Savouring Stratford: The Ultimate Food Lover’s Itinerary for Festival Season | Ontario Culinary
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couple out for a picnic in Stratford

Savouring Stratford: The Ultimate Food Lover’s Itinerary for Festival Season

When it comes to delicious getaways, few small towns rival Stratford, Ontario. Known for its beautiful galleries and of course the famous Stratford Festival, let’s not forget how Stratford’s art culture also extends to the town’s extensive gastronomic scene.

If you’re coming to town for a play this season, consider coming a day or two early and making a trip of it! Insiders tip – book a mid-week escape to this beautiful city. This will allow you more flexibility and choices when booking your stay and dining experiences.

A Festival Season Foodie Foray

From cozy cafés and kitchen shops to exquisite dinners, this escape is sure to please your heart and your tastebuds!

Day 1: Unwind and Dine

Day one in Stratford is all about slowing down and savouring the small moments.

Stop 1: Lunch at Edison’s Cafe Bar

Where: 46 Ontario St. Stratford, ON. (View Map)


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Roll into town around lunch and enjoy something delicious! Edison’s Café is cozy and filled with both sweet and savoury treats to really kick-start your visit.

We recommend grabbing a specialty coffee and one of their signature brunch toasts that really are picture-perfect AND taste good.  More in the mood for a glass of chilled wine? They’ve got you!

Don’t leave without grabbing a sweet treat or two. Their cookies, croissants and loaves leave little to be desired. Celebrating something special in the near future? Order one of their stunning cakes in advance to dazzle your guests!

Stop 2: Shopping Along Ontario Street


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Ontario Street is the main drag of Stratford and is speckled with small boutiques waiting to be explored! Visitors also love exploring unique streets filled with iconic shops and passionate store owners located on York, Wellington and Downie!

Those who love spending time in the kitchen will fall head over heels for Bradshaws, a destination store known for their beautiful dishware, large selection of unique kitchen gadgets, and home décor.

Feeling funky? Check out Gruv, The Green Room or Small Mart General Mercantile for a unique outfit, retro candy, uber-cool jewelry, shoes, bags and more.

Watson’s Chelsea Bazaar has a great selection of clothing, bed and bath, home décor and kitchenware and next-door neighbour, McLeod’s Scottish Shop offers up all things Scottish from glassware and scarves to kilts by clan.

Gallery Indigena features the art of several Indigenous artists from across Canada including sculptors, painters, wood artists, and much more. Browse the beautiful pieces right in the gallery and shop a wonderful selection of Indigenous-made pieces as well.

This is just the tip of the iceburg when it comes to shopping in Stratford so be sure to check out more while you’re there!

Stop 3: Dinner at Pazzo Pizzeria

Where: 70 Ontario St. Stratford, ON. (View Map)


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When it’s time for dinner, check out Pazzo Pizzeria, located right on Ontario street. This cavernous restaurant will make you feel like you’ve stepped right into an Italian wine cellar.

Head downstairs – grab a booth if you can – and you enjoy a glass of wine, cocktail, or local beer. Their house-made focaccia will keep you company while you wait for your main attraction. Careful, this bread is goOoOod so you run the risk of filling up before the rest of your meal arrives!

Their menu of carefully curated dishes includes their famous wood-fired pizzas (you can even build your own by checking off their list of fresh ingredients), pastas, McIntosh farm meatballs, PEI mussels, burrata, and more.

If you have room at the end of all that for dessert, their tiramisu is pretty mind-blowing and their vanilla affogato is perfect for a warm summer night.

Check-in for the night!

When it comes to accommodations, there is no shortage of unique spots to pick from. Head to for a full list of cozy stays and modern accommodations.

Day 2: From stages to savouring

Stop 1: Breakfast + Coffee

Where: Romeo’s Corner Cafe, 584 Ontario St, Stratford, ON.(View Map); The Livery Yard, 104 Downie St. Stratford, ON. (View Map); Balzac’s Coffee Roasters, 149 Ontario St. Stratford, ON. (View Map)


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Aptly named for Stratford’s love of all things Shakespearean, put Romeo’s Corner Café at the top of your list for breakfast.

Choose from a variety of cheekily named dishes like the Benvolio Benedict or Romeo’s Reuben alongside other classics like the Mediterranean Omelette and Meat Lovers’ Skillet — yum!

Prefer something quick? Check out Balzac’s or the Livery Yard for cafés with excellent ambiance and solid coffee. Don’t forget to grab a sweet as well! Feel like starting slowly? Bring a book along with you and soak in the café atmosphere.

Stop 2: Chocolate Fiends Unite!

Where: Rheo Thompson, 55 Albert St. Stratford, ON. (View Map); Chocolate Barrs, 55 George St. W. Stratford, ON. (View Map)

Love chocolate? So does everyone in Stratford (ok we haven’t verified this but we’re pretty sure). They even have a chocolate trail.

Around since 1969, Rheo Thompson is well known in Southwestern Ontario for their array of delicious artisan chocolates including their famous mint smoothies (we could eat fifty in one sitting if you’re wondering).

Pop into the shop and stock up on those smoothies as well as other decadent treats like truffles, chocolate-covered nuts and fruits, barks, dipped marshmallows, and a variety of house-made candies. YUM!

Started in 2003, Chocolate Barrs is another heavy hitter on the block that specializes in all things candy and chocolate. We adore their chocolate-covered licorice, humbugs, pecan patties and almond butter crunch among… well among all the many other delicious treats they sell!

Stop 3: Show Time!

Where: Four potential theatres across Stratford. Learn more. 

This season at Stratford Festival (like every season) promises to be a good one! Stratford Festival offers a wide array of exciting productions for fans of every genre.

Those hoping to catch a Shakespearean production can look forward to the likes of King Lear, Richard II, Much Ado About Nothing and Love’s Labour Lost.

Musical lovers will love singing along to Rent and Monty Python’s Spamalot while families will be able to enjoy plays like A Wrinkle in Time together.

Comedy aficionados will love the edgy take that Women of the Fur Trade has on the Red River Rebellion (have you ever heard Louis Riel referred to as a “hot nerd”?) and Les Belles Soeurs among others whereas those who live for a dramatic production will fall head over heels (dramatically of course) for Casey and Diana and Frankenstein Revived among others.

Stop 4: Dinner at Braii House or Mercer Kitchen and Beer Hall

Where: Braai House, 34 Brunswick St. Second Floor, Stratford, ON. (View Map) or Mercer Hall, 108 Ontario St. Stratford, ON. (View Map)


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*Note depending on the show time you can use this stop as lunch or dinner!

It’s time for the final curtain call for your trip to Stratford and of course, you need to leave well-fed!

Those looking for something slightly upscale can check out Braii House or Braii Bar. This South African-inspired restaurant focuses on open-fire cooking that brings people together around great food (hey that happens to be one of our favourite things).

The menu is small and well-curated with a few delicious wood-fired pizzas, bison, Lion’s Mane steak (that’s a fungi) and so much more. Enjoy house-made beer from their microbrewery, a great cocktail or coffee and tea.

Looking for options? Mercer Kitchen and Beer Hall (also an Inn for those interested) offers up late-night eats, mid-day snacks and breakfast. Crispy Reuben spring rolls, vegan nachos and peanut crunch salad are all on deck!

Enjoy your Incredible, Edible Getaway

We hope you have a great time! Festival season in Stratford is a unique and exciting experience and we know the food, the play, the art and more will leave little you feeling satisfied.