British Columbia

Tasty Eh? My Favorite Canadian Foods

When we go to Canada, these are the kid (and parent)-friendly foods that we pick up:

1. Maple syrup. Of course, maple syrup. This stuff is everywhere. It even grows in trees up here, versus plastic Mrs. Butterworth containers. U.S.-based pancake eaters love the grade A syrup, but in Canada, you can buy grade C/No. 3 syrup, which is harvested at the end of the season. This dark syrup (or No. 3) is richer in minerals and taste. It’s like the superhero of maple syrups.

2. Liberte Yogurt. This dairy company, founded in Montreal, churns out creamy, thick yogurt in a variety of delicious flavors. It’s worthy of dessert status. You can buy Liberte in a few U.S. stores, but they never carry the full range, boo. Try the orange-and-marzipan, hazelnut or dulce de leche.

3. Candied salmon. While Pacific Northwesterners also love the pink-fleshed fish, Canadians get creative with their salmon prep. They smoke it in a variety of ways, turn it into spicy jerky, add maple syrup and even create salmon sausages. Candied salmon perks up dinner salad or an egg scramble.

4. Lesley Stowe’s Raincoast Crisps. No way, $8 for a box of crackers? Dang, that’s expensive. But as a treat, these crackers are killer. The hard wafer offers a strong backbone for any cheese you care to top it with; they also go over well as the kids’ afternoon snack. My favorite blend: rosemary, raisin and pecan. But the other flavors are good too.

5. Nanaimo Bars. You’re probably familiar with the four-layered dessert of chocolate, vanilla custard and more chocolate, named after the Vancouver Island community. But the bars just taste better when eaten in Canada.

Other ideas:

  • Canadian chocolate bars like Aero, Coffee Crisp, Cherry Blossom, Crispy Crunch, and Mr. Big.
  • Blackcurrant flavored drinks
  • British import foods (less expensive here)
  • Sparkling elderflower water

Read more about food around the world here.

What are your favorite Canadian foods? And Canadians, what are you always buying from Trader Joe’s?


Lora Shinn writes about family travel, Pacific NW travel, grown-up travel...and travel in general. Her travel-related articles and essays have appeared in Family Fun, Parenting, AFAR, National Geographic Traveler, AAA magazines and Redbook, among others.


  • Sundi

    Too funny! Whenever we head to the states, or someone is going through, we always pick up some must-haves that you can’t get here. I never even considered that there were things in Canada you couldn’t get in the US!
    A few of my top picks when in the US: #1 all-time favorite Cracklin Oat Bran Cereal – yum! As well, we get as much gluten-free stuff for my son as the variety is much better and the prices are 1/4 of what they are here. We always comb the packaged treat asile to see what’s new for school lunches as well. Always something new to be found there! Oh like these yummy fruit snacks that are even kind of healthy!

  • Lorraine

    Ah, they sell Raincoast Crisps in a local market here in California – SUPERB! Had to stop myself from inhaling the entire box in one sitting. Nice post. 🙂

  • RR

    I always make a stop at the small ethnic grocers and stock up on Indian condiments, sour cherry items from Eastern Europe and tasty seasonal treats. I got some delicious Colomba Pasquale on my last visit up North.

    Will have to get some candied salmon next time!