Ontario cottage country is large and vast, filled with charming small towns that have excellent breakfast stops for cottagers and even day trippers. But with so many options available, which places should you hit up first? We’ve compiled a list of some of the best breakfast spots across Ontario’s most popular cottaging regions.
Durham Café – Lindsay, Ontario
This all-day breakfast spot is a quintessential small town restaurant and has been a local hangout for more than 20 years. The atmosphere is loud and busy in the friendliest possible way—the kind of place you can feel comfortable bringing the whole family without worrying that your rowdy children might disturb other diners. The food is greasy spoon style, but the quality is excellent. Standout dishes include eggs benedict with smoked salmon, corn beef hash, and drunken strawberry crepes.
Kosy Korner – Haliburton, Ontario
Since 1935 the Kosy Korner has been a staple of the Haliburton community. With breakfast options going for as low $3, it’s down-home cooking for great value. The portions are big, the coffee is tasty and bottomless, and if you can snag a window seat, you’ll have a lovely view of Head Lake. Try the Sweet Tooth breakfast special, with pancakes made from local red fife flour, or any of the omelet options. Breakfast is served until close at 7 p.m.
The Hoito – Thunder Bay, Ontario
Thunder Bay has a heavy Finnish population, so much so, in fact, that it’s one of the largest Finnish-speaking communities outside of Finland itself. So it makes perfect sense that The Hoito, a Finnish-Canadian restaurant located in the basement of the historic Finnish labour temple, has became an iconic breakfast joint. The Hoito (which means ‘care’ in Finnish) has been open for business since 1818, with a wide variety of items on their menu, but the only thing on your mind should be their phenomenal Finnish-style pancakes. These dinner plate sized treats are deliciously thin, crispy on the outside, and perfectly fluffy and creamy on the inside. Try them with eggs, bacon or sausage, or skip all the frills and stick with syrup. If you’re looking for a second item, order some rye bread toast, baked fresh at the Kivela bakery next door.
The Country Gourmet Café – Parry Sound, Ontario
This restaurant is a nice balance of down-home cooking mixed with elevated cuisine. Everything is fresh and made in house, and the atmosphere is more sedated and quiet than your typical breakfast joint. It’s the perfect option for people who prefer a little less chaos with their quiche. But the best part about dining here is the art galley in the back that features a rotating selection of work by painters, photographers, and other artists. There are lots of beautiful things to study while you’re waiting for your order to come up. The Café is also well stocked with delicious artisan products you can take home with you, including the famous organic jam producer, Crofters.
Pat and Kevin’s on the Square – Goderich, Ontario
This popular barbecue joint serves a killer Sunday brunch, which is basically breakfast anyway, and it’s too delicious not to include on this list! They do it up right with build your own omelet and crepe bars, an incredible breakfast sandwich, and even their own brand of coffee that’s brewed locally. The menus are fun and whimsical, designed in comic book style with 1950s style cartoons depicting each option. Kevin Morrison, one of the owners, was recently elected as the Mayor of Goderich so you might find yourself rubbing elbows with local big wigs while you chow down.
Fresh Kutz Market and Grill – Bracebridge, Ontario
This breakfast hot spot doubles as a butcher shop and meat is definitely the name of the game here. Meals are hearty, the portions are large, and the prices are great. There are tons of egg combos, breakfasts sandwiches, and omelets, but it would be a crime to come in here without sampling their famous peameal bacon. It’s thick, juicy and definitely the star of the show.
Mirrors Café and Lounge – Bancroft, Ontario
Mirrors, an upbeat and trendy restaurant that serves breakfast on weekends, is lakeside dining at its sweetest. The restaurant is styled like a quaint little cottage, but there’s lots of space between tables, so you’ll get that nice cozy feeling without banging elbows with other patrons. The view of Lake Paudash is incredible and in the summertime you can eat out on the patio, just 25 feet from the water. If you cottage on the lake, you can drive the boat over and dock it right outside the restaurant. Mirrors serves classic breakfast food with a little more pizzaz: an excellent eggs benedict and a build-your-own-omelet bar.