Top 50 Restaurants in Canada announces Foodie of the Year contest


Vij’s lamb popsicles are one reason why voters named the celebrated Vancouver establishment as the best restaurant in Canada in the first ranking of its kind earlier this year. (Julia Pelish/

Announcement by Staff

best-50-restaurants-in-canada-logoTORONTO, ONTARIO — Following the groundbreaking success of the first-ever Top 50 Restaurants in Canada List, today announces a spectacular contest that will see one Canadian crowned Foodie of the Year in April 2013. The winner will have the opportunity to dine at one of the 2013 Top 50 Restaurants in Canada, which will be announced in April, as well as receive round-trip airfare to that restaurant’s destination city and a luxury hotel stay. There will be secondary prizes as well, with all prizes totalling well over $5,000.

To be eligible for the Foodie of the Year contest, Canadians simply have to vote for their favourite eatery by emailing, as well as follow on Twitter (@VacayCanada) and on Facebook ( Votes from the public will be added to those selections made by the revamped academy of judges and will be used to determine the 2013 Top 50 Restaurants in Canada List, which will include a second annual People’s Choice winner.

“As the only democratic list of its kind, we wanted to make sure we rewarded the dining public, whose patronage is really what determines whether a restaurant stands above its peers. We have a mix of food industry professionals, exceptional food and travel writers, and passionate foodies on our judging panel. When you add in the public’s vote, then the list is truly representative of a cross-section of tastes, budgets, regions and experiences in Canadian dining,” says Janine MacLean, a chef and food columnist who takes over as the Chair of the Top 50 Restaurants in Canada List and will also help curate the first Top 24 Brewpubs in Canada List, due out in time for this year’s Oktoberfest celebrations.

The Top 50 Restaurants list for the first time will also include winners for Best First Nations restaurant, Best Female Chef and Best Food Truck in Canada.

In April 2012, launched the inaugural list that named the best 50 restaurants in Canada. Vij’s in Vancouver was named No. 1, with other notable restaurants such as Hawksworth, Les 400 Coups, L’Abattoir, Bao Bei, Toque!, Langdon Hall and Araxi also earning honours. The list was met with great enthusiasm from foodies across Canada and the world, and from the Canadian food industry itself. It garnered global publicity that has helped shine a light on the tremendous efforts of the chefs and food industry workers in Canada.

“The list was founded to celebrate Canadian cuisine. With our audiences coming from primarily the United States and China, we have managed to export word of our fantastic food scene to those keen to travel to our nation,” said Managing Editor Adrian Brijbassi. “Everyone took notice in the first year we established the list. We continue to work to further perfect the list of Canada’s 50 best restaurants. Having a chef with Janine MacLean’s background at the head of our voting academy is essential to getting the Canadian public and visitors to the nation the best possible list for their dining out choices.”

MacLean has helped start up Oliver & Bonacini restaurants in Toronto and recently worked in the kitchen at Bannock. The new judges she has recruited for the 2013 Top 50 Restaurants in Canada List include notables such as:

  • Rebecca LeHeup, Ontario Culinary executive director
  • Arlene Stein, Evergreen Canada
  • John Placko, Food & Beverage Magazine writer
  • Renee Lavallee, Taste of Nova Scotia associate member
  • Bryan Picard, Chef at The Chanterelle Inn, Nova Scotia
  • Martin Ruiz Salvador, Chef, Fleur de Sel, Nova Scotia

More exciting changes will be announced in the coming weeks, MacLean says.

Click here to see the 2012 Top 50 Restaurants in Canada List and how the votes were determined. 


Vicky is the worldly publisher of Having graduated from McGill University in Montreal, she has set about building a talented team of travel experts to deliver to you words and images of the very best places to see and experience in Canada. Based in Yorkville in Toronto, Vicky regularly jet sets around Canada — be sure to catch up with her when she's in your part of the country.

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