Timmins is a relaxed and slow-paced city in Northeastern Ontario, with most of its activities revolving around its pristine wilderness. Given its location by the Mattagami River and the hundreds of fresh-water lakes which can be found in its surroundings, Timmins is a fantastic place for world-class ice fishing. Famous for its Northern hospitality, the city offers a unique culinary experience for every palate and a vast selection of flavors.

Ice fishing means that you can still enjoy the catch of the day in the winter months.

Quintessential Canadian Cuisine

You might be wondering what some of the typical dishes of the region are. The fish in the north are plentiful, so what is the ultimate tradition? The walleye is a popular target for anglers, as it is a fish characterized by its mild and lean meat. Enjoy it pan-fried over the campfire or beer-battered at one of the many wonderful restaurants in the city. You can also taste a perch, enjoy a smoked rainbow trout or grab some fish ’n chips to feel total gastronomic fulfillment. Other delicious local fish to try include smallmouth bass, salmon, or sturgeon. 

Northeastern Ontarian cuisine holds a strong French influence—poutine is a delicious specialty with fresh curds, hand-cut fries, and rich gravy. You don’t want to miss the taste of an artisanal cheese platter paired with organic blueberry jam, either; it’s a taste you won’t soon forget! French toast with cheddar cheese and candied bacon is a wonderful hearty meal to enjoy during the long winter season. 

Do you have a sweet tooth? Then you’ll love the taste of a seltzer or soda water mixed with Birch Syrup, which is a traditional refreshing drink. Make sure to taste some delicious butter tarts or doughnuts as a dessert, too. 

If you are more of a wellness enthusiast, you’ll love the superfood chaga, a black and crusty mushroom growing on the side of a birch tree. Popular for its antioxidant and immune-supporting properties, you can add it to your coffee, tea, or smoothie for a morning energy boost. Another local health treasure is spruce tips, which are loaded with vitamin C and have a delicious citrusy, pine flavor. Add them to fresh spring salads or roasted vegetable dishes. 

Top Timmins Restaurants Picks

Make sure to make the most of dining at one of the many restaurants in Timmins offering delicious local, as well as ethnic, delights. Soak in the charming and warm atmosphere of the iconic Fishbowl restaurant. Its abundant freshwater fish options range from baked lobster to mussels, from crab cakes to shrimp cocktails, and will be sure to appease all your senses.

A must-visit is the Radical Garden Market, which is a restaurant specializing in made-from-scratch, ever-changing freshly baked treats, and some of the best burgers in town. If you are looking for Asian flavors, you’ll appreciate Osaka Sushi with its artistic sushi creations. Looking for something a little more Mediterranean? Then Siva’s Family Restaurant will delight you with its Italian flavors and food variety ranging from pasta dishes to sandwiches and meat.

The essence of Timmins is rooted in the use of seasonal and locally sourced ingredients. Check out the Borealis Fresh Farms for a vertical garden experience with a sustainable vision and savor its fresh greens. 

Timmins, like the rest of Northeastern Ontario, has a thriving craft beer scene. Full Beard Brewing is Timmins’ first craft brewery, offering flagship brews such as Five O’Clock Shadow or Bearded Prospector. Put your taste buds on an adventure and sip on other drinks such as spruce tip pale ale, a “breakfast cereal” blonde made with Frosted Flakes, or the strawberry rhubarb pie sour beer.

Treat yourself and taste some local craft beers while in Timmins.

Similarly, Compass Brewing is passionately serving the community with its dynamic flavors. Explore the traditional Belgian-style brew La Grisette and the fresh Polar Day IPA, with notes of pine, grapefruit, and pineapple.

Compass Brewing is well worth a visit.

Ice-Fishing in Timmins’ Wild

With thousands of lakes right in Timmins’ backyard, fishing does not have to be just a summertime activity. Frozen lakes provide an invitation to experience world-class ice fishing. Nothing beats the crisp morning air and the sound of auger blades making their way through the ice. Make sure to book a tour with a local ice fishing guide to experience the full beauty of the adventure as well as soak in their expertise on the local fishing holes and techniques. Stay at the iconic and top-notch Horwood Lake Lodge and catch the best northern pike, perch, bass, or walleye on the picturesque lake. Rent a snowmobile to carve out the sparkling snow while traveling to your favorite fishing hole.

Nothing beats the feeling of catching your own dinner.

Lucky enough to catch your fish? You might wonder how to best clean and prepare it to be cooked. First, cut the head off, hold the fish by the tail and begin to cut from the tail toward the head. Then, you want to separate the fillet from the skin, so slide the knife between the skin and the flesh, and slowly cut forward with long, smooth strokes. Continue your cut to the end until the skin is separated from the meat.

For great cooking, pan-fry the fish over a campfire with butter, onion, carrot, celery, and tomato. Gourmands can also add half a cup of dry white wine. Bon apetit!

Whether it’s seafood, cheese, or Canadian classics you prefer, Northeastern Ontario has something to satisfy your foodie cravings. To find out more about what to eat and where to go, read our Northeastern Ontario Travel Guide.