For more than 20 years, Air Canada enRoute has set out to find Canada’s Best New Restaurants. The annual search starts with our national panel of experts, who nominate notable openings in their regions. Over the years, that’s included everything from a food truck roving the streets of Vancouver to a dining room perched on the coast of Fogo Island. Food worth flying for comes in many formats, and this exceptional year – mixed with setbacks and comebacks – challenged everyone to think outside the box. Any food establishment that fully opened between late spring 2021 and May 31, 2022 was up for consideration.
Based on our panel’s recommendations, we dispatched one writer on a month–long, 17–city epicurean itinerary, with stops at a Chinese grocery store in Montreal, a wine bar in Saskatoon and an extraterrestrial steakhouse 40 floors above Calgary. Under the cover of a fake name, writer Nancy Matsumoto anonymously visited more than 30 restaurants on Air Canada’s enRoute’s tab – measures put in place to take special treatment off the table.
Ultimately, it all comes down to one meal. From the culinary vision and quality of ingredients on the menu to the trappings and team spirit that surround it, every element factors into an equation that savours deliciousness above all.