Located on the 58th parallel north, Canada’s subarctic town of Churchill, Manitoba, has a population of just 900 permanent residents. But this low population count more than compensates for the 500,000 visitors who travel here throughout the year. They come for the Arctic wilderness, the infamous polar bears, the playful beluga whales, and of course – perhaps the most special of all – the Aurora Borealis.
The cuisine of Churchill is just as diverse as its landscape, incorporating tundra fare of wild game like caribou and elk, fish such as trout and burbot, vegetables like leafy greens and potatoes, and Arctic berries. And for a lucky few adventurers who make it this far up north, there’s an unforgettable way to experience it all.
On select days in February and March, travellers can board a Tundra Buggy (a large, roving vehicle that is custom built for polar bear viewing) and embark on a remote culinary journey over the frozen Churchill River surrounded by the vast subarctic wilderness, frozen fields and huge snowbanks caused by the drifting snow. After a short drive across the spawling frozen landscape, guests will arrive at the banks of the frozen river overlooking Hudson Bay, where Dan’s Diner – an unusual popup restaurant – awaits.
Seated in a converted Tundra Buggy featuring panoramic windows and overhead skylights, diners are able to view the Aurora Borealis while enjoying an exquisitely curated, multi-course menu featuring regional and local fare inspired by land and sea. Churchill lies directly below the aurora oval, which makes it one of the best places to see the Northern Lights with more than 300 nights featuring auroral activity.