When it comes to food, Canada has a rich history. It’s also quite a surprising one. For example, did you know that the Hawaiian pizza wasn’t created on the sun-kissed namesake islands but in a Chatham restaurant by a Greek immigrant called Sam Panopoulos? Today’s food scene includes many more influences – and a dedicated following of foodies all looking for the next taste or cuisine sensation.
You might expect the foodie hotspots to be in the big cities of Montreal, Toronto, and Quebec but there are just as many exciting things going on outside of these major population centers. And, while the food scene alone might not be enough to lure people out to the more remote parts of the country, this, along with an escape from the rat race and lower property prices, is making these places attractive prospects.
And that’s why anyone who loves to eat and is searching for that dream home online might like to add any or all of these five places to their list of possible locations.
Sometimes known as “The City of Bridges” Saskatoon is the biggest city of Saskatchewan province, even though the population is a mere 250,000. Saskatonians, as they’re known, also make up the youngest population in the country and it’s this youth and energy that really feeds into the food scene. It’s no surprise that the city’s location in the heart of the prairie means there is a stunning array of locally-produced foods available which make the short transition from farm to fork.
Standout places include The Night Oven Bakery which focuses on simple baking using locally-sourced flour and other ingredients to produce an amazing range of food from pastries to sourdough. For fine dining, The Hollows is famous for its tasting menu while its sister restaurant, Primal, is as meat-based and hearty as its name suggests. There are countless other restaurants and cafés serving meals to suit every budget so, even though the city may be small, it will still take some time to sample them all.
For anyone who wants to be within striking distance of Toronto, without having to pay the city’s high property prices, Hamilton is an increasingly popular alternative. Once known as the “Manufacturing Metropolis” it’s a city that once revolved around the steel industry. Manufacturing has gradually been overtaken by other industries including biotechnology, finance, and healthcare and the city has also benefited from something of an exodus from Toronto.
This has meant that there’s a whole generation of young chefs striving to make their mark on the local food scene with menus that are down-to-earth, unpretentious, and downright delicious. For example, you’d have to go a long way to find better burgers than they serve at Hamburger’s two Hamilton locations and, if you don’t believe that soup can be a meal in itself, then you’ve never visited the brilliantly-named The Burnt Tongue. There’s also a very vibrant craft beer scene with Merit Brewing excelling at providing some really innovative fruit-based ales.
St John’s, Newfoundland
The fact the St. John’s is Canada’s easternmost city shouldn’t put you off. Nor should the fact that it is by far the most remote of the options we’re listing here. Not only is it a thriving community, it’s also connected to the whole country with broadband speeds to match the best in Canada.
But that’s going to cut into the time that you could spend exploring the exciting restaurant scene. As you’d expect, there are some fantastic options for seafood lovers, and the fish you find in them simply couldn’t be fresher. One of the best of these is the aptly-named Saltwater Restaurant, famous for its cod chowder as well as mussels cooked in the legendary local brew, 1892 Traditional Red Ale. Fans of foraging, on the other hand, are certain to love Three Mile Ridge where first you pick your food before the kitchen cooks it.
If you’re thinking of a move to the Eastern Prairies, then you’ll know that plenty of warm, winter clothes will be top of your shopping list. But, for all its frozen months, it’s an incredibly warm and welcoming city.
It’s also one of the most exciting in terms of the food scene with a selection of restaurants that can rightly be described as cosmopolitan. If you fancy Spanish then the tapas at Segovia come highly recommended while Enoteca brings a whole new twist on Italian cuisine. It’s also got an amazing place to buy everything from Caribbean stews to Sri Lankan curries at The Forks Market. Set in an abandoned rail yard where the Red and Assiniboine rivers meet, it’s been feeding the hungry residents of Winnipeg for over thirty years now.
Many of the stalls have adapted to the modern world by offering different payment methods. For example, Ellement Wine & Spirits even welcome JCB cards as well as Discover and Diner’s Club. Acceptance of a wider variety of payment methods including those digital ones that, once upon a time, might have considered usual or, at best, uncommon, has proven itself vital to modern industries. To give one example, online casinos in Canada accept payment methods ranging from debit/credit cards to INSTAdebit and e-wallets. Players appreciate the flexibility, as well as the offering of secure and confidential means that are also sometimes faster than traditional banking methods. Food is no exception to this trend and Winnipeg’s residents are reaping the benefits.
For a long time, Edmonton has had to play second fiddle to its bigger and bolder rival, Calgary. But recent years have seen this begin to change as the city has begun to assert itself more strongly. It’s certainly somewhere that’s full of surprises. For example, did you know that it is one of Canada’s sunniest cities, and also one of the snowiest?
The food scene is equally likely to have a few unexpected treats in store for you, from the stunning Italian cuisine of Uccellino to the eclectic menu waiting for you at Bundok. There’s also what claims to be the smallest distillery in North America at Strathcona Spirits, somewhere that is fast gaining a reputation for its remarkable range of gins and vodkas slow distilled in the traditional way.
So, if you are a bon viveur who is looking for a change of lifestyle or location, we very much hope that these five suggestions have given you some food for thought. Now it’s just a case that has made that difficult menu choice about where to start.