Where to Eat in Canada, 2007–08.


400 pages
Contains Maps
ISBN 978-0-7780-1299-3
DDC 647'.9571






Reviewed by John R. Abbott

John Abbott is a professor of history at Laurentian University’s Algoma University College. He is the co-author of The Border at Sault Ste Marie and The History of Fort St. Joseph.


For 36 years Anne Hardy’s selection of Canadian restaurants has saved travellers from the culinary equivalent of death row. When on the road, one recalls with pleasure the question, usually asked about 10:30 in the morning and again at 3:30 in the afternoon: “Where are we likely to be between 12:00 and 1:00, or 6:00 and 7:30? Has Anne selected any restaurants in the vicinity and, if so, how far off the selected route are they?” Eating on the road is anticipated with pleasure, and evaluated critically. How else would one discover the lunchtime charms of a Mennonite restaurant in Steinbach, Manitoba, or the homemade soup and delectable sticky buns at Currah’s Bakery in Maple Creek, Saskatchewan?


Locating the restaurant in the book is also an adventure. One first looks at the relevant but rudimentary maps in the front and, after consulting the road atlas on the other knee, picks a number from the province one is passing through. The number is then located in the index, followed by the name of the settlement. The town, village, city, or hamlet is then located on the road atlas, and a decision made on the basis of location. After reading the description, a second decision is made in regard to the restaurant’s hours, strengths, and pricing. All of this passes the time with pleasure.


How reliable has the guide been? Aside from an absolute disaster at one restaurant in Swift Current, Saskatchewan, its reputation for reliability has been outstanding. On occasion, enthusiasm has prompted us to send the book into the kitchen, where the chef was asked to sign next to his restaurant’s description! There is one caveat. Anne has become more sentimental than she ought, and is retaining some listings for old time’s sake. She ought to return to first principles, and assess restaurants on the basis of the food alone. Highly recommended.


Hardy, Anne., “Where to Eat in Canada, 2007–08.,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed April 22, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/26578.