Tipping

It's customary to tip 15 to 20% at bars and restaurants in Ontario.

Drinking age

19

Regional drinks

• Icewine is a sweet dessert wine with a tantalising complexity of flavours.
• Ontario has extensive vineyards producing wines created using grapes and other fruits such as blueberries and cranberries.
• Craft beers, ciders and spirits: microbreweries and small-batch distilleries are inventing an ever-increasing line-up of drinks, included handcrafted apple cider, sake and seasonal ales.