Exploring Midland's culinary scene with Midland Food Tours

Jun 02, 2022

Whether you consider yourself a foodie, a new visitor to Midland or a local looking to explore, Kelly Kurtz and her Midland Food Tours are an excellent way to learn more about this waterfront city and it's thriving culinary scene. Midland Food Tours offers both a Walking Guided Food Tour of Midland and a Georgian Bay Driving Food Tour that begins with a few guided stops and then a self-guided driving portion. 

I was lucky enough to tag along on a recent Midland Walking Guided Food Tour with Kelly and this blog is a run down of what we saw, tasted and learned that warm day in May. 

Olde Town Library, Midland Ontario
We started our day at the Olde Town Library where this adorable little cafe is tucked in the back of the shop. Once you weave your way through their amazing colletion of home decor, antiques and vintage clothing, you will earn yourself a delicious latte and a nutella croissant. 

Kelly Kurtz, Midland Food Tours
Kelly Kurtz is the smiling guide behind Midland Food Tours and is a wealth of knowledge about the community and the culinary offerings in the city of Midland. Kelly has great stories to tell on every block and knows everyone in Midland. Midland is a very connected community and Kelly is keen to share those connections with folks on the tour. As a retired teacher and a former Sainte-Marie Among the Hurons staff, you will learn a ton on this tour. 
Georgian Bakery, Midland Ontario
Our first stop of the day was at the Georgian Bakery. This main street staple is famous for their butter tart donuts as well as their butter tarts based on a 150 year old recipe and using local currants. We got a behind the scenes look at their incredible oven and had a signature butter tart waiting when we arrived. Top secret preparations for the upcoming Ontario's Best Butter Tart Festival were underway too. 
Georgian Bakery is well known for their donuts... and it's clear why. 
Our second stop on the tour was the MegaMindful Living. This vegan cafe and mercantile offers healthy options from smoothies to wraps in a beautiful setting. We were lucky enough to sample the Georgian Shores Moonlight smoothie and the Smack in Da Mout! wrap with beetroot falafel. 

Check out the MegaMindful menu online and place your order for pickup there too. 

The next stop was Chef Bill Presents ... the home of the legendary Drunken Jams, Jellies and Marmalades. 
Chef Bill's lineup of cocktail inspired jams and jellies was amazing. From Rhubarb Margarite to Strawberry Daquiri and Tequila Sunrise, Drunken Jams are delicious. 
We got to sample this amazing adult grilled cheese with Kapuskasing cheese on sourdough bread with Tequila Sunrise Drunken Jam for dipping, alongside the Black Bean and Rice Bowl. Check out the daily menu right here
Our next stop was Operation Grow. Operation Grow is a social enterprise and a community hub for women who have experienced violence. Their vertical farm grows an amazing variety of greens that can be bought in the retail section up front. For more insight into the social enterprise side of Operation Grow click here

Operation Grow's Zip Farm - an indoor, hydroponic vertical farm that uses state of the art greenhouse techologies. 

As well as fresh greens, Operaton Grow sells an incredible lineup of pestos and homemade soups. 

Kelly stands beneath the public art installation, Sown, in downtown Midland. Between sculptures and murals, Midland has an incredible array of public art. Kelly loves to explain the details and give participants insight into the art works.

Learn more about Sown It's five pillars represent Midland's industrial history of logging, shipping, the railway, agriculture and manufacturing. 

Our next stop was at Grounded Coffee where we tried a Matcha Latte with almond milk and a refreshing Bella Koola 

DSC_2771-(1).jpgRight across the road is Noble Hops Craft Sandwich Shop. It's every bit as cool as it looks from the outside. 

Imagined into reality during the pandemic, Noble Hops serves up some incredible craft Italian sandwiches on muffuletta bread baked just up the road at the Georgian Bakery. With an amazing selection of craft beer that you won't find on the shelves elsewhere, Noble Hops is a bottle shop for craft beer connaisseurs who also love sandiwches. And well, isn't that all of us? 

Back on the main street, we stopped at the Olive Oil Co
There selection of olive oils and aged balsamic vinegar is vast. You can also sample several varieties 'on tap' to get a feel for the differences in oils and vinegars. For those used to grabbing whatever's on sale at the grocery store, this place will open a whole new world of possibilities. 

Across the street we headed to The Elegant Gourmet where they were busy roasting pecans for the upcoming butter tart festival. 

From ice cream to coffee to chocolate, The Elegant Gourmet is best known for their truffles.  

With the walking portion of the food tour officially wrapped up, Kelly was keen to show us what else the city of Midland has to offer. We visited the Midland Cultural Centre which includes art galleries, a live theatre space and a concert hall. Check out the MCC website for upcoming shows. 

The MCC's Gallery of Indigenous Art is currently featuring the work of Steven Brunelle. Running until July 2nd, Brunelle's work is stunning. 

We also visited the Huronia Museum  where they boast a large collection of Group of Seven paintings. 
We headed to Farm2Door - one of the stops on the Georgian Bay Driving Food Tour. This unique operation opened as an online solution during the pandemic to help connect local producers with local customers wanting fresh produce and other food products normally sold at farmer's markets. As things evolved, they realized demand for a storefront to help local producers contine to sell their products was there. Now you can pickup your local products there as well as continue to order online. 

For dinner we headed to Fresh Baked Consulting

Professional chef, artisan baker and culinary instructor Jennifer McConnell served us an amazing dinner at her recently opened culinary studio. Fresh Baked offers in-home chef services as well as cooking classes, pop up dinners, specialty cakes and more. 

Our day finished with a private preview of Discovery Harbour's Ghost Tours. 

With so much history on this site, it's no wonder there are many creepy stories and tales of ghost sighthings to be shared on the Ghost Tours

The interpreters put on an amazing show for us. 

Touring the Discovery Harbour site at dusk. By mid-summer these tours will run in the dark. Lanterns are provided. 

DSC_2941.jpgTales of missing artifacts in the officer's quarters are truly mysterious. 

It was an amazing day with Midland Food Tours and local bloggers ToDo Ontario, I've Been Bit! A Travel Blog and The World As I See It
If you're looking for a unique way to experience Midland, then give Kelly a call or book online right here