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NEWFOUNDLAND - suggestions?

A colleague and I are heading to NL next week and are looking for good places to eat, while on the road...We are all over the map...driving the entire NHS in NL...we'll be in Cornerbrook and Deer Lake and of course St. John's.
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

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  1. The information below is a slightly edited version of a document complied for a recent conference. Hope they are useful!
    For a few comments from off the Avalon peninsula, see
    I understand that most of the observations still apply.

    Where to eat in St. John’s

    Auntie Crae’s 272 Water Street Auntie Crae’s is an excellent bakery/deli/specialty foods shop within 2 minutes walk from the hotel. It does croissants, tea biscuits, cookies, bread, rolls, etc. The coffee’s ok too.

    Newfoundland cuisine
    Irving restaurant at Donovan’s ( well off the beaten track in an industrial suburb on the edge of town. This place is typical of the places you’ll find all along the highway across the island. It’s famous for its Sunday dinner – salt beef, boiled root vegetables and cabbage, lots of gravy. Portions are huge.

    Stage Head: Quidi Vidi http://www.stagehead.ca/index.htm
    For a completely different atmosphere; excellent menu and a visit to a quaint fishing village, this place will not be a disappointment. The best in town.
    Beachy Cove Café 11 Beachy Cove Rd, St. Philip’s -right down on the beach in St. Phillips
    The Captain’s Table: Mobile http://www.captainstable.ca If you want seafood, this is the place to go! Located down the Southern Shore in Mobile, a beautiful 35 minute drive from the city. One visitor enthused “This restaurant has the freshest fish and chips I’ve ever experienced! They serve a variety of seafood dishes as well as other fare for those who don’t care for seafood. If you have the time to make the trip, you won’t be disappointed.”

    Fish and Chips:
    Feelings run strong on this one – St. John’s people are very particular about their fish and chips! Some claim that Leo’s (27 Freshwater Road) is the best, with uncompromising standards about the quality of their fish. Ches’s (9 Freshwater Road) is a St. John’s icon. Big R (69 Harvey Road) has always been famous for the size of their portions. Johnny’s (11 Freshwater Road) also has its followers. And Larry Dohey, former v-p of ACA, states authoritatively “The best fish and chips can be found at The Duke!!” ( the Duke of Duckworth, a bar located at 325 Duckworth Street) (Don’t feel like fish? You can always go for the Newfoundland equivalent of poutine – chips, dressing and gravy!


    Pub-style food:
    Jungle Jim’s: George Street http://www.junglejims.ca A franchise-type setup – the food in this one is pretty good.
    The Ship Pub 265 Duckworth St. – down the steps at Solomon’s Lane) has a good menu. They serve lunch all week, and dinner on Fridays. One visitor commented: “Weekend brunches at the Ship are the best – massive, very tasty - not greasy like most pub places - with great salads, gigantic fishcakes”

    The Bagel Café: 246 Duckworth Street Any kind of bagel sandwich you can imagine! And they offer wonderful breakfast food all day. They food is good, the portions are very generous and the prices are very reasonable - what more could you ask for?
    Classic Café: 73 Duckworth Street East (Near Fairmont hotel) www.ClassicCafeEast.com
    Some traditional Newfoundland food; lots of fish dishes.
    The Casbah: 290 Duckworth (on the side going up the hill) http://www.thecasbah.ca/ Good food and good atmosphere

    India Gate Restaurant: Duckworth Street http://www.indiagate.250x.com/ Good Indian food. The daily buffet is very affordable at $8.95. The selections from their a la carte menu are quite nice and they also offer a good selection of vegetarian dishes.
    The Taj Mahal 203 Water Street Great Indian food at a reasonable price. Has a new chef from India.
    International Flavours (aka “The Curry Lady's”) 4 Quidi Vidi Road A not-so-well-kept secret in St. John’s. Great Pakistani food. Good prices, quick lunches. Table d'hôte menu - it's a low-end restaurant in the style of bigger cities and has only two choices - vegetarian or meat, with the dish consists of five or six different things.

    Steak houses
    The Keg: 135 Harbour Drive, Pier 17 (Waterfront West) http://www.kegsteakhouse.com/ Prime rib dinner is delicious. (Desserts are not superb.
    )Peter Belbin’s Steak House: 223 Duckworth Street Mouth watering steaks

    Magic Wok Restaurant: 402-404 Water Street Very good Chinese food.
    Mei Mea Wok Eatery, 12 Freshwater Road Their Crispy Fried Chicken and pork filled Special Dumplings can’t be beat!
    Hong Kong Restaurant (they serve 90% of the Chinese community, so that says something...)

    Basho: 283 Duckworth Street Japanese fusion at its finest... This is a restaurant for those seriously devoted to experiencing new and exciting taste sensations. Very authentic ( they have highly trained Japanese chefs on board). It’s expensive, but highly recommended. – and we hear that their lunches are also good and cost-effective.
    Sun Sushi on the corner of King's Road and Duckworth. Great food, good prices. Tempura and curries as well as sushi.

    Fine dining:
    Merlo’s Press and Bean, Murray Premises, Water Street http://www.pressandbean.com/ Good food and excellent service. Characterizes itself as “casual fine dining”.
    Bianca’s: 171 Water Street http://www.biancas.net/index.php?cid=1 One visitor raves: “This Mediterranean treasure is a delight for serious gastronomes. The owners and chefs share the same passion in developing their menu and creating each course – each is a visual and culinary work of art! The menu includes things like boar, caribou, duck, etc. They also have the best wine selection in the province. Expensive but worth every penny. If you wish to indulge in a gastronomic event, this is the place for you!”
    Blue on Water: http://www.blueonwater.com/ On Water Street west of Murray Premises (good food but can be a bit pricy) Fabulous tempura shrimps for an appetizer
    Djangos: 190 Duckworth Street http://www.djangos.nf.ca/ Excellent food! One visitor writes “It’s been a while since I’ve been there but I still remember the hazelnut encrusted pork tenderloin with a port reduction... it was done to perfection”
    Restaurant 21: 21 Queen’s Road One experienced St. John’s diner writes: “ My favorite chef in town!”
    Cabot Club Fairmont Hotel, 115 Cavendish Square A high-end dining experience.

    Quintana’s de la Plaza: 57 Rowan Street, Churchill Square Excellent Mexican and Canadian food. There’s a great bar upstairs – Arribas – perfect for a few post-dinner drinks with good friends.
    Zapatas 10 Bates Hill (I know that the food was good, but all I can remember is the margaritas...
    )Casa Grande 108 Duckworth Street Try their taco salad.
    Giovanni Cabot’s: 10 King’s Road www.odea.ca They aren’t afraid of garlic at Giovanni’s and they raise the bar when it comes to pizzas. Desserts there are superb. Their food is excellent and the prices are very reasonable.

    Mama Soula's 411 Torbay Road The best Greek restaurant in town. Mama S. has excellent calamari and oktopi.

    The Sprout 364 Duckworth Street The Sprout is the only true vegetarian restaurant in St. John’s. The most popular dish is the pad thai which is consistently tasty and filling - their other dishes are great too Lunches are pretty busy there as they are extremely popular for their food and friendly
    Spirits Pub and Thai Room - Duckworth at New Gower The best selection of beers in town!
    Taste of Thai 179 Duckworth Street New and unreviewed, but it’s there....

    For reviews done by a local CBC personality see : http://www.karlwells.com/reviews.htm One restaurant-goer writes “I think his site is excellent!” Another adds “I agree with him on many points.” The site also includes some reviews for restaurants in other parts of the island.

    For a listing of all restaurants in St. John’s see: http://www.stjohns.ca/visitors/planvi...

    3 Replies
    1. re: mwright

      thanks very much for the review. We will be in the rock in the feb and your post will come in handy.

      1. re: mwright

        I think both the Sprout and Casa Grande are closed down now. A new Greek had just opened up downtown during my recent visit , and I also have to say i was pleasantly surprised by the Greek place at the food court in the Avalon mall, given that it was take out.

        Fish and chip searchers need to ask if the fish is fresh or frozen, as this will make a LOAD of difference to the experience. All the above are good, but go for a view with By the Beach restaurant in St. Phillips....amazing, fresh fish and chips. The place that just replaced Calamari's out in Paradise is also really good.

        Auntie Crae's roasts their own beans (not at the downtown location) and makes their own coffee. Go there lunch time on Tuesdays and you'll also get Nfld/Irish music....if they're still doing that. Can't beat that while you eat your sandwich.

        1. re: im_nomad

          Casa Grande is gone, but the Sprout is still on the go.

      2. For Western Newfoundland, here are my personal best bets.

        Corner Brook and environs
        For a fancy night out or leisurely lunch on a good day: Strawberry Hill Resort. Try the lamb or beef , avoid desserts: you'd be better off with doughnuts at local Tim Hortons

        At Humber Valley resort-Scully's (the bar, not the fancy restaurant whch is over-priced)- really good fresh fish and chips, burgers and sophisticated takes on pub food, decent wine list because they share with overpriced dining room

        In the town of CB itself, Sorrento's, esp. the home-made pasta-sort of Eastern European takes on noodle dishes, really hearty pizzas (I have no idea where Lilliana finds fresh mozzarella in NL but she does!)

        Also in town, the Glyn Mill Inn Dining Room esp. good for real NL favourites, e.g.cod au gratin, desserts with bakeapples, partridge berries

        Outside town (toward the west), Lark Harbour-Captain Cooks' Gallery-it is perhaps the most beautiful setting for a restaurant EVER and has no consiousness of this factor at all-the fish is fresh and you may get scallops or crab fresh too, but go for the view...esp. at sunset-call first, they have funny opening and closing policies

        Have a great time and do post back...I think you are the first person ever I've been able to use my Corner Brook information for! (I lived there for a year-just left in June)

        1 Reply
        1. re: LJS

          LJ is the St. John's Cellar's sister restaurant still open in Cornerbrook? I can't for the life of me remember the name of it....but it's fine dining. On the same street as the Royal Bank. Also what is/was the name of the place there that used to be in the Co-Op building? I lived in CB a couple of years ago.

          I often ate at Sorrento's when it wasn't called Sorrento's and when it was in that little pokey pizza place, the old building, but with FANTASTIC food. Those "baked in the moment" pita bread things are to die for. I have had many many good things to eat there. On occasion though, the owner wouldn't leave you alone to your meal, and a couple of times tried to talk me into putting bacon or some sort of meat on something despite my stressing that i didn't eat meat and am a vegetarian. Jennifer's was another lunch favorite, used to love their salads. They had FINALLY opened an Irish Pub before i left, which didn't stay very irish, but still (i'm a east coaster and i missed my irish nfld roots terribly). I've also eaten at the Glynmill Inn and really enjoyed it as well.

        2. I second the Glyn Mill Inn in Cornerbrook. I was just there this past July and it was delicious. During my visit I also went to Jennifer's. Jennifer's is more cozy and casual then the Glyn Mill Inn and the food was just as good.

          1. Djangos @ 190 Duckworth Street is no longer... it is now " Get Stuffed Restaurant " owned by a local lass. She has moved back from Toronto with her husband to open their own place. The only thing better then their food is their hospitality!

            1. My favorite places in St. John's are: Press & Bean (Their Sandwiches, Wraps, Roasted Red Pepper Soup, Spinach Salad and Stir-fries are my favorite), The Sprout (Chickpea-walnut burger is delicious as is everything else I have ever had there) and Giovanni Cabot's (delicious pizza and dairy-free fudge cake) but there are A LOT of other great restaurants as well!!

              1. I was seeking info on St. John's NF and saw this thread.
                I'll be there in a few days and would like suggestion of where to make sure I dine while there.
                Any help is appreciated, TIA

                9 Replies
                1. re: iL Divo

                  I posted some suggestions here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/832799. And in the thread about Disney cruises below.

                  1. re: iL Divo

                    I live in St. John’s and we eat out a fair bit. I looked at the list cello posted and wanted to add/comment on a few.

                    Hava Java moved locations and since then I haven’t enjoyed their environment or food as much. Used to be a favorite.

                    Coffee Matters on Military Rd is my new favorite (they also have a location in Paradise). Great soup, sandwiches, coffee, and desserts.

                    Pi does have great pizza as does Piatto.

                    Shalimar and International Flavours are our favorites for curries and such. Much more than Taj Mahal.

                    Casbah – we were there recently for brunch and was disappointed. They were out of some menu items and served burnt toast.

                    Beachy Cove Cafe in Portugal Cove was awesome but last time went to go there is was closed and for sale.

                    Atlantica is supposed to be good, Raymonds has said to be a lot of “hype”

                    Gracie Joe’s is a nice little spot tucked away on Quidi Vidi Rd.

                    The Sprout is an amazing Vegetarian Restaurant

                    Mama Soula’s is a nice Greek restaurant with an amazing brunch.

                    The Pantry which is located in the Elaine Dobbin Centre is one of the best lunches – soup, sandwiches, salads. Open Mon-Fri. Home made desserts as well.

                    Rocket has yummy fishcakes and great sweets. Best cinnamon bun I have ever had.

                    If you have any questions just let me know!

                    1. re: pema_blue

                      pema, thanks for your help.
                      I'll only be there as we're passing through, so only 3 days.
                      by the looks of the main part of the city centre, it's gorgeous.
                      not sure if we'll have a vehicle or not, haven't discussed renting one or not.
                      hoping there is transportation locally in the main part of the city.

                      1. re: iL Divo

                        No problem. Where are you staying?
                        We have Metrobus which is okay for getting around (but not nearly as efficient as say Ottawa's transit system) or taxis are always available.

                        1. re: iL Divo

                          If you want to see Cabot Tower/Signal Hill (and believe me, you will want to see them as the views are spectacular), there's a double decker tour bus that goes up there.

                          1. re: iL Divo

                            Chinched Bistro is another spot that has amazing food. They have a unique menu and delicious desserts & drinks.
                            The have a website too http://www.chinchedbistro.com/
                            Actually you can google a lot of the places and find websites.

                          2. re: pema_blue

                            Both Atlantica and Raymond's are amazing. If i had to choose one, I would go with Raymonds, just because the location is easier to access. The view at Atlantica is awesome but you definitely need a car to get there (which means no wine with dinner). Both great choices for fine dining. Make a reservation well ahead of time if you plan to eat there.

                            Some other places that have a good rep but I haven't been:

                            Blue on Water & the Gypsy Tea Room (I only went there for dessert, which was just ok. I wanted bakeapple cheesecake but they only had partridgeberry on that day... boo hoo.)

                            I agree with Hava Java though I never found the service to be that good, even in their old location (I also used to live in St. John's ;)

                            1. re: cellophane_star

                              I'd just like to add that Atlantica has a car service that will pick you up in St. John's and drop you off after dinner for somewhere around $60 round trip. The cost, to me, is totally worth it - yes, it is THAT good. I prefer Atlantica to Raymond's but both are fabulous.

                              I can't understand why Blue on Water has such a good reputation. Times I've been there the food ranged from just OK to completely inedible (in the latter case, the server didn't even ask why I hadn't touched my meal before taking it away) and I find service awful. For the price there are many better options.

                              Chinched Bistro is my favorite place and I can't count how many times we've eaten there since they opened about 2 years ago. They seem to change the menu every time and the food and service are always fabulous. They serve small plates in the downstairs bar for a bit of a different experience.