Pack a fork and spoon in your suitcase—it’s time to hit the road. We were inspired by a handful of Food Bloggers of Canada members who shared their best eats “south of the border” with their readers, so we’re hitting the road and recommending the tastiest eats around Canada. Here are our picks of the best bites in the country.
Waffles in Vancouver
You can’t start a road trip without breakfast, right? Put down the frozen toaster pastry and come enjoy a customized waffle from Cafe Medina in Vancouver. Take your pick of toppings–such as dark chocolate, salted caramel, peach and bourbon butterscotch, and fig orange marmalade—and then watch as the dribbles of sauce practically pool around your fork’s points as you cut through crunchy dough. The setting is as playful as the food is mouthwatering. Medina’s bistro has plenty of natural light, high ceilings, and just the right amount of colourful eccentricity. Consider it a second home for all things ooey, gooey, and delicious.
Steak in Calgary
Some things are always true: The sky is blue, water is wet, and the absolute best steaks in Canada are found in Alberta. The wide-open prairies foster a perfect environment for juicy cuts. Get your top sirloin at Blink Restaurant & Bar, a top spot in Calgary. The restaurant offers a sleek yet warm interior with plush white chairs, hardwood floors, and brick walls. Best of all, the menu reads like a love letter to beef. Try out the flat iron steak with wilted black kale and red wine sauce. Or dip your spoon into the slow braised Alberta beef shepherd’s pie, served with root vegetables and a potato puree. For something more tried and true, sample the Angus Alberta burger with aged cheddar, bacon jam, and bone marrow aioli. Meat. It’s always a treat in Alberta.
Crave in Regina
Have you ever noticed how the prairies tend to get overlooked when it comes to great food? Well no more! Make a stop in Regina, Saskatchewan, and grab a table at Crave. Chef Jonathan Thauberger won gold in the Regional Gold Medal Plates competition back in 2013 and is still creating innovative dishes. Give your fork something to play with by ordering the bison cacciatore or get your taste buds ready for the chicken liver parfait. Just remember to save room for the cheese plate with natural farmhouse cheeses from around the area. Regina: More than just a funny name.
Bagels in Montreal
New York City needs to settle down; some of the best bagels in North America are found in Montreal at St-Viateur Bagel. You can trust that they know their stuff; the shop has been open for over 50 years. Myer Lewkowicz opened the European-style storefront in 1957, after surviving WWII. At 15 years old, Joe Morena was hired by Lewkowicz to work the dough. Decades later, the two men became business partners until Lewkowicz’s death in 1974. Today, Morena still runs the store along with his sons, and like it has always been, the bagels are hand-rolled, boiled in honey water, and cooked in a wood fired oven to create sweet bagels with a crunch. How good are they? In San Diego, California, Mess Royale, the first poutine restaurant in the city, flies the bagels in from St-Viateur twice a week.
Fish in Toronto
Missing out on seafood when you’re by the water is practically a crime, so avoid the slammer and go to the Beast Restaurant in Toronto for some of the best. They have a stuffed menu with delicacies such as fried smelts, served with fresh ricotta and sunflower gremolata. Or order the fresh rainbow trout with pistachio, wild berries, and black quinoa. There are a few surprises for your taste buds, with fried cod tongues, scallop crudo, and cuttlefish served with chorizo sausage. You can rest assured that the Beast is no fish taco shack. The décor is elegantly understated, with refined plates decorated with drops of cream, splashes of oils, and colorful flower petals as garnish.
Wine on Prince Edward Island
Located inside a classical red building built in 1915 and overlooking St. John’s Harbour, Raymonds is the best spot for a boozy toast to a good road trip. The restaurant was opened by award-winning chef Jeremy Charles and sommelier Jeremy Bonia. Together the two Jeremys named the restaurant after their fathers—both named Raymond. The dinners are perfect to say the least, but the real specialty is the massive wine list. Sip a flute of Dom Perignon or swirl a glass of white or red wine from the Niagara, Price Edward County, and Okanagan Valley regions. Between the clean architecture on the outside and the upscale white linens on the inside, it’s a classy end to a road trip well done.
From Vancouver to Prince Edward Island, there are good meals waiting for any hungry traveller. Loosen your belt and come see what’s here!
For more great food finds in Canada, visit www.FoodBloggersofCanada.com