Come Wander
Vegetarian Vegan Gluten Free Restaurants

Think back to the best meals of your life – chances are they weren’t the solitary meals eaten in front of the television, they were the meals enjoyed with others, filled with the sounds of laughter and the warmth of companionship. No matter your path in life, the dinner table can be a place of community, where you chat about life, love, and everything in between.

Unfortunately for some of us, eating out together can be like playing Russian roulette; you drop the ball on the table and watch the wheel spin, wondering where it will land and what it will mean for you at the end of the day. This is why walking into a restaurant where the staff are knowledgeable about your restrictions can take the stress out of eating out. And is there anything more exciting than scanning a menu and knowing you won’t need to have a 10-minute conversation with your server before ordering?

Ditch the stress and savour a meal at any of these 10 restaurants specializing in vegetarian, vegan, or gluten-free (and sometimes all three!). You can enjoy a meal out with friends again (and again, and again).

Nourished

27 Bobcaygeon Rd., Minden

As if the name wasn’t indicator enough, this is the place to go to fill your belly and your spirit at the same time. Enjoy gourmet meals that everyone can eat (yes, even you) that will nourish you from the inside out. Probiotic-rich beverages, locally obtained, nutrient dense, low sugar ingredients will make every meal a good-for-you adventure.

Known for: Vegan, gluten-free, organic, whole foods.
Go for: Their menu is always changing depending on what’s in season, but they tend to have a consistent menu items of soup, stew, or curry over rice, and noodle-based dishes.

Baked and Battered

128 Haliburton St., Haliburton

When you’re gluten free, you give up a lot of comfort foods, but the good ol’ fish and chips standby can be back on the menu at Baked and Battered. They make their fish and chips with a gluten-free breading (and with a dedicated fryer!), so everyone can enjoy this delicious comfort meal. Please note they are closed from October to March.

Known for: Gluten-free, sustainably sourced seafood.
Go for: Their fish and chips meals are a must, hand-battered in their own gluten-wise house batter. They use the term gluten-wise instead of gluten-free because they do have wheat on premises.

Heartwood Restaurant

39280 Combermere Rd., Combermere

The motto for this restaurant says it all: “Where music is alive, food is fresh, and love is loud.” Who could ask for more than that? This is the place to go for local, non-GMO food options, and they have gluten-free and vegetarian options clearly identified on their menu. Celiacs should be aware there is no dedicated fryer.

Known for: Local, gluten-free, vegetarian.
Go for: It’s not often you find gluten free French fries or chicken wings on the menu, so load up! Otherwise try one of their hearty Buddha bowls, which are both gluten free and vegetarian.

Michael’s Table

110 Gore St. E., Perth

A meal here will fill you up with good, old-fashioned homestyle comfort food. They have plenty of gluten-free options, and vegetarians won’t go away hungry, either. This restaurant also has the ultimate of gluten-free designations – a dedicated fryer. This means Celiacs can enjoy French fries, too!

Known for: Gluten-free.
Go for: A must try is their loaded potato chips which are served like nachos, and are perfect for the gluten-free and corn intolerant.

Castle Antiques & Café

223 Highland St, Haliburton

If you are always on the run and need vegan, vegetarian, or gluten-free, this can be your go-to for a light meal on the go. You won’t need to worry about cross contamination or picking through what to order – here, everything is vegan and gluten free! Their soup of the day is always changing, and worth the drive.

Known for: Vegan, gluten-free.
Go for: Try one of their hardy salads that are so filling you won’t necessarily need a baked good afterwards, but it will still hit the spot.

The Good Food Co.

31 Bridge St., Carleton Place

This longstanding local favourite in downtown Carleton Place is focused on both natural and locally sourced ingredients. Gluten-free items are noted on the menu, and there are plenty of vegetarian selections, too. Get there early – the restaurant is only open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday to Sunday, and seating is limited.

Known for: Gluten-free, vegetarian, locally sourced.
Go for: Their pressed sandwiches are loaded with savoury goodness and pressed between a rich and yeasty sourdough bread.

The Muse Gallery & Café

23 Bridge St., Bancroft

Combine a love of art with a love of food in one fun spot at this cute café in Bancroft. The café also does pick-ups (call ahead to place your order) so this is the perfect spot for a breakfast or lunch on the go. Or you can sit down and breathe in the artistic ambiance instead.

Known for: Vegetarian, vegan.
Go for: Their daily soups are made from scratch, and so delicious! Try a protein smoothie to perk up your daily protein intake.

Cardinal Café + Shop

14153 Road 38, Sharbot Lake

Life is better #InFrontenac, and this is particularly true at Sharbot Lake’s cute Cardinal Café + Shop. Check out their beautifully renovated church location and enjoy a spiritual relationship with food and drink. The café features two gluten-free options daily, and vegetarians don’t need to feel left out – there’s something for everyone on the menu.

Known for: Gluten-free, vegetarian.
Go for: Their soup of the day is a must try. Vegans will rejoice in the option for almond or soy milk alternatives.

Picnic

1865 Rogers Rd, Perth

You’ll love the funky, hipster vibe in this eatery that specializes in simple, wholesome, and fresh menu options. The café has a cafeteria-style, open-concept feel that you’ll love for eat-in, or pick up something for a lunch on the go. The café is open from Monday to Friday, from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Known for: Vegetarian, gluten free.
Go for: Their Chicken Satay Bowl, Golden Curry Bowl, or Mezze Bowl must be experienced to understand how awesome they are, packed full of deliciousness and hearty good-for-you ingredients.

Chuckles Jack

23 Russell Street E, Smiths Falls

Savour flavours from around the world in Smiths Falls. Specializing in Sri Lankan and Indian cuisine, this is the place to go for vegetarian and gluten-free options. No matter your dietary sensitivity, Chef Ram is always willing to accommodate.

Known for: Vegetarian, gluten-free.
Go for: Their signature dish, butter chicken, is gluten-free and oh so delicious. Make it as spicy as you like with just a quick word to the serving staff.

Stories

Light Up the Holidays

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Cheers to the Holidays

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5 Foodie Road Trips That Will Get You Somewhere

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Get on Board with Charcuterie

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Find Your Hygge Here

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Discover Historic Accommodations in Ontario

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Local Love: 9 Local Gift Ideas You Can Order Online Today

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Bringing Together the Best of Haliburton

Before Michael Schiedel-Webb came to live full-time in Haliburton, he had never made beer. Not once. Not ever. His first batch came from a really big home-brew kit, located in the living room of his cottage, in the middle of the winter. “It was minus ten, and we had to do some of it outside,” […]

Tales of Wilno: Exploring Canada’s Oldest Polish-Kashub Settlement

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Celebrate All Things German this October

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Tiny Cabins, Yurts, and other Glamping Getaways

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Top 7 Comfort Foods and Where to Find Them

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Shiver-Worthy Spooky Spots

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The Artist’s Way

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5 Fall Drives to Enjoy with the Windows Down

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Beer, Butter Tarts & Burritos (By Bike)

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Big Attractions in Ontario

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Ground to Glass

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Cider Season

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Best Highway 60 Hikes

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With Love, to Frontenac County

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With Love, to Haliburton Highlands

We are so lucky to come from a place that has it all: phenomenal views, rugged landscapes, abundance of trails, and infinite opportunities for recreation, all enticing you to leave your comfort zone and step into the wild. Here, endless forests meet cool, clear lakes and rivers to create incredible vistas that reach out to […]

With Love, to Lanark County

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With Love, to the Ottawa Valley

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With Love, to Hastings County

The deep lakes and meandering rivers here are ripe with life, both on land and in the water. This land is known as a region rich with minerals, and we haven’t forgotten how our communities were settled by the gold rush, where miners flocked, eager to delve into the earth to unearth its riches. Thick […]

Cycle Haliburton

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Roots of Revival in Smiths Falls

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Bikepacking in North Frontenac

Imagine a weekend of backcountry camping in a quiet forest just a few hours from Ottawa or Toronto. As you settle down at camp, you think back to the fresh moose tracks you saw earlier that day and the amazing swim you had when you stopped for lunch. The scenery feels familiar but something’s different. […]

Bancroft Rocks!

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Best Ontario #RoadTrips

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Secret Swimming Holes

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Hidden Gems Along Letterkenny Road

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Meet Me at the Drive-in

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Go Backcountry

You waken slowly in the early morning, the high-pitched warble of birdsong drifting lightly through the trees overhead. The sky is faintly brightening with the coming of dawn, and the natural world is gradually blossoming to life. Around you there is no trace of human activity, no murmurs of voices, clanging of dishes, or whir […]

Live the Yacht Life

Live the lifestyle of the rich and famous – for a week, anyway – with a Le Boat cruising staycation.

Date Night In

You don’t need to leave the house for a romantic and locally inspired experience. Bring date night home with these four romantic experiences.

Dear Dads, We Love You

Tell Dad how much awesome he is this Father’s Day with a little local love from these places in Ontario’s Highlands.

This Fry’s for You

Challenge accepted: Take on the Great Potato Abundance of 2020 and put a dent in the local potato population.

An Ode to Poutine

Discover these chip trucks and their classic dishes, located throughout Ontario’s Highlands.

Cocktail Hour is Back

If you’re missing your spring cocktails, the drink makers at Rhubarb Haliburton are happy to share their recipe for a delicious and fizzy cocktail.

Summer Brews

Take a trip around Ontario’s Highlands to these micro-breweries to discover your perfect summer beer.

Exhale and Unwind

Experience a slice of farm life at Dwyer’s Farmhouse in the Ottawa Valley.

High Tea Fit for a Queen

Make a high tea that’s fit for a queen using Tea & Cake’s secret scone recipe and how-to.

Chocoholic Fudgy Cake (Yes, Please!)

Rich, velvety chocolate, whipped ganache, creamy frosting…chocolate cake is the ultimate in old-time comfort foods. Ignite a passion for chocolate with this recipe from Hummingbird Chocolate Maker.

Cooking with Cider

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Before the Lake Wakes

Wake up lakeside with a steaming cup of coffee from a roastery in Ontario’s Highlands.

Baking with Beer

Great beer makes great food. Check out some great recipes to bake with beer with Chris Thompson from Whitewater Brewery Co.

Chocolate Marshkebabs DIY

Easter is just a bunny hop around the corner and dreams of chocolate are filling the minds of children – and adults, too. A chocolate treat is the perfect way to sweeten your spring, and when it comes to this dark delicacy, the folks at Perth Chocolate Works are the experts. Since opening their doors […]

Just Breathe

Discover the beauty of mindfulness and allowing yourself to Just Breathe.

The Great Pizza-Off

Chow down on artisan wood-fired pizza at any of these gems across Ontario’s Highlands.

Spring is Calling

Hanging around the city when the scents of spring are tantalizingly tickling your nose is tough. This is when you yearn to get away from the slush, pack the car and head out for an almost-spring getaway to the countryside, where baby animals, maple syrup, G-rated fun, and fresh air are calling. Get out of […]

Spring Break

The sun is warm, the air smells like spring, and the birds are singing their special warm weather songs. It’s official; spring has sprung. After a long Canadian winter, spring getaways are a time-honoured tradition for families here in the great white north, and haven’t we earned a little fun in the sun? This is […]

Pause for Pi Day

Celebrate Pi Day with the best pie at these bakeries in Ontario’s Highlands.

Mad About Maple

Maple syrup isn’t just for pancakes. Celebrate Canada’s iconic sweetener in all its forms in Ontario’s Highlands.

Breaking Bread

Gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian – dine with confidence at these 10 Ontario’s Highlands restaurants. Your belly will thank you.

Best Pancake Breakfasts

Escape the city for a hearty meal with pure maple syrup at these top places for pancake breakfasts in Ontario’s Highlands.

Sweet Maple Escapes

Discover sweet places to stay for maple adventures in Ontario this spring.

Jigging Through Ice

*Wander safe, wander local. Check your region’s local health guidelines before heading out.  You slip and slide your way across the ice, your arms laden with fishing gear, excitement building at the thought of the unscripted day ahead. Tucked amidst your gear is a warm blanket, a thermos of something rich and delicious, and a carefully packed […]

Winter Just Got Awesome

Learn to climb or brush up on your skills with an epic ice climbing adventure at SOIceFest 2020 in Maynooth, ON.

Make a Toast (in Hastings County)

Tour craft drink producers for a chance to meet the makers, and get the inside story on what inspires them to make and sell their product. Oh, and sample delicious brews, too!

Ultimate Après-Ski Experiences

Meet up with friends after a day well spent on the slopes or on the trails. Discover these top places in Ontario’s Highlands to celebrate the Apres Ski!

The Best Baked Goods

Discover some of the best bakeries in Ontario’s Highlands and their tasty treats.

Embrace the Dog Days of Winter

If you can’t beat winter, join it with an epic dog sledding excursion through some of the most beautiful forests in Ontario.

Winter Jams

Warm up your winter with good music and good food, together, at the Sharbot Inn & Crossing Pub, in Sharbot Lake, Ontario.

Shine at Giving this Holiday Season

Today’s craft markets are full of fresh, hip products made by creative and talented makers. This holiday season, go above and beyond by picking up handmade items with a story to tell at one of these Ontario holiday markets.

A Delicious Day Trip

Sip & Savour your way through the best food and drink spots in Lanark County.

The Perfect Scoop

Discover these top ice cream stops across Ontario’s Highlands to keep cool this summer on your road trip.

Strawberry Fields Forever

Discover these top ways to enjoy the strawberry season, when you let these farm-fresh berries shine on their own or in a variety of treats.

Farm Fresh Finds

Indulge your taste buds this summer with these 5 local finds at Farmers Markets through Ontario’s Highlands.

Valentine’s Day Treats

Treat that special someone this Valentine’s Day to a gift of sweets at one of these top places.

Moo-ve Over, Vodka

Discover Vodkow, the new beverage from the Dairy Distillery causing a stir in Almonte, Ontario.

A Day in Ormsby

Discover why Ormsby Ontario is worth exploring on your next road trip.

A is for Apples

Meeting cider kings and discovering great things in Hastings County.

Concerts with a Community

In September each year, the spirit of community comes alive all across Ontario’s Highlands when the Festival of Small Halls rolls in.

Roam If You Want To

Follow along with Chris from Travelling Mitch as he wanders through Haliburton Highlands and Hastings County on the Rustic Roamer Road Trip.

Where Am I?

Devour an Ottawa Valley tradition and feel your taste buds rejoice with Wes’ Chips in Arnprior.

Where Am I?

Discover the big things happening in the small towns along the Rideau Canal.

Top 4 Summer Treats

Top 4 summer treats that are worth the stop on your next Ontario’s Highlands road trip.

The Rustic Roamer

I’m a Rustic Roamer. I wander to discover authentic moments, to embrace the spirit of locals, and to understand the stories of the communities and countryside that I visit.

Where Am I

Explore the sweet moments and ageless beauty of Perth, Ontario.

Maple Mania

Discover one writer’s quest to discover what makes Lanark County so sweet with Maple Mania.

Life is a Highway

Two wanderers explore 135 kilometres of hidden gems in Hastings County.

The Ultimate City Escape

Explore these three ways to escape the city, slow down, and absorb rural life in Ontario’s Highlands.

My Hometown: Haliburton

After years of travel, read the story of why Emily returned to Haliburton to officially call it her home.

Journal of a Foodie

Take a journey through Ontario’s Highlands on a road trip that will satisfy your inner foodie.

A Different Kind of Detour

Take the road less traveled through Ontario’s Highlands to these unique festivals that are sure to leave a lasting impression.

Good Food, Great Company

The Good Food Tour, a delectable walking tour in Almonte the showcases a story and the local flavours.