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Markets, Mochas & Mexican — A Tasty Tour of Waterloo Region

Located in Waterloo Region, and nestled along the Conestogo River, the town of St. Jacobs is steeped in history, Mennonite heritage and old world charm. It is also home to the largest year-round farmers’ market featuring hundreds of local artisans, and a vibrant, flourishing food scene that celebrates local ingredients and flavours. And the best part? It’s only a road trip away!

Breakfast – Kitchen Kuttings Café & Store

Kick off your day in the heart of Mennonite Country at Kitchen Kuttings Café and Store. Located in Elmira, Kitchen Kuttings is owned and operated by three Mennonite women and offers an assortment of homemade jams, pickles, preserves, Canadian and imported fresh-cut cheeses, homemade summer sausage, old fashioned fudge, brittle and a range of specialty local foods.

Must try: house made cheese balls

St. Jacobs Farmers’ Market

Next, make your way to Canada’s largest year-round farmers’ market & flea market featuring hundreds of local vendors inside three main buildings and in an outdoor area that swells as the growing season progresses. Goods are brought to market by the truckload, while others arrive by horse & buggy from local Old Order Mennonite farms. Stock up on fresh local fruits and vegetables, quality meats and cheeses, locally-produced maple syrup, honey, preserves, and baking. For lunch, take your pick from a variety of authentic cuisines, including gluten-free and organic options. (open Thursdays & Saturdays year-round)

Can’t miss: The Fritter Co.’s one and only apple fritters.

St. Jacobs Horse Drawn Trolley

Enjoy a country adventure while riding in a horse drawn trolley where guides share their vast knowledge of Mennonite heritage and the St Jacobs area. Look out for “The Log Cabin” at St. Jacobs Farmers Market (located on the corner of Farmers Market Rd. and Benjamin Rd) to purchase your tickets. Tours run at set times on Market days.

Fun fact: Draft horses pulling the trolleys can weigh up to 2000 pounds each!

EcoCafe Village Roasters

Specializing in artisanal roasted Fair Trade and Rainforest Alliance certified coffees, as well as a variety of Direct Trade options; EcoCafe Village Roasters is calling you for your next stop. Enjoy a coffee cupping or cup tasting as you learn the science behind a great cup of coffee, how producers and buyers around the world check the quality of a batch and how coffees are scored on cleanness, sweetness, acidity, mouthfeel and aftertaste.

Not to be missed: Ed’s pour over coffee

Taco Farm Restaurant

Cap off your day in Uptown Waterloo. Taco Farm offers an interpretation of Canada’s Mexico, a combination of one of the world’s great cuisines and our connection to the land around us. Mexican inspired and locally sourced, at Taco Farm they cook without borders or rules (except supporting small, local farms).

You won’t regret: The Colonel