Although it’s undeniably for a good reason, many of us feel as though we have been cooped up indoors for far too long. “There’s nothing to do!” is a common refrain heard in households around Durham Region. We at Downtowns of Durham are here to change that misconception. There is actually plenty to do, as long as you are willing to get a little creative and make your own fun. Our suggestion? (drum roll, please…) Plan a day trip to curate meal items for a cozy date night at home!
Our Durham Region downtowns are the epitome of charm. They are picturesque and quaint, and boast world-class food and beverage options that one might only expect to find in larger metropolitan centres. The wonderful thing about Durham’s downtowns is that they are relatively close to one another. It is entirely feasible to visit Pickering Village, in the south-west corner of our region, and Beaverton in the north-west—all in one day. We recommend you make a day of it. Spend the daytime planning your route and making your individual stops in our beautiful downtowns, picking up everything you need along the way to create your own at-home date night. If health and safety regulations allow it, you’ll definitely want to spend a bit of extra time browsing our other shops and businesses as you have fun with your Downtowns of Durham Day Trip for Date Night.
Below, we have a few suggestions for all of your meal courses. But of course, if you find something you like better, most (if not all) of our eateries and establishments offer takeout. So, choose what your belly is telling you to pick up. It’s all good!
Paisley’s – The Wee British Shoppe
This local business in Bowmanville serves up the very best in authentic British baked goods. Scotch pies, Cornish pasties, sausage rolls and well-fired Scottish rolls are on the menu, along with many other familiar items from Old Blighty across the pond. They are sure to kickstart your perfect meal off with a warm hug from inside your belly. Also available at this quaint shop are good British cheeses for your homemade charcuterie board.
You will fall in love with this favourite establishment in Brooklin, operating out of a century home with rustic-chic décor. Seasonal cuisine rich in flavour and colour is made with passion, from owner Steve’s family to yours. Suppose you don’t want to make your own charcuterie board for your date night at home?. In that case, we suggest you place an order for Harvests’ curated board, with house-cured meats, artisan cheese, crostini, seasonal chutneys and pickles.
With so many fine eateries in Oshawa, you have to be really special to stand out. Allow us to introduce you to Curry Club Restaurant. This writer’s opinion is that this humble Indian establishment, and its full and flavourful menu, could easily boast the best samosas in the Durham Region and all of Ontario! These babies are so good the restaurant often sells out of them, so you may want to make this your first stop if nibbles with an excellent Indian flavour is what you’re thinking for your appies. Made with fresh, authentic ingredients, you can choose from meat or vegetarian options.
International flavours and passion come together in this Port Perry restaurant. Chef Marwan and his team strive to bring their diners authentic tastes from far away places. High-quality natural and organic ingredients are cooked in-house, from scratch. With takeout options available, you can order healthy bowls, paninis, wraps, curries and other delicious mains for your just-for-two meal. There is something for every palate, including vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free creations. Share an internationally-inspired meal with your loved one from the comfort of your home.
This contemporary Canadian, farm-to-table restaurant is located in the heart of Uxbridge. Here, you will find locally sourced and sustainable dishes. This Feast ON™ Certified Ontario restaurant offers specially designed takeout meals for the whole family. Each option serves up to four people. For a date night for two, you’ll have leftovers… which is never a bad thing.
Animals, vegetables and libations are the inspiration for this fresh and playful dining experience in Whitby. The menu is market-driven and seasonal, using local, sustainable ingredients. While everything on the menu is available for takeout, Chef Kevin Brown (the KB in KB Food) and his team have assembled a collection of family-style take-home meals for two people or four. This way, you get to choose whether or not you want leftovers. We are sure you will be able to taste the difference as you dine in comfortable and familiar surroundings—in pj’s and sweats, or something fancier, it’s up to you.
Your neighbourhood stop for ready-to-go meals, baking, and locally sourced goods is waiting for you in Orono. End your meal with delicious pies, butter tarts, cookies, squares and more from this home-away-from-home eatery. The perfect end to your meal, you may want to come back time and again for just another slice.
Uxbridge is where Chef Marco Cassano delivers fine baked goods with an eye-catching style. Don’t believe us? Hop over to their Instagram feed to take a peek at their Nutella mini-pastry platter. Choose from home-baked favourites like pies and tarts, or style it up a bit more with a restaurant-worthy cake or confectionery creation.
This post could quickly have become a novel-length if we were to rave about all of the artisan and craft brewers we have in our downtowns. Each one has its own unique style, created by artisans who truly love what they do and what they produce. Whether you’re looking for a warm, spiced ale, a tart, dry cider or a crisp, fresh pilsner, our local breweries and cideries have you covered. You can find the perfect beverage accompaniment to your date night meal, no matter which location you decide to visit on your Downtowns of Durham Day Trip. Here are just a few of our favourites:
Brock Street Brewing Company – Located in Historic Downtown Whitby, this craft brewery produces award-winning, all-natural premium beers, several of which can be found in your local LCBO and Beer Store.
Banjo Handcrafted Cider – The folks behind this farm-based cidery and store are passionate about reviving the lost art of traditional cider-making, which was nearly lost during the Prohibition Era. Handcrafted cider is made slowly in small batches with only Ontario apples.
Slabtown Cider Company – Authentic to the “core,” this family-owned and operated cidery and orchard has been working hard to revitalize over 90 acres of historic fields into one of Canada’s most extensive collections of unique heritage heirloom apple cider varieties.
The Second Wedge Brewing Company – Named for the Uxbridge Wedge, which is the second of four geographical wedges in the Oak Ridges Moraine, this brewery is committed to crafting and sharing ales full of flavour and character. With seasonal creations and permanent favourites, you will taste the passion that goes into each and every brew.
In Port Perry:
Old Flame Brewing Company – Dedicated to brewing authentic craft beer and creating experiences worth remembering, Old Flame’s flagship location can be found in Historic Port Perry, in what was once the 1884 Ontario Carriage Works. Enjoy the heritage as you sample quality lagers, IPAs and stouts.
Did you go on your own Downtowns of Durham Day Trip for Date Night? Tag us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with your photos and tell us all about it!
NOTE: At the time of publishing, Durham Region is in the RED-CONTROL zone of the COVID-19 Response framework with extensive measures in place to stop the spread of COVID-19. Residents are encouraged to stay at home with exception of essential trips, wash hands frequently, wear a mask and physically distance from others.
We continue to publish these stories to encourage you to explore these businesses and communities safely and through social media. When possible, please order for safe curbside pick-up if offered, and prepare to explore these areas once they are able to safely reopen.