October 20, 2021

irkaimboeuf

Food never sleeps

Brewery, Bakery, Fine Dining & Take Out

24 min read

Looking to eat your way through the best restaurants in Orillia?

Our culinary guide to the Orillia restaurants scene features romantic fine dining, cafes, bakeries, ice cream parlours, craft breweries, patios and pubs in the friendly city known as the “gateway to Ontario cottage country.”

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Explore Restaurants in Orillia

We spent 3 days eating our way through the best restaurants in Orillia. We visited 8-10 local foodie businesses a day to create a culinary guide that highlights everything from the city’s popular historical bakeries to trendy fine dining concepts.

We loved how pedestrian friendly the city is. Most of the top Orillia restaurants can be easily accessed along the waterfront and downtown on foot. We suggest parking along Mississaugua Street or in a parking lot as the majority of these Orillia restaurants are a short walk from each other.

We were pleasantly surprised by the diversity of the restaurant in Orillia. You’ll find vegan and vegetarian items on most menus, cute cafes serving loose leaf tea and fair trade coffee, bakeries that locals line up for, pretty patios, fresh suds poured at a new craft brewery, romantic fine dining restaurants and the flavours of international cuisine such as Middle Eastern, Thai and Indian.

How To Get To Orillia

Orillia is considered the gateway to Ontario cottage country.

The friendly city sits perched over beautiful Lake Simcoe, which is located between Barrie and Gravenhurst on Highway 11.

Those who own cottages in Muskoka love stopping in Orillia for a break and bite when driving from Toronto north towards Port Carling, Bracebridge and Huntsville.

Orillia is located just 90 minutes from Toronto so it’s the perfect weekend getaway for couples, friends or families looking to enjoy the great outdoors.

It's easy to visit the best restaurants in downtown Orillia by staying at The Champlain Waterfront Hotel.
It’s easy to visit the best restaurants in downtown Orillia by staying at The Champlain Waterfront Hotel.

Orillia Hotels

There are accommodation options in Orillia to fit every budget. Here are three of our favourite Orillia hotels and resorts.

  • The Champlain Waterfront: Orillia’s best boutique hotel offers chic suites, complimentary breakfast and fitness centre. The pet friendly hotel is located a short walk from Orillia’s boardwalk. Check Reviews.
  • Fern Resort: If you’re looking for a family friendly lakeside retreat this resort on Lake Simcoe is your best bet. The all-seasons resort offers an outdoor pool in the summer and skating in the winter. Check Reviews.
  • Fairfield Inn & Suites: This affordable Marriott property offers an indoor pool and complimentary breakfast. Check Reviews.

Restaurants in Orillia Guide

Most of the restaurants in Orillia can be found along Mississaga Street East downtown and towards the city’s beautiful waterfront. Other popular local eateries are a short drive away along Memorial Avenue or across Lake Couchiching at Casino Rama.

If it’s your first time visiting Ontario cottage country you might also want to plan a stop or day trip to enjoy a bite in Barrie, Gravenhurst, Huntsville, Bracebridge or Port Carling.

Weber's is the most famous of the restaurants in Orillia thanks to its highway location.
Weber’s is the most famous of the restaurants in Orillia thanks to its highway location.

Weber’s

8825 ON-11, 705-325-3696

We think Weber’s is the most visited of all the restaurants in Orillia thanks to its iconic road trip stop status along Highway 11. For those driving to Muskoka from Toronto, Weber’s is often the only stop where family’s take a break to stretch their legs and refuel.

You’ll know you’ve arrived at Weber’s while driving north towards cottage country when you spot an orange pedestrian bridge straddling the highway. Years ago the restaurant became so popular a second parking lot was developed on the south side of Highway 11 so those driving south towards the city could also indulge in their famous burgers, shakes and poutine.

Weber’s is really popular with families because the menu is affordable and the dining area is located inside old vintage train cars. In the warmer months of the year you can also enjoy picnics on a sprawling field or any of the picnic tables that are nestled under the shade of trees.

Part of the Weber’s experience is waiting in the infamously long line that snakes across the gravel parking lot. If you’re visiting during a long weekend or Friday in the summer expect to join a parade of other burger lovers to get your Weber’s fix.

Weber’s has been flipping its famous charcoal barbecued burgers since 1963, which can now be purchased frozen in Ontario grocery stores

Orillia Restaurants: Eclectic Cafe serves tea, coffee, baked goods and healthy brunch dishes.
Orillia Restaurants: Eclectic Cafe serves tea, coffee, baked goods and healthy brunch dishes.

Eclectic Cafe

39 Mississaga St W,  705-330-0101

Melanie Robinson first opened Eclectic Cafe in June, 2019.

“Food is my passion and having worked in kitchens I wanted to create a space that was fun, safe and fair. I want to inspire community connectivity between local residents, the surrounding farms and the people who prepare food. It’s a full circle that I see everyday and I want everyone to feel the connection to their food. Our first space was in the back of an antique shop in a tiny 20 seat café. That space was amazing and everything was eclectic. It’s a feeling of comfort like your in your own home,” said Robinson.

The popular restaurant in Orillia is located in the former Freds Meat Market building. It was once a beloved butcher shop, “We found old hand painted signs that used to be in the shop and framed them to hang on our walls. This building has been here since the early 1900’s. It was originally a brewery back in the day,” explained Robinson.

Known for being one of the most eclectic restaurants in Orillia, the friendly cafe features interior design elements with a strong family connection. Robinson’s father made the picnic table and the hutch comes from grandma.

In the kitchen, Chef Melanie (2015 Chopped Canada winner) strives to create delicious, diverse and globally inspired menus that change frequently with Ontario’s grow season. Eclectic Café offers eat-in, take-out and custom catering options. “We have done farm to table dinners, food stations, family style catering, plated, and more. We cater groups from as small as 20 people up to 250 people,” said Robinson.

Wag your finger down the menu and you’ll find local producers The Roost Farm, The Fifty Acre Garden, The Kitchen Garden Farm, Lavender Hills Honey, Quayles Brewery, Holland Marsh Wineries, Aquatic Growers and Ontareau Water.

Eclectic Cafe is proudly FeastOn certified. The national culinary tourism program recognizes businesses that strive to be as local as possible. “25% of purchases must be local in order to qualify and when we were certified year we were at 83%! We hope to grow that number as much as possible,” said Robinson.

The Orillia restaurant’s signature dish is the Reuben Sandwich, featuring apple bacon, sauerkraut, secret sauce on a pretzel bun with swiss cheese. Be sure to grab a few sweet pastries, cookies and cakes to enjoy for dessert at home!

  • Stick Em Up Salad: sweet pickled rhubarb, herbed goat cheese, red onion, parsley, arugula, croutons, pesto bocconcini, herb artichokes, chili flakes, lemon oregano vinaigrette.
  • Going For Gold Soup: mushrooms, cream, vegetable broth, paprika, dill.
  • That’s What Cheese Said Sandwich: roasted shaved striploin, crispy onions, roasted garlic aioli, aged cheddar, arugula, jus.
  • Baba The Hut Bowl: roasted eggplant, za’atar labneh, crispy chickpeas, mint, cucumbers, pickled red onion, walnut pesto.
  • Taco Dirty To Me: cola braised beef, black bean coconut rice, cherry tomato pico, aged cheddar, pickled red onion, chimichurri sour cream, buttermilk ranch dressing.
The Common Stove: Restaurants in Orillia for a romantic fine dining experience.
The Common Stove: Restaurants in Orillia for a romantic fine dining experience.

The Common Stove

27 Mississaga St W, 705-330-0065

Recently relocated to Orillia, Simon MacRae (BlueBlood Steakhouse) & Darcy MacDonell (Oliver & Bonacini and Farmhouse Tavern) launched The Common Stove in February, 2020. Recently Chef Ben Kersley was made an operating partner.

MacDonell shared, “We both felt that Orillia was a strong, growing community without an outstanding place to eat. It’s a gateway to the Lake Country, a popular stopping point for those travelling from the GTA and a small city with a bright future.”

The Orillia restaurant’s name derives from a community design project in Slovenia. There, in a country covered almost two-thirds by forest (just like Ontario), a traditional Kachelofen is a wood-burning stove around which domestic life gravitates. Slovenia’s Common Stove at Kocevke was built in a ‘U’-shape, in a forest clearing between three otherwise remote villages. The shape inspires the chef’s counter, booth design and logo: welcoming and inviting guests to gather together. The Orillia fine dining restaurant is also based around a wood fired grill.

“We wanted the wood-fired grill to be centre-stage in the middle of the restaurant, with a counter to sit in front of the fire and watch the chefs cook. This lead to an open kitchen and the building’s 14ft ceilings encouraged a light, airy setting. Steaks were a big part of the concept from the start, but we wanted to avoid the darker wood, leather chairs and formal setting of a traditional ’steakhouse’. Being a place one could stop at for a quick burger and a beer one night, bring the whole family for brunch another day then celebrate with a big dinner at the weekend, all within the same week, was a guiding principle,” said MacDonell.

The Common Stove’s Chef Ben Kersley, is originally from England, moving to Ontario when he was 13. Chef Kersley later enrolled at Humber College for culinary management and received a scholarship to study in Taiwan. From there, he worked in many different restaurants and hotels all over the world, including Maze and The Botanist. He moved back home to be closer to family and was asked to open The Common Stove at the end of 2019.

Wag your finger through The Common Stove menu and you’ll find plenty of products by local suppliers such as Bass Lake Farms, Dragon Acre and Pacific Wild Pick. Chef Kersley also loves to forage on his time off. 

’Swinton’s Bar’ at The Common Stove features a short craft cocktail menu with local nods to classic drinks, made and balanced using fresh fruit juiced in-house and quality local ingredients. The mixology team make ingredients wherever possible, from a house-made tonic water and bitters, to infused spirits and cold-brew coffee. You’ll also find plenty of Ontario craft beer and biodynamic and vegan wines.

Those looking for upscale restaurants in Orillia with a patio can enjoy craft cocktails at Swinton’s Speakeasy, located in a covered alleyway.

  • Broccolini Caesar: picnic anchovies, croutons, aioli, chili
  • Lobster Pasta: mascarpone agnolotti, corn, herbs
  • Pickerel: potatoes, morel mushrooms, wild garlic, cream
  • Wood-Fired Steaks: fillet, ribeye, cowboy ribeye
  • The Common Burger: bacon jam, fries, garlic aioli
Looking for Orillia restaurants perfect for a date night? Enjoy cocktails and Spanish tapas at PICNIC.

PICNIC Snack Bar & Provisions

140 Mississaga St E, No Phone

One of the newest restaurant in Orillia is PICNIC Snack Bar & Provisions, launched on Mother’s Day in 2021 by the team at The Common Stove.

The building, located right in the heart of downtown, has been many things over the last 100 years including a furniture store, paint store and clothing store. The soft yellow colour of the building’s facade is reminiscent of old Mediterranean boardwalks and East Coast fishing villages. 

Skip inside the popular Orillia restaurant and you’ll find an interior featuring antiques, old whiskey barrels, and a commissioned bar built by The Makers Market located just next door. The back bar is an old hutch that looks like it was picked out of an old Spanish saloon.

Co-owner of PICNIC Restaurant in Orillia Darcy MacDonell shared, “The inspiration of the restaurant is that of an old world tapas bar and an old town grocer. Chef Joel Bennett had the name PiQ in his head and we morphed that into PICNIC to better describe all our offerings.”

Chef Joel did his culinary studies in Paris and spent lots of time travelling through Basque Country and the rest of Europe. Here in Canada he most recently spent a few years with Oliver & Bonacini Hospitality. 

In the summer of 2021 visitors can expect to enjoy a secret backyard patio. “We will be hosting a picnic party out front in the street every Friday night as part of Orillia’s See You On The Patio program,” said MacDonell.

Wag your finger down the PICNIC menu and you’ll find small plates with big flavours. Inspirations stem from Northern Spain and Southern France with a heavy focus on showcasing local farmers and growers.

If you’re looking to grab and go at a restaurant in Orillia MacDonnell said, “We have a bottleshop in the middle of our provisions store so everything from the bar is also available for pick up & go with a food purchase. We serve and retail a handful of expertly-crafted bottled cocktails to go, Quayle’s brewery beers and carefully-selected world-class wines that won’t be found on LCBO shelves. ”

The restaurants signature dish is Green, Eggs, & Ham and we also suggest the Trout Tartare and Breakfast-On-A-Bun. “No trip to Orillia is complete without trying our PICNIC Dawg!” exclaimed MacDonell.

  • Carrot Salad: cranberry, smoked walnuts, tarragon
  • Trout Tartare: pork rinds, pickled apple, hazelnut, horseradish
  • Potato Pancake: green onion, aioli, black salt
  • Smoked Pork Loin: marcona almonds, pickled strawberry
  • Picnic Dawg: pork and beef hotdog, joe beef smoked apple mustard, cavana relish, pickled shallots
Restaurants in Orillia: Sanafir serves classic Mediterranean dishes.
Restaurants in Orillia: Sanafir serves classic Mediterranean dishes.

Sanafir Mediterranean Restaurant

99 Mississaga St E, 705-325-6863

Samir Hanna is the owner and chef at Sanafir Mediterranean Restaurant. The popular Orillia restaurant opened in November, 2017.

Hanna shared, “The restaurants name is an homage to Sanafir Island in the Red Sea, which is one of the most gorgeous locations for divers.”

The restaurant is located in a building that is around 150 years old, built between an alleyway with all the original bricks and original tin ceiling tiles.

Skip inside Sanafir and you’ll find exposed brick walls with design accents like traditional cloth from Egypt and Mediterranean trinkets.

Hanna began training as a chef in 1987 in classical French cuisine. After moving to Canada 27 years he worked in several Toronto kitchens including Windsor Arms in Yorkville.

Looking for a quieter life, Hanna opened the Oak Bay Golf Course kitchen in Port Severn then moved to the JW Marriott Rosseau as Exec Sous Chef.

During the warm summer months guests can enjoy dining al fresco on a patio featuring live entertainment on weekends by the Jazz Byrds.

  • Sanafir Salad: shaved fennel, orange, arugula, apple mint dressing
  • Baba Ganoush: roasted eggplant, tahini, roasted garlic, olive oil, pita crisps
  • Egyptian 5 Spiced Steak: 10oz Ontario striploin, potatoes, seasonal vegetables
  • Shawarma Platter: spit roast chicken, Middle Eastern spices, warm pita, hummus, saffron rice, house salad
  • Falafel Platter: crispy chickpea falafel, lentil mushroom ragout, hummus and pita bread
125 Breakfast Club is downtown Orillia's best brunch restaurant.
125 Breakfast Club is downtown Orillia’s best brunch restaurant.

125 Breakfast Club

125 Mississaga St E, 705-325-8077

Angela Brown is the owner of Orillia’s popular brunch restaurant, 125 Breakfast Club.

Brown shared, “Downtown Orillia needed a breakfast spot. I love cooking, especially classic dishes and French cuisine.”

Run your finger down the 125 Breakfast Club menu and you’ll see Brown has a penchant for serving delicious dishes that awaken the inner child.

“Our food philosophy is fresh and homemade and everything is made with love,” said Angela Brown, who has owned and operated the popular 28-seat breakfast spot in downtown Orillia since Mother’s Day 2018. “We go beyond your traditional bacon and eggs breakfast. We put a fun spin on brunch dishes, and offer unique items.” 

“Some of our most popular menu items are the benedicts,” said Brown. All eggs benedicts are served with homemade potato waffles and fresh fruit. Along with the classic Canadian peameal bacon variety, top sellers include the Black Stone Benedict, which is made with bacon and tomatoes, and an Eggs Royale Benedict that features smoked salmon.

For the tiny toddlers or adults who just like to have fun, the ever-popular Unicorn Pancakes (petite, whimsically-coloured pancakes topped with a buttercream horn, whipped cream and Lucky Charm marshmallows) are always a hit.

If you’re on a stroll in downtown Orillia and looking for a sip on the go pop by to pick up coffee, tea, bubble tea or cool milkshake.

  • Crepe Suzette: 2 crepes folded into quarters topped with Grand Marnier sauce, French vanilla ice cream and berries.
  • Croque Madame: gruyere cheese ham sandwich, bechamel, sunny side egg, potato waffles and fruit.
  • Belgian Waffle: whipped cream, strawberries, blueberries.
  • The Benedicts: princess, florentine, eggs royal, luxurious lobster, classic, black stone
  • 125 Breakfast Club: croissant, bacon, egg, tomato, mayo
Enjoy a craft beer tasting at Couchiching Brewery in downtown Orillia.
Enjoy a craft beer tasting at Couchiching Brewery in downtown Orillia.

Couchiching Brewery

162 Mississaga St E, 705-558-2337

Orillia’s Couchiching Brewery first opened its doors on April 18, 2020. Later that summer in July the popular Ontario craft brewery launched a restaurant concept.

The building includes production and a two-floor space, featuring an extensive Taproom, full commercial kitchen, onsite barrel program, two bars, second floor event space, retail shop, and full dining via Matot dumbwaiter. 

In the summer Couchiching Brewery offers a sunny al fresco patio and plans to launch a Biergarten soon.

Brandon Conrad is the Orillia brewery’s head chef, who previously worked at kitchens in Niagara on the Lake (Peller Estates & Trius) and Toronto (McEwan).

Kaylea McCarron, Couchiching Brewery’s General Manager shared, “We source local cheese from Vasey near Midland, have a rooftop vegetable garden, and alongside our fresh beer offer guests local Ontario wines, cider and spirits.”

  • Pulled Pork Spring Rolls: pale ale plum sauce
  • Kale Caesar: prosciutto crisp, vasey cheese, cherry tomato
  • Super Salad: bib lettuce, kale, cucumber ribbons, carrot, pickled egg, radish, ponzu vin, lemon zest, sprouts
  • Charcuterie: house ferments, jams & chutneys, cured meats, pates, rillettes, artisan cheese
  • Southern Jerk Chicken Sandwich: pickles, iceberg lettuce
Coffee lovers visit Lone Wolf Cafe in downtown Orillia.
Coffee lovers visit Lone Wolf Cafe in downtown Orillia.

Lone Wolf Cafe

10 Matchedash St S, No Phone

Max Lamontagne is the owner of Lone Wolf Cafe, which is ranked as one of the best Orillia coffee shops. It first opened on July 24, 2020.

Lamontagne shared, “I was inspired to open my own cafe back when I was in school in Ottawa. I used to frequent a cafe called Ministry of Coffee, which had the friendliest staff and most amazing coffees. This opened up a whole new world for me—realizing coffee could taste anywhere from sweet and fruity, to nutty and caramel-like. From then on, I knew I wanted to one day open my own coffee shop. The name Lone Wolf was inspired by a nickname my mom used to call me when I was little, Petit Loup, which is French for little wolf.”

Lone Wolf Cafe is located in a building that was formerly a bicycle shop called Velocity. “We love our building, especially for having the garage door we can keep open all summer—it definitely adds to the ambiance and overall flow of the place,” said Lamontagne.

The design and decor of Orillia’s Lone Wolf Cafe was inspired by a trip the owner took to San Diego, California. Lamontagne explained, “I wanted to give the place a welcoming and laid back atmosphere, while making it look Canadian-made as well. I am lucky enough to have a dad working in the forestry industry, who also happens to be a great wood worker. He helped out with the renovations, and made all the tables and counters out of Canadian pine that came from my hometown, Hearst. We even have a sculpture named Frank—in memory of the artist—to recommend drinks when customers aren’t sure what to order!”

Java junkies can explore the world of coffee by sampling beans from South America to Africa and East Asia. Order a classic espresso, shareable pour overs or treat-yourself specialty drinks like a lavender latte.

Lamontagne has partnered with Eclectic Cafe’s Chef Melanie Robinson for the Lone Wolf Cafe’s pastries. Coffee lovers with hunger pangs can enjoy blueberry scones, sandwiches, quiches and crème brûlée.

If the weather is nice we suggest grabbing a seat at the cafes pretty outdoor patio.

Mariposa Market is ranked as the best bakery in Orillia by locals.
Mariposa Market is ranked as the best bakery in Orillia by locals.

Mariposa Market

109 Mississaga St E, 705-325-8885

Orillia’s beloved Mariposa Market first opened its doors in April, 1987. The store is operated by husband and wife team Bob and Mary-Anne Willsey.

Bob Willsey shared, “We’re a First Nations run business. Mary-Anne is also currently assisting launching some new First Nations businesses out across the lake at the Rama reserve so she divides her time between the store now and helping her home community.”

Bob was inspired to open Mariposa Market in downtown Orillia after visiting a general store in Wawa. “Joe Young’s General Store was a genuine step back in time, back in the 1980’s. They had barrels of pickles and shelled peanuts circling a central wood stove-the chipmunks used to come right inside, grab a nut and scamper out of the store. Mooseheads, fishing tackle, sour pickles, candy-it’s a great authentic place. We built on the idea of an old fashioned general store and gave it an Orillia twist,” said Bob.

The name Mariposa comes from Stephen Leacock’s literary masterpiece ‘Sunshine Sketches of a Small Town’ in which he lampooned  a number of established Orillia characters but deemed it wise to call the town Mariposa so as not to be run out town should they recognize themselves in the stories.

The Mariposa Market is located on the site of George Vick’s Bakery and General Store. Vick opened his store in 1859 then replaced the old wooden structure with the grand two story brick building in 1911-the building we’re situated in today. It’s quite impressive, 14 foot high tin ceilings, maple hardwood floors along with cedar lined balconies overlooking the retail space. “We did a major addition project in 2016 and re-used much of the brick along with some features from other historical buildings in the region that some of our craftsmen had salted away,” he said.

Locals know Mariposa Market best as a sweet smelling bakery selling a variety of breads, buns, pies, cookies and cakes. “Our baking team is led by Eric McKinnon & Margaret Draper who arrive 1am and are joined by 6-8 other bakers at 3 am. We also have an afternoon crew under Romeo Morales and Matt Byrne who handle much of the batch items-cakes, icings toppings. Then at 4 am Eleanor Roxas, Alisha Hobson and Theresa Heppelle arrive-our cake decorating team,” said Bob.

So what’s a must-try item for first time visitors to Orillia’s Mariposa Market?

Bob exclaimed, “If I had to pinpoint what we’re perhaps most famous for its our donuts. We make them fresh every day-hand cut, hand fried old school. Saturdays we typically make 1400-1500 donuts ranging from our iconic Texas Donuts to our apple fritters. Back a few years ago our baking team won the Food Network’s Donut Showdown (they were delighted to split the $10,000 prize). So our philosophy is fresh, old fashioned, perhaps wow might sum it up nicely in terms of variety, presentation and yes, size! In terms of lunch gotta go with our French Café Turkey Croissant sandwich. We do dessert big time of course-and we’ve scaled down versions of our super popular cakes in the age of COVID for individual servings-like our skor cake and strawberry venetian truffle cake. We have two café serving counters-one is made to order in our new Back Porch addition, the other is vintage Mariposa Market, all our greatest hit products pre made and ready to roll.”

Wilkie's Bakery sells Orillia's best butter tarts.
Wilkie’s Bakery sells Orillia’s best butter tarts.

Wilkie’s Bakery

160 Mississaga St E, 705-327-7163

Orillia restaurateurs Bob and Noreen Wilkie launched their namesake bakery and restaurant in 1971.

Taylor Wilkie, the bakery manager shared, “Bob left the CN railway to pursue his dream of being a baker and living closer to his family. Wilkie’s Bakery was later reopened at 167 Mississauga Street East by Gerry Wilkie in 1991.”

Gerry grew up working at his parents bakery, helping prepare the breads and Chelsea buns. Taylor added, “When his father Bob passed away the bakery shut down. He started selling at the Orillia farmers market in 1989 baking out of whoevers kitchen he could use at the time. Seven years after his dad’s passing he reopened Wilkie’s.”

160 Mississaga Street in Orillia has played home to many different local businesses including a shoe store and a flower shop. It has been the home of Wilkie’s Bakery since September, 2019. “Our plan for the newest location was to provide a brighter more welcoming space for our customers while giving us more space to bake.”

At Wilkie’s local bakers wake at the crack of dawn on the daily to prepare hundred year old recipes that have been passed down through generations.

So what’s Wilkie’s Bakery’s biggest claim to fame? In 1980 the Orillia restaurant was awarded Canada’s Best Butter Tart by Today Magazine.

Rustica, one of the best restaurants in Orillia to eat Italian dishes.
Rustica, one of the best restaurants in Orillia to eat Italian dishes.

Rustica

132 Mississaga St E, 705-259-6000

Rustica is an Orillia restaurant that first opened its doors in August, 2016. The building was originally a carriage house and then transformed into an Italian Deli.

Rustica’s owner Jenna French shared her inspiration for the Orillia restaurant’s interior design, ” My husband is from Melbourne, Australia and we travel back to visit his family every winter (when possible). When originally meeting with our designer, Kristopher Orchard (Kristopher Orchard Designs) to discuss our interior, I presented Melbourne’s use of greenery to transform an urban area into an inviting space. We focused on living installations and practical design elements like floor-to-ceiling built-in wood storage, displayed hanging wine glasses and chef-approved herb and veggie planters. We wanted a beautiful space, without sacrificing any of the efficiencies of the restaurant.”

Rustica’s menu is inspired by Italy, created locally. “It is all about the ingredients. Sun-soaked local produce, the highest quality locally crafted and imported cheese, meats and olives. Dozens of house-made doughs, sauces and dressings made fresh everyday. Tried and true techniques to make simple, beautiful food. Casual but sophisticated,” said French.

Skip inside Rustica Orillia and you’ll find two kitchens: a back kitchen and pizzeria. Chef Kevin LaPorte sources locally from producers such as Quaker Oaks Farm, Dragon Acre Farms, Quality Cheese, Couchiching Brewery and Muskoka Brewery.

During the warmer months of the year we suggest enjoying an al fresco Italian feast on Rustica’s 60 seat patio. The beverage list features approachable consignment wines and “all our cocktails are shaken up with house infused syrups, fresh herbs and top-shelf liqueurs,” said French.

Rusica is winner of two Simcoe Choice Awards, Orillia’s favourite pizza and favourite patio. “Our traditional pizzas move the most but the Sunshine City Pizza is one of most popular pies. It originated on a special seasonal menu we were running to highlight the local ingredients this pizza wears including local honey, smoked pancetta, local apples, arugula, and double-smoked aged cheddar. One dollar from each of these pizzas sold gets sent on to one of our local food banks,” said French.

  • Arancini: arborio rice, romano, grana padano, aged cheddar, napoli sauce
  • Garlic Shrimp Fritto: dry white wine, garlic butter, crostini
  • Caprese Panzanella: buffalo mozzarella, roma tomatoes, crouton, basil, red onion, spring greens, san marzano vinaigrette
  • Smocchi Gnocchi: white sauce, double smoked cheddar, smoked pancetta
  • Cacciatore Pizza: tomato sauce, fior di latte, Italian sausage, pancetta, soppressata
Brewery Bay Food is downtown Orillia's most popular pub and patio.
Brewery Bay Food is downtown Orillia’s most popular pub and patio.

Brewery Bay Food

117 Mississaga St E, 705-329-0943

Brewery Bay Food has been a restaurant staple in downtown Orillia for over 26 years.

It’s one of our favourite restaurants in Orillia for those looking to enjoy a casual meal with kids. The popular restaurant features a spacious family friendly dining room and popular patio that overlooks the main street.

The Brewery Bay Food menu offers a little bit of something for everyone. You’ll find classic pub grub like chicken wings, tacos, nachos, burgers and sandwiches. There are plenty of vegetarian entree options as well including several fresh salads.

The Grape & Olive Smokehouse is the best Orillia restaurant serving Southern Barbecue.
The Grape & Olive Smokehouse is the best Orillia restaurant serving Southern Barbecue.

The Grape & Olive Smokehouse

400 Memorial Ave, 705-325-9511

The Grape & Olive Smokehouse is located within The Best Western PLUS Mariposa Inn and has been a staple of the Orillia restaurant scene for years.  

In summer 2020 The Grape & Olive launched a new smokehouse concept, providing locals with a taste of quality smoked barbecue.

The finger-licking-good Orillia restaurant menu is best enjoyed on the spacious patio overlooking Memorial Avenue.

The Grape & Olive Smokehouse’s Ruth Howorth shared “Our platters are our signature menu item, which allows each guest to customize and select two meat options and two sides. Platters are served alongside pickled jalapenos, lime and homemade cornbread.”

  • Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers: smoked jalapenos stuffed with cream cheese, aged cheddar, and wrapped in house bacon.
  • Smoked Queso Dip: chorizo and smoked cheese dip served with fresh tortilla chips and pickled jalapenos.
  • Nashville Fried Chicken: buttermilk fried chicken thigh, spicy chili oil, coleslaw, pickled jalapenos, white BBQ sauce.
  • Pulled Pork Primanti: soft roll, coleslaw, fries, smoked gouda, smoky apple BBQ sauce.
  • G&O Burger: 6 oz brisket patty, smoked brisket, signature BBQ sauce, smoked corn
Studabakers Beachside is a short walk from Port of Orillia and it's patio is popular in the summer.
Studabakers Beachside is a short walk from Port of Orillia and it’s patio is popular in the summer.

Studabakers Beachside

211 Mississaga St E, 705-259-4646

Studabakers Beachside was founded in Orillia in October, 2007. It’s located a short walk from the Port of Orillia so it’s our favourite Orillia restaurant to recommend to visiting sailors and boat trippers.

The casual Orillia restaurant is easy to spot when strolling downtown as it features a landmark lighthouse tower. The popular family restaurant boats one of the city’s most spacious outdoor patios.

The affordable Studabakers menu offers a diverse menu of classic pub dishes including salads, flat bread, burgers, wraps, pasta, and tacos.

Kenzington Burger Bar in downtown Orillia.
Kenzington Burger Bar in downtown Orillia.

Kenzington Burger Bar

85 Mississaga St E, 705-558-2262

Lookings for the best restaurants in Orillia serving drool-worthy gourmet beef burgers?

Kenzington Burger Bar is located in downtown Orillia and is known for its creative mile-high burger creations. The restaurant features a spacious dining room and intimate streetside patio.

Kenzington Burger Bar is also one of the best restaurant in Orillia to enjoy a late night feast as it’s kitchen is often open until 2am.

Orillia Restaurants: Tre Sorelle makes fresh pasta daily.
Orillia Restaurants: Tre Sorelle makes fresh pasta daily.

Tre Sorelle

133 Mississaga St E, 705-325-8507

Tre Sorelle, which means 3 sisters in Italian. It’s a family owned and run business in downtown Orillia.

Sisters, Lisa, Gina and Carla started very small, selling only homemade pasta, sauce and meatballs at a local farmer’s market. These three basic Italian staples soon became one of the many dishes that would be created fresh daily in the Tre Sorelle kitchen.

Most of the Italian delicacies at Tre Sorelle are taken from family recipes that the sisters grew up enjoying. As well, they are always creating fresh new menu items that are made with the same old world appeal.

Skip inside Tre Sorelle in downtown Orillia and you’ll find the daily menu sketched onto a chalkboard near open concept kitchen.

We suggest enjoying the restaurant’s signature pesto pasta salad or tomato sauce with meatballs. Be sure to grab a bag of freshly made pasta to take home for an easy midweek meal.

Cool Cones is an old school soft serve ice cream parlour.
Cool Cones is an old school soft serve ice cream parlour.

Cool Cones

149 Mississaga St E, 705-329-5830

If you’re looking for a cheap midday snack on a hot day pop by Cool Cones in downtown Orillia to get your ice cream fix.

The popular Orillia ice cream parlour has a diverse dessert menu featuring a dizzying array of flavoured soft serve ice cream cones, ice cream sundaes, milkshakes, slushies and shakes.

If you’re peckish for savoury ballpark bites order a hotdog, fries, burger, onion rings, deep fried pickles or poutine.

Era 67 is one of the restaurants in Orillia known for its Canadian inspired menu.
Era 67 is one of the restaurants in Orillia known for its Canadian inspired menu.

Era 67

64 Mississaga St W, 705-259-1867

Conveniently located in downtown Orillia, Era 67 serves gourmet and casual cuisine inspired by Canadian heritage.

The restaurants name pays homage to Canada’s year of confederation, which took place in 1867.

The popular fine dining Orillia restaurant features a casual lounge and sun-soaked summer patio.

The chef’s at Era 67 pride themselves on taking steaks to the next level. The high quality steaks grilled here are cut fresh daily and have been aged for a minimum of 45 days allowing for maximum flavour and tenderness.

  • Prime Rib Stuffed Yorkies: AAA prime rib, horseradish aioli, aged cheddar
  • Shrimp & Scallops: heritage greens, cranberry bacon jam
  • Stuffed Pork Chop: sage, blueberry goat cheese stuffing, cranberry bacon jam, potatoes
  • White Bean Ratatouille: zucchini, eggplant, tomato, basil, bermuda onion, white kidney beans, fresh herbs
  • Seafood Linguine: shrimp, halibut, salmon, scallops, mussels, white wine cream sauce, spinach, tomato, asiago
Simon's Kitchen is ranked as one of the best restaurants in Orillia for Thai and Chinese takeout.
Simon’s Kitchen is ranked as one of the best restaurants in Orillia for Thai and Chinese takeout.

Simon’s Kitchen

190 Memorial Ave, 705-259-8288

Simon’s Kitchen is ranked as the best restaurants in Orillia for takeout, Thai dishes and Vietnamese food.

The cheap and cheerful Asian restaurant in Orillia is located a short drive from the downtown core on Memorial Avenue.

Skip inside Simon’s Kitchen’s intimate dining room and you’ll find 3 small tables. The majority of locals enjoy Simon’s Kitchen menu favourites like pho, curry, egg rolls and fried rice as take out to enjoy at home.

If you’re craving spicy dishes topped with fresh chilies and creamy coconut Simon’s Kitchen in Orillia is your best bet.

Local chefs in Orillia raved for 5 Rivers Indian Cuisine.
Local chefs in Orillia raved for 5 Rivers Indian Cuisine.

5 Rivers Indian Cuisine Restaurant

Everytime we embark on a new Toronto weekend getaway to explore the Ontario’s food scene we always ask local chefs what their favourite place to eat is.

5 Rivers Indian Cuisine was the most referenced culinary concept that cooks and chefs working at Orillia’s restaurants crave when hungry at home.

5 Rivers Indian Cuisine is likely one of the quirkiest restaurants in Orillia. The friendly Punjabi family who run the restaurant also manage a U-Haul Rental and Convenience Store all under the same roof.

5 Rivers Indian Cuisine features a spacious dining room, although it’s menu is mostly enjoyed as takeout. The menu features Indian classics like biryani, naan, pakoras, samosas, creamy curries and spicy vegetarian masala.

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