"C'mon! ", she said, "We go to British pubs all the time in Canada, wouldn't it be fair to go to a Canadian one in England? It would be funny to have a poutine in the centre of London!" At my companion's insistence, I reluctantly went into the Maple Leaf.
The Maple Leaf is a Canadian-themed pub and restaurant near Covent Garden. The walls of the spacious interior are decorated with all stereotyped things Canadian--hockey sticks and jerseys, snowshoes, skis, canoe paddles, a moose head, Mountie uniform, totem pole, and some photos of famous Canucks. But other than the memorabilia on display, it looked very much like a regular British pub inside--long wooden bar with brass foot rail.
The menu and beer selection was also very much like standard U.K. pub fare--but with the addition of buffalo-style chicken wings, poutine (a classic French-Canadian dish of french fries, cheese curds, and gravy), and a dozen or so imported Canadian beers. We had to order a poutine just to check it out! OK, the chips were cut, cooked, and salted British-style (big chunks not cooked as dark as we do in Canada), the cheese was orange cheddar instead of white cheese curds, and it was regular gravy (poutine gravy is slightly tangier.) Not the real dish, but it wasn't too bad either. It was great to have a bottle of Moosehead beer though; I'll give them a big thumbs-up for that! The service was fast and friendly. Our order took no time at all.
Besides serving to show some of our country to Londoners, the Maple Leaf also serves as a gathering place for homesick Canadian ex-patriots, students, and backpackers. Although the bartenders were British and Australian (?), I could overhear lots of Canadian accents in the crowd talking about home places, "Ottawa...", "Montreal...", "Toronto...".
Apparently the Maple Leaf is the only place outside of Canada to sell Molson beers on tap. A refuge for Canadians in the centre of London? It was cozy and that's fine by me. Eh?
Favorite Dish: Buffalo wings, poutine, and a bottle of Alexander Keith's or Moosehead.
Homesick Canadians can watch their favourite hockey teams on the big TV or tune into the Bluejays and Expos during baseball season. At the same time they can down a bottle of Molson, Labatts or Moosehead beer. The food is normal pub fayre with a Canadian twist (it's served with maple syrup!).
This Canadian pub in Covent Garden is a popular expat hangout, but also a pretty good spot to drop in for a meal. You can get a good quality homestyle meal (such as meatloaf) for a little over £5. And it is a lot better quality than a lot of the fancier more expensive places in the area. They also have good beers, including a Canadian lager called Molson on tap.
The back of the pub has a seated restaurant area which is quite comfortable, but it can be quite hard to get a seat sometimes, especially on the weekend.
Favorite Dish: Meatloaf - Good wholesome feed.
I discovered The Maple Leaf Pub many years ago having heard about it, and after an extended time overseas was glad to have a Canadian beer. My cousin that I was traveling with was wanting that taste of home too, so we looked it up.
Frankly I was jetlagged, physically sick, and hungry, and anything would've probably tasted good. We were there mid-afternoon so there wasn't competition for our server's attention. Our food came promptly, as did our drinks (my cousin had a Pims and I had a Shandy). I would definitely return - it was good.
I'm sure it was crazy on Canada Day - I remember it being pretty exciting when I was there back when the Blue Jays were doing well in Baseball!
Favorite Dish: My cousin was pleased with her fish and chips and I liked the breaded scampi. She doesn't like peas, but these she liked - they were fresh green peas. The chips/fries were great, and we were both happy with the amount of fish and scampi that we were served.
Walk in here and expect to find a few Canadians. I think most of us stop in here at least once. Claims to be the only place outside North America with Molson Canadian on tap. I don't drink it though, I prefer something with some flavour.
You can occasionally catch some Canadian sports teams playing on the tv screens.
Lots of Canadian memorabilia on the walls. I was especially taken with the 'Go Leafs Go' carved in the wall. That's Toronto's hockey team :)
The Maple Leaf Pub... as a Canadian, it felt a little wrong to be going to a Canadian themed pub while in London. But what should be wrong couldn't have been more right! Canadian-style loaded potato skins, Canadian staff and Canadian beer... It is really an awesome British-twist on a taste of home. I will DEFINITELY be going back in the summer of 2013 when I travel to London with my better half and my family. It's a wonderful atmosphere with tremendous staff.
Favorite Dish: Loaded Potato Skins - Piled high (and I don't say that loosely) with cheese, canadian bacon, bbq sauce bacon bits and all sorts of other heart-clogging goodness!
... yes, I am spending a few extra minutes on the track every day in anticipation of this delicious treat 5 months from now! Can't wait!
It's like a little piece of Canada in London. Canadian memorabilia cover the walls and include hockey shirts and ice hockey sticks as well as canoe paddles, a moose head, mounty?s uniform, totem pole and a life size wooden red Indian. Good bar and comfy furniture. Friendly waitstaff. Lots of canadian beer and cider!!
The food is good!. Hudson Bay fish and chips, beef and ale pie (shepherds) and poutine!!! .(fries with melted cheese and gravy )
Favorite Dish: I liked the shepherds pie and the cider. The fries were really good. It was a refreshing and inexpensive change from british food and curries when I got a little homesick. It was about 5 pounds which was not bad at all.