enRoute Magazine awards Canada’s Best New Restaurants

Vij’s Railway Express, enRoute's People's Choice award winner

by Danny Tseng

Air Canada’s in-flight magazine, enRoute, launched a new category in their “Canada’s Best New Restaurant” rankings: The People’s Choice Awards. In partnership with lead sponsor, Jaguar Land Rover, the award-winning magazine encouraged Canadians to select their favourite restaurant on eatandvote.com. The inaugural People’s Choice Award went to Vij’s Railway Express – a mobile restaurant inspired by an Indian rail carriage, which celebrates the diversity of India’s regional dishes.

To commemorate the occasion, enRoute held an exclusive event with the opportunity to meet the top 10 chefs from all across Canada and also sample their unique culinary creations at Story’s Building in Toronto.

“This year’s search wasn’t just about what was on the plate,” explained noted food writer Andrew Braithwaite, who was responsible for assembling the notable list of Canada’s best new gastronomic destinations. “We went looking for good people who’ve dedicated themselves to delivering memorable experiences. From chefs to sommeliers, these are talented people we want to champion. I think readers will be intrigued by the diversity in our 2013 Top 10 list.”

Here is EnRoute Magazine’s list of Canada’s Best New Restaurants including 3 from Toronto.
1. Bar Isabel, Toronto: “looks, feels and tastes vaguely Castilian but does far more than ape a menu straight out of Madrid.”
2. Shoto, Toronto: “a storybook of a tasting menu, with all the typical annoying bits – the repetition of ingredients, the showy caprice, the monotonous pacing – smartly edited out.”
3. Fogo Island Inn, Joe Batt’s Arm, Nfld. and Labrador: “There’s a terrific survivalist spirit bursting out of Chef McDonald’s kitchen, where most everything is made from scratch.”
4. Supply and Demand, Ottawa: “ It’s not supposed to be this easy for a first-timer … you notice all the little things that rookies Steve and Jennifer Wall are getting so right.”
5. Pidgin, Vancouver: “The cuisine of Winnipeg-born Chef Ono, who ran restaurants in Beijing and Hong Kong, draws from multiple languages.”
6. Carino Japanese Bistro, Calgary: “a Japanese-Italian wine bar that defies logic in the most wonderful ways.”
7. Maison Publique, Montreal: “A mere 250 years after the Treaty of Paris, cooking Anglo food in Montreal is cool again.”
8. Le Bouchon du Pied Bleu, Quebec City: “one of the most convivial, playful, unabashedly fun dining experiences I’ve had anywhere in North America.”
9. The Acorn, Vancouver: “That the food is meatless is almost beside the point unless you’re a foodie vegetarian who’s long hankered for a compromise-free night on the town.”
10. Electric Mud, Toronto: “Electric Mud is a twisted hymn to the American South.”

Congrats to Toronto’s Bar Isabel for taking top honours!

Bar Isabel, taking top honours in enRoute Magazine's Best New Restaurants

Bar Isabel, taking top honours in enRoute Magazine’s Best New Restaurants

Packed evening at Story's Building

Packed evening at Story’s Building


The Siren Group

The Siren Group

Taking a bite out of The Acorn, hailing from Vancouver

Taking a bite out of The Acorn, hailing from Vancouver



Photos by Nick Lee

Check out the video of Bar Isabel’s feature with enRoute

About Air Canada’s enRoute magazine
enRoute is Air Canada’s award-winning travel magazine with over 1 million readers each month. The magazine – available exclusively on all Air Canada flights and in Maple Leaf Lounges worldwide as well as in select hotels and boutiques across North America – is an inspirational authority for the global traveler, known for its strong visual presence and innovative design. enRoute is published by Spafax, one of the world’s leading content marketing agencies and providers of in-flight media, with offices in nine cities around the world. Spafax is a part of tenthavenue, a division within WPP, created to bring innovative content and sales solutions to mobile consumers everywhere. WPP is one of the world’s leading communications companies. For more info visit www.enroute.aircanada.com