5 Spots specializing in artisanal cured meats

The new wave of charcuterie makers in Canada

Charcuterie from Empire Provisions in Calgary.
Charcuterie from Empire Provisions in Calgary.

Long-standing deli institutions are mainstays in many cities, like Schwartz’s in Montreal and Katz’s in Toronto. However, there’s also an ever-growing contingent of modern charcuterie producers that are doing things differently. From sourcing ethically-raised animals as the foundation for their products, to minimizing the use of nitrates and other chemical preservatives, both local ingredients and creativity are leveraged to make cured meats that truly cannot be beat.

Aliments Viens – Montreal, QC



A post shared by VIENS (@alimentsviens) on

Phillip Viens is no stranger to Montreal’s restaurant scene, with experience as chef de cuisine at Derek Dammann’s Maison Publique. Now, rather than working the line himself, he supplies local restaurants like Toqué and Montreal Plaza with his top notch charcuterie at Aliments Viens. Plus, having recently opened his own storefront in late 2017, all Montrealers have access to his meaty delights. Don’t forget to grab a tube of Lowënsenf mustard while you’re at it.

Must try: His products are so good that they never last long, but you have to taste his fennel salami and mortadella if you can get your hands on some!


Empire Provisions – Calgary, AB



A post shared by Dave & Karen (@empireprovisions) on

Karen Kho and Dave Sturies, the couple behind Empire Provisions, pride themselves on homemade charcuterie made from local, Alberta products. You can definitely spend a while working through the entire line-up there, navigating and asking about the selection of both fresh and cured sausages, as well as pâté and rillettes. Its café menu also features an array of sandwiches and breakfast dishes, all showcasing their in-house creations, like Kho’s take on the Reuben with Empire corned beef and sauerkraut.

Must try: Korean sausage made with pork, gochujang, garlic, soy, Korean chili flakes, scallion, and sesame oil.


Two Rivers – Vancouver, B.C.


For more than 10 years now, Two Rivers has been supplying B.C. restaurants and food retailers with a myriad of both fresh and cured meats. Partnering directly with farmers to ensure ethical products of the highest quality, it offers everything from game meats, to in-house made sausages and charcuterie. It also has an on-site eatery that offers meaty snacks like pork cracklings, chicken drumsticks, and, of course, charcuterie boards, so you can thoroughly sample before choosing what to buy to take home.

Must try: Its selection of dry sausages flavoured with local beers and spirits.


Ratinaud - Halifax, N.S.



A post shared by RatinaudHFX (@ratinaudhfx) on

From cured duck breast to salmon rillette, this Halifax charcuterie shop offers a plethora of meaty products originating from the land, sea, and sky. With a focus on local, Nova Scotia ingredients, its offerings are about as far from “mystery meat” as you can possibly get. Its affiliated restaurant, Kitchen Table, is also quite the experience, featuring an ever changing eight-course tasting menu that showcases local and foraged ingredients.

Must try: Its goose prosciutto, offered seasonally, and its dry pork sausage with sea parsley, an ingredient native to the Maritimes.


Niagara Food Specialties (Pingue Prosciutto) – Queenston, ON

Given Ontario’s reputation for great pork, it’s no surprise that these hogs lend themselves to equally great charcuterie. Taking inspiration from the art of Italian meat curing, Niagara Food Specialties specializes in prosciutto, capocollo, salumi and more. Lucky for you, the company has an online store too, so you can stock up regardless of where in the country you’re located.

Must try: Its namesake prosciutto, which is cured for a minimum of 18 months before it is ready to eat.