Oka, Quebec is a quaint, picturesque town about an hour west of Montreal by car. Visitors are drawn in by the history, the landscape and the opportunities for outdoor adventure – but they stay for the food, especially the cheese.
A visit to this quaint town isn’t complete without a few stops for cheese, chocolate and cider.
Named after the town, OKA is a Canadian classic that dates back to 1893, when a monk and master cheesemaker from France settled here. A visit to its charming namesake town isn’t complete without a few stops for cheese and chocolate along the way.
Magasin de l’Abbaye d’Oka
A stop at Magasin de l’Abbaye d’Oka is a must after touring the TV– and film–famous abbey (the upcoming Three Pines mystery series was filmed there). There is plenty of cheese to take home, including OKA Classique, a ripened cheese that’s great melted, or OKA L’Artisan, a cheese with a rich hazelnut flavour. There are also baguettes, charcuterie and an array of local artisanal products, from jams to syrups.
1600, ch. d’Oka, Oka, Québec
Photo: Aurore C. Photographe
Open year–round, the 30–hectare Domaine Lafrance is known for its sugar shack in the spring, apple picking in the fall and ice cider during the winter months. Book a tour of the distillery and pop into the shop for a selection of apple products and cheese curds.
1473, ch. Principal, Saint–Joseph–du–Lac, Québec
Photo: Au Gré des Saisons
Au Gré des saisons
Au Gré des Saisons, a casual 85–seat restaurant at the foot of an apple orchard, has a well–stocked boutique filled with bricks of local cheeses, including OKA Light, as well as prepared meals, such as tourtière.
288, rang Sainte–Germaine, Oka, Québec
Related: Montreal City Guide
Photo: Cabane à pommes Labonté de la pomme
Cabane à pommes
You don’t want to miss brunch at Cabane à pommes. The farm–to–table menu features local products, including OKA Original (a mild cheese with an easygoing flavour) that is the key ingredient in the restaurant’s gooey waffle breakfast sandwich.
405, rang de L’Annonciation, Oka, Québec
Resto de la Traverse
A hike in Parc national d’Oka is best followed by an order of poutine at Resto de la Traverse. The restaurant, just a short drive from the park, offers unhindered views of the Ottawa River.
185A, rue des Anges, Oka, Québec
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Photo: La Pomponnette
For a memorable dinner, La Pomponnette is a popular fine–dining restaurant owned by couple Jean–Michel Pigeon and Lucie Gustinelli. Order the beef tartare, lamb shank or a tomato tarte and pair with a glass from their carefully curated wine list.
96, rue Notre–Dame, Oka, Québec
Photo: Daphné Caron
Fays, terroir chocolaté
After a morning of sightseeing, you may want to warm up at Fays, terroir chocolaté with a tall mug of hot chocolate. But this isn’t just a cold–weather stop: The rustic space is fully stocked with handmade chocolates, fine pastries and other sweet treats.
47, rue Notre–Dame, Oka, Québec
Photo: Maxime Gagnon
Bistro le Sacré
Find your way back to the Oka Abbey to dine at Bistro le Sacré, where the menu is inspired by the vegetarian monks who made the place famous. You can’t go wrong with the French onion soup paired with a bottle of French orange wine or local cider.
1600, ch. d’Oka, porte 6, Oka, Québec
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