Anyone who’s ever visited Canada before will surely testify that there’s only one way to start the day no matter where you find yourself and that’s with a stack of pancakes drizzled in maple syrup.

This national mainstay is, kind of, because Quebec is responsible for all but a quarter of the world’s output and as such there’s just no getting away from that sweet and drippy syrupy stuff.

However, if you’re looking for a taste of Canada that’s also favoured, besides syrup, then read on as below you’ll find some absolute classic Canadian dishes to more than whet your appetite before you come visit for yourself.

Poutine aka: chips, cheese & gravy
If you’re planning on getting healthy whilst visiting Canada then you may well want to think again as although there are plenty of great outdoor activities there’s also food such as poutine to help you pile on the pounds. Thought to originate in Quebec, this junk food mainstay is basically chips and gravy with cheese on top however, the cheese is actually curds aka: chunks of sour milk. Where can I get me some? Diners, pubs, street vendors as well as a few fast food chains.

Salmon jerky
This can be purchased from most supermarkets and local stores which stock it as a pre-packed snack and market it as ideal for taking on long walks or overnight camping trips. Some of the best salmon jerky comes from British Columbia and is made using fish caught in the Pacific as well as a few spicy elements thrown in for an extra kick. Variations include: peppered, hot, smoked and natural and as it lasts for ages this could make for a great souvenir for the folks back home.

Maple cured bacon
This dish pretty much combines two of the country’s favourite eating items and no matter where you’re heading on your holidays to Canada, maple cured bacon is always going to be on the breakfast menu. Although it may seem strange to mix sweet and savoury, especially in the morning, this most definitely works and provinces, such as Ontario and Quebec, are well known for having some of the best examples of crispy cured loveliness anywhere else in the world.

Polish dumplings
Thanks to Canada’s reputation as being such a welcoming nation, it’s no surprise that foods like pierogi have found their way into the hearts of the locals and although this dumpling dish originates in Poland it’s definitely one to try if you’re heading north of the border. Available in various formats this is basically dumpling dough packed full of veggies or meat and either boiled, fried or baked or a combination of all three. Cafés, chain restaurants or within the Polish communities will give you the best chance to try this adopted Canadian staple.

Montreal style bagels
As the name suggests, one of the best bagels this side of the USA can be found in the east of Canada in the Francophile capital of Montreal. The main difference on more traditional bagels is that this version is always baked in an oven using wood and is also smaller in size but more intense in flavour. The hole is smaller, the taste is sweeter and the topping is usually either poppy seed or sesame to give it that authentic look that’s so important to all good bagel shops.

Caribou stew
If you’re heading north whilst visiting Canada then you’ll sooner or later encounter the Nunavut territory which is good news if you’re wishing to find some peace and quiet as this is one of the most sparsely populated areas in the whole of North America. One of the main reasons why not many people tend to leave this far north is the weather and although it can get awful cold, regional dishes, such as caribou stew do more than help you fend off the cold as well as providing a tasty bowl of broth to come home to after a good day’s exploring.