Warmer temps aren’t the only reason to celebrate the start of spring: it’s the season Canada starts harvesting its most ubiquitous export. While the epoch of maple season lasts only about six weeks when freezing night temperatures thaw trees under the sun’s glow and make the sap flow, this sweet treat has melded its way onto menus giving Canada flavors all its own. Check out these Canada restaurants celebrating maple season in delicious ways.
The Guild, Calgary
What could be better than a hearty brisket to carry one through a serious Canadian chill? The Guild gives it a sweet twist with a maple glaze, served alongside braised black barley, Prairie corn, locally sourced Saskatoon berries, and pickled leeks. Make a reservation at The Guild.
Food is art at Shift, the restaurant inside the new Remai Modern museum, where Quebec-born executive chef Jonathan Harris puts a contemporary spin on dishes like pig-and-duck tourtière and pierogies filled with blackened Saskatoon trout and sumac aioli. Here, maple’s not on pancakes but you can start the day off right with a chia and coconut bowl with wheatberries and maple and preserves for sweetness. Make a reservation at Shift.
Good things come in threes — and trees — at Canoe, where the chicken confit drumettes are tossed in a trio of tree syrups: maple, birch, and cedar. Located high atop the TD Bank Tower on the 54th floor with impressive views of Toronto and Lake Ontario, you may just feel like you’re high above the treetops as well. Make a reservation at Canoe.
Bar George, Montreal
With a rich timeline that dates back to 1880 involving a railway tycoon and a private gentlemen’s business club, Bar George has an impressive history and grand façade. But it’s what’s on the inside that counts here in this boutique hotel — and national historic site — kitchen that cooks up three meals a day. Chefs Anthony Walsh and Kevin Ramasawmy meld U.K. classics with Québécois flavors for dishes like St-Canut porcelet rack with maple-roasted red onions, sunchokes, and beluga lentils with sea buckthorn jus. Make a reservation at Bar George.
Le Champlain, Quebec City
Paint the town red — literally — at one of Quebec City’s most renowned fine-dining spots with speckled foie gras. Here, the Marieville-sourced liver is candied in maple syrup and garnished with Northern fruits like seabuckthorn or blueberries, maple-caramelized almonds, and cedar powder, then drizzled with vibrant beetroot caramel. Make a reservation at Le Champlain.