Top Must-Try Canadian Foods for Foodies and Travelers

Written By: The Planet D

Looking for the best Canadian foods to eat when visiting Canada? While Canadian cuisine may not boast the immediate recognition of Italian, Moroccan, or Greek culinary traditions, it holds a charm and diversity all its own, reflective of the country’s vast and varied landscape. Over the years, Canada has steadily crafted a distinct food identity that warmly embraces its multicultural roots and the abundant natural resources of the Great White North. If there’s one term that encapsulates the essence of Canadian cuisine, it’s ‘eclectic.’

From the sweetness of Quebec’s sugar pies to the savory delights of Nova Scotia’s seafood, the best traditional Canadian food is about taking the familiar and infusing it with a twist that’s as unexpected as it is delightful. This culinary journey invites food enthusiasts and travelers alike to discover the quirky and innovative flavors that define Canadian cuisine, a celebration of creativity and cultural fusion in every bite.

What Is Canadian Cuisine

best Traditional canadian foods video

Nobody says, “Let’s go out for Canadian food tonight.” We, as Canadians, often say, “Do you want Thai food today?” What about Korean or Japanese food? Other foods worldwide have a distinct theme and flavor, but not Canada. Traditional Canadian foods are a mishmash, and that’s how we like it!

Traditional Canadian Foods

Canadian dishes don’t have much that makes them stand out from the rest of the world except for their quirkiness and influence from other cultures. You name a country, we have the food. Even in small towns across Canada, you will find a wide variety of international cuisine. So, when you think about it, that is what makes Canadian food unique. We are diverse in every aspect of life in Canada, and food is no exception.

We have a few favorites that people may already know and love and some traditional Canadian foods that the rest of the world may or may not know about, so I thought I would share a list of foods unique to Canada.

1. Poutine – Quebec

best traditional canadian food poutine
Poutine – The quintessential Canadian food

I think the world is starting to know about, love, and adopt our little secret, Poutine. This simple yet indulgent Canadian dish contains three key ingredients: crispy French fries, squeaky cheese curds, and a rich, savory gravy. It is sinfully delicious. Poutine is the ultimate comfort food and our go-to snack for a hangover.

  • French fries (ideally thick-cut)
  • Fresh cheese curds
  • Brown gravy (commonly a mix of chicken, veal, and turkey stock)

Poutine is our beloved Canadian dish, transcending its Quebecois origins to become a national comfort food staple. The heart of poutine lies in its unpretentious roots—a hearty, comforting dish often enjoyed in casual diners and pubs. It’s a symbol of Canadian culinary traditions, turning simple, readily available ingredients into a dish that’s greater than the sum of its parts.

We have recipes for poutine all over Canada with different toppings. The basic poutine recipe is cheese, gravy, and fries, but they love making Lobster poutine on the East Coast, and in Alberta, beef poutine is popularly made with Alberta beef. Pulled pork poutine is another popular option. The more you load it with, the tastier it gets! It can be found across the country. As a matter of fact, Poutine is often thought of as Canada’s national dish!

2. Nanaimo Bars – British Columbia

traditional canadian food nanaimo bars
Nanaimo bars – traditional Canadian dessert

Nanaimo Bars are a classic sweet Canadian dish originating from the city of Nanaimo in British Columbia. These rich, no-bake dessert bars contain three delicious layers: a crumbly, nutty base, a creamy custard-flavored middle, and a smooth chocolate topping. They may be called a different name elsewhere, but rest assured, Nanaimo Bars were invented in Canada. Check out more about British Columbia The Best Places to Visit in British Columbia

Ingredients:

  • For the base layer: Graham cracker crumbs, coconut, almonds (or walnuts), cocoa, butter, sugar, and egg.
  • For the middle layer: Custard powder, butter, heavy cream, and icing sugar.
  • For the top layer: Semi-sweet chocolate and butter.

The Nanaimo Bar’s origins date back to the early 1950s and have since reached beyond British Columbia to become a nationwide favorite. This popular Canadian food is always featured in bakeries, cafes, and dessert menus across Canada. The combination of a crunchy base, a soft, sweet middle, and a chocolatey top makes these bars a unique and indulgent treat.

What sets the Nanaimo Bar apart is its no-bake nature, making it a popular choice for home bakers, especially during the warmer months when turning on the oven is less appealing. The bars are also a staple during the holiday season, often featured in Christmas baking assortments.

3. Butter Tarts

traditional  canadian food butter tarts

These are still my favorite desserts. If I go to a buffet with butter tarts on the table, you can be sure I will grab a couple.  Butter Tarts are a quintessential Canadian dessert, embodying the simplicity and richness of the country’s baking traditions. These small, individual tarts consist of a flaky pastry shell filled with a gooey, buttery mixture of sugar, eggs, and often raisins or nuts.

Ingredients:

  • Pastry dough (usually a basic mix of flour, butter, and water)
  • Butter
  • Brown sugar
  • Eggs
  • Vanilla extract
  • Optional: Raisins, walnuts, or pecans

The origins of Butter Tarts are traced back to the early settlers of Canada, with roots in Scottish and French pastry traditions. Over time, they have become a beloved treat nationwide, often found at local bakeries, community gatherings, and family tables. Our hometown of Paris, Ontario, even has the annual butter tart festival.

The charm of the Butter Tart lies in its simplicity and the comforting, homemade feel it embodies. Each tart is a delightful combination of a crispy crust and a soft, sticky center, offering a balance of textures and flavors that have made it a Canadian favorite. Regional variations of the tart exist, with debates over the inclusion of raisins or the desired consistency of the filling – runny or firm. My personal favourite are pecan butter tarts.

4. Beaver Tails

traditional food in canada beaver tails

Head to any tourist destination, and you can be sure to see people munching on Beaver Tails. No, they are not what you think they are. Beaver Tails are delectable treats made of fried dough shaped like a beaver’s tail.

It can be topped with anything, but we like the original sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon.  Other toppings include ice cream, whipped cream, or jellies. Read more: Top Things to do in Ottawa

5. Maple Syrup

traditional canadian food boiling maple syrup in snow

What tourist doesn’t leave Canada without a bottle of Maple Syrup in tow? The maple tree is a national symbol of Canada, and its syrup is scrumptious. 

Come to Canada in the dead of winter, and you can take a tour out to the woods and watch them tap a Maple tree for fresh syrup. If you visit Ottawa in Winterlude, Quebec, during Carnival or any Canadian winter festival,, you’ll always find someone rolling fresh boiling maple syrup over snow to create a delicious maple lollipop. You gotta try it; it’s delicious. Bring some maple syrup home with you and smother it over pancakes, french toast, sausage, or bacon. Maple syrup makes anything taste better.

6. Hawaiian Pizza

traditional canadian food hawaiian pizza

Contrary to its name, Hawaiian Pizza is a Canadian creation. It’s famous for its unusual combination of ham and pineapple toppings, creating a perfect blend of sweet and savory flavors.

Ingredients:

  • Pizza dough
  • Tomato sauce
  • Ham
  • Pineapple chunks
  • Mozzarella cheese

Invented in Ontario in the 1960s, Hawaiian Pizza has sparked debates about pineapple on pizza but remains a popular choice worldwide. It used to be my favourite pizza and the only kind I ordered from Pizza Pizza all through college.

7. The Bloody Caesar Cocktail

traditional canadian food and drinks bloody caesar cocktail

The Caesar is definitely Canada’s national drink. A Bloody Caesar is a lot like America’s Bloody Mary, except we use Clamato Juice over tomato juice. Clamato juice is a mix of clam and tomato, but don’t let that turn you off. It’s delicious.

The Bloody Caesar is a beloved cocktail in Canada, and we have adopted it as our country’s national drink. It’s a savory, spicy concoction with a unique Canadian twist: clamato juice which is a blend of clam juice, and tomato juice.

Ingredients:

  • Vodka
  • Clamato juice
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Hot sauce (such as Tabasco)
  • Lime juice
  • Celery salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • Garnishes: celery stick, lime wedge, pickled vegetables

The Bloody Caesar was invented in 1969 by bartender Walter Chell in Calgary, Alberta. He was inspired by the Italian dish Spaghetti alle Vongole and sought to capture its essence in a drink. Chell mashed clams to mix with tomato juice, creating the first clamato juice, which became the distinctive ingredient of the cocktail.

This drink is a favorite not only in Calgary but at all Canadian bars and restaurants and holds a special place in our country’s cultural landscape. It’s often enjoyed during brunches, on Canada Day, or my favorite, as a ‘hair of the dog’ remedy. The Bloody Caesar is customizable, with various garnishes like celery stick, pickled beans or peppers and levels of spiciness, making it a personal experience for each individual.

A lot of work goes into a Caesar made with vodka and clamato juice, from choosing the proper glass, to the right Clamato juice, rimming the glass properly and adding just the right amount of Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco sauce. Check our recipe here

8. Back Bacon

traditional canadian food back bacon

Speaking of bacon, peameal bacon or back bacon is world-famous. Americans like to call it Canadian bacon, but we call it back bacon. Even Bob and Doug Mackenzie (aka Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas) sang about back bacon for their 12 Days of Christmas spoof. 

Unlike the streaky, fatty bacon often seen in the United States, Canadian Bacon is made from pork loin cut, giving it a more ham-like texture and flavor.

Ingredients:

  • Pork loin
  • Brine (commonly made with water, salt, and sugar)
  • Cornmeal (for peameal bacon)

The origin of Canadian Bacon is tied to Toronto, where pork loins were rolled in peameal (ground yellow peas) to preserve them in the late 19th century. While the peameal has since been replaced by cornmeal, the name, and the tradition continue.

Canadian Bacon is typically brined, smoked, and sliced into circular medallions. It’s less fatty than traditional bacon, making it a healthier option that doesn’t sacrifice flavor. It is part of our national identity. Even if you don’t eat bacon (like me), Canadian Bacon is still a huge part of Canadian food identity.

9. Kraft Dinner

traditional canadian food kraft dinner

The Barenaked Ladies (a famous Canadian rock band) even sang about one of our favourite Canadian foods, Kraft Dinner. In their song they talked about putting ketchup on Kraft Dinner. “a Little Dijon ketchup.” While many places worldwide have macaroni and cheese, only Canada has KD. We Canadians love Kraft Dinner. When Covid-19 spread, people were buying up these boxes of goodness almost as quickly as toilet paper!

10. Tim Hortons Doughnuts

traditional canadian food tim hortons donuts

I know everyone loves doughnuts, and we’ve tried them worldwide, but nothing compares to Tim Horton’s doughnuts. (Donuts for our American friends.) In fact, eating at Tim Hortons can be a Canadian food and cultural identity post all to itself. People are hooked on Tim Horton’s coffee. A lot of people order a double-double (double cream / double sugar) with an apple fritter or chocolate-dipped doughnut.

Tim Hortons has branched out and now offers oat milk, lattes, and cappuccinos. As Starbucks continues to close around the country, Tim Hortons is still going strong.

11. Smoked Salmon

traditional canadian food smoked salmon

Our airports are filled with boxes of the stuff, and we love the smoked sockeye salmon. Eat smoked salmon alone, or add some capers and goat’s cheese on some crackers. Oh, my mouth is watering as I write about it.

12. East Coast Lobster

best traditional canadian food east coast lobster

Other countries eat lobster, I know, but in the Maritime Provinces on Canada’s East Coast, Lobster is a way of life.  And the lobster from the East Coast of Canada is among the best in the world. Check out Best Things to Do in Nova Scotia – The Ultimate Travel Guide

13. Canadian Beer

canadian dishes and drinks molson canadian

It is a meal where we come from! Canadians think their beer is superior to their southern neighbour’s watery brew. As a matter of fact, we think that their beer is superior to everyone’s. Canadians can’t figure out why the rest of the world doesn’t feel the same way. While many people think we only drink Molson Canadian or Labbatt’s, we have a very large microbrew scene. You can drink beer from all over Canada in small batches nationwide.

Regional Favourites – Traditional Canadian Cuisine

14. Montreal Bagels

canadian dishes montreal bagels

Montreal bagels are as popular in Canada as New York Bagels are in America. What makes these bagels so special? Unlike other bagels, Montreal Bagals have a larger hole, but the bagel itself is thinner, denser, and sweeter than regular bagels. Because they are baked in wood fire ovens, the outside is crispier, too! Check out 29 Best Things to Do in Montreal, Canada

15. Montreal Smoked Meat Sandwich

Canadian dishes Schwartz's, Famous Montreal smoked meat restaurant
.

Speaking of Montreal, Montreal Smoked Meat is another quintessential Canadian food. It’s a right of passage to visit Schwartz’s Deli. They’ve been serving their famous original smoked meat for nearly a century. A beef brisket is marinated for ten days using a secret blend of herbs and spices. This place sees lineups out the door. So head on in and order a smoked meat sandwich on rye bread. Check out: Where to Stay in Montreal – A Guide To The Best Places and Neighborhoods

16. Saskatoon Berry Pie

saskatoon berry pie best traditional canadian foods from the Prairies

Saskatoon Berry Pie is a classic Canadian dessert, particularly cherished in the Prairie provinces. It’s made with Saskatoon berries, a fruit native to North America, known for their sweet, nutty flavor, reminiscent of blueberries and almonds.

Ingredients:

  • Saskatoon berries
  • Sugar
  • Lemon juice
  • Flour or cornstarch (as a thickener)
  • Unbaked pie crusts
  • Butter
  • Cinnamon (optional)

Saskatoon Berry Pie has a deep cultural significance in Canadian prairies. Harvesting these berries is often a family activity, and the pie itself is a frequent feature at community gatherings and family events. Its preparation and enjoyment are interwoven with a sense of local pride and tradition.

The pie showcases the Saskatoon berry, a staple in the diet of Indigenous peoples and early settlers. These berries provide a unique taste and are packed with nutrients. Read more: 23 Best Things to Do in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

17. Sugar Pie

best traditional canadian foods sugar pie

Sugar Pie, a delightful dessert originating from Quebec, is a testament to Canada’s French heritage. This sweet pie is simple yet indulgent, primarily made with brown sugar or maple syrup, creating a rich, caramel-like filling encased in a flaky, buttery crust.

Ingredients:

  • Brown sugar or maple syrup
  • Unbaked pie crust
  • Heavy cream or condensed milk
  • Butter
  • Flour
  • Vanilla extract

Sugar Pie’s history dates back to when early settlers used local ingredients to create desserts. Today, it’s a staple in Canadian celebrations, particularly during the holidays.

18. Nova Scotia Lobster Rolls

best traditional canadian foods nova scotia lobster roll

Nova Scotia Lobster Rolls are a quintessential Canadian treat, especially popular in the Maritime provinces. These rolls combine fresh, succulent lobster meat with a light dressing in a toasted bun. Read more: Best Things to do in Nova Scotia

Ingredients:

  • Fresh lobster meat
  • Mayonnaise
  • Lemon juice
  • Fresh dill or chives
  • Buttered and toasted hot dog buns

Lobster fishing is a significant part of Nova Scotia’s economy, making these lobster rolls not just a culinary delight but a cultural experience.

19. Halifax Donair

best traditional canadian foods donair

Halifax Donair, a variation of the traditional doner kebab, is a beloved street food in Halifax. It features spiced ground meat, typically beef, roasted on a vertical spit and served in a pita with onions, tomatoes, and a signature sweet garlic sauce.

Ingredients:

  • Ground beef
  • Pita bread
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Sweetened condensed milk
  • Vinegar

This dish reflects the cultural diversity of Canada, showcasing how global cuisines have been embraced and adapted.

21. Split Pea Soup – A Comforting Canadian Classic

best traditional canadian foods split pea soup
French Canadian Food – Pea Soup

I ate a lot of pea soup as a kid. I didn’t realize this was a “Canadian foodie thing” until researching this article. Perhaps my French Canadian background influenced my family to eat a lot of split pea soup. But apparently, Split Pea Soup is a Canadian dish from French Canada. There you go. I just learned something about my country that I had never known until today!

Split Pea Soup is a hearty and nourishing staple in Canadian cuisine, particularly cherished during the cold winter months. This traditional soup is made from dried split peas and often includes ham or bacon for added flavor, along with vegetables like carrots, onions, and celery.

Ingredients:

  • Dried split peas (green or yellow)
  • Ham bone or ham hock (or bacon)
  • Carrots
  • Onions
  • Celery
  • Herbs (such as thyme and bay leaves)
  • Salt and pepper

Tracing its roots back to Canadian fur trading days, Split Pea Soup was a practical choice for long, harsh winters, as the ingredients were easily stored, and the soup provided much-needed warmth and nutrition.

The soup is known for its thick, creamy texture and comforting, savory flavor. It’s a common homemade meal, often prepared in large batches to enjoy over several days as the flavors continue to develop and enhance with time.

Bannock

traditional canadian foods banncok

Bannock is a simple and versatile bread deeply rooted in Canada’s Indigenous culinary traditions. This flatbread, which can be baked or fried, is made from a basic dough of flour, baking powder, water, and sometimes lard or oil.

Ingredients:

  • Flour
  • Baking powder
  • Water
  • Salt
  • Optional: Lard or vegetable oil

Bannock’s history in Canada dates back to the Indigenous peoples, who adapted it from Scottish fur traders’ bread recipes. It has since become a staple in many Indigenous communities across Canada, each region adding its own variations and techniques.

The bread is enjoyed in various forms – as a side for soups and stews, sweetened with jam or honey, or even used as the base for sandwiches. Its simplicity and ease of preparation make it a beloved food among Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians.

Bannock has seen a resurgence in contemporary Canadian cuisine, with chefs and bakers exploring its potential in traditional and modern dishes. It’s a testament to the enduring nature of this food and its significance in the tapestry of Canadian food culture.

Canadian Junk Food Scene

We have our own Canadian junk food scene and people are often surprised to find that we have several different candy bars (chocolate bars here in Canada) and potato chips than our American neighbors. To help you navigate the Canadian junk food scene when you visit, here are a few of our favourites.

22. Ketchup Chips

canadian foods ketchup chips

We love our potato chips. Lays is a popular brand for Ketchup chip lovers. Ruffles is our favorite ridged chip brand here in Canada. While I don’t love Ketchup Chips and lean more towards salt and vinegar chips, I discovered that Ketchup Chips are a Canadian thing.

I believe we pioneered the trend of flavoring our chips here in Canada. I am probably wrong, but I am going to go with it. We really do take it all to a whole new level from other countries. All-dressed chips or dill pickle chips, anyone? I remember once upon a time having a hard time finding salt and vinegar chips while traveling. We do love having variety here in Canada.

23. Smarties

When you eat your Smarties do you eat the red ones last? Smarties are similar to M&Ms, only better. Hey I’m Canadian, I have to like Smarties more; it’s my job! Made by Nestle, Smarties are a little crunchier with a thicker shell.

24. Caramilk

Canada has a lot of different chocolate bars that you cannot buy in the United States. From The Crunchie Bar to the Coffee Crisp but I think the Caramilk bar is the most popular. However, I do love a coffee crisp. Caramilk is a chocolate bar filled with creamy caramel. It is produced in Toronto and when I need a chocolate fix, I get myself a Caramilk.

25. Chocolate Bars

canadian sayings food

In Canada, we call them chocolate bars, not candy bars. And I love other chocolate bars that are exclusively Canadian Big Turk – a candy twist on Turkish delight. Dave hates it, I love it! Aerobar – a chocolate bar with bubbles. I find it a little too light. Mr. Big, it’s big, and I don’t like it, but when I was a kid, I always asked for it because it’s the largest chocolate bar out there. And finally Wunderbar. This is Dave’s personal favourite. When you come to Canada, do yourself a favour, go into a corner store and check out the chocolate bar selection.

Best Canadian Foods – FAQs

best traditional canadian foods

What are traditional Canadian foods?

Traditional Canadian foods are a mosaic of dishes influenced by the country’s diverse heritage, including indigenous, French, British, and more recent global influences. Staples like Poutine, a hearty dish of fries topped with cheese curds and gravy, and Tourtiere, a savory meat pie from Quebec, is quintessentially Canadian. Bannock, an indigenous flatbread, and Butter Tarts, a sweet pastry filled with butter, sugar, and egg filling, showcase Canada’s culinary heritage. These traditional foods offer a glimpse into Canada’s rich history and cultural diversity.

  1. Poutine: Originating from Quebec, this dish of fries, cheese curds, and gravy has become a national favorite.
  2. Butter Tarts: A sweet treat featuring a flaky pastry shell filled with a buttery, sugary filling.
  3. Maple Syrup: Canada, particularly Quebec, is the world’s largest producer of maple syrup, a staple in Canadian kitchens.
  4. Saskatoon Berry Pie: A delightful pie made from the native Saskatoon berries, found predominantly in the Prairie provinces.
  5. Caesar Cocktail: A unique Canadian twist on the Bloody Mary, featuring clamato juice and often enjoyed as a brunch cocktail.

What do Canadians eat at home?

At home, Canadians enjoy a variety of foods, reflecting the country’s multicultural makeup. Comfort foods like macaroni and cheese, roast dinners, and homemade soups are common for quick meals. International cuisines like Italian pasta dishes, Chinese stir-fries, and Indian curries are also popular, showcasing Canada’s diverse population. The focus is often on seasonal, locally sourced ingredients, with a growing emphasis on healthy, sustainable eating. We cook a lot of Thai food in our house as well. However, my brother’s family is a big meat and potatoes type of household. In Canada, anything goes when it comes to food.

What are the different food cultures in Canada?

Canada’s food culture is as varied as its landscape, encompassing French-Canadian, British, American, Asian and Middle Eastern pulse First Nations influences. Each region has its specialties – from the seafood of the Maritimes, the poutine of Quebec, to the wheat-based dishes of the Prairies. Urban centers like Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal offer a rich tapestry of international cuisines, reflecting the diverse communities that call Canada home.

What are Canada’s most famous foods?

Canada is famous for several foods that have become symbols of its culinary identity:

  • Poutine: A beloved dish nationwide, originating from Quebec.
  • Maple Syrup: Emblematic of Canadian cuisine and used in various dishes.
  • Peameal or Back Bacon: Known as Canadian bacon outside the country, this is a Toronto specialty.
  • Butter Tarts: A classic Canadian dessert, simple yet delightful.
  • Ice Wine: A luxurious dessert wine made from grapes frozen on the vine, primarily produced in Ontario.

And there you have our unique foods to Canada.

Canada is a land made up of immigrants, and settlers of this country make it a true melting pot of cultures and cuisine.  Just like our national identity, Canadian food is also a blend of the best of every land on the planet.

Travel Planning Resources

Looking to book your next trip? Why not use these resources that are tried and tested by yours truly.

Flights: Start planning your trip by finding the best flight deals on Skyscanner

Book your Hotel: Find the best prices on hotels with these two providers. If you are located in Europe use Booking.com and if you are anywhere else use TripAdvisor

Find Apartment Rentals: You will find the cheapest prices on apartment rentals with VRBO

Travel Insurance: Don't leave home without it. Here is what we recommend:

  • Allianz - Occasional Travelers.
  • Medjet - Global air medical transport and travel security.

Need more help planning your trip? Make sure to check out our Resources Page where we highlight all the great companies that we trust when we are traveling.

About The Planet D

Dave Bouskill and Debra Corbeil are the owners and founders of The Planet D. After traveling to 115 countries, on all 7 continents over the past 13 years they have become one of the foremost experts in travel. Being recognized as top travel bloggers and influencers by the likes of Forbes Magazine, the Society of American Travel Writers and USA Today has allowed them to become leaders in their field.

Leave a Comment

31 thoughts on “Top Must-Try Canadian Foods for Foodies and Travelers”

  1. Hello there, I have just finished reading this and about 20 other articles or blog posts about top Canadian food and snack products. Yours is the best so far, but I am soooo surprised that not one single post has included CHEEZIES. How did Ketchup Chips outrank Hawkins Cheezies from Belleville, Ontario? It should be near the top of the list – every single person I know absolutely loves Cheezies, why has it been overlooked? Only a small fraction of my surveyed sociables likes Ketchup chips. It doesn’t make any sense to me. Are we trying to keep a Canadian secret? I would love to hear some feedback on this.

    Reply
  2. Yes poutine is technically Canadian, but i think it is important to say that it is from Québec and there you can find fresh cheese curds and good poutine. For having crossed canada 5 times and tried so many on my ways, i can say that 🙂

    Reply
    • Thanks for the clarification. very true, it all started in Quebec. Thanks Quebec for the delicious treat!

      Reply
  3. I would definitely say Alberta beef is distinctly Canadian. you may think that beef is the same all over, but it’s not. ours is different then even Montana beef that’s only a couple hours away. Another thing we have in alberta is a Blackfoot taco. So yummy! It’s fry bread topped with ground (alberta) beef and other taco fixings. We also have Saskatoon pie, and bison burgers. also wild game is pretty Canadaian. Someone usually has some Moose or Elk in their freezer, of course deer too, but other country’s have that as well. I think you guys need to spend more time out west (Not Vancouver) we are very different then Ontario. Our milk even comes in plastic jugs not bags. I have never even seen a bag of milk before.

    Reply
    • Great additions. I need to update this post because I do believe since writing it, Canada has developed an identity. Thanks!

      Reply
  4. Not that berries are unique to Canada (but neither are lobsters so :P), but people in B.C. and the Yukon are big blueberry/blackberry/cranberry/raspberry people 🙂

    I remember I used to live in a place where on the way to take the bus to Uni I could stop off and have a nice feast of blackberries…I hope no one owned the bush haha

    Reply
    • Hi Jen, thanks for the food lesson. Yes, that is what makes Canada, we take other people’s ideas and turn them into our own. Like I said, we have a lack of identity when it comes to our food :-) Cheers!

      Reply
  5. I loved this post! I missed it when it first posted since I was in Mexico at the time, but this was so much fun to learn about a few foods I had not heard of (I am SO going to try that Pork Pie recipe!). We do have something similar to the Beaver Tails but down here it’s called Indian Fry Bread and you can find it at any fair or festival, at least in the west. Have to admit, I like the name “beaver tails” better though 🙂

    Oh and I really love Canadian beer too – you’re right, it’s much better than what’s produced down here in the states….
    .-= Trisha Miller´s last blog ..eBook Review: Just What Works: Write Right Online =-.

    Reply
    • Hi Trisha, thanks for the comment. Wow Mexico nice! I am not sure if our beer is better, but like I said, as Canadians we all like to think so:) Beer and hockey that is our National Pride:) I have to try that pork pie recipe myself. Sounds yummy!

      Reply
  6. Jodie the Legal Nomad brought poutine to my attention, and I think I’ll be trying it during my stay here in NYC. Hard to go wrong with potatoes, gravy and cheese. 🙂
    .-= Dave´s last blog ..Friday Flashback – Bangkok =-.

    Reply
    • Hi Dave, so true. How can you go wrong with that combination. Anything that is smothered in gravy and cheese is fine in my books.

      Reply
    • Thanks Authentic Seacoast, Great to hear about other foods from Canada that we didn’t know about. Our country is so big, that we learn new things every day. It sounds heavenly.

      Reply
  7. Audrey, We get the same question all the time about what is American food. We try to explain that because America is a land of immigrants, we adapt others’ food to reflect American tastes. A good example of this is pizza because Chicago style and New York style pizzas are very different than Italian pizza. Similarly, Indian food made for Americans is quite different than Indian food made for Indians. We also point to steak and potatoes as a traditional American meal.
    .-= Akila´s last blog ..milford sound (and the fury) =-.

    Reply
  8. When I saw the title to this, poutine was the first thing that came to mind. Beer..got to love Molson and Moosehead among my favorites.
    .-= Adam´s last blog ..Slaw Dogs at Hermans of Topton,PA =-.

    Reply
    • Hey Adam, yep always about the beer eh?! Love the poutine, I love that we have poutine in Harveys another thing that the rest of the world doesn’t have. Harveys have great hamburgers.

      Reply
  9. I think our Canadian food identity is much like the local culture, a mishmash of multiculturalism and ethnicity.

    I can venture out into the streets of Toronto or Vancouver and sample a countless number of cusines, and dishes, all amazingly delicious. Take a brief stroll down Toronto’s Yonge street and you’ll find North Chinese, South Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Caribbean, Western, Indian, Tamil,Italian, Greek and dare I say British culinary fare. What else would you expect from the World’s most multicultural city?

    We are a nation of immigrants (dare I use the term cultural mosaic), and our national cuisine reflects the broad landscape of our immigrant population (and it sure is delicious).

    Sam

    Reply
    • Hi Sam, you are absolutely right. That is what I love about Canada, we get all of the best foods from around the world. I always say that people have brought the best from their country and left the not so good behind. So as Canadians, we get to sample delicious foods. I love Toronto for that exact reason also. Every night the question is what food do we feel like. And having traveled the world quite a bit, we find that it is always very authentic.

      Reply
  10. From Quebec, I would also add Montreal-style smoked meat, Montreal-style bagels (both now getting a nod in NYC) and tourtière meat pies. Fun post, and makes me miss those deliciously Canadian specialties even more. Travel safe in India! Jodi

    Reply
    • Hey LegalNomads, for sure Montreal smokes meat. Mmm mmm good and I agree, the bagels in Montreal are awesome. I haven’t had the tourtiere meat pies, but I will try one the next time I am there. Thanks for sharing.

      Reply
  11. That is a fair assessment, but having researched the issue I wanted to add in my two cents… There is a very distinctive french canadian cuisine, which extends well beyond poutine. They are known for dishes such as pea soup (with lard), beans (with lard), pouding chômeur, tourtière (three ground meats: weal/pork/beef with savoury), tarte au sucre, as well as a vast array of venison dishes, from caribou sausages to rabbit ragout, all made with whatever happened to be available to the settlers when they first landed on the shores. Beyond Quebec, I think we canadians can claim blueberry pie as our own too…

    Reply
    • Hi Nathalie, You are right. Not being from Quebec myself, I didn’t know a lot of the distinct foods, but thank you so much for adding them to the post. My parents love pea soup. We ate it all the time as kids. All of the food that you listed sounds delicious. Can’t wait for our next trip to Quebec. Cheers.

      Reply
  12. We are constantly asked, “So what is American food? Hamburgers?” While there are a lot of hamburgers consumed in the United States, after spending months in South America I’m convinced the per capita consumption here is much higher.

    We usually explain that since the United States is a nation of immigrants, our food reflects that – like in Canada – so we can have a choice of Italian, Indian, Chinese, Thai, Persian, Mexican, etc. People usually get very confused by that concept…so sometimes we just talk about Thanksgiving dinner as a traditional American meal.

    Reply
    • Audrey and Akila, you are so right. Canada and the U.S. are so similar in the fact that we are made up of immigrants. I love having choice. We never get tired of eating. Good piece of information about South America. Who knew that others could eat as many hamburgers as we all do.

      Reply