Oh, spring. We’ve waited so long for your mild weather and sunny days. It’s been a long winter but we’re finally through it, and now Mother Nature is waking refreshed and renewed. With warmer days upon us, getting outside with your picnic basket is the perfect way to celebrate spring. And York Region, with its scenic parks, trails, beaches and open spaces, offers a beautiful setting in which to spread your blanket and enjoy the season. Here’s the best part: the journey can be just as fun as the destination. We at YDH invite you to make a day of curating the contents of your basket. To get you stared, here are some of our favourite spots in York Region that will make your picnic a memorable experience of flavours, fun and sun.
17600 Yonge St., Upper Canada Mall, Newmarket
Welcome to Market & Co., a 40,000 square-foot market space in the heart of York Region’s Upper Canada Mall. If you have never been, then you’ve never seen anything like it. Market & Co. features 19 premium merchants that showcase fresh, local, handmade and ingredient-focused items. This is your one-stop shop for just about any kind of take-out food you desire for your picnic hamper. All of the restaurants and dining options at Market & Co. are so different from one another, and each one offers its own unique experience. Whether it’s fresh, hand-shucked oysters, The OG fried chicken sandwich, homemade pasta with fresh Bolognese, or even chewy, authentic pizza—you can truly taste the chefs’ passion in each dish. This is a culinary experience like no other, that mixes fresh food offerings with the tradition and authenticity of merchant-style city markets. Market & Co. is a combination of your local baker, seafood market, juicer and restaurants all rolled into one curated market. With so many artisans, merchants and eateries, there is definitely something for everyone. The only question is: will you have enough room in your basket for everything you’ll want to take with you on your springtime picnic?
271 Chrislea Rd., Vaughan
This family winery is proudly Ontario-grown for over thirty years. At its 75,000 square foot flagship location in Vaughan, you will find an opulent retail store and wine boutique, two complimentary tasting bars, an awards room and extensive collection of original art including works by Canadian Group of Seven artists. Just north of Toronto, it features state-of-the-art winemaking, production and bottling facilities, microbrewery, copper pot distillery, underground barrel cellar and an outdoor patio. Needless to say, you will have as much fun visiting Magnotta to fill your picnic basket as you will enjoying it. Choose from award-winning reds, whites, sparkling and ice wines. Or, if wine is not to your liking, sample Magnotta’s beers, ciders and spirits. There are so many fun beverages to try, and there is something for everyone. (Of course, please confirm the local bylaws regarding alcohol for the location in which you choose to picnic.)
2700 16th Sideroad, King City
Finish off your picnic basket with a selection of snacks, nibbles, mains and baked goods. Pine Farms’ on-site café offers a tidy selection of gourmet salads, sandwiches, quiches and soups made in-house and with house-made garnishes and market vegetables. In the bake shop, you’ll be delighted by a selection of pies, cookies, pastries and more! If that’s not enough for you, then check out Pine Farms’ gourmet food section, with lots of tasty, apple-inspired, farm-fresh foods—apple cider, meat pies, cheeses, jams, jellies, sauces, dressings and seasonings, honey, maple syrup… the possibilities are endless. It’s all about local at Pine Farms Orchard, which is deliciously fitting for a local springtime picnic in York Region.
Don’t forget to post your York Region picnic photos on social media and tag us at @VisitYDH. We’d love to see what you got up to as you enjoyed all the wonderful flavours inside your York picnic basket!
Story by Katherine Ryalen
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