May 19, 2024

13 of the Best Canadian Restaurants for Wine Lovers

Like most places with a history of converging cultures, Canada boasts a vibrant culinary landscape. Today’s Canadian restaurants honor the country’s many culinary influences and use the local bounty to create distinctive, dynamic cuisine. The country’s renowned wine regions are also celebrated at many destinations, including these 13 Wine Spectator Restaurant Award winners across four provinces. From Okanagan Valley whites and Niagara ice wines to Bordeaux and Burgundies, the best of the best in the world of wine is on display in these carefully curated lists.

To check out more wine-and-food destinations around the world, see Wine Spectator’s more than 3,500 Restaurant Award–winning restaurants, including all 134 award winners in Canada and the more than 90 Grand Award recipients worldwide that hold our highest honor.

Each year, our editors judge thousands of wine lists from across the world for Wine Spectator’s Restaurant Awards, which recognize restaurants with wine lists that offer interesting selections that complement their cuisine and appeal to a wide variety of wine fans. To qualify, wine lists must generally feature around 90 selections; and they must offer full and accurate information for all wines, including appellations, vintages and correct spellings of producer and wine names. We take overall presentation into account. Lists that meet these criteria are judged for one of our three awards: Award of Excellence, Best of Award of Excellence and Grand Award.

Do you have a favorite you’d like to see on this list below? Send your recommendations to [email protected]. We want to hear from you!

Best Restaurants for Wine in Alberta

Post Hotel Dining Room

Post Hotel & Spa, 200 Pipestone Road, Lake Louise
Telephone (800) 661-1586
Website posthotel.com/dine/cuisine
Grand Award

Grand Award winner Post Hotel Dining Room houses an impressive collection of 22,000 wine bottles. (Michael Soroka)

Founded in 1942 in the hamlet of Lake Louise—a premier location for Rocky Mountain skiing—Post Hotel & Spa offers a range of luxurious experiences, from spa treatments to snowmobile tours to heli-skiing. It is also home to the Grand Award–winning Post Hotel Dining Room, which delivers one of the finest wine programs in Canada.

What’s on the Menu

The Dining Room’s breakfast menu encompasses a handful of sweet and savory dishes, with a buffet add-on option, while the dinner items are showcased across a four-course prix fixe menu ($107 USD per person). Chef Hans Sauter highlights Canadian meats, fish and produce in dishes such as a beet salad with Muscovy duck confit, an Alberta bison tenderloin with roasted Brussels sprouts and a Parmesan cream tagliatelle with seasonal mushrooms. To elevate the dining experience, guests can add a 30-ounce Miyazaki A5 Wagyu striploin to any main course. Desserts include an apple mille-feuille, s’mores, a banana split and more.

Wine List Highlights

After a long day on the slopes, skiers can relax with wine director Julian Simard-Gillis’ 3,600-selection program, which primarily features wines from California, Burgundy, Bordeaux, the Rhône Valley, Tuscany, Piedmont and Australia. The list features many values under $100, as well as wines from Canadian producers such as Checkmate and Flat Rock Cellars. To complement sweeter items on the menu, guests can pick from dozens of Vintage Ports as well as a deep vertical of Château d’Yquem Sauternes.


Eden

Rimrock Resort Hotel, 300 Mountain Ave., Banff
Telephone (403) 762-1848
Website rimrockresort.com/
Best of Award of Excellence

A table in the Eden dining room, showing the Rocky Mountains in the distance

The dining room of Eden overlooks the mighty Canadian Rocky Mountains. (Courtesy of Eden)

At the foot of the picturesque Canadian Rocky Mountains, the Rimrock Resort Hotel is a stone’s throw from some of the country’s finest skiing and hiking at Banff National Park. Within the resort itself lies fine-dining destination Eden, which specializes in imaginative French fare served via exquisitely staged plates.

What’s on the Menu

The Rimrock Resort Hotel’s executive chef Sebastian Brand has developed several prix-fixe options. The four-course Reverie menu ($99 USD) features delicate and composed dishes such as lamb tartare with carrot curd, maple-glazed Brussels sprouts with chestnuts and a Brant Lake Wagyu tenderloin with morels. The seven-course Fauna menu ($136) is more savory, offering plates such as a foie gras parfait topped with pistachios, a smoky signature cheese tart and sablefish served with chorizo, clams and lobster bisque.

Wine List Highlights

Eden has held a Best of Award of Excellence for its wine list since 2003. Wine director Robert Irving oversees the 1,300-label list (representing a 17,000-bottle cellar), which shows strength in Bordeaux, Burgundy, Italy, Spain, Australia, California and Canada. It features about 25 Champagnes and a range of wines from the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia, including Pinot Gris from Gray Monk and Riesling from Gehringer Brothers. Also on offer are still and dessert wines from the Niagara Peninsula and numerous Chardonnays and Cabernet Sauvignons from Sonoma and Napa Valley in California, among other selections.


River Café

25 Princes Island Park S.W., Calgary
Telephone (403) 261-7670
Website river-cafe.com
Best of Award of Excellence

Trees in bloom outside of Calgary’s River Cafe

River Café is nestled within Prince’s Island Park, one of Calgary’s most beautiful green areas. (Courtesy of River Café)

In Prince’s Island Park along the Bow River, River Café is a quaint Calgary mainstay. The Canadian menu changes seasonally and focuses on locality and sustainability, and the cuisine is complemented by a Best of Award of Excellence–winning wine program that’s strongest in French, Canadian, Italian and Californian offerings.

What’s on the Menu

Chef Scott MacKenzie and his team offer brunch, lunch, dinner and tasting menus that feature comforting dishes such as Sudo Farms butternut squash soup, Atlantic lobster agnolotti and Lambtastic Farm lamb sirloin. While some restaurants offer charcuterie spreads, River Café instead has a fish and game board that’s loaded with cured meats, seasonal potted seafood, smoked salmon, fruit preserves, crackers and the restaurant’s signature pickles. As a bonus, lunch and dinner dishes come with complimentary sourdough bread and house-churned butter.

Wine List Highlights

Sommelier and cellar manager Bruce Soley has crafted a 550-wine program focused on terroir-driven wines across the world, with Fiano di Avellino and Greco di Tufo from Mastroberardino in Italy’s Campania region, Rieslings from Trimbach in France’s Alsace region and a multitude of wines from Canadian producers such as Blue Mountain and Kettle Valley. The Canadian wine choices encompass regions from the Niagara Peninsula and Prince Edward County in Ontario to the Okanagan and Similkameen Valleys in British Columbia.

Best Restaurants for Wine in British Columbia

Mott 32

1161 W. Georgia St., Vancouver
Telephone (604) 861-0032
Website mott32.com/vancouver
Best of Award of Excellence

The Mott 32 Vancouver dining room with a ceiling of skylights, black-and-brown chairs and a vase of yellow flowers at its center

Vancouver’s Mott 32 is a leader of Chinese fine dining in Canada. (Leila Kwok for Mott 32 Vancouver)

Mott 32 is an acclaimed Chinese restaurant group, and its Vancouver location brings Cantonese cuisine to the Paradox Hotel in the Coal Harbour district. The restaurant’s name pays homage to New York City’s first Chinese grocery store, at 32 Mott St. in the Chinatown neighborhood. Mott 32 has an expansive dining room with booths boasting sweeping views of downtown Vancouver, plus private dining rooms for intimate gatherings.

What’s on the Menu

Chef Hong Wei He incorporates Beijing and Szechuan influences into the menu, which includes dim sum options made with Nova Scotia lobster, Ibérico ham and wild mushrooms. For larger plates, look to the likes of whole-roasted Peking duck with an optional topping of Northern Divine caviar, whole-braised South African dried abalone with oyster sauce and Japanese Wagyu A5-plus–grade beef with asparagus.

Wine List Highlights

Wine director Robert Stelmachuk offers an extensive selection of bottlings to pair with Asian flavors found in Mott 32’s cuisine. This includes off-dry white wines from Germany, Austria and France’s Alsace, as well as Loire Valley whites, Beaujolais reds and Bordeaux. Among the 400 labels (representing a 2,800-bottle cellar) are wines from leading producers such as Alsace’s Zind-Humbrecht, Germany’s Koehler-Ruprecht and more.


The Pointe Restaurant

Wickaninnish Inn, 500 Osprey Lane, Tofino
Telephone (250) 725-3106
Website thepointerestaurant.ca
Best of Award of Excellence

A table set with wineglasses at the Pointe Restaurant, with wine bottles on racks in the background

France, Canada, California and Italy are the stars of the wine list at the Pointe Restaurant at the Wickaninnish Inn. (Kyler Vos)

On an outcropping overlooking the Pacific Ocean, Wickaninnish Inn’s the Pointe Restaurant offers impressive wine and dining experiences to match the views of waves crashing onto the rocky, forested shoreline. The coastal waters provide fresh seafood and shellfish for executive chef Clayton Fontaine, a recent addition to the Wickaninnish team after longtime chef Carmen Ingham retired in 2023.

What’s on the Menu

Fontaine is quickly making his mark at this getaway spot, focusing on local ingredients to inform the Pointe’s breakfast, dinner and tasting menus. Indeed, Fontaine believes it is important to work with Vancouver Island fishers, farmers and foragers. Recent dishes include sturgeon-and-scallop roulade with locust blossoms, braised lamb neck with Brussels sprouts and charcoal-grilled sablefish with a maple-mushroom glaze.

Wine List Highlights

Housed in the three, glass-lined display rooms of Howard’s Wine Cellar, the Pointe Restaurant’s nearly 850-label restaurant wine program is run by food and beverage director Ike Seaman. His main focuses are smaller producers from around the globe as well as Canadian wineries, with options from premier wine regions like Okanagan Valley. Guests will find Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz and more from Canadian producers such as Burrowing Owl, Culmina and Checkmate, as well as standout wineries farther afield, including Australia’s Torbreck and Argentina’s Catena Zapata. The cellar space is available for private tastings and dinners throughout the year.

Best Restaurants for Wine in Ontario

Opus Restaurant on Prince Arthur

37 Prince Arthur Ave., Toronto
Telephone (416) 921-3105
Website opusrestaurant.com
Grand Award

Bottles on wood shelves in the cellar of Opus Restaurant on Prince Arthur in Canada

In Toronto, a city with amazing wine destinations, Opus Restaurant on Prince Arthur stands out with its 52,000-bottle cellar. (Courtesy of Opus Restaurant on Prince Arthur)

Since opening Opus Restaurant on Prince Arthur, brothers Tony and Mario Amaro have successfully achieved their goal of turning the property into a wine lover’s destination. The restaurant earned its first Restaurant Award in 1996 and received a Grand Award in 2002. On Prince Arthur Avenue, steps from the University of Toronto and the Royal Ontario Museum, Opus features a wood-clad wine cellar and a courtyard canopied by a Manitoba maple tree.

What’s on the Menu

Chef Jason Cox has been with the restaurant for 18 years. He serves an eclectic, seasonal menu with a throughline of Canadian heritage, while taking inspiration from European and Asian culinary traditions. The menu features dishes such as seared foie gras with maple apples, red deer venison with Savoy cabbage and bacon, duck breast over yuzu-braised lentils and a rack of Ontario lamb with spaetzle and saffron.

Wine List Highlights

Tony Amaro oversees the list of 2,100 labels, spotlighting wineries across the world, primarily in Burgundy, Bordeaux, Tuscany, Australia and Piedmont. The program features verticals and large-format selections from recognizable names such as Château Haut-Brion, Château Latour and Pétrus. Canada’s signature ice wines are represented by a lineup from the Niagara Peninsula’s Inniskillin.


Via Allegro Ristorante

3-1750 The Queensway W., Suite 443, Etobicoke
Telephone (416) 622-6677
Website viaallegroristorante.com
Grand Award

Diners cut into a piece of beef decorated with onions and flowers, next to red and wine glasses

Pair fine Italian cuisine with great wines from Tuscany and Piedmont at Via Allegro Ristorante. (Courtesy of Via Allegro)

Grand Award winner Via Allegro Ristorante offers Italian fine dining in the heart of the Etobicoke district of Toronto. The centerpiece of the dining room is a glass-enclosed cellar housing 20,000 wine bottles. The restaurant’s remaining 25,000 bottles are stored in 15 free-standing, temperature-controlled refrigerator units throughout the space, meaning diners can easily view the robust collection in its entirety.

What’s on the Menu

Chef Marco Zandona’s Italian cuisine blends traditional techniques with modern twists for dishes such as citrus-ginger tuna tartare with crispy rice, short rib agnolotti with maitake mushrooms and mortadella-topped pizza with honey, confit shallots and smoked tomatoes. A handful of “for the table” offerings include arrabbiata sauce arancini, warm spiced olives and bone marrow with crostini, salsa verde and onion jam.

Wine List Highlights

Wine director Wendy Votto’s program features more than 950 selections from Tuscany alone, with deep collections of bottles from Tenuta dell’Ornellaia and Antinori. The Piedmont picks are similarly robust and join other selections from up and down the boot. The 4,400-wine program also excels with showings from Canada, Bordeaux, the Rhône Valley, Burgundy, California, Australia and Portugal.


Langdon Hall

Langdon Hall Country House Hotel & Spa, 1 Langdon Drive, Cambridge
Telephone (800) 268-1898
Website langdonhall.ca
Best of Award of Excellence

A dish of tomatoes, blue and purple flowers and green foam at Langdon Hall

Canadian ingredients shine across Langdon Hall’s innovative, French-influenced menu. (Jennifer Houghton)

Eugene Langdon Wilks, a descendant of real estate magnate John Jacob Astor, established Langdon Hall Country House Hotel & Spa in 1902 on land he purchased in 1898. Today, it is a hotel surrounded by 76 acres of protected natural land about an hour and a half from Toronto. The property has a deep connection to wine: Wilks and his wife, Pauline, owned a château in France’s Loire Valley and were enthusiastic collectors of wines from that region and beyond.

What’s on the Menu

At the hotel’s Best of Award of Excellence–winning restaurant, chef Jason Bangerter showcases Canadian ingredients through a French lens. Bangerter offers three-course and nine-course tasting menus and an à la carte menu, all with standout dishes: crème de homard, a dish of lobster, squash and spiced pear that can be topped with organic Canadian white sturgeon caviar; butter-poached salmon with black truffles, hazelnut and nasturtium flowers; and smoked beef with mashed rutabaga, hen of the wood mushrooms and a thyme jus. A menu of vegetarian and vegan options is also available.

Wine List Highlights

Wine director Faye MacLachlan works closely with Bangerter to land on selections that complement Langdon Hall’s cuisine. The wine list features more than 1,800 selections and excels in France (especially Burgundy, the Rhône Valley and Bordeaux), Italy, California, Canada and Australia. This includes Champagne from Jacquesson, Brunello di Montalcino from Casanova di Neri and more, as well as lesser-known selections.


Louix Louis

St. Regis Toronto, 325 Bay St., Toronto
Telephone (416) 637-5550
Website louixlouis.com
Best of Award of Excellence

A dish of salmon next to a Martini cocktail at Louix Louis

Head to the 31st floor of the St. Regis Toronto for a meal at Louix Louis. (Courtesy of Louix Louis)

Louix Louis, which earned a Best of Award of Excellence winner in 2023, is housed within the St. Regis hotel in downtown Toronto’s harborside neighborhood of Old Toronto, the starting place from which the city expanded. The restaurant’s dining room features brass and leather elements, as well as high vaulted ceilings decorated with a rosy, marblelike pattern.

What’s on the Menu

Headed by Philippines-born chef Luigi de Guzman, the Louix Louis menu is French-influenced and features dishes such as king crab salad with a truffle vinaigrette, seared foie gras from New York’s Hudson Valley and filet mignon with a Madeira-laced Périgueux sauce. Louix Louis is also open for breakfast, lunch and weekend brunch services.

Wine List Highlights

Food and beverage director Sari Ejjeh oversees a wine program of 400 labels, specializing in French and American selections. This includes well-known producers such as Burgundy’s William Fèvre, Bordeaux’s Lynch Bages and Napa Valley’s Dominus Estate. The wine list also features a page dedicated to Laurent-Perrier Champagnes, with choice selections such as the Brut Champagne Grand Siècle Grande Cuvée Nº25 NV.


Reign Restaurant + Bar + Bakery

Fairmont Royal York Hotel, 100 Front St. W., Toronto
Telephone (416) 368-2511
Website reigntoronto.ca
Best of Award of Excellence

Dark gray booths at set wood tables at Reign, with murals of outdoor scenes on the wall

Reign Restaurant is a star among Toronto’s many steak houses. (Courtesy of Reign Restaurant)

Inside Toronto’s historic Fairmont Royal York hotel, Best of Award of Excellence winner Reign boasts a dining room, a Jazz Age–influenced wine bar and a bakery. The wine bar features an onyx fireplace, a grand piano and small plates and tasting boards, while the bakery serves fresh pastries and coffee from artisanal roasters.

What’s on the Menu

Chef Roland Torok-Ducharme returned to his home country of Canada after working in acclaimed restaurants in Europe and Asia. Game- and vegetable-based dishes are his passion, and at Reign he uses French techniques to prepare ingredients from local producers and purveyors, including Rougié Farms duck breast, Ontario venison tenderloin and regional wheat berries used for a rich risotto.

Wine List Highlights

Wine director Steven Karataglidis complements this menu with a selection of 600 wines, representing a 7,000-bottle inventory. A focus on French white wines includes Burgundies, and the reds feature selections from Canada, California and France. Some recent highlights on the list are a Prince Edward County Pinot Noir from Norman Hardie and a Niagara Peninsula Merlot from Reif Estate. In collaboration with wineries, Reign also hosts special dinners focused on individual producers, such as Tuscany’s Castello di Ama

Best Restaurants for Wine in Québec

Le Coureur des Bois

Hôtel Rive Gauche, 1810 Rue Richelieu, Beloeil
Telephone (514) 882-5629
Website restaurantcoureurdesbois.com/en/home
Grand Award

Bordeaux magnums and other bottles on wood racks in the cellar of Le Coureur des Bois

Le Coureur des Bois is a key stop for Bordeaux fans in Québec. (Matt Ayotte)

Near several golf clubs and the Gault Nature Reserve of McGill University, Hôtel Rive Gauche in Beloeil (a suburb of Montréal) is home to one of Canada’s four Grand Award winners: Le Coureur des Bois from Cogir Restaurants, the same group behind Restaurant h3 (featured below). With wine barrels, a stone hearth and tree motifs throughout its dining rooms, as well as views of the Richelieu River, the restaurant offers a relaxed and rustic atmosphere.

What’s on the Menu

Chef Jean-Sébastien Giguère and his team offer breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner menus. In addition to an à la carte dinner menu, there are four- and six-course tasting menus ($65 and $84 USD, respectively) with three tiers of wine pairing options. The menu changes based on the season and what local produce is available; past dishes have included a shallot tarte Tatin with goat cheese, chicory, walnuts and thyme and a clams-and-whelks entrée with tatsoi, Parmesan and parsley.

Wine List Highlights

In 2014, wine collector Champlain Charest started selling off the cellar from the original location of Restaurant Award winner Bistro á Champlain (the new location is featured below). One of his mentees, Hôtel Rive Gauche owner Mathieu Duguay, acquired many of those bottles for the cellar at Le Coureur des Bois. With Charest’s help, Duguay has created a nearly 5,000-wine program that spotlights leading wineries across Canada, France, Italy and California, with vertical depth throughout. Still, two key aspects of this wine experience are ease and accessibility. For instance, guests can order the likes of Christian Moreau Chablis, Château d’Yquem Sauternes or Johann Michel St.-Joseph from the by-the-glass list of 20 wines.


Bistro à Champlain

Estérel Resort, 39 Fridolin-Simard Blvd., Estérel
Telephone (450) 228-2571
Website esterel.com/en/restaurants/bistro-a-champlain
Best of Award of Excellence

A set wood table with wineglasses in a cement dining room at Bistro à Champlain, with a wall of wine bottles on racks behind glass and a window overlooking Lake Dupuis

Lakeside views make Bistro à Champlain a picturesque place to enjoy great food and wine. (Courtesy of Bistro à Champlain)

Overlooking Lake Dupuis, in the Laurentides region, Bistro à Champlain has a storied history in the Québec city of Estérel. The restaurant originated as a general store on the banks of neighboring Lake Masson before art and wine collector Champlain Charest and his wife, Monique Nadeau, transformed it into a bistro, which went on to earn Canada’s first Grand Award in 1988. The original restaurant closed its doors and sold off some of its wine collection in 2014, but nearby Estérel Resort couldn’t let Charest’s legacy die. In 2015, the resort took over Bistro à Champlain’s wine collection (with the help of Charest and Nadeau) and folded the restaurant into its establishment. Since then, Bistro à Champlain has garnered a Best of Award of Excellence at its new home.

What’s on the Menu

Executive chef Cédric St-Pierre has no set menu for Bistro à Champlain, preferring to operate the restaurant with an element of surprise. Open Fridays and Saturdays only, the bistro offers a five-course Carte Blanche menu ($102 USD per guest, with optional wine pairings for an additional $81) that’s inspired by whatever local produce and seasonal market offerings have enticed St-Pierre. Past courses have included seared foie gras over French toast, followed by scallops seared with citrus salt and served with a black rice risotto and candied lemon carpaccio. Seven days a week at the Estérel Resort’s wine cellar, guests can enjoy cheese boards, charcuterie and small bites while sipping their drinks of choice.

Wine List Highlights

In keeping with Charest’s legacy, the wine program at Bistro à Champlain is exemplary, particularly when it comes to French gems. Showing vertical depth in Burgundy and Bordeaux, as well as the Rhône Valley, Loire Valley and Champagne, the list includes bottlings from leading wineries such as Méo-Camuzet and Pétrus, with vintages going back to the 1920s. A significant number of California offerings are also available, as well as wines from well-known Canadian producers such as Okanagan Valley’s Mission Hill and Martin’s Lane. Altogether, the cellar houses more than 20,000 bottles, including a number of magnums, jeroboams and methuselahs. The bistro also hosts events, tastings, tours and private group experiences for fans of Canadian wine.


Restaurant h3

Humaniti, 340, de la Gauchetière Ouest, Montréal
Telephone (514) 224-7305
Website restauranth3.ca
Best of Award of Excellence

A table set with wineglasses and bottles with four gray chairs in the cellar of Restaurant h3

Don’t skip a visit to the cellar if you find yourself at Restaurant h3. (Courtesy of Restaurant h3)

Embracing its location in Montréal, “the Paris of North America,” Restaurant h3 highlights French heritage through the ingredients of Québec. Across its dining room and terrace, it offers a Best of Award of Excellence–winning wine experience courtesy of Cogir Restaurants—the same group behind Grand Award winner Le Coureur des Bois in Beloeil, Québec.

What’s on the Menu

Chef Jean-Sébastien Giguère fills the menu with French dishes, including classics such as slivered duck magret and a hearty soup of braised beef and barley. Culinary influences from elsewhere, including Italy, can be seen in dishes such as shrimp seared with bone marrow, a beet risotto thickened with Louis ’Or (a regional cheese made from raw cow’s milk) and homemade ricotta cavatelli with golden enoki mushrooms. Restaurant h3 is also open for breakfast and lunch during the week, with brunch service on weekends.

Wine List Highlights

The 1,500-label wine program is filled with bottles from Champagne, Alsace, Bordeaux, Burgundy, the Loire Valley, Beaujolais, Italy, Piedmont, Tuscany, California and Canada. Wine director Leslie Roberts highlights noteworthy Burgundy domaines such as Domaine de la Romanée-Conti and other well-known names such as the Rhône Valley’s Guigal and Tuscany’s Tenuta San Guido. Working with wineries such as Chianti Classico’s Cecchi, Restaurant h3 also hosts wine dinners throughout the year.

Edited by Chris Cardoso, Collin Dreizen, Julia Larson, Olivia Nolan and Megan Tkacy


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