The Best Snacks You Can Only Find in Canada
If you’ve ever had a taste of these Canadian specialties, count yourself among the lucky few. From regional flavours to classic confections, satisfy your cravings with our roundup of the most Canadian snacks ever.
Lucky Pink Elephant Popcorn
Synonymous with carnivals and concession stands, the retro Lucky Elephant Pink Candy Popcorn has been delighting Canadian snackers of all ages since the 1950s. The sweet popcorn, known for its whimsical pink colour, is caramelized with a candy coating for a satisfying crunch (and tacky fingers). After you’ve polished off each kernel crumb, don’t forget to dig out the mystery prize that comes in each box.
You’ll be hard pressed to find a college student who hasn’t fueled an all-nighter with a plate of Pizza Pops. The original microwaveable pouch was invented in Winnipeg by Paul Faraci, who envisioned a zestier take on the turnover-style panzerotti. The result? A savoury bundle of sauce, toppings and meat ready in seconds for on-the-go snacking or to satiate midnight munchies.
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The Canadian icon of the chip aisle, there’s no beating the mouth-watering flavour combo of all-dressed chips. They’re perfectly sweet, savoury, and salty all-in-one crunchy bite thanks to a blend of salt and vinegar, barbecue sauce and ketchup; the ideal remedy for a snack attack. Although its origins remain a mystery, Quebec-based Yum Yum chips launched a variation of the beloved flavour back in 1978. Today, it remains at the top of the charts as one of Frito-Lay’s best-selling flavours—even beating ketchup—proving that orange-stained fingers are here to stay.
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Moon Mist Ice Cream
With a mesmerizing tie-dye pastel swirl befitting its dreamy name, Moon Mist ice cream is a Maritime favourite and one of the highlights of summer on the east coast. The banana, grape and bubble gum flavoured ice cream made its debut in the 1980s, and is now as common as the sea breeze throughout the Atlantic provinces. While it’s notoriously hard to find elsewhere in country—there are internet forums dedicated to tracking down a tub or scoop of this treat—its unique taste makes it well worth the search.
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Crush Birch Beer
Most Canadians will immediately recognize the neon rainbow hues of the various Crush soft drinks, but there’s one flavour that can only found on the country’s easternmost point. You’ll have to travel all the way to Newfoundland to get a taste of Crush Birch Beer, which is exclusive to the province. Since birch beer is made from herbal extracts and birch bark, it has a similar taste to root beer but with a sweeter aftertaste. Birch beer float, anyone?
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Quebec Maple Syrup Coca-Cola
It wouldn’t be a roundup of Canadian snacks without something maple syrup-flavoured! Coca-Cola unveiled a Quebec Maple Syrup flavour in 2020 as a tribute to the province’s maple harvest heritage and status as the country’s leading producer of the sticky stuff. Although this combination sounds like it would result in a cloyingly sweet drink, people have described the maple’s distinctive smokiness and sweetness as a subtle, yet tasty twist on the classic cola.
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When you’re crunched for time—or can’t be bothered to cook yet another meal—instant ramen is always there to save the day. While you can find hundreds of different varieties at any Canadian grocery or convenience store today, Mr. Noodles been a staple since the 1970s. In a matter of minutes, the contents of each square package combine into a hearty helping of flavourful noodles. Add in a soft-boiled egg, sliced pork belly and a sprinkle of green onions for a comforting snack that’s practically gourmet.
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If you grew up with Jos Louis snack cakes—the shining star of every school lunch—you need to try this Quebec equivalent. A round, chocolate-coated dessert cake with layers of vanilla sponge and crème filling, this sweet treat is made by the same company and is based on a recipe invented at a Quebec City bakery? Fun fact: It was originally named after the legendary movie star Mae West, but the spelling was changed after her death in the 1980s.
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Maple Leaf Crème Cookies
One bite of this ubiquitous Canadian treat and you can practically hear O Canada playing. Each maple leaf-shaped cookie, filled with a layer of velvety syrup-infused creme, is a sugary indulgence that’ll instantly evoke memories of school trips to the sugarbush. Pair it with an extra-large double-double for a truly patriotic snack.
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Cherry Blossom Candy
The Cherry Blossom is as nostalgic as Canadian candy gets. Open its signature bright yellow box to find an individual “blossom”—a single maraschino cherry suspended in cherry syrup and coated with a hodgepodge of chocolate, coconut and pieces of roasted peanuts. This practically antique confectionary has been manufactured since the 1890s! Love it or hate it, this snack is truly a part of Canadian history.
Next, check out the surprising history of Canada’s most famous dessert, the butter tart.