Foodies love Canada for its impeccable seafood, bustling markets, and world-class restaurants. But dig a little deeper and you’ll find diverse culinary adventures to surprise and delight the senses.
From gastronomy under the Northern Lights, to dining in the dark, Canada serves up cuisine that’s about so much more than just what’s on the plate.
Read on for nine unique foodie experiences that you won’t find anywhere else.
1. Pop-up gastronomy
RAW:almond, an annual pop-up restaurant in Winnipeg, Manitoba, hits the ice each January for 10 days. During this one-of-a-kind dining adventure, you’ll feast on multi-course meals, prepared by some of North America’s finest chefs, all served in an elaborate tent on the frozen Assiniboine River in the middle of Canadian prairie winter.
The temporary restaurant is a marvel of design innovation, as inspiring as the avant-garde cuisine that lands on your plate. Warning: reservations book out quickly for this unforgettable dining experience. But there are usually walk-in and skate-in spots available for weekend brunch.
2. Dining under the aurora oval
There’s no doubt RAW:almond stretches the limits of the imagination, but RAW:Churchill takes it one step further. At 58° north latitude on the shores of the Hudson Bay, near Churchill, Manitoba, you’ll travel by tundra buggy across the frozen Churchill River to the 300-year-old Prince of Wales Fort. Here, under an artfully designed clear-roof structure, guests feast on a world-class meal created by one of Canada's top chefs, complete with unobstructed views of the shimmering, dancing northern lights show parading overhead. RAW:Churchill takes place annually in March.
3. Dig for clams!
This full-day adventure begins at the historical Port of Georgetown, on picturesque Prince Edward Island. Prepare to sink chest-deep in water as you dig for clams with Tranquility Cove Adventures in this hands-on experience. Afterwards, drag your haul onto the beach of a deserted island for an old-fashioned beach cook-out!
Steam your clams to mouth-watering perfection in fresh salt water and, when you’ve had your fill, head to Prince Edward Island’s oldest wooden lighthouse, Panmure Island, for the ultimate Insta photo. Nearby, you’ll learn how to haul a lobster trap, rock crab pot, and a mussel sock, in a crash course on island fishery. You’ll be an old hand in no time.
4. Heli-dining on a glacier
Ever thought about adding ‘dinner on a glacier’ to your bucket list? Yes, it’s really a thing. The Four Seasons Resort Whistler, in British Columbia, has redesigned après-ski with its gourmet heli-dining experience. Transfer by helicopter to a glistening mountain-top glacier for an open-air meal you’ll never forget. Sip on cocktails and savor tailor-made cuisine as you marvel at the infinite snow-covered backcountry that surrounds you. It’s like a (delicious) winter wonderland postcard come to life.
5. Maple tapping at a sugar shack
Travel to the Sucrerie de la Montagne in Rigaud, a western suburb of Montreal, to find out why Canada’s maple syrup is the best in the world. At this authentic sugar shack, you’ll learn to produce maple syrup the old-fashioned way: the tree is tapped with a spout, sap collected in a pail and transformed into pure maple syrup using a traditional wood-fired evaporator. Stay overnight at the Sucrerie de la Montagne and brace yourself for an unbeatable sugar high with an all-you-can-eat sugaring off feast!
6. Dine in the dark
Feel your senses heighten as the lights are dimmed at O.NOIR restaurant in Montreal, Quebec. Without your sight to tell you what to expect, you’ll find yourself savoring the smell and taste of your delicious cuisine like you’ve never done before. But this is not just a clever gimmick. At O.NOIR you’ll gain a better understanding of what it means to be blind – just like the restaurant’s entire wait staff.
7. Watch the game over lunch
There’s nothing quite like good food and a hockey game. Take in this quintessentially Canadian sport at Arriba Restaurant within the Toronto Marriott City Centre, where amazing food is served along with incredible views into the Rogers Centre. Watch the Jays battle it out and soak up the high-octane atmosphere as you feast on delicious global flavors created from Ontario-grown produce.
8. Lunch with a side of art
Isaac’s Way is an iconic eatery in Fredericton, New Brunswick, housed in the historic York County House, dating back to the 1850s. Here, you’ll find the very best of local craft beers, Atlantic seafood, and seasonally farmed vegetables, served up with the quintessential friendliness of the Maritimes. The walls are adorned with the work of local artists and you can participate in an ongoing silent art auction, with funds raised donated to support local underprivileged kids. This is a business with a big heart, committed to giving back to its local community – even the coffee mugs are made in New Brunswick!
9. Feast like a Viking
There’s only one place in Canada where you can feast on the best fish cakes in the country while icebergs the size of houses float by in the distance. At the East Coast House in Newfoundland and Labrador, near the L’anse aux Meadows National Historic Site, you can walk in the footsteps of Vikings – and feast like one too. The Great Viking Feast takes place in a sod-covered hut decked out in Viking decor, with a menu featuring cod tongues, capelin, jigs dinner, baked cod, moose stew, fish, roast beef, and partridge berry bread. Hang around for the interactive Viking Court of Law in the evenings!