These roaming purveyors of hot and crispy hand-cut fries are part of Canada’s culinary identity. If you’re road tripping across the country this summer, here are 10 must-stop spots to satisfy your chip cravings.
The Little Red Chip Wagon (Norris Point, NL)
A scenic drive through Newfoundland’s Gros Morne National Park isn’t complete without a stop at The Little Red Chip Wagon. Featuring both takeaway and seating with a view, this charming spot is much more than just chips. As any visitor to the East Coast would expect, it serves up fresh cod daily alongside traditional burgers and hotdogs.
Bob Patate (Gatineau, QC)
Located on Rue Saint-Louis close to the Boulevard Gréber in Gatineau, Bob Patate attracts hungry customers from two provinces, including those who cross the bridge from Ottawa year-round to visit the little roadside shack famous for its chips and, of course, classic Québec-style poutine.
Wes’ Chips (Arnprior, ON)
Wes’ Chips has been a tradition in the Ottawa Valley since 1960, when Wes and Monique Dodds bought an old Ford truck and began selling fries out of it on old Highway 17. As they experimented with different potatoes and oils over the years, the chip truck’s reputation for perfect fries grew. Today, the truck takes up permanent residence on Madawaska Boulevard.
Jake’s Chip Wagon (Niagara Falls, ON)
One of the landmarks in a city famous for its landmarks, Jake and Amy Hiebert’s vintage blue chip truck has been on the streets of Niagara Falls since 1951.Jake’s Chip Wagon is such a foodie destination that 40 culinary-management students from Niagara College recently took a field trip to taste its renowned chips. Now that’s the kind of field trip we’d enjoy.
Albert’s Rolling Lunch (Sarnia, ON)
Practically as famous as the twin bridges that connect Michigan and Ontario over the St. Clair River in Sarnia, Albert’s Rolling Lunch has been parked beneath one of them, the Blue Water Bridge, selling its homemade fries and hamburgers every summer for the past 50 years.
Larry’s Chip Stand and The Riv Chip Stand (Sturgeon Falls, ON)
If you’re driving through Sturgeon Falls this summer, take a break to settle the decades-old rivalry between two chip stands in a town famous for its fries. Located across the street from one another, Larry’s Chip Stand and The Riv Chip Stand both boast a range of tasty treats, including Pogos, charbroiled burgers, milkshakes, poutine and, of course, chips.
Ye Olde Chip Truck (Kenora, ON)
Since its very first chip truck opened its doors in 1957, Ye Old Chip Truck has been an institution loved by cottagers, tourists and locals alike, cooking and serving its famous fries the exact same way — with red potatoes grown locally and traditionally dressed with salt and vinegar. Today, it has four locations, which are as much a part of the town as its other famous landmark, Husky the Musky.
Mr. Spudds (Regina, SK)
A 1953 Chevrolet truck that’s been churning out delicious chips for more than 20 years, Mr. Spudds was one of the first of its kind in Regina. Its family has since expanded to include a poutinerie and a popcorn/smokie cart. “We built our first food truck serving fries and poutine over 20 years ago,” says owner Kevin Harty. “Believe me, it wasn’t all gravy.”
Jeffer’s Fryzz (Kelowna and Penticton, BC)
Since its opening on Penticton’s Main Street in 1984, Jeffer’s Fryzz has become one of B.C.’s most well-known food trucks. It first cemented its reputation with its hand-cut chips, and later brought poutine to the Okanagan Valley. They also added beer-battered Alaskan cod to their menu 10 years ago, which is a must-try.
Jennifer Paterson is a 30-something journalist based in Toronto, where she lives, eats and writes about food.