The last time we made our cross‑country trek to find Canada’s Best New Restaurants, in 2019, the country (like the world) was a different place. Since March 2020, we’ve been watching as restaurants have organized, reorganized and pivoted. Some, sadly, were forced to close. But others have sprung to life, and their inspiration has been met with great enthusiasm: Because, while much has changed over the past two years, the power of a good meal has remained ever‑present.
Air Canada enRoute has been around long enough – 2021 marks 20 years on this beat – to know that launching a new restaurant is challenging at any time. In this year where lockdowns and travel restrictions meant that we could not send our writer to test out the best new kitchens from coast to coast, we followed closely and stayed in touch with our expert food panel. Scroll down to meet the incredible chefs, producers and food journalists who are the eyes and ears – and, most importantly, the palates – of the 2021 edition of our Canada’s Best New Restaurants list. Thanks to them all.
This year’s list, you’ll see, is not ranked but categorized, a twist that has allowed us to feature both a crop of must‑visit new restaurants and other inspiring stories from across the Canadian food and drink scene. All of it will be revealed November 3; in the meantime, dig into our digital exclusives including a 20‑year retrospective of Canada’s Best New Restaurants and interviews with the chefs who’ve made their marks along the way.