Man Eating Pizza

Finger Lickin’ Good: Exploring YDH’s Tastiest Hands-On Meals

There’s nothing better on a road trip or after a day of adventuring than a fantastic meal. While many you’ll want to eat with a knife and fork, there are some that just taste better when you get down and dirty. These hands-on meals in YDH are so finger lickin’ good you just might be licking all the way down to your elbow!

Butchie’s in Whitby

Butchies Wings

Butchie’s has become a staple of Whitby since it first opened almost a decade ago. You can taste the passion in every bite as these locally sourced eats fuel your soul. Owner Andrea Nicholson is the driving force behind Butchie’s as she brings homegrown hearty eats reminiscent of the American South to the town. And homegrown is exactly what you’ll get as a number of the dishes on her menu are her own family’s recipes she shares with her customers.

The combinations are endless at Butchie’s as their “meat plus three” format allows folks to customize until their heart’s content. If the possibilities are a little overwhelming, let us help as their chicken fingers are a top pick and certainly some of the best around. As for sides, Andrea always wants to have a good balance: something sweet, something savoury and something salty. Choose whatever your heart desires though you can’t go wrong with her tangy yet slightly sweet devilled eggs, Da Bomb Caesar Salad, and Baba’s Cucumber Salad which is a nod to Andrea’s Ukrainian heritage as it’s her grandmother’s recipe!

But, why the name Butchie’s? It was her father’s nickname and to Andrea, he embodied hospitality as he did whatever he could for those around him. It’s a place to connect with friends old and new over great eats, and a space he’d certainly be proud of.

Food Truck Corral in Oshawa

Food truck

When you’re unsure of what to eat or your road trip buddies can’t make a decision, there’s no better destination than the Food Truck Corral in Oshawa. Inspired by Clarington’s Food Truck Alley, one stop food truck stop may have been born during troubling times but continues to thrive past lockdowns and restrictions. General Manager Max Lysyk was approached by local business owners in the height of the pandemic looking for a way to make restrictions work for them and has since boomed into one of the top destinations in Durham for summer eats.

They say variety is the spice of life and that’s exactly what you’ll find at the Food Truck Corral. While the offerings can vary each year with room for ten trucks, some are staples you can guarantee will be around each summer. Lowlands Fire Food is one of the original trucks offering woodfired pizzas made fresh and ready to order with top quality ingredients. Their sourdough crusts take these personal pies to the next level with their Spizy Za and The Works combos being fan favourites. The Masala Box is another staple of the Food Truck Corral offering a mash-up of Indian flavours and street eats. Their Cheesy Masala Fries are a fan favourite along with the Chicken Tikka wrap. There’s also Sonya’s Street Meat serving up exactly that, hot dogs decked to the nines with toppings alongside tasty grilled cheese. Trust us when we say you can’t go wrong with the Jurassic Dog.

Spirit Tree Cider in Caledon

Fired Pizza

Chances are you’ve heard of Caledon’s Spirit Tree Cider as they’re a staple of cider offerings in Ontario. What started as a farm market and pick-your-own venture grew into a modern cidery honouring old-world traditions with an elegant thanks to the efforts of owners Thomas and Nicole. They had a vision of creating a modern Cidery that honoured old-world traditions and an upscale destination for foodies with apples at the core. All of this combined with a stunning property has made Spirit Tree one of YDH’s tastiest destinations with their award-winning ciders and fresh baked pies.

However what you may not realize is their Ciderhouse Bistro has finally re-opened after a 2 year hiatus! Their thin crust pizzas are a hot commodity as they’re made from scratch and baked to perfection in their Woodstone wood and gas fired pizza oven. If you’re going to order anything though, it has to be their Signature Burger. Local Limousin beef is ground into a juicy patty along with two slices of bacon that are then topped with roasted tomatoes, tangy pickles, apple smoked white cheddar from Cows Creamery, Bib lettuce, apple mustard and a balsamic reduction. This is arguably the best burger in the Headwaters Region – maybe even all of YDH?! You’ll have to try it for yourself to see…

Old Firehall Confectionary

The Old Firehall Confectionery

Sometimes you just can’t curve that sugar craving. Why not oblige with a local treat or three? Old Firehall Confectionary is the brainchild of Kimberly and Natasha, two soul sisters who were looking for a new career challenge. Kimberly remembers that fateful day when she was treating her children to a “backwards day” where they could enjoy dessert before dinner. However, there weren’t many places that could turn that adventure into an event. So, why not fill the gap? Natasha was fully on board and together they opened Old Firehall Confectionary so they could take sweets to a whole new level!

You’ll smell the shop before you see it as the intoxicating scent of Belgian chocolate fills the air. Almost all of their treats are made in-house, from luxurious truffles to exquisite macarons. Everything is crafted using gourmet ingredients and the taste says it all. From classic combinations like hazelnut and chocolate to unique mashups from their master chocolatiers, there’s always something exciting to be tasted at Old Firehall Confectionary! If you find yourself in either Unionville or Kleinburg, be sure to stop in and treat yourself.

The Maid’s Cottage in Newmarket

Maids Cottage

Of course, there is no better dessert for a Canadian than a butter tart. While this tasty baked treat may have originated in Barrie, we have some of the best butter tarts around in YDH. How do we know this? Because The Maid’s Cottage in Newmarket has been crowned the best butter tart at Ontario’s Best Butter Tart Festival – not just once but three times!

The Maid’s Cottage had a humble beginning as “Mom”, Jackie, sold her butter tarts and pies from her front lawn. Word quickly spread of her incredible family recipe and soon she found a perfect spot across the road from the Antique Mall on Main Street – her dream shop. While many loved her homemade foods, baked goods, and preserves, her butter tarts were what sealed the deal for many. Jackie said “if you bake, they will come”… and boy, did they come in droves! Daughters Debbie and later Pam joined the crew and with Jackie’s guidance, the business has continued to flourish, even with her passing in 2003. Mom’s memory lives on in every butter tart, eat and treat sold thanks to Debbie and Pam as they continue to share her family recipes.

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