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The 10 Most Popular Foods in Canada

The 10 Most Popular Foods in Canada

If you were asked to name foods that best describe Canada, what would you answer? Is it maple syrup and poutine? Maybe, but don’t stop there! 

Canada is a veritable smorgasbord of unique (and seriously scrumptious) foods that are worth hopping on a moose for—er, we mean plane. Whether you’ve got a sweet tooth or you’re a staunch savoury supporter, these foods are sure to make your heart sing “O Canada”!

Hold onto your toques because we’re about to dive into the fantastically delicious world of Canadian cuisine! Pour yourself a cup of strong Canadian coffee (or a glass of ice wine, if you prefer) and read on to discover the most popular foods that Canadians can’t get enough of!


Hey, let’s start with a showstopper: poutine. You might be thinking, “Just fries with gravy and cheese, right?” Oh, my friend, poutine is so much more than that.

It’s a hearty, delectable representation of Canadian warmth and hospitality. First things first: that crunchy-on-the-outside, soft-on-the-inside fry base.

Its fried spuds turned into the luxury version of pillow mattresses—crispy yet comforting. Then come those world-famous Canadian cheese curds—squeaky little cheese blessings.

Now, hear us on this: it’s no ordinary cheese we’re talking about; these curds are the gold standard. But wait, we’re not done yet!

The pièce de résistance is the rich and velvety gravy, traditionally a chicken, veal, or turkey mix. Seriously, this stuff is the stuff of rock stars who know how to put on a show.

Local Tip: Quebec is the birthplace of poutine. For an extra layer of authenticity, head to a local “Casse-Croute” (or snack bar) in Quebec.

Butter tarts

Ah, butter tarts. Born and buttered—pun totally intended—in gorgeous Ontario, butter tarts are an undeniable favourite across the country. The crust in every bite is a delicate dance of texture and taste.

Now, the beauty here lies in the balance—achieving that elusive middle ground between too crumbly and too hard. Canadians, with their supreme baking skills, have nailed it.

Next, we have the filling—its few ingredients perform a one-act wonder. Made with a delightful mix of butter, sugar, syrup, and eggs, the filling is a gooey, sweet, lip-smacking wonder that just hits home in the most comforting way.

Now, where the debate starts is here: raisins or no raisins? Some swear by them. Others, well, not so much.

Local Tip: While everyone’s got their favourite spot, Ontario’s Butter Tart Tour is a must! Get ready for some divine tart-tasting!


Alright, before you make that face, let’s be clear: Beavertails have absolutely nothing to do with actual beavers. They’re deceptively delicious pastries and an iconic part of Canadian street food culture.

Hand-stretched to look like—yep, you guessed it—a beaver’s tail. Talk about unique, eh?

Drawing their lineage from the deep-rooted tradition of frying dough, BeaverTails take the game up a notch. They’re not just regular doughnuts; they’re flat doughnuts.

Then there are the toppings. From the quintessential cinnamon, sugar, and lemon combo to the extravagant Nutella-banana or apple pie, BeaverTails has something for everyone.

It’s this delightful contrast that makes BeaverTails an addictive marvel. Every bite says, “Welcome to Canada, friend.”

Local Tip: When in Ottawa, grab a BeaverTail after ice skating on the Rideau Canal for a quintessential Canadian experience!

Nanaimo bars

Alrighty, brace yourselves, sweet-aholics; we’re heading to the sweet side of Canada now.  And let me just say that if Canada had VIP dessert cards, Nanaimo bars would be platinum members. 

These sweet surprises hail from the picturesque city of Nanaimo, located on the east coast of Vancouver Island. First, the bottom layer forms the foundation—a delicious crumbly concoction of graham crackers, melted chocolate, and shredded coconut. 

Next up, you have the middle layer—custard-flavoured butter icing. Finally, the top layer features a semi-sweet chocolate glaze adorned over the custard layer— a dark, mysterious, yet super delicious layer that brings the whole bar together.

Nanaimo bars are so loved in Canada because they bring together the most adored dessert ingredients in one handsome treat.

Local Tip: If you’re in Nanaimo, BC, follow the “Nanaimo Bar Trail” for a taste adventure!


When it’s nippy outside and your soul is yearning for a warm, comforting hug, I present to you Tourtière, Canada’s favourite meat pie! Born and perfected in Quebec, this quintessential Canadian dish is a star of every Québécois Christmas and New Year.

Tourtière starts with a rich, flaky crust that’s rustic yet oh-so-charming—a bit like your grandad telling fascinating tales by the fireside, comforting and engaging. Nothing fancy, yet unforgettable.

The filling is a mouth-watering mix of minced pork, beef, or game, complemented perfectly with fragrant onions, cloves, cinnamon, and garlic. The moment you take the first bite, you can feel its warm, comforting Canadian soul.

Local Tip: If you’re visiting Quebec during the holidays, be sure to savour a slice of authentic Tourtière!

Smoked meats

Welcome to the carnivore’s paradise, where juicy smoked meats reign supreme. Canada’s answer to the deli classic pastrami or corned beef, this Montreal specialty is to die for!

Traditionally-made smoked meats start with high-quality beef briskets cured with a concoction of spices, including crushed peppercorns and savoury coriander. 

The dry-rubbed brisket is “smoked” on low heat for several hours, promoting tenderness and locking in aromatic flavours.

This isn’t your grab-and-go deli sandwich! Smoked meats have earned their place in Canadian culinary history by offering a delectable taste bonanza that’s been perfected over a century.

Local Tip: When in Montreal, don’t miss Schwartz’s Deli; they serve a smoked meat sandwich that’s considered legendary!

Lobster Rolls

How about we switch gears and talk about some seafood now? Let’s set sail for Maritime Canada, where fresh, succulent lobster rolls reign supreme.

Starting with the star of the show—fresh, succulent lobster meat. This isn’t just any lobster; these are Atlantic lobsters, the creme de la creme of the lobster universe, caught right on Canada’s east coast.

Then we pair it with the humble hotdog bun, perfectly toasted and lightly buttered—it’s the wingman that helps the lobster shine yet is absolutely essential for the whole magic to happen. 

But we’re not done yet; a touch of mayonnaise binds this beautiful mix, not overpowering but just complimenting the freshness of the lobster.

The result? An irresistible, delicate amalgamation of the sea’s bounty and simple, comfort food elements.

Local Tip: Try a lobster roll at one of the lobster shacks in Nova Scotia—truly a delight to behold!

Peameal bacon sandwich (Toronto sandwich)

Next up in our delightfully indulgent food journey across Canada is the unassuming Peameal Bacon Sandwich, locally revered as the “Toronto sandwich”. Did someone just say bacon? Oh yeah, we sure did.

Imagine eating breakfast, but make it luxe. Smoky, salty peach bacon, cooked to that just-right level of crispness, is sandwiched between two slices of fluffy, softly toasted bread. And the deliciously messy bonus?

A generous spread of tangy mustard for that extra zing! See, Canadians don’t take their bacon lightly.

Their bacon game is so strong, they made an icon out of it! It’s juicy, it’s addictive, and it’s named after the crushed yellow peas that used to be used for its crust.

Local Tip: Visit the St. Lawrence Market in Toronto for a peanut bacon sandwich at Carousel Bakery, a local favourite!

Fresh Salmon

I mean, if we’re talking about Canadian food icons, fresh salmon is right at the forefront. Canadian salmon are special because of the pristine, cold waters they call home.

It’s key to the salmon’s fabulous flavour and texture. In culinary terms, fresh Canadian salmon is a superstar.

Its tender, flaky flesh and mildly sweet flavour work beautifully in an array of dishes, from rustic cedar-planked salmon on the barbecue to highly sophisticated sashimi presentations.

So, salmon isn’t just a fish; it’s a significant part of Canadian culture. From First Nations’ traditional practices to fisherman’s tales in coastal towns, salmon is more than a meal; it’s a story.

Local Tip: For a memorable salmon dinner, head to the coastal regions of British Columbia or the Atlantic regions, such as Nova Scotia, for amazing salmon dishes.

B.C. rolls (Sushi Rolls)

Finally, let’s talk about BC. rolls. You might be thinking, “Hang on, sushi is Japanese, eh?”

That’s correct, but B.C. Rolls (short for British Columbia rolls) are a unique and delicious variant of sushi that are a proud part of Canada’s culinary diversity. B.C. Rolls are a fusion of flavours from the Pacific Northwest with Japanese culinary techniques.

Their not-so-secret ingredient? Barbecued salmon skin! That’s right—they’re wrap-smackin’, roll-turn-flame sushi like you’ve never had before!

Given the abundance of fresh salmon in the British Columbia area, it was only a matter of time before some culinary genius thought, “Hey, why don’t we try this with sushi?” 

And thus, the B.C. roll was born, marrying traditional sushi elements with the wild, oceanic flavour of the Pacific Northwest.

Local Tip: Find a sushi spot in Vancouver’s bustling city centre for an authentic B.C. roll experience—you won’t be disappointed!
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