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A taste of the Northwest Territories

Credit: Adam Pisani

We all love to eat, and in the Northwest Territories, great food experiences can be found just about everywhere. Wild or mild, there are dishes that take you out of this world, or remind you of real home cooking long ago.

A feast is shared

Start your culinary tour with a stop at a community feast. Here in the Western Arctic you can try maktak (beluga), reindeer, dry fish and even muskrat, a local delicacy. Everywhere you go, bannock – a kind of tea biscuit- might be spiced with delicious local berries and baked over a wood fire.

Community feast in Inuvik - Credit: Sherry Ott

Fish is always on the menue

The Northwest Territories is famed for its fish. You can try our fresh northern fish at a unique heritage restaurant on the shore of Great Slave Lake. Out fishing? Savour a “shorelunch” - Northern Pike, Pickerel, or Grayling fresh from the lake and cooked over a campfire by your guide. Arctic Char is a specialty of the northern coast. Lake Trout from Great Bear and Great Slave Lakes is often on the menu.

Fresh fish, a MUST on every menue in the NWT - Credit: Hannah Eden

Food treats at local markets

If you thought local vegetables are out of the question in the Northwest Territories, think again. Greenhouses and small farms are springing up in almost every community. Fresh vegetables, home baked breads and even home grown potatoes are on offer, in season, at local markets.

Farming in Norman Wells - Credit: Bill Braden & NWT Tourism

Welcome to the Whitefish capital

At Hay River, try fish fresh from the lake at the summertime Fisherman’s Wharf. In town, pick up a dozen or more fresh eggs grown locally and then pick your own berries on a small farm nestled in a little valley by the Hay River. At a local restaurant, try Whitefish, Ling Cod or Pickerel served homestyle.

Fisherman's Wharf in Hay River - Credit: Hannah Eden & NWT Tourism

Adding local flavours

On the land, your meal of muskox or moose steak might be cooked to order on a wood stove the traditional way, and served in a canvas tent. Chefs in several communities are creating delicious meals with wild harvested ingredients. Adventurous eaters can sample a roast flavoured with spruce buds, or with locally sourced morels.

Traditional food with local flavours - Credit: Ben Weiland

From our tradition to yours

From traditional northern foods, flavoured with wild berries or birch syrup, to the traditions of southern Asia, Europe and north Africa, our restaurants and street food cater to all tastes. Custom burgers and wraps, unique teas, and fresh roasted coffee are widely available. And a pint or two from the NWT’s favorite brewery will ensure a pleasant evening.

The Woodyard of NWT Brewing Company - Credit: Adam Pisani

Further information on the Northwest Territories can be found at


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