NHL Stars Revealed Their Top Restaurants & A Canadian Team's Captain Loves Salt Bae
Here's where they like to eat on the road.
NHL wedding season is over, hockey season is around the corner and with each team set to play 41 games away from home, there’s bound to be a few wild nights out at local restaurants across the U.S. and Canada.
But where do NHLers go for food when they’re visiting another city?
ESPN recently polled dozens of NHL players about their favourite restaurants ahead of the start of the season, and the hockey stars gave a bunch of great recommendations for various cities around North America.
The list is full of high-end restaurants in cities throughout Canada and the United States, and it'll also give you a glimpse into what a pro athlete eats to fuel up for a hockey game. (Spoiler: it's a lot of steak, seafood and pasta.)
New York City came up more than once, but the players also showed some love for a few spots in Canada, including a brunch place in Winnipeg and a seafood restaurant in Vancouver.
The list is filled with fancy and tasty restaurant options across the continent, although one recommendation definitely stands out. That shout-out came from Ottawa Senators captain Brady Tkachuk, who declared that his favourite road restaurant is Nusr-Et steakhouse in New York.
"It's the 'Salt Bae' guy," Tkachuk told ESPN.
Tkachuk isn't super active on Instagram so we're not sure how often he's been to Nusr-Et, or whether he's met Salt Bae himself, a.k.a. Nusret Gokce. However, if he had we're guessing there'd be a pic, as Salt Bae often poses for photos with athletes and actors who come through his doors. In 2019 for instance he showed goalie Ilya Samsonov how to do his signature salt move.
Salt Bae's also been known to share the eye-popping dinner bills that his famous visitors rack up, although with a salary of $8.2 million, we're guessing Tkachuk could afford a few gold-leaf steaks. And with several Nusr-Et locations across the U.S., Tkachuk could easily try them all in a single NHL season.
Regardless, Salt Bae's restaurant was just one of many spots that NHL stars shouted out in the poll. Here are the other restaurants that millionaire hockey players love to visit throughout an NHL season.
Brady Tkachuk, Ottawa Senators
Favourite Road Restaurant: Nusr-Et and Carbone
City: New York City
Address: 60 W 53rd St and 181 Thompson St
In addition to Nusr-Et, Tkachuk shouted out Carbone in New York as being "always a good option." Carbone had a Michelin star for nearly a decade, though it lost that star in 2022.
Tkachuk has also shared a few of his other favourite road restaurants in the past. He told The Athletic in 2020 that likes Lee' Lounge in Toronto and Da Vinci Ristorante in Montreal. He also went on to list a few of his favourite spots in Ottawa including Giovanni's Restaurant, Mati and The Shore Club.
The guy's full of restaurant recommendations — especially if you like steak!
Jacob Trouba, New York Rangers
Favourite Road Restaurant: Blue Water Cafe
City: Vancouver, B.C.
Address: 1095 Hamilton St.
New York Rangers captain Jacob Trouba hailed the seafood at Vancouver's Blue Water Cafe, adding that he tries to pay this restaurant a visit whenever he's in town to take on the Canucks.
John Tavares, Toronto Maple Leafs
Favourite Road Restaurant: Clementine Cafe
City: Winnipeg, Manitoba
Address: 123 Princess Street
Cuisine: North American
The Toronto Maple Leafs' captain had nothing but good things to say about the brunch at Clementine Cafe, which is just a 10-minute walk from the hometown Winnipeg Jets' arena.
"It's really good," Tavares said, adding that he always tries to visit if he gets a chance.
Clementine Cafe is also easily the most affordable option on this list, so if you want to eat like a hockey player in Winnipeg, this is the place to do it!
Cole Caulfield, Montreal Canadiens
Favourite Road Restaurant: Nobu
City: Malibu, California
Address: 22706 Pacific Coast Hwy
The Montreal Canadiens star says he loves Nobu's Malibu location because it's on the water. He added that he's only been once and he's dying to go back, especially after missing out on a repeat visit last year.
Mario Ferraro, San Jose Sharks
Favourite Road Restaurant: Delilah
City: Las Vegas
Address: 3131 Las Vegas Blvd S (inside the Wynn Las Vegas hotel)
It's easy to see why Toronto-born NHLer Mario Ferraro would fall for Delilah in Vegas. The restaurant is a stunning Art Deco spot designed with 1950s glamour in mind, and that's before you even get to the music or the menu. It's basically a supper club that'll take you back in time.
"I really, really like that restaurant and it has live jazz music," Ferraro told ESPN. "That's really cool."
Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins
Favourite Road Restaurant: Quality Italian
City: New York City
Address: 57 W 57th St
Penguins captain Sidney Crosby said New York is his favourite place for eating out.
"We got o Quality Italian a lot there," he said. "Good place. It's a heavy meal. You need a morning skate after that one."
Johnny Gaudreau, Columbus Blue Jackets
Favourite Road Restaurant: Maple & Ash
Address: 8 W Maple St
Gaudreau says Maple & Ash in Chicago is his absolute favourite, and he tries to go at least once a year with fellow NHLer Erik Gudbranson.
Nazem Kadri, Calgary Flames
Favourite Road Restaurant: Monarch
City: Dallas, Texas
Address: 1401 Elm St, 49th floor
Kadri clearly loves a restaurant with a view, because he gushed about the scenery at the Monarch steakhouse in Dallas. "It's up on the 60th floor," he said. "It's beautiful."
It's actually on the 49th floor but that doesn't make it any less stunning.
Clayton Keller, Arizona Coyotes
Favourite Road Restaurant: The Pink Door
City: Seattle, Washington
Address: 1919 Post Alley
Keller struggled to recall the name of this spot but he did remember the "unbelievable" Italian food and steak. This choice should also be no surprise if you've made it this far down the list, because "Italian" and "steak" are basically the two food groups that NHL players enjoy.
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