The Absolute Best Poutine You Can Find In The US

Nothing gets better than poutine on a cold day. A mash-up of warm potato fries lying beneath a bed of cheese curds and a blanket of gravy, poutine is a Canadian dish sure to warm your heart and your stomach. Thought to have been invented in the 1950s, it is believed that "poutine" comes from the slang word for "mess" in Québécois slang, according to Britannica. As many will attest, it's perhaps best enjoyed after you've made your way through a cold wintery day, maybe along with a good, hearty beer. Chefs worldwide have since innovated on the traditional recipe, taking poutine to whole new culinary worlds. How about poutine in a burger? As part of a hot dog? With Indian spices?

There are some stnadout places that offer both traditional and innovative new ways of thinking about — and eating — poutine. In that spirit, here are some of the absolute best examples of the classic Canadian dish that you can find the United States.

Desi Galli - New York City

If you're on the lookout for poutine loaded up with classic and delicious Indian spices, then be sure to add Desi Galli to your list. With two locations in Manhattan, the restaurant's desipoutine is drenched in tikka sauce instead of gravy and sprinkled with paneer in place of cheese curds. The eatery caters to those looking for cheap but delicious Indian food, and was originally meant for students wanting a midday or late-night snack, as DNA Info explains. As for the dish's origins, oOwner PriaVanda Chouhan grew up in Canada and wanted to pay homage to her Canadian upbringing (via Desi Galli). So, she decided to combine both cultures in this poutine, to seriously mouthwatering effect.

This spin on poutine includes onions, chili, cumin and turmeric spice as part of the tikka "gravy." The tomato base is a deep red-brown in color and velvety smooth, thanks to the cream and yet more paneer that are part of the mix. Desi Galli's chefs hand-cut all the fries, while crispy chickpea flour noodle bits on top bring a serious crunch factor. The poutine is vegetarian and gluten free, and can be made to order on three different spice levels: medium, spicy, or extra spicy, according to The Village Voice.

Taste of Montrèal - Rockville, Maryland

If you're searching for a taste of Montrèal poutine and happen to cross into Rockville, Maryland, be sure to check out this restaurant. Taste of Montréal, formerly known as Pop-Up Poutine, is a food truck that's been offering up Canadian comfort foods since 2009. Though it's known for making anything from traditional sandwiches to house-made pastries, its poutine is the clear best seller (via Patch).

Diners can get their dose of potato goodness with smoked meat, bacon, or a mix of vegetables on top. Meanwhile, the gravy and cheese curds are imported from poutine country itself, as well as the truck's smoked meat. The cheese curd recipe is all original, courtesy of Canadian co-owners Stephan Beauchesne and Greta Ober.

In one Yelp review, a happy customer claims that "This is the best poutine I've had south of the border." Another said that "The poutine was very good. Poutine is generally not my favorite dish but they did a really good job with it, and it was a portion that easily could feed 2 people!"

If you're still feeling snacky after chowing down on a hefty plate of Taste of Montréal's star item, the vehicle has options for other Canadian delights like butter tarts, Nanaimo bars and savory meat pies known as "tourtière."

Duckfat - Portland, Maine

If you're on the prowl for a fancier take on this Canadian classic, then Duckfat is where you'll want to be. With two locations in Portland, Maine, the original restaurant is your typical friendly upscale eatery, while the other is a more casual window-service style known as the Duckfat Frites Shack. Both serve poutine, though the Frites Shack's menu offers more options for toppings, like a savory and decadent pork belly. 

Duckfat's poutine is nothing short of indulgent. True to the restaurant's name, its spuds are fried in rendered duck fat twice to render them crispy and golden. They're also made from locally-grown Norwis potatoes, a type especially fit for deep frying as the cooked starches fluff into a floury texture, according to Sid Wainer & Son.

With Belgian-style frites as the base, Duckfat piles on locally-sourced cheese curds, alongside duck gravy (made with roasted duck bones) and chives. Diners can add a duck egg or slow-cooked duck confit for an extra charge.

One customer reviewing Duckfat on Zomato write that " after trying multiple poutine places in the last year I would say this was my favorite," followed by another 5-star review declaring "I honestly don't even know where to begin. All I can say is that the Poutine fries (with egg) are seriously the most amazing French fries I've ever had." We think it must be time for a road trip to Duckfat.

Dinosaur Bar-B-Que - Syracuse, New York

Do you love all things barbecue? Yes? Then surely you'll want to konw more about barbecue-styled poutine. If this sounds exactly like what you have been craving your whole life, it's time you visit Dinosaur Bar-B-Que. Located in Syracuse, New York, this is a joint brimming with mouthwatering pulled pork sandwiches, chicken wings, burgers, and more. Of course, Dinosaur Bar-B-Que is also serving up a delightful version of the messy fry dish we're all here for.

Though some may be quick to judge a poutine that deviates so far from the flair of the traditional Canadian version, this one dares to be different and comes out on top. Cooks hand-cut the fries, then load it up with a layer of pulled pork and beef gravy. House-made pimento cheese replaces cheese curds, which may be controversial to some, but oh-so worth it to many, many more. Garnished with pickled onion and a jalapeño relish, the dish goes for $10 a pop (via Dinosaur Bar-B-Que).

Once voted "America's Best Barbecue" in a poll administered by Good Morning America (via, it's no wonder the eatery bears many 5-star Yelp reviews. One went so far as to claim that "The poutine is the best I've ever had. I love their take on this dish." For those willing to widen their scope on their ideas of what a poutine should be, feast your eyes on Dinosaur Bar-B-Que's iteration. 

Maple Landing - Dallas, Texas

As soon as you enter Maple Landing, you know you'll be experiencing great vibes along with your brisket poutine, and all while watching your favorite team play. Yeah, we said brisket poutine.

Coming in at just under $14, this Dallas version of the Canadian carb classic includes house-made fries doused with white cheddar cheese curds and swamped in a brown ale gravy (via Maple Landing). Sounds like the perfect partner with a cold beer, eh? And if you're still craving yet more brisket after your poutine fix (we can't blame you), then rejoice in the fact that Maple Landing's chefs have created a whole section of their menu based on this delicious meat. So, make sure to try the restaurant's brisket tacos, sandwiches , or eggs, assuming you've got the room.

Reviews on Yelp confirm the deliciousness of the classic dish turned barbecue favorite. "The poutine is the best – it's my go to every time I come. You did the Canadians proud!" said one. Another customer hailed the crunchy structure of the fries despite the gravy coat, noting that "The generous portion of brisket on top is icing on the cake!"

Short Leash Hotdogs - Phoenix, Arizona

So, you're interested in departing your poutine comfort zone? Then search no more. After debuting as a food truck in 2010, Short Leash Hotdogs in Phoenix, Arizona soon hit the area's farmer's markets. It finally found a brick-and-mortar home in 2013 after rocketing popularity (via Phoenix News Times.) If you love your pooch, then you'll be delighted to know that this is also a dog-themed restaurant as per the name. Beyond its pup-friendly nature, Short Leash Hotdogs is well known for its unconventional way of serving poutine — in hot dog form, of course.

Named one of the best hot dog eateries in America, as per Star 94.1, Short Leash's poutine dog is quite the hefty snack. The french fries, cheese curd and gravy combo is packed in a piece of naan, as are most of the hot dogs on the menu. You'll probably still want to snag a fork for this one, to catch every last bite. Try this creation for $11 and choose your meat, including beef, bratwurst, mango habanero, spicy, chicken, or vegetable (via Short Leash Hotdogs).

Over on Yelp, people are all in on this new way of presenting poutine. One said that "everything was so good and we already can't wait to go back and try more of the menu! Great place!!" Another praised the choice of naan instead of a traditional bun. If you're ready to ride the not-so-traditional poutine train, consider checking out Short Leash Hotdogs.

The Kroft - Anaheim, California

Craving a poutine infused with a touch of some burger, fried chicken, or curry flair? The Kroft might be the place if you're looking for a blend of familiar flavors that have been transformed into poutine form. According to LA Downtown News, The Kroft is a small chain with locations throughout California including Anaheim, Long Beach, and Los Angeles. Owners Stephen Le and Matthew Tong opened their restaurant as self-made restaurateurs, after coming from the biotech sales and real estate industries.

After a successful run with another restaurant, Shabu, the pair began to look for another venture with some poutine flair. Their poutine-based menu has since become a serious hit in the region, with the restaurant bearing a nearly perfect 5-star rating on Google reviews.

Now, its gravy battered poutines are available with 10 different versions on offer (via The Kroft). These include a chicken katsu curry poutine doused in golden curry with toppings like breaded chicken, pickled radish, scallions, togarashi peppers, and cheese curds. Another unconventional poutine you'll find at The Kroft is its Country Fried Chicken, which includes chicken nuggets and bacon with cheese curds and scallions in a pool of warm, savory sausage gravy.

Grand River Brewery - Jackson, Michigan

In the mood for a cozy, welcoming spot that comes complete with a nice, hot bowl of poutine? Grand River Brewery, located in Jackson, Michigan (with another spot in Marshall) was voted best poutine in the state by MLive. Known for making its food fresh in their kitchen everyday, the restaurant also offers wine and distilled spirits to really spice up your steaming plate of gravy fries.

Diners can expect this poutine to come with hand-cut fries and be loaded with Cambridge cheese curds, brown ale gravy, and green onions to garnish, all for $11 in total (via Grand River Brewery.)

At Tripadvisor, customers confirm their culinary satisfaction with Grand River Brewery's poutine. "This is an outstanding item," one simple but powerful review put it. Another also called the poutine outstanding, further noting that they "see why they were voted the best poutine in Michigan." So if you're passing through Jackson, Michigan, make sure to make a pit stop to a poutine spot you surely won't regret.

Clark Burger - Baltimore, Maryland

Clark Burger is a good spot to get your dose of poutine if you're on the lookout for something that really pushes the boundaries of the original Canadian form. That's because Clark Burger goes bold with nothing less than a poutine burger, also rather cheekily known as the Full Mountie Burger on the restaurant's menu

Its beef is high-quality, too, with certified humane practices and antibiotic-, steroid-, and hormone-free designations. And with six different types of poutine ready to go, you'll be in for a treat (so long as you can make a decision). The York on York is topped with thick-cut smoked bacon, while Clark Burger's Philly cheesesteak poutine includes beef and melted American cheese. The spot also features a loaded poutine with cheddar and bacon bits. If you're feeling traditional, there's always a classic version of the dish that comes with cheese curds and brown gravy (via Clark Burger).

As for fans of Clark Burger, some reviewed via Tripadvisor that the restaurant served up hefty portions. Another wrote that Clark Burger "packs a lot of flavor into their food." Perhaps it's time to stop by and experience the poutine-based magic for yourself. 

Angel's Trumpet Ale House - Phoenix, Arizona

Are you craving a warm plate of poutine but with a casual, jovial brewery vibe? Then check out Angel's Trumpet Ale House, located in downtown Phoenix, Arizona. With over 30 wines and craft beer on offer, according to AZCentral, there is plenty to drink at this spot — it is an ale house, after all. But it doesn't stop there. You should know that there is one dish you'd be silly not to try while sampling the brews: the poutine.

Angel's Trumpet Ale House's poutine is deemed "the mess" on its menu, and it's evident why. Of course, we mean that in the best way possible. All of the fries are made onsite with local cheddar cheese piled on top before the whole plate is then smothered in a rich and utterly delicious brown gravy. If that still doesn't sound like enough, you can also add a serving of pork green chili to the assembly for an additional $4 (the plate goes for $11 on its own). If the glowing reputation of this place is any testament, then this may very well be the tastiest chaos on a plate that you can imagine.

The Gage - Chicago, Illinois

In the mood for a dressier night out with your best friend? Oh, but you still want some down home, deeply satisfying food? No problem. The Gage is just what you need. Nestled in Chicago, it's been deemed one of the top Windy City food spots by The Infatuation, in large part because of the restaurant's unique poutine. Ultimately, this is the spot to seek out if you're looking for something that goes beyond the basic bar menu.

The bar's "poutine royale" includes a bed of fries covered in Wisconsin-style cheese curds with a layer of braised short rib and pickled red onion for a unique twist. It's all coated with a decedent brown gravy for a grand total of $18 (via The Gage).

With an overall 4.5 star rating, one Google review suggests you won't want miss out on the poutine, though just about everything was delicious. If you're ever headed toward the Windy City, make sure you don't miss a good poutine dinner at The Gage.