Gallery: Cross-Border Shopping Guide: Canada

Potato Chips
Potato Chips
Browsing the chip aisle is a must, and even though ketchup chips aren't my thing, they're definitely worth a try. Or, head to a supermarket with President's Choice brand products and sample even stranger flavors like Ballpark Hot Dog, Sicilian Lemon Chicken, Spicy Piri Piri, Szechwan, Tandoori Barbecue, and more.
Pop
Pop
President's Choice also has an ever-expanding selection of pop (yes, pop) including tropical fruit flavors like passionfruit, lychee, and mango, plus a potent ginger beer that makes a great cocktail when mixed with Canadian Club and Ting. If you like carbonated drinks with real fruit juice, check out the blood orange Italian Soda.
Cookies
Cookies
Some of the cookies I miss the most include Viva Puffs (essentially a filled marshmallow atop a cookie, coated in chocolate), Peek Freans Fruit Creme cookies (a fancy cookie that's perfect with tea), or PC's Reverse Decadent cookies.
Chocolate Bars
Chocolate Bars
I might as well say it: The selection of chocolate candy bars in Canada is the best, both in terms of variety and quality. A few great bars to try: Coffee Crisp (coffee flavored wafers coated in chocolate), Mr. Big (a bit of everything, including a vanilla wafer, nuts, caramel, and crisp rice), Wunderbar (chocolate-coated peanut and caramel goo that's crunchy and smooth), and Crunchie (sponge toffee). For chocolate purists, Cadbury is the way to go. Fruit and Nut is my absolute favorite (and so different from the version sold in the US, which is made by Hershey's).
Swiss Chalet Sauce
Swiss Chalet Sauce
If you can't make it to a Swiss Chalet restaurant, picking up a pack of Swiss Chalet Dipping Sauce mix is your next best bet. The mildly spiced sauce has its own unique flavor. Printed ingredients include tomato powder, chicken fat, and "spices"...but the actual ingredients aren't important. All you need to know is nothing else is better on fries.
Baking Mixes
Baking Mixes
If you can't find fresh-baked Nanaimo bars or butter tarts, pick up a box of mix instead. While not quite as good as fresh-baked, these mixes give a good representation of Canada's two most popular desserts. (Warning: Both are intensely sweet.)
Hot Chocolate Mixes
Hot Chocolate Mixes
Second Cup's hot chocolates (especially white hot chocolate and vanilla bean) are delicious on their own, and even better when made with a shot of espresso. The Canadian chain is also a good bet for a cup of coffee.
Ice Wine
Ice Wine
Alcohol tends to be pricey in Canada, but a bottle of ice wine is worth the sticker shock. I'm no expert, but Inniskillin is safe bet. Or, try some Kittling Ridge Ice Wine and Brandy (which will give you a similar experience for a lot less).
Timbits
Timbits
No cross-border shopping guide would be complete without mentioning Timbits from Tim Hortons—or Timmy's, as it's known in Canada. For a few loonies, you can get a box of these little guys (which you will then pack in dry ice and ship to me). Best flavors: old fashioned glazed, sour cream glazed, chocolate glazed, and honey dip. Worst flavors: no such thing. Thirsty? Repeat these words: iced capp with chocolate milk.

[Photograph: Like_the_Grand_Canyon on Flickr.]