Home Pick up Trucks Six Ontario pop-ups, food trucks, dairy bars and takeout windows worth the...

Six Ontario pop-ups, food trucks, dairy bars and takeout windows worth the drive from Toronto

Six Ontario pop-ups, food trucks, dairy bars and takeout windows worth the drive from Toronto

Though most travel is still off-limits or too daunting right now, for those looking to escape the city—even if it’s just for an afternoon—we highly recommend a road trip. Here are six pop-ups, food trucks, ice cream bars and takeout windows, within an hour or two from Toronto. All of them have Covid-19 safety measures in place, but be sure to get your food and head back home—restrictions may be lifting, but we’re not out of the woods yet.

Flossie’s Sandwiches, Hillier

This P.E.C. favourite, run by Toronto expats Kyle and Nelda Jones, started out as a food truck before getting a permanent spot in a garden centre. Flossie’s sandwiches rely heavily on local suppliers—with some ingredients, like Swiss chard and Thai basil, grown just steps away. Pork features heavily in the menu—the signature sandwich, When Porky Met Petunia, has a house-made sausage patty wrapped in bacon—but there’s a mushroom provolone melt for vegetarians. Distance from Toronto: 197 km, approx. two-hour drive

Country Chip Wagon, Dunnville

Fish and chips are the main draw at this tiny fry shop with a serious cult following, but a wide variety of homestyle options round out the menu, from hamburger dinner combos to quesadillas. You can grab food from the pickup window and take it home, or have a seat at the physically distanced and regularly sanitized picnic tables. The portions are big, the prices are reasonable and the people are friendly—not a bad combo for a chip truck. And if you’re into chicken wings, drive up on a Wednesday and get two pounds of wings for $20. Distance from Toronto: 111 km, approx. 1.5-hour drive

Pop-Ups On the Bay, Belleville

This pop-up summer festival, spread under a canopy of trees along downtown Belleville’s waterfront, features nine local shops—including six food vendors—spaced 20 feet apart to allow for physical distancing. Among the vendors are Royal Haveli, a favourite for Indian food; Brick Oven Pizza, which serves up Napoli-style thin-crust pies; and Sugar Mama’s, featuring all kinds of baked and frosted treats. Thoroughly sanitized bathrooms and picnic tables will be available, and with kayak and paddle boat rentals from Venture Outfitters, you can work up an appetite in the Bay of Quinte before chowing down. Distance from Toronto: 188 km, approx. two-hour drive

Matty Matheson’s Meat and Three, Fort Erie

Toronto’s most outrageous (and most tattooed) chef has opened a BBQ pop-up in his new hometown of Fort Erie, complete with curbside service. There’s a rotating menu of combos available for online order—past combos have featured fried chicken, Flaming Hot Cheetos macaroni and cheese, smoked top sirloin, pork ribs, coleslaw and tater tots. When you place an order on the website, you’ll get a confirmation number (you’ll need this to get your food) and a designated pickup time. Matheson recently announced that they’ve switched from a weekly pop-up to cooking just once a month—there’s no solid date for the next one yet, so keep an eye on the Instagram page. Distance from Toronto: 156 km, approx. two-hour drive

Rey-Ray’s, Port Hope

There’s one major caveat to visiting this Port Hope food truck: it’s both tiny and a rave-reviewed local favourite, so the kitchen often sells out well before closing. If you’re planning a visit, be sure to call and pre-order (phone lines open at 10:30 a.m.). The small menu features a variety of tacos, like charred chorizo and pineapple or chicken tinga with pickled onion; specialty poutines; and a Mexican salad with pico de gallo, avocado and a zingy jalapeño-lime dressing. There are fries, cheese curds and chips and guac for snacking, as well as churros for dessert. Distance from Toronto: 108 km, approx. one-hour drive

Hewitt’s Dairy Bar, Hagersville

If you visit this quaint Hagersville institution, a helpful sign will advise you to “Keep one cow apart” from other patrons. Hewitt’s Dairy Bar has been around since the early ’60s, and it now offers a rotating selection of more than 60 ice cream flavours, from your classic vanilla to Christmas pudding. And since you can buy tubs of ice cream, as well as butter, milk, cheese and eggs, a visit here will also count as a provisions run—which means one less wait in a grocery store lineup. Distance from Toronto: 107 km, approx one-hour drive

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