One of the best areas of Ontario to savour the bounty of the county is in Lanark County! Best known as the Maple Syrup Capital of Ontario, Lanark County has a strong dedication to the farm to fork philosophy. And on their Sip and Savour Trail you’ll discover all the best places to eat in Lanark County!
The Sip and Savour Trail is a unique foodie trail in Ontario. It showcases the best places to find everything from fine dining restaurants to quality chocolate. Acting as a virtual guide through the county, it’s the perfect way to eat your way through the area.
As a rich farming community, Lanark County is home to a wide array of farms that you can visit. Some, you can also eat at! And with those incredible farms comes incredibly fresh and seasonal foods bought directly to your plate!
So, whether you’re looking for fun day trip ideas from Ottawa or a tasty getaway, the Sip and Savour Trail offers the perfect fresh take on a foodie adventure!
What is the Sip and Savour Trail?
The Sip and Savour Trail is a list of over 25 places to eat and drink in Lanark County. These stops along the trail include a wide range of places like restaurants, distilleries, chocolate shops, maple syrup farms, and more.
Stops along the trail are scattered throughout the county. You’ll find stops in Mississippi Mills, including Almonte and Pakenham, as well as Carleton Place, Perth, Smith Falls, and beyond.
In addition, the Sip and Savour Trail also shares some of the top things to do in Lanark County. Plus, it shares recommendations on places to stay in Lanark County.
It’s the perfect way to explore the incredible bounty of farm fresh food, specialty treats, and interesting sights.
Best Places to Eat in Lanark County on the Sip and Savour Trail
Black Tartan Kitchen
Multi-course meals that are inspired by local producers is what you’ll find at one of the top Carleton Place restaurants. However, the Black Tartan Kitchen is more than a great place to eat, it’s an experience!
Behind the helm is the talented chef and owner, Ian Carswell. With Ian and his fabulous team in the kitchen and on the dining room floor, they create a masterpiece of dining.
The cuisine at the Black Tartan is an expert blend of contemporary Canadian fare with French roots. Every dish is artfully presented with a modern touch and hints to Finnish minimalism.
Beyond the presentation, what makes Black Tartan one of the best places to eat in Lanark County is their use of local producers. They use fresh and seasonal ingredients from farms across Lanark County and the Ottawa Valley.
For my meal, I enjoyed the bounty of the county in my first course with tomatoes from Nature’s Apprentice Farm. They truly offer a farm to fork dining experience!
At Black Tartan there are two dinner dining options. Wednesday and Thursday they serve a three-course table d’hôte menu, where you get to pick your dish from the selection of each course. And on Friday and Saturday, there’s a four and seven course blind tasting menu for a unique foodie experience!
Insider Tip: I recommend dining on their new covered patio that’s located behind the restaurant. Along with a vibrant and colourful mural, the space is intimate and cozy. Plus, there’s heaters to keep you warm.
Hummingbird Chocolate Factory
One of the best places to eat in Lanark County for those with a sweet tooth is at the Hummingbird Chocolate Factory.
Producing some of the best chocolate in Ontario, the Hummingbird is a must stop in Almonte. At their Almonte location you’ll find their impressive lineup of award-winning chocolate, including bars and other chocolate flavoured goodies.
In addition to the shop and factory, the massive facility is home to a cute café. At the café you’ll find a sweet menu of their incredible bean-to-bar hot chocolate and fresh baked goods from Adam Bakes, an Ottawa pastry chef. Plus, if you need something different to wash down the goodies with, they serve Equator Coffee. But if you’re visiting during the summer, I recommend trying one of their FroChos. It’s their version of a fudgesicle.
The list of chocolate bar flavours is mighty! There’s everything from candied ginger to peppermint chocolate bars. Plus, they have a variety of single origin bars. A couple of my favourites are their Mayan chocolate, which has a hint of spice, and their Maple Chocolate Bar, which is made with Lanark County maple syrup!
At the Hummingbird Chocolate Factory, they use ethically sourced cacao. Plus, they are one of the few that make their chocolate directly from the beans.
A sweet and fun way to learn more about their process is to book a tour! Tours run every Saturday morning and include a chocolate tasting. Check out their website here for tours.
Insider Tip: If you’re looking for tasty gift ideas, Hummingbird has an assortment of gift boxes of their amazing chocolate bars.
North Folk Cafe
In the heart of Perth is a café that blends an earthy boho chic atmosphere with a fun Instagrammable vibe. That café is North Folk!
With a warm colour palate, a springling of plants and the friendliest of staff, North Folk Cafe is one of the cutest Perth restaurants! The café serves up a selection of light fare including sandwiches, pastries, soup and more. Plus, from spring through fall they have handcrafted gelato available!
As with many coffee shops in Lanark County, North Folk uses a local coffee roaster. At North Folk Cafe you’ll find Might Valley from Smith Falls brewing.
Another reason that makes North Folk a fun place to eat in Perth is that they offer a high tea experience. On weekends in the summer, visitors can book a high tea. It’s a classic high tea that includes tea, mini sandwiches, and desserts.
In addition to the tasty offerings of the Cafe, they also sell a variety of unique gift items and local goods. On the shelves you’ll find an assortment of art by local artists, local honey, jams, and more.
Insider Tip: North Folk Cafe was founded by the same incredible woman who created the local Artizen Kombucha. It’s available to buy in the cafe and I highly recommend the Raspberry Hibiscus flavour!
The Good Food Company
In a colourful café in downtown Carleton Place lies another of the best places to eat in Lanark County, the Good Food Company!
The vibrant colours of the outside draw you in. But it’s the warmth of the food and service inside that keeps bringing folks back again and again to this Lanark County restaurant.
The Good Food Company is dedicated to producing a hyper locally inspired menu. Using local producers and seasonal ingredients every dish is prepared from scratch. You can taste the love and local freshness in every bite.
They use Lanark County maple syrup from Stead’s and honey from Matos Apiary. Even their coffee is local from Fluid Solar Roasted Coffee!
You’ll find a range of breakfast and lunch options on the menu. There’s everything from egg combos to breakfast bowls and sandwiches. Plus, many of the menu options can be made vegan or vegetarian.
If you don’t have time to dine in, they offer a selection of ready to go meals in their fridge. They also make an array of delicious sweet and savoury baked goods. Their scones are my favourite!
Wheelers Pancake House
One of the best Lanark County restaurants to serve up a breakfast fit to top with local maple syrup is Wheelers Pancake House!
Named a National Historic Site, Wheelers also holds the Guinness World Record for the largest collection of maple artifacts. Plus, it’s named as one of the top maple experiences in Canada by Canadian Geographic.
This family friendly destination has plenty to offer visitors! Located off the rural back roads of Lanark County, Wheelers is on a sprawling property that includes the Pancake House, a Maple Heritage Museum, and more.
With 30,000 trees tapped across 1000 acres, it’s the largest maple operation in Ontario. This multi-generation family owned and operated sugar bush has been tapping for over 40 years.
The Wheelers Pancake House is a massive hall that oozes cozy log cabin vibes. They serve classic breakfast options like pancakes and French toast, made from their family recipe.
I ordered the ‘Little Bear’ meal, which came with one pancake and one sausage. Their signature maple sausages are a must try along with their pancakes. Made on site, the sausages are flavoured with their pure maple syrup. Don’t forget to smother all of the food with the sweet golden maple syrup!
The Little German Bakery
After craving traditional hearty German bread and not being able to find it, owner Doris Whelan started making her own. The Little German Bakery, established in 2016, started selling at farmers markets in Eastern Ontario.
Now, you can pop into their busy shop in downtown Carleton Place! The bakery, located across the street from the Grand Hotel, is one of the best places to visit in Carleton Place.
Inside you’ll find an assortment of breads, pastries, pretzels, and more! One of the top sellers are their pretzels! Warm and soft but full of fuel, it’s the perfect snack. In addition to traditional pretzels, they make a variety of others that include cheese, spinach and feta, banana pepper, and cinnamon. Plus, if you’re really hungry, order one of their pretzel dogs. It’s a smoked farmers sausage wrapped in a pretzel!
For those with a sweet tooth, I highly recommend one of their Berliners! These German jelly doughnuts are another popular item at the Little German Bakery. I also love their fresh apple fritters!
Insider Tip: The Little German Bakery opens at 8am Wednesday to Saturday. If you want the full selection, I highly recommend visiting before 10am.
Keepers Coffee Bar
Every Lanark County road trip isn’t complete without a stop in Pakenham! This small village is located 15 minutes north of Almonte.
In the heart of downtown Pakenham is one of the coolest coffee shops in Ontario – Keepers Coffee Bar! Set in a charming yellow building, this coffee shop oozes magical vibes as soon as you enter.
The shelves are lined with plants, local artisan products and vintage finds. This eco-conscious shop celebrates fair trade vendors and local makers. Plus, they serve locally roasted Snark Coffee from Arnprior.
Emily Prospero, the lovely owner, baker and fellow espresso nut is committed to sustainability. Take out coffee cups are compostable. And the whole coffee shop is utilizes vintage and second hand equipment and furniture. Her fridge is a 70 year old Westinghouse and the display counter is reclaimed from an old church.
Vegan and gluten-free folks looking for great places to eat in Lanark County, pop into Keepers Coffee Bar. With a menu full of delicious vegan baked goods and a couple of gluten free options, I recommend stocking up.
I love the Espresso brownie that’s made with the locally roasted espresso beans from Snark.
Best Places to Drink in Lanark County on the Sip and Savour Trail
Lanark County is also home to one of Ontario’s most unique distilleries, Dairy Distillery! Located in Almonte, this Mississippi Mills gem makes spirits out of milk.
I was blown away when I popped in to learn about the process. You can peek in their state-of-the-art facility, with its German copper stills, through the massive windows at the front of the shop. Inside they utilize an unused milk sugar to craft into their incredible spirits with the perfect name – Vodkow!
Beyond the fact that their drinks are made from cow’s milk, sourced from a local Ontario dairy farm, another amazing byproduct of that is that it helps reduce waste. By using the discarded milk sugar, they are essentially recycling agricultural waste. Who knew drinking could be environmentally friendly!?
And this is only a slice of how sustainable this company is. Learn more about their sustainability practices here.
Dairy Distillery has partnered with other iconic Lanark County businesses to create what they’ve dubbed their Friendship series.
For their Chocolate Cream Liquor, they use Hummingbird Chocolate. My favourite was their Coffee Cream Liquor, which is made with Equator Coffee. Plus, they have a Maple Cream Liquor that’s made with Fulton’s Maple Syrup.
To sample their deliciously smooth spirits, pop into the distillery where you can try them for free. Plus, there’s also a Vodkow Bar! Sit at the copper bar or at maple tables from Fulton’s and enjoy a fun cocktail.
Insider Tip: If you want to learn more about how the process works and Dairy Distillery, they run tours. Guided tours are available on Saturdays and must be booked in advance here.
Coffee aficionados will be delighted to know that one of the best coffee roasters in Ontario is located in Lanark County.
In the picturesque town of Almonte is Equator Coffee Roasters. With 25 years of roasting fair-trade, organic coffee, this passionate coffee house is a must visit.
The spacious Equator Coffee shop in Almonte is the perfect place to meet with friends or be fueled to get some work done. Along with their incredible coffee blends, they serve a variety of baked goods to savour with your coffee.
Equator Coffee Roasters also runs tours every Saturday morning! These tours are a great way to learn more about the company, like the story behind the name. They also are the perfect way to get educated on the importance of Fair Trade coffee.
Taking one of the tours is one of the top things to do in Almonte! In addition to the tour, you’ll also get to enjoy a coffee tasting and a bag of coffee.
Bridge Masters Brewing Company
One of the coolest breweries in Lanark County is in Perth. Set at the food of the oldest metal swing bridge in Canada is Bridge Masters Brewing Company.
Paying homage to the bridge and its history, you’ll find many of their beers have fun names like Single Swinger and Steamer Cream Ale. With a variety of great options on tap, if you can’t decide, try a flight. Or order up their popular Walk Don’t Run!
Inside you’ll find a cool industrial vibe with exposed brick walls as well as casual tables and cozy couches. Plus, outside they have a fabulous riverside patio overlooking the Tay River.
Bridge Masters Brewing Company also has an incredible food menu to pair with your pints! The menu has all the classic brewery food items like pretzels, mini pizzas and Oktoberfest sausages. Plus, it features solid options like a Bison Burger and Braised Beef Sliders.
Cartwright Springs Brewery
Five minutes west of downtown Pakenham is one of the most unique breweries in Lanark County. Cartwright Springs Brewery is all about environmentally friendly practices.
Cartwright Springs Brewery uses fresh spring water that comes from an artesian well, which is located steps from the door to the brewery. The spring water makes a huge difference in the flavour of their beers.
The list of brews is full of refreshing options like Kinburn Honey Lager, Ginger Ale and I’d Tap That. Plus, like many businesses in Lanark County, they utilize local producers. The honey for their Kinburn Honey Lager comes from a local bee keeper.
In true Lanark County tradition, they also make a Maple Porter. Instead of water, it’s made entirely from maple sap! It’s a must in the spring!
The brewery is so much more than just a place to grab a beer. The property is home to walking trails that are great to wander year-round. Or you can grab a snack from their outdoor kitchen in the summer to enjoy a beer picnic.
Plus, if you’re looking for cheap place to stay in the area, Cartwright Springs Brewery has campsites available. Sites offer everything from scenic views to a volleyball court.
More Tasty Stops on the Sip & Savour Trail in Lanark County
In the heart of Carleton Place is one of the best places to eat in Lanark County on the water, the Waterfront Gastropub!
Perched along the Mississippi River, the pub is set in one of the many historic buildings in town. Dating to 1860, this old tannery is built of stone and offers a cozy pub atmosphere inside, with a black spiral staircase.
But the best seat in the house is on the patio, under one of the green umbrellas. The patio at the Waterfront Gastropub offers incredible views of the river and the stunning Town Hall.
This new stop on the trail, serves up classic home cooked pub grub. They’re known to have the biggest selection of beer in town. You’ll find popular beers as well as local Ontario brands, and Carleton Place’s Braumeister.
At the Waterfront Gastropub you’ll get to enjoy good food and good music. They host a variety of local artists and bands playing live music most nights.
Perth Cheese Shop
Another fantastic stop on the Sip and Savour Lanark County Trail is the Perth Cheese Shop! Located in the prettiest town in Ontario, its no surprise that with an attraction like the Mammoth Cheese, that Perth has a cheese shop!
The Perth Cheese Shop is set in the Old Mill, just off Gore Street. Walking through the doors you’ll find yourself in the Willy Wonka of cheese shops!
Along with renowned cheese from around the world, the Perth Cheese Shop has a heavy focus on local producers too. You’ll find all the best Ontario cheeses, like Back Forty, Mountain Oak, and Stonetown.
In addition to fine cheeses, the shop has an assortment of cured sausages, like local Seed to Sausage, as well as other tasty treats. The shelves are filled with jams, preserves, local chocolate, and locally made charcuterie boards.
So, whether you’re looking for a tasty brick of cheese to bring home or for a curated charcuterie board, be sure to pop into the Perth Cheese Shop.
Tea and Cake
One of the most adorable restaurants in Almonte is Tea and Cake! Located on Bridge Street, Tea and Cake is a lovely British-style tearoom.
Whether you’re looking for a quiet place to eat some lunch or enjoy a spot of tea, Tea and Cake delivers! They serve a local Ontario tea, Pluck Tea, which is a premium tea maker in Toronto. You’ll find a variety of tea choices, but a few great picks are Georgian Bay Berry and Chai Spice.
The menu at Tea and Cake includes breakfast and lunch options. They make delicious sandwiches and baked goods, if you’re looking for something light. Plus, they also have take-out meals to go too!
For the one of the loveliest afternoon teas in the province, Tea and Cake offers a classic spread on a three-tiered platter. Paired with a pot of tea and delicate China tea cup, you’ll receive a selection of finger sandwiches, sweet treats, and more. And at a fantastic price!
Insider Tip: For their afternoon tea service, call ahead to book it. We recommend at least 24 hours before.
Perth Chocolate Works
Chocolate lovers will love another sweet stop on the Sip and Savour Trail in Lanark County – Perth Chocolate Works.
The chocolate shop is located in the historic Code’s Mill in downtown Perth. The stone complex dates to 1842 and is home to an array of specialty shops and restaurant.
Perth Chocolate Works is a family-owned company that started on Manitoulin Island. With a passion for chocolate, they expanded to their second location in Perth.
Inside the shop you’ll find a wide assortment of artisan chocolates and sweet confections. You’ll find everything from bars to barks and chocolate drizzle popcorn.
Best known for their incredible spread of chocolate pieces, a few favourites are their Orange Meltaway and Mango, which is made with real mango puree. Plus, they source local ingredients as much as possible, like Temple’s Maple Products for their amazing Signature Maple Cream Chocolates.
Insider Tip: If you’re visiting during the week, check out the sweet magic chocolate-making process in action! Around the corner from the shop, visitors can watch the chocolatiers crafting the chocolate through huge windows looking into their kitchen.
Fulton’s Sugar Bush and Maple Shop
Another one of the best maple shops in Lanark County is Fulton’s Sugar Bush! This multi-generation farm has been tapping sugar maple trees since the 1840s. With over 170 of maple in their genes, this family knows maple!
Fulton’s Sugar Bush is located 10 minutes outside downtown Pakenham. Their peak season is in the spring during maple season. Between mid-February and mid-April, you can visit for the full maple syrup experience.
Along with maple taffy tasting and horse drawn sleigh rides, visitors can explore the 400-acre farm via their 8 km of trails.
However, the Fulton’s Maple Shop is open year-round for all your maple syrup needs! In their large store you’ll find a wide range of products. There’s everything from the classic Fulton’s Organic Maple Syrup to maple bath and body products.
Fulton’s has partnered with other Lanark County food and drink businesses. Partnering with Hummingbird Chocolate and Equator Coffee they’ve created infused maple syrup blends. I highly recommend picking up a couple of theses bottles of infused maple syrup for the perfect blend of Lanark County flavours.
Insider Tip: Fulton’s Maple Shop is open Tuesday and Friday from 10am to 3pm.
The Pickled Pig
If you’re looking for places to eat in Smith Falls then head downtown to the Picked Pig. Along with a fun name this sandwich shop makes the best in town!
The Pickled Pig serves made to order deli sandwiches that come in all sorts of tasty forms. A few notable ones are their Spicy Spicy and The Tom!
What makes the Pickled Pig a great stop on the Sip and Savour Trail is that they use a variety of local produces. For deli meats, a couple of delicious local varieties include Seed to Sausage and Niagara prosciutto. As for artisan cheeses, you’ll find incredible ones like Back Forty and Mountain Oak cheeses.
All that amazing local meat and cheese is stacked high on fresh artisan bread. And stacked is right! These sandwiches will help keep you fueled, especially if you’re travelling the county by bike!
In addition to their epic sandwiches, the Pickled Pig sells an assortment of locally made pastries. Or if you’re planning a picnic with friends or family, try one of their charcuterie boards for all the local Ontario flavours!
Tips for Enjoying the Sip and Savour Trail
Plan Ahead – With so many stops on the Sip and Savour Trail, I recommend browsing the list of places before you head off. Make a list of your top choices that you absolutely want to visit. Then make a secondary list of others you’d like to check out if you have time. Plus, because they are scattered throughout Lanark County, its essential to make note of travel times between each.
Bring a Cooler – Packing a cooler is the most important tip! There are so many tasty treats, like chocolate, and bringing a cooler helps ensure your food makes it safe home.
Make it Road Trip – Plan to stay a few days in Lanark County to help maximize the amount of time you have to explore all of the incredible Sip and Savour Trail stops. Spending more time in the area also gives you time to enjoy all of the fun things to do and see.
Check Opening Hours – Not all of the businesses on the Sip and Savour Trail are open every day of the week. Some are only open seasonally. Checking opening hours before you go ensures you don’t miss out on your must-visit spots.
Best Time to Visit – The best time to visit Lanark County and take part in the Sip and Savour Trail is spring, during maple syrup season. Spring mean all of the sugar bushes are open to the public. However, anytime of year is a good time to visit as there’s always seasonal food options. Another great time to visit is in the fall for the harvest season.
If you’re looking for a fabulous foodie destination in Ontario then Lanark County is what you’re after! Best known for maple syrup, the county has a rich ethos in eating local with numerous farm to table restaurants. And if you’re looking to narrow down the best places to eat in Lanark County, then the Sip and Savour Trail helps steer you in the right direction.
Disclaimer: This post is created in partnership with Lanark County. While I was paid for my time, all opinions expressed are my own.