Chocadel: If you like chocolate, check out the super-tasty artisanal raw organic morsels from this establishment outside Sutton. Rating: Awesome. Address: 1055 Route 215, Sutton Junction, Qc., tel.: 450-305-6760, website: Chocadel.

Chocolaterie Raphael:
A favourite spot of my special chocolate correspondent, who raves: "I would strongly recommend it. They make Belgian chocolate and serve very good tea." Rating: Very good. Last visited: Mother's Day. Address: 320 chemin Knowlton, Knowlton, Qc., tel.: 450-242-2994.

TAGS: Eastern Townships, SuttonKnowlton


Abercorn Boulangerie & Croissanterie: Tasty breads, cakes, cookies, muffins and croissants draw customers from the entire region and beyond.Just a breath from Vermont and its Green Mountains, the bakery is the only store in the super-charming, super-tiny village of Abercorn, which got its start with Thomas Spencer's solitary log cabin back in 1792. Their products are sold in stores across the area too. Rating: Awesome. Last eaten: regularly. Address: 15 rue Thibault North, Abercorn, Qc., tel.: 450-538-6453.

Beignes Dora: Delicious home-made donuts, breads, muffins, artisanal pastries and ready-made meals. Here's a glowing review. Address: 805 rue Principale, Eastman, Qc., tel.: 450-297-2828.

Boulangerie Owl's Bread (Mansonville and Magog locations): The New York Times says this bakery has "one of the best bistro lunches this side of the Atlantic: salads, foie gras, duck confit, sandwiches." Also available: pastries from the artisanal bakery. Rating: Very good. Last visited: summer 2009. Address for the Mansonville bakery: 299a Principale, Mansonville, Qc., tel.: 450-292-3088. Address for Magog bakery: 428 Principale Ouest, Magog, tel.: 819-847-1987. Website:

: Their home-made breads are famous, and so are their baguettes and other specialties. Rating: Very good. Last visited: Sept. 2007. Address: 291a rue Knowlton, Knowlton, Qc., tel.: 450-242-2412

Saveurs et Gourmandises Bakery & Deli: This foodie haven in cutest North Hatley offers breads and pastries, fine deli meats, local cheese and duck products. Address: 39 Rue Main, North Hately, tel.: 1-819-842-3131.

TAGS: Eastern Townships, Magog, Mansonville, Knowlton, Abercorn, North Hatley, bakeries, Owl's Bread


Abattoir Ducharme: Fresh pork, beef and processed poultry at great prices, direct from the farm. Last visited: not yet, but soon! Address: 110 rue Authier, St-Alphonse-de-Granby, Qc., tel.: 450-375-4620.

Alpines Mount Echo: Nursery specializing in alpine, rock garden and woodland plants in a beautiful spot in the foothills of Mts Sutton and Echo. Address: 1182 Parmenter Road, Sutton, Qc., tel.: 450-243-5354, website:

Les Amies de la Terre du Voisinage de Waterloo: We love these guys. At your beck and command are nearly 600 products from 23 farms around the region - everything from fresh meat and produce to eggs and milk, all at great prices. The products are organic or chosen for their respect of the environment. Why buy from someone thousands of kilometres away when local producers make much of what we need? Rating: Awesome! Last visited: Feb. 2008. Address: 151 rue Lewis Ouest, Waterloo, Qc., tel.: 450-539-4964, website:

Beurrerie du Patrimoine: The Groleau family milks 60 cows each morning, separating the milk and pasteurizing to make their famous cheeses and artisan butter sold at outlets across Quebec. They have a store on the premises and also offer cool two-hour guided tours and tasting sessons on appointment. Rating: Awesome! Last visited: May 2008 (ordered through Amies de la Terre du Voisinage de Waterloo). Address: 225 Chemin de Cochrane, Compton, Qc., tel.: 819-835-9373, website:

Chevrerie Fruit d'une Passion: "Les joyeux fromagers," as these guys call themselves, love goats so much they got their own farm where they produce fine, artisanal goat-milk products, which they supply to gastronomic restos around the province. Address: Saint-Ludger, Qc., tel.: 819-548-5705, email:, website.

Chiapputo Elk Farm: Elk sausages, steaks, pies and more. Some of the best sausages I've ever had. Rating: Awesome! Last visited: Oct. 2007. Address: 2352 rue Principale, Dunham, Qc., tel.: 1-888-345-2460, website:

De la ferme à la table (From the Farm to the Table): Fresh meat, fruit, cheese and veggies from local producers with a focus on organic food. Also available are ready-made meals, soups and gift baskets. Rating: Awesome. Last visited: regularly. Address: 605 Knowlton Rd., Knowlton, Qc., tel.: 450-243-6888.

Ferme de cerfs Highwater: Deer meat products. Address: 52 Rodrique, Mansonville, Qc., tel.: 450-292-4357.

Fromagerie Fritz Kaiser: Locals buzz about master cheesemaker Fritz Kaiser's award-winning cheeses, including Le Douanier Cheese, named grand champion of the Canadian Cheese Grand Prix in 2004, and his Raclette Griffon, which also won a prize. Last visited: not yet, but soon! Address: 459, 4eme Concession, Noyan, Qc., tel.: 450-294-2207, website:

Gereli Farm: Organic beef, lamb, veal and maple products from award-winning producer Richard Semmelhaack, whose Hereford, Gereli Rifle, took top honours as grand champ bull in the National Hereford Show in 1981. This bull's mother was the long-time record-holder for highest-selling Polled Hereford Cow. Rating: Awesome! Last eaten: May 2008. Address: 54 Highland, Shefford, Qc. tel.: 450-539-0125, website:

Le Jardin du Fin Gourmet: Organic and heirloom veggies, herbs and seeds. Address: 633 Route de Mansonville, Qc., tel.: 450-292-0191, email:

Joie de Lavande: Great little lavender farm and boutique in Knowlton offering lavendar plants and lavender-based soaps, lotions, honey and other products. Perfect for gifts. Relaxed site with lots of Adirondack chairs, super-nice staff and cute little pond. Also check out their lavender blog. Rating: Awesome. Last visited: Oct. 2009. Address: 50 Mont Echo Rd., Knowlton, Qc., tel.: 450-243-5438, website:

Paradis des Fruits: Great apple-picking orchard with 22 different types of apples. Plus: honey farm, other fruit picking (blueberries, pears, plums, prunes) and a boutique. Accept school groups. Good animation. Rating: Awesome. Last visited: Oct. 2009. Address: 519 rue Bruce (Route 202), Dunham, Qc., tel.: 450-295-2667, website: ParadisDesFruits.

Les Petits Fruits Léger: One of the few fruit farms near Bromont, this 43-acre establishment includes apple orchards, strawberry bushes and grapes for red wine - plenty of tasty stuff to help stock their boutique with various ciders and other imbibements. They also offer apple-picking in the fall and occasionally sell goat cheese, fresh lamb and other products from nearby farms. Last visited: not yet, but soon! Address: 331 chemin Brome, Fulford, Qc., tel.: 450-534-2753.

Terre à Terre (Down to Earth): Super-cool farm and pottery store. Delicious products from naturally fed Highland beef who lounge around on a sprawling farm with a stunning view of the mountains. Plus: maple vinegar and cool functional pottery, tiles, murals and other creative pieces. Last visited: Feb. 2008. Rating: Awesome! Address: 67 Bailey, Bolton-Ouest (West Bolton), Qc., tel.: 450-242-2836, website:


Euro Deli du Village: The best Eastern European food store east of Ontario isn't found in Montreal or Halifax, but in out-of-the way little Mansonville, the former haunt of Mordecai Richler and home to the Owl's Head ski hill. Owners John and Gala are sweethearts, and they offer their own delicious home-made kobassas, bacon, holubtsi and half a dozen varieties of varenyky (perogies). In summer, they also stock various great Eastern European beers. Rating: Awesome! Last visited: Jan. 2008. Address: 295A rue Principale, Mansonville, Qc., tel.: 450-292-5544.

TAGS: Eastern Townships, Mansonville, Mordecai Richler, Owl's Head


Hydromelerie les Saules: All sorts of honey products, including wine and amazing syrups. Yum. Rating: Very good. Last visited: May 2008. Address: 1135, Denison Est (route 112), Granby, Qc., tel.: 1-877-443-3403 or 450-372-3403, website:


Auberge Glen Sutton: People come from all over to eat tasty Mexican food and sip margaritas here in the heart of the achingly beautiful Glen Sutton valley, known as the little Switzerland of the Townships. Last visited: not yet, but soon! Address: 1388, Chemin Vallée Missisquoi, Glen Sutton, Qc., tel.: 450-538-2000.

Auberge Lakeview Inn:
Locals pack into Knowlton's charming 130-year-old Lakeview Inn Friday nights for its tasty, very reasonably priced roast beef special. Rating: Very good. Last visited: June 2010. Address: 50 rue Victoria, Knowlton, Qc., tel.: 1-800-661-6183 or 450-243-6183, website:

Au Diable Vert: Said to be Quebec's best place to watch the leaves come ablaze with fall colours, this unique 200-acre property in the stunning Glen Sutton valley won the 2000 Quebec tourism grand prix for outdoor adventure attractions. "You want to whistle The Sound of Music, it's so beautiful there," raves my trusty Glen Sutton correspondent. Features include a superb restaurant, a wide variety of lodgings ranging from mountain-view suites to cabins and even prospector tents, plus year-round organized activities from skiing on nearby Mt Sutton to mountain hiking, kayaking, bicycle tourism and mushroom picking. Last visited: not yet, but soon! Address: 169 chemin Staines, Glen Sutton, Qc., tel.: 450-538-5639, website:

Au P'tit Poulet: This little roadside diner by the beach and great playground in Waterloo serves fried chicken, shrimps and scallops. This review says the chicken is pretty decent. Address: 4141 rue Foster, Waterloo, Qc., tel.: 450-539-3939.

Bistro Beaux Lieux: Fine Sutton restaurant focusing on local ingredients, created by legendary chef Christian Beaulieu. Rated by one of my Sutton correspondents as "hands down" her favourite Townships restaurant. "The food is heavenly and equals with ease some of the best places I've been to in Montreal, New York and Munich." Wow. Sounds good to me. Rating: Awesome. Last visited: fall 2009. Address: 19 rue Principale Nord, Sutton, Qc., tel.: 450-538-1444, website:

Bistro Olaf: This cozy little Cowansville eatery is a favourite among locals, with regional produce and seasonal flavours from a renowned chef. A little pricey for what you get. Rating: Just okay. Last visited: Oct. 2008. Address: 1105 rue Sud, Cowansville, Qc., tel.: 450-260-1105.

Bistro Sasta: Friendly little eatery with tasty food on the boardwalk overlooking Knowlton's pretty Millbrook Pond. Won an honourable mention in my 2010 Best Townships Canteens, Casse-Croutes and Diners Contest. Last visited: summer 2010. Address: 30 Lakeside, Knowlton, Qc., tel.: 450-243-6222.

Café Chez Moi: Cute and cozy little spot in an old house in cute and cozy downtown Stanbridge East. Rating: Awesome. Last visited: sometime in 2008? Address: 9 Maple, Stanbridge East, tel.: 450-248-7038.

Café Floral: Great view, super-friendly staff, relaxed atmosphere, tasty food, kid-friendly (including crayons and colouring books). Whaddya want? My special lunching correspondent tells me this "is, in my opinion, the best restaurant in Knowlton. Only open for breakfast and lunch, but the food is divine. View of the Mill Pond from the terrace is very pretty. Not expensive and a great bargain for the quality." I agree. It's our regular weekend lunch spot. Rating: Awesome. Last visited: regularly. Address: 30 Lakeside, Knowlton, Qc., tel.: 450-243-0792.

Café Massawippi: Cozy little gastronomic resto in picturesque North Hatley. This place packs it in for heavenly fois gras, regularly changing table d'hotes and their own specialty preserves. First place I've tried yellow wine, which by the way is incredible. Rating: Awesome! Last visited: June 2013. Address: 3050 rue Capelton, North Hatley, Qc., tel.: 819-842-4528, website:

Cantine Ben La Bédaine: Fans say this renowned Granby canteen, usually known just as "Chez Ben," has the best burgers and poutine in the region... including a poutine burger! Nice. Another reason to go is the diner-style ambiance, complete with neon signs and staff wearing red-and-white striped uniforms who shout out orders. Highly recommended by Quebec blogger Fast Food Fred. Address: 599 rue Principale, Granby, Qc., tel.: 450-378-2921.

Cantine Maude: My Mansonville correspondent says Cantine Maude is "the best canteen by far" in the whole of the Townships. Great burgers, pizza, home fries, poutine, Caesar salad, plus a nice deck, friendly staff and a playground for kids. I gotta check it out. Also see this thumbs-up review, which has a photo of one of their beautiful-looking burgers, a tasty pizza and some home fries. Rating: Awesome. Address: 342 Route 112, St-Etienne-de-Bolton, Qc., tel.: 450-297-0001.

Charles Luncheonette: Good-quality popular burger joint in Magog. Read Quebec blogger Fast Food Fred's review here, which calls the burger "delicious." Address: 510 rue Sherbrooke, Magog, Qc., tel.: 819-843-9928.

The Crossing: Holy Moses, so good. So very good. I had the ribs (2 lbs). Wife had filet mignon. Amazing. Their famous peanut butter pie was even better. Even the vegetable soup, which the kids had, was stupendelicious. The prices are very reasonable too. (My ribs were $11, and we got a whole PB pie for $12.) Where have you been all my life?! Rating: Awesome squared. Address: 14 Province St., Richford, Vt., tel.: 802-848-3393, website:

Derby's Canteen: This canteen of no fixed address can be found at country fairs around the Townships, including the Brome County Fair. They make awesome burgers and won first place in my 2010 Best Townships Canteens, Casse-Croutes and Diners Contest.

Eggsoasis Bar et Grill: This Granby eatery is packed with locals who enjoy its reasonably priced, wide-ranging and creative menu of tasty breakfasts served through the day. Includes everything from the usual eggs and bacon to a bunch of eggs benedict variations, crêpes and unique "double bouches" - e.g., egg stuffed into a pancake with other fillers like asparagus and ham. The service is fast, and the portions are big. Last visited: June 2010. Rating: Awesome. Address: 840 rue Principale, Granby, Qc., tel.: 450-991-4949.

Entre les branches: This Bromont restaurant with a tasty-looking table d'hote is highly rated by locals. Address: 616 rue Shefford, Bromont, Qc., tel.: 450-534-3213, website:

Le Frais Pressé: This Eastman café serves yummy fresh-made juices and home-made snacks and is run by real friendly people. Address: 380 Principale, Eastman, Qc., tel.: 819-300-0023.

Frederick's Dar-I Whip Restaurant: Not exactly in the Townships, this super-cozy, family-run diner is the perfect place for a stop if you're ever exploring the breath-taking mountains and forests of upper Maine. The restaurant, which got its start as a home-made ice cream parlour (hence, "Dar-I Whip"; get it?) decades ago, won a 2007 Restaurant Neighbor Award and serves some of the best corn chowder and pulled pork sandwiches I've ever tasted. The seafood platter was also insanely good. Every small town needs a place like this. Please, God, bring us a diner half this good to Knowlton! Rating: Is there anything above "Awesome"? Last visited: June 2010. Address: 120 Mercer Rd., Norridgewock, Maine, tel.: 207-634-4962.

La Girondine: Local foodies rave about this gastronomic gem of a restaurant in charming little Frelighsburg, known for its local ingredients (including onsite farm) and boutique offering foie gras, sausages, rabbit, duck and much more. Last visited: not yet. Address: 104 Route 237 South, Frelighsburg, Qc., tel.: 450-298-5206, website:

Le Hob Nob Resto-Bar: This North Hatley eatery-slash-bar in the middle of the village has a nice ambiance and is a favourite of locals. Address: 70 run Main, North Hatley, Qc., tel.: 819-842-3330, website:

Knowlton Pub: This relaxed tavern with friendly staff in downtown Knowlton offers a great terrace where locals mingle with motorcycle-tour groups and eat high-quality pub-style fare. The Cobb salad and Black & Blue burger (with blue cheese) are tasty, and the peanut butter pie is insane. I also like the Knowlton Gold beer (which tastes a little like honey). Also feature lots of live acts. Rating: Awesome. Last visited: regularly. Address: 267 chemin Knowlton, Knowlton, Qc., tel.: 450-242-6862.

Louis Luncheonette: With three locations in Sherbrooke and 50 years in the business, "Chez Louis" is a favourite of locals for great burgers and other diner fare. They won second place in my 2010 Best Townships Canteens, Casse-Croutes and Diners Contest. Fast Food Fred, a Quebec blogger, gives them his thumbs-up in this mostly positive review. Address: 260 rue King West, Sherbrooke, Qc., tel.: 819-563-6940.

Marina Knowlton: Originally built circa 1890, this charming little hangout has a nice terrace overlooking Lac Brome, a "Touki" bar and a relaxed atmosphere that's probably the closest you'll find to the Caribbean in these parts. They serve awesome burgers and other "bistro" food with a BBQ through the summer plus boat slips and nearby cottage rentals. Rating: Awesome. Last visited: regularly. Address: 78 Benoit, Knowlton, Qc., tel.: 450-243-5453, website:

La Petite Table Nippone: We were driving down a country backroad one day when we came across probably the cutest sushi restaurant in Quebec. Halfway between Bromont and Foster, this authentic little hideaway is located in a rustic setting in a refurbished country home. The chef is Japanese and makes his own samurai swords! How authentic is that. They open by appointment only, so be sure not to drop in unannounced. Rating: Awesome. Last visited: regularly. Address: 256 Fulford Rd., Fulford, Qc., tel.: 450-539-4480, website:

Pilsen Restaurant & Pub: Wile away the day gazing at Lac Massawippi while munching on pub fare or fine cuisine and washing it down with a cool local microbrew. Address: 55 Rue Principal, North Hatley, Qc., tel.: 1-819-842-2971, website:

Le Relais: This higher-end resto in the heart of downtown Knowlton is decent enough (albeit a tad overpriced), serving good cuisine with local ingredients (including lots of duck), but the Thursday and Saturday night steak specials are a couple of the best deals in the entire region. Book your seat because in-the-know locals often take every seat in the place. Some of their other specials are also worth investigating, and the place boasts a nice terrace. The 150-year-old building also houses the oldest, continuously operating hotel in the Townships. Rating: Very good. Last visited: regularly. Address: 286 chemin Knowlton, Knowton, Qc., tel.: 450-242-2232, website:

Restaurant à la Fontaine: One of our favourite places to have lunch in Sutton, this restaurant in a big old historic house by the river offers tasty food at reasonable prices (especially the lunch specials) and a really nice atmosphere, including one of the best terraces in the area. Rating: Awesome. Last visited: regularly. Address: 30 rue Principale Sud, Sutton, Qc., tel.: 450-538-3045.

Restaurant au Royaume du Steak: This relaxed Waterloo resto is by no means the fanciest joint in the area, but the steak is insane - in a class with Montreal steak gods Moishe's. Rhonda had an ever-so-tender filet mignon, while I, a fan of all things gamey, had to try the caribou. Holy jeezus, it was ridiculously good. Plus, one of the few decent restaurants between Granby and Lac Memphremagog with a kitchen open later than 8 p.m. on a Tuesday night (our anniversary). Rating: Awesome times a million. Last visited: regularly. Address: 300 rue Lewis, Waterloo, Qc., tel.: 450-539-0811.

Restaurant Il Duetto: This acclaimed Sutton restaurant was rated the town's best by It's located on an out-of-the-way back road in a bucolic setting just outside town and offers fine Italian cuisine. Rating: Awesome. Last visited: Aug. 2010. Address: 227 chemin Elie, Sutton, Qc., tel.: 450-538-8239 or 1-888-660-7223, website:

Restaurant Shalimar: The only Indian restaurant in the Townships has some hard-core fans. Shalimar, located in Lennoxville, serves northern and southern Indian food and is open Wednesdays through Sundays and offers buffets on weekends. Address: 263 rue Queen, Lennoxville, Qc., tel.: 819-823-9683. See the menu, hours and ratings here.

Star Café: A popular Knowlton hangout and community hub, the Star Café restaurant is located in the beautifully restored old tannery building, built in 1843. It offers a reasonably priced, tasty breakfast and lunch, organic coffee from Knowlton's Virgin Hill brewery and dinner on special occasions. Rating: Awesome. Last visited: lots. Address: 61 Lakeside, Knowlton, Qc., tel.: 450-243-5222.

Le Temps des Cerises: A great find in tiny Danville, near Richmond, Qc., this resto in a restored neo-gothic church is "a cut above the rest," my correspondent informs me. They also offer cooking classes in areas like soups, meats mousses, baking and pasta. Products made here are sold around the region and at Montreal's Jean Talon market. Last visited: not yet, but I wanna! Address: 79 rue du Carmel, Danville, Qc., tel.: 819-839-2818 or 1-800-839-2818, website:

Le Toscan: Italian restaurant right beside the dam and Coldbrook Pond in downtown Knowlton. Last visited: not yet. Address: 70 Lakeside, Knowlton, Qc., tel.: 450-577-2652, website:


Cabane à sucre du Pic Bois: This artisanal maple syrup farm and rustic sugar shack was ranked the second-best sugar shack in the province by La Presse. The maple syrup pie almost put me in a coma. I couldn't stop eating it, then I was seeing double. Tied with Gaby-Pierre for the best-tasting maple syrup products in the Townships, in my humble opinion. I will eat nothing else. Last visited: spring 2008. Rating: Awesome. Address: 1468 chemin Gaspé, Brigham, Qc., tel.: 450-263-6060.

De Winter Maple Farm: This maple farm is certified organic and sells syrup and gourmet products like maple vinegar and dressings, maple BBQ sauce, maple jellies and sugar, along with blackcurrant products. Last visited: not yet, but I wanna! Address: 420 Jackson, Sutton, Qc., tel.: 450-242-4287.

Owl Hoot Maple Farm: I love the name. This traditional farm uses horses to draw the sap and sells maple syrup, butter, sugar, jellies, candies and pies. Last visited: not yet, but I wanna! Address: 85 Ross Road, Stanbridge East, Qc., tel.: 450-248-3616.


Chapelle Ste-Agnès Vineyard: This one-of-a-kind vineyard owned by Westmount antique dealer Henrietta Antony makes worldclass ice wines that have won some of the planet's most prestigious spirits competitions. Located on the west pass into the insanely beautiful Glen Sutton valley, the site also boasts an extraordinary stone chapel built in the Romanesque style by the Czech-born Antony in honour of Saint Agnès. Offer samples and tours. Call in advance to book an appointment to visit the store or arrange a guided tour or sampling session. Last visited: not yet, but I wanna! Address: 2565 route Scenic, Glen Sutton, Qc., tel.: 450-538-0303, website:

Clos Saragnat: This is the personal vineyard of the legendary, award-winning Christian Barthomeuf, one of the pioneers of viticulture in Quebec and creator of its first ice wines. The vineyard in charming Frelighsburg uses companion planting to improve plant health and no pesticides, tractors or heavy machinery. Rating: Awesome. Last visited: 2008. Address: 100 Chemin Richford, Frelighsburg, Qc., tel.: 450-298-1444, website:

Domaine des Côtes d'Ardoises: Christian Barthomeuf, one of the pioneers of viticulture in Quebec, helped found this celebrated Dunham vineyard, one of the few in Quebec to produce red wine. Last visit: not yet. Address: 879 route 202, Dunham, Qc., tel.: 450-295-2020.

Domaine Les Brome: Nice vineyard with stunning vistas and excellent reds, whites, rosés and ice wines. Offer samples and tours. Rating: Very good. Last visited: Sept. 2007. Address: 285 chemin Brome, Lac Brome, Qc., tel.: 450-242-2665, website:

Domaine Pinnacle: Family-owned apple orchard and cidery perched on the slope of Mt Pinnacle near Frelighsburg, a charming historic village named as one of the province's most beautiful villages by the Association des plus Beaux Villages du Québec. Last visited: not yet. Address: 150 chemin Richford, Frelighsburg, Qc., tel.: 450-298-1222 or 450-263-5835, website:

Hydromelerie les Saules: Honey wine and other honey products. Rating: Very good. Last visited: Nov. 2007. Address: 1135, Denison Est (route 112), Granby, Qc., tel.: 1-877-443-3403 or 450-372-3403, website:

TAGS: Eastern Townships, vineyard, wine, Frelighsburg, Dunham, Christian Barthomeuf, Clos Saragnat, Domaine Pinnacle, Lac Brome, Chapelle Ste-Agnès, viticulture, gastronomic, tourism