P.E.I. - Charlottetown recommendations?
I am finding lots of suggestions for Nova Scotia includng Cape Breton, but there doesn't seem to be much said about P.E.I. We will be staying in Charottetown for two nights to allow one day to explore. We have been told to head east out of Ch'town for the most scenic part or the island. Any suggestions for Charlottetown and/or points east? Thanks so much.
It's been a couple of years since I've been to Charlottetown, but the last two times I was there my husband and I had really nice meals at Off Broadway. It was a little more in the high end range.
Here's a link to a website:
I find the website a bit off-putting, actually - makes it look like every other touristy place on the Island, but my recollection is we had very nice meals each time we visited. We also really enjoyed the bar upstairs and I believe we were able to wait in the bar for our table to be ready.
The other thing with PEI eating out is to look into lobster suppers. Definitely not fancy, but often great if you want a feed of lobster and other fresh seafood. My family favourite was always the New Glasgow Lobster Suppers - very down home, lots of homemade bread rolls, fish chowder and mussels.
I'm not sure it's in the direction from Charlottetown that you're looking for, but really nothing is all that far away in PEI.
madwrk, it has been even longer since our last visit to PEI than it has been for parleek but we too enjoyed our meal at Off Broadway.
The menu was perhaps surprisingly good and varied at the Merchantman Pub adjacent to the Prince Edward Delta on the waterfront. That sounds like at best a "backhanded" complement but we enjoyed ourself and having been habituated to Maritime pub grub like the Midtown in Halifax from university days this quite a considerable selection.
I do not know if Kim's Bistro is still in operation. We were disappointed. It had received quite a good write up in Bon Appetit prior to our visit.
The Lucy Maud Dining Room provides a venue where the students at the culinary institute can practice what they have learned. We were unable to obtain reservations during our visit.
Sirenella was pretty fare mediteranean food.
One place we missed and likely walked right by thinking it was just what its name suggests "Water-Prince Corner Store" is supposed to be excellent for basic, seafood. Right down in the old Historic Charlottetown.
A place that has been recommended to me is The Pilot House. It had not opened when we visited.
Another which has received good reviews in out of province newspapers and "foodie television" is the The Dayboat in Hunter River. I think their website www.dayboat.ca says they are about 15 minutes from Charlottetown.
Up north toward the red dunes and beaches of the National Park is Dalvay By The Sea. We enjoyed our lunch there in the restored historic building.
If you get out quite a distance to the east coast Windows On The Water in Montague was good.
The Inn at St Peters was good. The best food was at The Inn at Bay Fortune but it is more than you likely want to drive being up near Souris.
If you go toward Summerside rather than eastward, someone else posted about Flex Mussels which looked quite interesting assuming you want your fill of mussels. May as well, they do not get much fresher. Same with the lovely oysters.
I was at Off Broadway last week and would agree with the comments. A really safe bet based on my experience.
Thanks for the link parleek.
I wonder what the other two restaurants are.
Agree with their assessment of Dalvay By The Sea. Dayboat did not exist when we visited PEI.
Am glad to hear about the postitive influence the culinary school is having.
Dining was pretty grim when we were there apart from some of the resorts. I spoke with some of the staff when we had lunch at the Inn at St. Peters and they were all from the culinary school.
We had wanted to try Seasons In Thyme in Summerside, one of the few restaurants we had heard about in PEI but the chef had closed it earlier in the year. Just did not attract sufficient interest among the locals which of course are your "bead and butter" during the off season.
I just flew home (back to Toronto) on Sunday from Moncton, Charlottetown and Saint John so here's my review:
We had dinner at the Barnyard BBQ and ordered the Rhapsody in Pork platter. There's enough food for two people to share. The chipotle flavoured pulled pork was excellent. The pork ribs were good but not outstanding. I like my meat to fall of the bone and these didn't. The blueberry flavoured bbq sauce was tasty. There was also the salt n pepper dry ribs. I thought they were too done for my liking (deep fried so very crispy) but my SO loved them. He loves anything deep fried though... ;-)
We had lunch at Pumphouse Brewery, really good turkey clubhouse on their own beer bread focaccia. The Irving Big Stop in Salisbury is something truly out of an american diner somewhere. Big portions, definitely quantity and not quality but fun in a time warp kind of way. Waitresses in pink shirts, 70s decor, McCain ripple fries with everything.
Charlottetown & vicinity:
The Water Prince Corner Shop is an absolute must. We had a dozen super fresh malpeque oysters for $14.95!!! The lobster roll was fantastic, it came with a killer scoop of potato salad. Super yummy. The fried clams were too breaded for my liking but the SO loved them. Their homemade strawberry rhubarb pie was so good, we went back the next night for another piece. The mussels were great as was their lobster dinner.
New Glasgow Lobster Supper is where I would go for lobster dinner. My SO and I each had the 1.5 lb lobster (you had the option of getting the 1, 1.5, 2 or 3 lb lobster) and the lobster was delicious. Incredibly flavourful and juicy. And the meat was tender, not tough at all. It's all you can eat mussels (they were okay, just steamed but a whole bucket full and so addictive once you start digging in), freshly baked rolls, 7 dessert options (we totally pigged out here and sampled 4 between the 2 of us!! apple pie-okay, raisin pie-very sweet, blueberry pie-yum, strawberry shortcake-super yum), the soup and salad is nothing to write about. Two 1.5 lb lobster dinners came to $81.50 total.
Meeko's mediterrean cafe was disappointing. There was 3 of us for lunch and everyone's meals were bland and boring. I would not recommend this spot.
Rick's Fish & Chips in St Peter's: Well worth the drive out. The fish and chips were fantastic, the lobster roll was good and the cajun mussels were awesome (they were even deep fried but perfectly spiced).
Saint John & vicinity:
Saint John Ale House - with a group of 8 people and we all managed to order something different. Everyone's meals were good. My SO and I were craving meat at this point so we had the steak sandwich perfectly prepared with a tasty assortment of red peppers and carmelized onions. The fries were incredible. Almost frite like (texture like Beerbistro & JK Wine bar in Toronto but chunkier). The mussels, seafood chowder, french onion soup and yam fries were all tasty too.
Comeau's in Pennfield on way to St Andrews & St Stephens - The seafood platter was gigantic (my SO and I shared the platter and still had leftovers). Highlights were the perfectly cooked scallops, clams and fish. The shrimp was a little overdone and the lobster roll was okay.
Takeaway lobster from Alma on the way home from Hopewell Cape: a family member brought back an 8.5 lb cooked lobster. My first thought was "this is going to be one tough cookie" but after taking an axe to it (the shell was a quarter of an inch thick!) and pulling out the flesh, it was surprising tender and sweet. Not tough at all.
All and all a good eating trip!
Three days in PEI is not enough! I just spent more than a week there, for the third time. Some places to eat that are highly recommended:
Cafe on the Clyde (i.e. PEI Preserve Company) in New Glasgow. Excellent breakfasts that include homemade scones, biscuits, and other goodies to enjoy with the homemade preserves. My favorite preserves are the Very Berry flavor.
New Glasgow Lobster Suppers--as described by another poster above. I actually ate there twice on my most recent trip.
Gaghan House (Charlottetown)-- only microbrewery on the island! Very good pub food with great beers. I say go for the beer sampler and best fish and chips in town.
Windows on the Water (Montague)-- great little place that has wonderful views of the water. They make a great fish chowder there, and very nice lobster quiche.
Sir Andrew MacPhail Homestead (Orwell)--all organic menu that changes based on what is available from their gardens. I've had excellent potato bannocks there more recently. In the past, I've also enjoyed a nice roast beef dinner there. Highly recommended. Cash only.
Make sure you catch a Cavendish sunset, a caleigh in Orwell Village, seal watching from the eastern part of the island, and the windmills and red cliffs on the North Cape.
I can go on and on...but these suggestions should help you plan...Enjoy your trip!
re: kim foodie
I know this post is 4 years old but since there's not much talk on this board, how relevant will these be in Aug. 2010? I see a better link for Off Broadway mentioned above (http://www.offbroadwayrestaurant.ca/), is that still good? What's the 42nd St. Lounge all about.?
Isn't $37.50 for a 1 1/2 lobster dinner at New Glasgow kind of expensive, esp. for that style restaurant? Do the mussels and dessert make up for that price?
I saw a rec for Flex Mussels, is that still around? How far is St Peter's from Charlottetown? Rick's Fish & Chips seems like an awesome deal. And what about Montague for Gillis' Drive In? Thanks.
2 Lower Water St, Charlottetown, PE C1A, CA
Flex Mussels isn't still there, which is too bad. It was good food and a wonderful view! St. Peter's is about 35-40 minutes from Charlottetown. Montague is 20-25 minutes form Charlottetown. Off Broadway is consistent.42nd St. Lounge is above off Broadway, serving cocktails and desserts etc, nice room. I love the food at Lot 30 in Charlottetown, it;s always fresh and innovative.
We always go to Water Prince Corner shop for our lobster. Shane (the owner) is amazing! But we have a cottage and take it out to eat.
The Dunes, in Brackley (15 minutes form CH'town) is not only a wonderful art gallery, gift shop and pottery studio, but it had amazing gardens, a view which can't be beaten and a great restaurant/cafe. I'd recommend the trip for that....
I have no idea how the prices compare. I don't like the "lobster supper" format, so we don't go.
And the 'all you can' format isn't for the lobster , fyi....(Maybe you knew that, but I'd hate for you to be disappointed)
My philosophy is "why leave a good time to find a good time" and we love Water Prince, so we keep going back.
For the best 'value-for-money' drive to scenic Montague and 2 minutes north of the Montague Bridge, just past the cemetary, is Gillis' Drive-in. Set your flashers and get car sevice or (my preference). go inside and sit in a booth surrounded by 'Diner' atmosphere -- pink grey & blue naugahyde -- (Tom Waits are you reading this?)and order a chicken club sandwich ($7.50), or fish & chips (maybe a dollar more). Very good food, simple & fresh. A nostalgic bargain--DVR
I was on PEI two weeks ago...
In Charlottetown -
Try Fisbones on Victoria Row. Great seafood chowder. Fun drinks (served in fish bowls). Sit outside - good people watching.
We went to the Culinary Institute. Good food. Fairly pricing. Service was not steller. Even though the servers are in training, I thought they should have been more professional and knowledgeable about the food.
Gahan's food for thier Brown Bag fish & chips and handcrafted ale.
The Farmer's Market (Wednesday & Saturday) just outside Charlottetown - had some great food as well. Inexpensive and some good ethnic fare.
If you are in Darley - try Hurricanez By the Bay. Very good food - great value and the staff are excellent. Seafood chowder is a must!!
HoPe you enjoy our trip!
Thanks so much - all of you - for these great suggestions. My note book is overflowing. I promise to post when we get back but I won't be home until mid-October. However, if something really terrific food-wise comes our way I'll find an internet cafe and let everyone know. I love Chowhounds. Maybe we should have a t-shirt or at least a bumper sticker??
If you want to stay away from the tourist places. I suggest Corra's on Queen street for Breakfast' Out of Africa on University Avenue for a unique dining experience
RED ALERT - Jim Leff who is in the area.
re: Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
I have spent 20 years tracking down great authentic Thai and Szechuan restaurants from Manhattan and Boston to Vancouver and Seattle and back. One of the best kept secrets and sensational finds was right here in Atlantic Canada. It hides away in sleepy Charlottetown, PEI. The tiny, no frills restaurant is called Thai Food and it has recently moved and is now within a few doors of the intersection of Prince & King Streets - the sign is in the window. The phone is 902-367-9094. The cook Liu (pronounced Leo)was born in Bangkok and trained as a Szechuan chef, his wife Sai also cooks. The menu is small - roughly half Thai and half Szechuan. The food is the best in Atlantic Canada hands down. The prices are very reasonable and highly recommended from the Szechuan menu is the Ma Po Tofu and Twice Cooked Beef, everything else is spectacular. They close at 9pm.
Hopefully Liu will open a restaurant in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Any recommendations of great Malaysian restaurants in Toronto or Vancouver - up to the standards of Nonya in NYC and Penang Penang in Boston?
We were so hopeful after reading the above recommendation, headed out to find the restaurant. Instincts should have kicked in when a restaurant worker was sitting alone reading a newspaper at one of the tables on a Saturday evening, he seemed shocked when we appeared at the door. Went in despite initial reservations and ordered off a very limited Thai menu. Tap water with no ice was served to us. No alcohol. Then the food came, which was pretty much inedible. I love Thai food so much I'll even tolerate it at food courts in the mall. But this food was really bad. Now everyone in my family is mad at me and won't let me pick the restaurant the rest of this vacation. Why in the world would someone say that it was delicious. Please don't wreck your evening by going here. Oh yeah, if you go, take cash. They don't accept credit cards.
In my defence, if you look, that post was almost 4 years ago. I haven't been there in quite a while. I am sorry that your family is holding you responsible! ;-) I swear it was excellent when we had it!
If you like seafood, go to the Water Price Corner shop and have them do up food to go, and have a picnic by the water....It will redeem you in the eyes of your family, I swear! (Amazing lobsters, homemade potato salad, homecut fires, halibut fish and chips...)
troutpoint is absolutely right - it WAS excellent - nay sensational - once upon a time. I went back to Thai Food last month after a long hiatus. It seems to have gone into a tailspin which may well prove not to be death-defying. Worst Pad Thai I have ever witnessed - bare rice noodles tossed in chili garlic sauce not even with egg - no basil or coriander. A great loss as this was the brighterst star in culinary PEI. It's bad enough when a great restaurant closes but for me far worse when a great one becomes a bad one. Something serious has happened there.
Now where in Charlottetown? Argh!
I will check this THAI FOOD place out next Monday, when I'm there on business...cannot wait!
Also: I highly reccomend "Piece of Cake" (Charlottetown) and the "Inn at St. Peters" (St. Peters) - that one is $$$$$ though...
Just back from the island. Had dinner at Claddagh OysterBar. It used to be a "fine dining" seafood restaurant. It has recently done a renovation and it seems that they are looking to be more "hip". None the less, the food was good. Of the three of us having dinner, 2had oysters tostart. Colville Bay and Raspberry point oysters to be exact. Super fresh and well presented. I had the lamb rack with a cranberry mint relish for my main. Cooked medium rare. (and it came med-rare!) The others had the sole special, sole with a leek, lobster and bacon cream sauce. It was well presented, but the flavor just wasn't there.
The wine and cocktail list seemed varied and well priced.
Liam Dolan (the owner) came over and let us know that it was the first night for the menu, and that it changes reglarly. I would recommend trying it. Especially if you like oysters.
More good Charlottetown restaurants:
Hunter's Ale House
- Huge portions. Best ribs on the Island. Very good steaks and chowder. All reasonable priced.
- Good pub style fare. Very good Indian food.
- Nice atmosphere and the food is very good, although it is usually under seasoned.
- Good light menu. Great place for lunch.
The Royal Tandoor
- As you would expect, an Indian restaurant. Good food and a very reasonably priced buffet.
Recommended restaurants already mentioned:
Just got back from Charlottetown-the Pilot House again did not dissapoint. (Ordered the Salmon with Lobster sauce...yum).
A new find: BROTHERS TWO, between Summerside and Charlottown just off the beaten path of the TCH Route 2. DELICIOUS!
I know of a Brothers Two in Summerside but not between Charlottetown and Summerside.
They have good pub style food. Big menu with most things done well but nothing outstanding.
I usually go there to eat if I'm in Summerside.
I'm sorry if it seems I never posted after our trip. I think I posted my report under Nova Scotia. We loved Off Broadway but were disappointed in Water Prince. We had such a great time in Nova Scotia that we didn't spend much time in PEI. Really only saw Charlottetown and the roads to and from the bridge and ferry.
I think trying to drive around Cape Breton Island, see the Annapolis Royal region, visit Mahone Bay area and then include PEI is too much for a week. But we were very appreciative of all the help from this board and had a wonderful trip. We would go back to Cape Breton in a heart beat if it wasn't at the other end of the continent from us.
I'd recommend Off Broadway as well, and after that you can wander across the way to the historic brew pub, for something hoppier.
Just returned from 2 weeks on the island. Here are a few of the places we ate that we would return to.
1. Brits Pub in Charlottetown. Great fish and chips. Generous portions. Friendly staff. They were able to seat all 10 of us without trouble when most of the other restaurants we tried were not.
2. Lin's Take Out in Greenwich. (North Eastern part of the island) What a great find. It is open until 10pm, which in the part of the island is amazing. A variety of things on the menu. The lobster burger was overflowing with chunks of fresh lobster.
3. Shipwreck Point Cafe in Naufrage. Very friendly and accommodating staff.
4. Pt. Prim Cafe in Pt. Prim. A great place for lunch after visiting the Pt. Prim lighthouse. Friendly staff and good food. Try the dessert made from Irish Moss.