The food & beverage sector in Canada boasts an array of different tastes and colours


The diversity of different cultures and ethnic groups in Canada allows for a vast variety of taste buds to be satisfied. With immigrants coming from all over the world, including Africa and Asia, one will not go hungry as there are many cuisines to choose from. From the fast-food chains that we know and crave to the authentic restaurants that serve typical Canadian dishes like Poutine and Tourtière, Canada certainly has a lot to offer in the food and beverage sector of the country. From our favourite African chop bars to our home-cooked Middle Eastern dishes, the choices are endless. Of course, every part of Canada offers different styles of these dishes, but one thing is for sure, you will never feel homesick once you find the right spot to choose and eat from.

Canada has long been, and continues to be, a land of immigration. More than 17 million immigrants have landed in Canada since 1867. Of course, most individuals and families who have settled in Canada work in jobs, but also open businesses. The success of the food industry in Canada is partially attributable to immigrants. Although they have moved for better opportunities for themselves and their families, many need the taste of home, and non-immigrant Canadians also appreciate diverse cuisines.

Immigrants come from many different countries, bringing with them their cultural, ethnic, linguistic and culinary heritage. Settlers in Canada have come from all over the world, with initial settlers being from England and France. But today, people from China, India and the Philippines are among the largest groups to immigrate to and settle in Canada. With nostalgic feelings and longing for foods from back home, some opened amazing restaurants in their new home country!

The many cultures of Canada!

Who doesn’t love some great Chinese, Indian or a scrumptious Ghanaian meal?! With a lot of individuals from Ghana who are going to Canada to immigrate, study or visit, you can be sure more local chop bars will mushroom throughout the big and small cities. I have friends who have moved to Toronto, and they tell me they do not miss ‘fufu’ because they have it there all the time.

A lot of Ghanaians are now travelling and moving to different parts of the world, including Canada. While many wish to stay in Ghana, where they have excellent employment opportunities and thriving businesses, some wish to take opportunities to travel or live overseas. Many businesspeople wish for their children to study overseas and return to Ghana as part of their succession plans for their family businesses. Although the weather is totally different from the tropical climate many newcomers are used to, newcomers to Canada are tough and adaptable. The weather is very cold in many parts of Canada, but one adapts very quickly and learns how to dress very well to keep themselves warm and comfortable. Staple Ghanaian ingredients are carbohydrates and starch-based, paired with stews and soups. That is perfect for what the cold weather requires.

Almost a third of the new immigrants who arrived in Canada in 2021 were from India – by far the highest of any country. Indians, like Ghanaians, are skilled people. Ontario and British Columbia are home to the largest Indian-Canadian communities, followed by growing communities in Alberta and Quebec as well, with the majority of them being foreign-born. According to a recent report in the Economic Times in 2021, nearly 100,000 Indians became permanent residents of Canada as the country admitted a record of 405,000 new immigrants in its history. During 2021-2022, over 210,000 permanent residents also acquired Canadian citizenship, the report said.

Wherever Indians settle in a country, be sure they are going to share their food with you. One can expect to find a wide variety of Indian dishes across the country. You will walk in neighbourhoods and little streets and smell the aromas of spices and curries, and if you’re Indian, that alone will give you a sense of relief.

The Chinese settled in Canada between 1880 and 1885, and contributed greatly to the culinary experience. Chinese immigrants who move to Canada mainly choose Vancouver and Toronto to settle in. These cities also have wonderful Chinese neighbourhoods and Chinatowns. In particular, Chinatown in Vancouver is the second-largest Chinatown in North America because of its size is second only to San Francisco’s Chinatown. In these communities, these places are known for their buzzing food scene, traditional Asian bakeries, dim sum restaurants and hip cocktail bars, and you are sure to find all of that there in Vancouver.

Just like Chinatown, there is Koreatown as well, which is not very surprising with the Korean pop culture that is taking the world by storm. Koreatown is in Toronto and its settlers moved to Canada in the 1970’s. Korean street food is big now. If you have an Instagram account, I am sure you have come across the mukbangs that make us all drool. Corn dogs, Kimchi and Korean fried chicken are among the many items you can find in Pojangmacha food carts in Koreatown.

Little Italy and Little Portugal are also neighbourhoods in Canada which one must not dismiss. And these ‘little’ neighbourhoods don’t end there. Little Italy is located in Toronto, and is known for its restaurants and businesses. These developments were, of course, started by Italian immigrants who settled in Canada after World War I, although there had been settlers since the 1800’s. You can be sure to find the traditional Italian eateries and trattorias, cafés and bars. Little Portugal, a charming neighbourhood in Montreal, has a mix of people who own businesses like bakeries, grocery stores and coffee shops. While walking around on its streets, there is a good chance you will hear Portuguese-speaking ladies having coffee and chatting. There are many places to get Portuguese-style roast chicken if you want something that is simple and tasty.

The Lebanese community in Canada includes between 200,000 and 400,000 people, and they all live in all parts of the country. Lebanese immigrants are known to boast about and share their food with friends and family. If they cannot find a restaurant that fills their heart, they will open one. Many Lebanese immigrants have started home businesses where they cook home-made meals, cater and deliver all over the city where they live – Hummus, Kibbeh, Tabbouleh.

Just ask any Lebanese person in Canada where they serve the best, and the recommendations to the ‘best’ restaurant will be given within seconds.

Anyone who wants to travel or immigrate to a new country must have something there that makes them want to stay there, and having a little piece of your home will help tremendously. Language and food are the first things people often ask for when travelling or locating to a new place. Canada will surely satisfy these needs that will help pave the way for travellers and families.

Moving to a different country is always a scary decision that involves dipping into your savings and taking a big risk. But knowing you will find a piece of home when you immigrate to a new place, specifically Canada, you can rest assured that it will not seem too foreign to you. Canada has so much to offer families, singletons and young couples. It opens pathways to education and business as it is always in need of new ideas, and it supports these news ideas. Canada is welcoming to people from all races and backgrounds. You can tell all of that by the vast array of restaurants and eateries in the big and small neighbourhoods in the big and small cities.


How much money would I need to eat out with a friend in Canada?

That really depends on what and where you want to eat. In cities like Toronto and Montreal, which are the cosmopolitan parts of Canada, restaurants and eateries tend to be pricier than smaller cities and towns. However, it all depends on what types of foods you are looking for. If it is street food you want, the price range could be from CAD$3 to CAD$15. If you want fine dining, then you are looking at CAD$50 and upward. It all really depends on what you want to eat and how much you want to pay.

Will I really taste authentic African dishes if I find a chop bar in Canada?

Yes! The owners of these establishments have all migrated to Canada from their West African nations and they usually are the ones who make the food in their restaurants. The tastes and flavours are authentic.

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