Unique food and drink experiences
There are so many tasty activities to devour in Parks Canada places! From traditional recipes, epic picnics, historic spirits to the most authentic historic culinary experiences, reserve your spot today and get a taste of history!
Nature is delicious!
Gulf Islands National Park Reserve, British Columbia
Choose from 17 lovely orchards across the Gulf Islands National Park Reserve to gather fruits and nuts— following in the footsteps of the early European settlers dating back to the 1830s. Scattered across the southern Gulf Islands, many of these orchards connect us back to the original settlers where their farming practices linked into the local economy. On North Pender Island, explore the lush Roesland Orchard, planted in 1910 by Scottish immigrant Robert Roe Sr. Discover the Mahoi Orchard on Russell Island and taste the sweet apples and cherries from the garden of Hawaiian settlers, William Haumea, Maria Mahoi and the Fisher family. Follow the rules of considerate and sustainable harvesting and enjoy the taste of sweet heritage fruit!
Take a workshop
Bannock, chocolate and ice cream
Lower Fort Garry National Historic Site, Manitoba
Take part in a culinary workshop surrounded by Canada’s oldest collection of stone fur trade buildings, where trappers and traders of the Hudson’s Bay Company once gathered in the 1850s.
Learn to make tasty bannock bread, and discover the art of grinding grain by the quern— a stone hand mill to make flour. Then, as your bannock cooks, try your hand at churning butter!
Chocolate is more your thing? Take part in a workshop to discover its delicious history. Cocoa has been enjoyed by kings, governors, soldiers and fur traders alike! Prepare a heritage hot chocolate recipe and enjoy the sweet rewards of your labour.
Ice cream lover? Get the inside scoop! Could there have been ice cream at Lower Fort Garry in 1851? Immerse yourself in the stimulating story of how this tasty treat came to the prairies. Learn how to make ice cream and then taste the final product!
Say cheers to spirited adventures!
Halifax Citadel National Historic Site, Nova Scotia
Did you know that the everyday life of a nineteenth-century soldier included alcohol? From persuading the enlistment of new recruits, to fortifying one’s bravery in the field, alcohol was the high-point for many soldiers. Go behind-the-scenes at the citadel with a kilted 78th Highlander and Raise your Spirits as you savour three unique spirits created by the award-winning Compass Distillers; the Noon Gun Gin, Fort George Genever, and Daily Ration Rum, all aged in oak barrels and stored on-site at the citadel and paired with delicious artisanal cheeses on this tour.
Experience the exclusive and spirited private tour Proof is in the Barrel with a uniformed 78th Highlander guide. Watch a firing demonstration of an authentic 19th-century Snider-Enfield rifle, take samples from the barrels and help the distiller ‘proof them down’, a process which reduces alcohol content. Gather in the North Magazine’s Garrison Room for a delicious culinary experience featuring local charcuterie, all chosen to pair perfectly with each spirit. Learn how to properly taste each spirit and take the opportunity to ask the distiller all your questions. End the tour by receiving a gift box set of 78th Highlanders-branded Glencairn glasses and two bottles of Halifax Citadel-aged spirits of your choice and continue the tasting experience at home.
La Taverne Storehouse
Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site, Nova Scotia
Get a taste of history in the cheery atmosphere of La Taverne Storehouse with tasty tavern fare such as charcuterie boards and delicious local beer and cider, each brewed with a special connection to the fortress in mind. Step back in time as “residents” of the 18th century town complete with period costumes serve you as you sit in historically accurate carved wood furniture and stone architecture.
Your visit won’t be complete without a sample of Fortress™ Rum which is aged at the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site! Did you know that rum was the most popular drink in this 18th century town? Learn more about the fascinating history of this strong spirit at the Rum Exhibit. You can even see original bottles that were excavated from the site!
On special event days, tap your toes to local music or test your skills with 18th century games. Planning a special occasion with friends and family? Book a tasting experience with the Fortress Louisbourg Association. Raise a glass just as Louisbourg’s residents did 300 years ago. À la santé! Cheers!
The taste of Nova Scotia good cheer trail
Port-Royal National Historic Site, Nova Scotia
In 1606, Samuel de Champlain started the 'Order of Good Cheer’ social club at the Habitation, the site of the first attempt at a permanent European settlement in the New World. Stop off at Port-Royal and pick up a Taste of Nova Scotia Good Cheer Trail Passport and start your spirited tribute to de Champlain’s love of food and wine and tour Canada’s first winery, craft brewery, cidery and distillery trail, that celebrates a long tradition of hospitality and pride for the bounty of Nova Scotia.
Dining at the Fortress of Louisbourg
Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site, Nova Scotia
Dine in the 18th century at the Restaurant de la Marine. Feast on pewter dishes as you enjoy a lesson on 18th century etiquette from servers in period costume, who explain how to dig into your hearty meal with nothing more than a spoon! Savour delicious meals inspired by authentic 18th century recipes, or sample something a little more modern like some mouthwatering local seafood. Top it off with a helping of Fortress™ rum cake and a Louisbourg 1713 coffee.
Looking for something to suit your upper-class tastes? Book a candlelight dining experience, an exclusive garden party at M. Bigot’s residence - one of the finest in the town – where you can try your hand at card games like Faro and Quinze. End your evening with a multi-course meal of elevated French-inspired dishes prepared by a local chef.
Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site, Nova Scotia
Enjoy a blast from the past as you Time Travel at the Fortress of Louisbourg! Chat with a “soldier” about his life in this fortified town and watch a musket firing demonstration. Head to one of Louisbourg’s finest homes and let your mouth water as a kitchen servant mixes you up a piping hot cup of Heritage™ chocolate. Let this rich drink warm your spirits, just as it did for the town’s elite 300 years ago. Planning a visit during the summer months? You’re invited to taste your way through a weekend of delectable living history presentations with the Fête du Chocolat from July 15 to 17. Learn about this sweet treat and its historical ties from an expert Basque chocolatier and savour French traditions during this multicultural culinary festival.
Mi'kmaw treat and petroglyphs paddle
Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic Site, Nova Scotia
Paddle with your guides out onto Kejimkujik Lake in a 38-foot canoe to a restricted petroglyph site where you can see, touch and feel the images and history. Enjoy berry tea and Luski bread, a traditional Mi’kmaw bread but done in a modern way. Grab a stick and cook it over the fire with heated up fresh picked local berries. History tastes so good.
Cowboy coffee, wood-fired baking and prime rib dinner
Bar U Ranch National Historic Site, Alberta
Ride into history on a wagon pulled by the majestic Percheron horses to discover the life of a ranching cowboy from the late 1800s at the Bar U Ranch.
Visit the "belly of the Bar U”, where cowboys ate, slept and relaxed, and sample wood-fired baked goods. Don’t forget to visit the nearby garden, storehouses and the root cellar and explore how food was produced and preserved before modern-day refrigeration. Then, sip on cowboy coffee at the Roundup Camp as the smoke from the campfire curls lazily into the air, and hear tales of how Edward, Prince of Wales visited in 1919 and loved it so much he bought the ranch next door.
Hungry for more? Check out the Bar U Ranch Cafe and choose from a ranch-inspired menu like AAA beef burgers and prime rib featuring locally-sourced ingredients.
Métis miyotôtâkewin - a metis welcome
Rocky Mountain House National Historic Site, Alberta
Experience one of Canada’s most diverse Indigenous groups - the Métis peoples. Learn about the fur trade and fur trapping, try finger weaving, move your feet with Métis dancers in your very own jigging lesson and meet with a Métis Elder. Has all this whetted your appetite? Learn more about a delicious staple of Indigenous culinary culture, fluffy, open fire-cooked, bannock bread. Have a bit of this chewy and moist bread made especially delectable topped with local jams. This is an immersive cultural experience not to be missed!
Heritage ice cream and soda at the canteen
Fort Rodd Hill and Fisgard Lighthouse National Historic Sites, British Columbia
A sweet tooth didn’t just go away when rationing came into play! During WW2, many countries enforced food rationing to ensure everyone had enough to eat. On the home front, surviving the food ration period meant focusing on local ingredients and required teamwork and creativity; waste was not an option! At Fort Rodd Hill, off-duty soldiers, waiting to be shipped overseas, gathered at the Canteen for a bit of social time and to indulge in allowable treats including ice cream and soda. Today, inspired by common ingredients and historic recipes from the ration periods, you too can treat yourself to Heritage Ice Cream and Soda; which flavours will you choose: Chocolate Ration Cake, Apple Cider Oatmeal, or Eat Your Invasive Blackberries?
The Perfect Picnic
Because everything tastes better when you eat it outside! Enjoy Parks Canada’s twist on take-out and let nature design your dining space with the Perfect Picnic; a pick-up-and-go lunch for two, packaged in a Parks Canada picnic box provided by local businesses. it's as easy as 1, 2, 3!
- Place your order with the restaurant
- Pick up your lunch
- Find your perfect picnic place and enjoy!
Available at the following locations
Cape Breton Highlands National Park, Nova ScotiaLet the highlands, beaches, lakes, waterfalls and forests set the scene and find your perfect picnic place. Choose from one of our ten recommended perfect picnic places, or find your own! Why not have a local snow crab sandwich on the beach?
Fort Anne National Historic Site, Nova ScotiaLet nature design your dining space. Fort Anne offers spectacular water views and expansive lawns ideal for laying a picnic blanket - add yourself and bon appétit! Lobster roll, German sausage, locally-sourced schnitzel, salami, or Dutch gouda, what will you choose?
Port-Royal National Historic Site, Nova ScotiaSet your dining space on the shore of the Annapolis Basin. Gaze at the same horizon that the Mi’kmaq experienced for thousands of years and that Champlain saw in 1605. Pick up a ready-made lunch and why not let yourself be tempted by local blueberry oat squares or pie!
Georges Island National Historic Site, Nova ScotiaPick up your lunch when you board the ferry to Georges Island! Find your perfect picnic spot in the middle of Halifax Harbour and enjoy a lobster roll or a ploughman's lunch.
Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site, Nova ScotiaThere are thousands of spots to lay out a picnic blanket and enjoy a cheerful meal within this 18th century fortified French town. Place your order with the Fortress Louisbourg Association and ask about daily specials and gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan options!
St. Peters National Historic Site, Nova ScotiaWatch boats navigate through the tidal lock, the oldest of its kind in North America. Walk along the canal’s winding paths to pick your picnic spot. Enjoy fine dining featuring fresh, local seafood, locally grown produce, homemade and traditional Cape Breton food and organic Nova Scotian tea and coffee!
Experience gourmet heritage at home! Choose from more than 60 vintage recipes adapted to contemporary cuisine or have a peek inside Woodside National Historic Site's kitchen. Embark on a culinary adventure while discovering Parks Canada places! Who knew history could taste this good?
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