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Best CHOWDER in Nova Scotia and PEI?

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Hey folks:

On my upcoming trip to NS and PEI I want to embark on a journey to sample some of the best chowders in the area. Our stops include Charlottetown, Halifax, Cape Breton. Any suggestions?

I don't care if it is from a hole-in-the-wall or from a fine dining establishment. As long as the chowder delivers great local flavor and not that run of the mill cafeteria or hotel soup.


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  1. Ed,
    The best seafood chowder I had this summer (the only chowder I had this summer - it hasn't been chowder weather here) was at Old MacDonald's Dairy Bar and Gift Shop (name is something like that) in the Plough the Waves Centre in Wood Islands, PEI, where you take the ferry to Nova Scotia. You asked for "hole in the wall" - only a counter in a gift shop.
    If you want an adventure, try calling the Fiddle Farm in Wood Islands and asking for a reservation there.
    You're on vacation right? Try some serendipity.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Roger

      Yes we are on vacation.

      Regarding trying "Serendipity," are you referring to something specific?


      1. re: Ed

        I was thinking serendipity in general. I think of vacation as a place free from lists and schedules and must-dos. While I ate my chowder at Plough the Waves the other day, I watched people coming and going - all kinds of people rushing into the Information Centre to ask the very nice staff there what they should do on their vacation. What do other people do here? We only have three days, what should be on our list? I don't understand that way of life. The chowder I had that day was perfect, just spicy enough, just hot enough, just rich enough. If you have the same chowder in September, it might not suit you. Or it might be serendipity.

    2. I always liked the chowder at Peggy's Cove, though I haven't eaten there in a few years. If it's still home made, then it's great. Also try the hot gingerbread with ice cream. She's some good, eh.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Chuck Gordon

        I ate there last year. The chowder was great as was the rest of the fare. There's also a place called Shaw's Landing about 5 minutes north of Peggy's Cove. I'm not sure if they have chowder but I can whole heartedly recommend their homemade smoked salmon and trout. Miles above Zabar's and Russ and Daughter's. I'm curious are you driving up to NS or flying?

        1. re: Chuck Gordon

          I love the chowder in peggy's cove.
          We have been to nova scotia last Year in june an are going back this summer in august.
          My mom lives there.
          She lives in this little town called Halls Harbour.
          They have a great restaurant as wel.
          I do'nt know about there chowder but they have the best lobster ever!!!


        2. I forgot to add, try Pettipas Market in Auld's Cove, NS. Don't be put off by the tourist shop feel and look, the gals in the kitchen make a mean seafood chowder. It's probably the best I had on the whole three week trip. You might also want to check out Aspy Bay Oysters inside the Cabot Trail. It's a First Nations fishery and bare bones cabin park. I remember seeing seafood chowder on their menu but I didn't try it. I was interested in the oysters which were cold, sweet, briny and delicious. The point being that if they apply the same care to their cooking as they do their raw bar then it's worth taking a chance. The Cabot Trail alone is a wonder to be seen.

          1. Hands down, the chowder at The Water's Edge Cafe in Baddeck. On the waterfront, LOTS of seafood and the dairy is not added untill you order it so not overcooked. Good selection of beer, local wines (some good, some not so good -ask). Good selection of sandwiches, paninis & wraps. Homemade sinfully fattening desserts. It is also an Inn & art gallery.

            1 Reply
            1. re: maineart

              You are right ,...I came back from baddeck couple of weeks ago.....excellent town....you can try different laces for sea food chawder....In Sydney as well....surprisingly ....there are nice restaurants in Cape Breton Island.....

            2. Ed,
              We just got back last night from ten days in Nova Scotia and i orderd chowder every place we ate. The best i had was in Dartmouth (just a quick ferry ride over from Halifax.) It was at a nice place right at the ferry terminal called Ducky's--great view of Halifax at night. The chowder was loaded with seafood and was delicious. I wish i had some right now.

              1. Le Gabriel in Cheticamp, Cape Breton has excellent seafood chowder.


                (please report back)

                1. I am not a chowder nut but we had some good chowder in New Brunswick at the Caves Restaurant in St. Martins. They claim it is the "world's best" (According to them). Also, Flex Mussels in Charlotteown is a great restaurant. Mussels are their specialty and I don't even know if they serve chowder but if they do I'm sure that they put as much effort and caring into a bowl of chowda as they do their mussel dishes.
                  In Ingonish we ate at a no frills restaurant called the Seagull Restaurant that was recommended by locals. I had a great haddock dinner there for $9.95! Didn't try their chowder though.

                  In Peggy's Cove we had a good bowl of chowder at Murray's Wharf.

                  1. Oh, I forgot, somewhere in this string someone recommended Le Gabrielle in Cheticamp. Again, I didn't have their chowder but almost everything else was good. We had their local snow crab. We'd eaten there in 2007 and had the best (to die for -- or to die from?) warm and creamy butterscotch pie and that was the main reason why we went back. But to our dismay the butterscotch pie was awful this time around. It was lumpy and cold and tasted as if they'd added tapioca. Maybe they have somebody new making it but it was a real disappointment.

                    1. Best chowders in Nova Scotia:
                      The Seagull Restaurant, Ingonish, Cape Breton
                      Large Marg's Diner, Lunenburg, Nova Scotia

                      1. I have twice had the chowder at the restaurant down in Peggy's Cove....both times wonderful !!!

                        1. p.s. also had a pretty good chowder at the Chowder House in Tatamaouche.

                          1. The Knot Pub in Lunenburg, NS. Try either the Fish Chowder or the Mussel Soup. Both among my favourites.

                            Be warned if travelling to the South Shore in January though. Most of the hotspots are closed this month.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Yermum

                              The Knot Pub is open...I know its open 'cause I had their fish chowder last week just before the big Thursday night trivia challenge.

                            2. Go to Dalway By The Bay, a hotel in the National Park on the North coast of PEI about 30 minutes north of Charlottetown. Tell them at the park entrance you are going there for lunch and they will give you a pass free. For lunch, order sea food chowder --was $10 in summer 2007, but probably more now. Still, the best sea food chowder on PEI in my view. --DVR

                              1. I had some surprisingly good chowder at Bubbles Mansion, downtown Halifax. It was thick but not too thick, and it had lots of different seafood in it, not just one shrimp and eight pounds of haddock. No bun though. I like getting a bun with it.

                                1. hey Ed we were just in Nova scotia my brother live just outside Truro and we had the best seafood chowder at the masstown market you should check that out next time you go there we went back 3 times for this chowder

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: randicandy

                                    I've had Masstown Market's chowder... it's good, but not great. A bit bland IMO.

                                  2. The BEST chowder i have ever had is from the Innlet Cafe in Mahone Bay,and the second best is at the Sou'wester Restaurant in Peggy's Cove,(also try the Gingerbread with whipped cream for dessert,its awesome!) the 3rd best is at Masstown Market,Masstown,NS (just outside of Truro). I havent eaten at LeGabriel in Cheticamp yet, but i've heard their chowder is amazing too! The best place for fish and chips,I've found, is the Shillelagh House Restaurant, Old Barns near Truro. Huge servings and hand-made fish and chips and coleslaw,a meal made in Heaven!

                                    1. On PEI I had a superb bowl of chowder a few weeks ago at the Expo festival in Abram Village. This chowder was loaded with fish and shellfish including lobster. Thick, almost unctuous, very nice mouth feel, obviously made with real cream. Worth the drive.

                                      1. Just got back from the Cape North area, so can't speak for all of Nova Scotia, but we had some great chowder in Neil's Harbor Chowder House. You can eat it outside on some picnic tables with amazing views overlooking the ocean. Fried clams were good too.

                                        1. Hands down, the best seafood chowder I have had in the region is from Marcus & Willy's in Head of Jeddore (along Highway 7). It was chock full of meat, had the right potato ratio, and was all around fantastic. Since discovering it, I have been back numerous times and have never been disappointed. Their website is marcusandwillys.ca