Inarguably the greatest of Canadian inventions – no, we’re not talking about basketball or ketchup chips – this is the grandest of combinations: poutine.
Part french fries, part cheese (“squeaky cheese” if you’re proper), and part gravy, poutine is a staple of fair and can be found at eateries all over the world.
It’s the greatest thing to come from Quebec aside from Celine Dion, who has an amazing ability to connect our West Coast haven with her home province.
Poutine came to be in the 1950’s but fought against a perception of it being a profane and untraditional mockery of Quebec gastronomy.
These days, however, the poutine is celebrated across Canada, and even the globe, as the monumental creation has been used to combine all manner of ingredients. Poutine competitions and festivals devoted to the French-Canadian dish have sprung up in every part of our country. We in Vancouver are no stranger to adventures in fries.
In local spots, you will generally find two different types of people, those that are trying to reinvent the poutine (either through crazy inconceivable combinations of topics or by replacing any combination of the three basic ingredients) and those that are attempting to further perfect the traditional way poutines were made.
Either way, it’s a veritable smorgasbord for us poutine lovers.
Wave that cheese curd flag high, here is a list of where to find the best poutine in Vancouver.
As an aficionado of the gravy and cheese mountain, Frites is the one place you absolutely have to try if you’re in town. If you’ve only got one shot to impress, head to the small and open very late spot to grab the best gooey bucket of fries. The fry house also has a large list of dips to indulge in as well, so don’t spare any expense.
Address: 718 Davie Street, Vancouver
One of Vancouver’s best poutine houses is also extremely traditional. For an authentic Quebec taste, head to the second Davie street poutine shop on this list. Even better still, La Belle has an amazingly varied menu, and they offer a twenty dollar all-you-can-eat poutine.
Address: 1215 Davie Street, Vancouver
This Japanese cafe and restaurant tucked away in Marpole, has some traditional curry recipes. But the best reason to head toSouthh Granville is their poutines. The little shop with a handful of tables replaces the classic gravy with either Japanese curry or Japanese stew. Either are amazing, but the curry is top tier.
Address: 1320 West 73rd Avenue, Vancouver
For a quick, cheap, and tasty poutine, the Costco food counter is a great choice. Much like their Hot Dogs, Costco knocks it out of the park with their simple ingredients, quick service, and cheap prices.
Address: 605 Expo Boulevard, Vancouver
A classically-inspired, nationwide spot, Smoke’s poutinerie begins with traditional French-Canadian ingredients, but quickly bursts through the roof with their eccentric additions to the poutine game.
Address: 942 Granville Street, Vancouver
Though Frenchie’s is atop most lists for the best Montreal smoked meat sandwich in town, that’s not the only thing they brought over from the province of Quebec. Their classic poutine is fresh and includes the traditional squeaky cheese curds that people come to expect from a real poutine but with that beautifully crafted Montreal Smoke Meat.
Address: 2470 Main Street, Vancouver
Opening just a few years ago, next to the Stadium Skytrain Expo Boulevard entrance, this Korean-Mexican fusion offers plenty of amazing mixes of cuisine, but the best of all is their kimchi or bulgogi poutines.
Address: 601 Expo Boulevard, Vancouver
Just around the corner from the Granville strip, on Nelson is the Mean Poutine shop, and it serves one of the best simple additions to the poutine game that Vancouver diners have had. Their buffalo chicken poutine is every part delicious hybrid and deserves to propel Mean Poutine to a spot on this list on its merits alone.
Address: 718 Nelson Street, Vancouver
The ever-popular spot for vegan deliciousness, Meet has a few locations around Vancouver now and will blow your mind with their Butter (NOT) Chicken Poutine. Pair it with some of that natural ginger beer, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a comparable alternative. We also suggest you try the TeeM Poutine with creamy cashew gravy.
Address: 4288 Main Street, Vancouver
Address: 12 Water Street Vancouver (the inner courtyard)
Address: 1165 Mainland Street, Vancouver