Look, we love dining inside pylons on Toronto's streets as much as the next person, but sometimes you gotta hit the road a different way. This summer, road trips around Ontario are filling the void travel has left in our hearts and our bellies. Road trips are a much needed escape from the hustle and bustle of the city and – even better – some seriously great restaurants are an easy drive from Toronto.
If you're looking to take a break from the office a.k.a your apartment, a road trip to Windsor, Canada's southernmost city, or the stunning wineries of Prince Edward County are a far cry from your crumb-filled couch. There are plenty of under-the-radar Ontario staycations, and road trip restaurants near Toronto just waiting to be discovered.
There's a whole other world of seasonal bounty and farm fresh eats outside Toronto, you just might need a GPS to get you started. We've done the research for the best road-trip-worthy restaurants, now all you have to do is get there.
The best road-trip-worthy restaurants: 5 worth the drive from Toronto
PORT's sweeping lakeside views are a stone's throw – or a leisurely Go Train ride – from Toronto's downtown concrete core.
The patio looks like you've taken a trip to the Maritimes, instead of a 30 minute drive east of Toronto. Executive chef Jesse Vallins of Toronto's Maple Leaf Tavern is at the helm and his cooking is anchored (sorry, had to) in house-made, quality ingredients.
This summer, PORT is operating as a pizza and burger bar – a more casual, laid back approach that's ideal for summertime dining by the bay. For sipping, try their Pinot Freez-io which is basically a slushie for grown ups.
Sprucewood Shores Estate Winery, Windsor
Our very own Windsor, Ontario is on the same latitude as Northern California and Tuscany, and you know what that means? Wine, and lots of it. Located on the sandy shores of Lake Erie, Sprucewood Shores Estate Winery is Canada's only beach accessible winery.
After a long awaited re-opening, the winery is once again serving their popular picnic lunches on the beach and the best part is you don't have to worry about bringing the booze when it's already there. The Grazing Box has a selection of craft meat and cheese, charcuterie snacks and chocolate perfect for munching while you sip on some vino.
For the ultimate beach picnic, the baskets have everything you need from locally made bread to antipasto and of course, dessert.
La Fontana, Elora
The Elora Mill may get all the hype, but just three minutes down the Grand River is the small, but mighty delicious La Fontana. With La Fontana's focus on seasonal and sustainable food, you can literally taste the freshness on your plate.
They grow tomatoes, basil and other ingredients in a garden box right on the terrace next to their outdoor, wood-burning pizza oven. At dusk, the whole place glows with twinkly lights which makes tucking into a bowl of handmade pasta all the more comforting.
Bluemen Garden Bistro, Prince Edward County
If you want to eat in a place that looks more like a scene from a story book than a restaurant, then the Bluemen Garden Bistro is for you. While trendy millennial pink motels and bachelorette winery tours have popped up all over the county, Blumen has stayed grounded in its old-world cuisine and tended to its fully licensed gardens.
Hop on their signature dish of braised rabbit over house-made gnocchi especially if you've never tried rabbit. While you're waiting for your meal to arrive, instead of scrolling through your phone, sip on their brisk blueberry mojito while you walk through the lush greenery and away from all your problems.
Langdon Hall, Cambridge
Toronto isn't the only place where award winning restaurants and internationally celebrated chefs make their mark. Langdon Hall in Cambridge, Ontario holds a cherished place in Canada's food scene, not to mention the scenery from their dinning room and patio is pretty great too.
With wild produce growing in abundance on the property and partnerships with local farmers and makers, Langdon Hall is able to create a truly unforgettable, Chef's Table calibre dinning experience. As the seasons change, so does the menu, but Langdon Hall consistently ranks as one of Canada's best.