There’s no denying it: the call of the open road is strong in the North.
Winding roads and ever-changing vistas make journeying throughout Northeastern Ontario an exhilarating experience. Long scenic stretches of highway pass through wide-open fields and forests as they twist and turn past rocky cliffs and between valleys and marshlands.
If there is one thing that excites road trippers more than these breathtaking routes, it’s eating a delicious meal at the end of the day.
If you’re hungry for an adventure by road through Northeastern Ontario, take note of these four essential burger spots to refuel along the way.
The northern stretches of the Great Legends Tour are a feast for the eyes, traversing some of Ontario’s most beautiful and wild landscapes from boreal forests to bogs and endless waterways. Despite chewing up hundreds of kilometres and devouring picturesque views for hours, you’ll be running on empty soon!
When your Ride the North road trip takes you to Timmins, stop in at locally-owned New Burger Planet to fill up. They serve fresh, homemade-style fast food that’s locally sourced when possible. A Bison Cheeseburger was what this burger-loving voyageur needed to wrap up a long day, while a side of fries and jalapeno poppers satisfied any lingering cravings.
Where to stay: Balsam Suites Boutique Hotel is a unique stay in downtown Timmins! This bowling alley-turned-accommodation has spacious suites with incredibly comfortable beds. Parallel to the rooms is a long open common space with seating, billiards table, a library, games, and a dining area—there’s even a 24-hour help-yourself kitchen stocked with snacks and breakfast items for guests. This level of comfort makes it easy to sleep in, so set your alarm if you need an early start.
Whether you are continuing your Great Legends Tour or following the Lake Temiskaming Circle Tour, you’ll notice that farmlands outnumber forests as you approach the Temiskaming Shores area. While touring the region, it’s easy to observe how mining, forestry, and agriculture have reshaped the land.
Once you’ve had your fill of history and heritage exploration, it’s time to visit the charming small town of Earlton, where you’ll find Dida’s. They know burgers!
Each menu item is a carefully crafted combination of tempting flavours. It takes time to contemplate the options, so be sure to order an appetizer like the made-to-order Dill Pickle Chips: battered and deep-fried perfections, served with a dill crema dipping sauce. Try not to eat them by the handful!
If you’re still having difficulty deciding on a main, why not order sliders instead of just one burger? No matter what you pick, you’ll soon understand why Dida’s is on the list of Best Burgers in Northern Ontario! Favourites include the Maple Haskap Bison Burger, Dida’s, and The Ringer.
Where to stay: The Leisure Inn is conveniently located near Haileybury’s shops and restaurants plus it’s just minutes from the beach. This two-storey motel is a lovely place for the tired traveller to rest, and there’s an excellent selection for help-yourself breakfast with delicious coffee.
Discover a historic urban waterfront, cruise along the lakeshore, cross the French River and follow quiet roads through farmlands and forests on the Lake Nipissing Circle Tour. You’ll only need a day to drive this gorgeous route, but with so much to explore along the way, you’ll want more time!
No matter where you start, find every excuse to finish the road trip in Callander. First, check out the view from the Callander Bay Lookout. Second, visit the beach for a walk along the waterfront. Third, when hunger strikes, it’s time to visit a local favourite: Lu Lu’s Bar & Grill for a dine-in meal or tasty takeout.
The burgers are good, but the real winner is the pogo—there’s nothing quite like a battered and deep-fried hot dog on a stick. Eating one makes you feel like a kid again!
When your food is ready, take it up to the lookout in time to watch the sunset over the bay and South Lake Nipissing. Don’t miss this gorgeous vista.
Where to stay: The unforgettable timber log Terrace Suites (across from Callander Bay Lookout) provide panoramic views of the bay. It’s the perfect spot no matter where you are in your journey. Upgrade to a jacuzzi room for the ultimate relaxation—and don’t forget to savour the views at sundown! A small breakfast is delivered nightly, so your morning meal is just a matter of warming it up.
What could be more liberating than driving along the windswept shores of the Georgian Bay Coastal Route? Twisted trees cling to bare stone, their roots finding room in the cracks. Relentless waves wear stones smooth and crash onto beaches turning pebbles into sand. The rocky landscape follows the highway, even when the tour turns inland.
One destination not to miss is Killarney Provincial Park: a region known for its unbound wilderness, pink granite Georgian Bay shorelines and the white quartzite La Cloche mountain range. Exploring these iconic landscapes will undoubtedly work up an appetite. There’s a tradition that everyone partakes in when visiting this region: fresh-caught fish in the village of Killarney.
What better place to break the burger habit than at Herbert Fisheries to tackle some World Famous Fish & Chips? Really nothing will do when visiting Killarney’s fishing docks but the tasty crunch of fresh crispy-battered fish with tartar sauce and golden french fries.
Where to stay: Along with winter camping and walk-in yurts, Killarney Provincial Park has two rustic cabins equipped with propane fireplaces tucked away in the forest for a year-round glamping getaway. During the winter months, all sites are walk-in. However, if staying in the park isn’t your style, in Killarney you’ll find the Sportsman Inn Resort & Marina and Killarney Mountain Lodge, which have all the amenities you might crave, including running water and breakfast!
Take a Bite Out of Hunger
Northeastern Ontario offers up a bounty of culinary experiences. From Indigenous cuisine and international flavours to classic Canadian dishes, there is something to satisfy every palate while you’re exploring this diverse landscape.