In the 17th century, French settlers were the first Europeans to arrive in the Maritime provinces, which became known as Acadia. Today, their vibrant Acadian culture and cuisine, which uses local ingredients in simple yet flavourful dishes, can still be found on the East Coast and beyond. From poutine râpé to fricot, here’s where to try this hearty fare.
King Bee, New York
Acadian food has found its way to New York’s East Village thanks to King Bee, which beautifully highlights Acadian and Cajun cuisines. Don’t miss the buckwheat risotto served with seasonal vegetables or the fried cod ployes (a.k.a. buckwheat pancakes).
Le Gabriel Restaurant and Lounge, Chéticamp, Nova Scotia
Located in an Acadian fishing village in the heart of Cape Breton’s Cabot Trail, this restaurant serves haddock and potato croquettes with baked beans and fricot, an Acadian stew made with slow-cooked chicken, dumplings, potatoes and summer savory herbs. There’s also free live Acadian and Irish music on most nights (think lots of fiddles).
Chez Mémére Poutine & Râpé, Moncton, New Brunswick
This small eatery near downtown Moncton serves up all kinds of poutine. For your entrée, try the homemade poutine râpé, a ball of potatoes with pork in the middle, followed up with the poutine à trou (a baked pastry stuffed with apple) for dessert.
Resto-Bar La Trappe, Abram Village, Prince Edward Island
Located in the French Evangeline region of western P.E.I., La Trappe is part of an Acadian village that offers tons of cultural and culinary events. The restaurant is open until mid-September and serves up râpure—an oven-baked mix of pork and potatoes served with molasses—and Acadian jambalaya made with shrimp, chicken and sausage.
Decked out with a lodge-like interior, this Ossington strip restaurant takes foodies on a culinary journey back to Canada’s earliest settlers. The menu is full of Aboriginal and 18th and 19th century settler-inspired cuisine like the Louisbourg Hot Chocolate Beignets. Made with beer batter, lemon sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cayenne and clove-spiced chocolate ganache, they’re based on a popular 1795 drinking chocolate from Nova Scotia.
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