Heading out for a bite, Canada?

In its first ever "Best Restaurants of Canada" issue, Maclean's magazine has taken a look at our country's culinary environment and whittled it down to 50 of the top places to go.

It's certainly not the first publication to attempt to categorize which food we prefer to pay for — Air Canada's EnRoute magazine has been counting down their picks for years, and every local newspaper and magazine tends to create its own list right around the holidays. But Maclean's has undertaken this endeavour quite seriously, enlisting the help of noted food writer Jacob Richler to assess and analyze the selections, breaking the country down into five regions: British Columbia, The Prairies, Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada.

Earlier this year, travel site Vacay.ca created a similar list, and interestingly, there isn't much crossover between the two. Food, after all, is incredibly subjective, and one person's five-star meal could be another's late night snack.

But there's no question the culinary sun is rising on Canada, despite the country having been repeatedly snubbed from the top spots by lists noting the world's best. An increasing number of star chefs (not just celebrities) are crossing the border to set up shop, and Canadians are going out to eat in droves, inevitably pushing the quality up in the places they frequent.

Here's 7 of the notable spots on Maclean's list — for the full range, visit macleans.ca, and for further analysis, check out the issue, on newsstands October 1. And tell us — where's your favourite Canadian restaurant?:

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  • Araxi

    <strong>Restaurant</strong>: <a href="http://www.araxi.com">Araxi</a> <strong>Where</strong>: Whistler, British Columbia <strong>Notable?</strong> The first fine dining experience created in the ski resort town has become an institution over the past 20 years.

  • Charcut Roast House

    <strong>Restaurant</strong>: <a href="http://www.charcut.com/">Charcut Roast House</a> <strong>Where</strong>: Calgary, Alberta <strong>Notable?</strong> Co-owned by Top Chef Canada Season One finalist Connie DeSousa, Charcut has been <a href="http://blogs.canoe.ca/scoundrels/general/charcut-and-mission-hill-a-match-made-in-foodie-heaven/">credited with being at the forefront</a> of Calgary's culinary reinvention.

  • La Bodega

    <strong>Restaurant</strong>: <a href="http://labodegaregina.com">La Bodega</a> <strong>Where</strong>: Regina, Saskatchewan <strong>Notable?</strong> Besides being the sole restaurant from Saskatchewan on the list, La Bodega has made waves for its tapas-style dishes, three-level patio, and annual ice bar, created each November.

  • The Stockyards Smokehouse And Larder

    <strong>Restaurant</strong>: <a href="http://www.thestockyards.ca">The Stockyards Smokehouse And Larder</a> <strong>Where</strong>: Toronto, Ontario <strong>Notable?</strong> A tiny fried chicken joint may not be the first place that comes to mind when you think "best restaurant," but The Stockyards has been praised for its meats by everyone from fanatical Yelp reviewers to celebrity chefs.

  • Maison Boulud

    <strong>Restaurant</strong>: <a href="http://www.danielnyc.com/maisonboulud_montreal_en.html">Maison Boulud</a> <strong>Where</strong>: Montreal, Quebec <strong>Notable?</strong> For its celebrity chef, Daniel Boulud, of course, who will be opening another Canadian outpost in Toronto shortly. The Montreal restaurant, located in the Ritz Carlton, Boulud apparently chose Montreal for <a href="http://willtravelforfood.com/2012/06/13/maison-boulud-montreal/">being the "most European" of any North American city</a>.

  • Fid Resto

    <strong>Restaurant</strong>: <a href="http://fidresto.ca/">Fid Resto</a> <strong>Where</strong>: Halifax, Nova Scotia <strong>Notable?</strong> <a href="http://www.thecoast.ca/halifax/best-restaurant/BestOf?oid=1641568">Described as "stylish but casual</a>," this adamantly local restaurant is beloved by visitors and longtime citizens for its ever-changing menu, <a href="http://fidresto.ca/chronicle-herald-talks-up-fid-restos-nocturne-menu/">"Nocturne" installations</a> and great vibe.

  • Atlantica at the Beach House

    <strong>Restaurant</strong>: <a href="http://atthebeachhouse.ca">Atlantica at the Beach House</a> <strong>Where</strong>: Portugal Cove-St. Philip's, Newfoundland <strong>Notable?</strong> Newfoundland is its own land in many ways, not the least of which in flavour. Atlantica has been named the best restaurant by En Route magazine in the past, thanks to Chef Stephen Vardy's focus on local ingredients, innovative dishes and a spectacular view that can't be found anywhere else in the country.

  • For the complete list of Maclean's "50 Best Restaurants in Canada," <a href="http://www2.macleans.ca/2012/09/19/canadas-best-restaurants/">visit the Maclean's website</a>.

Related on HuffPost:

SEE: The top 20 restaurants in Canada, according to Vacay.ca:
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  • #20: Basho

    <b>Restaurant</b>: Basho<br> <b>Where</b>: St. John's, Newfoundland

  • #19: Ruby WatchCo

    <b>Restaurant</b>: <a href="http://rubywatchco.ca/" target="_hplink">Ruby WatchCo</a><br> <b>Where</b>: Toronto, Ontario

  • #18: Guu Izakaya

    <b>Restaurant</b>: <a href="http://guu-izakaya.com/toronto/" target="_hplink">Guu Izakaya</a><br> <b>Where</b>: Toronto, Ontario <br> (Photo courtesy of <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/falsepositives/" target="_hplink">Flickr/False Positives</a>)

  • #17: West

    <b>Restaurant</b>: <a href="http://www.westrestaurant.com/" target="_hplink">West</a><br> <b>Where</b>: Vancouver, British Columbia

  • #16: Bao Bei

    <b>Restaurant</b>: <a href="http://www.bao-bei.ca" target="_hplink">Bao Bei</a><br> <b>Where</b>: Vancouver, British Columbia

  • #15: Barefoot Bistro

    <b>Restaurant</b>: <a href="http://www.bearfootbistro.com" target="_hplink">Barefoot Bistro</a><br> <b>Where</b>: Whistler, British Columbia

  • #14: Splendido

    <b>Restaurant</b>: <a href="http://splendido.ca" target="_hplink">Splendido</a><br> <b>Where</b>: Toronto, Ontario

  • #13: Tempest

    <b>Restaurant</b>: <a href="http://www.tempest.ca" target="_hplink">Tempest</a><br> <b>Where</b>: Wolfville, Nova Scotia<br> (Photo courtesy of <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/snype451/" target="_hplink">Flickr/Brian U</a>)

  • #12: Araxi

    <b>Restaurant</b>: <a href="http://www.araxi.com" target="_hplink">Araxi</a><br> <b>Where</b>: Whistler, British Columbia

  • #11: Sushi Kaji

    <b>Restaurant</b>: <a href="http://www.sushikaji.com" target="_hplink">Sushi Kaji</a><br> <b>Where</b>: Toronto, Ontario

  • #10: Duke Of Duckworth

    <b>Restaurant</b>: <a href="http://www.dukeofduckworth.com" target="_hplink">Duke of Duckworth</a><br> <b>Where</b>: St. John's, Newfoundland

  • #9: Rouge

    <b>Restaurant</b>: <a href="http://www.rougerestaurant.com" target="_hplink">Rouge</a><br> <b>Where</b>: Calgary, Alberta

  • #8: Canoe

    <b>Restaurant</b>: <a href="http://www.oliverbonacini.com/Canoe.aspx" target="_hplink">Canoe</a><br> <b>Where</b>: Toronto, Ontario

  • #7: L'Abattoir

    <b>Restaurant</b>: <a href="http://www.labattoir.ca" target="_hplink">L'Abattoir</a><br> <b>Where</b>: Vancouver, British Columbia

  • #6: Les 400 Coups

    <b>Restaurant</b>: <a href="http://www.les400coups.ca" target="_hplink">Les 400 Coups</a><br> <b>Where</b>: Montreal, Quebec

  • #5: Atelier

    <b>Restaurant</b>: <a href="http://www.atelierrestaurant.ca" target="_hplink">Atelier</a><br> <b>Where</b>: Ottawa, Ontario

  • #4: The Black Hoof

    <b>Restaurant</b>: <a href="http://theblackhoof.com" target="_hplink">The Black Hoof</a><br> <b>Where</b>: Toronto, Ontario<br> (Photo courtesy of <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/wandaspics/" target="_hplink">Flickr/Wanda G</a>)

  • #3: Joe Beef

    <b>Restaurant</b>: <a href="http://joebeef.ca" target="_hplink">Joe Beef</a><br> <b>Where</b>: Montreal, Quebec

  • #2: Langdon Hall

    <b>Restaurant</b>: <a href="http://www.langdonhall.ca" target="_hplink">Langdon Hall</a><br> <b>Where</b>: Cambridge, Ontario

  • #1: Vij's

    <b>Restaurant</b>: <a href="http://www.vijsrestaurant.ca" target="_hplink">Vij's</a><br> <b>Where</b>: Vancouver, British Columbia