Where to visit and eat in Canada
- LizorIanBanks Jun 13, 2005 08:32 PM
We want a honeymoon in Canada where we can dine. Eating is what we do for fun, and neither of us have ever been to Canada. Any inpuut and/or advice is welcome. Thanks so much.
Do you realize that Canada is larger than the United States. I'm an American who has been in all 10 provinces. I could recommend places in British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario or Quebec. That spans over 2000 miles.
If you indicated where you are starting from, people could recommend places within a reasonable distance. The AAA or your local library could provide maps of Canada.
No offense (well really some offense intended), when you ask such a vague question about a massive, MASSIVE, country, I am surprised that only one person has responded like this.
Vancouver is NOT Canada. Neither for that matter is Quebec City.
Your honeymoon will, like every imaginable human endeavour, be very much restrained by distance.
Anyway, you give us some sense of what you're looking for and you'll be more meaningful responses.
re: John Manzo
Instead of blasting you for asking a vague question (which is fine considering you are looking for a variety of responses), I will ask you if there are any particular types of dining (ethnic) that you enjoy in particular, or wish to experience during your honeymoon.
If not here are my recommendations (Note please respond as to how much time you plan to spend in Canada altogether and where in the US you are coming from)
1) Vancouver, the Islands, Whistler, the Okanagan (British Columbia). Excellent food, including some unique experiences, fantastic scenery, plenty of non-food activities.
2) Calgary, Edmonton, Canadian Rockies (Alberta/British Columbia). Same as above, with a different setting and climate
3) Toronto and Niagara Wine COuntry - (Ontario)
4) Ottawa (Ontario), Montreal and Quebec City (Quebec)
You could easily spend a week eating 3 great meals a day in each of these regions.
If you have 2 weeks you could combine trips 1&2, or 3&4. You could also do 1-3, 1-4, 2-3, 2-4, but that would involve a day of air travel.
Please respond with more details and I will be happy to give you some recommendations.
re: jjd (the FRIENDLY Canadian)
I like jjd's list. Great collection of suggestions. I would add:
a) If you do Toronto and Niagara wine country, you get the advantage of Niagara Falls, which is the "Honeymoon Capital of the World", so you can feed the need for tacky at the same time as being surrounded by some of the most beautiful scenery and superb restaurants in the country;
b) jjd did not get into the Maritimes, but if the trip is in the summer or early fall, I would add Nova Scotia, PEI and St. Andrews New Brunswick to the list.
If you decide to include Niagara on the Lake, I could highly recommend the White Oak Resort, on the outskirts of Niagara on the Lake. Fabulous and reasonable considering. We had a senior citizen special for $165/day Canadian, that included breakfast to die for, and the most luxurious room we've seen in ages. All activities on resort; Liv restaurant pricey, but superb for dinner.
And, no, it doesn't have to be tacky. Anyone who doesn't get a thrill from the Falls is dead between the ears.
Canadians like to tell jokes about how little most Americans know about their country. Your vague inquiry made you appear to be one of them.
Vancouver happens to be my favorite city in Canada. My last trip was three years ago however. A place that I've loved for 30 years is the Salmon House on the Hill. (Some locals call it a tourist trap and it is somewhat expensive.) However, I can't think of a more romantic dinner than sitting in a restaurant with tables on tiers, looking out the huge windows as the sun goes down and the lights of the city across the harbor come on. The Salmon, grilled over alder wood charcoal in the style of the local "First People" (Politically Correct for what used to be called Indians) is delightful and their wine list is more than acceptable.
Quebec...romantic and excellent food......... Quebec city is great or the Charlevoix region....
My wife and I spent our 21st anniversary in Quebec City last fall........I absolutely loved the city and found the food to be outstanding..........let me know and I will post the restaurants we went to.......please stay at Chateau Frontenac if you go.........
I love Canada.......I'm from the South but I really love Canada.........I went to Vancouver Island and Victoria for a week and later went to Banff and Lake Louisee as well as Quebec.........we are going to Vancouver in August...............
Unless you're looking for Chinese, I'd say Montreal, hands down, with a side trip to Quebec City, perhaps to faire a little amour.
If you like Chinese food, definitely Vancouver/Richmond.
If you're not sure what you want, try Toronto, which goes both ways and adds a few frills like Caribbean food. Little urban charm there, though.
The greatest thing about Montreal is that it is an urban city, however, in Old Montreal, you will also have a very European experience. There are food places galore throughout Montreal. Just do a search for Montreal on the Chowhound boards and you can see all the stuff that comes up.
So, I say, Montreal and if you decide to take a little side trip and venture to Quebec City, the only place to stay is the Chateau Frontenac as someone else has suggested in an earlier post.
I have lived in different areas of the country...all over BC, Alberta and am now living in Ontario. Vancouver is a wonderful place, as is the rest of BC and it is home to me but if you are planning a honeymoon around food I would reccommend Toronto, and if possible other parts of Ontario. Toronto has far more variety, higher quality of that said variety, and also more opportunity for high end and exciting dining.
Although one consideration is the season...if it is in the middle of summer, either of the coasts would be difficult to pass up for their specialties (seafood, fresh fruits and veggies)
"Little urban charm there, though."
I disagree. Many tourists don't venture past Front Street. There are regions of Toronto with plenty of charm, including the bustling Italian cool on College Street, King West (where you'll find Susur Lee's restaurant nestled amid Victorian warehouses), and yes, even some charm in the financial district. Canoe comes to mind, overlooking Lake Ontario 54 floors up. Or you could get a dosa as large as your arm in Little India on Gerrard street and then go for a walk in the huge park nearby. It's really about research, and writing off Toronto as a foodie destination in Canada is not warranted.
So- In Vancouver one must eat:
either eat at the bar at Tojo's on West Broadway
or eat at Octopus Garden(not on a Monday, since the head chef Sada San has the night off)
@ West Restaurant, on South Granville
some others that are good are:
Lumiere, Bishop's, and C (for seafood), Vij's (for indian)
And for traditional, delicious european pastries and a great lunch, head to Liberty Bakery on Main Street.
The Sooke Harbour House on Vancouver Island is also great.
A few suggestions....
Quebec City - Graffiti (French, yummy, off the beaten tourist track)
Montreal - La Sauvagine (specializing in wild game)
Montebello - Aux Chantignoles
Ottawa - Urban Pear, Absinthe
I'm mostly a Central Canada girl, so that's all I have for now. There are great places to eat in pretty much any city - you could have a lovely honeymoon through the Ontario wineries in the Niagara region, or perhaps through the Cabot Trail in Nova Scotia (down home kinda cookin'!). The Charlevoix region of Quebec is beautiful, and the Rockies would also be fabulous.
Here is my wife's TripAdvisor post regarding our trip to vancouver last summer:
My husband, baby, and I stayed at the Westin Bayshore for a week mid August 2006.
This hotel is in an excellent location (Coal Harbour/West End). It is right along the seawall, and is a 5 minute walk to Stanley Park and 15 minutes to English Bay beach.
The room we stayed in was on the 17th floor and had a SPECTACULAR view of the ocean facing the marina. We would highly recommend that you stay on a top floor and request an ocean view. Every morning we would open up our sliding doors and eat our breakfast while gazing at the scenery. As a side note, our room had a mini fridge which we used to store fruit and milk for our breakfasts. Safeway (corner Robson & Denman) is a 5 minute walk from the hotel, so purchasing basic grocery items to store in your room is very easy. The room we stayed in was a little on the small side but very clean and new (maybe 350 square feet).
Although we did not spend much time in the hotel, it does have a huge main floor with plenty of couches and love seats to use. The outdoor pool was nice, but very small. If you intend on getting a chair around the pool go early and secure a spot!
We cannot comment on value because we used aero plan points to book the room (it would have been about $300 + per night).
This hotel is also minutes away from Denman St which is a haven for food lovers like us!
Restaurants: Places we liked!
Vera's Burger Shack - best burgers we have ever had! (Denman St.)
Mondo's gelati - best we ever had, so many flavors, I had 14 in 7 days! (Denman St.)
Cupcakes - you should try it once. (Denman St.)
Banana Leaf - amazing Laos food, only a few tables get there early. (Denman St.)
Pho Number 1 - very inexpensive subs and ok soup (Denman St.)
Falafel King - amazing beef swhwarma, must try it!!! (Denman St.)
Nates Pizza - great cheap snack to go. (Denman St.)
New York Grill - lots of basic food for cheap. (Denman St.)
Modern Burger- great burgers (if you are into fresh/homemade type burgers), fries, and milk shakes! (Kitsalano area)
Restaurants: Places we did not like!
Samay's Hot wings - chicken fat and skin in the chicken swhwarma DISGUSTING! (Robson St.)
Zakasushi - just ok, more hype then it's worth! (Denman St.)
Time Square Inn is definitely worth looking into if you would like more of an apartment style vacation. We took a tour of it and will be staying there next time we are in Vancouver. It's much cheaper ($189 per night) then the hotels, and has much more space (living area and kitchenette and in room laundry) 650 square feet. It does not have a ocean view but is on the corner of Robson and Denman which is also an excellent location.
- Laundry mat on Denman if needed
- HUGE outdoor family swimming pool along seawall down from English Bay (end on Denman)
- Go to the aquarium in Stanley park
- You can rent bikes on the corner of West Georgia and Denman
- All restaurants are very very small in downtown. If you have a stroller like us for the baby, go early!
- Most hotels have free shuttles to the mall down Robson.
Have a great trip!
Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver are food cities. If you're into Chef culture, you could just eat by the superstars alone.
Toronto Life's directory is great for the absolute to the minute reviews. If you're interested in any of the restaurants listed above, check them out here: http://www.torontolife.com/restaurants/
Danforth neighbourhood, Greek: Pan
Front Street: JK winebar
Food and Jazz: Reservoir Lounge
Hi-end French: Bistro 990, The Fifth, Auberge de Pommier
Italian: any Terroni's location
French Cafe: Patachou (fabulous croissant
)Star Chef experience: Canoe, Susur
Indian: Jodhpore Club
Ah... so much food, so little time!
And for a great martini and view of the skyline, don't miss the lounge at the top of the Hyatt hotel at Avenue Rd. & Bloor St.