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Flash Fry: Canadian Fast Food Decoded

Flash Fry: Canadian Fast Food Decoded

Throw us a chicken tender, why don't you.

St-Hubert’s chicken breast filets.

Ask any Canadian, and they’ll tell you that fast food is a crucial part of the road-tripping experience. After the novelty of poutine at McDonald’s wears off, try some of these domestic artery-cloggers, which maintain a rabid fan base despite their copious calories. If washing down a BeaverTail with a Caesar confuses you, then you’d better brush up on your Canadian food quickly, lest you be stuck having to “Eat Fresh” at every turn: 

Tim Hortons
The quintessential roadside rest stop, Timmy’s made its fortune on delicious doughnuts, and it has long had a firm grasp on the fast-casual scene with tasty lunch options, too. It’s actually owned by Burger King, but most Canadians would probably like to be spared that Whopper of a secret.

What to order: The maple glazed doughnut.  

SwissChalet
Blanketing the entirety of English-speaking Canada, it’s the go-to establishment when you don’t feel like cooking but still crave some unfussy barbecue chicken. If you visited Swiss Chalet in the ’80s, you’ll remember the hideous Heidi-like costumes the servers were forced to wear. Classic.  

What to order: The quarter chicken with fries and sauce. 

St-Hubert
Hubert is the patron saint of rotisserie chicken, and Swiss Chalet’s archrival. (Ask anyone from Québec which one they prefer, and they’ll all say St-Hubert.) Simply put: the sauce brune (gravy) reigns supreme in French-speaking Canada.  

What to order: The breaded chicken breast fillets, but it’s really all about dunking them in the pot of savory dipping sauce.

Harvey’s
Harvey’s is built on the premise of fast food for picky eaters, but it’s perhaps more famous for its bright orange serving trays, which locals used to steal and refashion as toboggans in winter. 

What to order: The original burger, flame-grilled with your choice of toppings.

MaryBrown’s 
This hot spot’s fried chicken has a huge following in Newfoundland, and virtually everyone agrees it’s leaps and bounds better than KFC. 

What to order: The Big Mary: a fried-chicken-patty sandwich with a signature pickle slice on top.

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