Food·Photos

#CanadaGem: Canada's most pic-worthy poutines

Because nobody top our poutine game… except us.
(Credit: Instagram/@joshteewhy)

We here at CBC Life are just as excited as you about Canada's 150th birthday. So in the month leading up to July 1, we're showcasing some of our country's amazing hidden gems from coast to coast: totally Instagram-worthy food, tiles too pretty to *not* shoot, crazy views and more. #CanadaGem #CBClife

While our nation-wide penchant for maple syrup might get the distinction of being repped on our country's flag, Canadians know that our real — if unofficial — national food is none other than poutine.

The dreamy dish, which is made from the mouth-watering combo of crispy fries, drizzled-on gravy and jumbo cheese curds just waiting to be melted was created in Warwick, Que. back in 1957, when a hungry patron at the restaurant Le Café Idéal (later renamed Le Lutin Qui Rit, or The Laughing Elf) asked the owner to top off his fries with cheese curds. As the story goes, the owner honoured his customer's request, but not before declaring that it would make a "maudite poutine!" or, "a damned mess!" And thus, the delicious, decadent mess that is poutine was born!

Here, we're rounding up some of the most epic, drool-worthy poutines to sample throughout Canada, from the coast of B.C. to the shores of St John's. Take a cross-country road trip just to taste-test every last one of 'em!

Montreal Poutine, Montreal, Que.

With warm gravy and gooey melted cheese curds, this poutine doesn't need extra fixings to stand out from the crowd.

The Mess Hall Poutinerie, Georgetown, Ont. 

Just can't choose between saucy wings and crispy fries? Get the best of both worlds with this poutine that's stacked with Buffalo fried chicken, buttermilk ranch and green onions.

The Chip Shack, Charlottetown, P.E.I.

Get the full East Coast experience with this hearty poutine with fresh lobster on top.

Naina's Kitchen, Calgary, Alta.

You CAN eat fries, gravy and cheese curds for breakfast thanks to this delicious Eggs Benny poutine.

The Spud Shack Fry Co., Westminister, B.C.

Let your tastebuds transport you to an Asian night market with this ginger beef, wonton crisp and kimchi-topped poutine.

Tide & Boar, Moncton, N.B.

True to its name, this New Brunswick gastropub serves their poutine up with braised boar, homemade ketchup and caramelized onions on top of the usual fixings.

NWT Brewing Company, Yellowknife, N.W.T.

All the fries, gravy and cheese curds you want with Tex Mex favourites sprinkled in to up the flavour.

Hambrgr, Hamilton, Ont.

A deliciously simple classic poutine sprinkled with thyme. Mmm.

It' Dog, Edmonton, Alta.

Korean BBQ meets Canadian delicacy in this mouth-watering Bulgogi beef, crispy garlic and sweet mayo-stacked poutine.

Coney Island Poutine, Regina, Sask.

A poutine that's patriotic AND totally decadent? Count us in.

Poutine Centrale, Montreal, Que.

General Tso Chicken, sesame seeds and green onions on a bed of crispy, cheesy fries.

Willy's Fresh Cut Fries & Burgers, Halifax, N.S.

It wouldn't be a trip to Nova Scotia without Donair! But Willy's really ups the ante by putting theirs on a bed of warm, crispy fries.

The Hollows, Saskatoon, Sask.

Get your bacon and eggs fix all day long courtesy of this super rich savoury dish.

Che's Famous Fish and Chips, St John's, N.L.

Skip the fajitas and go right for this tasty Tex Mex Poutine from Che's.

Big Bear Donair & Liquor Store, Whitehorse, Y.T.

Big Bear's brings a Middle Eastern kick to their go-to poutine by loading Shawarma fixings on top.

La Belle Patate, Canmore, Alta.

Yes, we'll take all of our favourite pizza toppings on our poutine, please!

Row House Steak & Lobster, Charlottetown, P.E.I.

Melt-in-your-mouth lobster mixed with cheese curds and a creamy béchamel sauce in the place of gravy. Yum!

Nom Nom Nom Poutine and Crepes, Toronto, Ont.

Montreal staple meets fine French cuisine in this deluxe, Duck Confit-topped dish.

Picnic at Dart, Dartmouth, N.S.

A vending machine favourite drizzled in gravy and giant cheese curds that you can eat straight from the bag!

White Star Diner, Winnipeg, Man.

Come for the old school diner vibes, stay for the deluxe Philly-style fries and gravy.

Britt's Pub & Eatery, Saint John, N.B.

Don't wait till Thanksgiving to get your fix. Get your turkey dinner in a bowl thanks to this pulled turkey, warm stuffing and dried cranberry-topped 'tine.

Fritz European Fry House, Vancouver, B.C.

Choose your own poutine adventure by mixing and matching from a long list of toppings and dips at this B.C.-based fry house.

Le Garage Cafe, Winnipeg, Man.

A classic poutine that's perfectly portioned in every way. Yum!

The Duke of Duckworth, St. John's, N.L.​

Technically this dreamy dish is called "Newfoundland Fries" not poutine, but with that drool-worthy gravy pour, we had to include it.

Frite Alors!, Quebec City, Que.

This smoked meat-smothered dish proves two Quebec classics are better than one.

Coyote's Bistro, Yellowknife, N.W.T.

A Poutine Burger!?! We'll take two, please.

What did we miss? Use #CanadaGem #CBClife on social to show us and tag us!