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8 Popular Canadian Chain Restaurants To Visit

Signage of Tim Hortons restaurant in downtown of Ottawa

Canada is a culinary enthusiast’s dream come true because of its enormous and varied landscapes, which are also a visual feast. Canadian chain restaurants are an important part of Canada’s culinary mosaic, which reflects the nation’s multicultural identity. This article takes us on a delicious culinary tour of some of the most well-liked restaurants in the Great White North. These chains offer a distinct taste of Canadian hospitality and flavors, from poutine joints serving up the ultimate comfort food to coffee shops acting as community centers. Our guide will introduce you to the restaurants that have become iconic fixtures of Canada’s culinary landscape, whether you’re a visitor looking for an authentic Canadian dining experience or a local ready to celebrate your country’s culinary treasures. Come along as we explore the savory and sweet treats that await you in the world of Canadian restaurant, ensuring that your trip through the country’s cuisine is an unforgettable experience.

Tim Horton’s

Tim Horton's
Source: Instagram

While the United States has an affinity for Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts, our neighbors to the north have Tim Horton’s. Although not as expansive as its American competitors have in its coffee menu, Tim Horton’s offers a wide range of coffee options and an extensive food menu. As a result of its popularity in Canada, Tim Horton’s has expanded its establishments into the United States. While you won’t find the restaurant chain in all 50 states, there are several in the more northern areas of the country. Don’t miss out on their Boston Creme donuts and Timbits along with your favorite coffee blend. 


Harvey’s

Harveys
Source: Instagram

It’s essentially a requirement that you make a stop to enjoy some poutine when you enter Canada. The popular menu item comprises french fries topped with gravy and other toppings. One of the best places to stop for this delicacy is Harvey’s.In addition to the poutine mentioned above, Harvey’s serves up flame-grilled burgers, chicken, coffee and donut shakes, salads, and desserts. One of my favorite things about Harvey’s is that you can get a side of “frings,” which is half french fries and half onion rings! Another great option is the Skor shake, made with the Hershey candy bar, with a higher level of popularity in Canada than in the United States. 


Pizza Pizza

Pizza Pizza
Source: Instagram

Some Americans may make the comparison of Pizza Pizza to Little Caesars. While there are some similarities, the flavor combinations at Pizza Pizza are more unique than what Little Caesars’ menu offers in the USA. With options like the Butter Chicken Pizza and plant-based sandwiches, salads, and even beer, the restaurant is a great option to pick up dinner on a Friday night. One of my favorite perks of Pizza Pizza is the ability to get pizza for some members of the group but also something different for those abiding by a particular diet or who have another craving. Add in the ability to pick up beer from the same place, and it’s a one-stop-shop!

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New York Fries

New York Fries
Source: Instagram

In an odd turn of events, New York Fries is a Canadian-based chain restaurant with one of the US states in its name. Furthermore, the chain has locations outside Canada, but none are in the United States. So although it has American similarities, it is decidedly Canadian. The menu has a heavy focus on french fries and poutine. With various combinations of gravy and toppings, you can get your exact cravings met at New York Fries. You can even get a poutine kit to take home, allowing you to have fresh fries without the gravy making them mushy. Lastly, do not sleep on the hot dogs. They have several varieties, all of which are top-notch.


Pita Pit

Pita Pit
Source: Instagram

You may be looking for something considered more healthy after having your fair share of poutine and pizza. The Pita Pit is an excellent direction to take when looking for something that doesn’t weigh as heavy on the stomach. You can choose from some pre-established combinations that the eatery offers or create your own. You will find Pita Pit restaurants throughout all of Canada. Locals flock to the chain restaurant for popular dishes like the Ancho Chicken and Black Bean Pita and the Jalapeno Club. However, if you want to cut carbs, you can also get the meal without the pita bread.


Mr. Sub

Mr. Sub
Source: Instagram

Similar to the American chain restaurant Subway, Mr. Sub offers cold-cut submarines with various toppings and sides. The sandwiches are typically offered in two sizes, small and large, and you can choose to create your own combination or choose one of the restaurant’s specialty subs. You’ll find the famous Chicken Parmesan, Canadian Club, and Spicy Breaded Chicken among the signature options. You can also order meatless options, wraps, and high protein combinations. I love that Mr. Sub prides itself on serving Raised Without Antibiotics (RWA) meat in their sandwiches, making me feel better about eating lunch meat.


Mary Brown’s

Mary Browns
Source: Instagram

If you love chicken of all varieties, you definitely want to carve time out of your trip to visit one of the top Canadian chain restaurants, Mary Brown’s. At Mary’s, you can find Nashville seasoning atop chicken and potatoes and many other flavorings loved by many. You will get a phenomenal taste of southern cooking when visiting Mary Brown’s, and dessert is no exception. I recommend that you double up on this portion of the meal and order both the banana pudding and the Cadbury Caramilk Cup. You won’t regret the calories; that is a guarantee. 

See also  15 Oldest Fast Food Restaurants in America

Swiss Chalet

Swiss Chalet
Source: Instagram

The priority at Swiss Chalet is having a wholesome meal with high-quality ingredients. The best part is that you don’t have to drive to the restaurant to enjoy it. In response to demand for such, the company now sells frozen variations of their most popular dishes, including back ribs and pot pie.You will have many options to choose from when you visit the Swiss Chalet restaurant. Between salads, ribs, chicken dishes, poutines, pierogies, and various desserts, you will leave with a completely full and happy stomach at the end of your meal. Don’t forget to start off your meal with chicken soup!

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Written by Brian Nagele

Brian attended West Virginia University, then started his career in the IT industry before following his passion for marketing and hospitality. He has over 20 years experience in the restaurant and bar industry.

As a former restaurant owner, he knows about running a food business and loves to eat and enjoy cocktails on a regular basis. He constantly travels to new cities tasting and reviewing the most popular spots.

Follow him on LinkedIn, Instagram, Quora, Google Guide and Facebook.