Canadian food is an amazing mix of sweet and savory dishes and treats. In Canada, you will find unique foods that you have never heard of and never will again. The food is flavourful and diverse and keeps you wanting more! From the famous Canadian maple syrup, cheesy poutine, and beyond, you are sure to find a Canadian food that blows your mind.
What is great about Canada is that it is a huge country that varies greatly across the land in climate, people, and traditions. However, the one thing that the whole country has in common is its love for the same Canadian dishes. Plus, Canada’s history of accepting immigrants from all around the world has made the food culture very diverse and full of a little bit of everything.
In case you were wondering, typical Canadian food is not the most healthy foods on the market, but they sure are tasty and something you have to experience for yourself. When in Canadain it is obligatory to take part in the Canadian diet, so let’s get into all the wonderful options you have!
10 Best Canadian Foods
In This Post
Poutine is what can be considered Canada’s National Dish. It was created in 1950 in Quebec and since then, this French-Canadian dish has taken the nation and become a favorite to all. This dish comes in many variations but classically it is only three ingredients: french fries, cheese curds, and gravy. The french fries and gravy are hot and soften the cheese curds to create a dish like no other.
Nowadays you can find a ton of different types of poutines with additions to the classic base. Some popular additions are pulled pork, butter chicken, peas and much more. There are poutine shops and restaurants all around Canada but the best place to eat it is in Quebec because this is where it was created! You will find a ton of world-famous poutine restaurants in Quebec that create some incredible poutine dishes.
Canadian maple syrup is the best syrup in the world! It is sold all around the country in maple leaf glass bottles and can be used this way as the finishing touch on top of pancakes, waffles, french toast, and many other foods. However, the maple syrup craze in Canada reaches far beyond using it as a syrup! We also use maple syrup as an additive to cookies, cakes, donuts, candy and more!
One of the best maple syrup treats is maple syrup on a stick! Which can be found in the winter season and is made by pouring maple syrup into the snow on top of a loli stick and letting it harden into a maple syrup candy. This is a very Canadia treat that you must try if you are visiting in the winter.
But, if you visit in the summer you can also enjoy maple syrup candies that are packaged and great for yourself or as a gift. The best ones are the maple syrup fudge, maple syrup taffy, and maple syrup rock candies! If you couldn’t tell, us Canadians love our syrup.
Canadian bacon is also known as peameal bacon and it differs greatly from regular bacon. It is made from pork loin and is often rolled in ground peas and sometimes cornmeal. This type of bacon is more sweet and juicy than the regular one. In Canada, you can find this type of bacon on its own, but you will most likely find it in sandwiches, burgers and other foods!
Nanaimo bars are a sweet treat Canadian food that originates from Nanaimo, a city on Vancouver Island in British Columbia. This delicious sweet treat does not require any baking and consists of three layers: a wafer bottom made of nuts and coconut, a creamy custard middle, and a chocolate layer on top. Nanaimo bars can be found year-round, but are especially popular during the Christmas season.
Canada is the birthplace of Nanaimo bars but nowadays, they can be found in many other places in the world. Despite being found elsewhere, it is nice to try foods in the country or place they originate from to taste the authentic and unaltered version.
Butter tarts are small pastries that are held in high regard for all Canadians and are considered one of our quintessential Canadian foods. They consist of four ingredients egg, sugar, butter, and syrup all baked to crunchy perfection inside a pastry shell. However, only the top and shell are crunchy, while the inside remains gooey, especially if it is still warm.
Some butter tarts have raisins added to them, as well as, pecans and walnuts. But the plain one with no additives is the most authentic and Canadian.
Beavertails are a Canadian classic that is sold heavily throughout the winter near ice-skating rinks and outdoor events. It is a deep-fried dough that is flattened so that it resembles a beavers tail. The dough can be topped with various toppings, the most classic being cinnamon and sugar. But others are Nutella, oreo cookie crumbles, caramel apples, and much more!
This sweet treat was created in 1978 by a couple in Ottawa, Canada’s capital city. In Ottawas, the Byward market is also where the first “BeaverTails” shop still stands today and where former president Barak Obama sampled his first beaver tail on his visit to Canada in 2009.
Ketchup Flavoured Potatoe Chips
Ketchup chips are the absolute best flavor of chips on this planet. It is sweet but salty and very unique, unlike any other chip flavor on the market. It may sound unpleasant but it is extremely but the combination of the potato chip and the ketchup dusting is delectable.
Even if you think it sounds different, I urge you to try it for yourself and then make a decision. It is not what you would expect!
A Caesars is a Canadian cocktail favorite, that is most happily enjoyed as a hangover alcoholic beverage. They are similar to a bloody mary but with their own twist. They are made with vodka, tabasco sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and the key ingredient clam juice! Now, you are probably thinking clam juice must be disgusting but it tastes similar to tomato juice just not as thick.
A caesar is also rimmed with salt and herbs and has unique garnishes. Some restaurants in Canada take their caesars very seriously and make them with outlandish garnishes like mini cheeseburgers, seafood skewers, and much more. But a classic caesar will have a pickle, celery and olive garnish.
Read More: Best Vegetarian Restaurants in Toronto
There’s no way you can go to Canada and not go to at least one Tim Hortons. This is the most iconic and well-known food chain from Canada that has almost become a thing to define Canadians by. Tim Hortons is essentially a coffee shop that has coffee, cold drinks, donuts, sandwiches, and an assortment of breakfast food. It is the classic first stop in the morning or during the beginning of any road trip!
The best things to get here are a coffee, an iced-cappuccino, a donut, and Tim bit (donut hole). These are the most classic items and I’m sure you will be impressed by both the taste and the low cost.
If you couldn’t tell already Canadians love their sweets, and another one to add to that list is Coffee Crisp chocolate bars. This is a coffee-flavored chocolate bar that is very unique to Canda. It tastes exactly like coffee mixed with chocolate and is quite a unique combination.
The 10 best Canadian foods only scratch the surface of Canadian dishes! There are so many more dishes that are unique to Canada that visits should try, but starting with the 10 best is a good start. If you are heading to Canada be sure to try all these unique foods and sweet treats! One of the best ways to learn about and experience a new country is through their foods.
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Chelsea Messina says
Great post! I usually have AT LEAST 2 beavertails when I visit Canada lollll Poutine is my 2nd fav – we have Timmys in Michigan – but they dont sell the same stuff as the canada stores – they had vegan “impossible” sausage when I visited in August… which was extremely shocking, and pretty delicious.
Linda (LD Holland) says
As a Canadian, I had to check this out to see if there is any food that I have not tried. I did not know these were all Canadian. I have never been a fan of ketchup flavoured potato chips. And did not realize you only got these in Canada. And since I don’t like spicy drinks, I am not sure I have ever had a Caesar. Our kids likes all the crazy varieties they have found. The rest I must admit to having consumed on many occasions. Especially really gooey butter tarts!
Interesting food options in Canada, never knew of the variety. I am in love with the maple leaf glass bottles. It is an ideal food souvenir. Beavertails too sound good. The journey there sounds to be so belly satisfying.
Jamie Italiane says
I wish I knew about Nanaimo Bars when I visited Vancouver. They look yummy. I love beavertails and have them whenever I visit Quebec? Have you had pudding chumeur from that region? So good!
Thanks for introducing me to the best Canadian foods. The only one I’m familiar with is Tim Hortons, it’s available in the Philippines where I live. 🙂 The Caesar cocktail had me curious. It sounds like a meal turned into a drink! lol
Michael Hodgson says
Putting on my Canadian hat (one with British roots) I do have to say that while ketchup chips are wildly popular and indeed considered a national snack in Canada, who created the first ketchup flavored (flavoured) chip is a subject of much debate. Indee, the ketchup chips were a Hostess brand attempt in the 1970s to capture the taste sensations of flavoured crisps (chips) widely available in the U.K. And as a young lad, I can attest to eating prawn cocktail and ketchup flavored crisps in the U.K. in the early 70s. So which came first? Hmmm, inquiring minds. What NO mention of beer eh? That is a national crime.
Mei from Travel with Mei and Kerstin says
I visited parts of Canada back in 1996, but that was a long time ago. I remember that we ate a lot of Asian food especially in Toronto, and perhaps also putin when we went to Quebec. But I don’t know what else I tasted back then. haha… Oh and our nephew who visited Canada last summer brought us maple syrup too. We still haven’t opened it but I guess it’s about time!
I have tried everything but the sweets. I guess I need to head back north soon and take my sweet tooth with me this time!
This is a fantastic list! We live in Canada and I love all of these. I remember the first time I asked for a Bloody Caesar in the US. LOL!!
Mel Butler says
I would love to go to Canada and one of those reasons is that I want to try the food. Poutine would be the first thing I would try and then the Caesars cocktail as it sounds so much like the bloody mary. I would be keen to compare them both. Between you and I, my mouth is watering now.