BY ERICA EADES
With a thriving local arts scene, a bustling main street, and a new-found identity as a foodie’s paradise, Almonte — the quaint, historic commuter town just 30 minutes west of the city — has hit its stride.
Mill Street Crepe Company
14 Mill St.
Executive chef Charlene Santry is the creative mastermind behind Almonte’s little slice of France. Nestled in the new Heritage Court — a collection of independent shops at the bottom of Mill Street — Mill Street Crepe Company, a licensed venue, offers an ever-changing lineup of crepes. Our favourite is the country-style smoked ham and Gruyère, packed with oven-dried tomatoes, thyme, and apple-honey mustard. But you may have to get one of each.
Tin Barn Market
73 Little Bridge St.
Whatever your thrifting fancy — be it vintage, antique, handmade, or up-cycled — Tin Barn Market is bound to deliver. A relatively new addition to Almonte’s historic town centre, this tiny concept shop features a wonderfully eclectic mix of vintage housewares and salvaged goods, plus handcrafted jewellery and stationery.
65 Mill St.
A stylish boutique sure to impress even the most discerning fashionistas, Doree’s Habit is one of the area’s best-kept secrets. With a remarkable eye for detail, owner Brodie O’Connor selects clothing and accessories that are at once fun, fresh, and sophisticated. The shop is also committed to keeping things local: Schwiing (Montreal), Pink Martini (Toronto), and Vandentillaart (Kemptville) are just a few Canadian lines you’ll find.
75 Little Bridge St.
No visit to Almonte would be complete without a stop at Baker Bob’s, a local institution. A bit of a celebrity in these parts, owner Bob Graff has been serving up home-style goodies since 1995. Stop in for freshly baked butter croissants, muffins, and Danishes (the blueberry is to die for). Wash them down with an excellent cup of fair-trade organic coffee, with beans supplied by Almonte’s own Equator Coffee Roasters.
78 Mill St.
Impeccable service and authentic ambience distinguish this charming artists’ hangout. Owned by chef/baker Sally Parsons, Palms is not just an average coffee shop. All food is prepared fresh on the site, from the sweet and savoury loaves and scones to the artfully crafted paninis (we recommend the capicola, a delightful little number stuffed with capicola ham, provolone, peppers, onions, and succulent sun-dried tomato pesto).
Gallery: Photos by Justin Van Leeuwen