Where to wander for great brews and good food

Patrons visit Cobourg's famous farmer's market


Local author, poet and foodie, Tracey Gainforth, says Cobourg has so much rich history—and great eating—she decided to share her born-and-raised-here insights with the public. “Cobourg is a place that if you leave, you always long to come back,” she says. She spent years away in Peterborough and Ottawa, and returned to town last year.


Take one of her walking or cycling food tours and you might taste charcuterie by Chef Andrew Stewart at 92 King, brownie bites from the Dutch Oven, cheese bread from MillStone Bakery, and more. She’ll also tell you stories about some of the historical sites and glory days of the beach and harbour. Part history lesson, part sweet and savoury tasting adventure! Northumberland Culinary 613-853-3250


William Street Beer Company

What used to be a gas station and garage at a crossroads coming into the west side of town is now producing a fine fuel to wet your whistle. Just two years in, William Street Beer Company has developed quite the following, and several local restaurants offer the ales and bitters on tap.

975 Elgin St. W., Cobourg

William Street Beer Co.
Northumberland Hills Brewery

Northumberland Hills Brewery

For a guy who didn’t even like beer when he first tried it in high school, Rick Bailey, co-owner and the man behind the brew recipes, has found his true calling—if fans of Northumberland Hills Brewery have anything to say about it.

1024 Division St., Cobourg

The Bickle Farm - Valley Hops

Just north of Port Hope, where most farms grow conventional crops or pasture cattle, The Bickle Farm - Valley Hops has cultivated the old tradition of growing hops close to home.

3054 McClelland Rd., Port Hope

The Bickle Farm - Valley Hops
Empire Cider Co.

Empire Cider Co.

Right in the heart of Ontario apple country, on a less-travelled road in the village of Codrington, just north of Brighton—exactly where company co-owner Jennifer Jarrell McRae grew up. As a kid, she loved to run barefoot through her friend’s apple orchard. Many years later, Jennifer and her husband, Chris, were making cider from local apples at home for friends and family who encouraged them to go into business with their first-rate recipe.

222 Old Wooler Road, Codrington


Church-Key Brewing Co.

As the name suggests, this microbrewery is situated in 1878 Methodist stone church on the outskirts of Campbellford. Their full-flavoured beers and ales are worth prayers of thanks, according to devotees of the brand.

1678 County Rd 38, Campbellford

Church-Key Brewing

Beer Icon

There’s a craft-beer boom happening in Ontario, and Cobourg has two of its own prolific home brewers who’ve become professionals with a following.



Butter chicken and beef brisket tacos? Absolutely! For a twist on the traditional Mexican street food, you can’t go wrong at El Camino. Longtime restaurateurs, Steven Sherman and his wife Kay, and partner David Cooper, brought the laidback cantina-on-a-beach style dining to town for a little something different. “We wanted something very casual, very relaxed,” says Steven, hanging out in the bench seating by El Camino’s sunlit front window.

The inspiration first sparked when he and Kay took the less-travelled route in Mexico 20 years ago in a VW van with two pit bulls (before marriage and kids). At one memorable stay along the coast, the two would walk the dogs for an hour to a taco stand “in the middle of nowhere” where the cook was impressed by their appetite—and how Kay could eat so many roasted jalapenos. It was there that they first started thinking about doing wraps or tacos, or something along those lines.

Longtime restaurateur, Steven Sherman

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