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Need Suggestions for NS Dining.

I have read other suggestions for dining in NS. Some seem to be a few years old. I would like to know where to eat while we are visiting at the end of July. We will be making the loop and traveling through Halifax, Yarmouth, Digby, Pictou, Cape Benton & places in between. I would like to know of any lunch stops - good local spots, seafood especially. Then also the best dining for a nice night out. We know we will be filling ourselves with as much lobsters and scallops we can find! Thanks for all of your help.

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  1. In Yarmouth, try Rudder's, on the waterfront. Outstanding food, nice atmosphere, and they brew their own beer. They also offer the creamed lobster dish being discussed elsewhere on the board. Just a very good place.

    1. Near Pictou, there's Sugar Moon Farm: http://www.sugarmoon.ca/farm.php?cont...
      It's a sugarbush that has great maple breakfasts, but also "chef's nights".

      If you make it up to the Pugwash area, I love Jubilee Cottage a B&B with a small, family-run BYOB restaurant. They feature themed prix fixe nights that are halfway between a dinner party and a restaurant experience, kind of "ambitious amateur", although that sounds too dismissive. The fusion-style menus reflect the ethnic and geographic history of the family: Asia by way of the Carribean, Australia and Atlantic Canada. You need to reserve so that they know how many people to cook for.

      A similar spot in Cape Breton is Chanterelle Cottages, near St. Ann's. A lovely, intimate restaurant in an incredibly beautiful setting. They emphasize local and organic ingredients. The cottages are great, too.

      The Hall's Harbour lobster pound, near Wolfville/Kentville's a good spot. You'll enjoy a pretty run-of-the mill lobster dinner, but the setting is gorgeous and unique, with a lovely nature trail or waterside walk for getting up an appetite before your meal (or for walking it off!) just steps away.

      Sugar Moon Farm
      Alex MacDonald Rd, Colchester, Subd. B, NS B0K, CA

      Jubilee Cottage Inn
      13769 HWY 6, Cumberland, Subd. D, NS B0K, CA

      1. If you are stopping Halifax and want seafood, I would highly suggest the Press Gang for their oyster bar. And if you make it a Friday after 7 or so you will get a little piano music with your dinner. Love that place!

        1. There is a fantastic restaurant called Chives in downtown Halifax. When I was there last year it was FANTASTIC, and I couldn't recommend it more.

          There is also a small restaurant called Morris East near Dalhousie U that serves gourmet pizza, which was delicious. Finally, for a brunch, check out Jane's on the Common which had inexpensive, fresh, inspired cooking.

          Don't miss the farmers market, held on Sundays I think. Was a blast.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Gregoso

            Oh, and if you like greek food there is It's All Greek to Me, which was simple and delicious. Every time I have gone though the place was packed and service a little spotty. Fantastic food though.

            1. re: Gregoso

              The farmer's market runs from 7am to 1 pm on SATURDAYS at the Keith Brewery on Lower Water st.

            2. Should you travels find you in Wolfville, The Tempest is a must. Another cute and quirky little restaurant in Grosses Coques( ST Mary's Bay) is Chez Christophes. I had memorable fish cakes there recently with what I swear must have been Green Tomato Chow made my my Grand Mother. Comfort food, indeed.

              1 Reply
              1. re: lovetocookPEI

                The Tempest is really good. Their special of linguine with fresh little neck clams was fabulous (especially since I love that particular dish). Lobster Pound is the only restaurant in Hall's Harbour, which is worth visiting. Too bad I only had 1 beer in 3 hours while watching the tide roll in (they can only serve booze with food).

              2. I would like to thank all of the chow hounds for their suggestions. We had a great time and traveled 1500 miles around Nova Scotia. We completed a figure 8 of the island and ate some wonderful food. Here are my suggestions and comments regarding our stay:

                Halls Harbour Lobster Pound - food so good we had to come back again the last day of our trip to have seconds. We had wonderfully cooked fresh lobster - love that you can pick your own and carry it to be cooked. We ate 8 pounds of lobster in the two trips! The entertainment value of the tide is a great thing to witness!

                Digby: Fundy Restaurant - It was alright, not the best meal but the view was neat to see all of the scallop boats in the harbour.

                Halifax: We stayed at the Marriott Harbourfront - great place if you are looking for convience. We ate at Salty's Restaurant on the patio. Food was alright as well, another great view and easy access since it was right next door. Best thing was COWS ice cream, it is worth the wait. The line never went away, I guess that's why they are open from 10am - 12pm. Extra creamy, full of fat, ice cream!!!

                Pictou: We took the suggestion of a Chowhound and ate at Murphy's Fish and Chips. Great fish, lightly battered (like tempura) crispy on the outside and large moist fish inside.

                Musquodoboit Harbour: Another suggestion from a Chowhound - Harbour Fish and Fries, a little red house on the side of Hwy 7 across from a little train museum. GREAT LOBSTER ROLL. It was served in a bun like a hot dog roll - little bread and lots of lobster, with the addition of a little piece of lettuce for crunch. Again, so good we came back to seconds. Fish and chips were good, more like a funnel cake batter - crunch on outside but a bit thick.

                Cheticamp: 15559 Main St. Hometown Kitchen Restaurant. We stopped for lunch and we had the best BIG mussels on our trip. And they served it with garlic butter, in my opinion better than just plain butter. And the price was great at $6.95, should have ordered 2.

                Ingonish Beach: Stayed at the Keltic Lodge. Beautiful place, just a warning - no A/C in the main lodge. The casual restaurant was ok for dinner, nothing to write about.

                North Shore: We stopped for a mid morning snack at the Clucking Hen Restaurant on the side of the Cabot Trail Road. Red house again with a screened in porch. They had a little bakery counter where we got a "Dumpling" it was like a cinnamon roll but instead of cinnamon it was strawberry rubarb filling and an extremely soft roll of bread. Very good!!!

                Baddeck: We stayed at the Invernary Inn - Great place on the water. We ate that night at the Baddeck Lobster Suppers. For $30 per person you get all you can eat mussels, chowder, salad and dessert as well as a 1lb. lobster.

                So thanks again to all the Chowhounders for their suggestions and I hope this will help the next foodie as they travel through Nova Scotia.

                12 Replies
                1. re: lscharr

                  Great review. It's a big help for us as we making the drive around NS in September. With 2 nites in Cheticamp, I'm really looking forward the the Hometown Kitchen. Also, I had taken Hall's Harbour Lobster Pound off my list as I couldn't find any reviews of it. Now it's back on the list. We had planned to eat at the Fundy Restaurant in Digby as we've been watching the harbour from their webcam. Maybe now just a snack instead of a full meal. Will watch for the Clucking Hen on the Cabot Trail.
                  Thanks for your review.

                  1. re: lscharr

                    Thanks for the heads up. We're heading for Keltic day after tomorrow. If you're still in Halifax, Jane's on the common is my fave there.

                    1. re: lscharr

                      Thanks so much for the reviews! I'll be doing a similar route in a couple of weeks so looking forward to trying some of these places. Sorry that the Fundy Restaurant was a disappointment. The Fisher's Galley just a few buildings away has a wonderful selection of seafood and local favorites, also has a beautiful view of Digby Harbour from both the dining room and the outside patio and the food is tasty and priced right.

                      1. re: lscharr

                        Ack I was too late on the Keltic Lodge, my partner had already booked dinner at the Purple Thistle as part of the package. Friends had raved about how great the food was there last summer. It was a big let down. Overpriced, average at best food. Overcooked and over salted were pretty consistant themes with everything we had. However the the pub food they served in the lounge area looked excellent and a couple mentioned that it was very good and much better than what's served in the main dining room. The lodge very beautiful and the beach post card perfect but stick to the pub grub.

                        1. re: lscharr

                          Just got back ourselves and like you, did a second run to Hall's Harbour Lobster Pound before leaving the Annapolis Valley. You just cannot beat super fresh Bay of Fundy lobster and the prices were extremely reasonable!

                          We kept a bide birth from the Fundy Restaurant in Digby and instead, headed down Digby Neck to Brier Island for a whale watching trip. Before crossing the ferry over to Westport, we ate at a quaint little dockside restaurant called Lavena's Catch! The food was incredible! The chowder, the seafood and all of the other homestyle selections were tasty and made with a lot of care! Service was like eating at a good friend's home!

                          Not considered fine dining, but on our way to Sydney we had to stop at the famous Lick-A-Chick and we were not disappointed! Yummy fried chicken (far better than the popular fast food chicken places) in a very fun atmosphere.

                          Finally, our "finer dining" in Halifax found us at the Bear Restaurant which was absolutely devine! I would highly recommend this place to everyone for its atmosphere, service and amazing food and presentation. Chef Ray Bear is a world class chef.

                          Hope other people travelling to N.S. will give us their accounts on their foodie experiences.

                          1. re: Aislyn

                            We made it by the Lick A Chick restaurant as well, couldn't go by without trying it out. The name was what caught our eye along with the Lick A Treat Ice Cream Shop across the street.

                            1. re: lscharr

                              I have to admit, we walked across to take a look at the Lick A Treat ice cream selections but were so stuffed that we had to pass on it.

                            2. re: Aislyn

                              You are smart to give The Fundy Restaurant a wide berth. Next time you're in Digby, the Boardwalk Cafe is the only restaurant to go to IMO. Lavena's Catch is also good if you're out on Digby Neck. If you go to the French shore, try http://www.chezchristophe.ca/
                              try to book the Thursday night in the summer, they have a local fiddler with backup band, you have to book early though. The food is simple but done well. Their chowder is very tasty. Not cream based, loaded with seafood, almost more of a bouillabaisse. Try to save room for the amazing dessert. No liquor license but you can bring your own and there's no corking fee.

                              1. re: CHEFonDRZSM

                                I will definately check out Chez Christophe the next time we are in N.S. The food sound great and I would love to hear the Acadien music. I had wanted to get to the French Shore in August but time ran out. One of my favorite places down that way is the Roadside Grill with the tastiest rappie pie you can ever imagine. I'm not sure if it is still there (if I remember correctly it was in Beliveau's Cove or St. Bernard). It was just a small and simple little restaurant that served delicious Acadien dishes.

                                I love that whole stretch - from Weymouth to Yarmouth. Lots of great people and good food!!

                                1. re: Aislyn

                                  Yes, come to The French Shore!

                                  Roadside Grill has been there for 50+ years, and I suspect it will survive another 50. They have *the* best rappie pie in the are (this is coming from an Acadian). Ask for a corner piece to ensure that you have a good deal of the delicious crust to crunch on.

                                  Another great take is the Dennis Point Cafe in West Pubnico ( in the Argyle Acadian area on he other side of Yarmouth). Their lobster poutine is a treat beyond compare!

                                  Avoid the CapeView in Mavillette. Best beach and postcard views, but lousiest food.

                                  For a higher end treat, try Chez Bruno is Yarmouth. Always a quality meal...

                                2. re: CHEFonDRZSM

                                  Speaking of Lavena's Catch, did you happen to catch Chef Lynn Crawford's new show on Food Network (Pitchin In)? In the first episode, she was lobster fishing with the guys in Freeport and cooking with Lavena in her resturant. She also cooked some lobster dishes for the whole gang in Westport at the Brier Island Lodge. It was a pleasant shock for me because I had either grown up with or had gone to school with all the people that she had on the show!

                                  When Lynn tasted Lavena's lobster chowder she was almost speechless it was so good, I have to admit, it did look amazing.

                                  So nice to see the local restaurants and the people who work so hard to supply them (fishermen) given some recognition. I can't wait to get home next summer to tease them about their television debut (and to have a big bowl of that chowder)!!!!

                                  1. re: Aislyn

                                    This is just to make you all green with envy: I live on the South Shore in NS (about half-way betwixt Halifax and Yarmouth). In a few minutes I am going to phone 'the lobster line'...this is run by a co-op of local lobstermen and women who indicate on the phone message exactly where they will be selling tomorrow morning and at what price.

                                    Tomorrow morning, we will head out and pay $5.50 (CDN) per lb for lobsters hauled in about 4 hours previously.

                                    Tomorrow night, lobster boil...Sunday lunch: lobster roll....Sunday supper: lobster bisque.

                                    This is a wonderful place to live, but it is also great to visit if this makes you intrigued.

                            3. One of the best restaurants in Cape Breton is also one of the best I've ever had the pleasure to work.. The Bras d'Or Lakes Inn, in St. Peter's is owned by Rhoda and Chef Jean Pierre Gillet. Wonderful food in a cedar lodge on the Lake adjacent to the St. Peter's Canal.