Poutine, that comforting, craving-inducing combination of French fries, piping hot gravy and creamy, squeaky cheese curds that everybody loves. While it may have originated in Quebec, it’s thankfully available all over Canada. Whether you want a lunchtime fix, poutine for dinner or a serving much later at night, there’s likely a spot you can find it. If you’re searching for late night poutine in particular, you’re in luck because we’ve sourced a few of the best options all across the country.
Poutini’s House of Poutine, Toronto, OntarioSign above Poutini’s (Image: moon angel used under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license)
Poutini’s House of Poutine, a West Queen West favourite, is open until midnight Monday through Wednesday, until 3 a.m. on Thursday and 3:30 a.m. Friday and Saturday. They close at a respectable 9 p.m. on Sunday, but other than that you can be guaranteed of some delicious late night eats whenever you visit. Expect hand cut, skin-on fries that are fried twice Belgian style and then topped with gravy and cheese curds. Additional toppings like bacon, pulled pork and smoked meat are available, as is vegetarian gravy and vegan cheese. Take note, this place is small and can get pretty busy late at night, but is worth the wait.
Willy’s Fresh Cut, Halifax, Nova Scotia
Locals love Willy’s and can get their poutine fix here until 4 a.m. Monday through Saturday. They offer several hearty poutines that would be ideal for filling up after a night out. Donair poutine comes with donair meat topped with donair sauce, gravy and your choice of onions and tomatoes; steak poutine consists of steak, mushrooms, onions, provolone cheese and gravy; hamburger poutine gets you hamburger, onions, provolone and gravy; and pulled pork poutine is topped with slow cooked pulled pork. Classic poutine (just curds and gravy) is also available and comes with vegetarian-friendly gravy,
The Big Cheese Poutinerie, Calgary, Alberta
The Big Cheese has two locations in Alberta, both of which are open until 3:30 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. They have an extensive menu of poutines so big that they don’t even list them all on their website. Along with the classic curds, fries and gravy version there are veggie options like veggie nacho poutine, chicken versions like buffalo chicken poutine, beef versions like chili dog poutine and pork versions with names like “porky pig” and “hog heaven”. No matter what you choose you’ll be getting fresh cut fries, authentic cheese curds and home cooked gravy.
Fritz European Fry House, Vancouver, British ColumbiaFritz European Fry House (Image: jwalsh)
Vancouver’s Fritz European Fry House specializes in all things related to French fries, which includes poutine. The popular spot is open for your late night cravings until 3 a.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, until 3:30 a.m. on Thursday, until 4 a.m. on Friday and Saturday and until 2:30 a.m. on Sunday. They serve up classic poutine in several sizes including a “bucket” size, and you get your choice of several additional toppings. These include chicken, chili, Montreal smoked meat, pulled pork, crumbled bacon and soy bacon bits. Extra cheese and extra gravy are also an option if you want to get extra decadent.
La Banquise, Montreal, QuebecPoutine from La Banquise (Image: Yuri Long)
This famous restaurant in Montreal first opened in 1968 as an ice cream shop, quickly morphed into a snack shop and first served poutine at the start of the 1980s. They now serve burgers, sandwiches, salads, omelettes and more 24/7, but poutine is one of the main draws. La Banquise serves more than 30 varieties of the classic Canadian dish. Of course the traditional variety is on offer if you want to keep things simple. Otherwise, good luck making a choice with all those options. La Taquise, for example, sees fries topped with guacamole, sour cream and tomatoes; pizza poutine gets you pepperoni, bacon and onions; la Elvis features ground beef, green peppers and mushrooms; and la T-Rex is a mouthful with ground beef, pepperoni, bacon and hot sausage.
Disgraceland, Toronto, Ontario
This west Toronto bar is open until 2 a.m. all week for anyone in the area who needs a late night snack. Disgraceland‘s menu is massive and offers everything from salads and sandwiches to nachos, burgers and hotdogs. But if you’re craving poutine you’re in luck. The classic variety is available and features fries topped with cheese curds and vegetarian gravy, or get the poutine supreme, which sees the classic combo come topped with mixed cheese, perogies, scallions and sour cream.
Smoke’s Poutinerie, cities across CanadaSmoke’s Poutinerie (image: David Huang used under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license)
Smoke’s Poutinerie, a popular spot for poutine across Canada, has shops in every province except Prince Edward Island and the majority are open late for those who need a snack after most businesses have closed up shop. Smoke’s uses fresh cut Canadian potatoes, house made signature gravy and cheese curds sourced from the Eastern Townships in Quebec. You can have your poutine as is with the classic toppings, or add a multitude of other toppings. Create your own delicious combo or choose from a list of 30 plus varieties. There are vegetarian poutines, chicken poutines, beef poutines, pork poutines and steak poutines to try out.
Mean Poutine, Vancouver, British Columbia
Another late night spot to get poutine in Vancouver is Mean Poutine located downtown. The specialize in hot dogs and poutine and when it comes to poutine there are several specialty varieties available if you’re looking for more than just fries, gravy and cheese curds. The southern BBQ poutine, for example, comes with fries, gravy, cheese curds, double smoked bacon, BBQ sauce and ranch dressing, and the Philly cheese steak sees fries topped with curds, gravy, roast beef, sautéed mushrooms and grilled peppers and onions. There are eight options total or you can build your own poutine from toppings provided.
The Lakeview, Toronto, Ontario
The Lakeview is open 24/7 and offers a huge menu for anyone in the mood to eat after pretty much everything else in the area is closed. If you’re looking for poutine there are a few options, as well as some variations on the dish that still involve French fries but maybe not gravy and curds. Classic poutine with curds and gravy is available, as is a version that includes sweet potato, peameal bacon and bacon bits. You’ll also find a pulled pork poutine, a smoked meat poutine and a Philly cheesesteak poutine on the menu.
Featured image: Owen Byrne