Share on Facebook

10 Canadian Restaurants Worth Splurging On

Reservations are recommended – and a topped-up savings account, too – for these top picks for gourmet dining from coast to coast.

1 / 10

1. Hawksworth, Vancouver

Named restaurant of the year in 2012 by Maclean’s magazine, Hawksworth is the streetside jewel of Vancouver’s revamped Rosewood Hotel Georgia. Come for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner to sample chef David Hawksworth’s extensive menu; selections might include an appetizer of pan-seared scallops with green apple and sesame ($17), an entree of Pacific sablefish with pickled shiitake and soy-braised daikon ($38) or – if you feel like sharing – a 30 oz heritage Angus bone-in ribeye for $125. The seven-course seasonal tasting menu is $84 or $134 with wine pairings.

(Photo courtesy of Hawksworth)

2 / 10

2. Hashimoto, Toronto

At $200 per person for lunch and $300 for dinner – that’s before drinks, tax and gratuity, though it does include a tea ceremony – you’d be right to expect perfection at this home to Japanese chef Masaki Hashimoto, and you’ll get it, according to the Toronto Star’s Amy Pataki, who heaped praise upon her nine-course dinner, including such dishes as white squid topped with rhubarb juice and macerated cherry, grilled Wagyu strip loin and mini scoops of strawberry and matcha ice cream served alongside a jelly of cherries, red beans and – wait for it – gold shavings.

(Photo courtesy of Renee S. Suen/Flickr)

3 / 10

3. C Restaurant, Vancouver

It seems every major restaurant in BC’s largest city participates in Ocean Wise, the Vancouver Aquarium’s sustainable seafood identification program, and C was the one who started it all. Come here for locally sourced seafood and other ingredients prepped with flair by executive chef Lee Humphries. Dishes might include an appetizer of seared Qualicum Bay scallops ($19), a main of poached lobster with gnocchi ($38) or a seafood tower to share ($95); for a truly special occasion, splurge on “caviar with a conscience,” at $225 for one guest and $400 for two.

(Photo courtesy of

4 / 10

4. Bearfoot Bistro, Whistler

Choose your own adventure on this menu by executive chef Melissa Craig: create a three-course menu for $98, take the chef’s five-course selections for $168 and add the sommelier’s wine pairings for $138. To whet your appetite for dishes such as Iberico ham with grilled octopus and puffed farro or handmade pappardelle with white truffle, consider a visit to the Belvedere ice room, the coldest vodka-tasting room in the world; finish the night with one of the spectacular dessert selections by executive pastry chef Dominic Fortin, such as nitro ice cream prepared tableside and served wtih sundae toppings.

(Photo courtesy of Bearfoot Bistro)

5 / 10

5. Toqué!, Montreal

A stalwart of the city’s high-end dining scene, Toqué! continues to impress with the artistic cuisine of chef Normand Laprise, named chef of the year in 2012 by Maclean’s and author of a recently released cookbook named after the restaurant and published in both French and English. Come for the tasting menu or order off the menu to sample dishes such as a foie gras terrine with orange blossom brioche bread, clementine marmalade, argan oil and hazelnuts ($25) or a rack of suckling pig with pearl onions, farfalle pasta, garlic purée and anise sauce ($48).

(Photo courtesy of sygyzy/Flickr)

6 / 10

6. Canoe, Toronto

Even if it weren’t for the food, you’d want to come here for the view from the 54th floor of Toronto’s TD bank tower. Luckily, you don’t have to choose – Canoe is known as one of the city’s top restaurants. To best experience the work of chefs Anthony Walsh and John Horne, order the seven-course tasting menu ($100 or $150 with wine pairings), where dishes might include a braised Alberta lamb shank with preserved ratatouille and Guelph heirloom beans or P.E.I. halibut topped with juniper berries and gin custard.

(Photo courtesy of Renee S. Suen/Flickr)


7 / 10

7. Raymond’s, St. John’s

The regularly changing menu at this Newfoundland favourite takes its inspiration from the classic dishes of Atlantic Canada while making best use of the region’s produce from land and sea. Choose the five- ($100) or seven-course ($125) tasting menu with optional wine pairings ($55 and $75), or order à la carte, where picks might include freshly shucked East Coast oysters ($3.75 each, $42/dozen) or pan-roasted Arctic char with lobster, mussel, B.C. spot prawn and roasted polenta ($45).

(Photo courtesy of Raymond’s)

8 / 10

8. Eigensinn Farm, Singhampton, Ont.

A dining experience unlike any other, a visit to chef Michael Stadtländer’s rural restaurant involves a two-and-a-half-hour drive from Toronto and eight courses for $300, not including wine pairings – but if you ask reviewers, they’ll all say it’s worth it. Not so much farm-to-table dining as table-to-farm, the menu here makes best use of Ontario’s rich agricultural resources to create a set of seasonal dishes that are more than worth the trip.

(Photo courtesy of Valerie Howes)

9 / 10

9. Le Club Chasse et Peche, Montreal

A classic pick in Montreal fine dining, the “hunting and fishing club,” as the name translates, serves “Eclectic-Québécois fare” by chef Claude Pelletier. Recent weekly menu items have included oysters “with personality”; lamb with roasted grapes, cumin, pistachio and goat cheese ($38); and roasted duck with squash, beets, blood orange and spelt ($34). In summer, come for lunch to enjoy it on the terrace.

(Photo courtesy of Renee S. Suen/Flickr)

10 / 10

10. Teatro, Calgary

Ranked Calgary’s top restaurant for 2013 by city magazine Avenue, Teatro is right on trend with its efforts to source local ingredients as much as possible, even naming the farms they come from: Alberta beef from Northridge Farm, for instance, and goat cheese and yogurt from Fairwinds Farm. Bread is baked daily in-house, and the menu by executive chef John Michael MacNeill might include an appetizer of house-made charcuterie with mustard ($30) or a main of sous-vide quail with fois gras juice ($36). Order the eight-course chef’s tasting menu for $125 per person, with a $75 or $100 premium for wine pairings.

(Photo courtesy of Chealion/Flickr)