Around the World in Houston: Discover Canada

Photo courtesy of the Maple Leaf Pub

With a labyrinth of cultures represented in every nook and cranny of town, Houston is one of the most ethnically diverse cities in America. To celebrate this world-class melting pot, we’ll be exploring a new region of the globe through a Houston lens each week, from annual festivals and museums to restaurants and cultural experiences. Join the journey with our Around the World in Houston series.

From Canada Day celebrations and ice hockey tournaments to eateries dishing out poutine and Montreal smoked meat, there is no shortage of ways to connect with Canadian culture in Houston.

Annual Festivals & Cultural Events

  • Canada Day – This national day of celebration is held July 1 each year. Look out for festivities around town, from parties and BBQs at spots like Riel and Maple Leaf Pub to an annual celebration put on by the Canadian Club of Houston.
  • Oil Kings Hockey Club Annual Turkey Shoot-out – Held around Thanksgiving each year, the 2017 hockey shoot-out will take place at Bellerive Ice Center on November 24-26. Fans can also look forward to a Memorial Day shoot-out in 2018.

Museums & Cultural Organizations

Canadian Food & Drink

Restaurants & Bars

  • D’Lish Curbside Bistro – You can get your poutine fix with a twist at this food truck, which offers versions like bacon, gravy and cheddar; fried chicken with sawmill gravy; and shrimp and gouda.
  • Maple Leaf Pub – Hockey fans flock to this Canadian bar and grill, which houses plenty of tvs, plenty of Molson, and plenty of good pub grub—from poutine and burgers to steak night. The watering hole even has its own penalty box.
  • Karbach Restaurant & Patio – Head to the brewery’s in-house restaurant to get PEI mussels steamed in beer, battered fish and chips, and impossibly good poutine, made the proper way with brown gravy and cheese curds.
  • Moxie’s Grill & Bar – Right across from The Galleria, this Canadian chain (opening soon) offers globally-inspired Canadian food and drinks. Start with negronis, whiskey sours or the iconic bloody Caesar; share plates of traditional poutine complete with Quebec cheese curds and hot beef gravy; dig into entrees like chipotle mango chicken, beef vindaloo, and loaded burgers; and save room for sticky toffee pudding or a dreamy white chocolate brownie.
  • The Railyard – Located on San Felipe, this laid-back neighborhood hangout is a favorite spot for hockey fans that want to watch some NHL action.
  • Reserve 101 – This Downtown whiskey haven rocks a number of Canadian brownstuffs, from Canadian Club and Forty Creek Double Barrel to Pendleton 1910 and Alberta Rye Whiskey Dark Batch.
  • Riel – Menitoba-born chef Ryan LaChaine brings his upbringing to the table at his Montrose stylish eatery. The menu changes often, but look for Canadian delights like bannock bread with cultured butter and jam, PEI mussels, tourtière (Quebec meat pie) or the incredibly flavorful Montreal smoked meat plate, which has been a mainstay since the restaurant’s start.
  • Sammy’s Wild Game Grill – Wild game and exotic eats are offered at this burger and dog joint, with options ranging from venison and elk sausages to seasonal meats like alpaca.

Grocery Stores

  • Central Market – Pick up Canadian treats like smoked salmon jerky, maple syrup straight from Quebec, ketchup chips and “Kraft Dinner,” aka mac’ and cheese.
  • Pete’s Fine Meats – Find wild game meats like moose, elk and deer in filet and even jerky form at this family-run landmark butcher shop and deli.

Groups, Language Classes & Meet-Ups

  • Canadian Club of Houston – Stay in touch with Canada by way of Houston. The local club and networking group offers a variety of meetups, events, and seminars.
  • Canadian Club of Sienna Plantation – This private Facebook group is open to Canadian community members of Missouri City’s Sienna Plantation.
  • French Institute of Houston – French and English are the official languages of Canada. Learn to speak French at this institute, which offers both public and private classes ranging from “Ask for Directions” and “Order from a Menu” to those for beginner, intermediate, and advanced learners.

Other Notables

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Brooke Viggiano is a food and lifestyle writer residing in Houston. When she's not contributing to publications like 365 Things to Do in Houston, Thrillist Houston and the Houston Press, she's on the hunt for the coolest happenings in the city. You can follow her musings on Twitter @BrookeViggiano .