Food trends come and go, but there are those that are tried and true. The art of charcuterie seems to have kept its momentum rolling with even more demand for it in today’s culinary world.
This form of food can be served at a dinner party as an appetizer, or act as the star of the show as the main course. Charcuterie is ideal to pair with a pint of cold draft beer or a flight of wine tasters. Hey, it’s so versatile it can even teeter between savoury and sweet and act as a dessert tray at the end of a light meal. From a wide array of spiced and cured meats and aged cheeses to delicious fruits and sweet jams and chocolates, charcuterie is fully accessible all across our Forest City.
There’s even a spot you can go to order vegan boards, which is always a win-win for us. Each restaurant adds their panache to the classic trend that is charcuterie. Read on to find out about the sweetest spots around the city for the most mouth-watering, flavourful and unique offerings.
We couldn’t make a charcuterie list without an honourable mention to the one and only 10Eighteen Coffee Bar.
While the primary focus for this cafe is coffee, the food is next level. They source their ingredients from local artisan bakeries and shops. In addition to this, they commit to catering to any dietary needs. Gluten-free, vegan and vegetarians can feel entirely welcome in this comfortable and cute cafe.
The selection of charcuterie here is pretty vast. They offer boards of meat and cheese, cheese only, kids size boards and they even have a vegan option, which features dairy-free, nut-based cheeses! They’ve made it a mission to source local ingredients and the quality is evident in the flavour. Not to mention the way they are serving up these boards is so aesthetically pleasing it’ll be hard not to take a picture.
One thing to note about 10Eighteen is that they are not your run of the mill cafe. This is evident in the fact that they serve sensational charcuterie, but also due to their liquor license! That’s right; this coffee shop has a liquor licence. This is perfect for those who want to elevate their charcuterie to the next level by pairing it with an ice-cold draft beer or a refreshing glass of wine at the end of a workday. As a menu item that a patron would typically visit a nice restaurant for, charcuterie and liquor has become accessible in a relaxed atmosphere such as a coffee shop. That’s a win-win for us! Visit 10Eighteen today for a wide array of charcuterie, and you’ll undoubtedly leave already craving more.
MILO'S CRAFT BEER EMPORIUM
Milo’s joined London’s pub scene about five years ago and has no doubt made a name for themselves since. The location on Talbot Street just north of Dundas Street makes for a premier destination to those attending a game or event at Budweiser Gardens.
The Craft Beer Emporium is committed to sourcing local ingredients, and the result is a menu that boasts a modern flair on traditional pub grub. The focus at Milo’s, however, is their beer tap selection. They put an emphasis on craft beer, and have been supporting local breweries ever since their opening. With a variety of over twenty-three taps, there ought to be a beer for everyone who walks in the door!
What pairs great with an ice-cold draft beer? Charcuterie of course! Aside from their insane beer selection, Milo’s has become known for their scrumptious Canadian Cheese Board, Ontario Charcuterie and house-made natural pickles. Combine these with the perfect pairing of beer, and you’ve got yourself an ideal pre-game snack!
The large board is complete with a selection of cured meats such as salami and prosciutto, an assortment of Canadian cheese, some fruit, nuts and toasted bread. This board is perfect for sharing as an appetizer or a main, and there will always be that ideal craft-brew to complement the ever-changing selection of locally sourced and gourmet meats and cheeses.
WOLFE OF WORTLEY
It wouldn’t be a Forest City charcuterie list without the Wolfe of Wortley. Since it’s opening in 2016, this eatery has become a nationally renowned and locally celebrated spot. It earned itself a place on Air Canada’s list of Canada’s Best New Restaurants. If that’s not enough to take a trip to Wortley Village, then I’m not sure what is!
Owned by brothers, Justin and Gregg Wolfe, this is not their first or their last restaurant venture. The brothers began with the Early Bird Downtown before opening Wolfe of Wall Street. Their latest venture is the highly anticipated and positively reviewed Mexican inspired restaurant, Los Lobos.
So let’s talk charcuterie! The reason they landed themselves on this list is their dedication to fantastic charcuterie in many varietals. They cure all of their meats in-house and are dedicated to serving the most delicious and fresh ingredients. The menu is always evolving with the season, but patrons can always count on the eatery to offer a broad charcuterie selection. From mustards and pickles to go with the meat and select cheeses to devilled eggs and tuna tartare – this charcuterie is basic at its core yet sophisticated in flavour and presentation.
Craft Farmacy is the new-kid-on-the-block but that doesn’t mean it isn’t receiving acclaim from the London locals. As a farm-to-table eatery located on Wharncliffe Road, patrons can find an array of traditional ingredients in a creative and elevated form. From duck poutine, lamb burgers and mushroom polenta to a vast selection of oyster varietals, Craft Farmacy is fresh, delicious and unique in its food pairings. They are dedicated to sourcing local ingredients and that fact alone is impressive to us.
Along with their other great menu items, their charcuterie board is amazing. It is the perfect size for sharing while enjoying a pre-dinner cocktail, glass of wine or craft brew. The board itself offers a selection of salami, spreads, pickled fruits, crackers, toasted bread and various meats. It is presented beautifully and makes for an excellent start to any meal! In the mood for charcuterie as your main course? Go ahead as this will surely leave you feeling full and satisfied.
Craft Farmacy puts an emphasis on sourcing local ingredients, hence the name “Craft Farmacy.” As this is a growing trend, especially in London, we have absolutely no doubt that Craft Farmacy will continue to expand its horizons and churn out delicious and creative meals. This is the perfect eatery to head to for some dishes that you may have not previously tried and classics that you know you’ll love – like their fantastic charcuterie!
The mission for the London Wine Bar is to offer a refined and elegant, yet quaint and cosy spot that is reminiscent of a traditional European Wine Bar. With two locations, one on Talbot next to Milo’s and the other in Wortley Village, it’s safe to say that London has welcomed this establishment with open arms. Both locations don a welcoming atmosphere that is sophisticated in design yet cosy and charming. Wine Bar is perfect for a glass of wine after a long workweek, an intimate date night or a girls night out! As obvious as it may seem, the sole focus of these establishments is to drink and experience quality wine in an approachable manner. Wine novices and connoisseurs alike can visit the Wine Bar and come out of it learning something new each time.
While wine is the focal point for London Wine Bar, charcuterie comes a very close second (if not tied). The food menu is less extensive than that of a traditional restaurant. What they lose in menu variety, they gain in quality and pairing. From meticulously picking and choosing an assortment of cured meats, to fruits, pickled items, fresh bread and locally made jams, the charcuterie they are serving up is a must-try.
The Downtown location focuses on charcuterie and melt-in-your-mouth chocolate. The Wortley location offers the same traditional artisan boards but expands their menu to appetizers and entrees such as panko-crusted brie, beef carpaccio and coffee hazelnut crusted Ontario lamb.
Whether you’re looking for simple meat and cheese board to pair with your wine (Talbot Street), or an insatiably delicious meal (Wortley Village), check out London Wine Bar and you won’t be disappointed.
When you think of locally owned, reliable and delicious restaurants there’s no doubt that Garlic’s of London will be on the top of that list for many. Located on the famous Richmond Row, Garlic’s has been impressing patrons for over twenty years. The intimate atmosphere mixed with a menu that boasts a wide selection, it comes as no surprise that Garlic’s has stayed on the London restaurant scene for so long.
Unique appetizers such as spiced chickpea fritters and slowly roasted garlic bulbs to a selection of pasta, pizza, salads and classic mains are reminiscent of many brasseries out there. The apparent difference between Garlic’s of London and other higher-end restaurants is the use of garlic in most of their dishes. Garlic is the sole focus of this restaurant, and their charcuterie board is no exception!
The charcuterie option is dubbed the “Garlic’s Artisan Board”. It boasts your typical charcuterie such as house-cured boar bacon, dried chorizo, local and imported cheese, pickles, house smoked trout, prosciutto and roasted nuts. What elevates this appetizer (or main course if you so decide) is their house made garlic mustard and chutney. These sauces are just packed with flavour, perfectly complementing every bite on the board. There’s no doubt that the garlic in these sauces is the ingredient that brings this charcuterie board to the next level. If you’re a fan of garlic and charcuterie (who isn’t?), then this establishment must be on your list of restaurants to visit in Downtown, London!
THE CHURCH KEY
The Church Key has become a London favourite. It is a pub with a sophisticated edge. Residing in an old Heritage Building complete with a beautifully decorated courtyard, the Church Key does not lack aesthetic or atmosphere. This bistro is serving up Sunday brunch, appetizers, lunch, dinner and even offers both extensive vegetarian and gluten-free menus. Their versatility and consideration for dietary choices and requirements are exceptional.
With dishes such as ale and onion soup, fish and chips, beef pot roast and bacon steak mac and cheese – this bistro gives off sophisticated English pub vibes. And they’re certainly winning at it. The Ploughman’s Plate is their take on charcuterie and is in the entree section of the menu. While it is offered as an entree, it’s an excellent option as a shareable appetizer.
The sophisticated English pub feel stays consistent with this board. It is complete with English cheeses, crusty bread, paté, smoked salmon rillette, duck bacon, Branston pickle, pickled quail eggs and vegetables. This board is one of the most extensive and unique charcuteries we’ve seen thus far! It has received rave reviews from those who have been lucky enough to taste it; the Church Key has even become known for their aptly named charcuterie. Fun fact, a Ploughman’s Lunch is a traditional English cold meal that focuses on bread, cheese and onions!
Next time you’re in the mood for an indulgent meal that will surely satisfy your taste buds, head to Church Key and take in their cosy and welcoming atmosphere.
Do It Yourself!
While going out for charcuterie is always a good idea, so is making your own! Thankfully for us Londoners, there are plenty of bakeries and butcheries that can supply you with the goods to make a charcuterie board like a pro! Here’s a list of our top recommendations if you’re on the hunt for quality ingredients. A visit to these shops will ensure that your guests will be impressed by the flavour and won’t believe you did it yourself.
Western Fair Farmer’s and Artisan’s Market (Every Saturday 8am-3pm):
All Bout Cheese
- The Harvest Pantry
- Artisan’s Bakery
- The Village Meat Shop
- International Bakery
- Havaris Produce
- Kleiber’s Deli
- Alicia’s Fine Foods
- Nuts for Cheese