The passion for crafting delicious flavours doesn’t hibernate during the winter in Ontario’s Southwest. These tasty food and drinks destinations highlighted in our Next Stop: Taste video series make it easy to warm up and stock up with local goodness during the snowy months.

Check out their websites for online shopping and delivery/curbside options.

With lockdowns and stay at home orders in place, we recommend that locals stay home as much as possible and use this article to inspire future travel. Only venture out for essentials and if you feel comfortable doing so safely and in accordance with health guidelines. Better yet, buying gift cards and shopping online is a great way to show your support for these local businesses while staying safe. 

Mancini’s Italia Bakery

A family owned and operated business for three generations, Mancini’s Italia Bakery, is committed to freshness and quality in everything they make and offer in their store. Located in Windsor’s Via Italia neighborhood, Mancini’s offers breads, cookies, pastries, and cakes made from scratch using their own family recipes each day. They never sell their baked goods the day after they are made. Beyond their own creations, the bakery offers food products from other area producers making it a nice spot to shop local.

Armando’s Pizza Bar

Did you know Windsor has its own style pizza? It does and it’s famous for it’s deliciousness. The uniqueness of this pizza comes from its toppings including the ‘Windsor shred.’ The shredded style of pepperoni means every bite is filled with pepperoni flavour. One of the pioneers of the Windsor-style pizza is Armando’s Pizza Bar. Featuring 10 locations across Windsor-Essex, Armando’s uses five different types of dough and as many locally sourced ingredients as possible to help vault it to become leaders in the Windsor’s pizza scene.

Speaking of the pizza scene, if you’re a pizza lover, you’ll want to join the Windsor Pizza Club. Featuring eight locally owned pizzerias. As you visit locations, you collect stamps that can get you free swag and more.

The Combine

When you’re in the heart of an area known as Ontario’s Garden, you build a menu that showcases the local flavours. That’s exactly what Owner/Chef Ryan has done at the Combine in Simcoe. Dishes feature the bounty of Norfolk County and create a true farm-to-table dining experience. The restaurant has an amazing rotation of take-out dishes that change daily!

If you’re in Port Dover, be sure to check out Chef Ryan’s newest restaurant Mustard+Relish.

Covent Garden Market & Olive R Twists

Covent Garden Market is a historic and huge one-stop shop for amazing regional produce, award-winning meats, ethnic specialties, and the largest assortment of cheese in Ontario’s Southwest. If all that shopping leaves you hungry, head into Olive R Twists and choose from a delicious variety of entrees with many featuring ingredients sourced straight from the market to take home and enjoy.

Gunn’s Hill Artisan Cheese

Cheese is the ultimate cold weather comfort food and there is no better place to prepare for all the fondues, grilled cheese sandwiches and hearty bowls of mac and cheese in your future than the Dairy Capital of Canada, Oxford County. Cheese is such an important export for this friendly community that they have created a Cheese Trail to showcase their love for it. At Gunn’s Hill Artisan Cheese, just one of the stops on the trail, you’ll find a delicious selection of Swiss-inspired cheeses made from cow, sheep and buffalo milk. Be sure to try their Tipsy cheese, which is a handcrafted washed rind cow’s milk cheese that is modelled after a Swiss cheese called Mutchli and soaked in Cabernet Merlot for several days. If you aren’t in the area, you’re in luck, they offer online shopping and have multiple retailers across the province that stock their products.

The Retro Suites Hotel & Chilled Cork

There’s no better destination to turn a delicious night out into an amazing overnight getaway than the Retro Suites Hotel in Chatham. A luxury boutique hotel, the Retro Suites features individually styled guest suites, each with a unique different theme such as Paris, Log Cabin, Rock n’ Roll, and Easy Rider. Before you escape to one of the suites, step into the on-site Chilled Cork Restaurant & Lounge for a modern take on culinary classics. Dishes are created with only the freshest, in-season ingredients Southwestern Ontario has to offer and paired with the finest quality steak and seafood from around the globe. And yes, they have ‘to go menus’ for meals in your suite too!

Ramblin’ Road Brewery Farm

It doesn’t get more locally sourced ingredients than at Ramblin’ Road Brewery Farm. The first, and one of only a couple brewery farms in Ontario, this craft brewery is located on the farm that grows the hops for its brews. Not only that, all of the water used in the brewing process comes from an aquifer located beneath the farm lands. Now that’s what we call local! In addition to the delicious craft beer, you can enjoy premium potato chips made from family crops and a variety of flavoured nut products like the famous Picard’s peanuts. There are plenty of ways to get stocked up with local goodness for winter at Ramblin’ Road.