There’s a lot to be said about travelling across Canada. If you’re a reader of my blog, you know that I’ve discovered some incredible sights that I never would have expected to come across. Wildlife, adventure, music, and more. But travel always leaves me hungry. Along my journeys, I’ve been lucky enough to experience some pretty unbelievable food. From coast to coast to coast, there are some fantastic dishes and quirky dining experiences that need to be included on any travel itinerary. So much so that even writing this is making me want to return to some of these fabulous eateries. Damn you poutine and your impossible grip on me!
A couple years ago my (now) fiancé and I took a trip to La Banquise in Montreal where I tasted the most awesome poutine of all-time. The sort of poutine you have dreams about. We all know poutine is best enjoyed with a couple drinks in you. Despite the blur caused from a night out in Montreal, it’s the poutine that remains the most memorable.
La Banquise has a rich history that dates back to 1968. The guys behind the Canadian staple really know what they’re doing. With over 30 types of poutine on their menu, there’s something for everyone. Wieners in poutine? Got it. Steak and onions poutine? Yup! Mexican-taco style poutine? They got that covered. For me it’s all about La Duleton with ground beef and onions, of course combined with one of the many craft beers the place has on offer.
St John’s, Newfoundland
Enter St John’s Newfoundland, and you’ll quickly find you’re within a stone’s throw of some of the world’s finest seafood and wild game. Restaurant go-ers cheer the growing number of pubs, eatery’s, and restaurants poppping up in downtown St Johns.
The brainchild of Jeremy Charles and Jeremy Bonia, Raymonds continually wins award for its terrific menu which includes Newfoundland Cod, an incredible dish made up of roasted cod with a divine pork shoulder complimented with artichokes, corn, carrot, and pork jus.
In the heart of St John’s, a city with an incredible history, it’s well worth indulging if you ever find yourself enjoying the natural beauty of Newfoundland.
Niagara Falls, Ontario
From one natural beauty to another – Niagara Falls. Of course a hugely popular destination with tourists, the area has been built up into a region of pure entertainment. Seneca has a host of things to enjoy from enjoying the spa, to watching some of the world’s biggest pop stars, to even playing the slots and tables in the many casinos.
One of the few places in North America where you can gamble in both live casinos and online, I was excited to head out and hit the slots, but with so much to do in and around Niagara Falls it can become tiring, so it was time to fire up the laptop back at my room and let the virtual coins drop on their Full Tilt Slots. And luckily for me, my winnings bought me dinner at La Cascata where I enjoyed the most delightful home style lasagna. Normally when I gamble, I’m left eating crow. But I could get used to this.
The pasta was fresh, uncomplicated, and focused purely on a great taste. The menu offers a traditional selection of pastas as well as steak, seafood, and as you’d expect, an inspired wine menu.
Le Vin Papillon
Located in the trendy area of Little Burgundy in Montreal, Le Vin Papillon sits on the famous Notre-Dame Street and not only has an entire menu of excellent dishes and fine wines, but also has the soundtrack to go with it. The sights and sounds and general vibe of this place is borderline addictive.
Offering small vegetable-focused dishes including roasted cauliflower, I found it the ideal setting to kick back with a drink, a bite to eat, and watch live music, as well as even getting involved in wine tastings with some of the country’s most respected experts.
Nobody does social eats quite like the spanish. Bar Isabel in Toronto, Ontario captures this perfectly. Groups gather together and party well into the night, eating awesome food and drinking plenty of wine or beer. Chef Grant van Gameron took inspiration from the bars of Barcelona and Madrid and planted their culture at Bar Isabel in the Little Italy area of Toronto.
With classic Catalonian dishes such as patatas bravas and jamon croquetas, there are plenty of interesting concoctions for you and your party to dip into. The kitchen is open until 2am every night, keeping the food and drink washing down well into the night.