Are you looking for the best gift ideas from Ontario food producers for the foodie in your life? Well, we’ve got the ultimate Ontario foodie gift guide for you! After years of eating and drinking our way across Ontario, we’ve put in the belly stretching to help put together a list of the best Ontario made items.
Eating and shopping local is a fantastic way to support small businesses and ensure your money goes back into the community. Plus, purchasing gifts for friends and loved ones that are made in Ontario shows you care.
So, whether you’re looking for sweet treats to give for Christmas or fun experiences for the birthday girl in your life, you’ll find it on our list of the best Ontario gift ideas for foodies!
The Best Ontario Gift Ideas for Foodies
Across the province are a wealth of local businesses selling amazing Ontario foodie gifts! We’ve rounded up some of our favourite places in Ontario that sell chocolates, coffee, wine, and other fun items.
Rheo Thompson Candies
Topping our Ontario foodie gift guide is Rheo Thompson Candies. In business since 1969, Rheo Thompson is a staple in the Ontario chocolates scene.
Rheo Thompson Candies is located in Stratford and best known for their signature Mint Smoothies. However, this family owned and operated company makes over 150 products. Their chocolates make amazing artisan food gifts, with most being crafted by hand.
In addition to their sweet chocolate line up, Rheo Thompson has an array of candies and confections. You’ll also find an assortment of sugar free and dairy free products too.
If you can’t make it to Stratford to stock up on chocolate gifts, don’t worry. They offer shipping within Canada and the USA. With a variety of fun and tasty gift package option on their site, the only problem will be deciding which one you’ll also buy for yourself!
Insider Tip: One of the best Ontario food gifts for Christmas is the Rheo Thompson advent calendar! Behind every date is another incredible Mint Smoothie chocolate.
Reunion Coffee Roasters
We love our coffee here at Eat Local Ontario! So, it’s no surprise that we think one of the best gifts is the gift of coffee!
One of the best coffee roasters in Ontario is Reunion Coffee. As one of the original members of Fair Trade Canada, they are dedicated to sustainability and ethical business practices. In fact, their roasting facility is one of the largest in Canada that’s powered by renewable energy.
With a flagship coffee shop in Toronto’s Roncesvalles neighbourhood, Reunion Coffee also ships across Canada. A great incentive to buy for all your coffee friends is that they offer free shipping to numerous locations for orders over a certain price. Or you can purchase a gift certificate.
My go-to blend is their Bullet Espresso. Along with the great taste, I love that a portion of the sales helps saves women’s lives in Ethiopia and Kenya from cervical cancer. Reunion Coffee partners with various organizations around the world through their Coffee with Impact campaigns.
If you’re looking for a great bag of coffee to give this Christmas, get a bag of their limited edition of their Holiday Giving Coffee Privateer blend. This dark roast has a flavour profile that’s balanced with smoky and burnt marshmallow. And the best part is that a tree is planted in Sub-Saharan Africa for every bag purchased.
One of the best Ontario gift ideas for foodies is the sweet gold – Maple Syrup! The province is packed full of amazing maple syrup producers but we recommend Wheelers Maple Syrup.
Wheelers is the largest maple operation in Ontario with 30,000 tapped trees on their massive property. Plus, they know quality maple syrup. They’ve been tapping for over 40 years!
You can purchase a variety of sizes of maple syrup from their website. Plus, if you are shipping your gift directly, they offer the option to include a note.
However, we recommend visiting Wheelers to purchase your maple syrup gift! This family owned and operated sugar bush is home to one of the best places to eat in Lanark County, Wheelers Pancake House.
In addition to a pancake breakfast, Wheelers is full of things to do. This National Historic Site is home to the largest collection of maple artifacts. And holds the Guiness World Record for their collection!
Another one of the best chocolate shops is Hummingbird Chocolate. You’ll find Hummingbird’s factory in the town of Almonte, an hour west of Ottawa. In addition to the massive chocolate factory, there’s a large shop and café.
Hummingbird Chocolate is one of the few producers that make their chocolate directly from the beans. With a strong commitment to the farmers that grow the beans, all of their quality cacao beans are ethically sourced.
The bean to bar line up of award-winning chocolate bars at Hummingbird make for great gift ideas from Ontario food producers. Flavours are bountiful and include everything from peppermint to candied ginger. My favourite is their Maple Chocolate Bar, which is made with local Lanark County maple syrup. Another fabulous bar to try is the Mayan chocolate bar, which has a hint of spice.
Along with their amazing chocolate bars, Hummingbird also sells a variety of confections. There’s chocolate covered cherries and orange slices, as well as peanut butter cups and even chocolate salami.
With so many fantastic flavours to choose from it can be daunting to choose with one. Don’t worry! Hummingbird takes the guessing out of the equation with their gift sets. There’s a number of different ones to choose from. Some contain various chocolate bar flavours and others include their chocolate covered line up.
For over a decade, Copperpot Nuts has helped put the charming small town of Coldwater on the radar of day trippers. This quirky little town is home to the best nuts in Ontario!
Copperpot Nuts slow roasts natural nuts in small batches and sources many local ingredients. Once roasted to perfection, they package the nuts by hand.
After starting with three varieties of beer nuts, they now sell over nine tasty flavours. My favourite two are the Maple Roasted Almonds and the Pecan Beer Nuts. Beyond the traditional flavours, a few fun ones are dill pickle, coconut curry and sweet chilli.
Depending on the time of year, they also make fun seasonal flavoured nuts. There’s everything from pumpkin spice to gingerbread. Plus, if you’re looking for gift sets, they have a few collections to choose from. But any of their bags make the perfect stocking stuffs!
In addition to their nuts, you’ll find an array of other fun items for sale. They have squirrel ornaments and squirrel greeting cards. From local producers, there’s Backwoods Maple Syrup and Adams Honey.
If you can’t make the trip into the shop in Coldwater, Copperpot Nuts also has an online shop with shipping available.
Prince Edward County Wine
A popular Ontario gift idea is a fabulous bottle of wine. Many are familiar with Niagara as the province’s most popular wine region, but there’s another spot that really celebrate local. That wine region is Prince Edward County.
With over 40 wineries in Prince Edward County, one of the best is Karlo Estates. As the first certified vegan winery in the world, a bottle from them is a great gift for the vegan foodie in your life!
Karlo Estates offers a selection that includes the classics like Pinot Noir and Riesling. My favourite is their Little Bug White that’s named after the farm’s adorable cat.
Browsing their bottle shop you’ll also find the most famous wine from Karlo Estates, Sextus. Using old world methods, they craft what wine critics call the ‘unicorn’ of wine. Sextus wine blends all six Bordeaux original varieties, including Merlot, Malbec, Carménère.
Another winery that offers exceptional wine in the County is Closson Chase Winery. As one of the first wineries in the area, they know great wine.
Committed to sustainability, Closson is also vegan certified and home to an environmentally sustainable winemaking facility.
Two of the most popular wines from Closson Chase are their award-winning Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. I highly recommend their Vineyard Chardonnay!
Both wineries offer shipping throughout Ontario.
Birch Bark Coffee Company
Give the gift that serves incredible coffee to the recipient and also supports a First Nations brand. Birch Bark Coffee is a First Nations owned and operated company.
Founded by Mark Marsolais-Nahwegahbow, an Ojibway band member of Whitefish River First Nation on Manitoulin Island, their slogan is Coffee Making a Difference. Inspired by his Indigenous heritage he wanted to create a product that give back.
A portion of the profit of each bag of coffee help Indigenous families have access to clean drinking water. In addition to the water purification units purchased for these families, Mark’s goal is to also raise awareness of this devastating issue that affects Indigenous communities across Canada.
Birch Bark Coffee Company sells organic, fair trade, and Small Producer Symbol (SPP) certified coffee. There are six different blends to choose from that range from light to bold. My favourite is the Coureurs Des Bois, which is a medium roast.
One thing you’ll notice is that on each of the bags of coffee is a unique story. Each of the blends have names that celebrate various elements of Indigenous cultures. To accompany each of the bag’s distinct names is a story.
If you’re looking for unique gifts from Ontario for the coffee drinker in your life that give back, order a bag or two of Birch Bark Coffee.
Give the gift of recipes with an amazing Ontario cookbook! Yes, if you’re looking for a cookbook that focuses on Ontario fresh ingredients then order Peak Season by Deirdre Buryk.
Peak Season offers up 12 months of recipes that celebrate seasonal Ontario produce. Inside are over 100 tasty and accessible recipes for the freshest flavours from Ontario. Through the seasons, the cookbook shares a tractor full of tips and tricks for cooking with what’s in season.
For instance, in the spring, it shares how to prepare fiddleheads and how to make maple syrup. There’s everything from sweet desserts to savoury dishes. A few favourite recipes include Apple Cider Doughnuts, Garlic Mushroom Fiddlehead Frittata, and Pancetta Parsnip Gnocchi.
Who is this cookbook great for? Anyone who loves to cook and experiment with new foods. Plus, it makes a great gift for the person in your life committed to sustainability.
Pelee Island Wine
Did you know that the warmest grape growing region in Canada is right here in Ontario? In what is the most southernly area of Canada lies a lovely little island that has a history of winemaking that dates over 150 years.
That place is Pelee Island! The island is a hidden gem in the province and is home to Pelee Island Winery. With an over 700-acre farm on the island, they have the largest private estate winery in the country!
Being on one of the most ecologically sensitive areas in Ontario, the winery prides themselves on producing wines in an environmentally conscious way.
Pelee Island Winery sells everything from Rosé to Baco Noir as well as Ice Wine. One of their most popular wines is the Pelee Island Merlot. This dry, medium-bodied wine has hints of toasted oak, nuts and rip berry flavours.
In their online shop you’ll also find an assortment of bundles. There are ones full of award-winning wines as well as a bundle of three Pelee Island wines that comes with a charcuterie board kit.
For the environmentally friendly person in your life order the Pollinators Pack. It comes with three bottles from their Monarch series of wines and donates five dollars to support pollinator habitats on Pelee Island.
For the honey bear in your life there’s nothing sweeter than fresh Ontario honey! We use honey in a variety of ways, from sweetening tea to adding it to our breakfast bowl.
An award-winning honey producer in Ontario that has an assortment of unique foodie gift ideas is Dutchman’s Gold. This family run business started over 40 years ago selling bottled honey off their front porch and in local farmer’s markets.
Now, Dutchman’s Gold has two facilities in Ontario and offers an array of honey products that are available to ship worldwide.
Dutchman’s Gold sells is unpasteurized natural honey. Along with their raw honey, other popular products they sell include beeswax candles, skin care items, and royal jelly.
You can visit the Dutchman’s Gold Honey Shop in the small town of Carlislie, which is 25 minutes north of Hamilton. The shop features all of their farm fresh honey and other products. Plus, if you visit in the summer, you might luck out and be able to experience their hive.
A great gift idea is their Pure Canadian Honey Gift Set, which is available in store and online. The gift set contains five different Dutchman’s Gold honey products. It includes a jar of Raw Honey, Wildflower Honey, Buckwheat Honey, Summer Blossom Honey, and a honey dipper.
Top Local Experiences that Make Awesome Ontario Foodie Gifts
Beyond all the great gifts for foodies, another idea is to give the gift of experience. Whether you’re looking for a romantic gift for your partner or an exciting way to celebrate a friend’s birthday, these unique gifts from Ontario include great food to enjoy with great company!
Tasty Road Trips Tour
For a fun and dynamic gift that lets people eat and explore like a local book a Tasty Road Trips Tour! These self-guided tours take place in various charming small towns across southern Ontario. A few top locations include Paris, Norfolk County, and Cambridge.
If you’re looking for a great Ontario foodie gift for the friend or family member who also loves to travel, these are perfect! Each of the tours include various food stops where you can eat like a local. In addition, they offer suggestions on places to visit, like local shops, scenic spots and more.
Another tasty option from Tasty Road Trips is the CraveON box! These incredible boxes are filled with unique items made in Ontario. Items are sourced directly from small batch food creators, farmers, and bakers. CraveON boxes are an awesome idea for those looking for unique Ontario food gifts!
Bacon & Ale Trail
Surprise your foodie friends with one of the best food trails in Ontario, Stratford’s Bacon & Ale Trail! This fun self-guided trail lets the hungry visitor exchange vouchers for tasty bacon or ale inspired menu items at various restaurants in Stratford.
The Bacon & Ale Trail comes with 5 vouchers and a handy map detailing the participating locations as well as what they offer. Choose from 15 different shops and restaurants.
At each you’ll find an array of things to eat and drink. There’s everything from beer at Jobsite Brewing to bacon burgers at the Best Little Pork Shoppe.
Click here to find out the different locations where you can purchase the Bacon & Ale Trail or to get gift certificates online.
Naagan Dining Experience
One of the most unique Ontario gift ideas for foodies is the Naagan dining experience. Created by Chef Zach Keeshig, Naagan is a 9-course tasting menu of progressive Aboriginal cuisine.
The meal takes place in the historic Owen Sound Farmers Market building, and pairs masterful contemporary dishes with engaging storytelling. The menu features locally sourced ingredients from both local providers as well as foraged from the wilds of Ontario.
Booking a table with Chef Zach Keeshig for friends or family gives the gift of gourmet food made in Ontario. As well as a truly memorable experience!
Book an Afternoon Tea
Booking an afternoon tea is a lovely gift idea that allows you to spend quality time with the people you cherish. Sitting down for a couple of hours to chat over delicious scones and a warm cup of tea is priceless.
There are numerous tea rooms across the province to choose from. For a dreamy romantic afternoon tea, reserve a table at the Prince of Wales Hotel in Niagara on the Lake. A great budget-friendly one is the Maddie Hatter in Erin. And for an Instagrammable high tea with your best girlfriends’ head to Abigail’s Tea House in St. George.
Plus, many offer unique afternoon tea experiences around holidays and special occasions. An amazing Christmas gift for foodies is a Holiday Tea at the Fairmont Royal York in Toronto. During the fall, enjoy a Harvest High Tea at Blue Willow in Gravenhurst. Other holidays that are perfect for giving the gift of an afternoon tea are Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day.
C’est Bon Cooking Class
In the heart of Ottawa’s ByWard Market is C’est Bon Cooking. Established in 2009 by Chef Andrée Riffou, it offers in-person and virtual culinary classes. And if you’re looking for memorable Ontario foodie gifts, then book a class for the food lover in your life.
C’est Bon Cooking uses French cooking techniques through a wide assortment of unique cooking classes. You’ll find everything from pastry classes to ones highlighting international cuisine. In addition, one of the big reasons you should choose them is that they specialize in cuisine made with local ingredients and products.
One of the coolest classes is the Cuisines du Monde – Canada class. Don an apron with this three-hour hands-on signature experience. It celebrates Canadian food utilizing foraged and terroir ingredients.
Along with cooking classes, C’est Bon offers guided food tours in Ottawa. These tours are great for those who want to save their hands for eating, not cooking.
Give the gift of local next time you’re looking for fun gift ideas for the foodie in your life!