Summers are made for road trips, and there’s nothing more indulgent than finding a new treat on your travels. Think back to your own childhood and, odds are, that your own summer memories are made of most things sweet and savory – begging your parents to pull over to the side of the road at the sight of a shiny chip truck that smelled of crispy potatoes, or tempting fate as you try to keep up with the gooey, melting ice cream dripping down your waffle cone on a dock or at the beach, under the heat of the summer sun.
In Ontario’s Highlands, summer treats can be found around every bend of our twisty roads. Here are four that will definitely be the highlight of your trip. (Bonus: Images from actual taste-testers who visited the region and shared their photos.)
1. Ice Cream
Kicking the list off with a classic, you can’t go wrong with a scoop from one of our adorable ice cream shops, like the Almonte Ice Cream Shop. The sticky hands are well-worth the adventure, friends.
2. Food Truck Fries
There are fries. And then there are food truck fries. And anyone who’s been on a road trip to one of our small towns knows the difference. Food truck fries are distinguishable by their crispy outside, soft inside, and copious amounts of DIY toppings often found on a nearby counter, like salt, vinegar, or crushed red pepper flakes. Many of the food trucks in Ontario’s Highlands also feature special menu items that come pre-loaded with the stuff summer memories are made of – like these “fancy fries” from The Greene Mill.
3. Baked Everything
Fresh fruit pies that remind you of a farmer’s market. Butter tarts that stick to the roof of your mouth. Adorable home-made-quality pastries that don’t quite “classify” as lunch, but that accidentally turned into a meal after you had four. The small communities in Ontario’s Highlands are packed with bakeries, general stores, and shops bursting with freshly baked treats, and no two towns have a pie that tastes exactly the same. Pop in to the Perth Pie Co. for made-from-scratch goodies that you’ll want to enjoy immediately, and pack extras for home.
Don’t consider crepes a road trip food? Allow us to analyze. They are fluffy, sweet or savory, totally filling, and perfect for enjoying with a group. Sure, you wouldn’t pack them for the road, but we think that the amazing crepes from The Nook Creperie in Pembroke are just the excuse you need to stretch your legs, explore a small town and green space (the restaurant is located within walking distance of a gorgeous waterfront park), and wander.
For more road trip food ideas, check out one foodie’s road trip through Ontario’s Highlands.