5 Hidden Gems to Discover in Grey County this Holiday Season | Ontario Culinary
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zain taking a bite of a cinnamon bun at an orange table outside of Ravenna Country Market

5 Hidden Gems to Discover in Grey County this Holiday Season

With a feeling of festiveness in the air, we can’t imagine a better way to spend the holidays than tucked into the coziness of Grey County.

Discover These Off-the-Beaten Track Spots in Grey this Festive Season

Our top five spots? They’re off the well-worn trail and ready to welcome you with all kinds of tempting flavours. Keep reading!

1.    Parkwood Restaurant

Where: 939 2nd Ave. E. Owen Sound, ON. (View Map)

truffles on pumpkin puree pie crust at parkwood restaurant

One of the newest kids on the block, Parkwood Restaurant crafts masterful dishes on their menu which rotates weekly. Paired up with craft cocktails made by masterful mixologists, we’d call this spot a home run.

You can enter this restaurant through the popular Heartwood Restaurant, and it’ll open up into a beautiful, modern-industrial-type space. Grab a table and share a few cocktails before ordering something new off the menu. When the holidays roll around, you’re sure to find something hearty and perfect for chilly days.

So, what should you try? They’re well-known for their pizzas and low-key, approachable dishes. We loved the kale and bacon pizza and paired it up with a hearty loaded campside potato that transported us back to camping trips as kids. YUM. We’re talkin’ crème fraiche, charred cherry tomatoes, green onions and bacon crumbs.

After that though, the desserts were the star of the show for us! We enjoyed toasted truffles on a pumpkin purree pie crust and the Parkwood Nest- a phyllo dough nest filled with berry jam and topped with mango-lemon pastry cream. YUM.

While these dishes may not be on the menu when you arrive during the holiday season, we’re confident you’ll fall head over heels in love with a dish that celebrates Owen Sound’s unique flavours.

2.    Milk Maid

Where: 947 2nd Ave. E. Owen Sound, ON. (View Map)

charcuterie spread at the milk maid with coffin ridge cider can and poured into glass

Ready for festive cheer and a glass of vino to pair with that delightful cheese? Head to downtown Owen Sound’s Milk Maid for a joyful experience!

Over the holiday season, you can enjoy loads of festive drinks that will transport you to a European Christmas Market as you happily sip away. Think hot apple cider, Gluhwein (mulled wine) and of course, hot chocolate with mini marshmallows.

Run by Sarah and Robin Miller, this charming wine bar and cheese shop in Owen Sound’s River District offers a delightful selection of local wines, including options from Lighthall Vineyards and Coffin Ridge. Don’t forget the diverse beverage choices like cider from Revel Cider and ginger beer from Georgian Bluffs.

As for the cheese, indulge in everything from squeaky Mountainoak Cheese curds to creamy chevre from Cross Wind Farm. They even import goodies like burrata from Italy and brie from Québec.

And for the perfect pairing, consult their friendly staff. In addition to these treats, explore a curated collection of preserves and accoutrements, featuring maple syrups from Ziibaakdakaan and more.

Too merry to prepare it yourself? No problem! Enjoy the goodness in their licensed dining room or grab a festive cheese platter to go. Happy holidays and bon appétit!

3.    Marilynne

Where: 19 Toronto St. N. Markdale, ON. (View Map)

overhead shot of mushroom tartlet, pulled pork eggs benedict and tomato toast with poached egg at the marilynne

Marilynne isn’t just one of our fav stops, it’s a local crowd-pleaser too. Each piece of décor tells a little bit of their story and because of that, it feels a lot like going home for the holidays. If you’re missing that this holiday season, a trip to the Marilynne might be just what you need.

Serving up dinner Thursday-Monday and brunch on Fridays-Sunday, this spot is easy to work into your schedule and completely drool-inducing. With homemade French fries, steak and frites, roasted beets and even “fancy” hamburger helper on the menu, it’s more than the décor that will give you a little slice of home.

We recommend getting a group of four or five together and cozying in together over a simple but oh-so-scrumptious meal to ring in the season. After all, what is a great meal without great company?

4.    Neustadt Springs Brewery

Where: 456 Jacob St. Neustadt, ON. (View Map)

photo of underground cavern at Neustadt Brewing

Holiday field trip alert! Neustadt Springs Brewery crafts a great selection of brews: from sours and pilsners to stouts and more but our favourite part? The tour and tasting.

Book in advance for a weekend tour and you’ll be transported back in time as you explore the caverns below Neustadt Springs Brewery. These historic caverns make Neustadt the oldest operating brewery building in all of Ontario with a brewing history that dates back as far as 1859! Cool, eh?

At one time, these series of caverns and tunnels connected the brewery to pretty well the entire town including the historic brewer’s home.

5.    Ravenna Country Market

Where: 495972 Grey County Rd. Ravenna, ON. (View Map)

close up of zain holding coffee and cinnamon bun as well as two tarts on an orange table

Attending some festive celebrations but don’t have time to bake (or just don’t like doing it)? We totally get it. Ravenna Country Market is sliding in for the win with their stacked market of baked goods, frozen entrees, artisan gourmet products and more.

Stop into this market and treat yourself to a nice sandwich, then wander the store to check out what’s on deck. We love their homemade pies, butter tarts, cookies, date squares and more. They’re sure to spruce up any holiday spread so be sure to grab some for yourself and any special events you have coming up!

Another lifesaver? Their frozen pre-made meals will get you through those busy weeks leading up to the holidays when you’re running between school pageants, work parties, social gatherings and more. Trust us.

From shepherd’s pie and soups to more inventive dishes like their curried turkey and pear galette, you may want to stay home and skip those gatherings altogether. No judgement fro us!

Make it an Overnight

maple syrup being poured over pancakes and fruit outside one of the cabins at boho beaver

Fancy making this into a weekend or mid-week escape? Those looking for uber-cool vibes will love the atmosphere of Penny’s Motel and their on-site restaurant leaves little to be desired.

Boho Beaver Cabins are rustic and perfect for snuggling up. Finally, Two Sisters Inn offers comfy accommodations with a bit of luxury and a delicious breakfast to boot!

Check out this itinerary to start planning your getaway. Happy holidays!

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