Vancouver’s Best Poutine? You make the call!

Photo credit: knightbefore_99 | Flickr

It’s that time again.  Let’s revive the great Vancouver poutine debate.

More than two years ago, I asked readers to share their picks for Vancouver’s best poutine.  That post got nearly 100 comments and was one of the most popular Inside Vancouver stories ever.

But a lot has changed in two years.  Suddenly, it seems poutine is everywhere in Vancouver – from fancy restaurants to dedicated poutineries serving nothing but fries and gravy (There’s even an annual Poutine Fest, held this year on March 9).  So I need your help:

Who serves Vancouver’s best poutine? Comment below and let the world know.   

Considering what a simple dish poutine is, it’s amazing that it inspires such fanatical devotion.  As the Vancouver Sun’s Francois Marchand explains in a great article, proper poutine consists of nothing more than hand-cut fries (fried twice for extra crunch), cheese curds (little squeaky bits, ideally from Quebec) and a brown gravy (poultry stock, with a little extra zip).

Poutine, so the legend goes, originated at potato stands and diners in Quebec, where fries and cheese curds have long been a staple.  But sometime in the 1950s, gravy was introduced as a way to keep the fries warm and melt the curds.  The result was poutine, literally Quebecois slang for “a hot mess” (or, alternately, a variation on the French for “pudding”).

As any true fan can attest, poutine is not exactly a refined eating experience.  Fries, gravy and cheese quickly dissolve into a soggy – if strangely delicious – mix.  It’s messy, unhealthy, carb-heavy and nearly irresistible comfort food.

Poutine purists in Vancouver have no shortage of options for the real deal.  Sun reporter Marchand singles out Frenchies (425 Dunsmuir St.), Dunn’s Famous (827 Seymour St.) and Zako’s Deli (500 W. Broadway).   Another – more upscale – favourite is Boneta, the bistro in Gastown.  It’s poutine features hand-cut Kennebec potatoes, fresh cheese curds from the Okanagan (a slight deviation from the classic) and standard brown gravy.

Of course, poutine has also evolved in strange and exciting directions in Vancouver.  The newly opened Smoke’s Poutinerie on Granville Street, for instance, serves such delicacies as Philly Cheese Poutine – with shaved roast beef, carmelized onions and roasted peppers – and Triple Pork Poutine – with chipotle pulled pork, double-smoked bacon and Italian sausage.

Pitting these traditional poutines against the exotic new variations is a bit like comparing apples and oranges.  But we’re going to try anyway:

Do you have a favourite place for poutine in Vancouver?  Help me in my quest to find the city’s best by leaving a comment below.  

For more updates on poutine, Vancouver and beyond, follow me on Twitter @RemyScalza


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21 Responses to Vancouver’s Best Poutine? You make the call!

  1. Au Petit Chavignol is my favorite place for poutine! Everything about it is perfect: their crispy fries, giant cheese curds, and delicious peppercorn gravy…

  2. Emiko

    La Belle Patate on Davie!

  3. Jill

    Memphis Blues Barbeque House has The Best Poutine!

  4. Deborah

    Definitely Memphis Blues. Pulled pork and BBQ sauce = yummy goodness.

  5. sean

    Fritz Fries on Davie…they also offer veggie gravy that’s the best

  6. Jeff

    La Belle Patate on Davie +2

  7. renee

    Belgian Fries on Commercial.

  8. LL

    La Belle Patate

  9. Valerie

    Grouse Mountain! They have an outdoor ‘make your own’ poutine stand! I got mine with BBQ Pulled Pork and bacon, and my friend got meatballs with sour cream and chives. So good! Definitely going back this weekend!

  10. Darryl

    For simple, straight forward poutine, my favourite is Annie’s in New Westminster.

  11. Silvia

    Salade de Fruits – crisp shoestring fries, soft curds, substantial-meaty tasting gravy!

  12. Stephanie

    It’s not in Vancouver but on Vancouver Island and it deserves a ton of great compliments. It’s called Hogs Gone Wild BBQ Shack. It’s on the Pacific Rim Hwy on your way coming or going in/out of Tofino closer to Port Alberni. Not only is it a family side of the road business, super friendly owners the poutine was amazing! We had the large with pulled pork. It was layered so every bite had cheese pork & the perfect amount of gravy.

  13. Dave

    Memphis Blues Poutine with Pulled Pork and Barbecue Sauce is unbelievably good!

  14. Julie

    Zogs in whistler

  15. Mat

    Maple Bacon Poutine – Famous Warehouse Granville

  16. Pingback: Vancouver Poutine Festival 2013 Announced: More Poutine plus rock bands | Canada

  17. Lynn

    “Annie’s’ in New Westminster

  18. jennica

    I’ve Fritz’d, Belle Patate’d, Zogs’d, Warehouse’d.
    Out of the 4 and considering myself some what of a poutine connoisseur, I would have to say that at $4.95 The Warehouse takes the cake with their maple bacon poutine. If you head across the water there is a wicked poutine served hot in a cast iron skillet, topped with finely sliced green onion real cheese curds and a dark gravy from the Flying Beaver (a $3.00 add on to any burger).

  19. My fav without question is the new Spud Shack Fry Co. at the New West Skytrain station.

  20. Sultan

    My fav without query is the new Spud Shack Fry Co. at the New Western Skytrain place. the ornament shop

  21. Sultan

    I’ve Fritz’d, Belle Patate’d, Zogs’d, Warehouse’d.
    Out of the 4 and considering myself some what of a poutine connoisseur. Asbestos Removal Contractor Glasgow