EnRoute Air Canada

Last year, Air Canada enRoute celebrated the 20th anniversary of Canada’s Best New Restaurants by paying tribute to the restaurant industry’s resiliency.

Rather than send a writer across the country, the adapted program presented several new categories, which have fused into this year’s program alongside Air Canada’s Top Ten.

The Vice President Brand, Air Canada, Andy Shibata, says, “Air Canada is proud to take off with its tradition once again and put the Top 10 best restaurants on Canada’s culinary map.”

The top ten have been selected by award-winning journalist Nancy Matsumoto after a month-long cross-Canada journey. She dined anonymously at more than 30 establishments from a list of nominations provided by an expert panel. From the culinary vision and quality of ingredients on the menu to the trappings and team spirit surrounding it, every element factored into an equation that savours deliciousness above all.

Restaurant 20 Victoria
(C) Explore Tock

First on the list is Restaurant 20 Victoria ( Toronto, ON). The restaurant is a reshuffled team from the abrupt closure of Brothers Food & Wine (No.8, 2017), led by chef Julie Hyde and sous chef Jenna Reich. They have a strategy to move forward from the pandemic-born land of fast and casual with pitch-perfect six-course tasting menus.

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MASTARD Restaurant logo
© Mastard

Mastard (Montreal, QC) just missed out on the top spot to gain second place. Taste the passion and desire of chef Simon Mathy’s use of Quebec’s environmental conditions, observed within dishes like the ruby-red slice tomato from La Ferme des Quatre-Temps resting in a pool of camelina oil, adorned in herbs and flowers and doused with smoked beef fat, Matsumoto’s choice of the year.

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MIMI Chinese Noodle
(C) Daniel Neuhaus

Third place was awarded to MIMI Chinese (Toronto, ON). Executive chef David Schwartz and head chef Braden Chong delivers hyper-regional renditions of Chinese cuisine ranging from deep-fried, sesame-showered shrimp from Guangdong to the most iconic four-foot long, chilli oil-slicked take on Shaanxi belt noodle, scissored for diners at the tableside.

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Perch fish in a container
Perch Fish © Mark Chalik

Fourth on the list is Perch (Ottawa, ON). Perch is ideal for those who love fine dining tasting menus filled with freshly caught fish. From chef Justin Champagne-Lagarde, who foregrounds sustainability and minimal waste cooking with offerings like an intensely flavoured compost broth from daily veg scraps.

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Grilled Cheese from Má»™t TĂ´
Grilled Cheese ©Một Tô

Taking the fifth spot is Má»™t TĂ´ (Calgary, AB). Taking its name from the Vietnamese meaning “one bowl,” the restaurant specialises in Vietnamese food with a modern twist. From the crackly crab pork and taro spring roll and the grilled cheese served with a pho broth dipping bowl, the Vietnamese chic venue is suitable for all-day dining, family gatherings, corporate events and more.

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wine bottles against a painted wall
Bottles of wine at Hearts Tavern Bar (C) Kimberly

Hearts Tavern & Bar (Kimberley, ON) sits at number six. A roadside tavern that will have you coming back for the silky slices of house-smoked fish. Try the fat spears of Meyer lemon-spiked asparagus served alongside a generous wedge of Chateau de Bourgogne cheese and various bottled wines. 

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Fonda Balam Coco-Choco Flan & avocado and passion fruit sorbet
Fonda Balam Coco-Choco Flan; avocado and passion fruit sorbet © Daniel Neuhaus

Stealing seventh place is Fonda Balam (Toronto, ON). Chef Julio Guajardo and Kate Chomyshyn’s inspiration is rooted in trips to Guanajuato and throughout Mexico. After exploring the regional ingredients and cooking traditions, the menu is full of tacos and birria subset with their sublime quesabirria con consome, oozing corn tortillas filled with braised beef, mozzarella and aromatics.

No Reservations

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Address: 802 DUNDAS ST. W.TORONTO, ON M6J 1V3

Major Tom Baked Alaska
Major Tom, Baked Alaska © Yelp

Number eight on the list is Major Tom (Calgary, AB). Forty floors above Calgary, guests can find a steakhouse reimagined for the modern age, delivering crispy egg halves topped with pepperoni jam and extra-terrestrial prime rib alongside cocktails.

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Pastry
Fox & Monocle (North Saanich, BC) Mini Bundt Cake

The ninth on the list is Fox & Monocle (North Saanich, BC). The culinary talents of chef Ross Bowles and pastry chef Tracie Zahavich come together in offerings like cod and potato pithivier and B.C. spot prawns served with roasted red peppers and crunchy polenta cubes.

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Restaurant Alentours (Quebec City, QC)
Restaurant Alentours (Quebec City, QC): Front Entrance (C) TripAdvisor

Taking the final spot on the coveted top-ten is Restaurant Alentours (Quebec City, QC). Only ingredients sourced from within 150 kilometres are considered fair game for chef Tim Moroney and his inventive and delicious tasting menus (wine, ethically produced salt, yeast, milk and cream are the exceptions).

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Have you visited any of these restaurants? Is there another restaurant you think is worthy of this list? Let us know in the comments!

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