10 Restaurants Worth the Move to Canada

Every election year, a disgruntled voter's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of breaking north to Canada and laying down roots where the grass is greener. With 2016 being such a year, and our good friend Canada being a breeding ground for fantastic cuisine of every stripe, it's worth taking a look at what our northern neighbors are throwing down these days in their restaurant kitchens (Hey, we want to eat well once we settle in, don't we?) The result is this list of restaurants throughout Canada, from high-end bistros to cheap eats to underrated gems, that are doing such good things to the dishes they serve, that they just might be worth filling out that change of address form some of us would-be expatriates have been procrastinating over.
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  • Bar Isabel
    Location
    797 College St, Toronto, ON M6G1C7
    Categories
    Spanish,Tapas/Small Plates
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    Bar Isabel Detail Page >

    Open late, this is a great place for hungry night owls who dig on seafood and charcuterie. The main dining room can be loud when packed, but seating at the bar is an option for those interested in holding conversations below shouting volume. Wherever you sit, don't leave without trying the Chocolate Tarragon Ice Cream Bar dessert.

  • Deseo Bistro
    Location
    696 Osborne St, Winnipeg, MB R3L2B9
    Categories
    Latin American,Tapas/Small Plates,Bistro
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    Deseo Bistro Detail Page >

    Here Latin American tapas are represented in ways that delight, in a softly-lit, brick-walled atmosphere that does likewise. Begin with an order of Chicharrones, then chase it with the Ricotta & Black Truffle Gnocchi they serve with crisp quinoa and bacon. Or, maybe go for the Chorizo & Figs, made with sweet & sour sauce, macerated figs, and chorizo sausage served with grilled sourdough bread, and finish with the luxurious Pot de Crème dessert. You can't miss.

  • Ba Le Sandwich Shop
    Location
    701 Kingsway, Vancouver, BC V5T 3K6
    Categories
    Vietnamese,Sandwiches
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    Ba Le Sandwich Shop Detail Page >

    Don't come seeking ambiance. Come for the variety of Banh Mi sandwiches, which includes a tofu option for vegetarians. While there are scant other Vietnamese specialties on the menu, the sandwiches are the main draw here. Ba Le doesn't accept reservations, as its main room is designed for carry-out. Sure, there might not be table service at this cash-only eatery in Vancouver's Chinatown, but it bakes its own fresh French baguettes, and as far as places to enjoy an inexpensive meal (sandwiches average between $3.50 and $5.00) that's tasty and filling, one could do worse than to accept this sandwich shop into one's life.

  • Cafe My House
    Location
    1015 Wellington St W, Ottawa, ON K1Y2Y1
    Categories
    Vegan,Vegetarian
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    Cafe My House Detail Page >

    This restaurant's eclectic menu includes several mouth-watering Brunch options (looking at you, Sweet Potato-Coconut Crème Brulee) served on Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 2pm. Other menu standouts include the Broccoli Tempura and the Smoked Mushroom with Brussels sprouts/crème fraiche. Lots of places claim their menu offers something for everyone, but when a vegan/vegetarian restaurant pulls in consistent praise from habitual carnivores as well as adherents, it goes a long way toward convincing reticent first-timers about how delicious "healthy food" can be.

  • Restaurant Alep
    Location
    199 Rue Jean-Talon E, Montréal, QC H2R1S8
    Categories
    Middle Eastern,Armenian
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    Restaurant Alep Detail Page >

    Meat dishes abound at Alep and its small carry-out sister restaurant Le Petit Alep, whether it's kebabs, kefta, or ground beef and lamb with pine nuts, mint, coriander, and other fragrant and delicious spices (Baked Kebbé, anyone?) For those opting for surf over turf, the Grilled Striped Bass or Grilled Swordfish are good places to go. Try them with the Spicy French Fries, and top off the meal with a dessert of 66% cocoa Dark Chocolate Ice Cream

  • Keith's Deli
    Location
    6100 Macleod Trail SW, Calgary, AB T2H0K5
    Categories
    Sandwiches,Delis
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    Keith's Deli Detail Page >

    Another good bet for comfort-tasty fare that delivers a bang for one's buck. Family-owned, Keith's has operated since 1972. Lots of good sandwich options are available, as well as easily-handheld bites like sausage rolls, Jamaican beef patties, and chicken wings. The place has no bar, but surely in a place that prepares homemade soup daily, makes its own sausages, serves them on locally-produced buns, and allows diners to "Keith-ify" any sandwich by adding sausage to it, such a thing can be overlooked.

  • Hibiscus Cafe
    Location
    238 Augusta Ave, Toronto, ON M5T2L7
    Categories
    Vegan,Vegetarian
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    Hibiscus Cafe Detail Page >

    Here there be sweet and savory crepes made with vegan buckwheat batter. What you won't find here is reservations being taken. There are, however, dairy-free ice creams (made using coconut or almond milk) served in gluten-free cones. Try the Homemade Vegan Dulce de Leche Kiwi crepe for a touch of sweetness, or go savory with a Blue Cheese Pear crepe.

  • Casa Minhota
    Location
    3959 Boul St-Laurent, Montréal, QC H2W1Y4
    Categories
    Portuguese
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    This place knows how to send diners on a trip without requiring them to leave their chairs. Open your meal with a plate of Jambon avec Melon (Ham with Melon) before moving on to the Pieuvre Grille (grilled octopus), and finish with the Poire au porto (Pear with port) dessert. The menu also includes a number of whole-fish dishes.

  • Taj Bistro
    Location
    140 Dunlop St E #101, Barrie, ON L4M6H9
    Categories
    Asian,Indian,Bistro
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    Taj Bistro Detail Page >

    It's all good at this culture-spanning restaurant with one of the more extensive menus you're likely to find. Boasting recipes from Imperial sources throughout Asia, this place is unlikely to disappoint anyone with an adventurous palate.

  • Rapscallion Rogue Eatery
    Location
    61 Young St, Hamilton, ON L8N1V1
    Categories
    American (New)
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    Reservations are recommended here, where the menu changes rapidly and dishes with names like Who Stuffed Roger Rabbit? share a kitchen with dishes like Chicken Liver Brulee and Lettuce Turnip the Beet (escarole dressed in red wine vinaigrette with fresh and pickled beets). Enter this place with the trust that never a dull meal will be set before you. Bonus: Mondays are vegetarian/vegan friendly menu days.

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