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Spring Restaurant Tour (Posted On: Tuesday, March 24, 2009)

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“Whiskey was as free as water in Nottawasaga Township.  Collingwood was known as a “whiskey drinking town”, which boasted 15 taverns, 6 saloons, 2 breweries and a distillery, serving a population of 1000 people in 1856”

More than a hundred and fifty years later, things have changed somewhat in Collingwood, but the downtown is still home to over twenty five eating and beverage establishments, serving a population of 20,000 full time residents and a large part time influx.

What better way to experience a community than to eat and drink your way through it. You can participate in the annual Spring Restaurant Walking Tour and experience the incredible cuisine of Collingwood’s Historic Downtown


Collingwood Downtown…. a la carte!  Collingwood’s Historic Downtown offers big city dining sophistication and variety all in the space of a few blocks and all within walking distance from each other.  From sushi to wood fired pizza, from pub fare to Provencal inspired dishes, from dim sum to cross-cultured fusion creations, you’ll find a restaurant to suit your cravings and appetite.  

On the tour this spring are Brunello at 27th on Fourth, The Olde Town Terrace, Kat’s Place Internet Café, The Stuffed Peasant, Duncan’s Café & Catering, The Admiral’s Post Pub, Azzurra Trattoria, Buddha Dog, Loblaw Great Food Cooking School and Blue Ridge Meats. 

The tour date is Sunday, April 19, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.  Tickets are on sale now and are only $35 per person.  Call The Station today at 445-7450 or 1-866-444-1162 to reserve your spot.  Only 200 tickets are available.

If you can’t make the official date, Margot Nicholson-Trott takes us on a tour below. 

Downtown Collingwood has an abundant variety of places to eat and be entertained from coffee shops to Irish bars, Chinese food to fine dining. 

Working our way through the historic downtown, let’s start in the first block on Hurontario Street and work our way south.  The Bamboo Terrace is a Chinese restaurant that has been a fixture on the main street for many decades.  Across the street is Duncan’s Cafe & Catering, great wraps for lunch and at the corner of Hurontario and Second is Cafe Chartreuse, wonderful breakfasts and lunches in a traditional French cafe style.

The Second block brings even more variety with the caffeine running rampant in this block with both Tim Horton’s and the Espresso Post on the east side of the street.  For a quick healthy meal on the run try the Pita Pit.  The Little Red Hen Restaurant has been in the same location on Hurontario Street for more than 50 years.... and then for something completely different, why not try Thai food at the Siamese Gecko?

Zencha Tea Bar in the third block will help you bring balance to your day.  But, if you’re in a rush grab a pizza slice from Mountain Shore Pizza.  In need of an internet cafe, try Kat’s Place Internet Cafe in the Lee Way Lane.  Next door The Old Town Terrace, with one of the best patio’s in town for warm weather indulgences. Across the street is the newest restaurant downtown, The Stuffed Peasant, as the name suggests you will leave very satisfied.

Burnello at 27th on Fourth is as the name suggest on Fourth Street specializing in Italian fine dining.

The last place to eat heading south on Hurontario Street at Hume is a favourite with kids of all ages, Dairy Queen.

Keeping to the tradition of Collingwood history, the downtown does have several bars, two across the street from each other on Simcoe Street.  Molly Blooms Irish Pub and Moguls Billiards Bar and Grill always have something going on to entertain you.

Pine Street is fast becoming a food mecca.  The Beild house at the corner of Pine and Third is a country inn that also offers a delicious dinning option.  Covering almost any eating desire, the corner of Pine and Second houses five great places to eat.  JD’s Bar and Grill is more casual and regularly features live music.  Azzurra Trattoria new chef is brings a lighter twist to traditional Italian dining with an elegant flare.  The Admirals Post Pub is a traditional English pub which offers traditional English fare. Need a quick pick me up or treat, try Avalanche Ice Cream & Juice Bar in the middle of the old School house.  And for Southern Italian fare, in a neighbourhood atmosphere Tesoro Traditional Italian Foods is where to head.  Mike’s Corn Beef is a long standing establishment on Pine.  Dags & Willow, Fine Cheese and Gourmet Shop offers over 100 varieties of cheese from around the globe and fantastic gourmet to go.  Opening soon is the newest addition to Pine Street, Buddha Dog is a gourmet hotdog restaurant located across the street from Loblaw’s parking lot. 

The corner of Pine and First Street is home to Kentucky Fried Chicken... They have been there for as long as I can remember.  Across First Street is Starbucks, for that hit of caffeine.

Although the numbers of drinking establishments have been reduced over the last 150 years, the food has greatly improved as has the temperance of the patrons.  As the weather improves, take a sunny afternoon and wander the historic streets to discover your next favourite hangout.

This article written in part by Margot Nicholson-Trott and the Downtown BIA. The quote at the beginning of the article is from “Whiskey and Wickedness by Larry Cotton and is available through The Crow’s Nest Book Store.

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