The Best Places For Poutine In America

Poutine is quintessentially Canadian, and while there are plenty of places to find this delicious dish in Montreal, it's much more challenging to find in the United States. According to Mental Floss, this greasy star has its origins in the "greasy spoon" cuisine popular in Quebec. Though the actual origin story remains a bit hazy, the best bet is in 1957, a customer who was in a hurry requested that cheese curds and french fries be thrown together in one to-go bag. This, of course, resulted in poutine, a word that means a "mess."

Classic poutine includes gravy and cheese curds, but the very best poutine will have cheese curds that squeak when you bite into them. Proudly Wisconsin Cheese explains that this iconic squeak comes from the proteins within the cheese curd. Simply put: Squeaky curds mean fresh curds.

Though poutine may be difficult to find in the U.S., there are certainly fantastic options throughout the country. In fact, many restaurants kick up the classic poutine and make it into a truly crave-worthy meal. It may not be authentic, but it sure is delicious.

Mile End Deli — New York City

This deli combines classic Jewish favorites with a new type of cuisine. Mile End Deli opened in 2010, honoring beloved family recipes with the freshest ingredients and cooking techniques. Noah Bernamoff and Rae Cohen honor the delicious delis in the Mile End neighborhood and offer fresh and signature smoked meats with homemade poutine and fresh salad.

Mile End Deli offers an entire poutine section of the menu with four different styles: classic, smoked meat, breakfast, and schnitzel. The classic style is the Canadian favorite that includes french fries, cheese curds, and topped with gravy. The smoke meat option is the classic poutine with smoked meat added in. You can even enjoy breakfast poutine which takes the classic and adds bacon and sunny side up eggs that run deliciously over those fries. Finally, the schnitzel is the classic base with chicken schnitzel on top. Chicken schnitzel is thinly pounded and tenderized chicken that is then breaded and fried.

Banger's Sausage House & Beer Garden — Austin

This Austin favorite has a mission to bring great food, drinks, and good times to the Southern city. Banger's Sausage House & Beer Garden has a laid-back style with a light-hearted attitude. The inside offers abundant seating and an impressive number of taps that keep craft brews flowing. The beer garden features bench seating and plenty of space for events, including musical performance space.

The Banger's poutine comes in two sizes: large and not so large. Like classic poutine, this dish starts with great french fried that are hand-cut, then smothered in melted cheese curds and topped with homemade gravy. Though Bangers has incredible craft brews, fresh sausages, and even a delicious dessert option, customers mark the poutine as a top favorite. The large size is quite big and would be the perfect portion for a family of four. However, if you're looking to have it as an individual meal, the not-so-large portion would be perfect.

Brooklyn St. Local — Detroit

Deveri Gifford and Jason Yates opened Detroit's Brooklyn St. Local in 2012, though since then Yates has stepped back from the business. With the goal of creating a local, seasonal, and sustainable menu, Brooklyn St. Local is committed to making outstanding food. Sadly, the brick-and-mortar restaurant closed its doors in 2021, notes The Detroit News, but the delicious food isn't gone forever. Brooklyn St. Local is now doing a ton of pop-up events and serving up its beloved poutine at places like festivals.

Brooklyn St. Local offers some of Detroit's favorite poutine. The classic style includes french fries, organic cheese curds, and mushroom or beef gravy. By choosing mushroom gravy, this dish becomes vegetarian. For a vegan option, look no further than the aptly named vegan poutine. For this poutine, Brooklyn St. Local trades the traditional cheddar cheese curds for Violife "cheese," a plant-based cheese alternative.

Duckfat — Portland, Maine

The origins of Duckfat are nothing short of pure food romance. On one cool November evening in 2003, Nancy Pugh and her husband, Rob Evans, were walking about Amsterdam. In the chilly evening air, they came upon a Belgian frites window. This made them wonder what it would be like to have a similar experience back home in Portland. As the true origin of the "French" fry, Belgium frites are the original fried potato.

In January 2005, Rob and Nancy opened Duckfat to help make their dream a reality. Then, a little more than a decade later, in 2016, they opened a frites shack similar to their original inspiration in Amsterdam.

The Duckfat poutine comes in a large or small size with a base of Belgian fries, topped with cheese curds, duck gravy, and fresh chives. Whether you choose to pop by the Duckfat Frites Shack window or the original Duckfat sit-down restaurant, be sure to order the poutine. You won't be disappointed.

The White Swan Public House — Seattle

This restaurant is a real treat for seafood lovers. The White Swan Public House has a great rustic feel to it. Decorated with a dark industrial ceiling, a wooden bar with stools, and a cement floor, the space feels relaxed and crisp. Much of the wall decoration is dedicated to the true star of this restaurant: seafood. Loyal customers will tell you that the oysters are some of the best you'll find anywhere, but the great food doesn't stop there.

Another absolute favorite is the specialty called poutine o' the sea. This dish starts with fries (as all poutine dishes should) and is topped with Little Neck Claims, chowder instead of the usual gravy topping, bacon, and scallions. This dish is large enough to be a substantial meal or a delicious appetizer to be shared among your whole party. For seafood lovers, this different take on poutine is fun and delicious.

Animal — Los Angeles

Walking up to this restaurant, you would not immediately know the incredible food that lays behind the nondescript black exterior. With multi-year James Beard Foundation best chef winners, it's no wonder Animal is so popular and helps set the stage for what becomes the next big thing in Los Angeles restaurants. The dining hall is rectangular with a beautiful wooden bar at the end of the space and the latest rap music blasts throughout the dining space. Edgy and simple, Animal is a delicious experience.

The oxtail poutine is one of the most popular and heavily recommended items on the menu. This dish starts with fries and includes shredded cheddar cheese topped with a meaty, rich, and dark oxtail gravy. Though this poutine doesn't have the traditional cheese curds, opting for shredded cheese instead, it is still a favorite poutine offering, made extra special with the oxtail gravy.

Chauhan Ale & Masala House — Nashville

With recognition as one of the best restaurants in the country, Chauhan Ale & Masala House is also another great place to get some poutine (the caliber of the food is no surprise, considering the executive chef Maneet Chauhan is of Food Network fame). As a mix of a few different styles, this restaurant has brought unique tastes to the famous Nashville food scene since 2014.

Inside, Chauhan Ale & Masala House is decked out in simple but attractive wooden tables with metal chairs surrounded by beautiful globe-like metal lanterns, beautiful tile work, old shows projected on the walls, and flowing curtains.

Like everything else on the menu, the Chauhan Ale & Masala House takes a spin at revising classic poutine with the Tandoori Chicken Poutine. This dish starts with masala fries layered with cheese curds, makhani sauce, and tandoori chicken. You may come for the exploratory flavor combinations, but this poutine will probably become a favorite. Though quite the departure from traditional poutine, you will still love this delicious spin on a classic.

The American Poutine Co.— Gilbert, Arizona

These food trucks took this Canadian staple, put it on wheels, and brought it to Arizona. The American Poutine Co takes hand-cut fries and combines them with locally sourced cheese curds and incredible toppings. With many recognitions as one of the best poutine spots in the country, you'll no doubt find the perfect option for your tastes.

Though these food trucks have plenty of other types of fries, the poutine options stand out with choices of original, bacon, pulled pork, fried chicken, and buffalo chicken. You can also take a do-it-yourself approach and create your own poutine — and you can get creative with it, considering all of the toppings available. The poutine options begin with the traditional collection with ingredients including fries, cheese curds, and gravy. Then, you can add bacon, pork, or chicken to that dish. Your buffalo chicken option includes fries, breaded chicken cheese curds, buffalo sauce, and blue cheese.

Dairy Belle — Dania Beach, Florida

This little restaurant started as a mission to open a sweet ice cream shop and fast food spot like those in Quebec. When Gilles and Ritane Grenier opened Dairy Belle in 1998, they did so with meager setting and tools, but the mission remained: great, fresh Canadian specialties and delicious ice cream.

Moving into a bigger space in May 2020, notes the Sun Sentinel, Dairy Belle continues to serve fast food and ice cream to hundreds of customers daily. Its homemade, fresh and tasty Italian spaghetti sauce is unexpectedly delicious, but if you're not in an Italian food mood, one of the best offerings from Dairy Belle is the poutine.

Dairy Belle offers several varieties of poutine, including poutine with brown or BBQ gravy, Italian poutine, OMG poutine, galvaude, poutine aux poivres, beef poutine, Frank poutine, and 50/50 poutine. All flavors come in a small, medium, or large size to suit your appetite or party size, and the cheese curds come from Wisconsin. The OMG poutine includes the base of classic poutine with fries, cheese curds, and gravy and adds sautéed onions, mushrooms, and green peppers. Another interesting option is the galvaude, which also starts as traditional poutine with the addition of chicken and peas.

Fries N' Pies — Las Vegas

While poutine is typically an appetizer or main course, it doesn't normally take up most of the menu in a restaurant. Fries N' Pies does things a little differently. Instead, the main course options can become personal pizzas or poutine. Of course, this means that the options are quite different from the traditional poutine, but if you want traditional, it can do that, too.

The menu options include birria, buffalo, cajun chicken, Californian, carnivore, cheese, cheeseburger, chicken alfredo, Hawaiian, pepperoni deluxe, and Philly cheesesteak, in addition to traditional poutine. It also often has the occasional unique options like biscuits and gravy.

Loyalists of Fries' N Pies love many of these options, but perhaps the favorite is the Philly cheesesteak with fries, beef gravy, cheddar, steak, grilled onions, mushrooms, peppers, and mozzarella. If you're looking for something different, but no less delicious, the cheeseburger poutine should fit the bill. This option includes fries, 1,000 island cream cheese, American cheese, beef, lettuce, tomato, and pickles. It's like a complete burger meal in one dish.

Chez François Poutinerie — Naperville

This is a restaurant with a mission. At Chez François Poutinerie, the goal is to bring great poutine to Naperville and employment opportunities to adults who are developmentally disabled, reports Naperville News 17. Thi-Tram Nguyen, the owner, is invested in this mission. As a mom to a teen with autism, she wants to give back to the community that has helped her son so much. With a taste for every palate, Chez François Poutinerie has a brand-new brick-and-mortar restaurant located in Downtown Naperville, and the company has a goal to hire folks with developmental disabilities, notes Naperville News 17.

Chez François Poutinerie offers nine styles of poutine: The Montréal, The Flower Child, The Hipster, The Hangover, The Bistro, The Lumberjack, The Chulahoma, The Truffle Fries, and chicken and waffles. The Montréal variety is the classic poutine with French fries, cheese curds, and gravy. The flower child, on the other hand, offers poutine with sweet potato fries, cheese curds, and vegetarian gravy for those looking to stay away from meat. If you're looking for breakfast, the hangover option includes fries, bacon, a sunny-side-up egg, and sausage, and it's all smothered in country gravy, which is sure to help you greet the day after a fun evening.

Pop-Up Poutine — Rockville, Maryland

Though there are great places to find poutine around the country, it still isn't a staple everywhere. So when Canadians come to the United States looking for this favorite, they might be disappointed when it isn't locally available. That's exactly what happened with the owners of Pop-Up Poutine.

The Pop-Up Poutine food truck, sometimes referred to as a Taste of Montreal, makes simple, great poutine with the classic ingredients of French fries, cheese curds, and gravy that is also gluten-free. If you wanted to dress up your poutine further, you could add Montreal smoked meat, bacon, or even a veggie mix to add a bit of color to this fried favorite.

The Rockville location has several signature options for poutine, including fried indulgence, vegetable delight, welcome to D.C., Salvadorian, Peruvian, and Irish banger. While traditional poutine typically has squeaky cheese curds, the fried indulgence option replaces those cheese curds with fried ones. The vegetarian delight is classic poutine with mushrooms, red peppers, and onions on top. Welcome to D.C. offers a different flavor with fried chicken, shredded cheddar, and mambo sauce. For something a little more unique, you'll love the Peruvian option with fries, marinated steak, onion, tomato, and queso blanco.

Le Cellier Steakhouse — Orlando

Walt Disney World is known for many things: attractions, character meet and greets, and great food. As a worldwide destination for guests, Walt Disney World strives to bring all visitors food that will feel familiar but also help them expand their horizons. In the Canada Pavilion at Epcot, Le Cellier Steakhouse is a Canadian steakhouse that features delicious poutine.

You'll find this restaurant tucked off the main path, and, as the name suggests, it feels like you're dining in a cozy cellar. The warm lighting and lower ceilings make the space feel familiar and comfortable. Le Cellier offer two varieties of poutine: Le Cellier Signature Poutine and Le Cellier Beef Bourguignon Poutine. The signature option includes fries, Canadian cheddar cheese curds, truffle to deepen the flavor, and a red wine reduction. Beef bourguignon poutine starts with French fries that get covered in gruyere cheese, beef bourguignon gravy, garlic aioli, and truffle. Though neither of these options resembles classic poutine, they still make for delicious, unique offerings with a rich flavor profile. It's easy to fall in love with poutine at Le Cellier.

Leunig's Bistro — Burlington, Vermont

This restaurant has a long history. Leunig's Bistro opened in 1980 and quickly became a popular destination in Burlington, Vermont. Today, it is just as popular and serves up meals that make you feel as though you have entered the heart of Paris.

Executive Chef Donnell Collins features a duck confit poutine on the appetizer menu. This dish has a bed of French fries that are covered in duck confit that is slow roasted and pan-seared. Maplebrook cheese curds and fried herbs come next with a duck gravy to top it all off. Though the rest of the menu is delicious, many customers come to Leunig's Bistro exclusively for this poutine, which is always a hit. Order it as a meal all for yourself or as an appetizer, but make sure you don't pass this one by. This Vermont-French fusion dish is so beloved, that you'll find it in Leunig's Bistro as well as on its smaller kiosk.

The Vanguard — Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Milwaukee has a rich history of brats and brews, but this restaurant takes that tradition and expands upon it. The Vanguard makes its sausages in-house, dividing its menu between "tube" and "tube-less" offerings (you'll find the poutine details under, obviously, the "tube-less" section).

The Vanguard offers two different styles of poutine: classic poutine, south buffalo poutine, and roasted garlic poutine. The classic poutine starts with fries, has fresh baby cheddar cheese curds, and is then topped with a caramelized onion gravy. This dish can also be made into a vegan or vegetarian option. For something a little different, the south buffalo poutine includes Smitty sauced chicken or tofu, red hot gravy, a blue cheese dressing, and house-pickled celery on top of fries. All offerings come in small and large sizes, so they could be your main dish or as a tasty and memorable side to your sausage or burger.