Best Spots to Eat Local in Barrie

Best Places to Eat Local Food in Barrie

With our abundance of farmers markets in the Barrie area, eating local in the summer is an easy and delicious task. Once winter arrives it can get a little harder and your creativity will have to come out. There are still plenty of options however, and with a little planning ahead you can provide yourself with canned, jarred or pickled fresh local foods to feast upon once the snows come.

Winter Farmers Markets

Winter meals have traditionally been focused on roasted vegetables, slow cooked stews, colourful veggies and fruit thawed out of the freezer, or preserved items. But where to find these items if you haven’t had time in the summer months to squirrel away your own supply? In our area there are two main farmers markets that stay open year round and simple move their goods indoors: the Barrie Farmers Market, and the Orillia Fairgrounds Farmers Market. At either of these places you’re able to find plenty of options to fill your winter pantry, as well as crisp fresh foods that are grown indoors that will help keep you healthy during the darker months.

At the Barrie Farmers Market, located in the City Hall rotunda on Saturdays 8am-12pm, you’ll be able to browse from over 42 different vendors including local farms, chefs, bakers and specialized artisans. What better way to celebrate the holidays and supporting your community than by giving locally made foods and gifts. The Orillia Fairgrounds Farmers Market is located near the entrance of the Agricultural Society on Saturdays from 8am-1pm. They have over 37 different vendors that provide a variety of local goods including vegetables, maple syrup, preserved goods, baked items and specialty made products such as soaps and woodworking.

What Local Foods Can I Buy In the Winter?

Sometimes it’s easy to forget that there are so many delicious local food options in the winter months, but taking a look at Foodland Ontario monthly availability guide will help you to plan before you head out to the farmers market. Many of these options come from indoor greenhouses, and by adding in these fresh items you’ll help to keep your immune system healthy and your taste buds from getting bored with stews and soups. Take a look through some of our recipes to find ways to incorporate local foods into your meals.

Even unexpected items like rhubarb are available fresh in Ontario from January to June. Called ‘forced winter rhubarb’, it used to be so common that at one point there were over 60 winter-rhubarb farmers in Ontario alone. Since the 1960’s the general public has forgotten about this tangy and crisp treat but it’s beginning to make a comeback. Grown indoors in darkened areas, the lack of sunlight means that it doesn’t develop it’s usual bitter taste, and stays red all the way through. A perfect mid-winter treat to bring out and amaze your family and friends.

Non-seasonal local foods like eggs, oils, honey, jams, maple syrup, fresh and cured meats, wine, cider and beers, cheeses, and fermented, canned or jarred foods are always available from Ontario farmers markets.

Farm-to-Table Restaurants

In the Simcoe and Barrie area there are several restaurants that serve dishes made using locally sourced ingredients. Why not spend your night out at an establishment that supports the community, the environment and your health.

Era67 is an Orillia based restaurant whose menu focuses on food that is in season and locally sourced whenever possible. They make all their dishes daily, do not use pre-packaged foods, and source their ingredients from local farmers markets and vendors.

Craving’s Fine Food & Market is a Barrie space that provides to-order foods and catering options. Their carefully curated menu uses local foods and in-season ingredients to create dishes that will satisfy everyone.

Ripe Juicery has two locations in Barrie, and one in Muskoka. They create cold pressed organic juices that strive to improve their customer’s health, and supports their local community by using local farm sourced ingredients.

Mad Craving’s is a modern bbq and bakery that creates mouth-watering foods from scratch using hormone and antibiotic free meats, and local produce from farms in the area.

The Globe Restaurant  is based out of Alliston and stays connected to its local farms and neighbours by using a farm-to-table menu inspired by seasonal food availability and sustainability.

Eat Local Year Round

Eating fresh and local year round doesn’t have to be impossible – even in our cold Canadian climate. From preserving your own local fruits and vegetables, to trips to the local farmers market, or a night out at a farm-to-table restaurant, you’ll be surprised at how easy eating local in the winter can be. We look forward to seeing you again at Barrie Hill Farms in the spring when our our farm market opens.

Top Recipes Featuring Locally Grown Ontario Foods

top-local-food- recipes-holiday-dinner

With the holidays and first day of winter coming up soon, there’s no better time to plan out a lovely dinner of local food recipes that will bring together your family and friends. From appetizers to dessert, we have all your local food bases covered in a delicious grouping of Ontario asparagus, strawberries, blueberries, and apples.

Ontario Strawberry and Blueberry Savoury Appetizers

It’s chilly outside, but your house is warm from the oven and filled with the mouth-watering scent of home cooked foods. Your family and friends arrive, cheeks red from the snow and ravenous from the drive – but don’t worry, you’re ready and waiting with two amazing appetizer options. The first is a Strawberry Jalapeno Salsa that pairs perfectly with your favourite cracker or some corn tortillas. It’s sweet and spicy flavours combine in a unique and tongue tingling way, and best of all you only need strawberries, Jalapeno, red onion, cilantro and lime.

If you think that your guests are amazed at your culinary prowess now, just wait until they see your Balsamic Blueberry Steak Crostinis. These delightful bite sized snacks are a perfect combination of sweet and savoury, and are completely customizable. This crostini recipe includes steak that’s as spiced as you want, your favourite soft cheese, a tangy green such as spinach or arugula, and an Ontario blueberry balsamic dressing. Not only does this dish make an impressive presentation and taste delicious, but the blueberries provide some amazing health benefits as well.

Ontario Apple and Asparagus Main Courses

Everyone has settled in by now, the wine and conversations are flowing and you’re ready to unveil the next dish – a winter chill-defying Asparagus, Spinach & Garlic Soup. This simple dish is made using only a few ingredients, but never fails to impress with it’s elegant presentation. You can add in milk or Ontario potatoes if you want to make it creamier or thicker, and the garlic in the recipe lends an extra savoury note to this humble but warming dish.

It’s time for the main event, and in a fresh twist on a classic dish you’ve prepared Oven Roasted Chicken with Apples & Grapes. The combination of meat and fruit will surprise not only your guests, but their taste buds as well. The addition of sweet Ontario apples and tart grapes brings out the natural flavours in your chicken and adds additional juiciness to the entire dish. This healthy and deceptively simple main course shows amazingly on your table and will definitely spark a conversation.

Nestled beside your chicken is the fantastically colourful Autumn Kale, Apple & Quinoa Salad that combines some of our favourite tasty superfoods. This salad looks complex but will only take you a couple minutes to prepare, and can be customized in a couple of ways to suit your taste. Barrie Hill Farms grows a variety of Ontario apples, all of which can be picked yourself from our fields. The Zestar! apple was chosen for this recipe because of its sweet-tart taste that can be compared to a Honey Crisp. It’s firm crisp flesh holds up very nicely if you want to make it ahead of time for dinner.

Local Strawberries for Holiday Desserts

Dinner is over and everyone is sated, smiling and nestled down by the fire to chat and laugh, but you’re not done yet! You have one last showstopper of a dish to finish out an amazing and delicious night: a Sugar-Free Strawberry topping. This super simple, three-ingredient dish is sugar free and can be eaten on its own or on top of any number of desserts. Pairs perfectly with a drink and some entertaining stories from the past.

Locally Grown Foods All Year Long

This is the time of year when we gather to celebrate the past 12 months, and what better way to do it than with local foods gathered from the fields in your neighbourhood. Here at Barrie Hill Farms we’re eagerly looking forward to spring, but until then are making use of our winter stores of fresh produce to create some delicious recipes for family and friends.