Must Try Canadian Dishes by Province and Where to Order From
You’re probably familiar with tried and true Canadian favourites like Montreal’s poutine or Ottawa’s Beavertails, but a country as large as ours has so much more to offer! Each of Canada’s provinces is chock full of their own culture, tradition, and local flavour.
If you’ve ever wondered what kind of tasty meals locals are cooking up across each of Canada’s provinces, read on. You might just find a delicious new way to celebrate our great country by ordering in this Canada Day weekend.
British Columbia: Wild Pacific Salmon
BC is known for many types of fresh and tasty seafood coming from the Pacific Ocean, but chief among them has to be salmon.
There are 5 main species swimming BC shores: Chinook, Coho, Chum, Pink, and Sockeye. While Chinook is the most prized, the abundant Chum & Pink salmon species should not be overlooked as they both make for a sustainable and delicious option.
Vancouver’s Indigenous owned and operated Salmon n’ Bannock Bistro serves up an assortment of delicious wild salmon dishes, from their salmon salad bannockwich to their sage smoked salmon burger.
Address: 7-1128 West Broadway, Vancouver @salmonnbannockbistro
Indigenous to Canada’s prairies, Bison are thought to have roamed Alberta as long as 120,000 years ago. Though their numbers drastically decreased in years since, serious conservation efforts have restored their populations in Canada’s western provinces.
On menus, you’ll often find bison standing in for beef in dishes like burgers, stews, and steaks. This tender red meat differs from beef however in that it’s far leaner, cooks quicker, and has a higher iron content.
For a selection of tasty dishes featuring bison as the main event, check out Homefire Grill in Edmonton.
Address: 18210 100 Ave NW, Edmonton @homefiregrill
Saskatchewan: Saskatoon Berry
Have you ever eaten a wild blueberry and thought to yourself “hmm.. I wonder how we could make these EVEN better”. Canada’s prairies have figured it out.
Saskatoon berries can often be found growing wild on shrubs throughout the prairies. They have deep purple skin, are slightly smaller than a blueberry, and have a sweet, earthy flavour. They can be eaten raw but famously make for a delicious pie filling.
Stop by the gift shop & bakery at the Berry Barn in Saskatoon to try these tasty treats from nature in a wide variety of preparations, like tea, preserves, baked goods, and even ice cream.
Address: 830 Valley RD, Saskatoon @theberrybarnyxe
Manitoba: Schmoo Torte
A quintessentially Manitoban dessert available in most local bakeries, Schmoo Torte is made up of decadently layered angel food cake, pecans, whipped cream, and caramel drizzle.
Legend has it, the now iconic dessert was first invented by a talented Jewish-Canadian baker who combined 3 or 4 of her most popular desserts into a deliciously unique cake for her son’s bar mitzvah.
Order one today from Baked Expectations.
Address: 161 Osborne St., Winnipeg @bakedexpectations
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Ontario: Peameal Bacon
Peameal Bacon is wet cured pork loin, trimmed of the fat and rolled in cornmeal, and this is one food item that is truly a Torontonian original. It was said to be invented by William Davies, owner of one of Canada’s earliest and largest meat packers, whose sprawling stockyards helped popularize Toronto’s glamourous nickname, Hogtown.
Those from Toronto are likely familiar with a local Saturday morning favourite, the World Famous Peameal Bacon Sandwich from the Carousel Bakery which has been operating in the St Lawrence Market for over 30 years.
Address: 92- 95 Front St East, Toronto @stlawrencemarket
Quebec: Tire D’erable (Maple Taffy)
Bet you thought I was going to say Poutine. Nope – the plethora of sugar bushes in the province make Quebec the world’s largest producer of maple syrup, pumping out over 10 million gallons of maple syrup a year!
You’ll find les cabane à sucre (sugar shacks) all over the province. If you’re passing through Montreal, be sure to stop at La Petite Cabane à Sucre de Québec for a vast selection of maple goodies.
Maple Taffy is always a fan favourite. In quintessentially Canadian fashion, it is made by boiling maple sap, pouring it over snow, and rolling it onto sticks to create a sticky sweet treat.
Address: 94 Rue du Petit Champlain, Quebec @petitecabaneasucredeQuebec
New Brunswick: Lobster
Lobster fishing is the foundation of many of the province’s coastal communities, and you’ll find local seaside shacks up and down the Eastern coast. Whether you boil it at home or order it up as a lobster roll, you’re sure to taste some of the freshest lobster you’ll ever have in New Brunswick.
The town of Shediac, New Brunswick is famously known as the Lobster Capital of the World and hosts the annual Shediac Lobster Festival. This year, from July 2-10 marks the 73rd edition of the festival.
Address: 58 Festival Street, Shediac @festival_du_homard_shediac
Nova Scotia: Donair
The Halifax Donair features beef – spiced, spit roasted, and shaved – served alongside tomato and onion inside a pita and doused in sweet signature donair sauce. This sloppy sandwich is best enjoyed late night with donair sauce shamelessly dripping down your chin.
This dish is such an Atlantic Canada staple that you can find it in almost any pizza joint in Halifax, and in 2015, Halifax city council named it the city’s official food.
Be sure to visit local favourite King of Donair for an authentic rendition of this Halifax staple. (They have locations in Western Canada too!)
Prince Edward Island: Fries with the Works (FWTW)
PEI potatoes are a major industry on PEI. This little Atlantic Canadian island produces one quarter of all potatoes grown in the country and ships potatoes to over 20 countries worldwide. It’s only natural that potatoes would feature a starring role in PEI’s local dish.
Similar to poutine but more extravagant, Fries with the Works starts off with the classic fries, curds, and gravy and then layers ground beef, more gravy, and peas on top. How could you go wrong?
What started as a good old fashioned refrigerator round-up cooked up at Pat’s Take-Out (now closed) for a young potato warehouse worker starting his nightshift has now become a staple dish served at takeout restaurants across the Island.
Check out Big Burger to try this dish for yourself.
Address: 670 University Avenue, Charlottetown & 6 Prince Street, Charlottetown @bigburgerpei
Newfoundland & Labrador: Jiggs Dinner
Jiggs Dinner is a fond local tradition in Newfoundland and Labrador. Also known as boiled dinner, it consists of salt beef, cabbage, pease pudding, figgy duff, and an assortment of local veggies and potatoes created to be shared with friends and family usually on Sundays.
The name is said to have become common vernacular in the 1920s and 30s with a popular comic strip, Bringing Up Father. The main character Jiggs, an Irish-Canadian construction worker, refuses to give up his working class roots when he wins the lottery and maintains his love for classic comfort foods like corned beef and cabbage.
Order in Jiggs Dinner today from Grayson’s Takeout.
Address: 104 Park Avenue, Mount Pearl @ Grayson’s take-out