Fresh fries, rich gravy, and squeaky cheese curds: This is the glorious trio that makes up the classic Canadian dish poutine. Sure, you can order this up these days at McDonald’s, if you must, and it definitely doesn’t need to break the bank, but you can also sit down and stick your fork into some fancier versions of this ultimate snack (that eats like a meal). Vancouver is full of options when it comes to this tantalizing Quebecois import.
Here are our picks for where to find the best poutine in Vancouver.
It’s pretty straightforward at Mean Poutine: “Get drunk, eat poutine” is their motto. And that isn’t too much of a stretch for the patrons of this poutine-specific place in the Granville Entertainment District. You can get your (possibly drunk) hands on some regular poutine, but you can also veer into the creative zone, since Mean Poutine also offers flavours like Fried Chicken, Philly Cheesesteak, Mama’s Meatballs, Southern BBQ, and Yam poutines to name a few.
Address: 718 Nelson Street, Granville Entertainment District
Phone: (604) 568-4351
Photo via La Belle Patate/Facebook
La Belle Patate is all about the curds…those big, squeaky cheese curds on top of their fries served with dark gravy. Branch out from the basics and add smoked meat, hot dog, peas, bacon or hit them up for their daily specials. Bring a friend to share the indulgent (okay, greasy) poutine at La Belle Patate, or buck up and get the All-You-Can-Eat option. Yep, that exists. Godspeed to you, poutine eaters!
Address: 1215 Davie St, West End
Phone: (604) 569-1215
Photo by jwalsh/Flickr
Fritz is no-frills, and all fries…fries draped in gravy and cheese curd (and whatever else you order), that is. This hole in the wall Granville Entertainment District spot serves up their fries super fast, and also has a delicious array of dipping sauces to take your poutine-ing to the next level.
Address: 718 Davie Street, Granville Entertainment District
Phone: (604) 684-0811
Photo by Louise Gadd/Flickr
Sure, they call them Belgian Fries, but at this Commercial Drive institution their poutine is the real Canadian deal. Hey, eating here is practically a requirement, according to Food Network Canada’s “You Gotta Eat Here.” This big, buzzy place on The Drive has a great patio in the summertime, and a big menu that includes lots of poutine (and some other things, if you want).
Address: 1885 Commercial Drive, Grandview-Woodlands
Phone: (604) 253-4220
Poutine gets the Flying Pig treatment at the popular restaurant’s three locations. With a menu of comfort classics, the restaurant puts their twist on the Canadian staple with their Pulled Pork Poutine, a small but hearty side dish on the menu.
Yaletown: 1168 Hamilton Street / (604) 568 1344
Gastown: 102 Water Street / (604) 559-7968
Olympic Village: 127 West 2nd Avenue / (604) 569-1111
Photo by Heather Joan/Flickr
Some may order poutine to soak up the suds, while at Gastown’s Six Acres, the fries are already doing the job for you, thanks to the pub-café’s St. Ambroise stout gravy on top, served along with cheese curds, sharp cheddar, and shallots, and the optional addition of mushrooms.
Address: 203 Carrall Street, Gastown
Phone: (604) 488-0110
Poutine from Edible Canada (Lindsay William-Ross/Vancity Buzz)
Edible Canada Bistro on Granville Island has made grabbing a pile of hot, fresh poutine pretty easy thanks to their charming camper-van style take out window. Step right up and order the poutine, served in a fun faux newspaper wrap (they also do fish and chips) and get right back to wandering around, people watching, and prepare to be asked by passers-by where you got that delicious poutine.
Address: 1596 Johnston Street, Granville Island
Phone: (604) 682-6681
Leave it to a beer-centric restaurant and bar to work beer into their poutine. Since poutine is already a fantastic drinking companion, may as well include the drink in the dish. BierCraft tops their Belgian frites with Quebec cheese curds, a Kronenbourg Blanc beer and miso gravy, and green onions, and, at their Commercial Drive location, you can take it that extra step and add BBQ beer-braised brisket to the poutine. Cheers to that!
Address: 1191 Commercial Drive, Grandview-Woodlands
Phone: (604) 254-2437
Photo by wyn ♥ lok/Flickr
Poutine takes a meaty, upscale turn at The Oakwood Canadian Bistro. Served in a cast iron skillet, these Kennebec fries are slathered in Quebec cheese curds and veal bone gravy, then blanketed with house-smoked beef brisket. This dish is so tasty, it even had the Globe & Mail’s Vancouver food critic singing its praises a couple of years ago.
Address: 2741 West 4th Avenue, Kitsilano
Phone: (604) 558-1965
We’re taking a couple of big liberties here, but bear with us. Fresh Local Wild is a popular Vancouver food truck that slings some famous poutine in the warmer months of the year. FLW’s chef-owner Josh Wolfe makes a BC Seafood Chowder Poutine that’s gotten some major love from Food Network’s road show “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.” So while we’re suggesting you sample this swap of gravy and cheese curd for steaming hot seafood on your fries, in the off-season you may have to just make it on your own.
Address: West Hastings at Burrard, Coal Harbour
Featured image: Poutine/Shutterstock