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I'm Back! My Nova Scotia Recommendations

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First, I want to thank everyone who helped me out a month or so ago when I was trying to find cheap eats in Nova Scotia - all over. Someone from Cape Breton was very helpful.

Here are my recommendations, now that i am back:

Salt Water Cafe, Pictou - right on the water, bar atmosphere, good food - simply cooked. Hubby and I shared a plate of mussels for an appetizer - they were fresh and delicious. I had a Haddock Burger and it came with cole slaw. Very good. Very fresh. I had it with an Alexander Keith IPA on-tap. Just great. With the tax, everything in NS is expensive! In NJ, it would be a $30! It was closer to $40 with the tax.

Sunshine on Main - Antigonish, right on Main Street across from the Post Office. Very good, freshly made vegetarian and "healthy" food - I had focaccia with goat cheese and roasted vegetables. The sandwich came with the day's soup which was Tomato Tortellini, which was very good. Delish. My hubby had a pizza that had goat cheese, smoked salmon (TDF), red onion and capers. The salmon was outstanding.

In Baddeck, we ate at a couple of places - Yellow Cello - on the main drag. We had breakfast there. It was good but with tax came to $30! Yes, $30. We had normal stuff - eggs, bacon, toast - I had an egg sandwich that had sausage on an english muffin. Son had a bagel with cream cheese. Nothing fancy. No hollandaise sauce or anything like that. Still expensive.

For dinner, we hit Bell Buoy, which was recommended. It is on the lake, has a great view, a wine list and some fabulous seafood. I had chowder, and a scallop dish - both were excellent. It was more like a $100 dinner but we had an appetizer and we had dessert. Delicious and great service.

In Cheticamp, we ate at Restaurant Acadian. It is right on the water, great location, restaurant nothing to look at. Waitresses are dressed in Acadian dress, very simple food, simply cooked - I had an Acadian specialty Chicken Fricot. It is a stew with carrot and potato. Delicious. Hubby had a Lobster Salad - a huge amount of fresh lobster meat, a mound of potato salad, a mound of cole slaw, a hard-boiled egg, and some lettuce and onion. The lobster was very fresh. Wonderful.

In St. Ann's, Lobster Galley is the place. A fancier sit-down place, right on St. Ann's Bay. Hubby and I shared Lobster Stuffed Mushrooms and some chowder. Both good. I had their "famous" chowder, which was excellent and a plate of fish & chips, made with haddock - fresh, not greasy, just great. Hubby had Digby scallops that were sauteed and he loved them. No dessert. Also about $80 CAN.

In Guysborough, we ate at Big G's Pizza. Nothing to look at but excellent food. Still came to $30 for the 3 of us but it was worth it. Hubby had a pizza (forget the toppings), son had spaghetti with red sauce and I had the Garlic Strips. It was pizza dough that was brushed with garlic butter (made with garlic powder i think) and then topped with mozzarella. Baked until bubbly and served with, what looked like Donair Sauce. Then they took a pizza cutter and cut it into strips so you could dunk. Just great. Hubby said it was more of an appetizer, I said it was a great meal and fit the bill.

In Halifax, Piccolo Mondo on Argyle was my hands-down favorite. I had Fettuccine with a Porcini Cream Sauce, which was outstanding. Hubby had Veal Milanese which he said was terrific. We also ate at the Lower Wharf (Capt John's for NS Chowder) and Loaf, Leaf and Ladle for breakfast. A delicious breakfast at a reasonable price. Timothy's is right next door so there is good coffee to be had.

In West Dover on the way to Peggy's Cove, stop at Shaw's Landing for a fabulous lobster roll - on a homemade baguette, with just a bit of romaine lettuce, barely any mayo and a ton of lobsta'. Sooo good. Fresh.

Esquire Restaurant on Bedford Highway for a good diner meal. I had a lobster salad very much like hubby's in Cheticamp, a bit less lobster and it was $3 less. Just great. Hubby had Liver & Onions and he said it was the best he ever had. We were all very happy.

Lakeview Restaurant in Caledonia, on the way to Keji National Park, on Route 8. Steve & I both had Fried Digby Clams and Spicy Fries. Both were delicious. I had some clam chowder beforehand and it was terrific. Large serving of clams. Place looks like nothing but is just great. It is a converted house that sits right on the water.

In Digby, we stopped at Fundy Restaurant, right on the Bay of Fundy. We shared a bowl of scallop chowder and we both had Fettuccine with Sccallops and Shrimp. Very good. $15 but worth it. Great service, large restaurant right on the water - you get to see the scallop boats coming in. This was recommended by several books and was worth it.

In Annapolis Royal, on our way to Truro, we stopped at Sidescape Cafe. Steve had a bagel with smoked salmon, red onion and capers, which he said was terrific. It had cream cheese too, of course. I tasted the salmon and it was outstanding. Nothing like it in NYC! I had Chicken Curry with Raisins and Mandarin Oranges. Just great. Very good service, quiet place and gorgous art on the walls - all local.

In Parrsboro, we stopped at Harbourview Restaurant, which was recommended by the Moon book. It was just great. The best clams I've ever eaten! Good chowder and the best fried scallops - Digby scallops of course. Beautiful spot on the water.

These were the best places we hit in Nova Scotia. I also ate a McLobster at McDonald's in Amherst on our last night. I made it a value meal and had the fries and a soda. Just great. For $7.95 it was a nice lobster roll - on a simple hot dog bun. A good amount of lobster, no celery, a touch of mayo and no lettuce. Just delicious. Hit the spot.

So those are my picks for Nova Scotia. The food was excellent everywhere we went, the tax and the gasoline was way too expensive and the views were spectacular.

I want to thank all who helped me out - I got the Esquire and Bell Buoy from someone here. It was a once-in-a-lifetime trip. It was just wonderful. The people were delightful, the food was great and the views were spectacular.


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  1. This is just great - thank you so much. We are going in September and I am going to print out your recommendations to take with us. Would you mind telling me where St. Ann's is - plus Guysborough? Were you on PEI at all or just NS and Cape Breton?

    1. Hi, thanks for the advice. I'm going to be in Baddeck next week, do you mean the bill came to $100, or that the meal was worth $100? Just want to be prepared...

      1. We went to the Fundy Restaurant for Digby scallops after a recommendation from a couple we met in Lunenburg and was disappointed. Maybe it was an off day but our service was slow and the food over priced (and not that great).

        We stayed the night in Digby and went to the Royal Fundy Seafood Market & Eatery at 144 Water Street near the Fishermans Wharf for lunch the next day. What a difference! This is where the locals go and the small eatery beside the market was bustling with local customers. The price was great and the food even better. The food was very basic - grilled or fried scallops or clams, lobster rolls, seafood chowder, steamed mussels, etc. We all said that we should have skipped the over-rated Fundy Restaurant the night before.

        I also ate a bacon and scallop sub at Subway and nearly retched. I would have liked to have tried the McLobster, just to say that I did.

        1. Are your prices in Canadian dollars or US dollars? Right now $100 Cdn will buy you $88.64 US dollars. $40 Cdn is more like $35.45 US.

          Regardless of the prices, I can't wait to go to Nova Scotia for Christmas this year! (What's in season at the end of December?)

          1. RisaG,
            So glad The Esquire worked out for you: it is special for us! We live in Lunenburg in the summers now and I am printing off your ideas for our next trip...thanks

            1. Be sure to go to the quarter deck if ever in liverpool for their chowder. You will never have more chunks of lobster!!

              1 Reply
              1. re: bangla_canuck

                When in Liverpool, try to find time to check out the new digs at Lane's Motor Inn now called Lane's Privateer Inn. Third generation family biz, now being run by Sommelier Susan Lane (she of the Fortress Louisbourg period dinner fame). Fabulous wine list, and not your average motor inn menu. Plus, if that wasn't all, a great little pub out back with Garrison and Propeller beers on tap!

                Panko Crusted Digby Scallops would be my reccomendation - the SO had them - I'm allergic.

              2. The Lakeview humdinger is pretty much man's greatest achievement. I would recommend trying it with a small cup of chowder and an orange Crush float - the experience pans out a lot like that sequence at the end of 2001:A Space Odyssey.Except instead of reaching the next plane of human existence, you're just really, really satisfied.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Kabbage

                  OK, Kabbage, you have my attention-what is a Lakeview Humdinger?

                2. I just finished a meal at the Lobster Galley in St Anns. Very disappointing. Generally the food was uninspired. I had a "croissant lobster sandwich" that no self-respecting restaurant in New England would dare serve because of its tiny portion of lobster. My wife had a "1.5 lb" steamed lobster -- not a chance it was a 1 1/2 pounder. I respect your opinion, but my advice to others is to avoid the Lobster Galley

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: jhbeckman

                    I've been to the Lobster Galley a couple of times. Its location is amazing, but the food seemed pretty ordinary. Instead, I recommend planning ahead and making dinner reservations at nearby Chanterelle instead--a nice "slow food" establishment with a reasonable prix fixe menu.

                  2. We're going in September too and I've already printed out your list. Thank you so much.