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Tojos in Vancouver
Photograph: LEILA KWOK, Courtesy Tojos

The best restaurants in Canada

See why these mouth-watering picks made our list of the best restaurants in Canada.

Written by Lydia Hrycko (Time Out) in association with Visa
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While undeniably one of life’s hardest questions, choosing the best restaurants in Canada, to us, was highlighting the spots that are a pleasing balance of unforgettable culinary moments, comfortable atmosphere, and impeccable service. More than just fine dining, this year’s list is a mix of the most well-loved spots from coast to coast—from longstanding landmarks that consistently serve up iconic regional dishes to snug neighbourhood gems treasured by locals and new on-the-scene innovators elevating the profile of Canadian cuisine. Peruse our list of the 20 best restaurants in Canada in 2022 and see why these mouth-watering picks are Canadian foodie staples.

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The best restaurants in Canada

Fortune Bay

A once-in-a-lifetime dining experience that starts with a tour of the farm, followed by an oyster and cocktail hour that culminates in a multi-course farm-to-table feast. A meal here is a truly exquisite way to experience the terroir of Prince Edward Island. The feast is a seasonal celebration, highlighting the freshest produce and local livestock and seafood in an evening that breathes new life into farm-to-table dining.

Toronto

Alo, led by chef and owner Patrick Kriss, has topped nearly every best restaurant list and we’d be remiss to leave this contemporary French restaurant off our list. Two dining services allow guests to choose from a blind tasting menu or enjoy the famed cuisine a la carte. Expect an unforgettable and beautifully composed tasting menu that’s surprisingly generous in portions, all made with seasonal ingredients. We recommend booking in before its Michelin star is inevitably announced this fall.

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Vancouver

In a city known for fresh seafood and incredible sushi, Tojo’s is hailed by many as Vancouver’s best. The restaurant’s namesake Master chef Tojo is an institution. He’s been serving up his famed, fresh omakase meals and à la carte sushi to patrons for 30 years.

Calgary

As the name would suggest, this is a eight-seat, high-concept restaurant by chef Darren MacLean that’s only open three nights a week. If you’re lucky enough to get a reservation at this kitchen bar, expect a tasting menu that is a love letter to Canadian cuisine and ingredients. More than just a meal, dining at Eight is a conversational, interactive experience.

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Quebec City

Head into this old-school sugar shack for a taste of authentic Quebecois cuisine. You’ll be met with big portions and surprisingly fast service at this large must-try spot. It’s a modern family-friendly take on traditional French-Canadian food. Brunch is a favourite and the perfect excuse to try some local maple syrup. For a fun food experience, try your hand at making your own maple taffy in snow.

Montreal

The TimeOut pick for best Montreal restaurant in 2022, this Mile End restaurant has a surprisingly affordable tasting menu (swapped out quarterly) that is vegetable-forward. Presentation and flavour both shine with truly innovative dishes that will surprise and delight all your senses.

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Vancouver

This restaurant is a local legend. With its perpetual lineup, the family-run Chinatown staple offers up generous portions of Cambodian and Vietnamese food that’s cooked with love. Bring a large group and order as many dishes as your stomachs will allow (but don’t miss the chicken wings!).

Dartmouth

This award-winning seafood joint has been cranking out the freshest Atlantic seafood for over 50 years. The fish and chips are a classic with locals and tourists alike for good reason. Big, satisfying portions and quick service make this east coast institution a bucket list destination for any seafood lover.

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Halifax

This intimate and vibey family-run restaurant specializes in fresh seafood and house-made pasta. A refined menu and attentive service make every meal at Bar Kismet unforgettable. Plus, the bar is shaking up some truly inventive cocktails and a sizable wine list full of unique bottles that offer the perfect accompaniment to your meal.

Ottawa

Ottawa’s oldest vegetarian restaurant that serves up menu items made from fresh farm produce. This Main Street establishment has an interesting rotation of seasonal vegetarian dishes (plus vegan and gluten-free options) that are dished up buffet-style and paid by weight. Rarely have we seen a buffet-style restaurant so fresh and health-forward. The return to their serve yourself plates is a welcome change following Covid restrictions.

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Toronto

Toronto’s hottest new ticket, this bustling uptown spot from chefs David Schwartz and David Chong has a careful and complex menu of sharing plates inspired by the diverse regions of China. Poetic and balanced, this is truly elevated Chinese cuisine. Add in some great service and a cocktail list that packs a punch, and Mimi is a recipe for success in Toronto’s competitive food scene.

Calgary 

Chef Jinhee Lee elevates comforting snack foods by infusing them with the flavours from her childhood in Korea, from beef bulgogi tacos to buldak pizza. The real star is the Korean fried chicken, available in four flavours, which is often reviewed as the best in the city.

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Vancouver

Visit this Main Street restaurant for elevated plant-based dining, including a much-loved weekend brunch that’s full of surprising globally-inspired dishes like a savoury mushroom waffle or okonomiyaki. Vegetables take center stage with chef Devon Latte’s uniquely curated menu that’s worth a visit for vegans, carnivores, and everyone in between.

Calgary

This Mexican cantina offers up mezcal-forward cocktails and authentic Latin cuisine that is worth the wait (and you should expect one at this hip spot!). Expect a warm and lively atmosphere that’s as spirited as their cocktails, and don’t miss the pork belly tacos.

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Winnipeg

The Asian-inspired fusion tasting menu at Deer + Almond make upscale dining unpretentious. Make reservations ahead or take your chance on the bar seating, which is always first come first serve. You can expect spectacular and unexpected tapas as well as thoughtful wine pairings from Mandel Hitzer’s trendy spot.

Regina

Unassuming and hearty, locals come often to this family-friendly restaurant that serves up Greek fare including meaty mains like a tender filet mignon or perfectly-seasoned chicken souvlaki. It’s a great and unfussy spot for a steak dinner or Greek mezze, with an atmosphere that’s suited to special occasions or family outings.

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St John’s

Nose-to-tail dining, fresh oysters and house-cured meats are the focus at this eclectic and easygoing bistro that’s plating up meals from breakfast to dinner. Chinched is casual and eclectic and allows locally sourced meat and seafood to shine on a menu that is a carnivore’s dream.

Halifax

Nosh on creative takes of classic brunch dishes at this cozy one-room resto. For dinner, enjoy seasonally inspired meals made with fresh local ingredients from seafood to Canadian beef. Guests have come to expect beautifully plated dishes, east coast hospitality and a warm atmosphere at this snug casual-chic bistro.

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Ottawa

Steven and Jenn Wall are the duo behind this open kitchen restaurant featuring a raw bar and bright, carefully crafted dinner dishes made with sustainable ingredients. It’s the perfect balance of warm and hip, with personalized touches that make dining here feel like you are with family and friends.

Montreal

Still relatively new to the famed Montreal food scene, this neighbourhood gem has been quietly making splashes since opening in 2019. The menu is an intriguing fusion of Argentinian, Mediterranean and classic Quebecois cuisine. Beba is a decidedly hip local spot to impress your dinner guests with its down-to-earth atmosphere and upscale casual menu. Don’t miss the empanadas!

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