Sometimes in the busyness of life, we forget to slow down and just enjoy. Time flies by and all of a sudden, we realize it’s been too long since we lived in the moment, savoured a meal, and relished in good company. In times like these, we have a solution: call up your friends, make plans with a loved one, or just take time for yourself, to go out for a long, relaxing meal.
Dining out removes the work of cooking and the dreaded cleanup, and instead offers you the chance to relax, unwind, and savour what’s in front of you. Even better? At some places, what’s in front of you is more than just delicious food, but a treat for the senses with incredible views that offer you dinner and a “show.”
Imagine encountering mouth-watering meals – the kind prepared for maximum enjoyment – paired with calming natural views; views that lift you out of the ordinary, renew your spirit, and reveal that there’s more to life than the every day. We want you to do more than just imagine, so to help you out, we put together our list of restaurants across Ontario’s Highlands that will make your meal a multisensory experience.
Where: Minden, ON
The Setting: A cozy dining room or an outdoor patio deck overlooking Twelve Mile Lake.
What You’ll See: A manicured waterfront tumbling down to the shores of the scenic lake, surrounded by the eternal forested beauty of the Haliburton Highlands.
What You’ll Taste: Four courses worth of seasonal freshness to savour, the menu changing daily according to the growing season and Chef James’s well-known creativity.
Where: Algonquin Highlands, ON
The Setting: A bright, wood-panelled porch overlooking the beauty of a natural environment and the shores of Little Hawk Lake.
What You’ll See: Reflections dancing off the water, and the sun playing on the surrounding hills, invite you to further explore the overwhelming beauty of the lake.
What You’ll Taste: Fine dining specialties such as Panko and Roquefort Crusted Filet Mignon with a Merlot Reduction.
Where: Golden Lake, ON
The Setting: A dining room that hugs the shoreline of majestic Golden Lake.
What You’ll See: A tranquil golden beach that beckons for you to kick off your shoes and feel the sand between your toes.
What You’ll Taste: An eclectic collection of the delicious and familiar – like pizza and fish and chips – with enough variety to satisfy the adventurous.
Where: Bancroft, ON
The Setting: A bistro-style eclectic restaurant on a casual Bancroft street.
What you’ll See: Landscapes and local sights seen through the eyes of artist and proprietor Susan Dunlop. When you see Susan’s paintings on the walls of the Bistro, you find out what Ontario’s Highlands looks like from someone who lives in the region and loves it. As you feel the peace emanating from the image of a cottage on a still lake, or the beauty found in nature, It’s easy to see why people, like Susan, move from far and wide to live here.
What You’ll Taste: A variety of fresh, lovingly prepared flavourful food, artfully presented, like savoury fillings pouring out of crisp crepes, tender top sirloin stroganoff, and mushroom cap appetizers. Make sure you make a reservation — it’s popular with the locals!
Where: Almonte, ON
The Setting: A large historical stone building located along the Mississippi River. The Inn’s breakfast is only available to guests of the Inn, but we promise it’s worth a stay to enjoy the homey feel, the incredible hospitality, the soothing sounds of the river, and the delectable breakfasts.
What You’ll See: A pleasant lawn tumbling down to the river where you can escape your responsibilities, and enjoy the highs and lows of the Mississippi River.
What You’ll Taste: Coffee served right in your room (is there anything better?!), and the Inn’s hearty breakfasts, many of which incorporate produce grown on the property.
No matter the view you’re looking for, all of these offer a beautiful, unhurried, delicious place to peacefully pass the time away from your busy life.