5 May 2011

Canada: Tim Hortons

Canada; big country, small population, one national dish: Poutine (chips with gravy and cheese curds). Unfortunately, Poutine is impossible to find in the UK.  I, along with every Canadian ex-pat in London have been unable to find a place that serves up this most Canadian of dishes. Legend has it that Canadian pub The Maple Leaf in Covent Garden once served a very poor version of Poutaine, but that was before the new management took over and turned it into a tacky theme pub.

So giving up on the Poutaine I turned to the other Canadian dietary staple Tim Hortons Doughnuts. Tim Hortons (or Timmies as it is lovingly known) is a massively sucessful chain of doughnut and coffiee shops.  There are nearly 3000 shops in Canada alone with another 550 in the northern USA, several franchises in the UK and even a shop on the Canadian Military base in Afghanistan.   In fact Canadians love Timmies so much that when I was in Toronto a few years ago our tour guide gave us a 20 minute lecture on the history of Tim Horton and his company.

A few years ago when the first Timmies franchises started popping up in the UK, the Canadian ex-pat community got very excited.  And if you want to see for your self what all the fuss is about I suggest you head down to the unlikely location of a Spar convenience store off Picadilly Circus to find out.

The small display stand in the middle of the shop holds 6 varieties of Tim Hortons doughnuts - all fluffy and light on the inside and covered in sugar or chocolate.  I ate one and I liked it.  Whether they are better or worse than any other doughnut is for you to decide.  But I defy you to tell 34,000,000 Canadians that Tim Horton's aren't the best doughnuts in the world, ever.

Address: Spar, 58 Haymarket, London, SW1Y 4RN
Telephone: 020 7930 2522
Tube: Picadilly Circus (Bakerloo, Picadilly)
Bus: Lots of buses stop here, check the TFL website for a full list
Car:  There is very restircted parking in the area, proably better to take public transport.

View Around the World in London Restaurants in a larger map


  1. I'm sorry, I stumbled across your article and couldn't stop giggling.. It's an honest mistake, possibly even an autocorrect typo but... "Poutaine" means a prostitute. "Poutine" means a dish of hot chips, meat gravy, and squeaky cheese curds that sounds horrible to anyone who didn't grow up with it.

    1. OH dear! I'm going to blame that mistake on Spellchek...yes it was all the fault of Microsoft Office!!!



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