10 Wine-Centric Canadian Restaurants

Old World classics meet exciting local labels on these standout wine lists

10 Wine-Centric Canadian Restaurants
Guests can peruse a wine list backed by an inventory of 52,000 bottles at Opus Restaurant on Prince Arthur. (Courtesy of Opus Restaurant on Prince Arthur)
Nov 4, 2021

Like most places with a history of converging cultures, Canada boasts a vibrant culinary landscape. Today’s Canadian restaurants honor those foundational influences (primarily English and French) and utilize the local bounty to create distinct, dynamic cuisine. Many destinations also celebrate the country’s renowned wine regions, like these 10 Wine Spectator Restaurant Award winners. From Old World classics to diverse local selections, you’ll find what you’re looking for on these carefully curated lists.

To check out more wine-and-food destinations around the world, see Wine Spectator’s more than 2,900 Restaurant Award–winning picks, including the 97 Grand Award recipients worldwide that hold our highest honor.

Do you have a favorite you’d like to see on this list? Send your recommendations to restaurantawards@mshanken.com. We want to hear from you!

Note: Opening hours and menus are subject to change as the industry continues to adjust to evolving regulations.


Le Coureur des Bois

Hôtel Rive Gauche, 1810 Rue Richelieu, Beloeil, Quebec, Canada
Telephone (514) 882-5629
Website www.restaurantcoureurdesbois.com
Grand Award

 The cellar at Le Coureur des Bois
Le Coureur des Bois is home to a wine cellar of more than 14,000 bottles. (Courtesy of Le Coureur des Bois)

Wine has been a primary focus for Hôtel Rive Gauche owner Mathieu Duguay for years. This commitment is clear at the hotel’s restaurant, Le Coureur des Bois, which has held a Grand Award since 2018. Working with wine director Hugo Duchesne, Duguay has developed a 2,180-label list packed with noteworthy wines from Burgundy, the Rhône, Bordeaux, Champagne, the Loire, Piedmont, Tuscany, California, Canada and more. This includes acclaimed wineries like Jacques Selosse, Kistler and Château d'Yquem. Diners can also take a glimpse at these regions and styles via the extensive and affordable by-the-glass list. Chef Jean-Sébastien Giguère pairs these selections with a regional menu that highlights ingredients sourced locally or even made on site, including bison tongue with mushrooms, duck tartare with foie gras and bluefin tuna tataki with peach and brioche, served in the restaurant’s rustic dining room. Dishes are available à-la-carte, but there’s also a four-course tasting menu for $79, with additional wine-pairing options.


Opus Restaurant on Prince Arthur

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

 A set table in the dining room at Opus Restaurant on Prince Arthur
Opus Restaurant on Prince Arthur is a family-run business and a longtime Restaurant Award winner. (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. The recognition honors a remarkable wine list of 2,100 labels overseen by Tony, which spotlights wineries in numerous international regions—primarily Burgundy, Bordeaux, Tuscany, Piedmont, California, Spain and Portugal. This includes verticals and large-format bottles from some of wine’s most recognizable names, like Château Haut-Brion and Pétruss. Guests can enjoy these acclaimed wines alongside chef Jason Cox’s eclectic, seasonal menu of dishes like seared foie gras with maple apples, Fogo Island cod on sunchoke marmalade and aged prime striploin with cauliflower mash.


Post Hotel Dining Room

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

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

Inspired by the Swiss Alps, Canada's Post Hotel & Spa opened in 1942 before it was taken over by brothers George and André Schwarz in 1978. The Grand Award–winning wine program at the on-site restaurant has been a longtime passion project for George, who serves as wine director and proudly secured more than 95 percent of the bottles at release. His son, Michael Schwarz, is now the restaurant’s general manager. The result of George's decades of effort is a wildly impressive collection of 2,800-plus international labels, with the biggest standouts in California, Burgundy, Bordeaux, Canada and Tuscany. There are also extensive magnum and dessert-wine options. The hotel's Swiss influence is evident through chef Hans Sauter’s regional, seasonal menu that sometimes changes daily.


Via Allegro Ristorante

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

Fans of Italian wine, look no further. Managed by co-owner and wine director Ivano Scarlato, the Grand Award–winning list at Via Allegro Ristorante offers more than 950 selections from Tuscany alone, with eye-popping verticals from Tenuta dell'Ornellaia and Antinori. The Piedmont picks are similarly robust, rounded out by selections from around the boot. The 5,000-wine program also excels in Bordeaux, California, the Rhône, Burgundy, Australia, Port and Canada. In the kitchen, chef Marco Zandona’s Italian menu blends traditional techniques with contemporary creativity. Familiar dishes get a modern twist, like a beef carpaccio served with lemon mascarpone–aioli and a risotto made with duck confit and a reduction of foie gras and cream. The centerpiece of the dining room is a glass-enclosed cellar housing 20,000 bottles. The remaining 30,000 bottles are stored in 15 freestanding temperature-controlled units throughout the space, so diners are never far from a glance at the spectacular collection.


Bistro à Champlain

Estérel Resort, 39 Fridolin-Simard Blvd., Estérel, Quebec, Canada
Telephone (450) 228-2571
Website www.esterel.com
Best of Award of Excellence

 The dining room with a view of a panoramic window at Bistro à Champlain
A panoramic waterfront view adds to the experience at Bistro à Champlain. (Courtesy of Bistro à Champlain)

The wine collection of well-known Canadian restaurateur and enophile Champlain Charest lives on in the cellar, and name, of Estérel Resort’s Bistro à Champlain in Quebec. The Best of Award of Excellence–winning program of 3,000-labels is led by wine director Mathieu St-Onge and packed with noteworthy bottles from Burgundy, Bordeaux, Italy, California, Spain and Canada. In addition to verticals from leading names like CheckMate Artisinal Winery, the Bistro spotlights older vintages from noteworthy wineries like France’s Bouchard Père et Fils and Italy’s Tua Rita. Chef Jean-François Bélair crafts a regional, French-influenced menu, with items such as sweetbread popcorn with truffle mayonnaise, salmon tartare with balsamic sponge toffee and albacore tuna tataki with ginger carpaccio.


Eden

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

 Finishing touches are added to a dish at Eden
French cuisine meets Canadian influence at Eden. (Courtesy of Eden)

Eden brings luxurious French cuisine to Banff, Alberta, at Rimrock Resort Hotel. The restaurant has held a Best of Award of Excellence since 2003, with a wine program of 1,300 selections supported by an inventory of 17,000 bottles. Wine director Chad Greaves invites guests to enjoy picks from Bordeaux, Burgundy, Italy, Spain, Australia, California and Canada. The list features extensive collections of Champagne and wine from Canada’s Okanagan region, as well as plenty of Chardonnays and Cabernet Sauvignons from Sonoma and Napa Valley. To match with these wines, chefs Sebastian Brand and Abraham Mannakuzhil serve several prix-fixe options (ranging from $99 to $489), serving up dishes like roasted beet salad, duck ravioli, roasted quail and beef tenderloin.


Langdon Hall

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

 A dish with peeled tomatoes and edible flowers at Langdon Hall
Langdon Hall serves delicate French dishes on its à-la-carte menu. (Jennifer Houghton)

Langdon Hall was built in 1902 on land that Eugene Langdon Wilks purchased in 1898. It’s now a Relais & Châteaux hotel that’s grown to include 75 acres of protected nature. The property’s connection to wine can be traced back to Eugene and his wife, Pauline, who also owned a château in France's Loire Valley and were enthusiastic collectors of wines from that region and beyond. At the Best of Award of Excellence–winning restaurant, chef Jason Bangerter showcases Canadian ingredients through a French lens. Wine director Faye MacLachlan works closely with Bangerter to develop selections that complement the cuisine and reflect the mission of presenting a sense of place. The list features more than 1,600 selections and excels in France (especially Burgundy, the Rhône and Bordeaux), Italy, California, Canada and Australia. Among the varied offerings are familiar favorites as well as lesser-known picks, which MacLachlan encourages guests to inquire about.


The Pointe Restaurant

Wickaninnish Inn, 500 Osprey Lane, Chesterman Beach, Tofino, British Columbia, Canada
Telephone (250) 725-3106
Website www.wickinn.com
Best of Award of Excellence

 Bruce and Charles McDiarmid, owners of Wickaninnish Inn
Brothers Bruce and Charles McDiarmid are part of the family that owns Wickaninnish Inn and its wine-focused restaurant. (Kyler Vos)

When Howard McDiarmid moved to the British Columbia peninsula of Tofino in 1955, he fell in love with its natural beauty. He later helped establish the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, a project that included converting the original Wickaninnish Inn into a marine interpretive center. McDiarmid dreamed of reviving the property one day, and his family fulfilled that vision in 1996, when they opened the new Wickaninnish Inn along with the Pointe Restaurant. It's now a Best of Award of Excellence winner offering more than 700 wine selections managed by sommelier Ike Seaman. France makes up the bulk of the list, which also shows strength in Canada, California and Italy. The domestic picks show off the diversity of Canadian wine styles, from sparklers and Rieslings to Merlots, Cabernet Sauvignons and ice wines. Some of the 10,200 bottles are showcased in a glass-enclosed unit, while the dining room features panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean, a focal point of the regional Canadian cuisine. Chef Carmen Ingham sources seafood from coastal fishermen and other nearby purveyors to create everything from light and fresh appetizers to hearty mains and luxurious add-ons like caviar service.


Restaurant h3

Humaniti, 340, de la Gauchetière Ouest, Montréal, Quebec, Canada
Telephone (514) 377-6781
Website www.restauranth3.ca
Best of Award of Excellence

 The wine cellar at Restaurant h3
There are more than 4,000 bottles in the wine cellar at Restaurant h3. (Courtesy of Restaurant h3)

Whether in the restaurant’s dining room or on its terrace, guests are certain to be impressed by the wine and food served at Quebec’s Best of Award of Excellence–winning Restaurant h3. The 910-label wine program may not be quite as extensive as others on this list, but it’s filled with eye-catching bottles from Champagne, Alsace, Bordeaux, Burgundy, the Loire, Beaujolais, Italy, Piedmont, Tuscany, California and Canada. Wine director Hugo Duchesne highlights noteworthy Burgundy estates like Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, as well as other well-known producers like E. Guigal and Tenuta San Guido. Jean-Sébastien Giguère complements this program with a French and American menu of dishes like duck breast with heirloom carrots, prime rib from Prince Edward Island and char with sea urchin and oyster mayo.


River Café

Prince Island’s Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Telephone (403) 261-7670
Website www.river-cafe.com
Best of Award of Excellence

 A table set outdoors next to a picnic basket at River Café
The menu at the scenic River Café celebrates Canada’s bounty. (Courtesy of River Café)

River Café sits right on the bank of Bow River in Prince’s Island Park. The restaurant honors its close connection to nature by using hand-picked ingredients from the on-site garden and sustainably sourcing seafood with guidance from the Vancouver Aquarium’s Ocean Wise Seafood Program. This earth-friendly mission is also reflected through the 400-selection wine list, which highlights winemakers with particularly sustainable practices. Canadian labels are the heart of wine director Bruce Soley’s program, showcased through designated sections throughout the list, representing regions from Okanagan Valley to the Niagara Peninsula and Prince Edward County. There are also solid collections of wines from France, California and Italy. Chef Tamae Schafer's regional Canadian fare focuses on wild game and fowl, enhanced by plenty of produce and open-flame cooking.


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