With international travel plans put on hold, now is the perfect time to dust off your suitcases and explore your own backyard. Canada is home to many hidden secrets across its majestic landscapes and changing seasons.
There’s also a feast waiting in every region of the country and to help remind us all of that we can treat ourselves to this summer, our friends at The Travel Corporation (TTC) have shared the top eight dishes and drinks to enjoy around our beautiful country.
Top 8 Dishes in Canada
1. Lobster Rolls – Maritimes
Our culinary adventure across Canada starts in the Canadian Maritimes.
The lobster roll, also known as a seafood sandwich, is a summer staple in Atlantic Canada where it’s served with delicious East Coast seafood (often lobster), on a toasty garlic buttered bun and multiple different toppings.
In Prince Edward Island, experience the best of the best when it comes to lobster rolls at a local four-generation family-owned and operated inn and restaurant, the Shaw’s Hotel and Restaurant. This inn was first opened on the family’s farm back in 1860 to provide a relaxing country lodging experience for visitors and now, four generations later, the Shaw family continues the tradition and received a designation of a National Historic Site of Canada in 2005. They serve the most amazing rolls on the island.
Experience authentic east coast hospitality during an exclusive ‘Be My Guest’ lunch influenced by the land and sea with Robbie Shaw, the current proprietor of the inn and restaurant on Trafalgar’s 10-day Enhancing Canadian Maritimes journey in 2021.
2. Ketchup Chips – Ontario
Founded in Ontario, ketchup chips are Canadian’s signature snack! Jam-packed with an incredible ketchup-like flavor, these chips have made a name from themselves all around the world.
Be sure to pick up a bag (or two) to share with your friends on any travel adventure across Canada.
Check out Spudniks, a local family-owned Canadian company based in Woodbridge, Ontario that makes the perfect seasoned ketchup kettle chip.
3. Beaver Tails – Ontario
Save room for dessert! When exploring the Great White North’s capital, Ottawa, you’ll see the traditional Beaver Tail stand all around.
For the true Canadian experience (in the winter), skate the Rideau Canal and warm up with a Beaver Tail which are available along the skating trail.
However, beaver tails are an amazing treat at any time of the year! Pick your favorite toppings from Oreos, Skor bar, or simple cinnamon and sugar – you won’t regret it. It’s a must-try at least once in your life.
4. Poutine – Quebec
Delicious and crispy fries, squeaky cheese curds and rich gravy. Need we say more?
Poutine was born in 1950 in rural Quebec and is considered Canada’s most iconic dish. Did you know that originally, poutine was just called the 50-50 mixture? It simply meant that is was a 50-50 combination of cheese curds and fries.
The dish has made its way around the world, but Canadians will never forget about the dish as an iconic symbol of Quebec’s culture and cuisine.
5. Caesar Cocktail – Calgary
Caesars are Canada’s famed cocktail which originated in Calgary. Created by mixologist, Walter Chell, it was intended to celebrate the opening of Calgary Inn’s restaurant back in 1969. The cocktail was inspired by Chells favorite dish, spaghetti vongole, which contained clams and a hearty toato sauce.
Nowadays, you won’t meet a Canadian who doesn’t know about the classic Caesar, let alone love it! It’s seriously addictive.
Taking place this December 2020, Contiki will be hosting a skiing and snowboarding adventure to Banff where Canadian travelers aged 18 to 35 can put their skills to the test and cheers with a refreshing Canadian staple cocktail in the chalet at the end of the day. Ski you there?
6. Peameal Bacon – Ontario
Peameal Bacon is originally from Ontario and is essentially pork wrapped in cornmeal for an added crunch. It’s the national breakfast food and is incredibly rich in flavor, best enjoyed on a sandwich with honey mustard or with farm-fresh eggs.
Canadians will say peameal bacon reminds them of family time and thanksgiving.
At the St. Lawrence Market in Toronto, Ontario you can try the original and famed peameal bacon sandwich at Carousel Bakery, one you won’t forget.
7. Nanaimo Bars – British Colombia
You’ll find Nanaimo bars all across British Colombia, though the bars came from Nanaimo itself, just off the eastern shore of Vancouver Island.
Nanaimo bars are full of a delicious custard, layered between thick chocolate ganache and a unique graham and coconut crust.
The bar plays an important role in Canada’s food history and today can be found in so many different variations for those who are already familiar with the original recipe.
Enjoy this traditional Canadian treat on Insight Vacations’ 14-day Canadian Rockies & Pacific Coast adventure next summer.
8. Bannock – All of Canada
Bannock is a popular fired bread that originated in Scotland and adopted by the Indigenous peoples of Canada.
Although there are many different recipes and styles, traditional bannock is often prepared as a large biscuit and either cooked on a stick or baked in an oven.
Via TreadRight, TCC’s not-for-profit organization, you can pay tribute to Indigenous culture as you travel across Canada and use your free time to indulge in Indigenous cuisine.