I tried 11 different poutines from 11 different restaurants, all within the span of seven days. I gained some weight trying them all, and at this point there’s probably molten cheese curds clogging up some arteries. Trying them all made it hard to rate them fairly, as some were totally different from what poutine is supposed to be, but still really good. I was born and raised in Montreal, so I’d like to think I know a proper poutine when I try one and can give these dishes decent reviews. If you’re not interested in reading this whole article and just want to know who won, try The Works. It’s the right gravy, good fries, they use cheese curds rather than shredded, and portions are huge. Also, it’s pronounced “puts-in”, not “poo-teen”.
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To make things easier, there’ll be four different categories: Classic, Alternative, Fast, and Faster. Most any Quebecer would scoff at the notion there’s more than one type of poutine, but bear with me here.

Classic poutine is pretty straight forward. They use fresh cut fries, cheese curds, and a medium, dark brown gravy made out of beef and chicken stock. There’s only really two restaurants that fall into this category, The Works and Rocklings.

The Works has their fresh cut fries, they use the right gravy, and the cheese curds aren’t crazy rubbery unlike most other places. The portions here are pretty big, which is great for the nine bucks it sets you back. In addition, it’s just as good microwaved. The Works gets “The Win.”

Gravy 4 /5
Cheese curds 4 /5
Fries 3 /5
Portion 4 /5
Price $9

Rocklings on the other hand is a little different. In general, Rocklings serves really good fries, but something about them in their poutine doesn’t work quite right. They use all the right ingredients, but the gravy is a bit weak. Plus for nine bucks you don’t get a whole lot of the stuff. This isn’t to say it’s a bad poutine, just not great.

Gravy 3 /5
Cheese 4 /5
Fries 3.5 /5
Portion 3 /5
$9

Alternative is weird, and specifically saying I like any of the following is where I’d lose friends back home. Even though they use different cheeses, or weird gravy, they can still be god damn delicious. Their difference is their strength, and makes them more interesting than the classics. Taste is subjective.

Piston Broke makes the most sacrilegious poutine I’ve ever had, and it’s dope. The fries are fresh cut, which is what you’re supposed to have for a classic poutine, but they stop using the right ingredients there. Piston makes a Guinness gravy for this dish, and layers it with shredded cheddar cheese. This is probably one of the best on this list and the first I’d go and get again. Piston gets the win for this category.

Gravy 4 /5
Cheese 4 /5
Fries 4 /5
Portion 4.5 /5
Price $9

Next up is the Rose and Thistle. Out of all the poutines I’ve had in my lifetime, I can’t say I’ve ever encountered a gluten free one. Sometimes gluten free gets a reputation for being kinda dull in flavour, but this is the total opposite. The specific part that makes this one gluten free is the gravy, and it’s actually pretty good. It’s not the right gravy for poutine, but it makes the dish unique in its own right. Definitely worth getting one! Also, their portions are awesome.

Gravy 3 /5
Cheese Curds 3 /5
Fries 4 /5
Portion 4.5 /5
$10

Lastly for this category is The Sociable. Their poutine is made kinda interestingly. First off they bake it, that’s definitely not the norm. Baking it melts all the cheese though which makes it all nice and stringy. Their gravy is really thick and made with the wrong stock, so it’s not the greatest, but the rest of the ingredients pull it together and make it okay.

Gravy 3.5 /5
Cheese 4 /5
Fries 3.5 /5
Portion 4 /5
$10

Finally fast and faster, this one is pretty easy to explain. Fast is the word I’ll use for places that are fast food but Brantford specific, and Faster will be used for big chains like McDonald’s.

For fast there’s two places in direct competition, Lonnie’s and Admirals (surprise, surprise). Of the two, Lonnie’s gets the win. Seriously, 32 different poutines. The gravy they use is right, normally they use shredded mozzarella which isn’t as good as curds. However they layer it, giving every bite cheese. If you’re drunk and want something greasy and delicious, Lonnie’s is your best bet. Their fries speak for themselves, and the likelihood is every student here has had one of their poutines already, so here’s the score.

Gravy 4.5 /5
Cheese 4 /5
Fries 4.5 /5
Portion 4 /5
$8

On the flip side, if feeding a small army is more pressing than quality Admiral’s is the best bet. The poutine is actually pretty good. Gravy is on point, they use cheese curds too which was a pinch surprising. It’s the fries that kind of break it. They aren’t bad, they just aren’t quite right. Maybe that’s just me, who knows. Regardless, portions are MASSIVE. Definitely get bang for your buck here.

Gravy 3.5 /5
Cheese 4.5 /4
Fries 3.5 /5
Portion 4.5 /5
$9

Now, faster food, this won’t go too much into detail because really they aren’t anything special. These poutines aren’t Brantford’s best, but they are the cheapest. Wendy’s has the best one. They use cheese curds, provided they’re a bit rubbery (all of them in this category are), the fries are good, and the gravy is okay. Not bad for the four bucks it will set you back. McDonald’s is similar, but the gravy isn’t quite right. Same price as Wendy’s, just a pinch worse. Lastly, KFC. It tastes exactly like you would expect it to and costs five bucks. For some reason they add a bit of their iconic spices into the gravy which ruins it. But hey, if that’s what you like go for it.

Lastly as an honorable mention, because I wound up ordering off the menu to get this one, Boston Pizza can turn an order of fries into a poutine. It’s not the greatest one ever, but if you’re in the mood for one while you’re there they have you covered.

To sum it all up, the best poutines in Brantford are: The Works, Piston Broke, and Lonnie’s. Go and eat your hearts out (just try not to clog it while you’re at it).

Alex Vialette

Alex Vialette

I'm super into art and everything nerdy, bonus points when those two meet. My music taste is broad, but usually I'm either listening listening to punk or indie rock. I love writing about weird and uncommon stories when I can find one. Born and raised in Montreal, QC.
Alex Vialette

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About The Author

I'm super into art and everything nerdy, bonus points when those two meet. My music taste is broad, but usually I'm either listening listening to punk or indie rock. I love writing about weird and uncommon stories when I can find one. Born and raised in Montreal, QC.