“You’ve heard (and probably asked) this question a million times: ‘Where did you go for dinner?’” A love letter to 150 Canadian restaurants, and the stories and people behind them—from pre-Confederation to present day, from Victoria to St. John’s—here’s where we ate.

What is Canadian cuisine? While cookbook authors and historians have spent decades trying to answer this question, Canadian food isn’t summed up by one iconic dish, but rather a huge range of meals, flavours, and cultural influences. It’s about the people who make our food, who cook it and serve it to us at lunch counters, in ornate dining rooms and through take-out windows.

In her debut book, restaurant critic and journalist Gabby Peyton has penned a celebration of 150 restaurants that have left a mark on the way Canada eats—whether they’re serving California rolls, foie gras poutine, hand-cut beef tartare or bánh mì—and brings us from one decade to the next, showing how our dining trends evolved from beef consommé at Auberge Saint-Gabriel in 1754 to nori-covered hot dogs at Japadog.

Organized chronologically, from pre-Confederation to the present day, you’ll find

Charming, entertaining essays, and transportive photos and menus from archival collections that give cultural, economic, and political context
Many restaurants still open for business, so you can plan your visits and bring history alive on the plate
15 recipes inspired or contributed by some of the featured restaurants, for those wishing to truly feel like they’re dining in

A joyous representation of the incredible diversity of restaurants, people, and stories that make up our Canadian dining history, Where We Ate is as much of a timeless classic as the restaurants it features.

GABBY PEYTON is a food writer and restaurant critic. She is a trained art historian, with a master’s degree from the University of Toronto, but started her food-writing career with her blog The Food Girl in Town in 2012 and has been obsessing about dining out ever since. She is currently the restaurant critic for the Telegram in St. John’s, and her work on food culture and history has appeared on the CBC, and in Eater, Chatelaine, and enRoute magazine. She lives with her husband, Adam, in a 100-year-old house in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador.

“Pull up a chair to this warm, thoughtful, coast-to-coast story of the restaurants that built our country and our culture. Try the recipes. Where We Ate will make youhungry for the past. History was never this delicious.”
—AMY PATAKI, former restaurant critic, Toronto Star

“This book, while it can never transport us entirely to any one of the restaurants it features, does something that may be more valuable. Where We Ate connects the dots to show us how each era of dining, along with the influences of culinary andimmigration trends, flowed into the next. It is a story, told in snack-sized bites, of how Canada went from Turtle Soup to Beef Heart Bolognese.”
—COREY MINTZ, author The Next Supper


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