Le Roi de Poutine


Poutine, a traditional French Canadian food, is one of the most well-known dishes in Canadian cuisine. This dish is the perfect mix of thick fries and cheese curds topped off with perfectly seasoned gravy that all melts into one delectable dish. Even though it originated in Quebec, poutine has exploded onto the Canadian restaurant scene and can now be devoured all across the country. To help manage the effort, we picked out 11 perfect places for your order of poutine.

Ashton, Quebec City

Ashton's poutine chain can be found all over Quebec City. No matter which joint you visit, there is always a long line of customers waiting for their satisfying staple. Customers have the choice between classic poutine, poutine with mini hot dogs and poutine with green peas, but all three are equally popular at this famous eatery. The local, fresh potatoes make this poutine some of the best in country.

Nom Nom Nom Crepes, Toronto

Often considered Toronto's best poutine shop, Nom Nom Nom's does not simply throw together fries, gravy and cheese. If you are on the hunt for some of the most authentic poutine in town, this is your spot. With locally sourced ingredients, this eatery uses red potato fries, homemade cheese curds and gravy imported directly from Quebec. It will be hard to find better poutine than what is offered at this Toronto hotspot.

La Belle Patate, Vancouver

This industrial-style park restaurant specializes in delivering enticing French Canadian delicacies, and their poutine is no exception. La Belle Patate's poutine is particularly famous for their hand-cut fries and delicious, meat-free gravy—good news for vegetarians. This renowned dish does not come light on the cheese curds and even comes topped with bacon and onions. If you are looking for some authentic poutine, this is the restaurant to try.

Crispy Chips, Ottawa

This typical chip wagon serves poutine that cannot be passed up. Their famous poutine dish is made of crispy—but not over-done—fries, the gravy is rich in flavour and they definitely do not skimp on the cheese curds. If you are on the hunt for a generous proportion of poutine, the Crispy Chips version is for you.

Willy's Fresh Cut, Halifax

Willy's Fresh Cut has won the 'Best Poutine on the Coast' for three years in a row, and it is little wonder why. With a wide variety of different types of poutine, their steak poutine comes out on top. This hunger-satisfying combo of steak, mushrooms, onions, provolone cheese and vegetarian-friendly gravy takes poutine to a whole new level.

Restaurant La Banquise, Montreal

While on the outside it may appear to be a hole-in-the-wall, this French Canadian joint is open 24/7 and has a menu with over 30 variations of the classic dish to choose from. Often considered to have some of the best poutine in the city, this eatery's real star is La T-Rex—a massive, meat-loaded poutine dish topped with ground beef, pepperoni and bacon. Don't miss out on the incredible configurations La Banquise has masterfully put together.

Monsieur Poutine, Quebec

Even if you have trouble understanding and speaking the French language that dominates Quebec, you will have no problem ordering some traditional Canadian cuisine from this poutine-centric restaurant. Established in 1978, this Canadian institution is open 24/7 to serve up quality poutine to locals and tourists alike. Local Quebecois would advise you to ask for extra mushrooms.  

Poutini's, Toronto

This poutine-only take-away restaurant is a staple for the late-night crowd. Do not head home after a night out in Toronto without an order of this joint's skilfully made poutine. Their buttery gravy is thickened with a roux and roasted chicken bones and is evenly spread over fresh, hand cut potatoes. A slathering of maple Dale Cheese curds finishes off Poutini's famous Canadian dish.

Charcut Roast House, Calgary

The award-winning Charcut Roast House gets it right every time, and their poutine is no exception. The duck-fat-fried poutine is topped with a heavy dose of cheese curds and truffle oil and is unlike any other poutine dish in the country. Visit the  Charcut Roast House during the Calgary annual Poutine Crawl in April and you will have no doubt that this restaurant's fare stands out as some of the top poutine in the region.

Fritz European Fry House, Vancouver

The size of this tiny French fry house in Vancouver is unrepresentative of the vast amount of flavour in Fritz's poutine dishes. This is another late night hot spot for people looking to finish off the evening with a greasy mix of potatoes, cheese curds and gravy. Fritz's fry house is particularly known for the side of European mayonnaise they offer with their poutine – an unexpectedly delicious combo.

Patate Mallette, Quebec

Patate Mallette is not a mere roadside eatery you happen to stop at when you get hungry; Patate Mallette is the destination. This small restaurant has held their reputation for having some of the best poutine in the province since they opened in 1956. Just make sure you experience this top-notch poutine in the warmer months, as Patate Mallette closes up shop during the winter.

Poutine is one of the most well-known and traditional Canadian dishes, so do not leave the land of the maple leaves without a taste of this local cuisine. But just in case all the heavy gravy, cheese curds and fried potatoes do not sit well, make sure you have travel insurance with medical coverage in case a run to the hospital ends up in your travel plans.

Image courtesy of Flickr user Sandra Cohen-Rose and Colin Rose; cropped from original.