Cooking may be the purest form of cultural expression. After all, flavor is a universal language. A plate of food can convey the traditions of a people, or the climate they hail from. Of course, the culinary world does not celebrate all cultures equally. Historically, Indigenous cooking has been limited to reserves and adjacent communities. Recently, however, a new generation of chefs have emerged, determined to shine a spotlight on the foods of the First Nations. If you want to find out what the fuss is about, seek out these six spots across Canada.
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Here are 6 places serving Indigenous food in Canada you have to try
Salmon n’ Bannock: Vancouver, BC
Proudly Indigenous owned and operated, Salmon n’ Bannock offers modern interpretations of old First Nations recipes. Their ingredients are sourced from local Indigenous suppliers, ensuring both authenticity and exceptional freshness. Appetizers include pemmican mousse and their signature bannock, while entrées are made with free-range game and wild catches from the coast. Grounded in tradition, and committed to quality, Salmon n’ Bannock delivers the fruits of the land to your table.
L’Autochtone Taverne Americaine: Haileybury, ON
This intimate hybrid eatery does things a little differently. Rather than new translations of Indigenous dishes, L’Autochtone serves up familiar recipes with an Indigenous twist. Their menu incorporates elements of English, French, Latin, and First Nations cooking to cultivate a truly unique dining experience. Tuck into tacos with wild fillings, or try a colorful “wendigo egg” appetizer. Just make sure you swing by as soon as their doors open, as they only seat thirty and don’t accept reservations.
The Bear, The Fish, The Root & The Berry: Osoyoos, BC
Named for the Four Food Chiefs of the Sylix People’s stories, The Bear, The Fish, The Root & The Berry augments its vineyard cuisine with Indigenous flavors. Enjoy breakfast, lunch, or dinner prepared with fundamental elements of First Nations cooking. Or partake of their unique array of cocktails, such as a lavender martini made with Indigenous fish vodka. It may sound strange, but don’t knock it till you try it. Some of the best Indigenous food in Canada!
Feast Café Bistro: Winnipeg, MB
Feast has all the hallmarks of a fine Indigenous eatery. A welcoming café atmosphere? Check. Dishes packed full of bold flavors? Another check. Inventive spins on First Nations favorites, such as pizzas and burgers made with fresh bannock? You know that’s a check too. Feast isn’t just an outstanding restaurant, though; they also cater a multitude of events, from weddings to meetings, and sell ready-made meal kits for customers on the go.
Mr. Bannock: North Vancouver, BC
If you’re visiting North Vancouver, make sure you keep an eye out for Mr. Bannock. Through the collaborative efforts of Spirit Bear Coffee, One Arrow Meat, and its namesake chef, this food truck demonstrates the versatility of First Nations fried bread. Bannock forms the base for flavorful fusion dishes, as well as sweet treats like chocolate eclairs and cinnamon sugar doughnuts. Bannock mix and spice blends are also available for purchase, should you feel like experimenting at home.
Pei Pei Chei Ow: Edmonton, AB
Pei Pei Chei Ow is a catering service which specializes in contemporary Indigenous cooking. Customers can choose from a set menu, or select an array of seasonally-inspired offerings. Their creations incorporate traditional and modern ingredients alike, embodying both the ways of the First Nations and the changes brought by settlers. In addition to serving public and private events, the company hosts online cooking classes centered around Indigenous recipes. Whether you’re aiming to wow your guests, or discover the secret to beautiful bannock, Pei Pei Chei Ow has you covered,