8 Canadian Foods You Just Have to Try

Ffion Hughes


November 28, 2023

Canada is a vast and multicultural country and thanks to that there’s a massive amount of exciting Canadian foods to sink your teeth into, from fresh seafood in the Maritimes to French-influenced dishes in Quebec, and more maple syrup than your sweet tooth could ever dream of. For those lucky enough to be moving to Canada, your tastebuds are in for an absolute treat.

But where to start? Here’s a rundown of 8 Canadian foods you really have to try when you’re in the Great White North.

1. Poutine

If you try only one thing when working in Canada, let it be poutine – French fries covered in cheese curds and gravy.
Originating in Quebec, the story goes that in a restaurant in Warwick a customer asked for cheese curds to be added to their fries, to which the restaurant owner replied “Ca va faire une maudite poutine,” or “That’s going to make a dreadful mess”. Well, what a tasty mess it is!

It’s the perfect warm, filling and comforting dish to finish off a long day of sightseeing.

2. Rappie pie

Made with grated potatoes, chicken and onions, this is a traditional Acadian dish from Nova Scotia.
Although it’s technically called a pie, it’s a lot ‘gooier’ than the types of pies you might be used to, and it doesn’t have any crust. It’s definitely not conventional, but it’s a delicious and homely dish that you should definitely try if you visit Nova Scotia.

3. Maple syrup... with anything

Canada and Maple syrup go hand in hand, and if you’ve got a sweet tooth it’s likely that you’ll eat a lot of it while you’re in Canada! It’s delicious on anything, but you can’t beat it drizzled on top of buttermilk pancakes for breakfast, washed down with a strong coffee.

4. Nanaimo bars

These moreish cake bars come from, you guessed it, the city of Nanaimo on Vancouver Island, British Columbia.
They’re made up of three layers - a nutty biscuit base, a middle layer of custard and a top layer of chocolate ganache. They’re so good that one probably won’t be enough! Luckily, they’re easy to make and they require no baking, so you could always take a bit of Canada with you and make them when you’re back at home.

5. BeaverTails

You’ve probably never heard of BeaverTails, so first thing’s first – no beavers were harmed in the making of this snack!
They’re a popular Canadian sugary treat of fried dough, stretched into the shape of a beaver tail and topped with anything from the classic cinnamon and sugar, to hazelnut sauce and banana, Orio and vanilla or Reece’s Pieces. You can find them all over Canada but one of the best places to try them is ByWard Market in Ottawa.
You’ll be buzzing on sugar for hours after!

6. Fresh seafood

Lobster, crab, oysters, fish… the best place to experience the most mouth-watering seafood in Canada has got to be the Atlantic provinces, also known as the Maritimes – New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.
Whether you eat in at a local dock-side restaurant or take it to go from one of the many seafood markets in these provinces, you’ll be hard-pressed to find better seafood anywhere else in the world.

7. Iceberg beer

This is one that you’ll only be able to find in Newfoundland, the unique island province just off Canada’s East Coast. It’s a rugged and beautiful province, home to some of the friendliest Canadians you’ll ever meet and stunning scenery and wildlife including puffins, whales and icebergs.It’s the pure 10,000-year-old water from these icebergs that the Newfoundlanders have harvested to make the freshest tasting beer (and vodka) you’ll ever taste!

8. Tim Hortons

Because if you didn’t have a Tim Horton’s when you were in Canada, did you even go? Bagels, coffee, muffins and the legendary Timbits in all the flavours you could ever dream of – Tim Hortons is a Canadian institution that you’d be crazy not to try.

Hopefully, that’s given you a few ideas of all the culinary Canadian food treats that the Great White North has to offer whilst working in Canada…From sugary and sweet, to hearty and homely, this incredible country will cater for any taste.

I hope you’re hungry!