Canada’s best new restaurants in 2017, according to enRoute

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WATCH: Did your favourite new restaurant make it on the list? Here are the top five best new Canadian restaurants, according to enRoute magazine – Oct 20, 2017

Hungry and curious Canadians, it’s time to eat — here’s the latest restaurant list by enRoute magazine to start digging into.

On Thursday, the magazine by Air Canada released its annual best new restaurants list in Canada, some of the country’s most innovative, topical and delicious places to dine.

“This year we had tremendous diverse cuisines across the country,” Air Canada creative director Anton Vidgen tells Global News. “Canadian chefs are starting to experiment and be more exploratory.”

For the magazine’s 16th list, writer Andrew Braithwaite ate 198 dishes at 30 restaurants before narrowing down the list to 10.

READ MORE: 3 Edmonton restaurants make Canada’s 10 best new restaurants list

And although there aren’t any restaurants from the east coast this year, Vidgen says geography shouldn’t be the focal point.

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“We certainly had them in the top 30, but we never take geography [into consideration],” he says. “We want to show the finest every year has to offer.”

The top spot

This year’s best new restaurant is Quebec City diner Battuto, a 400-square foot space offering up everything from pasta dishes to tuna tartare and carpaccio.

“You’ve got to be in this room to truly feel how the small open kitchen becomes a bigger conversation about dining in 2017. Ever eat one of those meals that just make you want to hug the chef? Go ahead, he’s right there,” Braithwaite wrote.

Other top restaurants include Toronto’s Canis, where plates look too pretty to eat, and Calgary’s wine bar and restaurant Bar Von Der Fels.

READ MORE: 7 best restaurants in Alberta for wine lovers

But in the top 10, enRoute notes, Edmonton was this year’s surprise, with three best new restaurants on the list.

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“Edmonton felt like a different city than the one I’d visited on my four previous tours, and the new hockey arena is a game-changer,” Braithwaite said in a statement. “The cocktail scene has always been strong, and there’s clearly a passion for creating art on the plate, too.”

The methodology

According to the magazine, restaurants get anonymously reviewed under a fake name and the magazine pays for the meal. Eligible restaurants for the 2017 edition must have been opened between spring 2017 and this past summer.

Restaurants are initially nominated by an expert food panel, some of Canada’s top food writers, critics, and chefs.

READ MORE: Taste of Saskatchewan food festival sees record attendance

However, enRoute‘s list is only the reflection of one writer, as opposed to a list of restaurant reviewers.

Canada’s other coast-to-coast list, the 100 Best Restaurants in Canada list, is voted by multiple food critics, chefs, restaurateurs, diners and foodies.

But Vidgen says the next thing he would like to see for Canada’s food scene is to be recognized on an international stage, especially on a list like The World’s 50 Best Restaurants.

Food trends in Canada

Technomic, a company that specializes in food service industry data, released a top five food trend report for Canada in November 2016. This year, some of the country’s biggest food trends included diversifying the ethnic food landscape (moving away from just Chinese and Mexican, for example), getting creative with caffeine and engaged with Gen Z.

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“Look for more ethnic mashup foods, desserts and drinks worthy of Instagram, emoji speak on the menu, chatbots, Snapchat filters, packaging hacks [think a meal box that can charge a smartphone] and a greater emphasis on corporate responsibility and environmental stewardship,” experts said in a statement.

Check out the full list below:

1. Battuto, Quebec City

2. Canis, Toronto

3. Bar Von Der Fels, Calgary

4. Mak N Ming, Vancouver

5. Clementine, Edmonton

6. Cafe Linnea, Edmonton

7. Riviera, Ottawa

8. Brothers Food & Wine, Toronto

9. Marconi, Montreal

10. Alder Room, Edmonton

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