PRINT PREVIEW
send to printer

Concierge.com

Canada Restaurants

Après
103-4338 Main Street
Whistler , British Columbia
Canada
Tel: 604 935 0200
www.apresrestaurant.com

A 50-seat restaurant and wine bar that specializes in modern French cuisine, Après is as intimate as Whistler dining gets. Chef Eric Vernice's reputation (he came from Whistler's acclaimed Bearfoot Bistro) and the good-looking space (a narrow room with curving walls and colorful lighting) make it one of Whistler's hottest tables. The menu changes seasonally, but two regular favorites are quail with foie gras tortellini and pan-roasted Atlantic monkfish accompanied by crab soufflé. There is also an extensive cheese menu. Check out the "culinary adventure" cooking classes in spring and summer.

Dinner only. Closed May and October.

Araxi
4222 Village Square
Whistler , British Columbia
Canada
Tel: 604 932 4540
www.araxi.com

Araxi wins our love for its extensive oyster selection and Kobe beef short ribs. This is a fancy place with big aspirations for a mountain-town restaurant, with dinner items ranging from Dungeness crab to beet risotto. The kitchen takes almost obsessive pride in pairing Pacific Northwest cuisine with fine wines like the local B.C. Gehringer Pinot Noir. Granted, molten chocolate cakes have become almost a dessert menu cliché, but only a fool without taste buds would refuse Araxi's.

Au Pied de Cochon
536 Duluth Avenue E.
Plateau
Montréal , Québec
Canada H2L 1A9
Tel: 514 281 1114
www.restaurantaupieddecochon.ca

Martin Picard's pig-out palace in the Plateau is a big reason Montréal's culinary scene has been attracting attention in recent years. His synthesis of rustic fare and haute cuisine is masterful, and best sampled in his famous foie gras poutine, which elevates the classic dish of Québec—French fries with gravy and cheese curds—with an indulgent slab of poached duck liver. Nearly everything is drenched in maple syrup and gravy—insanely heavy but sinfully delicious. On any given night, you could be slicing into blood sausage with cured foie gras (much more delicious than it sounds) or surprisingly tender sheep's testicles. In short, it's an adventure into a world where waistlines no longer matter. Sit at the counter, the way Anthony Bourdain does, and reserve well in advance. (Note: Between mid-March and early May, you can also sample Picard's decadent food at his Cabane à Sucre Au Pied de Cochon in St. Benoît de Mirabel.)

Open Tuesdays through Sundays 5 pm to midnight

Banffshire Club
Fairmont Banff Springs
405 Spray Avenue
Banff , Alberta
Canada T1L 1J4
Tel: 403 762 6860

Depending on how you look at it, the Club is either elegant or maddingly fusty. A harpist's strains first greets guests inside the high-end eatery at the grand Fairmont Banff Springs resort. Oak-paneled walls, vaulted ceilings, and tartan curtains lend an old-world Scottish elegance to the space, and antique-reproduction tables are set with crystal goblets and bone china. The fine selection of single-malt Scotches has inspired many a toast to Scotland's distilleries, but the innovative menu is clearly Canadian. Specialties include sockeye salmon and halibut terrine, maple-wood-grilled Alberta beef strip loin with braised short rib, and date- and pecan-crusted local venison. Jackets are recommended, and reservations are essential.

Open Tuesdays through Saturdays 6 to 9:30 pm.

Bao Bei Chinese Brasserie
163 Keefer Street
Chinatown
Vancouver , British Columbia
Canada V6A 1X3
Tel: 604 688 0876
www.bao-bei.ca

Bao Bei is a beacon of new life in the neon night of Vancouver's Chinatown, thanks to the inspired cuisine of owner Tannis Ling. Bric-a-brac furnishings lend a vintage retro sensibility to the dining room, and the small plates bring a fresh, home-style quality to traditional Chinese recipes, influenced by Ling's Shanghai-Taiwanese upbringing and executed with contemporary flair by Japanese-French chef Joel Watanabe. The just-spicy-enough shao bing—a crunchy Chinese-style panini stuffed with cumin lamb sirloin and salted chiles—is incredibly satisfying. Equally tasty are the steamed truffled pork dumplings and straight-from-the-market snow peas sautéed with garlic and shaoxing wine. The restaurant is a bit of a hangout for downtown hipsters; part of the allure no doubt is the creative cocktail menu crafted by Ling, who was once a bartender at the trendy Chambar Lounge.—Kasey Wilson

Open Mondays through Saturdays 5:30 pm to midnight.

Bearfoot Bistro
Best Western Listel Whistler
4121 Village Green
Whistler , British Columbia
Canada V0N 1B4
Tel: 604 932 3433
www.bearfootbistro.com

Given its location in the generic Best Western Listel Whistler in Whistler Village, Bearfoot Bistro's cuisine and wine cellar are a delightful surprise. More Champagne is sold here than at any other Canadian restaurant (the 20,000-bottle cellar includes 110 labels from the region), and chef Melissa Craig snagged the "Canada's Best Chef" title at the 2008 Canadian Culinary Championships. For her Asian-influenced French menu, Craig turns incredibly fresh seafood, top-flight chops and steaks, and locally sourced vegetables into small, elegant dishes such as black cod with edamame and miso sauce. Budget gourmets beware: The dining room is a white tablecloth affair and strictly prix fixe (three courses for about $80; five courses for about $122). An à la carte menu with entrées averaging between $30 and $40 is available in the less formal Champagne Bar, where a pianist at a baby grand entertains the après crowd.

Open daily 5 to 10 pm.

Hotel Photo
Bishop's
2183 W. Fourth Avenue
Kitsilano
Vancouver , British Columbia
Canada V6K 1N7
Tel: 604 738 2025
www.bishopsonline.com

A longtime proponent of seasonal, local cuisine, chef John Bishop opened his namesake restaurant in 1985, and it's been a Vancouver institution ever since. The walls of this bright 40-seat restaurant are adorned with contemporary and First Nations artwork; the tables are draped with crisp white linens. Executive chef Ron Shaw's haute-barnyard menu is almost 100 percent organic; the kitchen even butchers whole animals to make its own charcuterie. Petite Kumamotos and a sake–pear granita transport the typical plate of oysters to a whole new level. Other seasonal standouts include seafood risotto with spotted shrimp (a local prawn with a delicate flavor and firm texture), roasted free-range chicken with cured pork and root vegetable mash, and spring salmon paired with herbed parsnip latkes. All the desserts are impeccable, but don't miss the pure comfort apple bread pudding with apple-cider ice cream. There's also an eclectic list of local and imported wines, with an emphasis on half bottles. On the way out, pick up a copy of one of Bishop's user-friendly cookbooks.—Kasey Wilson

Open daily 5:30 to 11 pm.

The Blue Toque
562 7th Ave.
Fernie , British Columbia
Canada
Tel: 250 423 4637

The Blue Toque—"toque" is a Canadian term for a woolen winter hat (i.e., nothing to do with chefs)—serves the best breakfasts in Fernie, with massive plates of hash browns, eggs, and veggies. It's also a nice place to chill out over a cup of joe—and to survey the work of local artists. The café is housed in Fernie's Art Station, a former Canadian Pacific Railway station built in 1908. Painters, quilters, and weavers work on the upper floor; photographers and ceramicists occupy the basement studios. Their creations are displayed in the station's former lobby, as well as inside the Blue Toque.

Blue Water Cafe and Raw Bar
1095 Hamilton Street
Yaletown
Vancouver , British Columbia
Canada V6B 5T4
Tel: 604 688 8078
www.bluewatercafe.net

Locals and tourists alike flock to this stylish converted Yaletown warehouse for locally sourced seafood imaginatively prepared by executive chef Frank Pabst. Sustainability is the restaurant's philosophy, whether it be one of its principal plates, such as sablefish (a.k.a. Alaska Black Cod), or the sushi selections. Chef Yoshiya Maruyama is at the helm of the 12-seat raw bar with its impressive roster of East and West Coast oysters and generous portions of sushi, sashimi, and nigiri. Chilled prawns, lobster, and briny bivalves are available à la carte or riding atop seafood tiers (from $28 to $128) with horseradish-spiked cocktail sauce and Japanese mayo. During Pabst's "Unsung Heroes Festival" in February, the menu focuses on underutilized delicacies from the Pacific such as periwinkles, jellyfish, sea cucumbers, and red sea urchin. Blue Water's wine list is extensive, with a good selection of British Columbia's best wines. You can also dine on the heated terrace outside.—Kasey Wilson

Open nightly 5 to 11 pm, bar nightly from 5 pm to 1 am.

Buffalo Mountain Lodge
700 Tunnel Mountain Road
Banff , Alberta
Canada T1W 1G8
Tel: 403 760 4484
www.crmr.com/diningbuffalo.php

Chandeliers crafted from antlers hang from the ceilings of this rustic and renowned dining room. A 250-bottle wine selection accompanies the so-called Rocky Mountain cuisine—meaning local, free-range game paired with native produce. Wild caribou medallions are topped with red currant, sweet-potato bread pudding, and sprouts, and grilled elk tenderloin is prepared with wild mushrooms and rose-hip glaze. Budget travelers should try the less pricey lunch specialties, such as buffalo burgers and wild salmon.

Open daily 7 am to 10 pm.

Hotel Photo
C
2–1600 Howe Street
Downtown
Vancouver , British Columbia
Canada V6Z 2L9
Tel: 604 681 1164
www.crestaurant.com

Super-slick C (a play on "sea") is dramatically designed, with a mezzanine level overlooking a white-on-white main dining room, theater-style spotlights, and enormous two-story windows with views over False Creek and the outdoor terrace. Executive chef Robert Clark and chef de cuisine Lee Humphries create sustainable seafood dishes that measure up to the cool and modern setting. Unexpected ingredients like lees from the Artisan Sake Maker on Granville Island make regular appearances, as does the restaurant's signature octopus bacon. A six-course iteration of signature dishes (spot prawns, foie gras, lobster) prepared in astonishing ways with wine pairings is worth the whopping $275 price tag (there's also a less elaborate tasting menu with wines at $170). If you don't want to splurge, order the special, whatever it is. The seafood-friendly wine list focuses on sparkling wines and whites with crisp acidity, mostly from France, Germany, and North America.—Kasey Wilson

Open Mondays through Fridays 11:30 am to 2:30 pm and 5 to 11 pm, Saturdays and Sundays 5 to 11 pm.

C5
100 Queen's Park
Toronto , Ontario
Canada M5S 2C6
Tel: 416 586 7928
www.c5restaurant.ca

Daniel Libeskind's angular glass-and-metal addition to the Royal Ontario Museum may be filled with dinosaur skeletons and stuffed birds, but the fifth floor is reserved for the pursuit of fine culinary enjoyment. The space looks something like a postmodern attic—vaulted ceiling, angular walls, open kitchen, slashes of window veering in odd directions—and the crowd is just what you'd expect: well dressed and well heeled, though certainly not stuffy. Diners are encouraged to order a six-course menu; not-to-be-missed starters are the raw platter and the grilled octopus. Mains such as rack of lamb or roasted squab with seared foie gras aren't big, but the execution is faultless. Servers are attentive and friendly, and quite capable of suggesting appropriate wine pairings.

Open Tuesdays through Sundays 11:30 am to 2:30 pm, Thursdays through Saturdays, 5 to 10 pm.

Cabane à Sucre Au Pied de Cochon
11382 Rang de la Fresnière
St. Benoît de Mirabel , Québec
Canada J7N 2R9
Tel: 450 258 1732
www.cabaneasucreaupieddecochon.com

Each spring, at dozens of cabanes à sucre (sugar shacks) in the rural areas outside Montréal, visitors can see how sap is turned into syrup and can sample traditional Québecois dishes made with lots of the sweet stuff. The food alone usually isn't worth the trip. Unless, of course, you're headed to Martin Picard's Cabane à Sucre Au Pied de Cochon, in St. Benoît de Mirabel, a 45-minute drive from downtown Montréal. The restaurant, opened in 2010, maintains the whimsy of Au Pied de Cochon (see the cheeky logo of a pig drinking maple syrup straight from a tree), and the food is just as intense. Indulgences on the 12-dish prix fixe menu might include egg soufflé with smoked sturgeon and pulled pork, cabbage stuffed with ground pork and chunks of lobster, beignets fried in duck fat, and taffy made table-side by pouring lines of maple syrup onto a bed of ice.—Danielle Contray

Open Thursdays and Fridays 5 to 9 pm, Saturdays and Sundays 11 am to 2 pm and 5 to 9 pm, mid-March through early May.

Cactus Club Café
588 Burrard Street
Downtown
Vancouver , British Columbia
Canada V6C O18
Tel: 604 682 0933
www.cactusclubcafe.com

Vancouver's superstar Iron Chef Rob Feenie had a dustup with his business partner and was locked out of his West Side restaurants, Lumière and Feenie's, in 2007. Now, as "culinary architect" for this upscale casual regional chain, Feenie is serving the dishes he cooked for those well-heeled diners—at greatly reduced prices. All his signatures dishes are here: albacore tuna tataki, braised short ribs, a barbecued duck club sandwich, ravioli in a truffle beurre blanc. Otherwise, expect the usual gamut of burgers, steaks, pastas, and seafood. The two-story Bentall 5 location is a stylish contemporary space with original art, including a Warhol and a trio of Basquiat paintings. The mostly business crowd flocks here for the hand-squeezed lime margaritas, locally brewed beers, and an always-improving wine list. Service, by a bevy of beauties, is informed and enthusiastic.—Kasey Wilson

Open daily 11 am to midnight.

Cafés
Montréal , Québec
Canada

With its large Italian population and countless artists, Montréal is famous for its café culture. (The city's best cafés are all Italian—just because Montrealers speak French doesn't mean they have to drink espressos and lattes the Gallic way!) Order a latte at Vito at Café Olympico to while away an afternoon in the heart of bohemianism in Mile End (124 Saint Viateur St. W.; 514-495-0746; www.cafeolimpico.com). Or head up to Café Italia in Little Italy to hang with older men and feel like you're on the set of The Godfather (6840 St. Laurent Blvd.; 514-495-0059). For the best macchiato this side of the Mediterranean and a sausage sub served the way Rocco likes 'em, take a detour to Milano Café in the Italian suburb of St. Leonard, a 15-minute drive from the city proper (5196 Jarry St. E., St. Leonard; 514-852-9452; www.cafemilano.ca).

Café Via Dante
251 Dante Street
Little Italy
Montréal , Québec
Canada H2S 1K3
Tel: 514 270 8446
www.cafeviadante.com

This casual, mellow neighborhood spot serves the sort of home cooking that you always dream of finding, yet so rarely do. The dishes aren't so different from those you'll find at other joints in Little Italy, but they somehow do gnocchi, rabbit with polenta, and a simple arugula salad better, and with more love, than anybody else. The lobster ravioli is enough to make mama weep, especially when it's paired with private-import Sicilian wines.

Open Tuesdays through Fridays noon to 2 pm, Tuesdays through Saturdays 5 to 10 pm.

Canoe
66 Wellington Street W.
Toronto , Ontario
Canada M5K 1H6
Tel: 416 364 0054
www.canoerestaurant.com

If the name brings to mind a woodsy interior with lumberjack tchotchkes, think again. This much-loved haven of refined dining is situated on the 54th floor of Mies van der Rohe's TD Centre, which easily takes the crown as the handsomest office building in the city. Like the building itself, the decor is elegant and timeless, with soft blue jean–colored booths and blond wood accents. The vibe is surprisingly laid-back considering the caliber of the food being served. Dishes have a refreshingly Canadian theme, such as Yukon-gold potato gnocchi and corn and West Coast Dungeness crab chowder. The wine list features the province's greatest red, Le Clos Jordan's much talked-about pinot noir, Le Grand Clos.

Open Mondays through Fridays 11:45 am to 2:30 pm and 5 to 10:30 pm.

Hotel Photo
Chambar Belgian Restaurant
562 Beatty Street
Downtown
Vancouver , British Columbia
Canada V6B 2L3
Tel: 604 879 7119
www.chambar.com

Belgian-inspired and perpetually packed with hip, youngish locals, Chambar has the feel of a Prohibition-era speakeasy. The dimly lit lounge area, with its exposed-brick walls and dark leather sofas, is a scene unto itself; the bar serves 18 Belgian beers, including the custom-made Chambar Ale, as well as some very creative cocktails (try the Blue Fig—vodka infused with oven-roasted figs and served martini-style with a side of Danish blue cheese). In the dining room, where the walls function as a gallery space for local artists, the menu includes starters such as the deservedly popular moules frites Congolaise, roasted duck breast, goat cheese and tarragon gnocchi, and an elegant coquille St. Jacques with smoked Kurobuta pork cheek. If you order the braised lamb shank tagine entrée, which comes in a spicy sauce made with honey, figs, cinnamon, and cilantro, make sure you get some extra bread—you'll want it to mop up your plate. For Vancouver's best breakfast, period, visit their Café Medina next door (556 Beatty St., 604-879-3114).—Kasey Wilson

Open daily 5:30 pm to midnight.

Club Chasse et Pêche
423 St. Claude Street
Old Montréal
Montréal , Québec
Canada H2Y 3B6
Tel: 514 861 1112
www.leclubchasseetpeche.com

Located in a grottolike room with a nouveau–hunting lodge feel and abstract art on the walls, this restaurant in Old Montréal is nothing less than a cave of edible wonders. Chef Claude Pelletier serves his oysters with lemon confit; cream and onion; au gratin with truffles, manchego, and arugula; or just plain. Each bite releases a flavor bomb so exquisite that time all but stops. The melt-in-your-mouth scallops on a bed of fennel purée are a perfect treat before "new school surf and turf," a combination of nouvelle-cuisine miniportions of exquisite seafood with wild game and other masculine meats—perhaps shrimp with bison. Everything on the menu is good, and even better with a savvy wine pairing (ask the staff for their pick). Yes, it'll cost you (the surf and turf alone is $39–$50, depending on market prices), but how can you put a price on ecstasy? Politicians, doctors, lawyers, and young independently wealthy types often crowd the small room; for an intimate repast, ask for a table near the windows. Reserve at least a week in advance.

Closed Sundays and Mondays.

Coyotes Deli & Grill
206 Caribou Street
Banff
Banff National Park , Alberta
T1L 1C4
Tel: 403 762 3963

A Banff standby for ultracasual food and fast table service, whether you're rushing to get on the mountain, or looking for sustenance as you've just come off. Despite the name, there isn't all that much Southwestern food served here. Some of the best dishes, in fact, are the sweet-potato corn chowder served at lunch, or the sandwiches, such as Italian Melt: Genoa salami, capicola, provolone, and sun-dried tomato pesto oven-baked on a baguette.

Open daily 7:30 am to 9:30 pm.

The Curry Bowl
931 7th Ave.
Fernie , British Columbia
Canada
Tel: 250 423 2695
www.virtualfernie.com/currybowl

The young couple that owns this tiny restaurant serves excellent Vietnamese summer rolls and other Asian dishes at reasonable prices. One of their intricate, savory curries is just the thing to warm you up after a day on the slopes. Try their mango shrimp curry, with coconut milk and Indian spices, or their Thai green curry, with pumpkin, green beans, peppers, and chicken. Over 30 imported beers, sake, and loose-leaf teas are available to wash it all down. Note that they don't take reservations, so get there early—or resign yourself to a worthwhile wait.

Eigensinn Farm
449357 10th Concession of Grey Highlands
Singhampton , Ontario
Canada NOC IMO
Tel: 519 922 3128

Once upon a time, chef Michael Stadtlander was the hottest, It-est, most highly praised chef in Toronto. Then, he and his wife packed up and moved to a farm an hour and a half north of the city to raise chickens, pigs, lambs, ducks, and a whole lot of herbs and vegetables. But they didn't stop cooking. The dining room at Eigensinn Farm is small—a maximum of 12 guests can be seated on any given night—and unabashedly rustic, though the culinary creations are anything but. Expect dishes like duck consommé, terrine of foie gras and squab, or just-caught lake trout wrapped in wild grape leaves and grilled over herb smoke. The farm is open only three nights a week, sometimes fewer, so reserve as far in advance as you can and keep your fingers crossed that there's a table. Also: It's BYOB, so be sure to uncork something suitably grand.

Call ahead for information and reservations.

Elements
Summit Lodge & Spa
4359 Main Street
Whistler , British Columbia
Canada
Tel: 604 932 5569
www.elementswhistler.com

Whistler's best new restaurant of 2005 (according to a local newspaper poll) prefers to be known as an "urban tapas parlour." Whatever. The mouth has a higher purpose than spouting euphemisms—eating, namely, delicacies such as chef Kate Brewster's Caprese with bocconcini cheese, or seared Arctic scallops with chorizo and white bean purée. It also features a list of martinis made with infused vodkas such as habañero and mango.

Fuze Finer Dining
110 Banff Avenue
Banff , Alberta
Canada T1L 1C9
Tel: 403 760 0853
www.fuzedining.com

Upper-scale restaurants were once a rarity in these parts, but as Alberta becomes richer from oil and gas revenues, more fine dining is appearing in the mountains. Fuze opened in 2005 and is a successful example. Forgive the annoying name—yes, it is fusion cuisine, serving up traditional French dishes like salad of confit duck, to Southeast Asian-accented plates like salmon spring rolls (they're actually quite good). London-born chef Gary Dayanandan likes to throw a little heat into his concoctions, and some dishes work better than others—the curry in his mango butter atop artisan bread, and the chile lemongrass oil on his clams are winning combinations. But we're not sold on the "Indian-spiced New York steak." On weekends the crowd is young and loud, grooving as much to the electronic music as the food.

Dinner nightly 6 to 10 pm.

Hotel Photo
Go Fish!
1505 W. First Avenue
West Side
Vancouver , British Columbia
Canada V6J 1E8
Tel: 604 730 5040

Come early to score a table for lunch on the deck at Go Fish!, a humble seafood hut tucked into False Creek Fisherman's Wharf, where you can watch the daily catch being hauled in from fishing boats. Cod, halibut, and salmon are beer-battered in Granville Island lager then snatched from the deep-fryer at the instant of just-cooked perfection and served in bamboo steamers with fries and Asian slaw. The oyster po'boy—stuffed with three grilled Cortes Island beauties—and the cone-shaped fish tacones are irresistible. If you're planning to go after 5 pm, call ahead: Once the supplies are gone, so is the kitchen crew.—Kasey Wilson

Open Tuesdays through Fridays 11 am to 6:30 pm, Saturdays and Sundays noon to 6:30 pm.

Hapa Izakaya
1479 Robson Street
West End
Vancouver , British Columbia
Canada V6G 1C1
Tel: 604 689 4272
www.hapaizakaya.com

The first thing you hear on entering Hapa is a boisterous welcome cry from the staff at this contemporary izakaya (a traditional Japanese pub serving delicious and eclectic small plates). Unlike the modest, down-and-dirty affairs that were Vancouver's first izakayas, Hapa is an upscale place, where Japanese-Canadian chef Justin Ault serves what he calls "tapanese" dishes in a high-tech room with exposed ductwork and low-slung tables. The ebi mayo may be the city's best shrimp dish, with prawns tempura-battered and drizzled with chile mayonnaise. The mackerel is seared tableside with a blowtorch, and the kakuni pork belly is simmered slowly and served on steamed buns. Hapa's reasonable prices attract a young, energetic clientele willing to wait for a table if they haven't made a reservation.—Kasey Wilson

Open Sundays through Thursdays 5:30 pm to midnight, Fridays and Saturdays 5:30 pm to 1 am.

Imperial Chinese Seafood Restaurant
355 Burrard Street
Downtown
Vancouver , British Columbia
Canada V6C 2G8
Tel: 604 688 8191
www.imperialrest.com

Despite a mostly non-Chinese clientele, the Imperial serves the most authentic Cantonese in the city with flawless execution. A regiment of full-time dim sum chefs trained in Hong Kong produce everything from scratch to ensure optimal freshness. Deep-fried crab claws, usually banquet fare, make a welcome dim sum appearance, along with an addictive banana shrimp roll. Other signature dishes on the à la carte menu include pan-fried scallops garnished with fried garlic milk, and sautéed spinach with minced pork and Chinese anchovies. A soaring Art Deco room with a central staircase leading to a balustrade-lined mezzanine, the Imperial is also the city's most opulent Chinese restaurant, although the dining room could use a 21st-century update. During the day, several tables for two (unusual for a Chinese restaurant) buzz with power-lunchers. Service is friendly and informative, with well-chosen wines to complement the dishes.—Kasey Wilson

Open Mondays through Fridays 11 am to 11:30 pm, Saturdays and Sundays 10:30 am to 11:30 pm.

Jamie Kennedy Gardiner
110 Queen's Park
Toronto , Ontario
Canada M5S 2C7
Tel: 416 362 1957
www.jamiekennedy.ca

Even if antique plates aren't your thing, there's a very good reason to pay a visit to the Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art—namely, the restaurant. The open and airy all-glass box perched over University Avenue is helmed by local celeb Jamie Kennedy, who's nothing if not a fan of "local." Ingredients are sourced nearby, and an Ontario wine is matched with each dish. Expect hearty fare like a warm sheep's milk tartlet, or a braised duck sandwich. The fries are among the best in town, and the cheese plate is a survey of the region's best offerings. However, beware that the restaurant is open for dinner only on Friday nights.

Open Saturdays through Thursdays 11:30 am to 2:30 pm, Fridays 11:30 am to 8:30 pm.

Japa Dog
Northwest corner of Burrard and Smithe streets
Downtown
Vancouver , British Columbia
Canada V6Z 2K6
www.japadog.com

Forget the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile. If any place deserves to toot its hot-dog horn, it's this one-of-a-kind Japanese hot dog stand perched at the corner of Burrard and Smithe in front of the tony Sutton Place Hotel. The dogs here are topped with Japanese condiments, so you're likely to hear "Hold the nori!" or "Extra wasabi!" from the hungry hordes ordering lunch. Try the Terimayo—an all-beef wiener with julienned nori (seaweed) shavings, teriyaki sauce, fried onions, and a garnish of thick Japanese mayo—or the tasty Oroshi, a bratwurst decked out with finely shaved daikon radish and green onions, and topped with wasabi and soy sauce. Go a little lighter with the Misomayo, a turkey dog layered with miso mayonnaise, sesame sauce, and kaiware (daikon radish sprouts).—Kasey Wilson

Open, weather permitting, Mondays through Thursdays noon to 7:30 pm, Fridays and Saturdays noon to 9 pm, Sundays 12:30 to 7 pm.

Joe Beef
2491 Notre-Dame Street W. Little Burgundy
Little Burgundy
Montréal , Québec
Canada H3J 1N6
Tel: 514 935 6504
www.joebeef.ca

Joe Beef was a 19th-century Montréal tavern proprietor who kept wild animals in the basement. Today, this Little Burgundy restaurant pays homage to the historical figure with classic bistro cuisine. The preparations are simple but tasty: a charcuterie plate with cornichons and candied dates, spit-roasted suckling pig slathered with chanterelles and served with apple compote for dipping, or steamed bivalves (oysters, clams, mussels) served in a Le Creuset pot. Portions are large—it's better to add dishes later than to order too much food all at once. And make room for one of the three daily dessert creations, especially if it's the strawberry cake (white cake layered with fresh berries and topped with a foamy dollop of whipped cream). The only element that doesn't jibe is the music, which tends to be a bit schizo ('90s alt rock hits mixed with '80s hip-hop). This place is small, so reserve your table at least three days in advance.

The people behind Joe Beef have expanded their presence on Notre-Dame Street West by opening the market-driven Italian spot Liverpool House (2007) and McKiernan, a small luncheonette and wine bar (2008). McKiernan is where hip Montréalers go for a Saturday brunch of portobello mushroom burgers, flapjacks, or egg sandwiches with house-made bacon. If there's a long wait for one of the eight tables (and there probably will be), pop into some of the antique shops that line Notre-Dame West or take a turn around nearby Atwater Market.—Updated by Danielle Contray

Joe Beef: Open Tuesdays through Saturdays 6:30 pm to close.

McKiernan: Open Tuesdays 11 am to 3 pm, Wednesdays through Saturdays 11 am to 3 pm and 6:30 pm to close.

L'Abattoir
217 Carrall Street
Gastown
Vancouver , British Columbia
Canada V6B 2J2
Tel: 604 568 1701
www.labattoir.ca

Manhattan has its Meatpacking District, Vancouver's Gastown has Blood Alley. It's named for the buckets of blood spilled on cobblestones by butchers who ran businesses around the turn of the century, when payday muggings and robberies were commonplace. Today it attracts club-kid hip restaurants, bars, and boutiques that cozy up to decaying brick and restored post-and-beam timber ceilings. L'Abattoir plays on the butcher theme in name only—the food here is contemporary and not as meat-centric as one might think. The downstairs bar is small and cold even though it nuzzles up to the kitchen, but it warms up quickly when people waiting for tables begin to gather. Upstairs, the main dining room mixes modern with rustic-chic—a glassed-in courtyard with a chandelier of sinewy driftwood and whitewashed brickwork that plays off ornate tiling. Lee Cooper's imaginative menu is chock-full of creative pairings and intriguing preparations, like the steelhead trout ravioli, raw Pacific oysters with asparagus strudels, rabbit cannelloni, scallop and oxtail dumplings, or roasted flank steak with rich sweetbreads and charred onion.

Open nightly 5:30 to 10 pm, bar open to midnight.

L'Express
3927 St. Denis Street
Plateau
Montréal , Québec
Canada H2W 2M4

Located in the heart of the Plateau on Rue Saint Denis, this is the quintessential French bistro, purring authenticity with its zinc counters, burgundy walls, and checkered floor. The food is nothing new, but it's all done well: grilled salmon on a bed of spinach, a mean steak frites, beef marrow served in large bones. Squint and you're in Paris. The room, often filled with local entertainers and politicians, is always crackling with energy—making you feel that you're among the crème de la crème of Québecois culture. Even better, L'Express is open from breakfast until 2 a.m. every day.

Laurie Raphaël
117 Rue Dalhousie
Québec City , Québec
Canada G1K 9C8
Tel: 418 692 4555
www.laurieraphael.com

Dinner at this fabulous restaurant is très expensive, but Chef Daniel Vézina is a local star, and the inventive menu emphasizes fresh ingredients: Roasted leg of venison with juniper berry and cranberry sauce is a typical entrée. The spare, elegant restaurant features pieces by local woodworkers, ceramists, and glassmakers. An adjoining workshop hosts cooking classes; the boutique sells Québec-made tableware. Word to the wise: Skip the outdoor terrace, which is marred by heavy street traffic.

Lunch Tuesday through Friday 11:30 am to 2 pm; dinner Tuesday through Saturday 5:30 to 10 pm.

Le Café du Monde
84 Rue Dalhousie
Québec City , Québec
G1K 4B2
Tel: 418 692 4455
www.lecafedumonde.com

A happy-go-lucky spot in the Old Port, just off the banks of the St. Lawrence, Café du Monde has tinkling glasses hanging from the circular bar and white-aproned servers merrily whirling about, lending it the feel of a carnival space. It's sizable, with stairs leading up to a big dining room with old-fashioned tile floors and tables draped in white. It attracts a mostly local crowd of regulars but newcomers are welcomed (no Parisian-style attitude here), and the menu is as fun and easygoing as the rest of the place. The food is superb and focused squarely on bistro fare: duck confit, beef tartare, sweetbreads, roasted lamb knuckles, and cassoulet.

Open Monday through Friday 11:30 am to 11 pm, Saturday and Sunday 9:30 am to 11 pm.

Le Champlain
Fairmont Le Château Frontenac
1 Rue de Carrières
Québec City , Québec
Canada G1R 4P5
Tel: 418 266 3905
www.fairmont.com/frontenac/GuestServices/Restaurants/LeChamplain.htm

Chef Jean Soulard was the first Canadian to receive the prestigious Maître Cuisinier de France award. Soulard has long been a proponent of regional foods, and he sources herbs from his own garden on the sixth-floor terrace of the famous Fairmont castle, which has some of the best views in Québec City. Standout dishes include fresh scallops with honey, and a pheasant dish with truffle oil and pomegranate sauce. Incongruously (some would say annoyingly) for such an upscale restaurant, the servers wear 16th-century period dress. Luckily, guests will enjoy the view from the tall windows overlooking the St. Lawrence River. Book ahead for the popular Sunday brunch, or pop in for the traditional afternoon tea (served Thursday to Saturday, 1:30–3:30).

Brunch Sundays 10 am to 2 pm, dinner daily 6 to 10 pm.

Le Charbon Steakhouse
450 Gare du Palais
Québec City , Québec
Canada G1K 3X2
Tel: 418 522 0133
www.charbonsteakhouse.com

If you crave a big hunk of grilled protein, this is your restaurant, where seafood and steaks are cooked over maple charcoal. The excellent meat (the restaurant has its own butcher) is simply prepared, while fish dishes are a little more elaborate: salmon fillet on a corn cake with wilted spinach, poached tomatoes, and cilantro oil. Unlike many steakhouses, Le Charbon does not let you down at dessert. The options include a Mascarpone cheesecake or a delicious molten chocolate cake with orange confit. The restaurant is housed in the old Gare du Palais—the train station—and is a favorite with local businessmen and politicos.

Lunch Monday through Friday 11:30 am to 2:30 pm. Dinner Sunday through Wednesday 5 to 10:30 pm, Thursday through Saturday 5 to 11 pm.

Lee
603 King Street W.
Toronto , Ontario
Canada M5V 1M5
Tel: 416 504 7867
www.susur.com/lee

Susur Lee easily ranks as Toronto's biggest celebrity chef, and some locals grumble that he has been distracted by his growing name and stateside ventures. But Lee, the chef's buzzing culinary landmark on King West, is good enough to quiet any criticism. The perennially crammed dining room, brightened by a whimsical screen printed with roosting canaries, is all informal good cheer. Yet the casual vibe doesn't disguise some very serious food, from a signature Singaporean slaw to a caramelized black cod. The newest stand-out dish: a fresh ground green-curry chicken that Lee perfected on the Top Chef Masters competition.—Raphael Kadushin

Open Mondays through Fridays 11:30 am to 2:30 pm and 5:30 to 11:30 pm, Saturdays 5:30 to 11:30 pm.

Legendary Noodle House
1074 Denman Street
West End
Vancouver , British Columbia
Canada V6G 2M8
Tel: 604 669 8551

Okay, "legendary" may be pushing it a bit, but the huge, cheap bowls of steaming noodles at this cozy Chinese hole-in-the-wall in the West End are more than a little addictive. The decor and food lean toward rustic; amazingly, almost all of the noodle dishes are hand-pulled to order by cooks who manipulate large balls of dough at warp speed, spinning and twirling until lo (ropes of fresh noodles) are produced. These are quickly boiled and then topped with flavorful broths enriched with cilantro, garlic-spiked lamb shanks, or chicken. You'll find no better remedy for a cold—or a hangover—in the city. Finish with a glass of the soothing flower- and wolfberry-infused house tea that aids digestion. Service can be absentminded, but that's part of the charm.—Kasey Wilson

Open Mondays through Thursdays noon to 9 pm, Fridays through Sundays 11 am to 10 pm.

Leméac
1045 Laurier Street W.
Outremont
Montréal , Québec
Canada H2V 2L1
Tel: 514 270 0999
www.restaurantlemeac.com

Montréal's Outremont neighborhood is full of French expats, so it's no surprise that it's also home to one of the city's best bistros. Located among the tony boutiques on Rue Laurier, Leméac has the sort of dark wood–paneled bar with red leather stools and tables draped in white cloths that you'd expect to find in Paris. There's also an atrium that's heated during the long, cold Québec winter. The menu is packed with French bistro classics like steak frites, escargots, and duck confit, and the extensive wine list is heavy on the Bordeaux. Leméac is busy from open to close, but the time to go is after 10 pm, when you'll pay just $22 for an appetizer and an entrée. And the late-night menu includes everything you would have ordered, anyway.—Danielle Contray

Open Mondays through Fridays noon to midnight, Saturdays and Sundays 10 am to midnight.

Lift Bar & Grill
333 Menchion Mews
Downtown
Vancouver , British Columbia
Canada V6G 3H5
Tel: 604 689 5438
www.liftbarandgrill.com

Set right on the downtown seawall, super-modern Lift has the best views in the city through its enormous walls of glass (which prop open like French doors in the summer to let in the breeze). Diners near the windows get to look out over Coal Harbour, Stanley Park, and the North Shore mountains; so do those sitting on the fireplace-warmed roof terrace. Once the sun goes down, the backlit bar, softly glowing aquarium, and two flat-screen TVs create a lounge-y backdrop for enjoying the menu of eclectic small plates—they call them "whet plates" here. Options include classic moules frites, panko-crusted calamari, and a trio of wild salmon—gravlax, smoked with blini, and sockeye tartare.

Open Mondays through Fridays 11:30 am to midnight, Saturdays and Sundays 11 am to midnight.

Lizard Creek
5346 Highline Dr.
Fernie , British Columbia
Canada
Tel: 250 423 2057
www.lizardcreek.com

Set inside the Lizard Creek Lodge, this is one of Fernie's fanciest restaurants, serving such creations as pan-seared venison with scallops in a red currant and Merlot reduction. Ask to sit near the huge stone fireplace and try a local Okanagan Valley wine with your food. A casual menu, served in the lounge, is also available. Skip the burgers and club sandwiches in favor of the divine fondue—done in classic Swiss style with Gruyère, white wine, and kirsch. The Toblerone chocolate fondue is a romantic treat for two. Reservations are recommended.

Hotel Photo
Market by Jean-Georges
Shangri-La Hotel
1128 W. Georgia Street
Downtown
Vancouver , British Columbia
Canada V6E 0A8
Tel: 604 695 1115
www.shangri-la.com/en/property/vancouver/shangrila/dining/restaurant/market

The prices have crept up since Jean Georges Vongerichten first opened Market at the Shangri-La Hotel in 2009. Chefs come and go, but one of Jean Georges' considerable talents is the ability to have cooks execute his signatures without flaw: black truffle and Fontina pizza, crispy Parmesan-crusted organic chicken, soy-glazed short ribs with apple-jalapeño purée, and Pavlova with passion fruit sorbet. In the understated dining room, the tables are comfortably spaced and the taupe and gray palette is elegant in its restraint. Entrées range from $18 for a burger with black truffle dressing to a $42 lobster dish; the wine list, which emphasizes British Columbia wines, is reasonably priced. But there's no compromise here, in either the quality of ingredients or the professionalism of the staff. The restaurant also comprises the Market Bar, where ace bartender Jay Jones shakes things up to go with light snacks.—Kasey Wilson

Open Mondays through Sundays 7 am to 2:30 pm and 5:30 to 10:30 pm, Sunday brunch 11:30 am to 3 pm. Market Bar Sunday to Wednesday 11:30 am to midnight, Thursday to Saturday 11:30 am to 1 am.

Markets
Montréal , Québec
Canada
Tel: 514 937 7754
www.marchespublics-mtl.com

Montréal's two main open-air markets—filled with local products and seasonal produce, from crisp fiddleheads to heirloom tomatoes to cured hams—are Jean-Talon, located in Little Italy (7070 Henri-Julien St.) and Atwater, situated on the West side of town, in St. Henri (138 Atwater Ave.). Of course, spring and summer are the best times to visit, but both markets remain open indoors during the winter months (Atwater's interior is much more extensive). If the hanging meats, piles of gourds, and fragrant cheeses make you hungry, head to Atwater's inexpensive Pizz'ancora for a bite of pizza (514-935-0333) or Jean-Talon's Boucherie Jos & Basile for a calzone (514-274-6358).

Melissa's
218 Lynx Street
Banff , Alberta
Canada T1L 1A9
Tel: 403 762 5511
www.melissasrestaurant.com

For rib-sticking chow, Melissa's is a local favorite and venerated landmark (its Tudor exterior and wood interior, dating to 1928, qualify it as a Banff Heritage Building). Melissa's serves from dawn past dusk, usually to a mixed crowd of locals and tourists, but families and hangover victims both seem to agree: Breakfast's the thing. Our choice? The apple pancakes: crisp on the outside, tender inside, with a fine balance of apple flavor, cinnamon, and fluffy grain.

Open daily from 7 am to 10 pm.

Moguls Coffee House
202-4208 Village Square
Whistler , British Columbia
Canada
Tel: 604 932 4845

Just four hours north of Seattle, Whistler Village suffers two Starbucks within a five-minute walk of each other. Blessedly, it still has room for a community beanery like Moguls. Adorned with local art and staffed with attractive young hippies, Moguls feels more organic Whistler than franchised Seattle—plus the beans come from Canterbury Coffee in Vancouver. Try the cinnamon rolls and panini-grilled breakfast wraps. Sister spot Gone Village Eatery next door (604-938-1957) has homemade organic soups and breads.

Muk-a-Muk Bistro & Lounge
Juniper Hotel
1 Juniper Way
Banff , Alberta
Canada T1L 1E1
Tel: 403 763 6205
www.thejuniper.com

Delivering fresh fish, fowl, game, and meat quickly to its polished-steel tables, Muk-a-Muk is named for an early native word meaning "food" or "feast." No question, it's mountain food in that it's hearty, but there's fun flair here, too. For instance, the bison ribs are braised in dark ale and blueberries, and the pan-seared wild salmon is served with a cranberry-orange butter sauce and salt-cod potato cakes. If you've really had a hard day on the mountain, an ideal protein-carb mix might be the penne with bison whiskey sausage.

Open daily 7:30 am to 10 pm.

Nota Bene
180 Queen Street W.
Toronto , Ontario
Canada M5V 3X3
Tel: 416 977 6400
www.notabenerestaurant.com

Nota Bene counters its location on the edge of Toronto's very funky Queen Street neighborhood with a coolly composed, whitewashed dining room hung with bright, abstract paintings. Suits doing business deals fill the olive green banquettes at lunchtime, and give way to dressy, theater-going couples in the evening. Executive chef David Lee knows how to satisfy the crowd with quietly luxe dishes punctuated by Canadian flavors. The softshell crab salad is reason enough to come. So are the charred wild Digby sea scallops, a Stilton beef-brisket burger, and a sticky toffee pudding that would feel at home in the Cotswolds.—Raphael Kadushin

Open Mondays through Fridays 11:30 am to 2:30 pm and 5 to 11 pm, Saturdays 5 to 11 pm.

The Old Elevator Restaurant
291 1st Ave.
Fernie , British Columbia
Canada
Tel: 250 423 7115
www.oldelevator.com

Set in a renovated 1908 grain-feed store (the original lift and loft remain), the Old Elevator features stained-glass windows that tint the mountain views. The vaguely French menu includes steak, chicken, seafood, and pastas—and uses the phrase "pan-seared" a lot. For an upscale restaurant, dishes are refreshingly simple. Try the New York strip loin with green peppercorn sauce, or the Pacific king salmon with lobster butter. The cozy fireside lounge is a great place to enjoy an aperitif before dinner.

Panache
8 Rue Saint-Antoine
Québec City , Québec
G1K 4C9
Tel: 888 692 2211 (toll-free)
Tel: 418 692 2211
www.saint-antoine.com

This is the Auberge Saint-Antoine's Relais & Châteaux restaurant, and it lives up to great expectations. The menu is a carefully curated list of French and Québecois dishes with a good sampling of traditional stalwarts, like a foie gras appetizer and an entrée of pan-roasted venison soaked in truffle sauce. Chef François Blais also has a way with lighter dishes: Look for marinated sea scallops on the half shell, a lobster and lentil terrine, and wild sea bass with pine nuts and olive oil. Though it's located in a former warehouse, the space feels intimate, with naturally burnished wood beams and columns glowing under the flicker of the glass-encased fireplace. Dinner runs around $100 per person; for a less expensive option, sit at the small bar and order the diverse local cheese plate.

Breakfast Monday through Friday 6:30 to 10:30 am, Saturday and Sunday 7 to 11 am. Lunch Monday to Friday only, 11:30 am to 2 pm. Dinner daily 6 to 10 pm.

Rangoli Grill
1488 W. 11th Avenue
South Granville
Vancouver , British Columbia
Canada V6H 1L1
Tel: 604 736 6664
www.vijs.ca

Gregarious owner Vikram Vij and wife Meeru are best known for their fabulous, dinner-only, reservations-not-accepted Vij's restaurant. By all means try to squeeze in there; the lamb popsicles are by themselves worth the wait (you can usually be seated pretty quickly if you arrive around 9 or 9:30 pm). But the Rangoli Grill, their more casual annex next door, is a much easier way to try some of Vij's scrumptious subcontinental food. Grab a table in the unassuming, diner-style room and order such seasonal dishes as Bengali tilapia curry or jackfruit paratha with lentil dumplings and spiced yogurt. If you're worried about late-night cravings for more or plan to spend an evening in your hotel room, Rangoli has a counter selling upscale takeout, including curries, chutneys, cumin rice, chapati, and naan. There's even a special dessert to go: Chocolate Sparkle cookies developed by Vancouver's leading chocolatier Thomas Haas and flavored with Vikram's own garam masala spice blend.—Kasey Wilson

Vij's opens for dinner daily at 5:30 pm. Rangoli opens daily 11 am to 10 pm.

The Royal Hotel's Royal Dining
501 1st Ave.
Fernie , British Columbia
Canada
Tel: 250 423 7743
www.fernieroyalhotel.com/finedining.htm

For those who like their comfort food with a creative twist, chef Paul MacNish dishes up contemporary Australian fare in this upscale hotel restaurant, located in the historic downtown. Try his Alberta beef fillet with crushed potatoes, wild mushroom marmalade, spinach, and a red winejus. A lighter choice is the lime-cured Atlantic salmon with a soy beurre blanc. The excellent desserts include a honey and saffron crème brûlée with palm-sugar biscuits. The stately dining room is furnished in early 1900s style, with china-filled wooden cabinets and elaborate window treatments.

Sachi Sushi
Summit Lodge & Spa
106-4359 Main Street
Whistler , British Columbia
Canada
Tel: 604 935 5649

A couple of Sachi's owners came from Sushi Village, an iconic restaurant in the heart of Whistler. But since Sushi Village has become such a ridiculous scene—recent diners were interrupted by a Magnum P.I. look-alike party—many raw fish aficionados have moved to the quieter (and less expensive) Sachi, located inside the Summit Lodge in Village North, which projects a much more Zen atmosphere. Don't miss Sachi's sablefish or mango rolls.

Closed May and October.

Hotel Photo
Salt
45 Blood Alley
Gastown
Vancouver , British Columbia
Canada V6B 1C7
Tel: 604 633 1912
www.salttastingroom.com

Located in a scuzzy back alley in Gastown, Salt Tasting Room is an unlikely destination on Vancouver's culinary map. But this wine bar is a popular spot with local foodies, particularly chefs and kitchen crews. The room, with its zinc-topped bar, communal seating, and festive air, is dominated by a chalkboard listing local and international cheeses and cured meats, with a focus on excellent local producers like Granville Island's Oyama Meats. Order a trio of cheese and charcuterie, elevated with specialty sweet and lively condiments (honeycomb, grainy Guinness mustard, cipollini onions, Marcona almonds), and pair it with appealing sherries and (mostly red) wines; tasting flights educate the indecisive. The portions are small, so you might want to add an extra trio.—Kasey Wilson

Open daily noon to midnight.

Hotel Photo
The Sandbar
Creekhouse No. 9
1535 Johnston Street
Granville Island
Vancouver , British Columbia
Canada V6H 3R9
Tel: 604 669 9030
www.vancouverdine.com/sandbar

The place to be at the Sandbar, a boisterous 300-seat Granville Island seafood spot, is the rooftop patio. Literally tucked beneath the Granville Bridge, it has gorgeous views of the city, plus heat lamps, a roaring fireplace, and blankets to wrap up in during the winter. No reservations are accepted on the roof, so if you can't come early to get a spot, grab a table in the beamed, lodgelike indoor dining room. Here, a crowd of tourists and locals tucks into small plates like crispy wok-fried squid and grilled scallop kebabs, which are admittedly average at best. Better bets include lobster pulled live from the tank, fresh-harvested mussels, and the house specialty: salmon fillet baked on a cedar plank and glazed with brown sugar, soy, and lemon. But the best-kept secret is the made-to-order sushi by Chef Hoshi, a contemporary of Tojo's, where the prices start at $2.50.—Kasey Wilson

Open Sundays through Thursdays 11:30 am to midnight, Fridays and Saturdays 11:30 am to 1 am.

Schwartz's Charcuterie Hebraïque
3895 St. Laurent Boulevard
Plateau
Montréal , Québec
Canada H2W 1X9
Tel: 514 842 4813
www.schwartzsdeli.com

This, Canada's oldest deli, is Montréal's answer to Katz's, and just as essential a stop. Whereas the New York joint serves pastrami, this place on "The Main" specializes in pastrami's close relation, the local Jewish classic: smoked meat. Schwartz's takes great pride in the "secret blend" of herbs and spices it uses in smoking its beef brisket and in its venerable history (it was founded in 1928 by Romanian immigrant Reuben Schwartz). Order up a side of pickles, fries, or slaw to round out your meal. Of course, you could get a turkey sandwich or a steak instead, but that's not why you're here—nor are you here for the ambience, which can best be described as efficient.

Southern Accent
595 Markham Street
Toronto , Ontario
Canada M6G 2L7
Tel: 416 536 3211
www.southernaccent.com

Set in a refurbished Victorian row house, Southern Accent serves hearty Cajun, Creole, and soul food. Visit on Thursdays between 8 and 10 in order to stomp your feet to live Cajun music from the band, Swamperella. Try a Cajun martini made from jalapeno-infused Gordon's gin and save room for the N'awlins Bread Pudding with Wild Turkey bourbon sauce. Follow your dinner with a reading from the resident psychic, available from 7 p.m.

Closed Mondays.

Stone Peak Restaurant and Lounge
Overlander Mountain Lodge
Yellowhead Highway (Highway 16)
Hinton , Alberta
Canada T7V 1X5
Tel: 780 866 2330
www.overlandermountainlodge.com

The secluded Overlander Mountain Lodge is a 30-minute drive from Jasper, but the homey log cabin–like setting, panoramic views of the Rockies, and an unexpectedly elaborate menu make it worth the trip. Wild salmon is poached in a chai reduction and doused with red-pepper coulis; truffles and foie gras garnish the grilled bison tenderloin; and free-range chicken is stuffed with local ostrich and served over gingered watermelon with cilantro dressing and beurre blanc. In summer, request a table on the patio.

Closed Sundays and Mondays October through May.

Tapeo Bar à Tapas
511 Villeray Street
Villeray
Montréal , Québec
Canada H2R 1H5
Tel: 514 495 1999
www.restotapeo.com

This tiny tapas joint, in the out-of-the-way Villeray neighborhood, is a food-lover's dream—the place where locals bring out-of-town friends to impress them (and Gourmet editor-in-chief Ruth Reichl's favorite restaurant in the city). The broccoli rabe with garlic (cost, $5!) is so crisp and flavorful, it's awe-inspiring. Some dishes, such as sardine fillets with fennel, rival plates you might taste at Chez Panisse. Others, like chorizo or gambas a la plancha, combine pristine ingredients with supremely confident preparation so that they seem straight out of an Andalusian eatery. The wine list is simple, well-priced (the most expensive bottle is $100), and full of specialties that you've been trying to find for years. A must visit.

Closed Sundays and Mondays. No lunch on Saturdays.

Thierry Chocolaterie Patisserie Cafe
1059 Alberni Street
Downtown
Vancouver , British Columbia
Canada V6B 2J2
Tel: 604 608 6870
www.thierrychocolates.com

When it comes to classic European pastry chefs, Vancouver's got some of the best. Thierry Busset, an accommodating Frenchman, led the pastry programs at CinCin and West before opening Thierry. He has won over the restaurant crowd with this bustling and casual café showcasing spectacular confections and velvety ice creams and sorbets. An eye-filling assortment of exquisitely executed macarons come in classic and exotic flavors like passion fruit, lime, chestnut, cranberry, coffee, and chocolate-pistachio. Besides pastries and chocolates, there are Spanish bocadillo-style sandwiches prepared by CinCin chef Todd Howard. Beverages include the Thierry espresso blend and spiked teas and coffee from the licensed full-service bar. For all-around atmosphere inside and out, there's no better place to refuel.—Kasey Wilson

Open Mondays through Fridays 7 am to midnight, Saturdays, Sundays, and statutory holidays 9 am to midnight.

Toast
17 Rue Sault-au-Matelot
Québec City , Québec
Canada G1K 3Y7
Tel: 418 692 1334
www.restauranttoast.com

If the weather isn't cooperating, duck inside this slightly scrunched space within Old Port's Le Priori hotel; in summer, ask instead for a seat in the courtyard. Out of an oh-so-tiny kitchen in the back, co-owner and chef Christian Lemelin turns out expert renditions of grilled rib eye, red tuna, and lamb shank. Co-owner and chef Christian Lemelin's dishes are modern but not overstylized takes on continental classics. Leave room for one of pastry chef Nancy Boivin's playful creations: Her apple spiced cake is served with a delectable sour vanilla ice cream.

Lunch Sunday to Friday 11 am to 2:30 pm; dinner daily 6 pm to 11 pm.

Hotel Photo
Tojo's
1133 West Broadway
South Granville
Vancouver , British Columbia
Canada V6H 1G1
Tel: 604 872 8050
www.tojos.com

Hands-down the best sushi restaurant in Vancouver, Tojo's (named for owner/chef Hidekazu Tojo, known here as "Tojo-san") occupies a misleadingly industrial-looking space. The stark blue walls, warehouse-high ceilings, and enormous open kitchen are almost antithetical to the delicate, meltingly subtle dishes served here. The menu of sushi rolls includes some deliciously local variations: The Great B.C. roll pairs barbecued salmon skin with cucumber slices, while the Pacific Northwest roll incorporates real crabmeat, scallops, avocado, and herring roe. Of the sashimi choices, the Tai Usuzukuri (thin slices of red snapper served with spicy daikon radish and ponzu sauce) is top-notch. To truly taste Tojo-san's culinary genius, though, reserve a seat at the omakase bar, where menus are banned. You'll discuss your likes and dislikes, any allergies, and budget ($80 and up) with the chef, who will then surprise you with an array of sashimi, sushi, and cooked dishes. The wine list needs some work, which may be why cold Masukagami sake is the best bottle to order.—Kasey Wilson

Opens Mondays through Saturdays 5 pm till close.

Toqué!
900 Jean-Paul Riopelle Place
Quartier International
Montréal , Québec
Canada H2Z 2B2
Tel: 514 499 2084
www.restaurant-toque.com

Despite the French name of this eatery, the lineage of Normand Laprise's cuisine is strictly Berkeley, which means the veneration of local ingredients, many from Québec). Seared razor clams with marinated shiitakes and roasted salsify, guinea fowl with a turnip galette, and roast leg and braised flank of suckling pig with chanterelles and puréed chervil root (yes, root) are typical here. Laprise has been garnering raves from all over since 1993, so you need to book a weekend dinner a month in advance: Toqué moved to the Quartier International from Saint Denis Street in 2004, yet its roomy new dining room (done up in glass, wood, and steel with burgundy upholstery) is as packed as ever.

Closed Sundays and Mondays.

Walliser Stube
Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise
111 Lake Louise Drive
Lake Louise , Alberta
Canada T0L 1E0
Tel: 403 522 3511

The glacial cirque surrounding Lake Louise has attracted Swiss guides since the early 1900s, so a Swiss heritage restaurant such as the Walliser Stube actually makes more sense than it might at first blush. It serves a variety of fondues, including venison, beef, and bison, along with the standard cheese and chocolate versions. Located inside the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, there's something unmistakably cheery about coming in from the snow to a bubbling pot of delicious stickiness.

Dinner nightly 6 to 11 pm.

Hotel Photo
West Restaurant & Bar
2881 Granville Street
South Granville
Vancouver , British Columbia
Canada V6H 3J4
Tel: 604 738 8938
www.westrestaurant.com

West's menu changes with the seasons to highlight the finest sustainable ingredients the West Coast has to offer. Chef Quang Dang's contemporary interpretation of classic dishes is characterized by fresh, herbaceous notes with Asian influences from his Scottish–Vietnamese heritage. Order à la carte or indulge in one of three six-course tasting menus. Winter selections may include thyme-marinated grilled Thiessen Farm quail with chanterelle tortellini, Brussels sprouts, and sherry vinaigrette. Dang's single-ingredient Elements menu is ideal for a casual shared-plates nosh; Asian-style beef tartare with a hint of cilantro is a standout. Save room for dessert—celebrated pastry chef Rhonda Viani's sweet creations are not to be missed. The artfully elegant room features a Werner Forster mirrored sculpture winding across the ceiling and an impressive temperature-controlled wine wall housing 5,000 bottles. The two intimate chef's table banquettes offer prime seating for watching Dang and his brigade in action.—Kasey Wilson

Open daily 11:30 am to 2:30 pm and 5:30 to 11 pm, Sunday brunch 11 am to 2:30 pm.

Zog's Dogs
4340 Sundial Crescent
Whistler , British Columbia
Canada
Tel: 604 938 6644

Situated next to Blackcomb's gondola, this hot-dog stand answers the hungry snowboarder's call for "Dogs, Fries, and Tails." (Tails are "beaver tails," a sweet fried pastry.) Zog's serves Whistler's best poutine, a uniquely French-Canadian snack blending fries, cheese curds, and gravy. It's a health-food thing.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.