Your melty goodness under the summer sun steaming,
Squeaky curds, rich gravy, and crispy fries,
A true masterpiece that has us dreaming
Of indulgent days, our taste buds roaring with satisfied cries.
In case you haven’t guessed, we’re big fans of poutine. With poutine masterpieces being whipped up in chip trucks and stands across Ontario’s Highlands in the warmer months, this Canadian dish tops our list of summer favourites. The creators behind these often push the boundaries of the dish – topping it with pulled meats, bacon, perogies, veggies, and more – but still know how to serve up a delectable version of the standard with fries, cheese curds, and gravy.
Unfortunately for our stomachs (but maybe best for our waistlines), these spots are not open year-round, so we’d suggest trying to fit in at least one visit to the chip trucks and stands below before they close up shop for another winter. We’ve ordered them by closing date and noted their season based on previous years, but with Mother Nature being unpredictable and these stands being weather-dependent, it’s best to check their Facebook pages closer to when you’re travelling to confirm their hours.
Jossy’s Chill & Grill in Sharbot Lake
Serving up fresh cut fries and much more in Sharbot Lake until late September, this chip stand tops their poutine with St. Albert’s Cheese Curds and smothers it in a savoury vegetable-based gravy, making it vegetarian-friendly. Keep an eye on their Facebook and you might even have the chance to try one of their specials – like their 3-cheese poutine, with white curds, orange curds, and a mix of shredded mozzarella and cheddar.
The Crispy Spud in Beckwith
This chip truck not only offers a delicious classic poutine, but also a variety of speciality versions, featuring toppings like dressing, ground beef, deep fried mushrooms, chopped mac and cheese bites, and meatballs. With so many choices, the hardest part of your visit might just be narrowing down your order, so we’d suggest stopping by a few times before they close at the end of September to try a variety of their delectable dishes.
Truly Canadian Chip Bus in Tweed
As the name suggests, this chip spot is unique from the usual ‘truck,’ serving their handmade treats instead out of a converted bus, painted red and white with national pride. Not only are their fries fresh cut, but they also serve up homemade pies and tarts that are the perfect end to any feast. Running until mid-October, you can even place an advanced order for sweet desserts to add to your Thanksgiving (and grab a poutine while you’re picking them up to kick off the holiday right).
Bakers Fries in Smiths Falls
This chip truck has got a lot of character – painted with a cute farm scene, focused on local ingredients, and offering great customer service – and this only adds to the delectable poutine experience. They’re open until mid-October and also run The Hawk’s Nest, a full service restaurant open year round (just in case you’re craving the comfort of poutine on a cold winter’s day).
Gala’s Pit Stop Restaurant in Kaladar
This chip stand takes their poutine pretty seriously and aside from topping this hearty dish with curds, also offers up deep-fried curds – a deliciously melty treat. They know how to pull off a classic poutine, and go the extra mile to offer a variety of different takes, including pulled pork poutine, a ‘hot mess’ poutine, and even a dill pickle poutine (don’t knock it ‘til you try it). They’ll be serving up their treats until the end of October, and potentially later if the weather allows.
Charlie D’s in Barry’s Bay
With 16 varieties of poutine, many paying homage to the heritage and culture in the Ottawa Valley, this food truck adds personality to the iconic dish. For the poutine purists, they of course have perfected the classic dish in their ‘Canadian’ poutine, but for those open to spicing things up, perhaps their ‘Big Opeongo,’ which replaces the fries with onion rings, or their ‘Polska,’ topped with fried onions, bacon, and perogie might be more up your alley. Luckily, this truck is open until early November so you have time to try a few varieties before they close up for the colder months.
Chipmunk Chippery in Perth
Not only has this chip stand mastered the classic poutine, they’ve recently added a twist on this dish to their menu: the ‘Poutine Dog.’ This treat truly combine two summertime classics with a hot dog topped with fries, cheese curds, and gravy. Stop in before mid-November to try this innovative combination.
The Greene Mill in Almonte
We’re not entirely sure how they keep warm, but this food truck stays open until late December, serving up plenty of delectable locally inspired dishes, including poutine. Their classic ‘Québécoise Poutine’ is sure to satisfy a craving, while their ‘Piggy Back’ poutine goes the extra mile, topped with mouth-watering pulled pork – perfectly comforting as the air turns cooler.
Bonus: The Hamburger Hut in Carleton Place
We’ve broken the rules a little with this one as it’s not a chip truck or stand, however we couldn’t let you go hungry with poutine cravings all winter. Not only does this hut serve up delicious poutine with St. Albert’s curds, as you can probably tell, they make incredible burgers – another dish we feel shouldn’t be limited to barbecue season.