Where to Eat in Canada, 2008–09.


384 pages
Contains Maps
ISBN 978-0-7780-1318-1
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.


With this edition, Anne Hardy’s guide to eating out in Canada marks its 38th year. It is not and never was intended to be the Canadian version of the Michelin Guide; rather, it offers an alternative to the enduring boredom of eating out on the “death rows” that line approaches to our towns and cities. Discriminating locals do not require Anne’s assistance for in-town dining, but will find it useful for isolating possibilities in neighbouring towns and for pit stops on longer trips. The possibilities range from bakeries with soup-and-sandwich bars to dinky holes-in-the-wall to exceptional family restaurants to white-tablecloth establishments.


For people who like to eat well (as well as “good cheap”), the guide adds an element of adventure to longer automobile journeys. Say you are travelling from south-central Ontario to Prince Rupert, B.C., on the northern Trans-Canada route. Check the appropriate map printed at the front, and pick a number marking a place that you are likely to reach for lunch or dinner. Turn to the map (not the page) number and read the description. Be prepared for number confusion; numbers are not strictly sequential (and, in fact, Prince Rupert is not even listed on the map—it’s represented by an arrow). Be the author of adventure. Pick a place. Open the door, use your nose, take account of attitudes and accoutrements and, if disappointed, stop at a grocery and put together your own lunch. Between Winnipeg and Saskatoon, there is the Prairie Seasons Bakery in Neepawa (think goods baked from local grain, “astonishing” pizzas, and Margaret Laurence) and the Conversations Café in Langenburg (quirky, packed, but open only on Saturdays from 2 to 10 p.m.!). You will be gratified to learn that there is a listing for Terrace, B.C., and three for Prince Rupert. The restaurant descriptions frequently tell us as much about the owners—who are often the chefs—as the food. Ultimately, travelling is about memories. Anne Hardy can help.


Hardy, Anne., “Where to Eat in Canada, 2008–09.,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed April 22, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/26579.