If you’re traveling coast to coast this summer, be sure to book a table at these regional highlights from our Canada’s 100 Best List. If you do, you’ll be eating some of the finest food this country has to offer.
On our Canada’s Best food road trip, you might start with Vancouver’s Hawksworth, you can expect bright, distinct flavours, balance and, invariably, some crunch. Hamachi tartare is dressed with a refreshing chili-lime vinaigrette, peppery valentine radish and the crispy counterpoint of puffed rice. Luscious Wagyu carpaccio is strewn with piquillo peppers, textured with crispy beef tendon, and enriched with Manchego (an inspired stand-in for the expected Parmesan).
In Alberta stop in at our #10, Pigeonhole. Justin Leboe’s cooking is smart, original, well-referenced and always fun. Vegetarian dishes are a strong point. Try the aforementioned cabbage, or the smoky sweet potato, roasted in a bed of live charcoal and then spiked with ewe’s milk feta. Or the Japanese eggplant with its flavour-enhancing lashing of furikake.
Further east you’ll find the charmingly named Little Grouse on the Prairie #67 on our list. Eat alla famiglia or fly solo and start with beet marinated prawns with fennel, parsnip, and Campari. Followed by Tagliati di Manzo with Balsamic, arugula and pine nuts, it’s a whole new take on surf ‘n turf.
Where in central Canada can you find Jamon Iberico de Bellota or mushroom croquetta with truffle aioli? How about boquerones with pear and avocado? #62 on our list reads like a sultry night in Spain. Only you are Chef Adam Donnelly’s Segovia Tapas Bar in Winnipeg.
If you’re in Toronto, and really lucky you might snag a table at our #1 Alo. Living proof that fine dining is alive and well, Steered by chef Patrick Kriss, who is on his game here, expect balanced sauces, foams of this, shards of that and a sexy, playground of a dining room.
Montreal’s Toqué is modern, inventive and emphatically Québécois. It nods to the best of French tradition but dispenses with its dutiful structures and formalities. Chef Normand Laprise calls his ingredient-driven style “une cuisine de produits,” and many of the ingredients he launched here—from cerf de Boileau to Gaspor suckling pig—are now mainstays at the best restaurants here and stateside.
Nova Scotia’s Highwayman (#93) serves Spanish-inspired dishes and a seafood menu that befits its coastal location. Oysters, scallop crudo, mussels Escabeche, octopus and dreamy snow crab, plus Acadian sturgeon caviar sound like the perfect fit for dinner in a historic port city.
#17 on our list, Newfoundland & Labrador’s Mallard Cottage is officially recognized as one of the oldest wooden buildings in North America.The cooking is built around updated Newfoundland traditions—cod au gratin pasta bake, salt beef with boiled potatoes and carrots, or pork sausage with parsnip purée and braised cabbage. But the kitchen is free to pursue culinary whims that might encompass halibut ceviche or farfalle with brown butter, hazelnuts.