Each Canadian province has its own special flavour, with dishes that are local favourites.
These dishes give insight into the culture, history, and resources of the region. Here is a list of the most iconic foods and dishes to try in each of Canada’s provinces and territories.
What’s your favourite dish on this list?
Nanaimo Bars (British Columbia)
No one knows for sure how long Nanaimo bars have been around but the first printed recipe of these chocolate square confections appeared in the 1952 Women’s Auxiliary of the Nanaimo Hospital Cookbook. Check out this recipe for the Ultimate Nanaimo Bar.
The story goes that bannock was introduced to Indigenous peoples of North America by Europeans. Yet, more recently it has been discovered that Indigenous communities had their own pre-colonial versions of bannock. Here’s a simple bannock recipe from an elder of the Nuu-chah-nulth culture.
Oysters (New Brunswick)
All the Atlantic provinces are famous for their seafood, including New Brunswick. Celebrate their shellfish with this recipe for Oysters with Spicy Tomato Ice.
Jigg’s Dinner (Newfoundland and Labrador)
Could Jigg’s Dinner be the ultimate Canadian comfort food? Boasting boiled potatoes, turnips, carrots, peas and cabbage along with salted beef and roasted turkey or pork, this dish is certainly a top contender.
Arctic Char (Northwest Territories)
Arctic char is one of the many cold-water fish species found off the coast of the Northwest Territories. This recipe for Arctic Char with Chickpea Ragu is sure to please.
Lobster (Nova Scotia)
Lobster is the lifeblood of Nova Scotia. There are many ways to enjoy this popular seafood, but oiling it in saltwater enhances the cold Atlantic waters around the province.
Caribou Stew (Nunavut)
Caribou is one of many traditional Nunavut foods that is foraged or hunted. Try this delicious stew with another game meet if caribou isn’t available.
Beaver Tail (Ontario)
Despite its eyebrow-raising name, Beaver Tail does not contain the tails of beavers. Instead, this treat is made of fried dough. Try your hand at making your own!
Lobster Mashed Potatoes (Prince Edward Island)
PEI is well-known for its potatoes, which account for over a billion dollars of the island’s local economy. It’s also known for its lobster fishing, so why not eat something that combines the best of both worlds? This recipe for lobster mashed potatoes does just that.
For many, poutine is synonymous with Quebec, despite the fact that it can be found in every province in Canada. For a twist on tradition, see what you think of this duck poutine.
Saskatoon Berries (Saskatchewan)
Saskatoon berries are the inspiration for the city’s name and have been a regional staple long before European settlers arrived. Try this delicious Saskatoon Berry Pie and see what you think!
The Yukon is home to Canada’s oldest sourdough starter; this 120-year-old treasure was handed down to Ione Christensen by her great-grandfather. Start your own tradition with this recipe for Sourdough, Wild Mushroom, and Bacon Stuffing.
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