Cape Breton: What to eat along or near the Cabot Trail?
Searching chowhound seems to come up with mostly dated posts. We'll be driving from Digby, NS to either Baddeck or Wreck Cove (haven't decided where we're staying yet) and spending a few days driving around the island, mostly along the Cabot trail.
Any recs? We'll be there the second week in September (8-12).
Hope this finds you in time:
We just came back from there last week. Had an excellent dinner at the Lakeside restaurant in Baddeck (located at the Inverary Inn). One of the best of the week. Also found that asking the locals where they ate was the best idea. Found the Seagull in Ingonish - very good chowder and fish and chips and best view in the area. Chowder House at Neils Harbour also an inexpensive local hangout with a great view. Loved their chowder.
Made the mistake of eating at Laurie's Motel in Cheticamp - don't know how anyone can screw up a boiled lobster, but they managed to - worst meal on the island.
Yvonnes in Cheticamp provided a very good homecooked lunch. The locals there recommended the Harbourside, but we were only there long enough for one unfortunate dinner.
There is a resort at the Dundee Golf course where we also had a very good dinner and attended a great kitchen party afterwards. If you go, try the Parton Bree soup. It is amazing.
Stayed two nights a the Normaway Inn. Food was god, but a little disappointing based on the reputation of the place. But lots of it was fresh from their garden.
Also had a great dinner in Halifax on the last night at the Press Room. So inexpensive compared to Toronto fine dining. $128 for two with wine!!
Best rule of thumb I learned - ask the locals where to eat and take their advice.
Do not even think of finding something decent in Baddeck....it's a wasteland when it comes to decent food. (However, don't miss the wonderful Alexander Graham Bell Museum...it's clearly the highlight of Baddeck!) The hotels in Baddeck all serve banquet food prepared for the hordes of tour buses which arrive each day...and the local places...Yellow Cello, Bell Buoy, Wong's, Water's Edge, etc. are barely mediocre. Cheticamp may well be your best bet...or for something more upscale, the main dining room at the Celtic Lodge "looks very nice" but it's pricey, and I haven't a clue as to whether it's worth it.
Hometown Kitchen Restaurant, 15559 Main St in Cheticamp. I went there for breakfast but the gals were kind enough to cook me a plate of mussels which were delicious. Also, there's Hideway Campground in Dingwall. 401 Shore Rd. They have an oyster farm aka Aspy Bay Oysters. No joke, these are probably the best oysters on the half I've ever had. Hideaway is also a camping ground and gives kayak lessons in some very beautiful scenery.
Two others you might want to try if you're around Peggy's Cove is the restaurant in Peggy's Cove (there's only one), a tourist trap of sorts but delicious seafood, and Shaw's Landing about 5 minutes north of Peggy's Cove. They make some very, very tasty home smoked fish. Have fun.