Ask any pal who hails from The True North what they consider to be the most legendary of Canadian comestibles and you'll receive a wide range of passionate responses, as you'd expect, given the country's openness to new ideas and proud diversity and vastness and no joke, the vastness.
Seriously Canada is huge.
Possible answers might include ketchup chips, mmm, or a cup of Tim Hortons coffee and a breakfast sandwich, or wood-fired Montreal bagels, or butter tarts.
What to do, where to go and what to see
But poutine is queen, and you'd have your argument pretty locked-up from the get-go if you were to attempt to convince a companion that fries + cheese curd + gravy is the iconic Canadian dish.
Thank you Quebec for the whole poutine thing. You really get us.
Simply put, there's no way not to like that savory trio, and there's no way not to semi-shout out the word "poutine!!!," complete with exclamation marks, when you see it on a menu. Given that so many of our Southern California-based friends know all of the words to "O Canada," and given that we SoCalers like bites with backstory, we present some of the best poutines around town in honor of Canada Day, which is the first day of July.
Littlefork: You're in Hollywood, you want poutine, and you'd like some variations on the theme. You can go short rib at this stylish joint, or duck confit, or classic Montreal. The cheese curd is cheddar on that one, which only ups the yum.
Redondo Beach Cafe: This ocean-close spot is so famous for its poutine that the dish is one of the stand-out options on the initial dropdown menu. That tells you much, but here's more: The poutine arrives nine different ways, including topped with mushrooms. Is that another yum-upper? Yup.
Ox & Son: Take a look at these four fascinating words all in a row: Mussel & Tomato Chorizo Poutine. Talk about a whole bunch of kick within the confines of a single plate, and talk about getting to the Santa Monica restaurant to change up your classic poutine game.
Seoul Sausage: Korean galbi is some of the tastiest, most piquant stuff on earth, so pairing it with poutine, with a kimchi kick, seems like an incredibly sensible thing to do. That garlic jalapeno aioli is involved only furthers the food-memory-making-ness of it all.
Brun's Creole Soul Kitchen: If you can catch this kitchen on the roll, and your brandish the right amount of cash, you can dig into a Creole poutine that comes with "Creole roast beef with debris gravy." Tummy-fillers may not arrive heartier around these part, nor more flavorful. Debris gravy.