Move out of the way Ontario and Quebec, it looks like there's a new foodie province in town.
For the first time, Raymonds Restaurant of St. John’s, N.L. (which placed 10th last year), is 2014's best restaurant in Canada, according to Vacay.ca's third annual Top 50 Restaurants in Canada list.
The list, which looks at the dish selections, dining experiences and overall quality of food at restaurants across the country, was determined by some of the nation's top chefs. In the past, the list was conducted through a public voting system along with judges, but this year's process created a different list entirely.
"There are 26 restaurants in this year’s Top 50 list that have not previously appeared on the ranking. Of them, 14 are restaurants that were either not open when the judges’ picks were submitted in 2013 or were less than three months old at the time, including three restaurants that ranked in the top five," says Vacay.ca's managing editor Adrian Brijbassi in a statement.
The list also includes price points, top meals and what the culinary world is saying about each spot. For example, if you're heading to this year's winner Raymonds anytime soon, make sure you bring around $45 and order the rack of lamb with local merguez sausage and braise, creamy polenta, roasted red peppers, eggplant purée, grilled zucchini, gremolata, and tomato sauce.
Raymonds' co-owner and chef Jeremy Charles — who once told us he would be a fly fishing guide if he wasn't a chef — said Newfoundland has changed a lot in terms of the restaurant business.
It's no surprise the top spots this year include restaurants from Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. The judging panel was made up of 54 chefs, including Vikram Vij of Vij’s in Vancouver, Dale MacKay of Ayden Kitchen & Bar in Saskatoon (and season one winner of "Top Chef Canada"), and Montreal pastry chef and author Patrice Demers. Judges were not allowed to vote for their own restaurants.
Last year's winner, Montreal's Joe Beef still ranks in the top 10, while second place winner Langdon Hall of Cambridge, Ont. fell to number 27.
Here are the top 20 restaurants in Canada, according to Vacay.ca, for the full list of all 50 click here.