The Lodge at Aurora Village
Known for its pristine, cold waters, Great Slave Lake in Yellowknife is home to an abundance of fish, from whitefish and lake trout to northern pike, arctic grayling and more. But, if you want some fresh fish without having to grab your flies and rod, here are five restaurants to try in this northern city.
Yellowknife boasts sushi that rivals any west coast sushi bar. At Sushi North, try the Northern arctic char nigiri—a fish that resembles salmon in colour and texture, but is fattier with a milder taste. Find plenty of traditional rolls, nigiri and combo meals as well as a Saturday-only special—the savoury, frittata-like okonomiyaki (Japanese pizza) with dried tuna flakes and seaweed toppings.
Old Town Yellowknife’s legendary fish shack is known for its $40 fish and chips, sassy service and kitschy interior. As you eat, scan the floor-to-ceiling scrawls, bumper stickers, photos and tchotchkes left by patrons over the past decades. Choose your catch (pickerel, trout, arctic char, whitefish, cod or what’s in season) and then decide if you want it pan-fried, grilled or battered and deep-fried.
Make a morning stop at the Bayside Bed and Breakfast in Old Town before the road crosses to Latham Island and you’ll find this cute and cozy café with its lakeside veranda looking out to Yellowknife Bay. Order the eggs Benedict made with thick slices of smoked arctic char and perfectly done free-range poached eggs perched on top of a toasted English muffin, all coated in hollandaise sauce. Lightly seasoned potatoes and fruit wedges come as sides.
Yellowknife’s oldest restaurant, located inside a 1937 mining camp-style log cabin, is a local institution. Northern delicacies like char and pickerel are served on blue speckled metal camp plates. For brunch, get the smoked char and everything bagel with herb cream cheese, capers and red onion. Later in the day, try the Great Slave pickerel tacos with shredded red cabbage and pico de gallo.
At The Lodge at Aurora Village, Le Cordon Bleu-certified chef Pierre LePage cooks up Northern Canadian cuisine. Try the pan-fried Great Slave Lake whitefish with Quebec maple glaze or the smoked char penne. The Lodge opens for nightly dinner service in August when the aurora-viewing season begins, so you can enjoy your fresh fish dinner under the swirling northern lights.