Slowly but surely, the restaurant industry is embracing the move towards eating (and drinking) locally. Seasonal, local produce, craft beers, natural and biodynamic wines, and ever-changing menus are becoming closer to the norm. You absolutely don’t need to make any sacrifices to have a delicious, sustainable meal out anymore. As a bonus, Canada is home to some incredibly romantic farm-to-table restaurants. Keep these in mind for your next guilt-free date night.
Burdock & Co
Burdock & Co is tucked away in Vancouver’s hip Mount Pleasant neighbourhood. A buzzy spot for brunch daytime, the vibe shifts to cozy and romantic come nighttime. Think wood paneling, lots of candles, soft music, and a golden glow. Small, shareable plates are all inspired by Vancouver’s rugged coast. A focus on local, seasonal dishes means you’ll find a different menu depending on when you visit. They also have an incredible drink list, heavily featuring local craft beers and natural, biodynamic wines.
Playing off the rustic vibes of Alberta, Rge Rd is decorated like a romantic barn: exposed beams, concrete walls, string lights. We recommend snagging an intimate corner table and grabbing some throw pillows to really cozy up. The food celebrates all that Western Canada has to offer, think BC seafood and Alberta beef with a smattering of local grains and seasonal veggies. Rge Rd aims to use every part of every ingredient, reducing waste and creating some seriously interesting flavours.
Farmhouse Tavern is worth the short trek over to Toronto’s west end Junction neighbourhood. Living up to its name, the restaurant features quirky farm furniture, wood panelling, and a touch of flannel. Menus are written on a chalkboard and switch up weekly. The vibe is cozy, comfortable, and intimate. While some of the menu staples remain week to week, they’re altered a bit based on what’s in season and available. Start with a cocktail, or choose off the list of local beers and natural wines.
The newest venture from famed Montreal restaurateurs Joe Beef, Mon Lapin is a little romantic world of its own. Located in the city’s Little Italy neighbourhood, the restaurant is dimly illuminated through its large windows in the evening. The food is fresh and local, the wine is natural and biodynamic, and the room manages to be airy and intimate all at once. Grabbing a booth and letting the chef create a tasting menu for you is recommended.
A fresh addition to Halifax’s blossoming food scene, Bar Kismet is a quirky and intimate space that feels like home. Dark wood and white furniture, milk glass light fixtures, mismatched china and a pop of greenery create a charming and comfortable vibe. With only a few dozen seats, the restaurant feels cozy and romantic--like you have the place to yourself. The food showcases Atlantic seafood, local meat, seasonal produce, and natural wines and beers with a Nova Scotia focus.
St. John’s, Newfoundland
Located in a historic fishing village just five minutes from downtown St. John’s, it’s worth visiting Mallard Cottage for the ambiance alone. It’s a bonus that the restaurant is one of the best farm-to-table fine dining experiences in Canada, celebrating Newfoundland & Labrador’s vast array of wild game, seafood, and local produce. Rustic and intimate, it really does feel like a romantic cottage getaway, especially once the fire is roaring.
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