I Went To A Dairy Queen In Canada For The First Time Ever & These Things Blew My Mind (PHOTOS)

It was NOT what I expected.

A chili cheese hot dog from Dairy Queen in Canada. Right: Janice Rodrigues with a Blizzard.
Associate Editor

A chili cheese hot dog from Dairy Queen in Canada. Right: Janice Rodrigues with a Blizzard.

The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Narcity Media.

One of the best things about moving to Canada is getting to try so many cool snacks and foods for the first time.

And this includes items from famous food chains that I’d never had before the move, including Dairy Queen.

To put it into context, I moved to Canada from Dubai last year. Even though there are a couple of Dairy Queen locations spread across the Middle East, the brand is relatively unheard of — at least in Dubai.

The first time I actually heard of Dairy Queen was when I moved to Canada, and I just naturally just assumed it was similar to London Dairy, a popular ice cream brand.

I can’t emphasize how surprised I was when I found out that not only was Dairy Queen a fast food chain but that it also did way more than just sweet stuff.

It piqued my interest so much that I finally stepped into a Dairy Queen branch in Toronto, and a couple of things blew my mind.

Way more than just ice cream

A loaded hot dog and an Orange Julius drink from Dairy Queen in Canada.

A loaded hot dog and an Orange Julius drink from Dairy Queen in Canada.

Janice Rodrigues | Narcity

Okay, I’m going to admit, when I found out that Dairy Queen's menu also had savoury items, I was a bit grossed out.

To me, it was like finding out that Baskin Robbins was serving pizza or Coldstone Creamery had a burger menu. The idea just felt a bit… wrong.

So, I really wasn’t sure what to expect. The online menu had a lot of options from burgers to chicken strips and fries.

That being said, the branch that I went to in downtown Toronto had more limited options when it comes to savoury items, most of which were hot dogs. I got a loaded chilli cheese hot dog, served piping hot and slathered in melted cheese.

It was honestly messier than I had anticipated (it was a bad day to wear white), but one bite and I was pretty hooked. The sausage-to-bread ratio was perfect, and it was really flavourful! I think I would have enjoyed this even without all the extra cheese and chilli.

A drink that combines orange juice… and egg?

Of course I wasn’t going to leave without trying an original Orange Julius, a drink that lists orange juice with a hint of dairy and even dried egg white among its ingredients.

All of these ingredients put together just sounded wild to me, and I was well-prepared to hate it. But I took a sip and was… pleasantly surprised.

You can definitely taste the orange in there, but it also feels creamier than other orange drinks. The whole thing came across a bit like an orange sorbet. I even opened up the cup to try and catch a glimpse of what it looks like and let’s just say the froth on top is so thick that it’s impossible to drink this without a straw.

I’ll be honest and say I loved it, although a whole cup was a bit too sweet for me. But it was also so refreshing, I can see myself getting it again on a hot day.


A Reese's Caramel Pretzel Blizzard from Dairy Queen.

A Reese's Caramel Pretzel Blizzard from Dairy Queen.

Janice Rodrigues | Narcity

And of course, no visit to Dairy Queen would be complete without trying a Blizzard (or so I’ve been told).

So, I ordered a small cup of one of Dairy Queen’s new Blizzard flavours for the summer — the Reese’s Caramel Pretzel Blizzard treat.

I’d been expecting more of the ice cream and the concoction served was definitely unique compared to other sweet stuff found in chains. It was a perfect blend between a soft serve and an actual ice cream, and I liked the crunchy sweet-and-salty flavour of the pretzel bits.

It also felt lighter than regular ice cream, which was nice.

So, there we have it. I fully went in thinking I’d dislike the place, and somehow, I managed to leave as a Dairy Queen convert. With the warmer months coming up, I can see myself stopping by a bit more. Even if that does eventually lead to quite the sugar rush!

Meanwhile, DQ is not the only thing I’ve discovered since I moved. There are a number of Canadian snacks I’ve tried as a newcomer and absolutely loved, from Jamaican patties to Miss Vickie’s chips.

Janice Rodrigues
Associate Editor
Janice Rodrigues was an Associate Editor for Narcity Media focused on Canadian immigration and passports, and is based in Scarborough, Ontario.