From Oscar-winning actors and rock stars to famous chefs, check out these star-studded Canadian restaurants and bars owned by celebrities.
Mimi La Nuit and Mangiafoco (Montreal, QC)
Simple Plan’s Jeff Stinco is a famous guitarist, but he’s also an ambitious restauranteur. During the band’s downtime, he has opened several restaurants in his native Montreal, the first being an Italian eatery called Mangiafoco. Later, the musician launched Mimi la Nuit, a chic wine bar offering globally-inspired tapas and cocktails in Old Montreal.
Schwartz’s Hebrew Delicatessen (Montreal, QC)
Your appetite will go on at Montreal’s Schwartz’s Deli, co-owned by diva extraordinaire Celine Dion (whose father was a butcher). Considered the oldest deli in Canada, this legendary hotspot on Saint-Laurent Boulevard has been serving preservative-free brisket braised in fine herbs and spices since 1928 and is practically a city landmark. When the deli went up for sale in 2012, Dion and a group of investors reportedly purchased the joint for $10 million. Go for the classic sandwich with smoked meat piled high on rye bread with yellow mustard… and keep your eyes peeled for Celine sightings.
Agrikol (Montreal, QC)
Hungry hordes vie for a table at Agrikol, an award-winning Haitian bar and restaurant in Montreal. But did you know that this popular spot is owned by the Grammy-winning indie rock band Arcade Fire? The venture is brought to you by superstars Régine Chassagne (who is the daughter of Haitian immigrants) and husband/bandmate Win Butler, as well as Toronto restauranteurs Jen Agg and Roland Jean (who grew up in Haiti). The stewed oxtail and whole fried fish gets rave reviews, and diners describe the ceviche and fish empanadas as “amazing.”
Pick 6ix Sports
What do superstar Drake and Chopped Canada judge Chef Antonio Park have in common? The duo opened Pick 6ix, a restaurant and bar in Toronto whose name refers to both a football play and Drake’s hometown. After meeting Drake at a birthday party for basketball star LeBron James, the chef couldn’t resist partnering with the renowned rapper on a food venture. Subsequently, Pick 6ix was born – a gold-studded lounge offering fancy international eats, such as lobster-topped Bolognese pasta to sea bass and Hamachi sashimi to matcha tiramisu. FYI, Drake has his own private washroom in the restaurant.
SPiN (Toronto, ON)
Table tennis is trending in Toronto thanks to Susan Sarandon. The Oscar-winning actress co-founded SPiN, a ping pong bar and club with eight locations across North America. The Toronto location is a 12,000-square-foot space boasting 12 ping pong tables, a lounge, a private party room and a menu of shareable noshes, like empanadas and shrimp bao. You’re bound to have a ball.
Wahlburgers (Toronto, ON)
Box office star Mark Wahlberg and his brothers, Donnie (of New Kids on the Block fame) and Paul, have such fond childhood memories of eating hamburgers at the family kitchen table that they opened Wahlburgers, a Boston-based gourmet burger shack and sports bar. After setting up shop, the Wahlberg brothers launched a second location in Toronto, which Mark called a “cutting-edge city with a lot of cool people.”
One Restaurant (Toronto, ON)
When he’s not visiting his successful chain of grocery stores or sitting on the Chopped Canada judging panel, chef Mark McEwan is busy overseeing to his wildly popular Toronto eatery, One. Open all day, this hotspot is a must for the 9-to-5 crowd, with everything from comforting breakfast dishes to exquisitely plated dinner mains.
Wayne Gretzky's (Toronto, ON) and Gretzky's Wine & Whiskey (Edmonton, AB)
Located near the Scotiabank Arena and Rogers Centre, NHL legend Wayne Gretzky’s restaurant and bar is a sports fan’s dream. Boasting a wealth of hockey memorabilia and a buzzing rooftop patio, this sports bar is the place to be on a Saturday night in the city. After the resounding success of his Toronto location, the former Edmonton Oilers star also opened the family-friendly Gretzky’s Wine & Whiskey in the Edmonton International Airport.
Quitters Coffee (Stittsville, ON)
When Canadian singer-songwriter Kathleen Edwards took a break from making music, she opened Quitters Coffee – an independent café in Stittsville. When she’s not singing tunes and strumming her guitar, you might see Edwards baking muffins and taking orders, but it’s worth going for the food too: from soup to artisan pizza to homemade goodies, her coffeehouse is always exploring new menu options and, in the summer, there’s an ice cream trailer on the patio. In the evenings, the chilled-out café morphs into a licensed bar and live venue, offering talks and late-night trivia.
Big Rig Kitchen and Brewery (Ottawa, ON)
Attention hockey fans: You’ll want to check out Big Rig Kitchen and Brewery, co-owned by retired Ottawa Senators defenseman Chris Phillips – the longest-serving player in the franchise’s history. The restaurant’s name is a nod to Phillips’ nickname during his hockey career. Aside from a taste of hockey history, the menu offers award-winning craft beer paired with comfort cuisine, like the coveted “colossal” double stack burger and “amazing” sweet potato fries.
Vij’s Restaurant (Vancouver, BC)
Chopped Canada judge and Dragon’s Den investor Vikram Vij is a restaurant boss on Canada’s West Coast. He co-owns Vij’s, a fine dining restaurant in Vancouver that’s been praised by the New York Times for its exquisite Indian cuisine. Because the world is not enough, the acclaimed chef and TV personality also owns My Shanti, an eatery serving sumptuous Indian street food, and Vij’s Rangoli, a casual restaurant and market.
Cluck n’ Cleaver (Calgary, AB)
If you’re in Calgary, make a stop at Cluck n’ Cleaver – a take-out joint serving Southern fried and rotisserie chicken that’s enraptured Cowtown. Go for the crispy chicken that’s locally sourced and described as “worth the drive” by fans of the diner. You can also to catch a glimpse of Nicole Gomes, owner of the restaurant and winner of Top Chef Canada: All-Stars.