Tastiest food and wine in Canada

If the way to your heart is through your stomach, look no further. Indulge your taste buds in these tantalizing Canadian delicacies that are a bucket-list experience in themself.
Feel the rhythm at Montréal’s International Jazz Festival
Become a hep cat at one of the world's greatest music festivals. Here’s what you need out of a vacation: meet new people, experience new things and create unforgettable memories. Montréal’s International Jazz Festival could be just the ticket you’ve been looking for.   Spread out over 10 music-filled days each June to July, 3000-plus musicians from unknown up-and-comers to veteran virtuosos take to the stage for almost 650 concerts – most of them free. [caption id="attachment_20815" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Music fans enjoying the Montreal Jazz Festival[/caption] More than 2.5 million head-bobbing, finger-clicking fans swarm here each year, and in 2006 the mega-jazz festival scored a Guinness World gong for the world’s largest.   You don't even need to be a super knowledgeable jazz fan to have a great time here: just head to a gig and absorb the vibe.   Loyal buffs soak up the sonic bliss of the classic genre and the uninitiated get to sample a different world of music while rubbing shoulders with a brand new crowd.   You dig? [caption id="attachment_20816" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Revellers at the Montreal Jazz Festival.[/caption] GET GOING: Dust off your dancing shoes and book your tickets for the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal. Find out more: [www.montrealjazzfest.com]. LOCATION: While the Jazz Festival is officially hosted in the heart of Quartier des Spectacles in the eastern portion of downtown Montréal, huge swathes of the city are given over to the event, from concert halls to open streets, cafés, bars and more. Just get to Montréal and follow the tunes … [caption id="attachment_20818" align="alignnone" width="1024"] And overflowing crowd at the Montreal Jazz Festival.[/caption] “A must for music fans. The sheer number of concerts and variety of music during this 10-day festival is staggering.” – Rob McFarland   << Previous | Next >> Return to the ‘100 Things to do in Canada Before You Die’ countdown var axel = Math.random() + """"; var a = axel * 10000000000000; document.write('');  Read more
Go wild at the luxurious Sonora Resort in the Discovery Islands
Stay in the lap of luxury in the middle of the British Colombia wilderness.  Read more
Lodge in style at the Great Bear Rainforest’s Nimmo Bay Resort
Live wild, and also wildly pampered at a totally unique resort.  Read more
Heli-hiking the stunning Canadian Rockies
Hike with all the wonder, but none of the effort aboard a helicopter. Seemingly insurmountable monuments to nature’s beauty, the furthest reaches of the Canadian Rockies were once off-limits to all but the boldest of adventurers.   But now there’s an easier way to ascend and experience all this natural beauty up close: by helicopter. [caption id="attachment_20645" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Taking stock atop a Canadian mountain.[/caption] In summer and spring, world-class hotspots such as Lake Louise, Jasper and Mount Charles Stewart, represent fantastic opportunities to experience Canada’s wilderness in comfort.   You’ll see waterfalls, mountain flowers and you might even catch a glimpse of an eagle. Mountain-top picnics, ice fishing, zip lines and rock climbing are all available. Get going: [caption id="attachment_20646" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Helicopter hiking is great fun.[/caption] Sightseeing helicopter tours run year-round, but hiking-specific tours generally run mid-June to late September. Fly and hike with Canadian Mountain Holidays (canadianmountainholidays.com). Location: Take heli-hiking tours from Banff, Canmore, Lake Louise and Calgary. Trips can be as short as a few hours or up to six days, with expert guides and overnight stays in mountain lodges. [caption id="attachment_20648" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Heli hiking in Banff National Park, Alberta.[/caption] “Hiking just got sexy.” – Rob McFarland   <<Previous | Next >>  Return to the ‘100 Things to do in Canada Before You Die’ countdown var axel = Math.random() + """"; var a = axel * 10000000000000; document.write('');  Read more
The Canadian comfort food you need to try at least once
Indulge in a little face-stuffing in Québec, sampling a local classic. No one is positive where the original poutine – the dish or the word – comes from, but most etymological stabs involve meanings that touch on “mess”, “mixture of leftovers”, “hodgepodge” and even “bad stew”.   Regardless, only an outdoor-mad culture like Canada’s, where everyone hikes, skis or wrestles grizzlies, could develop a dish this deliciously bad for you and not have everyone slip into a carb-induced coma. [caption id="attachment_20944" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Poutine Chez: a Canadian classic[/caption] There are variations, but basically what you do is take a plate of twice-cooked French fries, cover them with fresh cheese curd then pour hot spicy gravy over the top.   The guilty pleasure of an entire nation, great poutine is served in greasy spoon diners and ski lodges across Canada.   But to sample it as close as possible to the source, Québec’s Le Chic Shack has a classique version that will see you through a long day.   If you’re stuck for time, there are more than 10 Chez Ashton fast food chains in Québec City alone with a decent poutine plate that’s plenty for two to share. [caption id="attachment_20945" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Poutine with sausage: a twist on a Canadian classic[/caption] If you’re still not done, head to one of the Cochon Dingue cafes brimming with amazing food, including, you guessed it, poutine. GET GOING: Any day, any time, you’ll find somewhere serving poutine in Québec. You’ll find plenty on Travelmarvel’s Eastern Canada and New England Cruise. LOCATION: Served all around Québec City and region, some menus are only in French, but thankfully poutine is poutine no matter what the language, so it’s incredibly easy to find.   << Previous | Next >> Return to the ‘100 Things to do in Canada Before You Die’ countdown var axel = Math.random() + """"; var a = axel * 10000000000000; document.write('');  Read more
Peer through the glass domes of the Rocky Mountaineer
Experience one of the world's great train journeys aboard Canada's Rocky Mountaineer. Frequently named as one of the world’s great rail experiences, the Rocky Mountaineer is the most spectacular way to soak in the majestic beauty of British Columbia and the Canadian Rockies.   Winding its way along five unique routes, each trip is an unforgettable journey through some of the most varied and awe-inspiring scenery on the planet, including lush rainforests, shimmering lakes, cascading waterfalls and the snow-capped peaks of seven distinct mountain ranges.   The train travels only during the day, so you can focus on enjoying the unfolding scenery through unique glass-domed roofs.   It’s no wonder the past 25 years have seen almost two million guests peer at elk and bears, soaring bald eagles, grazing big horn sheep and more. Get going: Experience the Rocky Mountaineer (rockymountaineer.com) from April to October. Learn more with Adventure World (adventureworld.com.au). Location: There are 10 Rocky Mountaineer stations: the main HQ on Terminal Avenue in Vancouver, with one station each in North Vancouver, Kamloops, Calgary, Banff, Jasper, Lake Louise, Quesnel, Seattle and Whistler. “The most luxuriously relaxing way to slide through the Rockies.” – John Lee   <<Previous | Next >> Return to the ‘100 Things to do in Canada Before You Die’ countdown var axel = Math.random() + """"; var a = axel * 10000000000000; document.write('');  Read more
Make merry with L’Acadie in Canada’s New Brunswick
Live, love and be merry in a festival about Acadian culture. Read more
Kiss the cod and become an honorary Canadian in Newfoundland
You made it! Now drink some grog, and kiss a fish to celebrate. Read more
Indulge your sweet tooth at a Canadian maple sugar shack
Let your taste buds have a holiday at a traditional Québécois sugar shack. No visit to the country that reveres the humble maple leaf so wholeheartedly is complete without a pilgrimage to a traditional “cabanes à sucre”, or sugar shack. [caption id="attachment_20846" align="alignnone" width="666"] A woman enjoys some maple syrup at a sugar shack.[/caption] The onset of spring signals the moment maple sap begins to flow in earnest, which means the annual maple syrup harvest isn’t far behind.   A uniquely Québécois tradition, the 200 or so sugar shacks still in operation throw open their doors to visitors from all over the world eager to join in the fun.   Long tables are laid and vast platters are ordered for crêpes, tarts, ham, bacon, pies, veggies . . . It’s considered extremely poor form not to cover everything in delicious maple syrup. [caption id="attachment_20847" align="alignnone" width="1024"] A sugar shake worker ladles out maple syrup.[/caption] Then, when you’re almost too full to move, head out into the chill and make your own maple taffy by dripping syrup directly onto the snow.   It’s a tradition that dates back centuries, and yet the window each year is tiny – the start of March to end of April and that’s it, so be sure you don’t miss out. GET GOING: Tuck in at a sugar shack (Québecregion.com/en/maple-sugar-shacks) from March to April. Or book an Eastern Canada, USA & Canada New England Cruise from Scenic. [caption id="attachment_20848" align="alignnone" width="652"] It's tasting time at a sugar shack.[/caption] LOCATIONS: Scattered throughout rural Québec Province, surrounding Montréal and Québec City, you’ll find tiny family-owned sugar shacks, as well are larger more commercial operations, within a comfortable driving distance. “Reaching Sucrerie de la Montagne in rural Québec takes a little effort, but it’s worth it to experience an authentic sugar-shack feast served in the middle of a maple forest.” – Katrina Lobley   << Previous | Next >> Return to the ‘100 Things to do in Canada Before You Die’ countdown var axel = Math.random() + """"; var a = axel * 10000000000000; document.write('');  Read more
Live like a cowboy in Canada’s Grasslands National Park
Go back in time to an age where cowboys ruled the Saskatchewan plains. Read more
Meet the “Magnificent 7” eco-resorts in Canada
Venture to seven Magnificent resorts that are the jewels in the Canadian eco-travel-crown. Several years ago, a group of Canadian business owners, all eco-conscious entrepreneurs and wildlife enthusiasts who’d set up shop in some of Canada’s most remote places, decided they should work together.   And so, Canada’s Magnificent 7 was established – Tweedsmuir Park Lodge, Churchill Wild, Nimmo Bay Wilderness Resort, Bella Coola Heli Sports, Siwash Lake Ranch, Clayoquot Wilderness Resort and Pacific Yellowfin – with the aim of providing truly unique exploratory experiences. [caption id="attachment_20833" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Churchill Wild Seal River Heritage Lodge.[/caption] All of these luxury wilderness lodges have become known around the world for having their own unique take on the Canadian wilderness, and visiting all of them is a rite of passage for those in the know.   Whether it’s heli-fishing, watching polar bears while on safari, staying in a luxury tent or enjoying a cruise down the coast on a private expedition boat, there’s a Magnificent 7 experience to suit your tastes. Get going: Start your journey through the Magnificent 7 (www.magnificent7.ca) and tick off as many as you can in one lifetime. [caption id="attachment_20834" align="alignnone" width="1024"] The Clayoquot Wilderness Resort.[/caption] Location: The Magnificent 7 are spread far and wide across the Canadian wilderness, so access to each of the resorts varies greatly. Your travel provider will be able to advise you on the best ways to gain access. [caption id="attachment_20836" align="alignnone" width="1024"] A walkway leading to the Siwash Resort- photo courtesy of Jeremy Koreski.[/caption] “With apologies to New Zealand, nowhere does luxury lodges quite like Canada.” – Craig Tansley   << Previous | Next >> Return to the ‘100 Things to do in Canada Before You Die’ countdown  var axel = Math.random() + """"; var a = axel * 10000000000000; document.write('');  Read more
Wander among the vines of the Okanagan Valley
Enjoy and imbibe in the fertile and gorgeous Okanagan Valley. Read more
More than a place to sleep: Canada’s iconic Fairmont hotels
Stay in a luxury Canadian Fairmont hotel, that's also a destination itself. Canada’s stunning collection of Fairmont hotels and resorts are more than just places to rest your head – they’re genuine tourist attractions in their own right.   Each holds a special place in the history of the nation, such as the Fairmont Banff Springs, opened in 1888 as Canada’s first grand railway hotel.   Without exception they are architecturally splendid, like the Edwardian era Fairmont Empress on Vancouver Island, and most take full advantage of the world’s most sought-after destinations, such as the Fairmont Château Lake Louise, a sublime 19th-century former chalet perched on an emerald-hued glacier lake in the heart of World Heritage-listed Banff National Park. [caption id="attachment_20623" align="alignnone" width="1024"] The Fairmont Lake Louise is one of the most beautiful hotels in the world.[/caption] They’ve played host to countless famous names, such as John Lennon and Yoko Ono, who recorded Give Peace a Chance at one of their famous staged Bed-Ins for Peace at Montreal’s Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth.   Winston Churchill held wartime strategy sessions with Roosevelt at the Fairmont Le Château Frontenac in Québec City in 1943.   Synonymous with luxury, steeped in history and visually breathtaking, a stay in a Fairmont goes beyond mere hospitality; it’s an experience to be treasured. [caption id="attachment_20621" align="alignnone" width="1024"] The famed John Lennon Suite, at the Fairmont Queen ELizabeth.[/caption] Locations: Fairmont Empress, Victoria   Fairmont Royal York, Toronto   Fairmont Winnipeg   Fairmont Chateau, Whistler   Fairmont Royal York, Toronto   Fairmont Le Château Frontenac, Québec City   Fairmont Château Laurier, Ottawa   Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth, Montreal   Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge   Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise   Vancouver alone is home to four Fairmont properties, with 15 more spread out across Canada. Visit fairmont.com for the full list of hotel and resort locations. [caption id="attachment_20624" align="alignnone" width="675"] The stately Fairmont Empress.[/caption] Get going: Book a historic stay at a Fairmont Hotels & Resorts property (fairmont.com) or take the Grand Tour of Canada & Alaska with Scenic (scenic.com.au).   “The perfect iconic Canadian experience.”  – Nikki Bayley   <<Previous | Next >> Return to the ‘100 Things to do in Canada Before You Die’ countdown var axel = Math.random() + """"; var a = axel * 10000000000000; document.write('');  Read more
Drink your way back in time in ye old New France
Drink your way back in time in ye olde New France. Read more
Go overboard for oysters on Canada’s Prince Edward Island
Taste the delicate nature of the sea itself on Prince Edward Island.   Read more
Better than a doughnut, bite into a beavertail in Ottawa
Bite into a sweet, sticky piece of Canadian culture that you won't regret. The stunning scenery isn’t the only thing of beauty to be found in Canada.   The culinary delights on offer at Ottawa’s ByWard Market are national treasures in themselves. Located in bustling downtown Ottawa, ByWard is one of the oldest and largest farmers’ markets in Canada, cherished by locals and visitors alike. [caption id="attachment_21109" align="alignnone" width="1024"] ByWard Market, home of the legendary Beaver Tails.[/caption] It’s home to myriad iconic Canadian delicacies – with one of the standouts unquestionably a BeaverTails (no relation to the furry animal), a doughy, golden, flattish tail-shaped pastry that’s best served drenched in maple butter or covered in hazelnut Nutella. [caption id="attachment_21111" align="alignnone" width="1024"] A delicious pastry ready to be devoured- photo courtesy of Connor Turner.[/caption] Even sweeter than the pastry is the success story behind it: what began literally as a Mom-and-Pop operation at a community fair in 1978 is now an international franchise, with stores as far-flung as Japan and South Korea.   But the first bricks-and-mortar BeaverTails remains here at ByWard – a place that US President Obama made a point of visiting for a spot of takeaway on a Canadian visit in 2009.   If it’s good enough for Barack … GET GOING: Stock up on BeaverTails at Ottawa’s ByWard Market year round. Travel there on Trafalgar’s Best of Eastern Canada End Toronto. [caption id="attachment_21112" align="alignnone" width="1024"] The legendary Beaver Tails pastry show at ByWards Market.[/caption] LOCATION: ByWard Market is so big it is its own district in Lower Town, Central Ottawa. “A signature (and diet-busting) Canadian treat that will reveal your inner sweet-tooth.” – John Lee   << Previous | Next >> Return to the ‘100 Things to do in Canada Before You Die’ countdown var axel = Math.random() + """"; var a = axel * 10000000000000; document.write('');  Read more
Dig for giant clams on Canada’s Prince Edward Island
Dine on the freshest seafood while feasting on the most gorgeous views.  Read more
Live large on lobsters on Prince Edward Island
Dine on the freshest lobster in the world on Prince Edward Island. Lobster has been shorthand for culinary luxury worldwide for the best part of 150 years – ever since well-to-do Bostonians and New Yorkers developed a taste for the meat (before that it was considered a peasant’s meal).   But have you ever wondered what life is like for the people who catch the crustaceans? [caption id="attachment_20555" align="alignnone" width="667"] Delicious lobster from the waters of Prince Edward Island.[/caption] On a Prince Edward Island lobster tour aboard owner-operator Captain Mark Jenkins’ vessel Top Notch, you’ll experience a day in the life of a fourth-generation lobster fisherman – before dropping anchor in one of the most scenic coves for a fresh lobster meal. Get going: Top Notch Tours (markscharters.com) run three times a day during PEI’s lobster season of July and August. Travel there with the PEI Landscapes of the Canadian Maritimes tour (insightvacations.com). [caption id="attachment_20556" align="alignnone" width="667"] Lobsters are pulled in on a fishing trawler.[/caption] Location: Tours leave from Charlottetown, where you’ll find Top Notch Tours at No. 2 Prince Street, on the waterfront.  “An interactive 101 introduction to lobster catching. Get your apron and sip the juice from that claw!” – John Lee   <<Previous | Next >> Return to the ‘100 Things to do in Canada Before You Die’ countdown var axel = Math.random() + ""; var a = axel * 10000000000000; document.write('');  Read more
Forget vegemite, feast on a smoked meat sandwich in Montréal
Open wide and get ready for one of the world's greatest sandwiches. Talk about indulging the senses.   With a deceptively simple smoked meat sandwich that could take on (and beat!) many of New York City’s finest delis, Schwartz’s in Montréal has been a local institution for nearly 90 years. [caption id="attachment_21034" align="alignnone" width="667"] The wonderful smoked meat sandwich.[/caption] You’ll rarely approach without encountering a huge line of people craving the famed beef brisket that lies within, but for the true pilgrim patience is rewarded.   Sitting shoulder to shoulder in the packed surrounds is an unforgettable way to tackle your smoked meat sandwich on rye with just the right amount of tangy yellow mustard, and, of course, a cherry coke to cut through the fat and work its magic on the saltiness of the main event. [caption id="attachment_21035" align="alignnone" width="667"] The facade of Schwartz's in Montreal.[/caption] Nothing this delicious is ever easy to come by so do your time and get in line.   You won’t regret it.   But if you are time-poor, here’s a tip: the lengthy lines are for the full dine-in experience.   If you just want to be blown away by the sandwich, skip the queue and grab one from the take-out counter next door. It’ll still taste incredible on the street. GET GOING: Fill your belly at Schwartz’s Deli (schwartzsdeli.com) from 8 ’til late. [caption id="attachment_21036" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Diners enjoy the sandwiches at Schwartz's.[/caption] LOCATION: The oldest deli in Canada, Schwartz’s can be found at 3895 Saint-Laurent Boulevard, Montréal’s cultural and culinary artery known locally as “The Main”.   << Previous | Next >> Return to the ‘100 Things to do in Canada Before You Die’ countdown var axel = Math.random() + """"; var a = axel * 10000000000000; document.write('');  Read more