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Things to do/places to eat in Barrie.

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Ontario, Canada
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Things to do/places to eat in Barrie.

Thanks to all who have posted on the Barrie forum. I've read the old posts in search of things to do in Barrie. We're a couple in our late 40's, not into the bar scene, enjoy moderate outdoor activity, interesting drives, shopping, anything you woudn't see somewhere else.... What might you suggest?

Secondly, we're looking for good, inexpensive places to eat. Not so much chains that are "a dime a dozen" everywhere else (ie McD, Wendys etc.) but rather places the locals know about that have good food, fair quantity etc.

I read on the forum about Shirley's Bayside Grill and Galaxie Diner. Can anyone compare them for me ie price, portions, type of food etc. Any other suggestions you might have are greatly appreciated. We're like to try the Green Mango Tree too....

Thanks for any help you can provide.

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1. Re: Things to do/places to eat in Barrie.

If you like seafood, I can recommend Fancys Fish restaurant - type fancysfishandchips into google and you will get to their website.

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2. Re: Things to do/places to eat in Barrie.

Search on my name for my post about Carriage Hills and get an English view of our Ontario trip. We stayed 20 mins from Barrie, back in June this year, and have Canuckian friends there!

We did a few different places, flom the sublime, to the ridiculous, and then there were the others.....

Shopping! We stood in er, York-er-thing, and we might have been in the UK! .My wife said,,,,,wow Liz Clair.... or whatever. The only difference was the price, $CDN!

Cheaper than the UK for some things, NOT for others.

Suggest you look at "laing1" posts, she's a local, and a good friend! Ask away. Mention me please!!!!

Barrie
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3. Re: Things to do/places to eat in Barrie.

Well I was just e mailed that you had this question. Since I've lived all my life in Barrie, I do know a lot about the city. When will you be here? Right now it is wonderful to see all the perch fishermen out in their boats and on shore catching these delicious jumbos! Folks are still golfing as you probably know as you are from Ontario!

Mom's Pantry is a great "homestyle" food restaurant. It is located on Bell Farm Road which is adjacent/parallel to hwy 400. It is between St. Vincent St. and Duckworth St. Always busy, excellent prices/value for your $ and all home cookin'. I have a lot.....a lot of other suggestions but before I do a huge tirade on Barrie I need to know when you will be here so I can make suggestions as to where you should go.

Ontario, Canada
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4. Re: Things to do/places to eat in Barrie.

Thanks everyone for your answers so far...Fenreed, I've read your review of Carriage Hills and I'm getting even more excited about going. sounds like just the place for us! My husband loves fish...so Fancy's might also be a good spot!

Laing1, we will arrive at Carriage Hills on Friday Dec 1st...probably too soon for cross country skiing, maybe we'll still be able to do some nice walks in the area? I've looked up Mom's Pantry reviews, found some on Virtual tourist board also, and it sure sounds like a good place. we'll likely be looking for something for after church on Sunday am as well as an occasional lunch/dinner during the week.

Any other suggestions you ight have are most welcome. We are thinking of going to the Cookstown outlet one day and perhaps to Mariposa Market in Orillia one day. anything else you might suggest is great. If we don't get to it this trip, we may well come back to Carriage Hills again and have a second chance to use your suggestions. Thanks so much!!!

Barrie
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5. Re: Things to do/places to eat in Barrie.

Excellent places you are going to: Mariposa Market -they have the most wonderful candles that are battery operated IF they are not sold out..great Christmas gift..I'm thinking of phoning and possibly driving up to get a couple...around the $20/30/40 dollar range. The outlet Mall is another great place. If you go there on a Sat/Sun then stop into the Flea Market on the highway, just south of Barrie. It will take you hours to go through it. WONDERFUL things to buy including fresh fruits and veggies for your condo!!

Barrie has terrific heritage walking tours. There are at least 9 booklets which include a map to show you where to go. One is a downtown walking tour that tells you all about the buildings you se, another is about our waterfront. These walking tours are available at the library on Owen St. or at the Southshore Community Centre which is right on the lake just around the curve- you can't miss it when you get down to the water. They also have great suggestions as to what to do and where to go.

Shopping in downtown Barrie is the way to go. There is free parking for the month of December, the stores are SO varied," Davies Fine Pasta" on Dunlop St., just down from the Queens Hotel, has wonderful freshly made pasta and sauces to take back for your dinner, a new book store, The Page and Turner", The Robert Simpson Brewery does tours, a fabulous Dollar Store, Lots of cafes that open out to the street that serve fresh coffee, childrens clothing, you name it it is all in downtown Barrie.

If you fancy a steak, we do have a keg just off Dunlop St. over the 400 hwy bridge, OR if you want to buy a great marinated steak (hey, trying to save you $ here!) go to the butcher shop on Cundles road/St. Vincent St. in the plaza beside Zehrs, they are called Rodeo steaks (we had them last night) MELT IN YOUR MOUTH!

Another very small intimate reasonable secret fantasic place to eat (which not many people know about is Cindy's Bistro. If you come in Hwy 93 (which becomes Blake St.) you have to pass it to get downtown. It is located beside No Frills, and it is always packed. She has hired a fantasic chef (this tiny restaurant was written up in the Barrie paper a couple of years ago). For THE best pasta if you want to go out, go to Mulcaster St. (right at the corner of Dunlop) to Pizzeria Italia. We order almost weekly from here for their Veal Parmigana. Wed is the "special" price night for this wonderful dinner. My husband and I have been going there since high school (about.. oh lordy.40 years ago!). Well I could offer more tips and will if you are interested. Enjoy your time in our area! By the sounds of it there will NOT be snow, rather you can watch the golfers at Settlers Ghost!

Ontario, Canada
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6. Re: Things to do/places to eat in Barrie.

Wow laing1, you are a fountain of information. And we are getting more and more excited about coming to Barrie. Actually Barrie was not our first choice for this trip (Gatlinburg TN was 1st choice...but there wasn't a condo available that fit with our dates. So Barrie looked appealing and it's looking better all the time..... :)

Thanks for giving us $ saving ideas...that's super!!

A few more questions for you....

The Veal Parmigana at Pizzeria Italia looks really interesting.... can you give me an idea of the price on Wednesday nights? Is there any particular time...ie is it an early bird special?

What streets are considered "downtown" Barrie?

Would Cookstown outlet mall be super busy on Sunday afternoon? We'd thought to come to Barrie on Sunday am for church, find a spot to get a bite to eat (any inexpensive Brunch ideas?) and then either head to Cookstown or the flea market. Or would it be better to do the Outlet mall during the week?

Can you give me any idea how to get to Bayfield Cinema?

Thanks for the info about Mariposa Market. It's interesting you would mention the battery operated candles...a friend and I had been talking about battery candles about a week ago and I had never seen them. I'll have a look for them if we get up that way. Someone mentioned they have a good bakery. since I work in Bakery retail, any bakery or cake decorating place is interesting to me. My husband knows that any place with a good bakery or custom cakes draws me like flies to honey!!! (I get some great ideas from looking at other people's creations!!!)

We just went to the local library and both stocked up on some great books....so we'll probably be relaxing and reading at the condo too.

Once again....thanks for all your help!!

Barrie
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7. Re: Things to do/places to eat in Barrie.

ok here we go!

Veal Parmigana is$14.95 any time on wed. We order one and share it as there is so much. It comes with a lovely fresh salad, and homemade bread.

If you are coming to Barrie for church everyone (well not everyone, but a lot!!) race out the door to get to Mom's Pantry. It is just down the street from the Catholic church so you can imagine how it fills up! Which church will you be going to? I might find a spot close to your church!

The shops in downtown Barrie are mosty located on Dunlop St. There is another very nice decorating store , and restaurant one street above and parrallel to Dunlop ..Collier St. By the way that book store I mentioned has a wonderful coffee shop, nibblies and chairs and tables to sit and enjoy. ANOTHER "secret" spot, and delicious (if you like Mexican) is on Clapperton St. We have what is called "THE 5 Points". This is the centre of town. All streets run east west of this point. Well Clapperton is the street you have to follow , through the 5 points , when you are coming up from the lake. This restaurant is up about 5 stores from the 5 points. It is simply a "door". The restaurant is actually facing on to the "mews" behind Clapperton St. They serve "tapas",.. mexican appetizers. They are quite reasonable and it is a quiet intimate restaurant. There are lots more places to eat downtown including "The Hun" Hungarian food. Do you have hungering for home made cabbage rolls???,$5.00, weiner schnitzel (dinner)$13.00, spotless wonderful restaurant.

To get to the cinema on Bayfield St. (don't forget there are cinema's downtown too) from the hwy take the Bayfiels St. exit, go straight through the lights and you are there. You are at the Bayfield Mall.Canadian tire, a chinese buffet restaurant inside, a HUGE Dollar Store, Winners, all located in the mall. One mall up the street same side is A&P(nice bakery) , Zellers etc. Across the street is Sobeys, Mark's WW, next you hit the BIG mall. The Bay, H&M, Sears you name it , it is probably there. Wonderful comfy chairs, huge glass ceiling skylight windows, very clean.. super if you want a mall. With the temp yesterday in the, I don't know, teens?, I shopped downtown and wondered why anyone would be stuck in traffic and shopping inside, rather than outside. This one place I went to called"The Blue Bottle" had tax free day( great reasonable stuff -decorating, kitchen, Christmas for in around $20). They also have a brand new cheese area with over 50 cheeses (so I HAD to buy some!).

I would suggest that after church,then brunch, head down to the flea market..a say 15 minute drive down the highway. You can stock up on meats, fruits, veggies, Christmas gifts, it will take you quite a while to go through it. Leave the Cookstown Outlet for a day it will be less busy...or even better choose a rainy yucky day as you'll be shopping indoors. Do the outlet in the early morning, back to Barrie for lunch and on to say the Georgian mall.

By the way, I'm a semi retired teacher, not a retailer from downtown! I just love my city as I've always lived here, and hope others get to enjoy it as well!

Ontario, Canada
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8. Re: Things to do/places to eat in Barrie.

So many things to do...so many neat places to explore and restaurants to try....Barrie is likely going to deserve more than one visit!!! Sounds like Barrie's downtown is thriving rather than dying like so many downtown areas!

For brunch ideas, you asked where we would be heading for church. I ran a search on our denomination (Pentecostal) and came up with two separate possibilities.....one meets at the Bayfield Cinema on Sunday am and is called "Connection" (hence the inquiry about where the Bayfield Cinema is located) and the other was Hiway Pentecostal on Anne Street. We were leaning toward the Bayfield Cinema location, only because it seemed more casual and suited to someone on vacation!!! We don't have any particular preference though, if you have a suggestion of a Protestant church to attend....

Our departure day is drawing near....as we used to tell our kids, years ago....only 4 more sleeps....

Thanks again for all your help....

Barrie
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9. Re: Things to do/places to eat in Barrie.

I don't know about the church at the cinema...but the one on Anne St. has a HUGE following. The lot is packed so they must be doing/saying something right that keeps folks coming back!! This church is on Anne St., but it is right where a main (cross Barrie) road starts-Wellington St. IF you wanted to go to Moms Pantry after your service you would follow Wellington all the way across to St. Vincent St. Turn left, go through 2 lights and at the 3rd light is Bell Farm Rd. turn right(only way to turn) and you are 1 minute from Mom's Pantry.(Total driving time...say 6 minutes)

Another really good spot for breakfast is right on Dunlop St. The Country Kettle. We go there quite often, and it is also very busy as a result of the good food. From the church you would go right out of the parking lot to Dunlop St. (2 short blocks).Hang a right..go over the bridge (400 Hwy) look for the Cango Gas bar on your left and you have found The Country Kettle. It is about a 1 minute drive from the bridge.

If you get a nice day.. try to walk our walkways down at the water. There is free parking in most of the lots down there.

10. Re: Things to do/places to eat in Barrie.

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