When you first make your way over the border into Canada, it can often become rather surprising to see so many different food chains that you might not be familiar with coming from the US.
Of course, there will always be some chains that you’ll recognize from home, so you definitely shouldn’t feel too lost.
It does mean that you now have a great chance to enjoy some of the many unique chains of restaurants that Canada is home to, so if you’re planning on making a trip to Canada at some point in the future, then you should definitely take note of some of the restaurants on the list in order to check them out whilst you’re there.
So, if you’re looking to try out some of the most popular Canadian restaurant chains whilst you visit, then here are the ones that you need to visit!
Popular Canadian Restaurants
Want to discover some of the most popular Canadian restaurants? Then keep reading onwards to find out which of these restaurants are people’s favorites, and what menu items are the most popular!
When it comes to our morning routine, it’s not unusual to find ourselves at somewhere like Starbucks or Dunkin’ for some delicious breakfast, as well as tasty coffee too.
However for those over the border in Canada, they have Tim Horton’s! They have a wonderful selection of different coffees available to help wake you up in the morning, but they also have a rather extensive food menu to choose from if you’re also eager to try out some Canadian breakfast items!
It might not be your first time seeing a Tim Horton’s though, since the chain became so popular in its home country, that it does have quite a few locations throughout the US too! So although you might struggle to find one in each of the 50 states across the US, there are a few locations dotted around the north.
For us, the must-try item from Tim Horton’s has to be the Boston Creme donuts, and pair it alongside your favorite coffee!
Honestly? Going to Canada and not trying poutine is a cultural crime, so if you’re planning on making your way to Canada at some point in the future then you should definitely add a visit to somewhere that serves poutine on your to-do list.
For us, one of the best places to visit for delicious poutine is definitely Harvey’s.
This popular national food typically consists of fries, which is then topped with thick gravy and cheese, as well as plenty of other toppings which you can customize to your liking.
Harvey’s menu doesn’t just start and end at poutine though, they also have chicken options, burgers, donuts, thick shakes, salad options, and even desserts too! Their popularity comes from the fact that they have something for almost everyone.
Our favorite item from Harvey’s is actually the side option called “frings”, which although might sound like a strange name at first, is actually a half and half serving of French fries and onion rings, which are both so tasty!
We also recommend trying out some of their shakes to accompany your meal because they’re simply irresistible.
For the Americans who have visited Canada and have sampled some of the food from Pizza Pizza, a lot of comparisons are initially drawn to Little Caesars.
There are definitely some comparisons to be made between the two, however, we’d argue that Pizza Pizza has some much more unique and delicious options available than Little Caesars does in the US!
If you’re not a meat eater, they even have some plant-based sandwiches, alongside some of their more popular options, such as their butter chicken pizza, delicious and fresh salads, and even some beer too! If you’re looking for an easy and tasty option for your weekend takeaway, then this is definitely one of the best options you can find.
So for those who are trying to cater to those with a wide variety of dietary requirements, then you should definitely check it out!
New York Fries
The fact that this popular Canadian restaurant chain has a US state in its name might confuse you at first, and what might be even more confusing is the fact that they also have some locations outside of Canada, but none of them are actually in the US at all! So, they definitely provide a unique culinary experience if you find yourself in one of their restaurants during your trip.
They focus predominantly on poutine and fries, with a whole variety of different toppings that you can add to your dish too, so if you have any specific cravings, then you should have no problem finding the toppings to satisfy them!
If you’re planning to take your poutine box home, then there is always the worry that the gravy will turn your fries mushy, but there is no concern, as New York Fries will provide you with the kit to create your poutine together yourself without ruining your fries.
Their hot dogs are also worth trying if you’re an avid hot dog lover, so don’t miss out!
Between all of the options on this list, you might be worried about trying to eat healthily during your trip to Canada, but thankfully, the popular chain Pita Pit has your back if you’re trying to keep on the healthy path whilst you’re over the border!
Pita Pit allows you to take full control when it comes to deciding what you want to eat, so whether you want to eat some of their pre-decided options, or if you want to design your own meal, then you have a wide variety of options of ingredients to choose from, so you can customize it entirely to your will!
Pita Pit has outlets all over Canada, so it shouldn’t be too hard to find one of their restaurants near you, wherever you are.
The jalapeno club and the ancho chicken are some of the more popular options amongst locals, so if either of these appeal to you then you should definitely try them out.
Pita Pit is also great even if you’re trying to drop some of the carbs from your diet too, as you can opt to remove the pita from your meal altogether if you wish!
If you’re looking for an alternative to your usual Subway order whilst in Canada, then you shouldn’t be too lost when you’re close to a Mr. Sub (see also ‘19 Of The Best Menu Items To Order From Jersey Mike’s’), who offer all of the usual subs that you could want, with all of the trimmings too! They also have a great selection of sides to choose from too if you want something a bit more than just your usual sub (see also ‘15 Delicious Subs And Other Menu Items From Firehouse Subs‘).
Their sandwiches are usually offered in two different sizes, small and large, and whether you choose to opt for one of the regular subs that is pre-created by the restaurant, or go rogue and decide to make your own, is entirely up to you!
Notable pre-designed options include the Canadian Club and the Chicken Parmesan, but they also have countless meat-free options too, so there are no worries if you’re not a meat eater.
They also cater to those who are trying to increase their protein intake as well, with plenty of higher protein options available, as well as wraps for those trying to shake off the carbs from their diet too.
One of the best things about Mr. Sub is that they’re a company that serves entirely RWA (Raised Without Antibiotics) meat, which ensures that you can eat your meat with a lot fewer worries!
For the chicken lovers amongst us, then a visit to Mary Brown’s should definitely be on the cards during your visit to Canada.
It’s arguably one of the best chicken restaurant chains in Canada (see also ‘11 Best Items On The Bob Evans Menu‘), so it’s certainly worth taking time out of the rest of your trip to pay a trip to the home of delicious chicken over the border!
Inside, you’ll be greeted with a lot of familiar sights and smells, with their signature chicken coated in a delicious classic Nashville-inspired seasoning, as well as a wide variety of other flavorings, alongside tasty potatoes too.
Mary Brown’s provides all of the classic southern taste whilst being up north, so if you’re maybe feeling a bit homesick, it’s definitely a way of transporting yourself back home for a short while.
The desserts from Mary Brown’s are worth checking out too, with so many decadent options available, you won’t regret indulging in them!
If you’re already somewhat familiar with Tim Horton’s, or you just want to try another one of Canada’s most popular breakfast restaurants, then you won’t go too far wrong by searching out your local Cora’s during your time in Canada!
Cora’s is designed to feel very much like a breakfast restaurant with food that would be served by your grandparents, and the menu reflects this too, so don’t be surprised by the number of elderly customers you will see around you during your visit.
The menu is super extensive though and has everything you could possibly want from a breakfast restaurant, whether it’s crepes, waffles, and pancakes.
But other than these obvious options, they also serve skillets, sandwiches, and even some particularly interesting fusion options, such as the burrito crepe! So if you’re looking for a unique experience at breakfast, make your way to Cora’s!
Whilst Thai food might not be considered traditionally Canadian, Thai Express is certainly one of the best restaurant chains that can be found in Canada, so if you find yourself craving something more eastern whilst up north, then checking out Thai Express is going to be a good idea.
It’s also worth noting that Thai Express isn’t going to provide you with a truly authentic Thai food experience, but it will most certainly appease those who are really big fans of those eastern flavors and dishes!
Their most popular option is their signature classic chicken pad Thai, so if you’re relatively unsure of what to eat when it comes to eastern-inspired food, then pad Thai is an excellent place to start!
If you’re looking for a wholesome and hearty meal made with some of the highest quality ingredients possible during your Canadian adventure, then you should definitely make your way over to the nearest Swiss Chalet for some of the nicest food you can get!
The best part about Swiss Chalet though isn’t just the fantastic food served out of their many locations found throughout the country, but also their range of frozen dishes, all of which are based on dishes at the restaurant!
So as you can see, Canada has some uniquely popular restaurant chains that are worth visiting if you happen to find yourself in Canada at some point in the future and fancy trying something different from the usual chains you’d have back home!
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