Now, I know many of you may be thinking “Zut alors! The best poutine isn’t found in Toronto, it’s found in La Belle Province!” True. Poutine did originate in Quebec, however, Toronto is a haven for multicultural cuisine and French-Canadian expats are aplenty.
For those not in the know, poutine is a simply delicious dish consisting of french fries and cheese curds, smothered in piping hot gravy. And like most foods that sound disgusting, don’t knock it ‘til you try it. Poutine is a national treasure here in Canada and is a favourite amongst Saturday’s 2am crowd peeling out of the bars.
So you’re visiting Toronto and want only the best of the best? Check out our 5 fave poutine spots below.
Squeakiest curds: Poutini’s House of Poutine
You can tell how good a poutine is by how squeaky the cheese curds are and Poutini’s curds are squeak-a-riffic. Thin, fresh cut fries topped with flavourful gravy and the squeakiest cheese (grind the cheese curd between your teeth for a squeak test), this poutine is a classic favourite.
Best post-bar haunt: Smoke’s Poutinerie
Anyone who goes out for a night of loud music and sweaty dancing on a Friday night knows the name Smoke’s. A chain of poutine joints throughout Canada, Smoke’s has 7 locations in Toronto alone. With a selection ranging from traditional to pulled pork to curry poutine, you’re sure to find a flavour to curb your post-bar food craving.
Most inventive use of poutine: Bannock
Attached to the Hudson’s Bay flagship department store on Toronto’s Queen St, Bannock offers up gourmet Canadian comfort food. The most incredible item on the menu, however, is the poutine pizza, consisting of thin crust dough, poutine with light gravy and pieces of duck sprinkled throughout. Pepperoni and cheese bow to the new master.
Fanciest poutine: Coquine
Ho-lee moley. Not for the faint at heart, Coquine’s duck poutine is one of the richest (and most delicious!) dishes you’ll ever taste. Made with Yukon gold fries and topped with shredded duck confit, demi glace, smoked mozzarella and brie, this poutine may take you to an early grave, but your tastebuds will at least die happy.
For the French fry connoisseur: The Three Brewers
The Three Brewers (known in Quebec as Les Trois Brasseurs) is a micro-brewery and restaurant on Toronto’s Yonge St. that features mixed cuisines and specializes in tasty beer. Their poutine is simply incroyable thanks to their beer-battered fries. Crispy and fresh-to-death, these fries add a whole new flavour to the traditional poutine, and we’re not complaining.
*Note: If you’re looking for the best poutine anywhere, you’ll find it at La Banquise in Montreal. Case closed, end of.
Written by Lauren McPhillips