Last June, we set out on a five month journey to learn about Canadian food culture. It was a trip that took us through every province and territory, over mountain ranges, across great bodies of water, and to every kind of restaurant, eatery, farm, and shop you can think of. Along the way, we tried everything from cinnamon buns the size of our heads, to muskox, cod cheeks, and beet buns. We quickly realized we knew very little about Canadian food, and wholeheartedly embraced each new day of learning, also known as “eating too much and writing about it.”
Since our trip spanned nearly 38,000 km, we ate at so many places it’s tough to summon even ¼ of them from memory. There are a few, however, that always come to mind when people ask about our favourites, and we’ve decided to share four of them here. They’re each relatively new to the Canadian food world, but have loyal fans already, including the two of us. If you’re ever in Vancouver, Saskatoon, Quebec City, or Charlottetown, be sure to stop by.
The Pie Shoppe - Vancouver
This pint-sized bake shop was opened last year by sisters Andrea and Stephanie French, right on the eastern edge of Vancouver’s eclectic Chinatown. They’ve joined forces to sell homemade pie and freshly-roasted coffee, and while the coffee is excellent, we really lost our minds over the pie (and continue to do so, now that we’re back in town). The chocolate pecan pie (with gluten free option) is life-altering-ly good. Don’t try and share one piece, just get your own.
We love places where friends of all different dietary choices can dine together happily. Places like Leyda’s, which started up just a few weeks before we visited last August. With a focus on whole foods, their menu offers something for every conscious eater, from organic local vegetables and free-range meats to vegan and vegetarian meals that are all beautifully prepared. It’s one of the few places on our trip we visited twice, as we found ourselves quickly addicted to their healthy and satisfying dishes like the trout quesadilla, and any of their pizzas. Gloriously, it feels like you’re actually HELPING your body by eating out, even with the desserts!
Le Chic Shack – Quebec City
For a modern take on traditional dishes in the heart of Old Quebec City, Chic Shack is an excellent place to start. Why? Because they source as many of their ingredients locally as possible; they make everything from scratch; and there’s a poutine with ale-braised beef, Parmesan, cheese curds, horseradish aioli, and pickled onions on the menu. NEED WE SAY MORE? We also highly recommend the 70% dark chocolate milkshake and, if it’s noon (somewhere), try their curry-spiked Caesar.
Terre Rouge – Charlottetown
Cleverly, the casual Terre Rouge deli turns into a bistro at night, so it suits your needs any time of day. It was opened in 2012 by John Pritchard and Dave Mottershall, who utilize dozens of PEI ingredients on the menu, including fresh lobster, mussels, oysters, cheese, vegetables, and black garlic. Their bone marrow is one of the tastiest (and most ample) portions we’ve ever been fed, and almost daily we crave more of their mushroom toasts. Chef Dave cooks what’s in season, and we’re pretty sure the food would be stellar no matter which time of year you choose to visit.
After eating their way across the country and spending countless of hours of driving through Canada, Dana and Lindsay know a thing or two about road trips. Feast: An Edible Road Trip continues to share their adventure.