A photo of the Snow Countess cow Statue in Woodstock, Ontario.

Savour Ontario Eats – Spotlight on Woodstock & Area

Not only is Woodstock the centre of Southwestern Ontario and the largest city in Oxford County but it also holds the honourable title of the Dairy Capital of Canada!


Home to vibrant festivals including Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show and Cowapalooza, Woodstock and area also houses countless locally fueled, dairy-centric eateries, markets and makers and experiences. Though each stop is unique, the shared philosophy of a community driven business, in turn supporting it’s community back is what keeps Woodstock thriving and it’s visitors coming back. Check out some of our favourite local dairy supporters in and around the Woodstock area!

Heritage Sites

A photo of the Elmhurst house during dusk with a pink skyline in behind.

Elmhurst Inn and Spa / Ingersoll, Ontario

Once the residence of James Harris and family, and home to the James Harris Cheese Factory, then transformed to the Elmhurst Inn and Spa in 1988, this historic landmark is the birthplace of the Canadian commercial cheese industry. Today, you can enjoy à la carte or chef's choice menus for 3 sittings in any of their 10 original 19th century dining rooms. From service, to ambiance, to using only the freshest local ingredients, The Elmhurst offers one of the finest dining experiences in the area. Reservations are available for a night out or weekend brunch but there’s nothing quite like the full experience with a stay at the Inn.

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An old black and white photo of the Ingersoll Cheese and Agricultural Museum being built.

Ingersoll Cheese and Agricultural Museum / Ingersoll, Ontario

Created as a tribute to the James Harris Cheese Factory, the Ingersoll Cheese and Agricultural Museum is a replica with all the contents coming directly from the original factory. Throughout the years, Ingersoll has invested in moving other buildings to the museum grounds to curate a collection of over 20,000 artifacts, creating a space to commemorate their position in the creation of the Canadian cheese industry and aid Ontario education.

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Restaurants

Portrait of a chef from the restaurant Sixthirtynine holding a serving board with various types of cheese on it.

SixThirtyNine / Woodstock, Ontario

Open 5pm-late, Thursday to Saturday, SixThirtyNine thrives on their unique local food philosophy which above rotating their menu seasonally to incorporate only the freshest local ingredients includes sourcing ALL local dairy! Co-owner and Chef, Eric Boyar, along with co-owner and wife, Jennifer, source all general dairy products from yogurt, to milk, to cream from Hewitt’s Dairy and participate in the Blue Cow program for their weekly butter delivery from Alliston Creamery. Cheesy features from makers like Gunn’s Hill, Mountain Oak, and Bright Cheese and Butter can also be found on their menu. Must-tries include their fresh Five Brothers Cheese Arancinis which stay on the menu year-round and any dish from pasta to apps that features their creamy, delicious house made ricotta!

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Restaurant booths in the IRONWORKS restaurant.

IRONWORKS Kitchen / Woodstock, Ontario

Community effort is nothing short of forefront at IRONWORKS Kitchen. With a variety of local partners, IRONWORKS is committed to partnering with your neighbours to provide a quality farm-to-table experience for their guests. Gunn’s Hill Cheese can be found in every bite of your burger or sandwich, as well as in many appetizers and entrees. For dessert, check out any of their sweet treats from Two Guys and a Whisk!

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Brickhouse Brewpub sign.

Brickhouse Brewpub / Woodstock, Ontario

As the designated eatery and hangout spot for Upper Thames Brewing, Oxford’s first brewery, Brickhouse Brewpub is nothing short of fueled by local. Above locally sourced ingredients found in every menu item, Upper Thames has partnered with local cheesemakers, Gunn’s Hill, to create uniquely curated, washed rind cheese using their handcrafted brew: Dark Side of The Moo - they even have a whole flight dedicated to pairing the cheese and beer! On your next visit, be sure to try some of our favourites, including the Backpaddle Mac & Cheese featuring their Backpaddle cream sauce and Gunn’s hill 5 Brothers cheese or the sharable Charcuterie featuring assorted local cheese, cured meats, vessels for both and accompaniments.

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Markets & Mongers

The store front of Turners Farm market.

Turner’s Farm Market / Ingersoll, Ontario

From a roadside stand to a beautifully crafted on-farm, indoor market space Turner’s Farm Market brings fresh produce and herbs from their fields, and a variety of other artisanal products from local suppliers seasonally from late March to end of November. Dairy has a prominent place at the market with products from London Ice Cream Co. - of which makes real cream ice cream using all locally sourced dairy - Bright Cheese and Butter Co., Hewitt’s Dairy, and Spicer’s Bakery. Check out their website for ‘Turner’s Top 5’ for tips and tricks on using in-season products!

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The inside of the Your Farm Market store in Woodstock, Ontario.

Your Farm Market / Woodstock

For the past 17 years, Your Farm Market has been providing locally sourced, farm fresh goods year-round to the Woodstock community. Located downtown, with over 40 vendors, YFM has a variety of Ontario made dairy products coming from Oxford and area such as Walker Dairy, Shaw’s Ice Cream, Jensen Cheese, Gunn’s Hill Artisan Cheese, Bright Cheese & Butter and Mountainoak Cheese.

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Parion farm table logo

Parion Farm & Table / Hickson, Ontario

Parion’s owners’ passion stems from understanding what goes into every product they sell. From local dairy, meat and produce farmers to the customers table, the quality is always there. Producers carrying local dairy or dairy centric items include Bright Cheese and Butter, Gunn’s Hill Cheese, Mountain Oak Cheese, Annies Chocolates, Sassy’s, and Anna Mae’s - making delectable baked goods from Millbank Cheese and Festival Dairy.

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Gunn's Hill Artisan Cheese logo.

Gunn's Hill Artisan Cheese / Woodstock, Ontario

Located in the heart of the Dairy Capital of Canada, Gunn’s Hill is truly unique with styles and tastes heavily influenced by the experiences of owner and cheesemaker, Shep Ysselstein. All milk is sourced from Ysselsteins neighbouring family farm. Gunn’s Hill cheese can be found in over 300 locations across Ontario, but nothing quite beats heading straight to the source to shop the widest, freshest selection, and taking a tour of the facility.

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Bright Cheese logo.

Bright Cheese and Butter Co. / Bright, Ontario

140 years later Bright Cheese and Butter has expanded from award winning cheddars to asiago, colby, monterey jack, havarti, curds and a variety of other specialty flavours. As a part of the Oxford Cheese Trail, Bright Cheese and Butter has their cheese shop and tasting room open Monday-Friday 9-5pm and until 4pm on Saturdays.

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Parlours & Bakeries

Bartley's Dairy Bar logo.

Bartley’s Dairy Bar / Woodstock

100% real ice cream made from Canadian dairy isn’t the only thing local coming from Bartley’s Dairy Bar! Since 1971, Bartley’s has been sourcing local additives for your favourite flavours from maple syrup to fresh, Ontario fruits. Open for the season as of March Break, you can enjoy their ice cream and frozen yogurt all the way until the end of the summer!

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Habitual Chocolate logo,

Habitual Chocolate / Woodstock, Ontario

This bean to bar chocolatier is sure to impress with a wide selection of milk and dark chocolate. Don’t miss their special seasonal offerings such as handcrafted ice cream made from locally sourced milk and cream in the summer and local milk hot chocolate in the winter.

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Honourable Mention

A photo of the Snow Countess cow Statue in Woodstock, Ontario.

Springbank Snow Countess / Woodstock, Ontario

Introducing the Legen-dairy Springbank Snow Countess monument, Canada’s 1st permanent memorial to a record-breaking cow, and a symbol of Woodstock, Ontario and Oxford County’s strong agricultural interests. In 1933 she broke the world record for butterfat production and held her record for 21 years! The Snow Countess statue is located at the original site of her home, Springbank Farm, known world-wide for their cattle breeding program. Taking a photo with the Snow Countess has become a tradition for visitors to the small city of Woodstock, Ontario.  She is located on the corner of Dundas St and Springbank Ave (don’t worry, there is parking access on Springbank Ave).  

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