Ontario is full of tasty food and delicious drinks, as well as opportunities to experience it through a local lens. Oxford County is proud to be part of The Great Taste of Ontario Passport Program, featuring the award-winning cheese makers, artisans, restaurants and experiences on the Cheese Trail. The Great Taste of Ontario program provides delicious travel itineraries to inspire you as you eat, drink, and travel throughout Ontario with the guidance of the online passport.

How does it work?

Download the Oxford County Cheese Trail Passport and others that you’d like to taste. See a list of places to visit along with their offers, a map to get there, and a ‘check-in’ button for each passport stop. With 5 or more check-ins, you can redeem one $25 Feast On Gift Voucher. There is no app as it uses your mobile phone browser and location settings (phone data plan required). Download the Passport here.

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Inspiration

Suggested Itineraries

FAQ

 

Inspiration

 

Oh, So Sweet

Sweet teeth are welcomed with open arms at Coyle’s County Store. Shop for quality giftware, enjoy fresh roasted nuts, and try their delicious homemade fudge with real butter and cream, made in-house. FYI-signal is a bit spotty in the shop so check-in from your car before you head in.

Keep the sweets coming at Habitual Chocolate with a bean to bar chocolate tasting, very similar to sampling wines. Treat yourself to their hot chocolate, coffee, and dipped dried fruit.

Start with a light breakfast or lunch at The Olde Bakery Café followed by a tasty dessert, or stop by for some baked goods to keep you going on your travels.

Looking for something else that’s sweet? Visit Jakeman’s Maple Products, a 5th generation family-owned business that has been perfecting their offerings for over 145 years. Maple lovers will fall in love all over with maple syrup, popcorn, coffee, and cotton candy. Fuel up on tasty sweets before a short walk through Trillium Woods, across the road from Jakeman’s.

All About the Brews

Visit Oxford’s first craft brewery, Upper Thames Brewing Company, to get a taste of their craft beers. Head to their sister location, Brickhouse Brewpub, to choose from 24 beers on tap-12 of their own, 12 rotating taps that feature Ontario Independent craft breweries. Pair your choice of brew with one of their hearty menu options, many of which feature their own beers in the recipe. Enjoy live music Fridays 4pm-7pm and Saturdays 2pm-5pm.

Get Cheesy

Red Dragon Dairy produces delicious sheep milk cheeses available for purchase at their storefront alongside other dairy products, freshly baked bread, Welsh treats, and more. Try their fresh curds, cream cheese, yogurt, feta, gruyere, cheddar, mozzarella and many more.

Stop at Gunn’s Hill Artisan Cheese, located just outside of Woodstock, to try their award-winning cheese, produced using milk from their family’s dairy herd with recipes inspired by cheese maker, Shep Ysselstein’s time spent training in the Swiss Alps.  

There’s nothing better than a Gouda, er good, cheese. Mountainoak Cheese was founded on love for high quality Cheese with a modern, state-of-the-art processing plant that allows the tradition of great-tasting, high-quality Gouda Cheese to continue. Stop by the shop or book a Cheese Plant Tour and Tasting during their monthly tours.

140 years in the making, Bright Cheese and Butter produces award-winning cheese and is the oldest manufacturer of Cheddar Cheese in Ontario. That isn’t all though! Try their award winning asiago, havarti, colby and much more.

Your Farm Market is your one-stop shop for local grocery items with a deli counter filled with excellent cheeses, Ontario-grown produce, plus coffee, tea, treats, and grab-and-go meals. Begin your picnic planning here with the best foods for every season.

Stop at The Wine Cellar Ingersoll to shop their curated selection of cheeses from near and far. Find the perfect pairing and the extras to complete your cheese board, including Ontario condiments and preserves, dried meats, and crackers.

Taste of the Farm

See what farm life is all about in one of Udderly Ridiculous’s signature experiences. Cuddle Goats, embark on an Alpaca Walk, or bring out your inner ‘kid’ during Goat Recess. Visiting during the Fall? Try their Pumpkin Spice Goat’s Milk Ice Cream after visiting the farm shop full of local retailers.

Get your hands dirty and pick your own fruits, vegetables, and sunflowers at Thames River Melons. Dig-your-own potatoes or shop the on-site market for pre-picked produce, preserves, melons, and more. Connect to the farm and food by pre-booking a Harvest Brunch or try their food truck smash burgres with a shake featuring their berries.

Learn about eco-farm practises at Greener Pastures Eco Farm by booking a farm tour and learn about this family-run operation. While there, explore their stocked shop full of local made items including products from Harmony Organic Dairy, Early Bird Coffee, Great Canadian Honey Co. and many more.

Feast away in Oxford

Dine at Oxford’s only FeastON certified restaurant, Sixthirtynine, for a truly local experience. Chef Eric Boyer’s creative take on local flavours from nearby farms changes with the seasons.

Breakfast, lunch, brunch, or dinner, the Elm Hurst Restaurant has a full menu available to enjoy in one of the beautiful dining rooms, or experience the ambiance on the patio during the warmer months.

Cozy up at Charles Dickens Pub, a classic British watering hole with your favourite pub fares like their famous fish n’ chips and cottage pie. Taste your way through Oxford’s local cheese, meats, and more on their menu.

A local fave, Louie’s Pizza & Pasta is known for their Big Ass Panzerotti and other hearty meals. Try their deep fried Gunn’s Hill Cheese Curds, made with Upper Thames Brew, served with house marinara. Catch up and reminisce while you take in the nostalgic décor.

Artisan Shopping

Hoping to shop a bit more after the other farm shops and cheese maker’s storefronts? Patina’s Gifts of Art and Craft is the perfect spot to shop for anyone on your list. From jewelry to children’s games, and a large selection of Canadian handcrafted pottery including brie bakers.

Unwind once you get home with Wild Comfort Body Care. Visit the farm shop to learn about their skincare and natural beauty products, made-in-house and shop for products with a focus on sustainable packaging. Feel good about your purchase and feel good after using their products. Try their goat’s milk soap!

Understanding Oxford

Explore Oxford’s rich history as the dairy capital at the Ingersoll Cheese & Agricultural Museum. Discover the story of the mammoth cheese, a 7300lb wheel made in Ingersoll during the 1800s and many other unique stories of the area. Snap a photo with the giant cheese wheel before exploring Canada’s only cheese themed playground and searching the property with cheese bingo.

Visit Norwich and District Museum and Archives, housed in an 1889 Quaker Meeting House. The museum is nestled among other builds at the edge of an unspoiled rural village. Learn about the legacies of this area’s past and present, Canada’s first cheese cooperative. Book a Churn Back Time experience to learn how butter was made.

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Suggested Itineraries

 

Coming from Toronto? Start your tour at the East End starting at: Mountainoak Cheese, Udderly Ridiculous, Bright Cheese & Butter.

Next stop is 18 minutes away from Woodstock and Gunn’s Hill Rural Area.

Explore Woodstock, Ingersoll and Gunn’s Hill Rural Area (all within 15 minutes from eachother):

Woodstock: Habitual Chocolate, Your Farm Market, Brickhouse Brewpub, Thames River Melons

Other nearby stops: Sixthirtynine, Charles Dickens Pub, Upper Thames Brewing

Next stop is 18 minutes away from Woodstock

Ingersoll: The Olde Bakery Café, Patina’s Gifts of Art & Craft, Ingersoll Cheese Museum, Louie’s Pizza & Pasta

*Make it an overnight at the Elm Hurst Inn and Spa

Other nearby stops: The Wine Cellar Ingersoll

Next stop is 8 minutes away from Ingersoll

Gunn’s Hill Rural Area: Gunn’s Hill Artisan Cheese, Wild Comfort, Greener Pastures Eco Farm, Jakeman’s Maple Syrup

Head a bit further south (18 mins) to visit the Norwich and District Museum and Archives.

Next stop is 10 minutes away from the Gunn’s Hill Rural Area and 18 minutes away from Norwich

Worth the jaunt to Southwest Oxford: Red Dragon Dairy, Coyle’s Country Store

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FAQ

 

How can I earn a $25 Feast On Gift Voucher?

Each time you check-in to a location on the Cheese Trail and other passport stops across Ontario, you’re on your way to some pretty sweet rewards. With 5 or more check-ins, you can redeem for a $25 Feast On Gift Voucher.

What is FeastON?

Feast On® is a certification program for restaurants and purveyors in Ontario. It recognizes restaurants committed to sourcing 25% Ontario grown food and drink - which makes it easier for food lovers to find local food. See a list of restaurants here.

Are there any Feast On restaurants in Oxford County?

Sixthirtynine in Woodstock is a feastON Certified Taste of Ontario restaurant. They create their starters, mains and sweets fresh from scratch featuring local produce with a seasonal approach.

How do I access the Great Taste of Ontario?

Visit Ontario Culinary to access passports, by region. Download the Oxford County Cheese Trail Passport and others that you’d like to taste. See a list of places to visit along with their offers, a map to get there, and a ‘check-in’ button for each passport stop. With 5 or more check-ins, you can redeem one $25 Feast On Gift Voucher. There is no app as it uses your mobile phone browser and location settings (phone data plan required). Download the Passport here.
 
 

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