When it comes to celebrating seafood, Canadian restaurants make the most of the ingredients that come from the surrounding waters. From the salmon, oysters, lobsters and mussels of the Atlantic to the seasonally coveted spot prawns, shellfish and sablefish from the Pacific, as well as delicacies such as , restaurants have a bounty of choice. Over 66.7 thousand tonnes of seafood were sold to restaurants and foodservice in Canada in 2022, according to the Government of Canada, a number that is just expected to rise in the coming years across the country. Read on for our favourite seafood restaurants across Canada from coast to coast.
Minami — Vancouver, British Columbia
Often fished from the waters of Northern British Columbia, sablefish is a supple, silky whitefish marinated in white saikyo miso, found on the menu at Vancouver’s Minami Restaurant. Minami is also part of the Aburi Group, which refers to the flame-torched finish on the sushi and other dishes offered at many of its restaurants.
Sabor — Edmonton, Alberta
The brainchild of a former musical theatre veteran (Christian Mena was in Rent opposite Neal Patrick Harris) and chef Lino Oliveira, Sabor showcases seafood through an Iberian lens, spotlighting the flavours of Spain and Portugal. You’ll find bacalao on the menu, but also local offerings including BC halibut, king salmon and white sturgeon.
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Bon Temps — Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
The bourbon may be flowing at this Cajun and Creole joint in Saskatoon (they apparently started the city’s first restaurant bourbon club), but the seafood on the menu at Bon Temps Cafe also offers good times. You can even get the restaurant’s Low County Boil (seasoned crawdads, shrimp, mussels, clams, andouille sausage, jambalaya, and corn) in a bag to cook at home.
Friskee Pearl Bar+Eatery — Winnipeg, Manitoba
Owner Chris Graves and chef Sean McKay want to bring the spirit of an East Coast kitchen party to the middle of the country with the newly-opened Friskee Pearl Bar+Eatery. Peek through the porthole windows into the open kitchen to watch white clam pizza, chowder with haddock, PEI mussels or wood-fired oysters Rockefeller being prepared.
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Chiado Restaurant — Toronto, Ontario
Although Canadian seafood such as Atlantic salmon and Nova Scotia lobster are on the menu, a notable part of long-standing favourite ’s is chef Albino Silva’s selection of fresh fish flown in daily from Portugal. Silva also operates two other restaurants in the city, including seafood-focused Adega, which also offers his signature Tunisian octopus.
Park — Montreal, Quebec
Chef Antonio Park isn’t just the occasional judge on Chopped Canada — he’s also the name behind Park, a restaurant in Montreal combining Japanese cuisine with South Korean and South American flavours. Park focuses on sustainable, line-caught seafood (the restaurant has a private import seafood license) and sources locally within Quebec.
Skipper Jack’s — Moncton, New Brunswick
Skipper Jack’s had to rebuild after a fire in 2014, and owners Robert Holmes and his son Jonathan took the opportunity to update the local favourite. It uses fresh shucked Bay of Fundy lobster in their house lobster rolls, melts, clubs and whole lobster dinners, as well as local scallops, offered bacon-wrapped or deep-fried, or take-home options from the in-house seafood counter.
Bar Kismet — Halifax, Nova Scotia
Owners Jenner Cormier and Annie Brace-Lavoie first opened noodle stall Potions and Provisions at the Halifax Seaport to meet local suppliers and have parlayed that knowledge into seafood and cocktail spot Bar Kismet. With fresh takes on Maritime mainstays such as halibut cheek, the small restaurant also turns out some world-class cocktails (it recently won Tales of the Cocktail Foundation’s Best International Bar award).
Water Prince Corner Shop and Lobster Pound — Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
Charlottetown local Shane Campbell and his family have run Water Prince Corner Shop and Lobster Pound for three decades in the former Prince Street Grocery, which dates back to 1850. Campbell buys directly from local wharves and fishermen for the menu, which offers PEI clams, lobster rolls, scallop burgers and homemade fish cakes.
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The Duke of Duckworth — St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador
It may not be the first place you’d think of for seafood, but although the pub is reportedly haunted by a friendly spirit named Fred, The Duke of Duckworth in St. John’s also has a reputation for its fish and chips. Operating for a quarter of a century, the local pub is owned by Terry O’Rourke and Colin Dalton.
Wayfarer Oyster House — Whitehorse, Yukon
Those looking for some suds to go with their local oysters don’t have to travel far from Wayfarer Oyster House— the restaurant is housed within local craft brewery Polarity Brewing. Although the namesake oysters are the focus here, there’s also Yukon, Alaskan, and BC seafood including Arctic char cheekily presented as a sando, with a bun from artisanal bakery Landed Bakehouse.
Bullock’s Bistro — Yellowknife, Northwest Territories
Housed in a historic log building, Bullock’s Bistro has served local wild caught fish from the Great Slave Lake for 30 years. Diners can choose from offerings such as whitefish, Great Slave cod, lake trout, pickerel, Arctic char or Inconnu and pick the cooking method — deep fried, grilled, or pan fried. Owners Jo-Ann Martin and Mark Elson, who bought the restaurant from original owner Sam Bullock in 2016 under the condition that almost nothing would change, also sell Bullock’s house made sauces to local grocers.