When you think Canadian fare, you’d be forgiven for thinking that poutine and maple syrup are the be all and end all. Turns out there’s a whole load more deliciousness hidden away in the Justin Bieber and Celine Dion motherland—who knew?!
We’ve teamed up with the most Canadian Canadians of all, Destination Canada, to bring you their absolute best local picks for the most delicious food in Canada. Like, the whole of Canada. So, yeah that’s a lot of food ahead. Hope you’re hungry!
Whether you’re looking for a snack, something super fancy, or if you just need a drink (hey, you’re on holiday), we’ve got Canada’s hot eating spots right here.
Now get those highlighters out and let’s do this!
Posted by The Urban List | Sydney on Sunday, September 24, 2017
St Viateur Bagel
Ask any Canadian and they’ll tell you that the best bagels come straight out of Montreal. Ok, maybe ask any Quebecois and they’ll tell you that. But nonetheless the bagels at St Viateur are the absolute shit, and they’ve got quite the reputation. Don’t freak out when you rock up to a line around the block, this pomp and circumstance is the norm for St Viateur and their ridiculous bagels. The cinnamon and raisin is a bit of a wild card but totally blows our minds. Although, you just can’t beat a classic bagel, can you?!
ICYMI, Canadians are mad for poutine. To be honest, so are we—how could we not be?! Oozy, melty layers of cheese curds, gravy, and chips…drool. Smoke’s Poutinerie is our pick for poutine when you’re in the land of the maple leaf. You’re probably going to want to add this to your list, because you really can’t do Canada without treating yourself to poutine at least once—it’s the rules, don’t argue.
Schwartz’s Deli is an absolute institution. Don’t be fooled by the unassuming store front, placarded with striped orange awnings and French signage—this place is the real deal. They’ve been around for 80 years, after all, and are probably the most famous deli in Montreal. Expect sandwiches piled higher than high with traditional smoked meat and served with a heaping plate of chips and pickles. Plus, fun fact: Celine Dion once bid for ownership, so you know it’s good. Diva approval? Tick!
Look, anything created in homage to bacon is something we can get behind. So, when we discovered Bacon Nation it’s safe to say we were fairly excited. And yes, before you ask, there is a bacon poutine on the menu. Our personal fave, though, is the bacon calamari which consists of fried calamari topped with maple bacon and dipping sauce. Another highlight is the grilled fromage: bacon, cheddar, mozzarella, red onion, tomato, and fresh cut fries. Drooool.
If you’re familiar with Whistler, there’s no doubt you’ve spent your fair share of time at Norman Rudy’s. If burgers, beers, and sunshine (or snow) are your vibe, you’re going to want to make a beeline for Norman Rudy’s the second you set foot in Whistler. Order the crunchy fried pickles, a cheese board, and the bahn mi pork burger if you want to do Norman Rudy’s The Urban List way.
The Bird’s And The Beets
The Bird’s And The Beets do breakfast and brunch just like we do it at home. Picture a welcoming, light-filled space, exposed brick, and a tonne of indoor plants and you’re halfway there. The avo on toast here is so good it scores the Aussie tick of approval, and their iced coffees are, to be honest, our Canadian summer essential.
Vancouver’s The Acorn is one of Canada’s best restaurants, so it would be a real shame to skip visiting this gem. The menu revolves around the deliciousness of vegetables which (we know) doesn’t sound like the most appealing thing ever…but, holy shit you guys, this place is beyond epic. On first glance, the menu seems quaint with dishes named after their hero ingredient, such as tomato, or summer squash, but on second glance the complexity of each dish becomes apparent. We’re talking kelp salted roasted king oyster mushrooms, with confit wild garlic, smoked onion kelp sauce, leeks, and sea asparagus. Bet you didn’t know veggies could taste this good.
Brassiere T is some of the best food in Montreal. Yep, we said it! If casual bar dining and super fancy bistro eats had a love child, the food at Brasserie T would be it. The menu is packed with delectable bites such parmesan fondue, goats cheese potato gratin, and Sriracha-smoked salmon tartare so you’re best planning ahead and wearing your stretchy pants to dinner here.
If you're after a ridiculously delicious meal with a ridiculously delicious view, hot foot it to Wheelhouse Restaurant in Whitehorse, Yukon. The restaurant sits on the banks of the Yukon River and follows a nautical theme from it's decor to its menu. Order the bison shepherds pie for something new, and don't leave without trying the elk bolognese.
Where do we start with L’Abattoir? Do we start with their ridiculously cool, past-meets-present architecture, or do we kick things off with their decadent brunch, or maybe their striking cocktails? We’re at loss as to what we love the most, but rest assured everything at L’Abattoir is that good. If you could have a crush on a business, safe to say we’d be writing L’Abattoir’s name in hearts in our diary.
Tojo’s has a reputation amongst Canadians as one of the country’s best Japanese restaurants. With an open-plan set-up filled with greenery and an omakase menu, there’s seriously nothing to fault here. We’d suggest ordering omakase style (which literally means trusting the chef to order his best dishes for you) to truly experience the breadth and flavour of Tojo’s menu. But, if we’re being honest, you really can’t lose no matter what you order.
Gatsby, eat your heart out. Prohibition Bar in Vancouver does Jazz-luxe so well we had to invent a category to suit it. Think velvet features, chandeliers, mirrors, and a secret entrance. If you’re planning a night out while you’re in Canada, add Prohibition to your list, stat.
St John's, Newfoundland
Raymonds is a St John's stalwart. If classic spots are your thing, you’ll love this spot. Think, historic building and a harbor-side and you’re pretty much there. The menu is understated yet impressive, trust your waiter, sit back and enjoy your meal.
Mill Street Brew Pub
Beer fanatics listen up, this is your spot. Housed in a historic building, you’ll end up falling in love with not only Mill Street’s brews, but the atmosphere and Canadian hospitality, too. The beers are brewed right on site so you’re pretty much drinking the most Canadian beer ever. They do organic beers, too, so you won’t be cheating on your diet either…right?!
Maque in Winnipeg is the newest eatery from Chef Scott Bagshaw. Expect small plates of Asian influenced dishes combined with beautiful architecture and a wine menu that will blow your mind.
Poutine, who?! We told you the food on offer in Canada was epic! To start planning your food tour de Canada, check out the STA Travel website.
Editor's note: this article was produced in partnership with Destination Canada. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who make The Urban List possible. (And don't forget to share your Canada snaps with us using #Urbanlisted).
Image credit: provided by Canadian Tourism Commission