13 Canadian restaurants that are trying to take over the world

Dec 12 2017, 4:24 am

It’s not just international restaurants scrambling to set up shop in Canada – culinary concepts from across Canada are being exported abroad into markets that think we’re just as novel as the Halal Guys, Ladurees, and Uncle Tetsus setting up in our own cities.

Here are more than a dozen restaurants where you can find a taste of home when you’re abroad.


byblos Canadian restaurants abroad

Byblos Miami/Facebook

The upscale Eastern Mediterranean restaurant is a popular upscale spot in Toronto that boasts a twin in Miami. Owners Charles Khabouth and Hanif Hariji chose Miami, of all places, for its first foray outside Canada due to their love for the city, a good deal on the location, and for Miami’s current “culinary renaissance”.

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Freshii was founded in 2005 with a mantra to help Canadians eat in a healthy, affordable, and convenient way. Over a decade in, and the business has gone global as Freshii has established several hundred stores throughout the Americas, Europe, and even Australia.

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Gusto 54

Felix Trattoria

Felix Trattoria/Facebook

This Toronto-based restaurant empire is responsible for many Toronto favourites such as Gusto 101, Trattoria Nervosa, and Chubby’s Jamaican Kitchen, while its Venice, California restaurant Felix Trattoria was recently named by Esquire as the best new restaurant in America.

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Kinka Izakaya/

Kinka Izakaya/Facebook

Found in 2009 in Toronto, this restaurant family has quickly expanded to include locations of Kinka Izakaya, Kinton Ramen, JaBistro, Kintori Yakitori, and Neo Coffee Bar in Toronto and Montreal. In 2015, the Canadian-born brand of Japanese restaurants entered the Tokyo market (isn’t it ironic), while more recently Kinka Izakaya and Kinton Ramen have opened in Gangnam, Korea.


Moxie's Grill & Bar Dallas

Moxie’s Grill & Bar – Dallas/Facebook

Founded in Calgary, this prominent Canadian chain operates already in eight provinces and has begun expanding south of the border, with its first US location in Dallas, Texas where its become popular for local beef and craft beers.

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Paramount Foods

Paramount Fine Foods middle eastern

Paramount Fine Foods/Facebook

This quick-service chain of Middle Eastern restaurants got its start in Mississauga and has sinceexpanded to 60 stores worldwide in countries such as the U.S., Lebanon, and Pakistan and has an upcoming U.K. expansion in the works.

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Smoke’s Poutinerie

Smoke's Poutinerie

Smoke’s Poutinerie

With its slogan “Global Domination of Poutine”, Smoke’s intention of going global is more than clear. The franchise hopes to expand to over 1000 stores by 2020 and is on track to hit 1300 by that time. Beyond North America, Smokes has its sights set on the Middle East and UK.

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Sweet Jesus

Sweet Salvation sweet jesus

Sweet Salvation

The Instagram-worthy ice cream parlours boast 10+ locations in Ontario with locations coming soon to Alberta and beyond. On top of their Canadian success, the epic soft serve purveyours have also expanded to the states, with a shop in Baltimore, and are also expanding into Dubai, where it’s been renamed, Sweet Salvation.

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Terroni West Hollywood

Terroni West Hollywood

Terroni started in 1992 on Queen West selling Italian staples such as olive oil and canned tomatoes. From its humble beginnings, Terroni is now a restaurant empire. With three eatery locations in Toronto, the business has expanded to Downtown Los Angeles and West Hollywood, as well.

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Tim Hortons

tim hortons dubai


Tim Hortons is one of the most recognizable Canadian brands and its success continues in countries around the world. Top-rated in Dubai, well established in the US and Ireland, and expanding rapidly into the UK, Mexican, and Spanish markets as well. Asking for adouble-double is getting that much easier around the world.

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Ting Irie

Ting Irie dubai

Ting Irie/Facebook

Patois, a Chinese-Caribbean restaurant born in Toronto has offspring in the UAE. Ting Irie in Dubai is the first Jamaican restaurant in the city, serving delicious jerk chicken, oxtail, and prized Blue Mountain Coffee.

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weslodge toronto


Cocktails and American comfort foods by way of Toronto, are on the menu at Weslodge in Dubai. Named “Best North American Restaurant 2017” by Time Out Dubai, the UAE location mirrors its Toronto sister with dishes such as the Weslodge Burger, beet salad, and braised short ribs.

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Yogen Fruz

Yogen Fruz

Yogen Fruz/Facebook

Before froyo was even a thing, Yogen Fruz started in 1986 in a mall on the outskirts of Toronto. Its mission to provide customers with a healthy, frozen yogurt experience has helped it grow to over 1,400 locations in 47 countries, including Spain, Singapore, China, Lebanon, and Honduras to name a few.

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See also

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