Northern Lights and Foodies Delight: The Wonderful Dining Experience of RAW:churchill

Northern Lights and Foodies Delight: The Wonderful Dining Experience of RAW:churchill


Ever imagined eating a world-class meal as the northern lights dance above? How about in a 300 year old fort? Sounds pretty cool, right?

Experience the subarctic like never before at RAW:churchill, a cutting-edge dining event inside Prince of Wales Fort outside of Churchill, Manitoba. Based on the acclaimed Winnipeg pop-up restaurant, RAW:almond, the culinary phenomenon has been brought to the far North for a once-in-a-lifetime dinner you will never forget.

Is your interest piqued? Here’s an indepth look at the total RAW:churchill experience:  


Start your evening with a ride across the frozen Churchill River in a massive Tundra Buggy®.

Northern Lights and Foodies Delight: The Wonderful Dining Experience of RAW:churchill


Getting around the snowy tundra of Northern Canada isn’t for the faint of heart. That is unless you have the Tundra Buggy, a state-of-the-art vehicle, to easily transport you around the wild landscape.

Imagine a heated bus with the wheels of a monster truck and you have a good idea of what the Tundra Buggy looks like. Its massive, 1.5 metre (five-foot) wheels can trek over ice and snow with ease. The wheels’ height also provides extra space between passengers and curious polar bears.

In fact, the main use for these all-terrain vehicles is for polar bear safaris. There’s even an observation deck at the back for taking truly outstanding photographs.

This evening, however, think of the Tundra Buggy as your unusual “Uber” to dinner. Your Tundra Buggy Driver will traverse across the frozen Churchill River and head north to the Prince of Wales Fort.  


Dine within the walls of the spectacularly star-shaped Prince of Wales Fort.


Your restaurant resides within the walls of Prince of Wales Fort, an English stone fortress built originally as a fur trading post.

Construction on the frigid fort began in 1717—exactly 300 years ago. However, the finished structure would take centuries to be completed. Tensions began to rise between the French and English in the 1770s, and in 1782, the French seized control of the fort. In time, the French relinquished their hold of Prince of Wales Fort, but it no longer had any use. It wasn’t until 1929 that Parks Canada began restoration of the fort and named it a National Historic Site of Canada. Restoration efforts continued through the 1950s until it began the fort we all know today.

Prince of Wales Fort features the classic European “star” shape, with four protruding bastions. The outer walls rise 6.5 meters (21 feet) high and 11 meters (36 feet) thick, creating the perfect protection for those inside.  


You’ll be comfy and cozy as you eat dinner in the heated structure, complete with a transparent roof for excellent views of the aurora borealis.


You might be getting chilly at the thought of eating dinner at 58 degrees North latitude.

Fear not!

The interior of the tent-like structure is thoroughly heated for your comfort. Creating a pop-up restaurant in the middle of an age-old fort doesn’t happen overnight, especially when said fort is in the freezing tundra. Bringing all of the building materials across the Churchill River took a lot of time. And while Tundra Buggies do a great job transporting people around the area, they aren’t crafted to haul loads of equipment. In fact, the materials were pulled behind special utility vehicles on skis.

Although it doesn’t happen often, sometimes polar bears like to “tour the fort” and its surroundings. During construction, a few unexpected guests showed up, and a polar bear monitor became necessary. But what a sight they would be to see at the old fort!

Speaking of sights to see, as you look up during your meal, gaze upon the beauty of the northern lights and twinkling stars. Sounds like the ceiling at Hogwarts, doesn’t it? Well, there’s no magic here—the entire roof is transparent! So as you dine, you won’t miss out on the colorful lights dancing across the night sky.

Churchill is directly beneath the Auroral Oval, which means the chances of seeing the northern lights are pretty good, as long as the clouds and weather cooperate.


Enjoy a world-class meal, prepared by renowned Canadian chef, Mandel Hitzer.

Northern Lights and Foodies Delight: The Wonderful Dining Experience of RAW:churchill


Forget dieting while on vacation, and certainly forget dieting when you have the chance to eat a world-class meal prepared by Winnipeg’s Mandel Hitzer.

Known for his restaurant deer + almond as well as the first “RAW” experience, RAW:almond, Hitzer creates delicious dishes with a northern twist. Also, let’s clear one thing up—despite the name “RAW:churchill,” the food is fully cooked!

“RAW” actually references the former gallery space of Joe Kalturnyk, architect of RAW:almond and RAW:churchill. Kalturnyk found inspiration for the restaurant’s design from ancient seafaring vessels and dog sleds. He used typical Northern building materials for the final construction. Chef Hitzer’s menu includes amazing appetizers, enchanting entrees, and decadent desserts.

Examples of last year’s menu include elk tartare, scallop tacos, duck and foie gras terrine, short rib and crab, and white chocolate with huckleberry, pine, and beets. Who knows what culinary creations he has in store for this year’s menu?  


Get to know your fellow diners at the 20 seat, family-style table.

Northern Lights and Foodies Delight: The Wonderful Dining Experience of RAW:churchill


Meeting new people while on vacation adds to the fun of it. And there’s no better place to get to know those vacationing with you than at a dinner table made for 20 people. Eating at this family-style table allows for interesting conversation between the many courses of your dinner.

Most likely, you will be seated near others who are from a different part of the world than you with intriguing stories to share.

Not sure how to get talking with strangers? Start with a simple introduction! Sharing your name with the person next to you could be the start of a new, lifelong friendship. And if not, at least you’ll enjoy your dinner conversation. Learning about different cultures and other walks of life greatly enhances our own lives.

So step outside of your comfort zone, and get to know someone new. You have at least one thing in common—you both decided to visit RAW:churchill!  


Finish your evening with the grand finale—the northern lights!

Northern Lights and Foodies Delight: The Wonderful Dining Experience of RAW:churchill


Spent too much time looking at your plate instead of the sky above? No worries! You’ll have an opportunity to see the northern lights after dinner.

Jump back on the Tundra Buggy and travel away from the fort and lights of town to experience the northern lights at their most colorful and vibrant.

Did you know there’s a scientific explanation behind the different colors of the northern lights? The colors depend on different electrons entering the Earth’s atmosphere as they collide with gaseous particles. Depending on the gas and the distance above the ionosphere these collisions take place, a different color is made. And what colors could you possibly see? Most common are the green and pinks lights, however, blue, purplish-red, and even the rare orangish-white are sometimes produced.

If you’re interested in seeing the northern lights, you’re in good company. It’s the number one “bucket list” travel experience for most people and for good reason. With increased solar activity, the lights have been their most incredible in the past couple of years. And March is a spectacular time of year to see them thanks to the spring equinox.  


Churchill is about way more than food and the northern lights—don’t miss out on the entire Northern adventure!


You can’t go all the way to Churchill simply for an outstanding dinner under the northern lights (although it’s certainly worth the trip!). If you’re going to head that far north, why not plan for an entire frontier adventure?

Every kid has always dreamed of riding on the back of a dog sled across the snow. You can make your childhood dream a reality during your stay in Churchill. Learn about the team of dogs and their different positions, like lead dog and wheel dog. Then hop on the back of a dog sled and ride through the tundra with your furry friends.

And if you’re interested in planning another vacation to Churchill, there are many awesome activities at different times during the year. Watching for belugas in the Hudson Bay makes summer in the tundra a whale of a time! And you can’t miss out on seeing polar bears from October to November as they congregate near Churchill.

No matter when you visit, you’ll be happy you traveled to Canada’s North.  


Looking for a “RAW” experience?

You will never eat a dinner again in your life like the dinner served at RAW:churchill. Don’t miss out on this one-of-a-kind culinary adventure and book your reservation today.

Or, if you’d simply like more information about Churchill and Canada’s North, sign up for our free email course here.

Contact Us

Toll Free North America
1 800 663 9832
International Phone
1 204 949 2050