12 Couples That Own Great Canadian Restaurants

12 Couples That Own Great Canadian Restaurants

Jackie Cooke and Kirk Shaw of Avec Bistro [Calgary, AB)

Jackie Cooke and Kirk Shaw of Avec Bistro (Calgary, AB)

This contemporary French bistro in Calgary’s belt line is always ideal for a date. With the industry veteran couple running the front-of-house, you’ll get some of the best service in the city here. You can also find a top notch wine list with dynamic culinary creations from their chef, Daniel Pizarro, like the Camembert frit. Essentially, it’s the fanciest fried cheese you’ll ever experience and worth every single calorie.

Find out more about Avec Bistro.

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Christophe and Jess Bonzon of Chez Christophe [Burnaby, BC)

Christophe and Jess Bonzon of Chez Christophe (Burnaby, BC)

After working around the world in countries like Switzerland and Australia, pastry chef Christophe Bonzon opted to set up shop with his wife just outside Vancouver. Here he spends his days (well, more like ridiculously early mornings) making gourmet chocolates and all sorts of crispy, buttery treats like brioche, croissants and pain au chocolat.

Find out more about Chez Christophe.

Steve Ireson and Chris Schroer of The Cure [previously The Hogtown Cure) (Toronto, ON)

Steve Ireson and Chris Schroer of The Cure (previously The Hogtown Cure) (Toronto, ON)

Most Torontonians might know Hogtown Cure as a deli-meets-café, but the restaurant from partners chef Schroer and Ireson has had a little facelift as of late. Now with a livelier interior, you can grab a table and enjoy a cocktail or two while diving into dishes like fried boudin croquettes with remoulade, beignets and more.

Find out more about The Cure.

Michael Caballo and Tobey Nemeth of Edulis [Toronto, ON)

Michael Caballo and Tobey Nemeth of Edulis (Toronto, ON)

With a focus on tasting menus, whether you go for five courses or seven, you’ll need to leave it all in chef Caballo’s hands for dinner. That shouldn't be much of a concern, though, seeing as Caballo and Nemeth’s restaurant was named best new restaurant in the country in 2012, with a glowing review from critic Chris Nuttall-Smith. The latter is basically the equivalent to winning a lottery, so you know they’re doing something right.

Find out more about Edulis.

Lisa McConnell and Ryan Gray of Nora Gray [Montreal, QC)

Lisa McConnell and Ryan Gray of Nora Gray (Montreal, QC)

Since opening in 2011, this Italian and wine-focused restaurant has captured the attention of Montreal diners and out-of-towners alike. Gray covers the wine and cocktail ground, while McConnell works the front of house. What about the food, you ask? That would be the couple’s other restaurant partner, Emma Cardarelli, making sure her plates of house-made charcuterie or involtini always satisfy.

Find out more about Nora Gray.

Blair Lebsack and Caitlin Fulton of RGE RD [Edmonton, AB)

Blair Lebsack and Caitlin Fulton of RGE RD (Edmonton, AB)

Consistently rated as one of the best restaurants in the city since opening in 2013, this farm-to-table eatery (pronounced ‘range road&rsquo is operated by the longtime couple. Lebsack runs the kitchen while Fulton runs the dining room in their cozy space just off 107th Avenue. They also embrace the nose-to-tail philosophy, so you can expect a fairly meaty, comforting dinner experience.

Find out more about RGE RD.

Christie Peters and Kyle Michael of Primal and The Hollows [Saskatoon, SK)

Christie Peters and Kyle Michael of Primal and The Hollows (Saskatoon, SK)

With two of the most popular contemporary eateries in the city, it’s highly probable this young couple spends more quality time together at work than they do at home. Head to The Hollows for hyper-local plates of food and well-made cocktails, or visit Primal for an Italian-style dinner. To further entice, all of their pasta is made fresh daily out of Saskatchewan flour that’s ground locally by The Night Oven bakery. Now that’s pretty cool.

Find out more about Primal and The Hollows.

Connie McKane-Brandson and Shawn Brandson of Promenade Café and Wine [Winnipeg, MB)

Connie McKane-Brandson and Shawn Brandson of Promenade Café and Wine (Winnipeg, MB)

People may not realize that Winnipeg boasts a large francophone community (the Festival du Voyageur and its pop-up ice restaurant, for example), but it’s true. Head into the city’s French quarter where you’ll find this well-known establishment serving good, honest food reminiscent of dining in Québec. Whether you’re in for breakfast, lunch or dinner, you’ll find the husband and wife team happily cooking and serving the always busy room.

Find out more about Promenade Café and Wine.

Aviv Fried and Michal Lavi of Sidewalk Citizen Bakery [Calgary, AB)

Aviv Fried and Michal Lavi of Sidewalk Citizen Bakery (Calgary, AB)

As a self-taught baker, Fried’s love for the city’s food scene began years ago, when he would bake baguettes and scones and sell them around town. You’d frequently see him pedalling down the street on a bicycle, with a cart of his freshly baked goods on the back. Nowadays, Sidewalk Citizen Bakery has two major locations (one in Kensington and one in Calgary’s East Village) where you can find both Fried and his partner, Lavi, working behind the counter lightly covered in flour and butter, as any good baker should be.

Find out more about Sidewalk Citizen Bakery.

Andrew Connell and Laura MacDonald of Stillwell [Halifax, NS)

Andrew Connell and Laura MacDonald of Stillwell (Halifax, NS)

Arguably the best place on the east coast to sip through a long line-up of craft beer, Stillwell is a reliable destination for Haligonians and tourists alike, any night of the week. Even though the couple makes up only two-thirds of the ownership equation, you’ll likely find all three owners (MacDonald’s half-brother, Chris Reynolds being the third) working the room on a busy night, pouring pints and ensuring things run smoothly.

Find out more about Stillwell.

Kaeli Robinsong and Jason Sussman of Tacofino [Tofino, BC)

Kaeli Robinsong and Jason Sussman of Tacofino (Tofino, BC)

What started out as a little truck owned by a couple serving fish tacos right beside the ocean has now turned into somewhat of a west coast restaurant empire. With multiple locations on the island and mainland, the Tacofino brand has expanded to include restaurant-meets-commissary concepts as well as a hipster-chic hotspot in the Gastown neighbourhood of Vancouver. Regardless of where you end up, the baja-style tacos are always a crowd pleaser.

Find out more about Tacofino.

Thomas and Lisa Haas of Thomas Haas Chocolates [Vancouver, BC)

Thomas and Lisa Haas of Thomas Haas Chocolates (Vancouver, BC)

We know this is not a restaurant per say, but what could be a more romantic business for a couple to own than a chocolate shop? Truthfully, Haas’ namesake company offers much more than a simple box of expertly created chocolates; expect a myriad of sweets from macarons and cookies to tarts and cakes. Over the lunch hour, there’s even a long list of artisan sandwiches if your stomach is growling louder than your sweet tooth is tingling.

Find out more about Thomas Haas Chocolates.

For more on couples that cook together, check out: Why People Who Cook Together Have Better Relationships on Slice.ca.

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