Eating poutine is a quintessential part of the Canadian experience, perhaps even more so than seeing a moose or eating a Timbit donut morsel from Tim Hortons. Flavours of Poutine, a sublime combination of fries, cheese, and gravy, is one of Canada’s truly iconic foods. It goes well with beer, is usually available after a night out (sometimes it’s the only thing available), and can be easily shared by a group of hungry friends with a fistful of forks.
However, Canada is an incredibly diverse country with people from over 250 ethnic backgrounds, which sets the stage for some truly unique poutine experiences. Here is our list of the best places in Canada to eat poutine.
Le Banquise Montréal, Quebec, is one of the best places to enjoy flavours of Poutine
Even though it is a well-liked tourist spot in Montréal, it is still worthwhile to go. Le Banquise offers over 30 different varieties of poutine and is open twenty-four hours a day (there are plenty of times you can go without waiting in line, like 10pm on a Wednesday).
The vivid yellow and orange exterior will stay with you for days. Le Banquise has been a 24-hour snack bar since 1968, so you can trust that their poutine is tried and true.
La Belle Patate, Vancouver, British Columbia
The ever-changing menu at La Belle Patate currently includes 32 different poutines, as well as a perfect drink pairing of Spruce Beer, imported directly from Québec.
When it comes to food turnaround time, this place is incredibly efficient, so if you’re hungry and need a quick poutine fix, this is the place to go. The “The Boss” (ground beef, hot dogs, raw onions, BBQ sauce, and house gravy) and the “Newfie” are two of La Belle’s most popular poutines (which comes with seasoned breadcrumb stuffing).
Au Pied de Cochon, Montréal, Quebec
If you want to try a high-end poutine, head to Au Pied de Cochon (Pig’s Foot) in Montreal, Quebec. Their poutine is extremely rich, with duck-fat fries and duck-fat gravy thickened with egg yolks and heavy cream, all topped with a generous helping of foie gras.
This is a great place to try family recipes and regional Québécois cuisine in general, so come hungry for the full gastronomical experience.
Le Chic Shack, Quebec City will bring another flavours Of Poutine
Le Chic Shack in Quebec City is an elevated diner serving burgers, shakes, and poutine. Every ingredient is sourced locally and is of the highest quality.
La Classique (as the name suggests, classic), La Forestière (wild mushroom ragout, aged cheddar, cheese curds, shallots, and herbs), and La Braisèe are the three types of poutine that are offered at Le Chic (ale-braised beef, aged cheddar, cheese curds, pickled onions, horseradish aioli).
Willy’s Fresh Cut, Halifax, Nova Scotia
For authentic poutine with hand-cut fluffy fries, squeaky cheese curds, and a dependable gravy, this is the best place in eastern Canada. A no-frills poutinerie and burger joint, Willy’s in Halifax is open to frills. The “Donair,” which includes fried onions, mushrooms, and garlic sauce, is one of their most popular concoctions.
Whistle Stop Cafe, Peterborough, Ontario
The Whistle Stop Cafe in Peterborough, Ontario, serves 100 different types of poutine, with names like “Aku’s Big Booty Chicken Poutine” and is open 24 hours a day from Thursday to Saturday (and until 10pm the rest of the week). Whistle Stop is always bustling with activity as a local student hangout. For dessert, try their renowned butter tarts.
Nom Nom Nom, Toronto, Ontario
This small food stall has a surprisingly large selection of poutine (10 varieties) and other French street food like crêpes and croissants.
With toppings like jerk chicken, smoked meat “superdog,” and “lumberjack,” they still manage to give their poutines a distinctively Toronto twist, even though many of their ingredients are sourced from Québec to ensure authenticity.
Big Red’s Poutine Maple Ridge, British Columbia
Big Red’s poutine is addicting; if you’re a regular, you can join their poutine rewards program. The Big Red’s food truck travels throughout the Fraser Valley and Lower Mainland, stopping at various pop-up events. Everything is fresh, despite the mobile setting, and popular variations include “spring roll poutine” and “hamburger poutine.”
Fritz European Fry House, Vancouver, British Columbia
Fritz is a quick-serve fry shop in Vancouver that serves some of the best poutine in Canada despite its small size and take-out-only policy.
Poutine is typically made with crispy fries and squeaky curds, or soft fries with melty curds and gravy coating each bite; Fritz does poutine the latter way, and the cheese-pull quotient with each bite is glorious. This is the classic Flavours Of Poutine.
Poutineville Montréal, Quebec
Poutineville in Montréal has become a mini-chain, with locations all over Québec and even one in Ontario.
The build-your-own concept is great for families, and this is the only poutinerie on the list that offers four different types of potatoes to use as the base of your poutine.
The toppings include corn dogs, melted nacho cheese, blue cheese, marinated eggplant, a 5 oz. filet mignon steak, and a meat-and-tomato sauce in place of gravy (or with gravy – they don’t judge here).