Mention the word ‘trails’ to a Canadian and they are bound to respond with a bunch of details, most of which, are a prelude to the big, beautiful natural bounty on a scenic scale. Now throw in that you’re kinda hungry and observe the reaction. Depending on what part of this fabulous country you popped the vital question, “Are there any trails for hungry folk?” prepare for a response of gastronomic proportions. Just don’t bother getting on a scale once you completed this hurdle of plates. Read on for our pick of 10 food trails in Canada worth wagging tongues over.
10 Canadian Food Trails
1- Okanagan Valley, BC: Wine Route
This grape-growing region in British Columbia is superb wine country.
A combination of terroir, a climate bound by its southerly location, makes the spot not only a wine lover’s dream but a scenic fantasy where the mantra “know your farmer know your food” rings true.
Picture lake country with scenic sips in between. Don’t take our word for it though. Indulge in the Kelowna Wine Trail, with its various routes of 27 wineries.
Take a road trip around the Okanagan or join a hop-on-hop-off guided tour, for a stress-free easy-peasy experience led by knowledgeable wine enthusiasts. The wine trails can be enjoyed year round too.
2- Nova Scotia Seafood Trails
This North Atlantic Ocean Maritime province knows how to lure seafood lovers. Cast your net and indulge in some of the freshest, finest, and favourite culinary finds.
It’s also Canada’s first trail devoted to seafood experiences from lobster boils and chowder to freshly shucked oysters and fresh catch of the day.
Whatever your seafood craving, Nova Scotians have your foodie niche covered.
Tour the Chowder Trail, the Lobster Trail, the Oyster Trail, and yes, the Fish and Chips Trail.
3- Niagara Wine Trails
Up the road from famous Niagara Falls lies that other popular attraction: Niagara wineries.
It seems every month there’s a new winery popping up.
Most of them have teamed up to form some kind of wine trail too, making it easy for wine lovers to track them down as they map out their quest to explore the next best attraction beside the Niagara Falls.
Wineries like Peller Estates and Ravine Vineyard Winery have also added a restaurant sidebar so you can sip and savour the seasonal flavours amid views of wine country or in a farm dining atmosphere.
4- Quebec’s Sugar Shack Trail
In the country of the maple leaf, there’s no better way to indulge in a national favourite than to hit a sugar shack in Quebec for the most delicious discoveries.
The province is literally dotted with them. Why? Because it’s a long-standing Quebec tradition that dates back to the ancient Amerindians.
Choose a family one-stop shop in the woods or those bigger sugar shacks and you won’t be disappointed.
We like the Chemin du Terroir. Tucked in the beauty of the Laurentians, there’s plenty to taste along the way as you head to one of the finest sugar shacks in the region.
5- Yukon Klondike Kitchens
Treasures abound in this world once ruled by prospectors and gold rushers who came in search of Eldorado.
From saloons to sluice boxes, discover your inner Klondike prospector in Dawson City as you sample some old-fashioned delicacies at the old-timey restos and bare bone bars.
No visit is complete to the Great White North until you bite into freshly caught Yukon fish at Klondike Kate’s or a decadent bourbon reubens (that’s a smoked meat sandwich with Swiss cheese, pickles and sauerkraut) finished with a goopy doughnut dish smothered in cream cheese icing sauce at the old Triple J Restaurant.
Next, throwback local libations like the legendary Sourtoe cocktail at the Sourdough Saloon or martinis like Titillating Tart, the Temptress, and Spank my Naughty Ass, fun monikers reflecting the former past-time at Bombay Peggy’s Pub. (Read: It used to be an old brothel).
For more Dawson dishes go here.
6- Alberta’s Cowboy Cookout Banff National Park
Nothing beats fresh air and splendid views to work up an appetite. Now hitch a wagon ride or horseback into the pristine backcountry with a local tour operator offering cook-out experiences.
For this breathtaking trip head into the heart of Banff, Canada’s first national park with Discover Banff Tours. Good for the family or novices, first-time riders can saddle up for a three-hour ride and enjoy an old-fashioned cookout.
Tasty comfort food reins big there. Think big bowls of chilli and seared steaks.
7- Manitoba’s Around the World in 8 or 9 plates
Anywhere around Manitoba’s capital, you’re bound to hear patois spoken especially since the city ‘pegs’ over 100 languages.
That means expect culinary flavours galore. Some favourites include Sun Fortune off Pembina Highway for Hong Kong style Chinese and Dwarf no Cachette in St. Boniface for Japanese dishes.
8- Ontario’s Culinary Bounty of the County
A cornucopia of plenty waits in Ontario’s farm country – Prince Edward County on the shores of Lake Ontario.
Locals stick to an undisputed regiment involving fresh farm-to-table gourmet sensations that have been so talked about. There’s even a Taste Trail devoted to the epicurean delights.
Nicknamed “The County,” locals embrace and take great pride in their fruits of labour, be it a glass of wine or dining experiences.
No wonder the national newspaper, The Globe and Mail, has anointed this slice of terroir as Ontario’s Gastronomic Capital.
Look for the Taste Trail road signs for this foodie odyssey.
9- New Brunswick – Lobster Capital of the World
Indulge in the world of lobsters in New Brunswick, the “Lobster Capital of the World.”
Whether the setting is a quaint country-style restaurant or a lobster boil on the beach, the experience will be a bib full of fun with this finger-lickin’ good meal.
That’s how to eat them by the way… don a checkered red and white bib and dip the freshly boiled lobster into melted butter.
One of the finest discoveries is to take a riveting boat tour led by experienced lobster fishermen, like with Shediac Bay Cruises.
The rich Acadian heritage is alive and well. Besides learning about ancient maritime customs and listening to “Old Salt” tales, you’ll feast on finger licking good crustaceans.
10- Montreal croissant and bagel trail
Packing the carbs on is pretty heavenly once you sample a bakery crawl like no other.
In Montreal, bakers like the locals take croissants and bagels seriously.
For croissants, head to either Patisserie Au Kouign Amann on the Plateau for a sinful sampling of buttery-infused croissants done by a Normandy-trained patissier or Mamie Clafoutis (there are five locations in Montreal) for her ‘Mon Dieu’ chocolate croissants.
For bagels, there’s been a long-running stand-off more like some healthy competition between two acclaimed bagel shops: the melt-in-your-mouth bagels from St. Viateur and Fairmount, Montreal’s first bagel shop. Try them both and tell us your favourite.