There are a lot of words to describe Prince Edward County — charming, quaint, bucolic, friendly, idyllic, wholesome, picturesque…(the thesaurus comes in so handy) but above all it’s delicious, full of fresh and tasty places to eat at from the moment you arrive.
Fondly referred to as ‘The County’ by locals, the markets, well-worn barns and historic inns are so picture-perfect it’s like they’re straight out of a bloody Norman Rockwell painting. If Prince Edward County was a dessert (it all circles back to my stomach), it’d be warm apple pie with a scoop of vanilla with the comforting aroma of cinnamon wafting from it.
Everything is called something adorable like “parlour” or has “-erie” added to the end.
For example, a regular, old cafe offering sandwiches was called a “sandwicherie” which oddly made it more appealing! Explain THAT syntactic witchcraft.
Speaking of all that is delicious, if you’re anything like me then you’ll want to reach maximum efficiency when it comes to eating your way through this charming county. That’s why I’ve organized my guide for where to eat in Prince Edward County by the main areas — Picton, Wellington, Hillier and Bloomfield. I’ve also included suggestions for how you can either a) work up an appetite or b) walk off your meal so you can eat again.
The Miller House
Of all of the places to eat in Prince Edward County, The Miller House Café and Brasserie at the Lake On The Mountain Resort offers the most SPECTACULAR view. Snag some shade along the perimeter of the patio and dine al fresco while revelling in the elevated perspective of the lush greenery and sparkling Bay of Quinte.
Choose from a selection of small plates and sharing platters — elaborate tartines, charcuterie boards and flambées — made with ingredients sourced directly from the resort garden and local farmers and producers.
Indulging my sweet tooth, I munched on the Ricotta Maison, ricotta cheese atop perfectly toasted French bread, drizzled with local, organic honey and sprinkled liberally with Marcona almonds and orange zest.
Nearby: Go for a little walk around the Lake On The Mountain Provincial Park for some (more) fresh air
The Vic Drive-In
Bring on the nostalgia with The Vic Drive-In (formerly The Vic Café)! Reminiscent of the classic drive-in restaurants popular in the late 1920s and fitting for COVID times. Roll in to a parking spot at this rainbow-hued venue and a server will meet you at your car window to take your order.
Consult the hand lettered signage on the front windows for daily specials and opt for classic drive-in fare such as cheeseburgers, chilli dogs and milkshakes.
Don’t you DARE ride away without the drool-worthy Poutine Tots, a Canadian twist on sentimental snack — tater tots drowning in vegan gravy (probably the tastiest gravy I’ve ever had, vegan or otherwise) and heavily studded with gooey cheese curds.
Nearby: Peruse locally made candles, skincare products and ceramics at the expertly curated Field Made Goods
Flossie’s Sandwich Parlor
Tucked behind Carson’s Garden and Market, I was initially been drawn to Flossie’s Sandwich Parlor for the whimsical name but it turned out to be my favourite find of the entire trip!
Carefully appraise the wall of framed chalkboards heralding the specials with whimsical monikers like “‘Don’t Go Bacon My Heart’ Burger” and “The Hogfather.”
Somehow I was convinced to order “The Nicky San-Meat-Toro,” the sole vegetarian option on the menu BUT LET ME TELL YOU — my first bite elicited an enraptured “OH. MY. GAH.” I am nothing if not articulate and composed. Accompanied by greens a massive pile of seasoned fries with an aioli dip, this sandwich was stacked with eggplant parmigiana and smothered in a house made arrabbiata sauce, fresh basil and gooey with mozzarella, parmesan and provolone.
Nearby: Browse the wares at Carson’s Market while waiting for your sandwich to be ready
Since a wine tour is undoubtedly one of the best things to do in Prince Edward County, make sure to stop by The Old Third Winery. Not only will you find some cheers-worthy riesling and bone-dry bubbly in this rustic, three-storey barn, but a killer pasta bar.
Between Friday to Sunday from 12 – 4pm, Quattro Amici serves up fresh AF pasta — zesty lemon ricotta ravioli, juicy heirloom tomatoes with creamy mozzarella, hearty tagliatelle bolognese, Stracciatella peaches, etc… The carb-infusion is the exactly what you’ll need to keep pedalling from winery to winery!
Nearby: Pet some friendly alpacas at SHED Chetwyn Farm or stroll through fragrant purple fields at the lavender farm
If you’re searching for where to eat in Prince Edward County and craving some Latin flavour, swing by this trendy restaurant in Wellington. La Condesa serves up authentic Mexican cuisine and fancy cocktails in a moody atmosphere thick with salsa beats pulsing in the background.
Admire the wall mural depicting colourful alebrijes (spirit animals) and dine on a selection of hearty tacos (my fav was the spicy Argentinian shrimp with creamy guac and zesty pico de gallo) or a crispy tostado piled with chunks of raw yellowfin tuna, guacamole, chipotle aioli and a hint of sesame oil.
Nearby: Grab some tacos to-go and dine al fresco at Wellington Beach to watch the sunset
This impeccably designed boutique hotel is a must-visit in Prince Edward County, whether you’re spending the night or kicking off your morning with a lakeside breakfast at their onsite restaurant.
Let the sound of water lapping on the shore lull you into a meditative state as you nosh on classic breakfast items — eggs benny, hash browns, sausage, yogurt parfaits — at a vibrant yellow picnic table under an equally vibrant yellow umbrella. The crumbly blueberry scones are an essential pick with a healthy smear of butter and jam.
Nearby: Check out local vendors at the weekend Farmer’s Market or buy some plant babies at The Parlour Studio
Flame + Smith
The first stop on the list of where to eat in Prince Edward County, this highly rated and sustainably-minded restaurant is located in the heart of Bloomfield.
We were lucky enough to snag a coveted spot on the rustic patio to enjoy the sunshine, perusing the menu of this local hot spot while sipping a chilled and juicy red —Rosewood’s Notorious PTG.
I was obsessed with the fresh and tasty coconut tuna ceviche with sweet drop peppers, chilli, avocado, heart of palm and a splash of lime (ideal for the hot weather) and the juicy cheeseburger, cooked to perfection on the custom-made wood-burning hearth, came topped with white cheddar caramelized onions.
Nearby: Grab some ice cream at Slickers for dessert
bloomfield public house
Get a taste of the entire county at the Bloomfield Public House restaurant turned market to accommodate for COVID times. What once housed a grocery and later a bank, is still a community space serving seasonal market cuisine made with produce from local farmers.
Enter the two-storey white painted brick building into a bright space and peruse the shelves brimming with products from neighbouring businesses — adorable miniature cans of rosé from Huff Estates, blueberry vinaigrette from Waupoos, hot sauce from Pyramid Ferments, etc…
If you’re hankering for some good ol’ country barbecue, head to the patio out back to Judy’s Fried Chicken and Barbecue for platters of ribs, pulled pork and/or sausage with slaw on the side.
Nearby: For a giggle, browse the dusty wares at Dead People’s Stuff Antiques
+ I was jonesing for a platter of oysters enjoyed under twinkling strings of hanging lights at the Sand and Pearl Oyster Bar but alas, there wasn’t much on the menu to tempt my vegan companion.
+ I heard that Enid Grace Culinary was the spot to spend a lazy morning downing pastries and caffeine but it’s obviously mighty popular because there was always a line to get in.
+ Stella’s Eatery had me at “ricotta dumplings” but I’ll just have to save this pink hot spot for my next PEC visit.
+ While we dropped by the Grange Winery and Old Salt Cocktails, I was too full to indulge in the gourmet hot dogs at their fancy onsite hot dog cart.
I’ve been meaning to set off on this local adventure for literal years, so my to-do list was a mile long and my list of where to eat in Prince Edward County was even longer. There are so many drool-worthy hidden gems but these were the ones I prioritized and felt were worthy of sharing. I’m sure I’ll be adding to this blog post down the road so send me recos for next time!
If you’re planning to bike around the wineries in Prince Edward County then check out this post.
Keep your stalking game strong and follow me @teriaki if you aren’t already!