ATVing makes me hungry. At the start of a big ride day, my stomach will rumble at the thought of all those kilometres of trails we're going to be tackling. Sometimes I don't get a chance to fuel up until lunch, and even then I know I've got to last until dinner. And at the end of a long ride, you still need something to eat before heading home. Either way, when you ride ATVs you've got to eat. So restaurants and ATVing go hand-in-hand.
I have a whole slew of my favourite stops I like to choose from en route to an ATV adventure—chosen for any combination of ample parking, quick service and/or healthy portions—but today I am going to focus on my five favourite ATV-friendly restaurants to hit while ATVing in Ontario.
Valois Motel & Restaurant
This motel and restaurant has a large dining area, able to accommodate large groups being seated together (as tends to happen when you’re out ATVing). There’s fast, friendly service and a variety of specials to choose from—I'm always a sucker for the soup of the day. These are the factors that make this a must-visit location while out on the VMUTS trail system.
Mama Sue’s Diner
When heading out to the Glendaler’s Winter Sports Club poker runs, my go-to destination for a power breakfast is Mama Sue’s Diner in Cornwall, Ontario. You’ll find this gem nestled in at the end of a small strip mall. The back room is set up for the ATV and snowmobiling crowds alike, with shelves handy for helmets and pegs to hang your bulky winter gear. (This is particularly handy, as the Glendaler’s trails are primarily open in the winter months.)
You’ll appreciate a big serving of breakfast no matter what you order. My go-to includes bratwurst sausages, fried onions, beans, hash browns, toast and eggs. I leave with my appetite satiated and my body ready for a cold day out on the trails.
The unofficial clubhouse of the Nation Valley ATV Club, Country Kitchen is located on the outskirts of Winchester, Ontario. It’s located directly across the street from the most popular trail head on their trail system, and includes parking for those who want to unload and depart directly from their lot.
Country Kitchen is a traditional family restaurant, with Canadian, Chinese and Greek dishes on their menu. Daily specials and a weekly buffet offer something for everyone to choose from. Owner Charlie Theos enjoys swinging out of the kitchen to shoot the breeze with ATVers, often asking how they're enjoying the trails and what adventures they have ahead of them. Don’t be surprised if you wind up chatting with him—the personable service is part of Country Kitchen’s charm.
Kinmount Fish & Chips
When you’re out and about exploring the Kawartha ATV Association’s (KATVA) trails systems, you have to be sure to stop in and visit Kinmount Fish & Chips, in (as the name suggests) the village of Kinmount, Ontario. Kinmount is located along the Victoria Rail Trail (VRT), the backbone of the KATVA trail system. There’s a designated ATV parking area off of the VRT—and across the street from it is Kinmount Fish & Chips. It’s a chip stand style spot, with picnic table seating in the rear and a beautiful view of Burnt River. They specialize in classic battered fish and chips but have lots of other menu items to choose from. Kinmount Fish & Chips is cash-only, so make sure you have cash on hand.
You can unload your ATV or side-by-side and head inside to fill your belly before hitting the trails. Angelo’s has traditional truck-stop style seating with stools around an oval bar, as well as dining room seating. With a menu as varied as the clientele, you’re sure to hear a good story along with your meal before you’re off to hit the trails.
This, of course, is not a comprehensive list of all the restaurants I frequent while out and about on my ATV adventures, but it’s a good start. With so many great spots to choose from, it was difficult to narrow down my top five! What are you favourite ATV-friendly restaurants to hit while you’re out riding?