Poutine is a Canadian national treasure. It sits up there with ice hockey and maple syrup. If you’re unfamiliar, firstly where the heck have you been, and secondly, here’s a quick explainer: poutine is a pile of deliciousness, really—think crispy chips piled with gravy and squeaky cheese curds. It’s heavenly.
In Australia, we’re lucky enough to have some pretty close iterations of the Canadian staple, but nothing compares to the OG. That’s why we, as self-appointed heads of the Poutine Appreciation Society, have teamed up with the locals at Destination Canada to bring you this local-approved guide to the best poutine Canada has to offer. Quebec is the home of poutine, so it’s only natural you’ll find the most authentic spots there, but don’t be fooled, there are some delicious poutine spots scattered across the country, too.
Just a tip, though, don’t read this while you’re hungry or you might accidentally end up booking a trip to Canada to devour all of the poutine. Hey, no judgment here.
In case you need another excuse to add Canada to your foodie bucket list, here’s something we prepared earlier:
Posted by The Urban List | Sydney on Sunday, September 24, 2017
If there’s one thing Canadians are protective about (other than their hockey team) it’s the sacred recipe behind poutine. First and foremost, it must (we repeat: MUST) include cheese curds, melted cheese simply will not do. When it comes to the local’s pick for the best, most authentic, ride-or-die poutine offering, Smoke’s Poutinerie wins hands down. Every time. With a menu spanning traditional, vegetarian, pork, beef, and chicken there’s something for everyone here whether you’re a traditionalist, a first timer, or you love weird and wonderful combinations. You can’t beat the traditional option that comes with either classic or veggie gravy with Quebec cheese curd. Anyone else drooling?!
POUTINE LA BANQUISE
If you’re on the hunt for legit poutine, make Montreal your first stop. In particular, Poutine La Banquise. These guys dish up over 30 different versions of poutine, so you can bet your bottom dollar that a trip here will leave you well and truly satisfied. The menu spans everything from “la hot dog” to “la Rachel” (that’s green peppers, mushrooms, and onions by the way) and even has a special menu item dedicated to Fred Cailou which is the French-Canadian version of Fred Flintstone. And you better believe there is even an option with vegan cheese.
WHISTLE STOP CAFÉ
The Whistle Stop Café does not mess around. They have an entire menu dedicated to poutine that has over 100 inclusions. Yup, that’s 1-0-0 different kinds of poutine! The menu includes classic, vegan, vegetarian, pork, beef, chicken, Mexican, and even a freakin’ menu of dessert poutines. We’re talking banana split poutine, cherry pie poutine, and even candy topped poutine. Plus, they have a pizza poutine. Rumour has it this is what heaven looks like.
LA BELLE PATATE
Esquimalt, British Columbia
La Belle Patate do Quebecois food well. Like, really well. Their poutine is no exception and even comes topped with fresh cheese curds. There’s even a poutine on the menu that takes the title for the most Canadian dish ever; think hot French fries, melted cheese curds and lashings of Montreal’s famous smoked meats. We mean, you couldn’t get more Canadian than that unless Justin Bieber cooked it himself.
With a name like La Poutine, you can only imagine what these guys do best. Hint: It’s poutine. This hole-in-the-wall spot only has 10 indoor seats, so expect a cosy, atmospheric vibe. Their poutine is made up of entirely Canadian ingredients, too: cheese curds from Le Belle province, hand-cut local potatoes, and traditional gravy (with a vegan and GF option). While you can’t beat a traditional poutine (which they totally nail here) the hot wing poutine comes pretty close. Yes, that is a *literal* hot wing poutine: traditional poutine topped with roasted chicken, Frank’s Red Hot sauce, and a drizzle of ranch.
Le Smoking BBQ
Le Smoking BBQ do smoked, barbequed meat brilliantly (in case you couldn’t tell from their name). So, it’s no surprise that their poutine is off the charts when it comes to smoky flavours and new and exciting combinations. Picture poutine topped with barbequed pulled pork, homemade sausages, beef brisket, and even pork ribs. Now, try not to drool.
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Editor's note: this article was produced in partnership with Destination Canada. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who make The Urban List possible. For more information on our editorial policy, click here.
Image credit: via Stocksy