Vacationing in Muskoka is hungry work! Whether it is hiking the summit of Huckleberry Rock or relaxing on the dock soaking up the Summer sunshine I’ve worked up quite an appetite in Ontario’s Cottage Country. In one visit I will not be able to answer the question where to eat in Muskoka, but I will do my best to make a good start on a list. Families that have been coming here for generations probably haven’t eaten at every restaurant so I won’t feel bad if I miss place or two. I’m planning on visiting some iconic Muskoka traditions and a few new places that I’ve discovered along the way. From casual dining dockside to finer fare you may want to put shoes on for, where to eat in Muskoka is a fun culinary adventure waiting to happen.
My culinary adventure of Muskoka takes me from Orilla in the South to Rosseau in the North. I covered a lot of miles, but it was worth it!
Webers 8825 Hwy 11 N, Orillia – Visitors to Muskoka have stopped in at Webers since 1963. Entire families have grown up with their visit to Muskoka starting with a burger at Webers. It is an institution. When you arrive at Webers there will be a lineup. Don’t be daunted by it as it moves very fast. Come with cash because they don’t take credit cards. When you are in line a server will come up take your order and hand you a chit. A few minutes later another server will take that chit, ring it up and you will pay them while still in line.
Once you’ve paid you will continue to move forward in line. The line really does move fast and in no time you will be inside. It is a well-oiled machine here. Pay attention because once inside the workers will call out your order and you’ve got to move fast. Doctor up your burger and then back outside you go to find a place to eat at a picnic table.
Full disclosure these are not the best burgers I’ve ever had, however, the tradition and the experience make it a must visit. Also, they could teach a course in restaurant lineup management.
Crossroads Restaurant 2 Cardwell Rd, Rosseau – When you ask people where to go for a nice dinner and they all say Crossroads Restaurant in Rosseau you know you have to go and check them out. The menu is fresh, local and looks so appetizing I had a hard time choosing my meal. I finally decided to go with the Table D’Hote which offered a 3-course menu for one price. I could choose from the Daily Pasta, Catch of the Day or Butcher’s Cut of the Day. I went for the pasta and thoroughly enjoyed my Ceasar Salad, fresh pasta and Lemon Meringue Pie for dessert. If I was in Muskoka longer I would have come back for a second visit. The food and service was spectacular.
Well Fed 150 Hotchkiss St, Gravenhurst – When I arrived in Gravenhurst for my tour at Sawdust Brewery I was hungry so I stopped in at Well Fed for a deli sandwich to go. Don’t be deceived by the outside appearance this is a must visit if you want to grab a meal to go. Maybe enjoy a picnic on the wharf in Gravenhurst like I did. I ordered the Rare Roast Beef with Potato Salad and could not have been more satisfied. In fact, I wanted more of that potato salad!
The Rosseau Grill at Windermere House 2508 Windermere Road, Windermere – Whether you are staying at the Windermere House or not a meal at The Rosseau Grill will leave you feeling full and happy. Part of famed Toronto restaurant group Oliver & Bonacini The Rosseau Grill adds elegance to your cottage getaway. I just happened to dine here on a Thursday which meant that Baby Back Ribs were the daily special. Finger licking good in my opinion. To start I enjoyed the Shaved Pear, Fennel, and Spinach Salad. For dessert? What else than a Butter Tart. The view is just as good as the food.
Griffin Pub 9 Chancery Lane, Bracebridge – Want a great meal and a pint of beer? The Griffin Pub in Bracebridge is a destination. In fact, the brewery tour that runs through Muskoka includes a stop at the Griffin Pub on its itinerary. A great beer list and food that will make your mouth water I enjoyed a pint Lake of Bays beer and a Pork Tenderloin sandwich which was the Daily Special. It is a great spot for live music and the locals all hang out here so if you are looking for recommendations on what to do while in Muskoka this is a great place to ask.
Turtle Jack’s 123 Medora St, Port Carling – Port Carling is in the centre of 3 of the most important lakes in Muskoka. You can access it by car or by boat, Muskoka Style. I spent an afternoon with friends on the water and the place we ended up at for lunch was Turtle Jack’s. Lakeside dining that captures the Muskoka spirit. Make sure to wear sunscreen while you chow down on one of their amazing Burgers as the patio is full sun and overlooks a small set of docks. A great place to pull up your boat and chill with friends Muskoka Style.
There you have my where to eat in Muskoka recommendations. I have you covered from casual grab and go to fine dining and lakeside dining that you can pull your boat up to. Does life get any better than this? Remember that while you are on vacation the calories don’t count! Enjoy.