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Bay of Quinte Winter Warmers


I’m deep into winter hibernation mode and lately, this cold weather has me craving all sorts of soups, hot drinks and comfort foods. Basically, I want anything that’s going to feel like a nice, toasty hug for my soul. Is this a familiar feeling for you? Turn to these tasty offerings around the Bay of Quinte region to warm you up on the chilliest days.

Written by Anna Fraiberg

Read time: 2 min

indulgent drinks

Benji’s Coffee Bar is the newest addition to the cafe scene in Belleville, located right across from Market Square. Their rustic and cozy seating area with floor-to-ceiling windows make it the perfect spot to watch the snow fall while staying snug inside sipping on one of their latest menu items, La Framboise: a raspberry chocolate steamer with a dusting of dark cocoa on top.

a hand holding up a coffee cup in front of an exterior brick wall with a sign that reads Benji's coffee bar and patisserie
two bowls of soup and a soft pretzel
Photo by Cassie Collins

Good Soup

I’m all about soups in the winter and The Soup Can in Greater Napanee is my go-to when I’m in the area. Their menu features over a dozen types of soup and you can add things on the side like a hot, buttery pretzel. Pictured are the coconut curry and potato, leek and bacon soups with a pretzel for dipping.

The "b" word

Capers has been a longtime favourite for high-quality dining in an inviting atmosphere in the Belleville Downtown District. I’m going to mention a pretty polarizing food, but hear me out, okay? These aren’t the Brussels sprouts you ate/detested growing up. When you add bacon lardon, shallot honey Dijon vinaigrette, cheddar cheese and fried potato hay you get a magical winter comfort food. Trust me, you’ll be glad you ordered these. 

Photo supplied by Capers

Flavours of Mexico

A trip to the sunny south isn’t in the cards for me this winter and maybe it isn’t for you either. Lucky for us, Chilangos Mexican Restaurant in Belleville serves up traditional Mexican dishes, made with family recipes that owners Marlem and Abraham brought here with them. When I eat here in the winter I always have to get the Tortilla Soup or Consome de Pollo to warm up.

Diner-Style Breakfast

One of my favourite comfort foods—year-round actually—is a classic diner breakfast. There’s something about a hot breakfast plate of eggs, bacon, home fries and toast being cooked for you that just makes it so much better. If it’s an extra special day, I’ll opt for the Red’s Diner breakfast poutine: a dish of home fries topped with bacon, ham, sausage, hollandaise and cheddar cheese. 

a hot beverage topped with whipped cream, caramel drizzle and cinnamon
Photo via @shoppe.wavy on Instagram

Coffee, Skate and Wellness

Wavy, a coffee, skate and wellness shop in Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory, just dropped their updated winter menu. I normally go for a simple coffee with milk and honey, but I love to get a specialty seasonal coffee beverage every once in a while, especially as a treat after spending some time hiking in the snow. Pictured is their brown sugar white mocha—just look at that topping (drools). 

A cozy cold beverage

Yes, you read that right. Perhaps this one’s a bit misleading in a feature for all things warm and cozy, but winter is prime stout season after all! Wild Card Brewing’s Mocha Stout is a smooth, thick stout with notes of vanilla, coffee and chocolate, which sounds exactly like my kind of winter beer. Dare I say, stout is a cozy beer?

a pint glass full of dark stout beer with a can beside it
Photo via @wildcardbrewco on Instagram
a tea pot, teacups and pastries on a table
Photo via Special Effects Lifestyle Boutique on Facebook

Tea Time

Cuddle up in the tea room at Special Effects Lifestyle Boutique, located in a century home on Brighton’s Main Street. Sit and stay a while and take your pick from their extensive list of teas. The curated seasonal menu goes beyond tea with other hot beverages, soups, salads, sandwiches and treats. When you’re done warming up, browse around their boutique before stepping back out into the cold. 

binocular icons
a man riding a wave on top of a surfboard.

Let’s see what we got!

a black and blue logo with the words bay of county.

The Bay of Quinte RMB Land Acknowledgement

The Bay of Quinte Regional Marketing Board is committed to acknowledging, appreciating and understanding the Indigenous peoples’ historic connection to this land and to raising awareness by building relationships in collaboration with Indigenous partners and communities. 

We recognize and acknowledge that we are living and working on the traditional territory of the Wendat, Mississauga, Anishinaabeg and Haudenosaunee which includes the Kenhtè:ke Kanyen’kehá:ka (Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte) with whom we work in direct partnership with. 

This partnership focuses on the common goal of celebrating the region with the Kenhtè:ke Kanyen’kehá:ka who are equal partners within the organization and at the Board of Directors table contributing to the mandate and operations.

This mandate includes listening to, learning from, and collaborating with the Kenhtè:ke Kanyen’kehá:ka and actively incorporating their culture and heritage into the practice of responsible destination marketing and management of the region.

We understand that this land acknowledgement is only a small step towards the larger process of reparations and reconciliation.

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