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by Jamie Sarner | Posted on Toronto Life

Following our exploration of the world’s most creative restaurant designs, we hone in on the rich and varied dining experiences available in Canada. The world’s second largest country (geographically), Canada is also a rich tapestry of cultural and historical traditions. After stepping onto Canadian soil, you have the chance to retreat into the rural oases of the Rocky Mountains of the West Coast and the Prairies, experience the electric energy of world class cities like Vancouver and Toronto, or travel a few centuries back in time with a visit to historically important settlements on the East Coast.

If your travels across the great nation should cause a rumble in your belly, Canadian restauranteurs have that covered too. Step into any one of the matchless dining establishments listed below and you’re guaranteed to emerge with an experience you might not have expected but definitively won’t forget.

Eye-popping views and unique dining experiences dot the path from coast to coast.

O.Noir Toronto
It’s better in the dark!

This restaurant has a unique method of encouraging its guests to fully savour the scents and tastes of their meal. After briefly unwinding in a cosy, film noir inspired lounge, guests are led by members of a blind wait staff into the pitch-black dining area. For a short period, they experience conversation, food, and drink without their sense of sight!

Flashlights, matches, cell phones, cigarette lighters, and luminous watches are all banned from the dining room so it can maintain complete darkness at all times. As O’Noir founder Moe Alameddine explains,

When you eat food in the dark, your remaining senses are heightened to savour the smell and taste of food. Even simple, everyday dishes like potatoes and yogurt take on a culinary flair.

Guests not only gain a better appreciation for their food, but also temporarily experience what it’s like to be blind. This aspect of the restaurant is inspired by the work of Jorge Spielmann, a blind pastor living in Zurich. Spielmann would regularly blindfold his dinner guests so they could partake in his eating experience, and in 1999, he opened the first “dining in the dark” restaurant in Germany with the intention of educating the sighted about the world of the sightless and providing jobs for the blind.

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