Monday, November 30, 2015

Canada's Top 10 Food Festivals And Foodie Experiences

The world’s second-biggest country covers 9,984,670 sq km, and all that space holds not only a huge diversity of landscape, but also a wealth of ingredients, from popular favourites (hello, maple syrup) to lesser-known treats such as bison meat and bakeapples, amber-coloured berries similar to blackberries. But Canada has barely been discovered as a culinary destination, so here are 10 food experiences to give you a taste.

Roots, Rants and Roars festival, Elliston, Newfoundland

Roots, Rants, and Roars festival, Elliston, Newfoundland
This three-day festival is the best way to experience the rowdy culinary culture of the island known as “The Rock”. Its main draw is The Food Hike, a three-mile walk along a rugged shore, with stops at food stalls for dishes such as saucy braised lamb with pickled rutabaga, and meaty baked beans with bread and pork fat honey butter – all prepared by popular chefs such as Mark Gray of Brookyln Warehouse in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and Amanda Ray of Biff’s Bistro in Toronto. Elliston’s famous root cellars (store rooms dug into hillsides for preserving vegetables over winter before refrigeration) make it look like part of The Shire, and visitors can also catch some of Newfoundland’s best musicians. Come with warm clothes and an appetite – Newfoundlanders know how to party at any time, in any weather.
 18-20 September 2016, tickets from C$80 (£40),

The biggest lobster roll, New Brunswick

Lobster roll at Saint John Alehouse, New Brunswick, Canada
 Lobster roll at Saint John Alehouse
There’s no avoiding these large crustaceans on the east coast. Stacks of wooden lobster traps line the roads, hand-painted signs on restaurants advertise lobster dinners, and everyone has an opinion about where to get the best lobster roll. These are usually hot dog buns, filled with lobster meat, mayonnaise, lemon juice and green onion. The most luxurious version is at Saint John Ale House in New Brunswick, where they stuff meat from an entire lobster into a buttery wedge of grilled white bread and top it with house-made lobster roe aioli. It’s a “go big or go home” situation, and you’re going to want to go big.

Game, and Arctic apple fritters, Manitoba

About 40% of Canada’s land mass is inside the Arctic Circle, largely undiscovered by tourism. The vast frozen tundra can be explored by taking a VIA Rail train from Winnipeg or a flight (there are no roads) to the small community of Churchill, in northern Manitoba. Days can be spent on the ice looking at polar bears, evenings in Churchill restaurants that serve all kinds of tasty Arctic fish and game, including muskox, caribou and Arctic char. For dessert, Gypsy’s Bakery is a local institution that has been baking up a storm here for over 25 years. Nothing warms chilled bones like its fresh apple fritters.

Chinese food in Richmond, British Columbia

Squid served at Richmond night market
 Squid at Richmond night market. Photograph: Alamy
Richmond claims to have the best Asian food outside Asia, thanks to its huge influx of immigrants, particularly from China. There are barbecue joints with burnished red ducks hanging in the window; hot pots full of fermented tofu and spicy broth; tiny food courts serving dumplings and hand-pulled noodles; massive dim sum restaurants; endless varieties of the beloved xiao long bao (soup dumplings); and locally caught sea urchin, geoduck, crab, fish, and spot prawns. I’d recommend Fisherman’s Terrace Seafood Restaurant, with dim sum from C$15-25pp if you go in a group.
 More details at

Spruce tips in Tofino and Vancouver

Tofino Brewing’s Spruce Tree Ale
 Tofino Brewing’s Spruce Tree Ale
People have been foraging spruce tips – the new buds that appear each spring on spruce tree branches – for years for use in everything from cookies to homemade mayonnaise. Freshly harvested, the bright green tips have a citrussy flavour, tender texture, and smell like the woods. But they have recently become a sought-after ingredient. Brewers use them in speciality beers (try Spruce Tree Ale at Tofino Brewing), bartenders boil them into syrups, and chefs have even been churning them into ice-cream – Earnest does a spruce bud flavour. 

Croissant crawl, Montreal

Mamie Clafoutis’s Oh mon dieu chocolate croissant
 Mamie Clafoutis’s Oh mon dieu chocolate croissant
If you hate exercising, perhaps it’s because you’ve never paired it with croissants. Montreal has an abundance of patisseries, perfect for exploring on a rented Bixi Bike (stations throughout the city). Favourites include Oh mon dieu, a croissant heavy with chocolate ganache from Mamie Clafoutis, and Patrice Patissier’schoux à la crème, a pillowy pastry with chocolate cream and caramelised bananas. It’s a fun way to see the city and burn calories while you accumulate them. 

Bi-coastal bivalves, Toronto

Rodneys Oyster House, Toronto
 Rodneys Oyster House Photograph: Rodneys
Oysters thrive in deep, cold, coastal waters, and both Canada’s eastern and western shores are home to some of the best in the world. They feed by filtering algae, plankton, and other minerals from the water, taking on different characteristics depending on where they’re grown, from Colville Bay and Raspberry Point on Prince Edward Island in the Atlantic to Fanny Bay on Vancouver Island in the Pacific. Rodney’s Oyster House in Toronto always has a good selection.

Yukon cinnamon buns

Cinnamon buns at Braeburn Lodge
 Cinnamon buns at Braeburn Lodge
The Yukon, in Canada’s far north-west, is the place to head for northern lights – and cinnamon buns. The territory’s population is tiny, but a great many of its people seem to be making (and eating) them. The biggest and most famous are made at Braeburn Lodge, a modest inn between Whitehorse and Dawson City. Every day, the owner – who looks like Santa Claus in biker gear – bakes buns the size of dinner plates. It’s been a tradition here since 1952: the buns cost C$10 each, are big enough for three, and really, really tasty.

Gourmet kayaking, British Columbia

West Coast Expedition’s Gourmet Kayaking package
Few activities are more Canadian than a kayaking trip with a stop for lunch in a forest teeming with bald eagles, foxes and bears. West Coast Expeditions has multi-day sea kayaking trips from Spring Island that combine adventure with good food. Meals (all provided) feature sustainably caught salmon and halibut and locally foraged ingredients, such as sea rocket and bull kelp.
 July to September, from C$1,899pp (around £950) for a four-day trip,

Food festive in Toronto

An Asian food festival in Downtown Toronto
 An Asian food festival in downtown Toronto. Photograph: Alamy
in summer. There are Asian night markets and food truck rallies, as well as more recent arrivals dedicated to everything from ribs, pintxos, noodles, barbecue, curry, and vegan cuisine, to lesser-known street eats like Sri Lankan kottu roti. These events are sociable, and a great excuse to check out areas of Toronto not mentioned in many guidebooks.
 Details at (year-round, tickets from $10)
Lindsay Anderson and Dana VanVeller blog at
By Lindsay Anderson and Dana VanVeller

Cyber Monday Ski Ticket Deals Up To 73% Off!


Who doesn't like a deal on a Monday? Especially when it's Cyber Monday! Enjoy lift ticket discounts up to 73% offCaliforniaColoradoUtah,MontanaWyoming and many parts of Canada have had great November snow! Bring on December!
Aspen / Snowmass Group Tickets - Save up to 45%
Beaver Creek Ski / Board Rental - Save up to 20%
Breckenridge Ski / Board Rental - Save up to 20%
Copper Mountain - Save up to 50%
Crested Butte Ski / Board Rental - Save up to 20%
Keystone Ski / Board Rental - Save up to 20%
Monarch Mountain - Save up to 20%
Ski Cooper - Save up to 50%
Ski Granby Ranch - Save up to 36%
Steamboat Group Tickets - Save up to 46%
Sunlight Mountain Resort - Coming Soon
Telluride Group Tickets - Save up to 43%
Vail Ski / Board Rentals - Save up to 21%
Winter Park Mountain Resort - Coming Soon
California / Lake Tahoe
Alpine Meadows - Save up to 25%
Bear Mountain Resort - Save up to 20%
Boreal Ridge Ski & Board Rentals - Save up to 20%
Diamond Peak - Coming Soon
Heavenly Ski & Board Rentals - Save up to 20%
Homewood Ski & Board Rentals - Save up to 20%
Kirkwood Ski & Board Rentals - Save up to 20%
June Mountain - Starting at $74
Mammoth Mountain - Save up to 46%
Northstar Ski & Board Rentals - Save up to 20%
Squaw Valley - Save up to 25%
Sierra at Tahoe - Coming Soon
Snow Summit - Save up to 20%
Sugar Bowl Ski / Board Rentals - Save up to 20%
Jiminy Peak - Save up to 38%
Big Sky Resort Ski & Board Rentals - Save up to 20%
Whitefish Mountain Resort - Save up to 14%
New Hampshire
Mount Sunapee - Save up to 51%
New Mexico
Angel Fire Resort - Coming Soon
Red River Ski Area - Coming Soon
Taos Ski Valley - Save up to 19%
New York
Greek Peak - Save up to 44%
Plattekill Mountain - Save up to 48%
Alpine Mountain - Save up to 46%
Ski City Superpass - Save up to 21%
Alta Ski Area - Save up to 21%
Brighton Resort - Save up to 21%
Canyons Ski / Board Rentals - Save up to 22%
Deer Valley ® Ski Rentals - Save up to 20%
Park City Ski / Board Rentals - Save up to 20%
Solitude Mountain - Save up to 21%
Snowbasin Resort - Save up to 38%
Snowbird Ski Resort - Save up to 52%
Okemo Mountain Resort - Save up to 58%
West Virginia
Timberline Resort - Save 74% on an Awesome Pass
Cascade Mountain - Save up to 73%
Grand Targhee - Coming Soon
Snow King - Save up to 28%
British Columbia
Kimberley Mountain Resort - Coming Soon
Fernie Mountain Resort - Coming Soon
Kicking Horse Mountain Resort - Coming Soon
Whistler Ski & Board Rentals - Save up to 20%
Banff Ski The Big 3 - Save up to 21%
Sunshine Village - Saveup to 21%
Mount Norquay - Save up to 21%
Lake Louise - Save up to 21%
Nakiska - Coming Soon
View all deals on

Get Deals
View our Blog for Ski & Snowboard Happenings

Go to Blog