Casual, friendly food trucks (and their slightly more permanent cousins, food stands and chip wagons) are tailor-made for cottage living—you get the fun of eating out with none of the fuss. Eat standing up, eat at a picnic table, or pile back into your car and drive somewhere scenic and enjoy a wide range of both familiar and unexpected foods. Here are some of your favourite food trucks and stands in cottage country.
If you haven’t had a flavourful, juicy, crunchy-edged smash burger yet, the Burger Guru is a good place to start. Eleven different burgers—which include toppings like blue cheese, sauteed mushrooms, caramelized onions, and pulled pork—join fried chicken, pulled pork, grilled cheese, sausages, and poutine on Burger Guru’s menu. If you’re in the mood for something sweet, try one of their milkshakes, or go for their Smoring Me To Death grilled sandwich: mini marshmallows, graham cracker crumbs and milk chocolate.
Naturally, fries and poutine are top of the menu at the Chip Pit, but there’s lots more choice as well. Pair your fries with a pogo, hot dog, or sausage, or try a burger, the chicken fingers, or fish and chips. As a bonus, their spot on Pembroke St. in Cobden features a nice view over Muskrat Lake—a perfect place to stop before or after going fishing.
Fish and chips is the thing to order at Kelly’s Fish and Chips, a community favourite in Sunderland. Generous portions and super friendly service keep people coming back to Kelly’s, which, along with burgers and other traditional food stand fare, also boasts popular poutine and limited-time “Fries Supreme,” a decadent combo of fries, ground beef, cheese sauce, diced tomatoes, and sour cream.
Serving Muskoka for more than 21 years, Shelby’s bright pink chip wagon has had some impressive visitors, including the CBC radio show “The Vinyl Cafe,” Megan Follows, and Sarah McLachlan—and Shelby’s has been voted folks’ favourite food truck in Muskoka. Along with fresh-cut fries, they have some creative poutine flavours, including Buffalo chicken, which is topped with crispy Buffalo chicken and Buffalo sauce, and pickle lovers, which is topped with dill pickle chips, ranch dressing and fresh dill pickles.
If you’ve got a craving for tacos (or burritos, or fries covered in taco toppings) the Taco Stop in Huntsville is your destination. Available in flour or corn tortillas, fresh taco options include jackfruit or rice and beans (perfect for vegans), shrimp, fish, chicken, beef, and more. To wash down all the deliciousness, try a bottle of Jarritos Mexican soda, which comes in a range of fruit flavours. While you nosh, enjoy peaceful views of the Muskoka River from Taco Stop’s bright picnic tables.
Looking for great grilled cheese, some chill vibes, and great, groan-worthy plays-on-words? Check out Cheesus Murphy and the Grateful Bread. These sandwiches go way beyond a cheese slice on white bread—try the Lard Tunderin’ Cheesus, a variation on a traditional Cuban sandwich with ham, pickles, three kinds of cheese, and ranch dressing. Be on the lookout for specials not on their posted menu, like (gasp) smoked or deep-fried cheesecake.
Do you want a wee taste of the east coast in a food stand? The Shed in Petawawa serves donairs and flavours of Crush soda popular in the Maritimes, including pineapple, lime, and birch beer, along with other east coast treats. Add a menu with a range of poutine toppings and different varieties of hot dogs (including one topped with Hickory Sticks) and you’ve got a great, unique flavour experience.
Tristan’s Tasty Eatz food truck has a large menu for a food stand, including burgers, poutine, sandwiches and (somewhat unusually) salads. According to reviewers, this Huntsville fixture offers “the best burgers and poutine this side of the Rhine.” Particularly popular dishes include the Dragon’s Breakfast Poutine, which, along with the usual gravy and cheese curds, is topped with smoked brisket and bacon, crispy, and caramelized onions, and bbq sauce, and the Phoenix chicken burger, which comes with seasoning, smoked bacon, mozzarella, and chipotle mayo.
Smokin’ Chip Wagon has burgers, fries, fish and chips, gyros, and hot dogs, but what puts them on the map is their poutine—especially when it’s topped with their Montreal-style smoked meat. This food truck gets particular kudos from their fans for their tasty gravy, peeled fries, and real cheese curds.
Silver Bullet is a Sudbury fixture—so much so that they’ve opened a second location, Silver Bullet 2.0. While fries are a fan favourite, their burgers are also pretty amazing: homemade grilled patties with high-quality, simple toppings like bacon or cheese. Silver Bullet sources their ingredients locally and is especially known for super generous, delicious portions, especially of their poutine.