Stopping for a bite is part of the fun – don’t forget to plan your road trip route with one of these stops in mind.
On the first warm days of the year, it’s hard not to think about road trips and the milestones we mark on the way to our summer haunts: steaming salty French fries on the way up to the lake; our favourite flavours of scooped ice cream at the general store. The sights and sounds of summer are one thing, the tastes are quite another.
Well before social distancing was the norm, roadside food stands passed their tried-and-true menu items to eager hands over the counters and out of the windows of ice cream shops and chip trucks. While we’re getting used to curbside pickup for other types of products, we know that the roadside food experience is one that’s likely to stay very much the same.
Below are a few spots we’re dreaming about stopping at this season in Hastings County. Some are open now, and some will be starting up later in the season: be sure to check online when you’re planning your visit.
30 W Front Street, Stirling, ON
Opening Late June, 2020
Stop For: Hard Ice Cream, Milkshakes and More
Started by a young entrepreneur, The Scoop is now a mainstay on Front Street in Stirling. It’s the perfect spot to stop as you pop in and out of shops on a leisurely stroll.
3346 Stirling-Marmora Road, Stirling, ON
Stop For: Friendly Smiles from the Farm Team and Delicious Ingredients To-Go
You might expect the best part about this farm store to be the gelato, the fresh mozzarella di bufala, or the tasty jerky – but once you drive up to the entrance, you’ll realize it’s the herds of sun-loving water buffalo dotting the surrounding fields that make for an experience that can’t be beat.
2 Matthew Street (HWY 7), Marmora, ON
Stop For: Family-Sized Takeaway Chicken Meals
If the tagline “Come and Get It!” isn’t enough to have you dreaming of chip truck fare, consider Kampfire Kitchens’ family-sized rotisserie chicken meals, the truck’s other calling card. Options abound to suit your fancy, but it’s not every chip truck that boasts a 9-piece meal with fries, salads and gravy for just $35.
59 Durham Street S, Madoc, ON
Stop For: Ice Cream and Baked Goods
The Hidden Goldmine has long been a requisite roadside stop for baked treats, but did you know about the Malt Shoppe window? It’s a better-kept secret than their now famous butter tarts.
203 Russell Street, Madoc, ON
Stop For: Family-Friendly Take Out Fare
A local favourite for breakfast, lunch and dinner, the Madoc Dairy is starting the 2020 season off with a take-out window to serve up their famous wedge fries and ice cream goodies – from soft serve and Kawartha Dairy hard ice cream to milkshakes and sundaes!
2-14 Seymour Street W, Madoc, ON
It’s not uncommon to see skaters from across the province dropping into the biggest and best skate park in the region. The Madoc Skate Park is a great place for the family to stretch their legs for a while, get some fresh air, and grab a cone or a snack on a sunny day.
6 Weslemkoon Lake Road, Gilmour, ON
Reopening Mid-June, 2020
Stop For: Road Trip Food and Scoops
The Rock Cut will look a little different than usual this season, as the indoor space will remain closed off for Summer 2020. Instead, they’re offering open-air BBQ eats including hot dogs, sammies and sausages at the same location.
563 The Ridge Road, Coe Hill, ON
Stop For: Cottage-Friendly Snacks and Ice Cream
Your classic seasonal cottage community go-to keeps burgers, pulled pork, and even POGO’s on offer at their take-out counter. Just what you’ll need after a day of exploring Wollaston Lake by stand up paddle board.
5543 Highway 620, Coe Hill, ON
Stop For: Gelato and Picnic Supplies
Grab everything you need for a lakeside lunch at The Barn Chefs. Check the restaurant’s Facebook page for daily and weekly specials (like the Saturday feature, wood-fired pizza pie!) They’ll also hook you up with supplies for the cottage barbecue meal of your dreams, like handmade sausages and mustards, and a slick of gelato to whet your appetite.
29572 Highway 28, Bancroft, ON
Stop For: Scoops on Scoops on Scoops
Count on this scoop shop to be there for you year-round, from long weekends and holidays during the high season to a little taste of summer on a winter’s day. Our favourite? Bordeaux Cherry – but you can’t go wrong with Classic Maple Walnut or Butter Pecan.
220 Hastings Street N, Bancroft, ON
Stop For: Fresh Fish, Battered and Fried to Perfection
Homemade goodness – right down to the iced tea and lemonade. For the Halibut keeps a simple menu full of East Coast favourites. Check out their Facebook page for updates and stories about the inspiration behind FTH’s menu items. Gluten-free foodies will be pleased to know they can enjoy crispy, battered fish here, too.
198 Hastings Street N, Bancroft, ON
Stop For: Crunchy Fries and Fresh Cheese Curds
In order to maintain safe-distance pickups, this chip wagon offers call-ahead ordering (613-332-8648) so that your meal is hot and ready when you arrive. You’ll find chip truck favourites alongside specialties like the gyro wrap and smoked meat sandwich.
**INSIDER TIP: Stop by Barn & Country Catering‘s new food truck at 6992 Highway 62 (just north of Belleville, ON) for tasty stuffed cheeseburger sliders!
MORE REASONS TO EXPLORE HASTINGS
- Ultimate Craft Beer, Cider & Wine Tour
- Marmora By Bike: Three Ways to Explore
- Stirling Water Buffalo Food Festival
Laura Voskamp is a tourism-marketer-turned-small-business-owner who has lived in the Bay of Quinte region her whole life. She spends her screen-time breaks with her husband, riding their bikes around Hastings and Prince Edward counties to find the best gravel backroads.