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TRAVEL LIKE A LOCAL | Top 10,000 Places to Visit in Canada

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Top 10 Towns for Foodies

#1000towns choice
By Scott Opichal | University of Alberta

Photo: Mack Male from Edmonton, AB, Canada – CHG Top Chef Finale, CC BY-SA 2.0



Lake Louise, Alberta

Skoki Lodge in Banff National Park promises great exploration, scenic beauty, comfort food, and friendship.

This is a true escape for the hungry outdoor enthusiast, a challenging trek from the ski slopes of the Lake Louise resort across two steep mountain passes over/around a stunning alpine lake.

The reward is the chance to stay in Western Canada’s oldest backcountry ski lodge sans electricity or running water. However, the bigger reward is the decadent feast that Chef Katie Mitzel delivers to the communal dining table each evening. All the ingredients are brought in by snowmobile in winter and horseback in summer.

Since her limited supply, Katie uses gas stoves and has to be creative. Grain-fed Alberta beef, candied wild salmon, New Zealand lamb, Arctic Char, organic salads, an assortment of fruits and cheese – goat, gruyere, gorgonzola. All as much a hit with the lodge’s grateful hikers as with royals Will and Kate, who spent the night at Skokie during their visit to Canada.




Wolfville, Nova Scotia

Annapolis Valley region of Nova Scotia is an agricultural hub, making it a phenomenal location for a culinary adventure – especially as the harvest season begins. With history, hiking, and lots of food, the Bay of Fundy & Annapolis Valley has lots for you to do – and, more importantly, eat!

According to Wine Access Magazine, Casa Nova Fine Beverages produces award-winning wine, ciders, and cellos that promote and use fruit from Nova Scotia producers! Some of their products can be found in the NSLC, but many more, produced in small batches, can be found at their farm gate store or in local restaurants and pubs.

Not far away is the Fox Hill Cheese House, which produces 20 types of specialty cheeses, along with yogurt and gelato.

Foodies will also enjoy the Wolfville Farmers Market, which takes place every Saturday during summer. The Farmer’s Market also presents “Tastes of the Valley,” a celebration of local food with the region’s best chefs creating locally-sourced dishes at just $3 a pop.




Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Saskatoon is one of the world’s top off-the-beaten-track culinary destinations. With fresh, local ingredients from the bread basket of Canada, incredibly talented chefs will take your culinary experience to another level. So pack your appetite and discover Saskatoon – there is no way you will leave hungry!

As Saskatchewan has nearly 50% of Canada’s farmland, few places on Earth do farm-to-table as well as Saskatoon. With its small-town charm, Saskatoon achieves big-city taste by inspiring talented chefs to translate their passion for the prairies into memorable meals.

Of note are the Saskatoon sourdough and other fresh pastries from The Night Oven and the meaty delights of charcuterie at Ayden Kitchen & Bar.





Niagara, Ontario

In a region widely recognized for its food and wine quality, a culinary trail has been set up to promote agriculture, tourism, and the food community, celebrating “the joys of local, seasonal and artisanal cooking.”

Niagara-on-the-Lake has the highest concentration of farm-to-table restaurants.

St Catharines & Jordan offers a terrific farmer’s market.

Along Highway 8, enjoy wine country cuisine in the towns of Vineland, Beamsville, and Grimsby. Apples, corn, syrup, and melons are abundant in an area of woodland, farms, and fields surrounding Welland, Fonthill, and the Effingham Hills.

Finally, soak in the landscape through an Epicurean Trek to Niagara Falls and its surrounding area.

Photo: Robert Linsdell from St. Andrews, Canada – Butterfly Conservatory, Niagara Falls (460482), CC BY 2.0



Iqaluit, Nunavut

Blessed with clean waters and wildlands, Nunavut is home to a vast array of fish and game that Inuit have harvested since immemorial. While traditional country foods still make up a large portion of local diets, there’s also a burgeoning foodie scene (especially in Iqaluit and the regional hubs) where Nunavut staples are being remixed and reimagined, alongside international dishes brought North by enterprising newcomers.

In Iqaluit, stop at Nunavut Country Foods, which offers a wide selection of traditional food staples. Here, you can pick up some narwhal maqtaaq, caribou or seal meat, and frozen Arctic char—all of which are sourced in Nunavut.

Enjoy these authentic Arctic treats in Nunavut or bring some home as souvenirs.




Whitehorse, Yukon

With a population of just over 27,000 and a short growing season, you’d be forgiven for suspecting Whitehorse’s dining options would be a bit limited. In fact, the restaurant scene in Yukon’s capital feels more ‘big city’ than a small town. The city is embracing the local food movement, and culinary influences range from Japanese to Italian.

Despite its short growing season, it has embraced the local food movement it has a flourishing restaurant scene with a wide range of cuisines represented, from the authentic Italian offerings of Giorgio’s Cuccina to the eclectic menu of Antoinette’s.

If you are after something more traditionally northern, head to Klondike Rib and Salmon in one of the oldest buildings in the city, where nature’s bounty from local hunting and fishing are the key features of the menu.




Fredericton, New Brunswick

Fredericton is all about the art of food and the culinary experience. Markets are filled with various ethnic products, and chefs constantly refine their signature dishes. While in the city, discover the growing number of microbreweries and savour the specialties of our handcrafted beers and ciders!

Seafood and potatoes. Could New Brunswick cuisine really be reduced to those two items? Well, when the seafood is as fresh, plump, and delicious as it is, the potatoes are so noteworthy that none other than McCains set up its headquarters here.

Fredericton has two universities and many restaurants catering to the students’ sophisticated palates. There are Caribbean, Chinese, Greek, Indian, Italian, Japanese, Lebanese, Mexican, Pakistani, and Vietnamese restaurants. Springtime is fiddlehead season. These baby ferns that taste like a cross between asparagus and green beans are harvested from the islands of the St. John River. New Brunswick folk eat them with butter, salt, and pepper. Some enjoy them with vinegar or coat them in a cheese sauce.




Stratford, Ontario

Stratford is home to many incredibly talented chefs and farmers. This is great news for those who travel via their stomachs. With a constantly evolving food scene driven by fresh, local ingredients and passionate chefs who continue to innovate and push boundaries, Stratford is a must-visit destination for foodies…

You can hop from one amazing spot to another without breaking a sweat. So where do you have to go?

Madelyn’s Diner on Huron Street is a must-stop for anyone who loves great, home-cook diner food. Or head to The Red Rabbit – this restaurant never disappoints. Their worker-owned restaurant model is an interesting concept, but it’s the food that keeps locals and visitors coming back for more. Reserve a table well in advance, as this spot fills up fast.




Banff, Alberta

Known for its jaw-dropping Rocky Mountain vistas, proximity to teal-blue glacial lakes, and seductive mountain-town charm, Banff also tempts with plenty of culinary offerings.

Banff is home to the casual Chuck’s Steakhouse, its grass-fed Alberta beef menu, and the airy Sky Bistro with regionally sourced plates at the top of the Banff Gondola. For a behind-the-brick-wall glimpse of a world-famous UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Canadian Signature

Experience-certified Eat the Castle tour at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel will delight both the mouth and mind.




Victoria, British Columbia

No wonder Victoria’s little city is a big hit with lovers of craft beer, creative cocktails, and the farm-to-table movement. The outdoor markets, pop-up street food vendors, British-style pubs, global eateries, and microbreweries are most exciting here.

Ferris’ Oyster Bar on Yates Streets for its upstairs oyster bar, downstairs grill, and tapas lounge, North FORTY-EIGHT on Langley Street for its fondues, global comfort food, and house cocktails; and Be Love on Blanchard Street for its flavoursome farm-to-table vegan cuisine and organic plant-based dishes.

Also, try Pizzaria Prima Strada on Cook Street for its fire-roasted pizzas and house-made gelato, Hank’s *A Restaurant on Douglas Street for its seriously good meat selection, and OLO Restaurant on Fisgard Street for its ingredient-driven Pacific Northwest dishes and extensive organic kitchen and vegetarian tasting menus paired with fine wines.


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