Top Must-Try Canadian Foods for Foodies and Travelers


Looking for the very best Canadian foods to consume when going to Canada? While Canadian food might not boast the instant acknowledgment of Italian, Moroccan, or Greek cooking customs, it holds a beauty and variety all its own, reflective of the nation’s large and differed landscape. For many years, Canada has actually progressively crafted an unique food identity that warmly accepts its multicultural roots and the plentiful natural deposits of the Great White North. If there’s one term that encapsulates the essence of Canadian food, it’s ‘diverse.’

From the sweet taste of Quebec’s sugar pies to the tasty thrills of Nova Scotia’s seafood, the very best conventional Canadian food has to do with taking the familiar and instilling it with a twist that’s as unanticipated as it is wonderful. This cooking journey welcomes food lovers and tourists alike to find the ingenious and wacky tastes that specify Canadian food, an event of imagination and cultural blend in every bite.

What Is Canadian Cuisine

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Nobody states, “Let’s go out for Canadian food tonight.” We, as Canadians, typically state, “Do you desire Thai food today?” What about Japanese or korean food? Other foods worldwide have an unique style and taste, however not Canada. Standard Canadian foods are a collection, which’s how we like it!

Traditional Canadian Foods

Canadian meals do not have much that makes them stand apart from the remainder of the world other than for their quirkiness and impact from other cultures. You call a nation, we have the food. Even in villages throughout Canada, you will discover a variety of worldwide food. When you believe about it, that is what makes Canadian food distinct. We vary in every element of life in Canada, and food is no exception.

We have a couple of favorites that individuals might currently like and understand and some conventional Canadian foods that the remainder of the world might or might not understand about, so I believed I would share a list of foods distinct to Canada.

1. Poutine– Quebec

best traditional canadian food poutine
Poutine– The ultimate Canadian food

I believe the world is beginning to understand about, love, and embrace our little trick, Poutine. This basic yet indulgent Canadian meal includes 3 crucial components: crispy French french fries, squeaky cheese curds, and an abundant, tasty gravy. It is sinfully tasty. Poutine is the supreme home cooking and our go-to treat for a hangover.

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

Poutine is our precious Canadian meal, transcending its Quebecois origins to end up being a nationwide home cooking staple. The heart of poutine depends on its plain roots– a hearty, reassuring meal typically enjoyed in casual restaurants and bars. It’s a sign of Canadian cooking customs, turning basic, easily offered components into a meal that’s higher than the amount of its parts.

We have dishes for poutine all over Canada with various garnishes. The fundamental poutine dish is cheese, gravy, and french fries, however they like making Lobster poutine on the East Coast, and in Alberta, beef poutine is commonly made with Alberta beef. Pulled pork poutine is another popular alternative. The more you fill it with, the more delicious it gets! It can be discovered throughout the nation. As a matter of reality, Poutine is typically considered Canada’s nationwide meal!

2. Nanaimo Bars– British Columbia

traditional canadian food nanaimo bars
Nanaimo bars– conventional Canadian dessert

Nanaimo Bars are a timeless sweet Canadian meal stemming from the city of Nanaimo in British Columbia. These abundant, no-bake dessert bars include 3 tasty layers: a crumbly, nutty base, a velvety custard-flavored middle, and a smooth chocolate topping. They might be called a various name somewhere else, however felt confident, Nanaimo Bars were developed in Canada. Check out more about British Columbia The Best Places to Visit in British Columbia


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

The Nanaimo Bar’s origins go back to the early 1950s and have actually given that reached beyond British Columbia to end up being an across the country favorite. This popular Canadian food is constantly included in bakeshops, coffee shops, and dessert menus throughout Canada. The mix of a crispy base, a soft, sweet middle, and a chocolatey leading makes these bars an indulgent and distinct reward.

What sets the Nanaimo Bar apart is its no-bake nature, making it a popular option for home bakers, specifically throughout the warmer months when switching on the oven is less enticing. The bars are likewise a staple throughout the holiday season, typically included in Christmas baking varieties.

3. Butter Tarts

traditional  canadian food butter tarts

These are still my preferred desserts. If I go to a buffet with butter tarts on the table, you can be sure I will get a couple. Butter Tarts are an essential Canadian dessert, embodying the simpleness and richness of the nation’s baking customs. These little, specific tarts include a flaky pastry shell filled with a gooey, buttery mix of sugar, eggs, and typically nuts or raisins.


  • Pastry dough (typically a fundamental mix of water, flour, and butter)
  • Butter
  • Brown sugar
  • Eggs
  • Vanilla extract
  • Optional: Pecans, raisins, or walnuts

The origins of Butter Tarts are traced back to the early inhabitants of Canada, with roots in Scottish and French pastry customs. In time, they have actually ended up being a cherished reward across the country, typically discovered at regional bakeshops, neighborhood events, and household tables. Our home town of Paris, Ontario, even has the yearly butter tart celebration.

The appeal of the Butter Tart depends on its simpleness and the reassuring, homemade feel it embodies. Each tart is a wonderful mix of a crispy crust and a soft, sticky center, using a balance of textures and tastes that have actually made it a Canadian favorite. Regional variations of the tart exist, with arguments over the addition of raisins or the wanted consistency of the filling– runny or company. My individual favourite are pecan butter tarts.

4. Beaver Tails

traditional food in canada beaver tails

Head to any traveler location, and you can be sure to see individuals chomping on Beaver Tails. No, they are not what you believe they are. Beaver Tails are scrumptious deals with made from fried dough formed like a beaver’s tail.

It can be topped with anything, however we like the initial sprayed with sugar and cinnamon. Other garnishes consist of ice cream, whipped cream, or jellies. Find out more: Top Things to do in Ottawa

5. Maple Syrup

traditional canadian food boiling maple syrup in snow

What traveler does not leave Canada without a bottle of Maple Syrup in tow? The maple tree is a national symbol of Canada, and its syrup is delicious.

Come to Canada in the dead of winter season, and you can take a trip out to the woods and view them tap a Maple tree for fresh syrup. If you check out Ottawa in Winterlude, Quebec, throughout Carnival or any Canadian winter festival,, you’ll constantly discover somebody rolling fresh boiling maple syrup over snow to produce a scrumptious maple lollipop. You got ta attempt it; it’s tasty. Bring some maple syrup home with you and smother it over pancakes, french toast, sausage, or bacon. Maple syrup makes anything taste much better.

6. Hawaiian Pizza

traditional canadian food hawaiian pizza

Contrary to its name, Hawaiian Pizza is a Canadian development. It’s popular for its uncommon mix of ham and pineapple garnishes, producing an ideal mix of tasty and sweet tastes.


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

Invented in Ontario in the 1960s, Hawaiian Pizza has actually triggered arguments about pineapple on pizza however stays a popular option worldwide. It utilized to be my preferred pizza and the only kind I purchased from Pizza Pizza all through college.

7. The Bloody Caesar Cocktail

traditional canadian food and drinks bloody caesar cocktail

The Caesar is certainly Canada’s nationwide beverage. A Bloody Caesar is a lot like America’s Bloody Mary, other than we utilize Clamato Juice over tomato juice. Clamato juice is a mix of clam and tomato, however do not let that turn you off. It’s tasty.

The Bloody Caesar is a cherished mixed drink in Canada, and we have actually embraced it as our nation’s nationwide beverage. It’s a tasty, hot mixture with a distinct Canadian twist: clamato juice which is a mix of clam juice, and tomato juice.


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

The Bloody Caesar was developed in 1969 by bartender Walter Chell in Calgary, Alberta. He was influenced by the Italian meal Spaghetti alle Vongole and looked for to catch its essence in a beverage. Chell mashed clams to blend with tomato juice, producing the very first clamato juice, which ended up being the unique component of the mixed drink.

This beverage is a preferred not just in Calgary however at all Canadian bars and dining establishments and holds an unique location in our nation’s cultural landscape. It’s typically delighted in throughout breakfasts, on Canada Day, or my preferred, as a ‘hair of the pet’ treatment. The Bloody Caesar is personalized, with different garnishes like celery stick, marinaded peppers or beans and levels of spiciness, making it an individual experience for each person.

A great deal of work enters into a Caesar made with vodka and clamato juice, from picking the correct glass, to the best Clamato juice, rimming the glass appropriately and including simply the correct 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, however 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 satire.

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


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

The origin of Canadian Bacon is connected to Toronto, where pork loins were rolled in peameal (ground yellow peas) to protect them in the late 19th century. While the peameal has actually given that been changed by cornmeal, the name, and the custom continue.

Canadian Bacon is usually brined, smoked, and sliced into circular medallions. It’s less fatty than conventional bacon, making it a much healthier alternative that does not compromise taste. It belongs to our nationwide identity. Even if you do not consume bacon (like me), Canadian Bacon is still a substantial part of Canadian food identity.

9. Kraft Dinner

traditional canadian food kraft dinner

The Barenaked Ladies (a famous Canadian rock band) even sang about among our preferred Canadian foods, Kraft Dinner. In their tune they discussed putting catsup on Kraft Dinner. “a Little Dijon catsup.” While numerous locations worldwide have macaroni and cheese, just Canada has KD. We Canadians like Kraft Dinner. When Covid-19 spread, individuals were purchasing up these boxes of goodness practically as rapidly as bathroom tissue!

10. Tim Hortons Doughnuts

traditional canadian food tim hortons donuts

I understand everybody likes doughnuts, and we’ve attempted them worldwide, however absolutely nothing compares to Tim Horton’s doughnuts. (Donuts for our American buddies.) Consuming at Tim Hortons can be a Canadian food and cultural identity post all to itself. Individuals are hooked on Tim Horton’s coffee. A great deal of individuals purchase a double-double (double cream/ double sugar) with an apple fritter or chocolate-dipped doughnut.

Tim Hortons has actually branched off and now provides oat milk, lattes, and coffees. As Starbucks continues to surround the nation, Tim Hortons is still going strong.

11. Smoked Salmon

traditional canadian food smoked salmon

Our airports are filled with boxes of the things, and we like the smoked sockeye salmon. Consume smoked salmon alone, or include some capers and goat’s cheese on some crackers. Oh, my mouth is watering as I discuss it.

12. East Coast Lobster

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Other nations consume lobster, I understand, however in the Maritime Provinces on Canada’s East Coast, Lobster is a lifestyle. And the lobster from the East Coast of Canada is amongst the very best on the planet. Have a look at Best Things to Do in Nova Scotia – The Ultimate Travel Guide

13. Canadian Beer

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It is a meal where we originate from! Canadians believe their beer transcends to their southern neighbour’s watery brew. As a matter of reality, we believe that their beer transcends to everybody’s. Canadians can’t find out why the remainder of the world does not feel the exact same method. While many individuals believe we just consume Molson Canadian or Labbatt’s, we have a huge microbrew scene. You can consume beer from all over Canada in little batches across the country.

Regional Favourites– Traditional Canadian Cuisine

14. Montreal Bagels

canadian dishes montreal bagels

Montreal bagels are as popular in Canada as New York Bagels remain in America. What makes these bagels so unique? Unlike other bagels, Montreal Bagals have a bigger hole, however the bagel itself is thinner, denser, and sweeter than routine bagels. Due to the fact that they are baked in wood fire ovens, the exterior is crispier, too! Have a look at 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 ultimate Canadian food. It’s a right of passage to check out Schwartz’s Deli. They’ve been serving their popular initial smoked meat for almost a century. A beef brisket is marinaded for 10 days utilizing a secret mix of spices and herbs. This location sees lineups out the door. Head on in and purchase a smoked meat sandwich on rye bread. Have a look at: 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 timeless Canadian dessert, especially treasured in the Prairie provinces. It’s made with Saskatoon berries, a fruit belonging to North America, understood for their sweet, nutty taste, similar to almonds and blueberries.


  • 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 grassy fields. Collecting these berries is typically a household activity, and the pie itself is a regular function at neighborhood events and household occasions. Its preparation and satisfaction are linked with a sense of regional pride and custom.

The pie showcases the Saskatoon berry, a staple in the diet plan of Early inhabitants and native individuals. These berries offer a distinct taste and are loaded with nutrients. Read more: 23 Best Things to Do in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

17. Sugar Pie

best traditional canadian foods sugar pie

Sugar Pie, a wonderful dessert stemming from Quebec, is a testimony to Canada’s French heritage. This sweet pie is basic yet indulgent, mostly made with brown sugar or maple syrup, producing an abundant, caramel-like filling enclosed in a flaky, buttery crust.


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

Sugar Pie’s history go back to when early inhabitants utilized regional components to produce desserts. Today, it’s a staple in Canadian events, especially throughout the vacations.

18. Nova Scotia Lobster Rolls

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Nova Scotia Lobster Rolls are an essential Canadian reward, specifically popular in the Maritime provinces. These rolls integrate fresh, succulent lobster meat with a light wearing a toasted bun. Find out more: Best Things to do in Nova Scotia


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

Lobster fishing is a substantial part of Nova Scotia’s economy, making these lobster rolls not simply a cultural experience however a cooking pleasure.

19. Halifax Donair

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


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

This meal shows the multiculturalism of Canada, showcasing how worldwide foods have actually been welcomed and adjusted.

21. Split Pea Soup– A Comforting Canadian Classic

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

I consumed a great deal of pea soup as a kid. I didn’t understand this was a “Canadian food lover thing” up until investigating this post. Maybe my French Canadian background affected my household to consume a great deal of split pea soup. Obviously, Split Pea Soup is a Canadian meal from French Canada. There you go. I simply discovered something about my nation that I had actually never ever understood up until today!

Split Pea Soup is a nourishing and hearty staple in Canadian food, especially treasured throughout the cold cold weather. This conventional soup is made from dried split peas and typically consists of ham or bacon for included taste, in addition to veggies like carrots, onions, and celery.


  • Dried split peas (yellow or green)
  • 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 an useful option for long, severe winter seasons, as the components were quickly saved, and the soup offered much-needed heat and nutrition.

The soup is understood for its thick, velvety texture and reassuring, tasty taste. It’s a typical homemade meal, typically prepared in big batches to delight in over numerous days as the tastes continue to improve and establish with time.


traditional canadian foods banncok

Bannock is a flexible and basic bread deeply rooted in Canada’s Indigenous cooking customs. This flatbread, which can be fried or baked, is made from a fundamental dough of flour, baking powder, water, and often lard or oil.


  • Flour
  • Baking powder
  • Water
  • Salt
  • Optional: Lard or grease

Bannock’s history in Canada go back to the Indigenous individuals, who adjusted it from Scottish fur traders’ bread dishes. It has actually given that ended up being a staple in numerous Indigenous neighborhoods throughout Canada, each area including its own variations and methods.

The bread is enjoyed in different kinds– as a side for soups and stews, sweetened with jam or honey, or perhaps utilized as the base for sandwiches. Its simpleness and ease of preparation make it a cherished food amongst Non-Indigenous and native Canadians.

Bannock has actually seen a revival in modern Canadian food, with bakers and chefs exploring its capacity in contemporary and conventional meals. It’s a testimony to the long-lasting nature of this food and its significance in the tapestry of Canadian food culture.

Canadian Junk Food Scene

We have our own Canadian processed food scene and individuals are typically shocked to discover that we have numerous various sweet bars (chocolate bars here in Canada) and potato chips than our American next-door neighbors. To assist you browse the Canadian processed food scene when you check out, here are a few of our favourites.

22. Catsup Chips

canadian foods ketchup chips

We like our potato chips. Lays is a popular brand name for Ketchup chip enthusiasts. Ruffles is our preferred ridged chip brand name here in Canada. While I do not like Ketchup Chips and lean more towards salt and vinegar chips, I found that Ketchup Chips are a Canadian thing.

I think we originated the pattern of seasoning our chips here in Canada. I am most likely incorrect, however I am going to choose it. We actually do take it all to an entire brand-new level from other nations. All-dressed chips or dill pickle chips, anybody? As soon as upon a time having a difficult time discovering salt and vinegar chips while taking a trip, I keep in mind. We do like having range here in Canada.

23. Smarties

food smarties package

When you consume your Smarties do you consume the red ones last? Smarties resemble M&M s, just much better. Hey I’m Canadian, I need to like Smarties more; it’s my task! Made by Nestle, Smarties are a little crunchier with a thicker shell.

24. Caramilk

Caramilk bar

Canada has a great deal of various chocolate bars that you can not purchase in the United States. From The Crunchie Bar to the Coffee Crisp however I believe the Caramilk bar is the most popular. I do like a coffee crisp. Caramilk is a chocolate bar filled with velvety caramel. It is produced in Toronto and when I require a chocolate repair, I get myself a Caramilk.

25. Chocolate Bars

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In Canada, we call them chocolate bars, not sweet bars. And I like other chocolate bars that are solely Canadian Big Turk– a sweet twist on Turkish pleasure. Dave dislikes it, I like it! Aerobar– a chocolate bar with bubbles. I discover it a little too light. Mr. Big, it’s huge, and I do not like it, however when I was a kid, I constantly asked for it due to the fact that it’s the biggest chocolate bar out there. Wunderbar. This is Dave’s individual favourite. When you concern Canada, do yourself a favour, enter into a corner shop and have a look at the chocolate bar choice.

Best Canadian Foods– FAQs

best traditional canadian foods

What are conventional Canadian foods?

Traditional Canadian foods are a mosaic of meals affected by the nation’s varied heritage, consisting of native, French, British, and more current worldwide impacts. Staples like Poutine, a hearty meal of french fries topped with cheese curds and gravy, and Tourtiere, a tasty meat pie from Quebec, is quintessentially Canadian. Bannock, a native flatbread, and Butter Tarts, a sweet pastry filled with butter, egg, and sugar filling, display Canada’s cooking heritage. These conventional foods use a look into Canada’s abundant history and multiculturalism.

  1. Poutine: Originating from Quebec, this meal of french fries, cheese curds, and gravy has actually ended up being a nationwide favorite.
  2. Butter Tarts: A sweet reward including a flaky pastry shell filled with a buttery, sweet filling.
  3. Maple Syrup: Canada, especially Quebec, is the world’s biggest manufacturer of maple syrup, a staple in Canadian cooking areas.
  4. Saskatoon Berry Pie: A wonderful pie made from the native Saskatoon berries, discovered primarily in the Prairie provinces.
  5. Caesar Cocktail: A distinct Canadian twist on the Bloody Mary, including clamato juice and typically delighted in as a breakfast mixed drink.

What do Canadians consume at home?

At home, Canadians delight in a range of foods, showing the nation’s multicultural makeup. Home cooking like macaroni and cheese, roast suppers, and homemade soups prevail for fast meals. International foods like Italian pasta meals, Chinese stir-fries, and Indian curries are likewise popular, showcasing Canada’s varied population. The focus is typically on seasonal, in your area sourced components, with a growing focus on healthy, sustainable consuming. We prepare a lot of Thai food in our home. My bro’s household is a huge meat and potatoes type of family. In Canada, anything goes when it concerns food.

What are the various food cultures in Canada?

Canada’s food culture is as differed as its landscape, including French-Canadian, British, American, Asian and Middle Eastern pulse First Nations affects. Each area has its specializeds– from the seafood of the Maritimes, the poutine of Quebec, to the wheat-based meals of the Prairies. Urban centers like Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal use an abundant tapestry of worldwide foods, showing the varied neighborhoods that call Canada home.

What are Canada’s most popular foods?

Canada is popular for numerous foods that have actually ended up being signs of its cooking identity:

  • Poutine: A precious meal across the country, stemming from Quebec.
  • Maple Syrup: Emblematic of Canadian food and utilized in different meals.
  • Peameal or Back Bacon: Known as Canadian bacon outside the nation, this is a Toronto specialized.
  • Butter Tarts: A timeless Canadian dessert, basic yet wonderful.
  • Ice Wine: A glamorous dessert white wine made from grapes frozen on the vine, mostly produced in Ontario.

And there you have our distinct foods to Canada.

Canada is a land comprised of immigrants, and inhabitants of this nation make it a real melting pot of cultures and food. Similar to our nationwide identity, Canadian food is likewise a mix of the very best of every arrive at the world.

Read More About Canada Traditions and Culture


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