Category Archives: Canadian restaurants

Marathon Mouth the ebook: Great western road-trip routes and cheap eats

 

Morenita's, Idaho Falls

Bertha Moreno and daughter Jessica serve up fabulous fare at Morenita’s Mexican Restaurant in Idaho Falls, Idaho. Worthy of a road trip in itself down the I-15

With summer well underway, it’s time to launch a road trip. But not sure what routes to take or great places to stop for a meal or drink along the way?

Well, if your trip ventures into any part of the western U.S. or western Canada, I’ve got you covered. My new ebook, like the blog called Marathon Mouth, offers scores of driving routes, many of them meandering off the crowded interstates and through some fantastic landscapes: mountains, winding coastlines, rain forests and deserts. If you’re into self-propelled outdoor activities, like hiking or biking, I’ve got lots of suggested places for jaunts both short and long.

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How about a drive through California’s Death Valley

All that exercise and driving, of course, works up an appetite. No problem. The meat of Marathon Mouth , so to speak, is a lively description of nearly 900 cafes, diners, coffee shops, bakeries, food trucks and brewpubs. These places are all independently owned, offering great, affordable food and libations. How do I know? I’ve eaten and sipped at the vast majority of them, often chatting with the folks who own and are so passionate about these colourful joints. The back of the book has full interactive listings for all these places, so you can easily check out their websites and coordinate your schedule with their hours.

Marathon Mouth , all 400-plus pages of it, costs about $9.99, less than you’d usually spend on a burger and fries. So steering you to the best places is well worth it, wouldn’t you say?

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Marathon Mouth is available for immediate download at all the major online retailers like   Amazon, (Amazon Canada), iTunes, Kobo and Chapters/Indigo. Even if you don’t have an e-reading device, you can download free apps (at places like Amazon and Adobe) for reading e-books on your computer.

Time to start pulling out the maps and packing the car, I’d say. Bon appetit!

Unlock My Chains: The Big 3 Fast-Food Restaurants & Coffee Shops

There's nearly always lineups at Canada's fast-food king, Tim Horton's

There’s nearly always lineups at Canada’s fast-food king, Tim Hortons

I’m all about independent food places and coffee shops. It’s why I write this blog. But I do occasionally sneak into a fast-food chain. Honest, it’s just to use their WiFi connection when I can’t find a local, open coffeehouse and need to locate something or book a last-minute motel, especially if my smart phone is turned off to save roaming charges in the U.S.

As a result, I get to focus my laser-like observation skills on how these chains operate and the coffee lingo used by regulars: a “double-double” (two cream, two sugar) in Canada’s Tim Hortons and, my favourite, a “tall Ethiopian” in Starbucks. Plus, I invariably order a coffee or snack, seeing as how I might be using their WiFi for half an hour and think it’s highly unethical to carry an empty Starbucks’ or McDonald’s cup from place to place to feign a purchase. Really, I’ve hardly ever done that.

The reason the following places are successful is they, like other popular chains, deliver consistency and predictability, with enough new products thrown in to keep the regulars from getting bored. Mind you, when pulled pork, poutine or paninis hits their menus, you know the trend has long since passed. And the stuff is churned out so fast that “made to order” is not in the vocabulary.

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My Best Road Trip Meals of 2013: Part 1

Even the hard-working cooks have fun at Pete's Breakfast House in Ventura, California

Even the hard-working cooks have fun at Pete’s Breakfast House in Ventura, California

What happens when you hit a couple of hundred independent diners, cafes, coffeehouses, bakeries and breweries in the western U.S./Canada in one year? An ambulance ride to emergency? Fortunately, no. Instead, I got to discover some great places to eat and drink, run by some seriously committed, wonderful people. Here are the best of 2013, in two parts.

Best Breakfasts

My best 2013 breakfast is the day’s locovore omelette at Chow in Bend, Oregon. Perfectly prepared, it features chicken-apple sausage, caramelized onions and local chanterelle mushrooms and cheese. What puts it over the top is the choice of three bottles of house-made sauce of varying intensity, so good I buy two bottles to go.

My best 2013 breakfast is the locovore omelette at lovely Chow in Bend, Oregon

My best 2013 breakfast is the locovore omelette at lovely Chow in Bend, Oregon

Pancakes: The pancake sandwich—bacon atop buttermilk blueberry cakes and, underneath, two over-easy eggs—at Pete’s Breakfast House in Ventura, California. Great vibe ups the ante.

Delicious blueberry pancakes over eggs at Pete's Breakfast House in Ventura, California

Delicious blueberry pancakes over eggs at Pete’s Breakfast House in Ventura, California

Breakfast Sandwich: Sometimes, all you want for breakfast is an egg or two between two slices of a bready product. But at Tweets Cafe in tiny Edison, Washington, the breakfast sandwich is a work of art, with a mini salad on top, a slice of melon bursting with flavour and perfectly cooked eggs and ham atop a home-baked biscuit.

The breakfast sandwich in the hands of an artist at Tweet's Cafe in Edison, Washington

The breakfast sandwich in the hands of an artist at Tweet’s Cafe in Edison, Washington

Off the Radar: How about a breakfast burrito of smoked turkey, avocado, egg whites and a hash patty, chased by an invigorating iced drink of protein powder, espresso, peanut butter, banana and chocolate? It’s all on the healthy menu at D’Lish Drive Thru in Scottsdale, Arizona, along with a free dose of off-the-wall friendliness.

This excellent AZ Burro is one of many creative, healthy breakfast choices at D'Lish Drive-Thru

This excellent AZ Burro is one of many creative, healthy breakfast choices at D’Lish Drive-Thru in Scottsdale, Arizona

Best Coffee

In a year when I visit the coffee meccas of Seattle and Portland, it’s a roaster/coffeehouse in little Lethbridge, Alberta that serves my two best cups of coffee, one by Chemex, the other by Aeropress. Cupper’s Coffee & Tea‘s slightly darker roasts are so good, I’ve been ordering their shipped beans instead of just roasting my own.

Cupper's owner Al Anctil and the sophisticated roaster he helped build

Cupper’s owner Al Anctil and the sophisticated roaster he helped build in Lethbridge, Alberta

     Honourable Mentions: The espresso at Portland hole-in-the-wall Spella Caffee holds my tongue in a lingering, smoky embrace. My best coffee experiences are in Seattle’s also tiny Moore Coffee Shop—where I sink into a leather chair and savour a fine Americano served with a square of complimentary chocolate—and the funky vibe of Lux Central in Phoenix. I also have to include Nobrow Coffee Werks, in the coffee mecca of Salt Lake City (just joking) for the most sophisticated brewing machine, the Steampunk, I’ve ever seen.

Joe Evans and the very latest in custom-brewed coffee at Nobrow Coffee Works; I'd say this is high brow

Joe Evans and the very latest in custom-brewed coffee at Nobrow Coffee Works; I’d say this is high brow

Best Bakery/Café Santa Fe’s Clafoutis has a full-fledged menu, but it’s the ethereal croissants, brioche and baguettes, along with great coffee, that bring me back for more at this elegant, oh-so-French café.

A stack of baguettes amidst all the creative elements at Clafoutis in Santa Fe, New Mexico

A stack of baguettes amidst all the creative elements at Clafoutis in Santa Fe, New Mexico

      Honourable Mentions: Last year’s pick, La Baguette, in Revelstoke, B.C., keeps knocking it out of the park with things as simple but outstanding as Healthy Bread, its take on toast. San Francisco’s famed Tartine Bakery & Cafe lives up to the hype with brioche bread pudding and gorgeous gougère.

Gorgeously gooey gougere at Tartine Bakery & Cafe in San Francisco

Gorgeously gooey gougere at Tartine Bakery & Cafe in San Francisco

Best Sandwich The sandwich is a road-trip lunch staple, but it’s rarely raised to an art form like the Oxacan— shredded mole chicken, avocado, goat cheese and apple, served on lovely seed-crusted ciabatta—that I’m served at the fantastic Curious Kumquat, way out in Silver City, New Mexico.

This shredded mole chicken sandwich makes the drive to Silver City, New Mexico well worthwhile

This shredded mole chicken sandwich makes the drive to Silver City, New Mexico well worthwhile

     Honourable Mentions: My steak sandwich at Longview Steakhouse, in the ranch country of Longview, Alberta, is really a huge, superb strip loin on an overwhelmed single piece of bread, though the latter does soak up all the juices. In the heavyweight sandwich battle, my mortadella with all the fixings at Compagno’s Delicatessen, in Monterey Bay, California, reaches a sleep-inducing draw with the turkey-bacon monster at Sandwich Spot, in Palm Springs, California.

I gave half of this monster, fab $8 creation from the Sandwich Spot to a passing street person in Palm Springs, California

I gave half of this monster, fab $8 creation from the Sandwich Spot to a passing street person in Palm Springs, California. Kept us both fed for a day

Best Burger

A tie: Bobcat Bite has left its character-filled old adobe building and morphed into Santa Fe Bite, but it’s still pumping out its signature green chile cheeseburgers. Diablo Burger sources its natural, lean meats from open-range ranches near Flagstaff, Arizona. Both places offer their thick patties medium-rare.

The name and the location's changing, but there's no disguising these fantastic green chile cheeseburgers at Santa Fe Bite

This fantastic, medium-rare green chile cheeseburger, at Santa Fe Bite, is at least three inches thick

     Honourable Mentions: In the Asian fusion category, my fine wagyu burger at Bachi Burger in Las Vegas is edged by the Loco Moco—a Kobe patty over rice and Japanese mushrooms and topped with a sunny-side egg—at Carino Bistro in Calgary, Alberta.

Who needs a bun when you can have a Kobe patty atop rice and Japanese mushrooms at Carino Bistro in Calgary, Alberta

Who needs a bun when you can have a Kobe patty atop rice and Japanese mushrooms at Carino Bistro in Calgary, Alberta?

Best Vegetarian

Yes, I probably eat more burgers than salads on the road, but I’m by no means averse to vegetarian or even vegan so long as it’s tasty. It’s no surprise that in the running capital of Eugene, Oregon, healthy folks head to Morning Glory Cafe for tofu scrambles, black-bean burgers or my baked squash mounded with chanterelle mushrooms, brown rice and goat feta.

This baked squash mounded with goodies made for a healthy lunch at Morning Glory Cafe in Eugene, Oregon

This baked squash mounded with goodies makes for a healthy lunch at Morning Glory Cafe in Eugene, Oregon

Best Pizza

Among the many contenders, my top pick is Pizzeria Seven Twelve, in Orem, Utah, where the focus is on fresh and simple but creative ingredients like hand-pulled mozzarella, house-made sausage, roasted fennel and a thin, bubbly crust with a nice tangy flavour from the sourdough starter.

Simple, house-made ingredients make this sausage and fennel pie a standout at Pizzeria Seven Twelve in Orem, Utah

Simple, house-made ingredients make this sausage and fennel pie a standout at Pizzeria Seven Twelve in Orem, Utah

     Honourable Mention: At neighbourhood pub The Flying Goat, in Spokane, Washington, my Kiernan pie is layered with Italian sausage, heavy cream, an over-medium egg and some truffle-oil tossed arugula.

Italian sausage, heavy cream and truffle-oil tossed arugula add up to a winner at The Flying Goat in Spokane, Washington

Italian sausage, heavy cream and truffle-oil tossed arugula add up to a winner at The Flying Goat in Spokane, Washington

Best Salad

Salt Lake City’s gorgeous Finca creates a work-of-art beet salad, with a velvety house ricotta base, a ring of beet chunks and a middle tower of argula topped by macerated strawberries and toasted almonds.

This arranged beet salad, at Finca, is almost too pretty to eat... almost

This arranged beet salad, at Finca, is almost too pretty to eat… almost

The 4 Best New Things I Ate in 2013

The greatest thing since sliced pizza: the garlic knot at Milo & Olive

The greatest thing since sliced pizza: the garlic knot at Milo & Olive in Santa Monica, California

There are plenty of mouth-watering distractions at Milo & Olive in Santa Monica, on the outskirts of Los Angeles. But I’m here for only one reason: something called a garlic knot. It features plentiful whole cloves of garlic roasted in confit fat, wrapped in pizza dough and then cooked in a wood-fired oven till slightly blistered. I tear this trussed treat apart with my hands, dipping chunks of the soft bread in the warm extra-virgin olive oil and a little dish of fresh tomato sauce they give me to try. Oh, my God, is this good, and only $7 for one of the best new things I’ve eaten in a long time.

Milo & Olive
2723 Wilshire Boulevard, Santa Monica, California
Daily, bakery opens at 7 am, restaurant 8 am-11 pm

The name alone, Hangtown Fry, makes me want to put it on this list. A celebratory dish for California gold miners in the late 1800s, it remains a signature San Francisco breakfast: a mixture of oysters, eggs and bacon cooked in a skillet. Brenda’s French Soul Food does an outstanding version, the crispy oysters blending wonderfully with the other ingredients and accompanied by some grits and a feathery biscuit.

Hanging out with some excellent hangtown fry at Brenda's French Soul Food in San Francisco

Hanging out with some excellent hangtown fry at Brenda’s French Soul Food in San Francisco

Brenda’s French Soul Food
652 Polk Street, San Francisco
Monday-Tuesday 8 am-3 pm, Wednesday to Saturday 8 am-10 pm, Sunday 8 am-8 pm

The name, Healthy Bread, isn’t particularly inspired and scarcely prepares me for what is to come at Revelstoke B.C.’s outstanding La Baguette. Likewise, the ingredient list—including kamut flour, flax, coconut and dates—elicits more curiosity than excitement. Still, I’m in the mood for something light, and a $3.50 sandwich of toasted bread with melted cream or three-berry jam in the middle sounds about right. But the first bite blows me away, the wonderfully soft middle offset by the slight crunch of the oat-flake topping. And the flavours! I don’t know if I can ever go back to ordinary toast again.

Mind-blowingly good "healthy bread" toast at La Baguette in Revelstoke, B.C.

Mind-blowingly good “healthy bread” toast at La Baguette in Revelstoke, B.C.

La Baguette
103, 607 Victoria Road, Revelstoke, B.C.
Daily 6:30 am-7 pm

Chicken wings? Really? Well, when they’re a Vietnamese take on the standard bar food and they’re the biggest, juiciest, messiest, best wings I’ve ever tasted, then yes. At Portland’s legendary Pok Pok, the wings are marinated in fish sauce and sugar, deep fried and then tossed with garlic, more fish sauce and my choice of spicy chile flakes. Pok Pok has a lot of other northern Thai choices that could make this new food list: charcoal-grilled eggplant salad, pork belly curry, lemongrass-stuffed game hen…

Fantastic, monster chicken wings with an Asian twist at Pok Pok

Fantastic, monster chicken wings with an Asian twist at Pok Pok in Portland, Oregon

Pok Pok
3226 SE Division Street, Portland, Oregon
Daily 11:30 am-10 pm

The 5 Strangest Things I Ate and Drank on Road Trips in 2013… Good Mind You

The centrepiece of this gorgeous appetizer at Kama'aina Grindz is those pink pieces of grilled spam

The centrepiece of this gorgeous appetizer at Kama’aina Grindz, in Everett Washington, is those pink pieces of grilled spam

When I’m road-trip dining or drinking, it sometimes takes a sizable leap of faith to order something completely off the tastebud charts. But such adventures often lead to memorable culinary discoveries. Here are five that stood out in 2013.

For me, spam conjures up long-repressed memories of canned luncheon meats from when something healthier like, say, baloney was unavailable. So I’m curious to see what noted chef Dean Shinagawa can do with an updated version, called spam musubi, at his new, *Kama’aina Grindz in Everett, Washington. And I’m floored to find it, dare I say, delicious, the soy-marinated “meat” crisply grilled, perched atop rice and wrapped in seaweed—a 1960s’ sushi square if you will from this Hawaiian-Asian master. Needless to say, this spam dish is beautifully presented and a $5 bargain appetizer. The only thing I can ask, Dean, is where were you 40 years ago?

Kama’aina Grindz
2933 Colby Avenue, Everett, Washington
Monday to Thursday 11 am- 7 pm, Friday-Saturday 11 am-8 pm. Closed Sunday
Kama'aina Grindz on Urbanspoon

I’ve heard of blackened fish and blackened chicken. But blackened soup? Or bamboo charcoal dark miso ramen, to be more precise. In Asian cultures, charcoal powder is considered a tonic for digestion, skin problems and aging. But the flavour? At Motomachi Shokudo, a top Japanese ramen house in the west end of downtown Vancouver, the soup is delightful—beautifully presented in a large ceramic bowl, with curled noodles, a soft-boiled egg and barbecued pork. But the revelation is the dark, pungent broth, highlighted by the smoky charcoal powder.

Charcoal soup at Vancouver's Motomachi Shokudo. Much healthier and better tasting than it sounds

Charcoal soup at Vancouver’s Motomachi Shokudo. Much healthier and better tasting than it sounds

Motomachi Shokudo
740 Denman Street, Vancouver
Daily noon to 11 pm, except closed Wednesday
Motomachi Shokudo 元町食堂 on Urbanspoon

A lot of culinary innovation is happening on the food-truck scene. So it’s no surprise that Portland, with some 700 stationary food “carts”, is at the forefront. Of the many interesting cart creations I sampled on a recent Portland visit, perhaps nothing overcame my “not bloody likely” reflex quite like PBJ’s Grilled, which you may have deduced stands for grilled peanut butter and jam sandwiches. In my case, it’s the award-winning grilled Oregonian—a medley of challah bread, Oregon hazelnut butter, Rogue Creamery blue cheese and house-made marion berry jam (duck is an add on). Don’t know why, but it lives up to the cart’s motto: “Deliciously addictive.”

Keena assembling my  hazelnut butter, blue cheese and marion berry jam sandwich at PBJ's Grilled

Keena assembling my hazelnut butter, blue cheese and marion berry jam sandwich at PBJ’s Grilled in Portland

PBJ’s Grilled
SE 12 Avenue and Hawthorne Boulevard (also at 919 NW 23 Street), Portland
Tuesday to Sunday opens at 11 am. Closed Monday
PBJ's on Urbanspoon

I’ve had chiles added to chocolate. So it was probably just a matter of time before they showed up in one of my beers. It’s actually on a Portland sidewalk, where I encounter Burnside Brewing brewmaster Jason McAdam grilling some Scotch bonnet peppers and peach halves on a little Weber charcoal grill. They’re being used to dry hop a version of the brewery’s Sweet Heat Ale, which when sampled definitely has some citrus notes, along with a searing punch to the back of my throat.

Grilled  peaches and Scotch bonnets for a spicy, citrusy beer at Burnside Brewing in Portland. What will they think of next?

Grilled peaches and Scotch bonnets for a spicy, citrusy beer at Burnside Brewing in Portland. What will they think of next?

Burnside Brewing
701 East Burnside Street, Portland
Monday to Thursday opens at 3 pm, Friday to Sunday at noon
Burnside Brewing Co. on Urbanspoon

Talk about fusion, or maybe confusion. How about some booze and barbecue added to breakfast? At The Red Wagon Restaurant in Vancouver, it’s the stack of pancakes layered with pulled pork and topped with, get this, Jack Daniels maple syrup. The result is filling and unique—the salty, moist pulled pork nicely complemented by the sweet bourbon syrup. I’m just hoping the alcohol has evaporated before I hit the mid-morning streets.

How about some pulled pork layered between these  pancakes, with Jack Daniels maple syrup as a sweetener?

How about some pulled pork layered between these pancakes, with Jack Daniels maple syrup as a sweetener?

The Red Wagon Restaurant
2296 East Hastings Street, Vancouver
Weekdays 8 am-9 pm, weekends 9 am-9 pm
The Red Wagon on Urbanspoon

Yukon Gold: Fine Eats in the Great White North—Part 1

Spectacular fall colours in the Yukon's Tombstone Territorial Park

Spectacular fall colours in the Yukon’s Tombstone Territorial Park

There are seven times more caribou and twice as many moose as humans (the two-legged population is only 35,000 in 483,000 square kilometres of terrain). And it’s a hearty three-plus-day drive from the “civilized” south just to get there, unless you prefer flying to Whitehorse and then renting a vehicle.

Still, the Yukon Territory, in Canada’s far northwest, exercises a strong pull on the imagination of many road trippers, whether they’re driving up the Alaska Highway, backpacking or climbing in Kluane National Park or reliving the Dawson gold rush. The good news is you can drive through beautiful country, and maybe spot a roadside grizzly bear, without encountering another vehicle for perhaps half an hour at a stretch.

From a road-food perspective, there’s a surprising number of good dining and bakery/coffee shop options, though outside Whitehorse many places shut down after Labour Day. Considering the distance most groceries must be shipped from the south, prices aren’t unreasonable. And in this northern frontier, almost no eatery expects you to change out of your muddy pants and boots. Throughout the territory, you can wash that dust off with excellent Whitehorse-produced *Yukon Brewing beer (www.yukonbeer.com), available in a variety of flavourful styles such as Midnight Sun (espresso port) and the flagship Yukon Gold, an English pale ale.

Whitehorse

With a population of 26,000 and growing, the rather sophisticated capital of the Yukon dwarfs the combined citizenry of the remaining territorial villages and outposts. Its rich arts and cultural life is bolstered by an active outdoors community that mountain bikes and river canoes in summer and cross-county skis on kilometres of trails during the long winter. Located near the territory’s south end, Whitehorse is the launching spot for nearly all Yukon road trips to the north and west.

Whitehorse boasts a vibrant café scene. While Baked Cafe + Bakery (108, 100 Main Street) is the most popular coffee gathering spot, with nice organic scones, the best bet is The Claim, featuring good breakfast snacks, homemade chocolates, paninis and daily lunchtime specials such as lentil curry soup and tabouleh salad with local tomatoes.

The Claim
305 Strickland Street, Whitehorse
Weekdays 7:30 am-6 pm, Saturday 9:30 am-5 pm. Closed Sunday
Chocolate Claim on Urbanspoon

Craving a strong jolt of java? Head to Midnight Sun Coffee Roasters, attached to a bicycle shop, and sip an espresso or pick up a pound of Bushwacker’s Blend while you watch a batch of beans being roasted.

Enjoy a brew at Midnight Sun Coffee Roasters while you're getting your bike tuned up

Enjoy a brew at Midnight Sun Coffee Roasters while you’re getting your bike tuned up

Midnight Sun Coffee Roasters
9002 Quartz Road, Whitehorse
Weekdays 8 am-6 pm, Saturday 10 am-5 pm. Closed Sunday

A Whitehorse landmark is *Alpine Bakery, where all of owner Suat Tuzlak’s (love that name) products are vegetarian and organic. The bakery churns out a large selection of hearty loaves including sourdough, rye, ciabatta, flax and spelt; some are baked in a brick oven. We carried a couple of these dense, sustaining loaves on a 10-day backpack, without any crumbling or mold forming. A lunchtime treat here is a square of pizza (the roasted beet and onion is delicious), eaten on the back patio and washed down by a strong coffee.

How about a delectable slice of beet and onion pizza at Alpine Bakery

How about a delectable slice of beet and onion pizza at Alpine Bakery?

Alpine Bakery
411 Alexander Street, Whitehorse
Tuesday to Friday 8 am-6 pm, Saturday 8 am-4 pm. Closed Sunday and Monday

For a combination of historic ambience and good food, it’s hard to beat Klondike Rib & Salmon BBQ, located in Whitehorse’s two oldest buildings, including a former 1900 tent-frame bakery. The portions are generous and the service attentive at this popular spot, which might have a mid-summer lineup in prime times (prices are considerably cheaper at lunch). The lightly battered Alaska halibut and chips is bursting with fresh-caught flavour; one piece is enough for most appetites. Another good choice is Sockeye Sally, with smoked salmon stacked on house-made focaccia bread and topped with sautéed garlic and Portabella mushroom. If you have room, the oversized desserts include fruit pie, brownies or bread pudding.

The Klondike Rib & Salmon building dates back to  around 1900

The Klondike Rib & Salmon building dates back to around 1900

The halibut and chips is bursting with fresh-caught flavour

The halibut and chips is bursting with fresh-caught flavour

Klondike Rib & Salmon BBQ
2116-2 Avenue, Whitehorse
Monday to Saturday 11 am-9 pm, Sunday 4 pm-9 pm
Klondike Rib & Salmon - Seasonal on Urbanspoon

A popular lunchtime hangout is Yukon Meat & Sausage, known locally as The Deli. Here, you can custom order large, affordable sandwiches or pick up distinctive supplies, such as caribou smokies, for your road-trip adventures (203 Hanson Street).

Alaska Highway

Heading west of Whitehorse, the Alaska Highway (#1) is a quiet paved road in fine shape, thanks to continued Canadian and American government investment in its upkeep within the Yukon. It provides access to adventures in the St. Elias Mountains and, further northwest, to Alaska and its major communities of Anchorage and Fairbanks.

The spectacular new Da Ku Cultural Centre in Haines Junction houses the Kluane National Park Visitor Centre

The spectacular new Da Ku Cultural Centre in Haines Junction houses the Kluane National Park Visitor Centre

Ninety minutes from Whitehorse is Haines Junction, where the Kluane National Park Visitor Centre is lodged in the palatial new Da Ku Cultural Centre. Across the highway, is where locals and tourists alike flock. In this otherwise vast, unpopulated landscape, it’s surprising to find anything more than weak, stale coffee and packaged treats. As if to compensate for this scarcity, Village Bakery does it all, from morning espressos, cinnamon buns and cheese buns/breads to hearty dinner lasagnas, pizza slices, vegetarian tortes and big scoops of ice cream. On summer Friday evenings, there’s a salmon barbecue buffet, with live music.

The Yukon Village Bakery in Haines Junction does it all... at least while it's still in business

The Yukon Village Bakery in Haines Junction does it all… at least while it’s still in business

Yukon Village Bakery
Corner of Logan and Kluane Streets, Haines Junction
Daily 7 am-9 pm May to September