Revisiting road trip eats — from coast to coast

Here’s to enjoying all that Canadian cuisine has to offer on the road or in the comfort of your own home
Published July 23, 2021

Whether you are hitting the open road this summer or wanting to experience the best our country has to offer we have you covered. Check out our guide to some of Canada’s most beloved cuisine across the country, and learn how to recreate those signature dishes at home using easy-to-follow recipes with fresh and flavourful ingredients.

Visiting the Maritimes provinces

A road trip to any of Canada’s Maritime provinces wouldn’t be complete without a substantial sampling of in-season fruits de mer. A seafood lover’s paradise, the East Coast is famous for its lobster rolls, chowder, steamed mussels and crab cakes. You can recreate these signature dishes with these beginner-friendly recipes, even if cooking seafood is brand new to you. For a complete set of tips on buying, storing and preparing fresh seafood, check out our guide to the seafood counter before getting started.

The Lower Mainland in British Columbia

Looking for authentic Asian food without leaving the country? There’s no better place to visit than the West Coast’s Lower Mainland! Across several different communities, you’ll discover a seemingly endless supply of sushi, dim sum, mochi, and bubble tea. During the summer, you can find any and all Asian staples and delicacies at the Richmond Night Market. Meanwhile, the nearby city of Surrey is famous for its all-encompassing selection of Indian and Pakistani food. The following recipes ensure you never have to miss out on these bold flavours, all you’ll need are a few pantry staples and you’ll never be more than 30 minutes away from an Asian-inspired meal.

Montreal and the province of Quebec

Montreal is world-famous for its rich culture of Jewish cuisine, with bagels being at the top of the list (there’s even a style of bagel-making method named after the city.) Whether you’re in need of some comforting matzo ball soup or a crispy latke with applesauce, you’re bound to find what you’re looking for in any of Montreal’s many delis and 24-hour restaurants. Below you’ll find lightened-up versions of your favourite dishes from Jewish cuisine, including recipes for latkes, honey-spice cake, and noodle kugel.

Quebec is currently in the midst of a cheese- making revival, producing award-winning cheeses on an international scale. If you can’t visit any of the province’s many fromageries in person, you can recreate the experience at home by visiting your local cheese shop (be sure to ask if they have any recommendations for pairing your cheese with a beer from Quebec.)

Ontario’s Ottawa Valley

Finding top quality Middle Eastern food in the Ottawa Valley couldn’t be easier, the area is home to a bevy of shawarma restaurants. In fact, an article in the Ottawa Citizen proclaimed our nation’s capital the “shawarma capital of the world!” Making a Middle Eastern feast in the comfort of your own home? Visit your local Persian grocery store to find the most authentic condiments and toppings at the best price, picking up a square of halva or baklava or dessert if you enjoy these traditional desserts with your meal.

Prairie provinces

Have a craving for freshly made pierogi? Look no further than Canada’s prairie provinces, a region of Canada so appreciative of these Polish and Ukrainian dumpling that a large monument was erected in their honour (you can visit the Giant Pierogi statue in Glendon, Alberta.) The prairie-inspired pierogi recipes below make use of lightened up ingredients such as oven-baked frozen pierogi and wonton wrappers — feel free to get creative with your favourite toppings.

Northern Canada

Home to vast stretches of untouched wilderness, icebergs, and the Aurora Borealis, road tripping across Northern Canada is sure to be an adventure. Sample game and seafood such as caribou, venison, and Arctic char, all of which are popular (not to mention ultra-nutritious) ingredients in local Indigenous cuisine. You’ll be able to find caribou and venison at specialty butcher shops or in the frozen section of some grocery stores.

Healthy travel snacks to take on the road

As the name implies, a road trip is more about the journey than the actual destination. Stay fuelled on future car trips by packing a selection of healthy and filling snacks in small resealable containers, using a cooler bag to keep snacks cold if needed. For maximum satiety, aim for a balanced combination of lean protein, complex carbohydrates (as shown in the recipes for car-friendly snacks we’ve listed below.)