Look no further for where to eat in Peterborough, Ontario than our guide to some of the best restaurants and dining experiences in the Kawarthas
Peterborough, Ontario is one of the primary gateways to cottage-country in Ontario. But, those who take the time to visit realize that there are a plethora of incredible things to do in Peterborough as well. It’s a city exploding with incredible nature, engaging museums, rich Indigenous heritage, and scenery that will leave you breathless.
And if you’re looking for the best restaurants in Peterborough, Ontario, you won’t have to look far. Because Peterborough has welcomed some of the province’s best chefs for ages. And the Peterborough restaurant scene has never been more exciting than it is right now.
It seems that each year, restaurants in Peterborough, Ontario are welcoming more of the culinary experts in the province. And the Peterborough food explosion that began in the city core is now expanding to the borders of the city and beyond.
Each year the diverse offerings of Peterborough restaurants are becoming more and more indicative of the cultures that make up the city’s population. The mix of Canadian-ethnic fusion, traditional BBQ are staples throughout the city. But diners will also find a plethora of organic and local tastes including farm-to-table cuisine. And, of course, there a rich collection of vegetarian and vegan cuisine as well.
Amazing Peterborough Restaurants To Experience
Let’s get down to the best restaurants in Peterborough, Ontario. Be prepared, because the wide range of culinary delights in Peterborough means that these restaurants run the gamut from traditional fine dining to creative fusion and beyond.
You’ll find everything from classic barbecue and fish joints to some of the best fine dining in Ontario. There are Peterborough restaurants to fit nearly every price range. Whether you’re a local looking to explore your hometown, taking a break from exploring the incredible things to do in Peterborough, or if you’re a visitor heading out to cottage country or some of Ontario’s best hikes at the nearby Provincial Parks, you’ll find food to satisfy in the jewel of Central Ontario.
Although Blackhoney Bakery, which sits in the popular food district on Hunter St. is popular for its baked goods, this Peterborough restaurant serves up far more than pastries and treats. Blackhoney is an especially popular diner for breakfast in Peterborough. Their unique takes on classics such as their Egg McHoney and Baker’s French toast are my personal favourites.
Blackhoney also serves up excellent lunch options as well as catering and takeaway (they actually catered my post-wedding breakfast!) the cozy atmosphere encourages guests to get together through the narrow dining room. It offers a relaxed location with friendly service. Don’t leave without tasting some of their delicious cakes and pastries. You can find their current menu here.
Although Kassy and Tyler Scott, the owners of Rare restaurant in downtown Peterborough were forced to serve local comfort food during the pandemic, there is no denying that their prime focus is steak. As restaurants are opening back up, so has the grill at this Brock St. restaurant.
With a small, focused menu featuring fine cuisine within a casual ambiance, Rare crafts its dishes using locally sourced ingredients. They believe in connecting with the local community and supporting the local agriculture that helps keep Peterborough and the Kawarthas ticking.
Enjoy a dish of their exquisite steak frites, or treat yourself to one of the best Atlantic Salmon dishes you’ve ever had. You find their current menu here.
Electric City Bread Company
Touted as “Peterborough’s first and only gastro-bakery” the Electric City Bread Company on Sherbrook St. has been a staple of the community for as long as I can remember. And if you’re looking for artisanal breads, bagels, buns, and other things that don’t start with the letter ‘b’. Get to this Peterborough bakery early before they run out.
Along with bread products, the Electric City Bread Company is also known for their fascinating pizza creations that are as beautiful to admire as they are to devour. You can connect with them right here.
Two Dishes Cookshop
Undoubtedly a local gem, Two Dishes at 261 Charlotte St. is a Peterborough breakfast and lunch spot that is easily missed if you aren’t looking for it. With a focus on diner classics that are made from scratch. They have a revolving menu sourced from local ingredients that often features hearty soups and zesty jambalaya’s as well as a great selection of vegetarian options.
Two Dishes is also one of the best bakeries in Peterborough. In fact, if you’re looking for some Instagram-worthy doughnuts or pastries, Two Dishes often has a fine selection available. But get them while they last, because they disappear quickly. You can check out their current offerings here.
Sam’s Place Deli
The crown of Peterborough’s best sandwich shop has been firmly placed on the head of Sam’s Place Deli owner Sam Sayer. Sam’s Place serves up fantastical creations from vegetarian to meat-lovers. Personally, I’m a big fan of the “Eesh”, which combines avocado, bell peppers, provolone, and cheddar on a focaccia bun, and their simple, but delightful Ptbo Smoked Meat which has ultra-tender smoked brisket on a light rye bread with your choice of mustard.
Dr. J’s BBQ and Brews
Situated in what was once one of Peterborough’s micro-concert hot-spots, Dr. J’s BBQ and Brews still celebrates the city’s musical heritage. Although this establishments focus is now firmly on serving up soft and saucy meats, it still features a hometown charm that locals have fallen in love with.
Dr. J’s, whose owners have also recently taken over ownership of the storied Chemong Lodge in nearby Bridgenorth, serves up a revolving menu of BBQ sensations from ribs to chicken, sausages, and more. These are served up alongside delicious sides such as mac & cheese, maple baked beans, and smoked beet salad. You can check out their current menu here.
If you’re looking for the best vegetarian restaurant in Peterborough, look no further than the Revelstoke Cafe on George St. Revelstoke Cafe prides itself on creating “plant-based and love-filled food” and they deliver. Peterborough is a welcoming community, but Revelstoke Cafe ups the ante with its open and inclusive space that exudes positive vibes to all while serving up healthy, nutritious plant-based cuisine.
Fill up on their Stoked Lentil Burger which combines a lentil, walnut, and apple patty topped with lettuce, tomato, onion, and garlic mayo served on a toasted bun. And on a hot day, nothing cools me off better than their Purple Rain, which combines blue matcha and lemonade over ice. You can find their current offerings here.
The Only Cafe
Another fun, quirky, and welcoming place to eat in Peterborough that also happens to have one of the city’s best patio’s, is The Only Cafe on Hunter St. This long-standing hub of the Peterborough arts community has an event space on the second floor that usually hosts everything from concerts and comedy shows to Pride dances.
The Only Cafe serves up a small collection of sandwiches and local favourites. But it’s their collection of artisanal beer and the guarantee of fascinating conversation that keeps locals coming again and again. You can find out their info right here.
Silver Bean Cafe
Situated in downtown Peterborough in the gorgeous Millenium Park, Silver Bean Cafe might have one of the best locations in the city. Nestled on the edge of Little Lake, this cafe also acts as a popular canoe dock for local water-lovers. I’m a big fan of their chevre, pear, and walnut wrap.
You can check out the current menu of the Silver Bean Cafe here.
The Publican House Brewery & Restaurants
Located in an historic 170-year-old building, The Publican House Brewery is one of our favourite places to eat in Peterborough. The restaurant, which was opened as a brewery in 2008 but, due to its popularity, quickly outgrew its Charlotte St. storefront and expanded into a storied mansion next door.
Run by Peterborough plantee’s Brad and Katie Watt, the Publican House has grown to be an institution in the city’s culinary scene. Not only do they serve up some of the best craft beer in the city, but their absolutely gorgeous Italian wood-fired oven helps their chefs cook up some of the best gourmet pizzas in town.
Great Restaurants Near Peterborough
Not all of the restaurants in Peterborough and the Kawarthas are right in the city. In the county itself, you’ll find some amazing dining options that are worth the drive. Here are a few of our favourites. The Silver Bean Cafe is known for its great coffee, but it also serves up some tremendous and nutritious sandwiches. They also serve up some mouthwatering salads and cold drinks that are perfect for sipping on a walk through Peterborough’s walk of fame.
Old Bridge Inn in Youngs Point
Old Bridge Inn is located in an historic building in Youngs Point about 25 minutes north of Peterborough. The building, which was built in 1887, was the site of the town’s general store and now acts as one of the best restaurants near Peterborough as well as a Youngs Point B&B.
On the menu, you’ll find classic dishes such as Chicken Supreme, Beef Tenderloin, and Atlantic Salmon all cooked to perfection and served in a picturesque atmosphere. You can find their current menu here.
Frederick’s at Beachwood Resort in Lakefield
Located north of Lakefield on Deer Bay near Curve Lake, Frederick’s at Beachwood serves up fine country cuisine with one of the best views of Lower Buckhorn Lake. Local chef Michael Henson, who graduated from the local Sir Sandford Fleming culinary school, serves up a wide variety of great dishes. But, it’s their long-table fish fry that often draws the crowds. This all-you-can-eat pickerel bonanza is country living at its finest. You can find their updated menu here.
Dining In Peterborough
If you’re planning a visit to The Kawarthas, you’ll have plenty of variety to choose from that make up the best restaurants in Peterborough.
And if you’re passionate about Ontario, make sure to swing by our incredible Ultimate Ontario Facebook community and join the conversation of locals and visitors discovering and sharing the best things to do in Ontario.
Kevin Wagar is a founder and editor of Ultimate Ontario. He has been working in the travel media industry since 2015 when he founded his family travel website Wandering Wagars – Adventure Family Travel.
Over the years Kevin has developed a deep love for his home province of Ontario and aims to showcase the incredible experiences and amazing small businesses found within it.