WATERLOO REGION, Ont. – As southern Ontario’s summer growing season draws to a close, visitors to Waterloo Region will beable to get a delicious taste of the harvest through a variety of culinary events and restaurants that feature local fare.
Located an hour west of Toronto, the Waterloo Region offers a mix of vibrant urban centres and picturesque rural towns surrounded by rich agricultural lands that grow some of the province’s best fresh produce.
“The fall is a fantastic time of year to get out and explore our part of the province,” says Minto Schneider, General Manager of Waterloo Regional Tourism Marketing Corporation. “Not only are we blessed with amazing scenery and a rich agricultural tradition, but also we offer all kinds of venues for visitors to enjoy foods produced and harvested right in the region.”
A trip to one of the region’s popular farmers’ markets during the fall is sure to put visitors in the mood for great food.
Open year-round on Thursdays and Saturdays from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., the St. Jacobs Farmers’ Market features hundreds of vendors with local fruits, veggies and meats to freshen up any menu. In addition to outdoor vendors, the market’s new Harvest Barn also houses food and craft vendors.
Not far from St. Jacobs in the heart of Kitchener, visitors can also find the best of this season’s harvest at the Kitchener Market, which has roots stretching back more than 140 years. Open Saturdays from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., the market is a great place to find fresh produce, cheese, flowers, tender meat, homemade treats, original crafts and more.
One of the oldest farmers’ markets in Canada, The Cambridge Farmers’ Market, also has a long history serving up fresh picked fruits and vegetables, meats, baked goods, cheese, maple syrup and honey, farm fresh eggs and ethnic foods, as well as home made crafts and one of a kind items. The market is open Saturdays and on Wednesdays the outdoor, seasonal market runs until October 8th. All of the vendors come from within a 100-kilometre radius of the market, which has been operating in the same location since the 1830s.
For visitors who would rather have their meal prepared for them while exploring the area’s autumn activities, Waterloo Region is home to many restaurants known for their great cuisine.
Among them is a former church in Kitchener that has been transformed into fine-dining restaurant Verses, complete with stained-glass windows and cathedral ceilings. While the menu has a French influence, the four-diamond restaurant relies heavily on local foods.
In nearby Waterloo, up-market bistro The Bauer Kitchen also operates out of a building that’s been repurposed. The SoHo-inspired restaurant is located in a restored former felt factory. The building’s industrial steel, concrete floors, reclaimed wood and custom lighting combine to create a warm backdrop for dining. The spectacular menu features classic dishes prepared with the highest quality and freshest ingredients.
In addition to enjoying the bounty of its agriculture, the harvest season in Waterloo Region is also synonymous with another traditional celebration — Oktoberfest.
The largest festival of its kind in North America, Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest runs from October 10-18. The Bavarian-themed festival features 19 “Festhallens” where massive parties take place, a Thanksgiving Day parade and dozens of activities and events for families. OktoberFEAST, featuring delicious dishes served by food trucks, will return for the third year to the Waterloo Public Square in UpTown Waterloo on Saturday, October 11 and Sunday, October 12.
Craft beer lovers can rejoice at Craftoberfest, a festival during Oktoberfest dedicated to the popular craft beer movement, which the Waterloo Region hasfully embraced. Tons of craft beer events will take place from Sept. 27 – Oct. 18, featuring beer from local favourites like Block 3, Descendants, Innocente, Grand River, Royal City and more from across Ontario.
For more information on what’s going on in Waterloo Region this fall, please visit explorewaterlooregion.com.
About the Waterloo Region
Waterloo Region is a unique area where unspoiled nature, booming high-tech industry, world-class arts and culture, bustling urban centres, renowned academic institutions, mouth-watering cuisine, and sports and leisure facilities collide! Comprised of the citiesof Cambridge, Kitchener, and Waterloo as well as the townships of North Dumfries, Wellesley, Wilmot and Woolrich (Home of St. Jacobs Country), Waterloo Region is located just one hour west of Toronto.