I grew up going to Peterborough and the Kawarthas every Summer. My grandparents owned a trailer at the Lovesick Lake Park, and some of my fondest memories were made there. When I saw a deal come up on LivingSocial for travel to the area, I jumped on it, and headed up on a wintery expedition up north to stay in the Westwind Inn.
I’m a big fan of hiking and exploring the outdoors (regardless of the weather), so a lot of my time up in Peterborough was spent walking the nearby hiking trails, and checking out things like the famous (and haunted?!) Lift Lock and local antique shops.
But of course, I always make time for lots of snack breaks and meals! Here are some of the delicious restaurants, cafes, and food shops I found around Peterborough and the Kawarthas.
This restaurant was suggested to us by a former Peterborough resident…when the locals go there, you know it’s going to be good! Plus after seeing online that they had a hot buffet complete with roast beef AND a pie buffet, we knew we had to go. Apparently, it’s been a classic in the area since 1969 and after trying the AYCE buffet, we understood why; lots to choose from, not too pricey, and the service was lovely. Find out more here
Two Dishes Cookshop
This restaurant was one I saw on Instagram, and made a point to search it out in real life – since it seemed there had been a lot of delicious looking posts from the location and I am SO GLAD I did. Two Dishes was amazing and they got me wishing we had something similar in Hamilton. The interior was beautiful with stripped barn board, big bright windows, chalkboard signage and fresh flowers on every table. The dishes were massive portions – literally enough for two dishes – of colourful giant griddle sandwiches, big salads with creative vegetables and tasty brunch bowls. I tried one of their Big Cookshop Salads with crispy bacon, potatoes, a sunny side up egg and cheese. I was so impressed with this dish! Find out more here
For this breakfast, we actually tried to head out to Lovesick Lake Restaurant to bring back some childhood memories…but when we got there unfortunately they were closed for the season! Luckily, Honey’s Diner was right around the corner with cozy and delicious breakfast favourites and warm service. I would definitely go back here if I was in the area. Those home fries were divine! Find out more here
Hot Belly Mama’s
This was another suggestion someone had mentioned, and since I’m a big Southern food fan, I knew this was a must try. Not only do they offer creative Louisiana-inspired favourites, they’re also attached to The Olde Stone Brewing Company, which means they bring in some of the brews from next door! While there, we tried a flight of the brews, gumbo, jambalaya and a Southern salad. Again, massive portions to the point that our table wasn’t even big enough. The food was great and inexpensive, particularly the salad – this would be my go-to dish if I lived in the area. Find out more here
While driving to our hotel, we spotted Kyoto Coffee on the way up and I knew we had to head over for coffee one morning. The little independent drive-in café off the main road roasts their own beans in light, medium or dark, brews up specialty drinks like lattes and cappuccinos, and offers beautiful views right out their back door. What could be better? Find out more here
The Nutty Chocolatier
A visit to any cottage country just isn’t complete without a visit to the Nutty Chocolatier. I’ve never seen a chocolate shop so jam-packed with creative options, fudgey delights and retro candies. It’s a dream come true for someone with a sweet tooth! Find out more here
Places that I didn’t get to visit this time but need to visit next time: Caffeina and Naked Chocolate. I desperately tried to visit Naked Chocolate, since I had seen their beautiful creations online, but it seemed like everytime we were in town they were closed (Sun, Mon, Tues vacations can be difficult) and the timing didn’t work out. Caffeina was right next door looking adorable with a big, bold, bright brand. I’ll have to visit the area again soon as I’m sure there’s so many other great restaurants we couldn’t fit in!
Have you been to Peterborough or the Kawarthas? Do you have a favourite restaurant there? Share it with us in the comments below!
Carousel Restaurant: 116 Lansdowne St E, Peterborough ON
Honey’s Diner: 5584 ON-28, Woodview, ON