20 Canadian Restaurants the Rest of the World Needs

Canadian Restaurants We Need


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Canadian Restaurants We Need

Good Eats Above the Border

Poutine, poutine and more poutine? If you think the classic (and addictive) dish featuring french fries, cheese curds, and brown gravy that originated in 1950s-era Québec sums up Canadian cuisine, you're in for a big surprise. Sure, Canada might not have the culinary reputation of France or Italy, but that doesn't mean you won't eat well (or see amazing places) in the North American provinces and territories. Read on to learn about some Canadian restaurants, from ultra-fancy to plain ol' fun, all of which have received high marks from customers and food critics alike.

Related: Where to Find a Good, Cheap Breakfast Across Canada

Queenie C./Yelp

Alo | Toronto

Alo, a contemporary French restaurant, has a top-floor location and a four-star rating from The Globe and Mail. It's also a hit with Yelp reviewers, who give the high-end French restaurant glowing reviews. Alo has been praised for its open kitchen and tasting bar. Alo's own site shares that it offers "blind, multi-course tasting menus that highlight the finest seasonal ingredients." While a branch near you might not have the same views, we bet the dishes would be just as good.

Schwartz's Deli Montreal, Québec
Daisy C./Yelp

Schwartz's Deli | Montreal

One of Canada's oldest delis is also home to another classic Canadian dish – Montreal smoked meat. This is a kosher-style deli meat product made by salting and curing beef brisket and spices. Intrigued? Have it as a small plate at Schwartz's Deli. Have it as a large plate. Have it on a sandwich. Any way you eat it, you can say you've shared in a country's classic cuisine.

Antoinette's Restaurant Whitehorse, Yukon Territory
Alexa H./Yelp

Antoinette's Restaurant | Whitehorse, Yukon Territory

The last thing you might expect in the wilds of sparsely populated Yukon Territory is a bustling – and eclectic – eatery known for not only local fare but a decidedly Caribbean twist. But that's exactly what Antoinette's is about. The philosophy of this wildly colorful place is a mix of international cuisine with some Caribbean infusion. The February menu, a celebration of Black History Month, has featured everything from guava pork ribs to chickpea and lentil "mojo" (a curry vegetable dish) to crispy guacamole charr.

Point Prim Chowderhouse Belfast, Prince Edward Island
Sandi L./Yelp

Point Prim Chowderhouse | Belfast, Prince Edward Island

This seasonal destination — fans anxiously await its annual mid-June re-opening — offers East Coast food ranging from homemade chowder (no surprise) to raw oysters and overstuffed lobster rolls. One Facebook reviewer raved, "Who would have ever thought you would find such a great place so far away from town. From the view to the food it was all amazing."

Related: 20 Amazing Seafood Shacks Across America

Giulietta Toronto, Ontario
Tina Y./Yelp

Giulietta | Toronto

Giuletta is praised for its unfussiness and attention to detail, and the authentic Italian food would be worth finding anywhere, not just Canada. The restaurant is known for wood-fired pizza and house-made pasta in a trattoria setting. Fans praise the tonnarelli cacio e peppe, which has just three ingredients but is said to be irresistible.

River Café Calgary, Alberta
Shari S./Yelp

River Café | Calgary, Alberta

River Café prides itself on an eco-friendly approach and sustainability practices in sourcing local ingredients. The menu highlights Fogo Island turbot, Heart Rock Ranch duck and even wild boar. No matter what's on the plate, the dining experience adds up to something one Open Table reviewer noted is "charming in every way."

Toqué! Montreal, Québec
Ann W./Yelp

Toqué! | Montreal

This tony establishment has been a Quebec mainstay for over 25 years. Toque! has been noted for its farm-fresh fare where something as basic as lunch is elevated to a chance to sample lamb tartare or Jerusalem artichoke soup and chips.

La Bête Québec City, Québec
Pierre-Alexandre B./Yelp

La Bête | Québec City

The classics are classics for a reason — and La Bête is a contemporary steakhouse so iconic it was named the best steakhouse in Québec City by TripAdvisor. Diners can try a sirloin, filet mignon, or rib eye, or go all out with the Meat Platter. It's a shareable plate that includes Wagyu, cowboy, and New York steaks, plus prawns, three sauces, and sides for four people. There's also a butcher shop on-site.

Blue Water Café Vancouver, British Columbia
Brenda Y./Yelp

Blue Water Café | Vancouver

Blue Water Café has a funky warehouse setting, a focus on sustainable seafood, and an innovative menu that would be a great addition to any city. Executive chef Frank Pabst's seafood tower is worth the splurge, and for those seeking out the unusual, he spotlights lesser-known fish as "Unsung Heroes" selections.

Langdon Hall Cambridge, Ontario
David Y./Yelp

Langdon Hall | Cambridge, Ontario

It's a rare restaurant that can stay in business for 30-plus years, but this stalwart is doing just that. Langdon Hall likely owes some of its foot traffic to its attachment to a country house hotel and spa setting, but the food is good enough to stand on its own with a tasting menu that includes glazed foie gras and rosemary ice cream.

St-Viateur Bagel Shop Montreal, Québec
Debbie G./Yelp

St-Viateur Bagel Shop | Montreal

Got a hankering for a bagel of a different kind of bagel? The Montreal-style bagel is a twist on the traditional, with eggs and honey in the dough and then more honey added to the water that's used for poaching before baking in a wood-fired oven. Sound good? This unique local specialty is available at St-Viateur, a place that's been making them since 1957.

Related: 18 Beloved Canadian Foods Every American Should Try

Bauhaus Restaurant Vancouver, British Columbia
Bauhaus Restaurant/Yelp

Bauhaus Restaurant | Vancouver

German fare in the heart of Vancouver? Yes, it's not only possible but also popular. Bauhaus puts a modern twist on classic German cuisine, offering locally sourced products combined with international accents. Main courses range from pumpkin risotto to sauerbraten with red cabbage and potato dumpling. With 700+ Google reviews averaging 4.4/5, this restaurant inspired one reviewer to gush, "One of the best, if not the best dining experience we have ever had! All the staff were so attentive and wonderful. The food was out of this world, totally incredible."

Fogo Island Inn Joe Batt's Arm, Newfoundland

Fogo Island Inn | Joe Batt's Arm, Newfoundland

The dramatic shoreline serves as the backdrop for this modern restaurant — you might be looking out at icebergs or whales, depending on the season. Fogo Island Inn is known, no surprise, for local fish but also wild game. Winter options might include fare like snow crab, moose tartare, or poached halibut.

La Carnita Toronto, Ontario
Carmen C./Yelp

La Carnita | Toronto

With multiple locations in Ontario and Manitoba, this hip chain offers thoughtful-yet-casual fare ranging from mini tostadas to avocado mango salad Mexican chorizo tacos. If the food alone doesn't make you pine for a trip to Toronto, the décor definitely will with locally designed interiors that showcase the surroundings' best street-style artists.

Sticks and Stones Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Neng L./Yelp

Sticks and Stones| Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

A taste of the Far East in the midst of Canada's Wild West? This is it. Whenever visitors have an appetite for ramen, steamed buns, and sushi, Sticks and Stones serves it up in a contemporary setting enlivened by its Instagram-favorite murals. Also noted for its late-night options and cocktail menu, this is a place that inspired one recent Facebook reviewer to write "was absolutely amazing! We had the best waitress and the food was excellent. 10/10 will come back."

Nightingale Vancouver, British Columbia
Jazz L./Yelp

Nightingale | Vancouver

Nightingale emphasizes simple, seasonal dishes in a fun, high-energy setting. The menu is drool-worthy, from the baked arctic char to the lamb sausage pizza. Cap off a meal with buttermilk panna cotta topped with fresh berries and bee pollen.

House on Parliament

House on Parliament | Toronto

Tourtiere is a savory meat pie, a classic winter-holiday favorite for Canadians. But the craving for this traditional dish can last all year long, so this British-style gastropub (with a definite sense of humor) lists this under its "silverware required" portion of the menu. Pass that fork.

The Bite House

The Bite House | Forks Baddeck, Nova Scotia

Reservations are a must for this tiny restaurant that seats just 12. Those lucky enough to score a seat will savor a nine-course menu in a century-old farmhouse on Cape Breton Island. Food is prepared with ingredients sourced from local independent farmers, foraged, or grown in the restaurant's own gardens. One TripAdvisor reviewer said of "the best meal I've ever had: I feel like whatever I say will not do the experience justice."

Adega Restaurante Toronto, Ontario
Gwen N./Yelp

Adega Restaurante | Toronto

A meal with an Iberian accent can be enjoyed at Adega, which prides itself on serving up the seafood-heavy dishes of Portugal and Spain in the heart of Toronto. Old World recipes and cooking techniques combine with modern flavor profiles. From shrimp bisque to grilled squid to Cataplana fresh fish stew, the dishes are true to the Portuguese style. Wash it all down with a glass selected from the extensive list of Portuguese wines (after all, Adega means wine cellar).

Fritz European Fry House
Jennifer L./Yelp

Fritz European Fry House | Vancouver

There is no shortage of restaurants that serve poutine in Canada — but fans say the curds here are fresh and the French fries are warm and award-winning, making this one of the best. If they ever open a branch in your neck of the woods, give Fritz European Fry House a go — after all, there is no such thing as bad poutine.