15 Delicacies Canadians Miss When They Move to the US


Moving to a new country can be an adventure, but it also means leaving behind some beloved comforts from home. For Canadians relocating to the United States, certain foods spark nostalgia and a yearning for familiar flavors. Here are several iconic Canadian foods that many expats miss dearly.



Crispy fries drenched in rich gravy, topped with squeaky cheese curds—poutine is the ultimate comfort food. Originating from Quebec, this dish is a staple in Canadian diners. In the US, finding an authentic poutine is a real challenge, leaving many Canadians longing for that perfect balance of textures and flavors.

Butter Tarts


Sweet, gooey, and utterly delicious, butter tarts are a Canadian classic. These bite-sized pastries feature a buttery, flaky crust filled with a luscious mixture of butter, sugar, and eggs. Some versions include raisins or pecans, but all are equally irresistible.  

Nanaimo Bars


The bars are actually named after the city of Nanaimo in British Columbia, and they consist of three layers of pure delight. A crumbly base of wafer, nut, and coconut, a custard-flavored middle layer, and a rich chocolate top make them a favorite at Canadian gatherings.  

Ketchup Chips

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It might sound odd to non-Canadians, but ketchup-flavored chips are a beloved snack north of the border. The tangy, sweet seasoning coats each chip perfectly, creating an addictive treat.  


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The absence of beavertails in the US leaves a void in the dessert department. These delicious, deep-fried pastries are shaped like a beaver’s tail and can be topped with various sweet toppings such as cinnamon sugar and chocolate hazelnut spread. Often enjoyed at fairs and winter festivals, BeaverTails are a nostalgic treat for many Canadians. 



Not to be confused with the American chalky candies of the same name, Canadian Smarties are colorful, candy-coated chocolates similar to M&Ms but with a distinct flavor and crunch. Since a US firm has registered the term “Smarties” for its own tablet candy under a trademark, Smarties aren’t sold in the US.



These bite-sized doughnut holes from Tim Hortons are a staple in Canadian households and offices. Available in a variety of flavors, Timbits are perfect for sharing and snacking. While the US has its fair share of doughnut shops, nothing quite matches the convenience and taste of a box of Timbits. Tom Horton doughnuts rank among the rarest in America unless you happen to live in New York.

Coffee Crisp


This iconic Canadian chocolate bar combines layers of crispy wafer and creamy coffee-flavored filling, all coated in a thin layer of milk chocolate. Coffee Crisp offers a delightful crunch and a subtle coffee taste that sets it apart from typical American candy bars.  



Imagine a Bloody Mary with a uniquely Canadian twist. The Caesar cocktail, made with Clamato juice, vodka, hot sauce, and Worcestershire sauce, is a favorite at Canadian brunches. Often garnished with celery, pickles, or even bacon, this drink’s distinct savory flavor is hard to replicate south of the border.

All-Dressed Chips

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American chip aisles lack this all-in-one sensation.  All-dressed chips pack a punch with a blend of flavors—sweet, salty, tangy, and savory—all in one bite. These chips are a Canadian specialty, combining the tastes of barbecue, ketchup, and salt and vinegar into a single, addictive snack. 

Peameal Bacon


Also known as “Canadian bacon” in the US, peameal bacon is a lean, back bacon rolled in cornmeal. It has a distinctive texture and flavor, often enjoyed as part of a hearty breakfast or on a sandwich. While American bacon tends to be crispy and fatty, peameal bacon offers a juicier, leaner alternative. Canadians in the US would have to make do with some smoked bacon.

Jos Louis

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Finding an equivalent of Jos Louis in the States is challenging. This snack cake combines two layers of moist, chocolatey cake with a creamy filling, all covered in a chocolate coating. Jos Louis is a beloved lunchtime treat for many Canadians, often found in school lunchboxes. 


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The traditional tourtière is a mixture of a filling of minced pork seasoned with a unique blend of spices. The savory pie is especially popular during the holiday season.  

Hickory Sticks

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These thin, crunchy potato sticks are seasoned with a smoky, barbecue-like flavor that makes them highly addictive. Hickory Sticks offer a unique snacking experience that’s quite different from regular potato chips.  

Thrills Gum


Known for its unusual soap-like taste, Thrills Gum is a quirky Canadian confection that’s both loved and loathed. Despite its peculiar flavor, its loyal fanbase enjoys its nostalgic charm. Finding Thrills in the US is nearly impossible, making it a memorable and missed treat for those who grew up with it.

Written by Bruno P