A Guide To Niagara’s Best Farm Markets, Roadside Stands and First-of-the-Season Finds
There’s nothing like a sunny drive in Niagara! While perfectly pink cherry blossoms and greening grape vines are a delight to the eyes, spring’s fresh farm-to-table flavours deliver plenty of delightful treats for the taste buds as well.
Exploring the Niagara Benchlands’ CultivATE Taste Trail is a perfect way to spend a day discovering the many farms, markets, garden centres, and pick-your-own fruit adventures that call the Benchlands home. If you’re having trouble deciding which of the trail’s many partners to visit, the following route offers a beautiful blend of first-of-the-season flavours.
Roadside Stop #1:
Romagnoli Farms Fruit Stand, 4403 King St, Beamsville
Browse the pick of the crop from a family farm that’s been growing fruit since 1919! Some best-bet choices for spectacular spring flavours at Romagnoli Farms include strawberries, asparagus, and rhubarb. The farm also grows cherries, which typically come into season at the end of June. In addition to fruits and vegetables, you’ll find honey, maple syrup, fabulous fruit pies, and plants for the garden.
Just around the Benchlands bend … If your drive happens to coincide with Niagara’s strawberry or cherry season, nearby Hildreth Farms at 5529 Greenlane in Beamsville welcomes visitors to fill their baskets in its pick-your-own berry patch and cherry orchard.
Roadside Stop #2:
Grand Oak Culinary Market, 4600 Victoria Ave, Vineland Station
Consider timing this stop to coincide with lunch to enjoy Grand Oak Culinary Market’s award-winning sandwich bar, which allows you to pile your signature blend of premium cheeses and deli selections on freshly baked bread! While there, browse the beautiful fruits, vegetables, and artisan products sourced from local farmers and businesses.
Just around the Benchlands bend … More cheese you say? Upper Canada Cheese Company’s fresh, squeaky cheese curds are the ultimate savoury snack to enjoy along your rural route.
Roadside Stop #3:
Blossom Bakery, 2323 Honsberger Ave, Jordan
Continue driving east to pick up a sweet treat or two at Blossom Bakery. In addition to baked goods made using traditional baking ingredients, Blossom’s delicious flatbreads, cookies, pies, squares, and tarts are also available in vegan and gluten-free options.
Just around the Benchlands bend … Resist the urge to devour your Blossom Bakery treats while you make the short drive to Charles Daley Park, where you can sit at a picnic table to savour your sweets with a perfect Lake Ontario view.
Roadside Stop #4:
RPM Bakehouse, 3839 Main Street, Jordan Village
Make your way south to Jordan Village. After doing some browsing at the diverse collection of unique shops here, wrap up your wander at RPM Bakehouse. Recently recognized as a Certified 100km restaurant, RPM Bakehouse prioritizes sourcing food from local farmers and producers. If you time your trip right, you may even be able to shop from a broader selection of goods at one of the bakehouse’s frequent markets that showcase local vendors or end your tour with a delicious Bistro Night dinner. Check the RPM Bakehouse Facebook or Instagram page for the latest announcements on special events.
Just around the Benchlands bend … Stop in at The Red Barn Farm Market at 4297 Jordan Road and pick up a delicious pie filled with local fruit to enjoy later at home. Chances are the person handing you the pie is the same person who made it bright and early that morning!
Wander A Little Longer
If a few hours in the country leaves you wanting more, consider extending your day into an overnight getaway. Jordan Station’s Inn The Orchard vacation rental offers a beautifully updated log cabin nestled amongst fruit trees that overlooks 16 Mile Creek and a modern cottage with a loft and private hot tub.
For a second day of touring filled with more feel-good spring flavours, download the free Niagara Benchlands Great Taste of Ontario Spring Passport. Collect 3 check-ins along the way and you can earn some sweet swag!
Do you have a Niagara Benchlands market, stand or roadside find that you think would make an excellent addition to this itinerary? Tag @niagarabenchlands in your post so we can let our Facebook and Instagram followers know about it too!