Calling all foodies. Please step to the front. Want to savour the best Canadian food the Great White North has to offer? Whether it’s over the top ice cream, local craft beer, an epic brunch display or those all too familiar Timbits, the Canadian food and beverage scene is in a league of their own.

Here are 5 iconic Canadian dishes and the best places in the country to find them.

1. BeaverTails

Essentially a flattened donut without a hole, BeaverTails are heralded as a quintessential Canadian dish or more of a snack. The recipe was handed down in Graham Hooker’s family for generations, but it wasn’t until 1978 that it was introduced to a wide audience. A year later, the first BeaverTails location was opened in Ottawa. You can top them off with sugar, Nutella and a variety of sweet treats.

Where to eat it: BeaverTails is a national franchise with locations in Canadian landmarks such as Vancouver’s Grouse Mountain and Halifax Waterfront.

2. Poutine

Fries? Check. Gravy? Check. Squeaky fresh cheese curds? Oh, check! This quintessential Canadian dish is comforting, hearty, rich, and filling, making it the perfect ‘gram for anyone needing to generate maximum  jealousy. Created in Quebec (rumour has it, it was dreamed up by a trucker who wanted to add curds to his hot fries) “Poutine” is slang for “mess”, which is pretty apparent as it gets melty and gooey under the hot sauce. If you are vegan or lactose intolerant, not to worry, there are tons of poutineries that offer vegan and vegetarian options. These days, there are so many different variations of this Quebec classic from jerk chicken poutine to shawarma poutine.

Where to eat it: Poutines can be found in just about every restaurant including fast-food chains. National franchises like Smoke’s Poutinerie serve up just about any protein or vegetable variations of this dish.


3. Nanaimo Bars

This sweet treat names after the city of Nanaimo, British Columbia is a tri-layered dessert made of crumb mixture, vanilla-flavoured butter icing and melted chocolate. Its exact origin has never been confirmed but it has shown up in a variety of cook books in the early 1950s. Many variations exist that use different types of crumb, different flavours of icing and chocolates. Best part, there is no baking required!

Where to eat it: You can try your hand at making this delicious dessert at home or head to Nanaimo,  for an authentic taste.

4. Tourtiere

When it comes to Canadian comfort food, few dishes compare to Tourtiere. Traditionally a meat pie dish that got its start in Quebec back in the early 1600s. It is typically filled with minced beef, pork, veal or game and mixed in with potatoes between layers of flaky crust. This hearty meal is most commonly consumed at Christmas and New Years.

Where to eat it: A spot famous for this dish is Aux Anciens Canadiens in Quebec City. This renowned restaurant specializes in Quebecois culinary treats and tourtiere is at the top of their list.

5. Caesar

Invented in 1969 by Calgary restaurant manager Walter Chell, this cocktail has reached enormous heights. Its key ingredients are Clamato juice, vodka, Worchester and a salted rim. Mott’s the maker of Clamato claims more than 350 million Caesars are sold every year. From simple origins, Caesar’s are now bigger and bolder than ever before, often served in pitchers at brunch, or lavished with extraordinary garnishes including spiced beans, lobster tails, and even whole pizza slices.

Where to eat it: Score on Davie offers the “Checkmate Caesar”, which is garnished with a full roast chicken, cheeseburger, chicken wings, pulled pork mac and cheese hot dog, roasted vegetables and a brownie.

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