Elgin County has a diversity of great culinary destinations
For dining, choose from Elgin’s award-winning chefs and restaurants offering seasonal and
locally-sourced menus, to small bistros and unique tearooms, to casual diners, outdoor
patios and dockside eateries.
Travel the Savour Elgin Culinary Trail and visit local wineries, shop for fresh seasonal
produce at roadside markets and farm gates, and stroll through a field of lavender. Visit
Elgin’s prized craft brewery, take a hands-on cooking class in a historic bank, hike an
enchanted bee trail, or forage for wild leeks in the heart of Carolinian Canada. In June,
Shedden holds its annual Rosy Rhubarb Festival, and as everyone in Elgin County
knows – just like their rhubarb patch – every year it gets a bit larger.
The Elgin Terroir
Elgin County’s unique natural character is shaped by its soils, topography and location
in the centre of the north shore of Lake Erie. The lake’s moderating influence on the
climate is greatest in spring, when warm air coming from the southwest is cooled by
the lake. The moderate climate provides long growing seasons and relatively mild
The terroir supports acre after acre of rich, lush green farmland, fruit orchards
and diverse agriculture. The relationship between farmers and the land is particularly
strong here, while the picturesque ports and villages offer a rich marine heritage. Miles
and miles of shoreline and white sandy beaches afford endless recreational
opportunities and good fishing.
Genuine HomeGrown Hospitality
While acknowledged for the quaint ambience of its small-town communities and
genuine homegrown hospitality, Elgin County is also known for its progressive outlook.
Here is a place where city and country life truly work hand in hand. From Port Burwell to
Port Glasgow, with Port Bruce and Port Stanley in between, generations of cottagers
and city dwellers make Elgin County their summer haven.
The rebirth of the fishing village of Port Stanley, nestled in a deep valley at the mouth of Kettle
Creek, has earned it the moniker "Ontario’s Cape Cod." Visit the historical King George VI lift bridge, the
oldest lift bridge in Ontario. Port Stanley is a culinary mecca and offers some longtime local favourites as
well as some of the best new fine and casual dining in the region.
Restaurant Sound Bites
The Kettle Creek Inn
Nestled in the heart of Port Stanley, this distinguished historical 1849 inn is one of "Ontario’s Finest Inns." Chef Mike Robbins’ menu showcases a commitment to the terroir with ingredients that are farmed, fished or foraged locally, such as the perch and pickerel that arrive daily at port just a few steps away from the restaurant. The beef, chicken, pork and trout are all fresh Ontario products, and signature dishes include a locally revered chicken pot pie. The Inn has 10 guest rooms and five luxury suites. Dining options include a parlour with fireplace, an intimate English-inspired pub, two cozy dining rooms, a gazebo and an outdoor garden terrace.
216 Joseph Street, Port Stanley
Pinecroft and The Green
The Pinecroft "village" has been a unique family business in Elgin County since 1948, retailing quality earthenware and stoneware pottery and unique Canadian gifts to its visitors. The showroom and Green Frog Tearoom occupy an original log cabin built in 1934, under towering pine trees and over-looking an expansive pond. The tearoom sources many of its ingredients from neigh-bouring farms, local markets and Elgin County butchers. Fresh bread and rolls are baked in house. Regular menu items include crisp salads, crêpes, old-fashioned chicken & dumplings, sandwiches, and popular home-made mushroom soup, with mushrooms sourced from a grower located just down the road. Signature dishes like asparagus pie, rhubarb crisp, fresh strawberry soup, chicken with blueberry red wine sauce, and autumn pumpkin pear soup reflect the changing seasons in Elgin County.
81222 Rogers Road South, RR 5, Alymer
Just off the beach in Port Stanley is the Windjammer Inn. The former Shepard House (1854) was built by Samuel Shepard, a prominent local grain merchant. Today, owner and accomplished Chef Kim Saunders sources all her ingredients from the large farm network in Elgin County. Her culinary sensibility and expertise show on the menus, which state the kitchen’s food philosophy: "Fresh, Local, Organic, Seasonal and Sustainable." Saunders, a food-loving farm girl who grows many of her own herbs, heirloom vegetables and edible flowers, ran a number of notable Toronto restaurants before turning the Windjammer into an award winner. Lake Erie fresh-caught perch and pickerel are always available in season. House-made breads, artisanal cheeses, fresh farm produce and local meats round out the menu. The restaurant serves lunch and dinner inside or out on the stunning wrap-around porch. The Inn has five tastefully appointed rooms.
324 Smith Street, Port Stanley
Ruby’s Cookhouse in Aylmer has become synonymous with generous portions, friendly service, and a warm atmosphere. Father and son team of Steve and George Kapogianis bring over 30 years of restaurant experience to Ruby’s. The Kapogianis believe that fresh is better and source many of their foods locally, from their vegetables to poultry and sausage.
583 John Street North, Alymer
Mad Hatters Tea Room
The Tea Room, located at the popular Quaker Barrel Antiques Market, has been described as "walking into the pages of a fairytale." Owners themed the tea room after Alice In Wonderland, with the Mad Hatter’s table, Alice’s couch, the Queen of Hearts Garden and themed china. A Tudor-inspired facade includes bullion glass imported from England. Visitors can enjoy high tea by reservation and daily Devonshire Cream Teas. In addition to tea, desserts and sandwiches are offered, inspired by vintage recipes. There are 20 different varieties of loose-leaf tea for sale, along with gifts, collectibles and framed prints of the classic fairytale.
47272 Talbot Line, Orwell
Killer Desserts and Cafe
Donelda Pocock, owner and baker at Killer Desserts, is proud to be one of the founding members of Savour Elgin. The café is known for its gluten-free sandwiches, made-from-scratch soups, and cheesecakes that are an in-house speciality. Pocock sources local meats from Pete Charlton’s Quality Meats and supports local farmers for produce. Pocock’s motto is "Fresh and Local. Can it get any better than that?" The shop also features a gourmet retail section featuring dips and spices.
291 Bridge Street, Port Stanley
Empire Valley Farm
Empire Valley Farm Market celebrated its 25th anniversary of farming in 2010. Joy and Dave work their 60-acre farm and two greenhouses, growing cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, squash, and an assortment of other fruits and vegetables. Much of the Empire Valley produce is delivered daily to local restaurants and grocery stores. Empire Valley is also a supplier of cucumbers for pickling to Bicks/Smuckers. Visitors to the market can expect to find a comfortable country greenhouse with quality produce, fresh fruit, and stunning flower baskets.
27983 Talbot Line, RR 1, Wallacetown
There is a good reason why Elgin locals shop at Farmgate for their meat. As the name suggests, the farm connection is central to the Farmgate philosophy. In 2004, Sandy Lyle, a full-time pork and beef producer, and Ray Coddington, a certified Canadian Butcher Specialist, realized that this area needed quality local meats that were also leaner, phosphate-free and by-product free. Their untiring efforts and vision – to be a meat shop of unparalleled excellence and uncompromising quality – earned them a 2009 Premier’s Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence. They continue to take pride in perfecting the finest quality meat products and homemade sausages, made from the freshest Ontario-grown meat. Their customers, including local restaurants, cannot get enough.
310 Wellington Street, St. Thomas
Horton Farmers’ Market
Ed Horton, former mayor of St. Thomas, donated the market site in 1878, where it has remained ever since. In 2006, a restoration project refurbished two covered pavilions as well as the main building. There are, on average, 35 vendors selling their wares on Saturday Market Day. Sellers come from within a 60-kilometre radius and must either be a primary or secondary farmer/food producer or an artisan/craftsperson.
Manitoba Street, St. Thomas
Elgin’s Farm Tours
Clovermead Bees and Honey
With 24 million staff buzzing with activity, this adventure farm produces six unique
honey varieties. Clovermead’s self-guided Bee Line Tour boasts friendly farm animals
and Ontario’s largest beehive display, and you can hike the enchanted Bee Yard
Trail. Inside the Honey Gift Store, visitors can sample all six different honey
flavours. Honey treats for purchase include twelve honey spreads, beeswax
candles, hand cream and more.
11302 Imperial Road, RR 4, Alymer
Steed & Co. Lavender Farm
This 45-acre farm in Sparta is designated an Area of Natural Interest, and
you are invited to stroll through the fields and gardens. Guided tours are also
offered. Steed & Co. Lavender produces pesticide-free culinary-grade lavender.
In the gift shop, visitors are offered a variety of exquisite handcrafted lavender
products and can sample delicious homemade jams, jellies and condiments.
47589 Sparta Line, RR 5, Aylmer
Silver Birch TeaRoom at Heritage Line Herbs
Heritage Line Herbs is a working farm, offering agri-tourism, tours, a retail
store, nine themed walking gardens, special events, wholesale and retail
potted herbs and heirloom vegetables. The Silver Birch Tearoom’s
locally-sourced menu includes the Silver Birch lunch, sandwiches,
barbecued chicken, and a signature lavender lemonade.
534443 Heritage Line, RR 1, Aylmer
Great Lakes Farms
Third-generation farmers grow strawberries, black cherries, peaches,
pears, pumpkins and 12 varieties of apples, and also offer fresh baking,
group dinners, tours and pick–your-own strawberries, pears and pumpkins.
5111 Union Road, Port Stanley
Lavender Sense is a premier grower and marketer of lavender plants, essential
oils and exquisite lavender products. Browse the boutique, and a B&B retreat is
28011 Ash Line, Wallacetown
Getaway Culinary Packages
Enjoy one of these culinary packages that will
inspire and recharge you, from romantic
getaways to an escape with friends.
There are currently no culinary packages available.
Please contact the Elgin County Tourism office for more information
about their exciting culinary experiences!
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