An escape to South Georgian Bay wouldn’t be complete without an escape from the kitchen as well. After all, you’ve hiked, cruised and toured every brewery in the area. That kind of adventuring deserves a good meal or two. To have visited every restaurant, pub and bistro in the area I would have to live there for at least a year, but I’ve done my best to visit a few spots from as far North as Meaford to South in Wasaga Beach. Along the way, I checked out a few places in Thornbury and Collingwood as well. My overall verdict, you won’t leave your vacation hungry. Enjoy my South Georgian Bay dining guide and please let me know what your favourites are.
Ashanti Coffee – Let’s start with the most important meal of the day, Coffee. I picked Ashanti Coffee for two reasons. The first is they make a good cup of coffee and the second is they have four locations in Collingwood, Thornbury, Elora and Hanover. If you are out and about an need a caffeine fix you can trust Ashanti to pour you a good cup. I spent most mornings here with my laptop writing (good wifi) and enjoying a breakfast burrito with my Americano.
The Dam Pub – Looking for a Whisky? Located in Thornbury, The Dam Pub has a Whiskey menu that no bar can compete with. They have over 775 Whiskeys listed and they are all available for tasting. Some may come for the Whiskey, but I’m coming for the food, good comfort food like Bangers and Mash. These aren’t your poor man’s Bangers and Mash this is gourmet fare with fresh locally made Sausages and a side of Innis and Gunn Baked Beans. I shouldn’t have had room for dessert, but the bread pudding called out my name and I ate every last crumb of it! Great pub food and a casual relaxed atmosphere.
Bruce Wine Bar – Craving Neopolitan Pizza and a good glass of Wine then the place to check out is Bruce Wine Bar in Thornbury. It’s a little hard to find at first as it is located in the TD Bank parking lot. Once inside you will be glad you made the search. It is a small place with seating on the main floor and a second-floor loft. I snuck in at the tail end of lunch service and ordered a Cured Salumi Pizza. Fantastico! Light and crispy crust with plenty of salumi and fior di latte so that every bite had all the flavours. A favourite place to hangout for many locals and I can see why.
The Leeky Canoe Pub & Eatery – After my cycling adventure in Meaford I stopped into the Leeky Canoe for lunch and discovered why it is a locals favourite. Good food at reasonable prices and with a fun and easy going atmosphere. I went for the lunch special which was a bowl of Chili and a side Ceasar Salad for $11.99. Not bad price wise and it also tasted great. Lots of cheese on my chili and more bacon on my Ceasar than I usually get when I order breakfast at a greasy spoon. Not fancy, but a good meal and a good price and the staff are all really friendly.
The Smoke – Got a BBQ craving? In Collingwood is an award winning BBQ restaurant called The Smoke. Brisket, Trout, Pulled Pork, they smoke it all. The smell in the place is intoxicating. If you weren’t hungry before you stepped inside then your mouth will be watering in mere minutes. I ordered the Brisket Sandwich with a side order of Baked Beans. Can you say NOMNOMNOM? Even the beans are smoked which make them just my favourite kind of baked beans. Yummy. I’ll be back for more. Oh they do take out…. just saying.
Northwinds Brewhouse & Eatery – If you read my Georgian Bay Brewery Tour post you will already be familiar with Northwinds Brewhouse. In that story it was all about the beer, today it is all about the food. They seem to care as much about the food as they do the beer and make many things in-house, like some of the best fries I’ve had in ages. I put my order in the hands of my server and what I received was the Cheddar Burger made with local Wagyu Beef and smoked white Cheddar Cheese. To make it special they topped it with a fried egg. Wear a bib is my advice when you eat this delicacy. Was it good? it was AMAZING! You can’t go wrong with the beer or food at Northwinds Brewhouse.
Catch 22 Grill – Fine dining in Wasaga Beach is a bit limited. THE place to go is Catch 22 Grill. Under the expert hands of Executive Chef Bob Bickmore and his team, you will be treated to a great meal and service with a smile. Everything is fresh and the menu changes regularly to match what is in season and at its best. I ordered the Seafood Pasta special which included fresh made pasta, Prawns, Scallops and Mussels. Delicious. I would highly recommend you make reservations for Catch 22 Grill as this place fills up fast. I was dining solo so was able to sneak up to the bar and grab a spot, but if I was two or more I probably would have had to wait a bit. It is well worth it though. From what I’ve heard it is probably the best food in Wasaga Beach.
There you have my South Georgian Bay dining guide suggestions. There is something for everyone here I think. From gastropub fare to fine dining, from coffee to family dining there is a place for you in South Georgian Bay. The best part is they are all a short drive apart, so no matter where you are staying they are all accessible.
Let me know if you have a favourite place I didn’t get a chance to visit so I can check it out on my next adventure in South Georgian Bay. Happy eating!