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North Bay Eats (Well)

North Bay Eats (Well)

These North Bay eateries are pushing the culinary envelope!

What's the best meal you’ve ever had on vacation? Have you ever travelled to have a food experience? According to the American Culinary Travel Report, around half of you just said yes!

People travel for food – that's fact; one that’s becoming clearer in Northeastern Ontario. "Food tourism" is when travellers pursue "unique and memorable eating and drinking experiences," and it’s becoming one of the primary drivers of travel, according to the Culinary Tourism Alliance.

Without a doubt, I am one of those travellers, having built entire trips around a dinner reservation, a particularly noteworthy street food stand, a craft brewery, or a fresh market. As a food tourist, I want to know where food tourists are headed throughout Northeastern Ontario! 

Welcome to North Bay

In case you’re not familiar with North Bay, it’s a scenic, medium-sized city of 52,000. Nestled along the shores of the gorgeous Lake Nipissing, it enjoys a great reputation due to its fine sport fishing and recreational opportunities. Rich in history, the area is also beginning to develop a culinary identity of its own.

Each of these dining establishments has something different and unique to offer their customers, tourists and locals alike.

The White Owl Bistro

Highlights: Fluffy onion bread, handmade pastas, and shockingly flavourful sorbet to finish off your meal.

The 40 seat White Owl Bistro is cute, cozy, and delicious. The establishment enjoys a great location on Lakeshore Drive overlooking Lake Nipissing, providing diners a room (or patio) with a view.

Both graduates of the Canadore College Culinary Management program, Chefs René and Laura Dubois place a heavy emphasis on farm to table cuisine. Farm-to-table eating promotes the sourcing and serving of local foods. The idea is that the consumer knows who and where their food is coming from. Serving local also means the chefs can take advantage of seasonal produce and ingredients, always ensuring that food is fresh, tasty, and inspired.

Laura and René source a good amount of meat and produce for the bistro from their own farm – Somewood Farms in Chisolm, Ontario. Their mission is to "inspire and educate people to get growing and get cooking!" Look for these local and delicious dishes on their menu.

During the summer months, head to the White Owl for live musical entertainment from local artists on the 1,500-square-foot, fully licensed patio. Don’t forget to bring your camera, as sunsets over Lake Nipissing are legendary!

639 Lakeshore Drive
North Bay, ON
(705) 472-2662

Cecil’s Brewhouse & Kitchen

Highlights: Great, juicy burgers (think fried cheese!) and the crisply refreshing Temagami Amber Ale.

Located in downtown North Bay, Cecil’s Brewhouse & Kitchen is a great meeting place, hangout spot, and overall location to grab a bite and an onsite brewed beer.

Serving bar, grill and pub food, Cecil’s take on unique dining experiences shines especially through their beer. Their onsite-brewed beer uses the Smart Brew system, with beers created specially for the brewhouse. It doesn’t get closer to home than that! Cecil’s brand beer is fresh, cold, and available on tap. You’ll know your beers are coming from close to home with names such as Nipissing Lager and the Algonquin White Cap Wheat Beer. Up for a nice, frosty pint anyone?

In order to try as many offerings as possible, try ordering one of the beer flights, which will allow you to sample up to five varieties at once. From the light and refreshing Wyld Blueberry Wheat Ale to the darker and smoother Continental Winter Ale, beer lovers are sure to find something to delight the palate. Don’t worry – if someone in your company is more comfortable with the "old favourites," those are available, too!

300 Wyld Street
North Bay, ON
(705) 472-7510

Tiny Italy

Highlights: The ever-changing daily pasta special, stuffed cannoli rolls and a heady Italian-style latte.

At Tiny Italy, the authentic Italian dishes may not be locally inspired, but the ingredients are sourced fresh daily and dishes are made to order. As owner and Chef Filippo Soriano puts it, "There are no microwaves in my kitchen. Every salad, Panini, sandwich or pasta dish is made fresh when it is ordered."

When deciding to open his own restaurant, the homemade dishes made daily by his mother and aunts when he was growing up inspired Filippo. That is the food he serves today. No Caesar salads here – but what you will find is an authentic Fennel and Orange salad, or maybe a Panzanella with bread and tomatoes.

Since the menu is planned and sourced fresh daily, arrive early in order to take advantage of the daily pasta special before it sells out. While this may make the diner who likes to plan ahead a bit nervous, rest assured that whatever dishes and desserts are on offer will be tasty, and importantly, fresh!

6 Main Street South
Callander, ON
(705) 713-0144

The Opera Bakery Café

Highlights: Soup & salad combo with homemade bread, gluten free sweets, and the mouthwatering specialty cakes.

Also located in downtown North Bay, the Opera Bakery Café is a great spot to grab a coffee and quick bite for lunch while sightseeing and shopping.

Located inside a former watchmaker’s shop, the establishment itself is visually unique – the perfect complement to Baker Kiera Hardie’s unique, seasonal and homemade offerings. Another Canadore College Culinary Management graduate, Kiera has even worked for celebrity Chef Susur Lee as a Pastry Chef!  

While the bakery café places an emphasis on light lunches and specialty coffees, patrons can also plan ahead and order specialty birthday cakes, custom wedding cakes and other sweet treats for special occasions – like the 6” Triple Chocolate Cake pictured above (drool).

164 Main Street West
North Bay, ON
(705) 472-9888


While these establishments are by no means the only ones pushing the culinary envelope in North Bay and Area, they stand out in our books. Do you have a favourite North Bay eatery? Let us know – Facebook, Twitter, or via email!

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