Breads, by a slight margin, are the leading side dishes on Canadian menus, according to Technomic MenuMonitor data. Looking closer, we can see that options like bread sticks, garlic bread and toast are popular. However, we are also seeing non-traditional breads like naan, roti, pita and kulcha proliferate.

Also on the list, non-breaded vegetables can serve as a health-focused side dish. Listed 670 times on Canadian menus, these veggies are being prepared in a variety of ways, ranging from steamed or sauteed to wok-tossed or pan-roasted. Common options like asparagus, broccoli, spinach and mushrooms are listed. However, an increasing interest in global cuisines is also inspiring creative veggie sides, like radish kimchi, wok-tossed lotus root and plantain chips.

A widely popular and signature side, fries are also among the top five varieties on Canadian menus. Some leading types of fry sides are poutine, traditional french fries, sweet potato fries and seasoned/herb fries. In order to differentiate menus, operators are also creating specialty fry varieties like Scaddabush Italian Kitchen & Bar’s Crispy Polenta Fries and Carl’s Jr. Canada’s Bacon Ranch Fries.

Side dishes


Kristin Menas is the Associate Editor, Canada & Adult Beverage at Technomic Inc. in Chicago. She is responsible for writing, editing and analyzing foodservice-related content with a focus on the Canadian market. Technomic provides foodservice clients with the facts, insights and consulting support they need to enhance their business. Its services include publications and digital products, as well as proprietary studies and ongoing research on all aspects of the food industry. For more information, visit