Ask any non-Canadian what the nation's best food is, and many will quickly blurt out poutine. The dish is delicious, it's true, but it's not all there is to Canadian cuisine. Canada's chefs and restaurants are just as far-reaching and diverse as anywhere else, and there are a plethora of great places if you want a good meal. If you're a hardcore foodie, plan a road trip to a few of the places below:
Restaurant-hop in Toronto
When it comes to having a large number of amazing eateries, Toronto has most other places beat. The city dominated the Canada's Best 100 Restaurants list, and its own Buca Yorkville took the No. 2 spot. This fresh twist on Italian dining switches seafood for pork but keeps tradition on the menu with a classic Italian wine list.
On the other end of the spectrum are Toronto's inventive casual restaurants, one of which sports a pretty intense burger. Found at The Burger's Priest, which has several locations throughout the city, the Vatican City Burger takes a double cheeseburger and cradles it between two grilled cheese buns. The Holy Smokes, hidden on its secret menu, adds panko-crusted jalapenos to a double cheeseburger - a true delight for anyone wanting more than a patty and a slice of American cheese.
Eat and learn in Montreal
Although Toronto claims the bulk of the Best 100 Restaurants list, a Montreal favourite took the top spot. According to the restaurant's website, the Toque! owners started their business in the midst of a recession. They have since produced a cookbook, opened a second location for casual food and expanded Toque! into a learning facility for new chefs.
Of course, a trip to Schwartz's Deli is mandatory if you're staying in Montreal. Self-titled Canada's oldest deli, this place is famous for its smoked meat sandwiches. Just make sure you don't call it a pastrami sandwich. The two are similar, as National Geographic mentioned, but New Yorkers and Quebecers can and will discuss the differences at length.
Asian and more in Vancouver
Conde Nast Traveler pointed to this coastal city for its unique variety of Eastern cuisines. You can find all sorts of Asian restaurants here, including Indian, Japanese, Korean, Thai and more. Conde Nast recommended Vij for its lamb popsicles and Ask for Luigi for its pasta. The latter restaurant even won two Vancouver Magazine 2016 Best Restaurant Awards. It was granted the city's Best Casual restaurant and tied with L'ufficio for Best Casual Italian.