Swiss Chalet sauce

People are extremely divided on the merits of Swiss Chalet dipping sauce

Living in Ontario you're guaranteed to have an opinion on the one item on Swiss Chalet Restaurant's menu, the (in)famous Swiss Chalet Sauce. However, it's more contentious than most people think.

The brown semi-thick liquid that's often paired with Swiss Chalet's signature roast chicken has Canadians divided. Some either really love it or absolutely hate it. There is rarely an opinion that's in between.

Swiss Chalet opened its first location in 1954 on Bloor Street West in Toronto. Since then, the chain has opened hundreds of restaurants across Canada.

The company describes the sauce as "a delicious sauce that is seasoned, spicy and sweet all in one." However, no one really knows what the sauce is made from since Swiss Chalet bills it as "a treasured secret recipe."

Full disclosure, the writer of this article is very pro-Swiss Chalet Sauce, even to the point of drinking the sauce and dipping the roll.

Meanwhile, my colleague Renee Suen, proclaims the sauce "abominable" and has said, on record, that it "tasted like expired Christmas spices."

I asked our readers what they thought of the sauce that has divided the nation.

Many agreed that Swiss Chalet Sauce is a solid yes. 

Even going to the length of claiming it's one of God’s greatest creations.

And if you're like me, drinking the sauce is a Canadian tradition.

Although some agree that drinking the sauce might not be doctor approved.

However, I did say this was dividing the country and some really don't like the sauce.

Someone even says it tastes like "failed dreams and sadness". I am currently fact-checking if this is Renee's ghost account.

It is, in fact, Deron Engbers, aka the chef de cuisine of Gare de l'Est, and a firm anti-Chalet Sauce ally. 

Since the sauce clearly has divided Canada, Renee and I visited a local Swiss Chalet to give the sauce a real no-holds-barred review.

Based on the polling on Twitter, the majority of our followers that responded love Swiss Chalet's sauce.

I also asked our Instagram followers what their thoughts were on the contentious menu item. 

Ed Ho, the restauranteur behind the Danforth's now shuttered Globe Bistro, is a fan. While he confessed to not enjoying the sauce in his youth, he's become a convert after the ripe age of 40. 

"Yes it's delicious or perhaps just addictive and I've got addicted to it," Ho comments on the blogTO post. "Between the teeth loosening chicken seasoning and the cornstarchy goodness of that sauce it's an experience unlike any other."

Joseph Reis commented on Instagram as a former employee and said they made the sauce like tea. 

Some also challenged blogTO to go to Quebec and try St. Hubert's famous sauce.

"St. Hubert’s sauce is better! That should be the challenge. But if you like Chalet sauce, you need to add some hot sauce to it." says Instagram user rlnoy.

Despite the divisive opinions, take my advice and next time you're at Swiss Chalet: Order an extra dip (maybe even upgrade to a 32 ounce size for $4.49). It goes really well with pretty much everything on your plate.

Lead photo by

Renee Suen

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