By: Emilie Lapointe
With so many of this year’s culinary events being cancelled, I have created my own local culinary passport and itinerary to taste some of the many international food offerings Oakville has to offer. Places like Italy and Japan come to mind when thinking of culinary tourism and food destinations, but did you know Ontario is home to some fantastic food as well?
Oakville is a culinary destination and some of our local spots will take you around the world without having to hop on a plane! Use my passport or take some inspiration from our Instagram page and site and create your own foodie itinerary. Make sure to plan ahead to be as safe as possible and follow Halton Region’s guidelines for eating out!
As a French girl, I had to start in France. After donning one of my many berets, it was off to La Parisienne Crêperie in Bronte Village for a petit dejeuner! A delicious crêpe always feels like a special way to start the morning. Making pancakes and waffles at home is an easy task, but a crêpe is more finicky and something I would rather leave to the professionals!
On a nice day, run don’t walk to this harbourside patio for a warm cup of French press coffee, delicious French fare and some good old-fashioned people-watching. This restaurant transported me to Paris with their checkered wicker chairs and whimsical Parisian music playing lightly in the background.
My crêpe of choice was the A.B.C – the perfect marriage between sweet and savoury with its caramelized apples, sharp cheddar, double-smoked bacon and Canadian maple syrup. This restaurant is also FeastOn Certified, meaning they source locally and sustainably.
Can you ever go wrong with a small cheese platter? Kerr Village’s Farmhouse Artisan Cheese is home to more varieties of cheese from around the world than I can count. There’s a cheese offering for every taste and every palate!
My suggestion when it comes to a cheese platter is to have at least one soft and one hard cheese. Creating a cheese platter is essentially a choose-your-own-adventure and the employees/cheese enthusiasts at Farmhouse Artisan Cheese are more than happy to assist you along your journey.
Take your selections to a neighbouring park, lay out a scarf or blanket and indulge a bit in some delicious dairy!
After all these meals and snacking throughout the afternoon, something fresh and light is needed to prepare yourself for the main event – dinner! Head into Green Press in Downtown Oakville to peruse their nut milks, multi-coloured juices or, if you’re brave, to get a few wellness shots! Green Press is also a grocery store with fresh produce and health snacks.
The shop is family-owned and all their juices are both certified organic and cold-pressed. This is a pressing method that grinds and juices the produce without the use of heat, providing you with more vitamins and nutrients. This is a guilt-free snack!
As a certified snacker, I prefer eating a couple meals per day with smaller snacks in between versus three full meals. A samosa from Coriander Green is the perfect fall snack, with its flaky exterior and jam-packed filling with warm spices.
An order comes with two samosas and a generous helping of a stewed chickpea dish! This snack is almost meal-sized for me, so I opted to have one for now and one for later. Grab a snack or meal to go from this local spot and take the short walk over to Lakeside Park for some serene dining with views of the autumn leaves blending into Lake Ontario!
As far as culinary destinations go, Japan is one of the world’s most celebrated and touted for its offerings. Their food is steeped in tradition and is often quirky, fun and adventurous. Sushi is an absolute staple and it is light enough fare to end a food-filled day.
Grab some Japanese tapas plates and rolls from Miso Sushi & Tapas in Downtown Oakville and head home. For those concerned about outdoor dining right now, takeout is an excellent option and can still be special. Once I got my food home, I set it up in nice bowls, got my chopsticks out and wooden placemat. To really take a trip to Japan, I put on my favourite movie by Japanese filmmaker Miyazaki, Kiki’s Delivery Service.
Indulging in gelato always takes me back to my first truly solo trip in Florence, as I explored by foot with a cup or cone in hand! With temperatures diving, strolling the Bronte Harbour next to The Flavour Fox might not be as possible, but their homemade, rotating flavours can be picked up and brought home in cups or tubs for a post-dinner sweet treat!
As you approach their farmhouse-style white wooden door, a sign will direct you to ring a bell for service and someone will come assist you for contactless purchase. You’ll even be offered a spritz of sanitizer after handling the debit machine so the entire transaction feels incredibly safe.
I walked away with four flavours: Vegan Pear, Vegan Strawberry Basil, Toasted Marshmallow and Pistachio (a classic and one of my all-time favourites!). Set up your own taste test at home with multiple flavours to find the one that makes your palate sing! For a fun twist, add a scoop (or two) of your favourite fruit gelato from this shop to a glass of Champagne or Prosecco to end your day with a little sweet decadence.
Please remember to wear a mask in public, maintain two metres distance and limit close contact to people within your household. When dining, opt for delivery or takeout, or only dine with those from your household.