Canada’s traditional cuisine mirrors its rich cultural heritage and expansive landscapes, presenting an array of regional delicacies you must try whilst travelling.

ByAndrea Thompson

April 5, 2024

Here are our top ten iconic Canadian dishes.

Poutine

A symbol of Québécois culture which originated in the late 1950’s. It’s a hearty meal consisting of French fries and cheese curds, generously topped with a warm brown gravy. Over the years, poutine has become widely enjoyed across Canada and beyond.

Nova Scotian Lobster Rolls

This simple but classic maritime treat, embodying the fresh succulent flavours of the lobster meat sourced from the cold clear waters of Nova Scotia. A sandwich of lobster meat mixed with mayonnaise and celery on a toasted butter bun lined with lettuce.  A must try for seafood aficionados.

Saskatoon berry pie

A delightful dessert that’s a staple in Canadian prairies cuisine. The pie is known for its unique flavour, which comes from the Saskatoon berries – also known as serviceberries which have a sweet nutty taste with a hint of apple.

Maple Taffy

Also known as “tire d’érable” in French-speaking Canada, is a quintessential Canadian confection that’s especially popular in Quebec and Eastern Ontario. This delightful candy is traditionally made during the maple syrup harvest season by heating the syrup until it reaches a soft ball stage and then it is poured onto clean snow where it rapidly thickens due to the cold.  Once hardened it is lifted out with a stick.  Because of its intense sweetness it is eaten with coffee or dill pickles.

Ketchup Chips (Crisps)

A potato crisps coated in ketchup-flavoured seasoning offering a sweet and sour taste beware they will turn your fingers red!

Nanaimo Bars

These bars consist of a wafer crumb-based layer topped with custard flavoured butter icing and melted chocolate. They are a beloved treat across Canada and have now expanded into the USA.

Tourtière

A traditional French Canadian meat pie that originates from the province of Quebec. Each family has its own recipes making and it is the spices used in the pie that gives its distinct flavour.  Made from minced pork, beef or veal and combined with potatoes and encased in flaky pastry. This pie is popular during Christmas and New Year celebrations after served after midnight Mass.

Split Pea Soup

Comfort food at its finest. With Québécois origins, split pea soup is traditionally composed of peas, pork and herbs blended together for pure, creamy deliciousness. A bowl of this will get you through the tough Canadian winter.

Caesar Cocktail

The Caesar is Canada’s national cocktail. Made of vodka, clamato juice, Tabasco and Worcestershire sauce, the Canadian take on the Bloody Mary makes the absolute best brunch companion. Seems restaurants are now adding more to it including the likes of burgers hot dogs or onion rings.  More a meal than a cocktail.

Bannock

Bannock is a versatile and traditional bread deeply rooted in Canadian culinary traditions, particularly within Indigenous communities. It’s a simple bread made from flour, baking powder, salt, and water, and can be either fried or baked. Often served at festivals and celebrations and used as a base for burgers, tacos and sandwiches

These dishes are just a few examples of the rich culinary traditions found across Canada, each telling a story of the nation’s history and the natural bounty of its regions.