Reasonable places to eat in St. John's NL
My sister and I are planning a trip to St. John's in September 2012. We are seniors and it's our first trip 'home' since 1950! We will be staying for a month and eating out a lot so we are looking for 'comfort food' or homey diner-type restaurants. Tasty food at a reasonable price in clean surroundings. We'll have a rental car so we're not limited to any one area. We know all the fish and chips places to try but we'll need to have something other than that. No Atlantica in our budget. We'll also be spending some time in Greenspond and Bay Roberts if anyone has suggestions for eateries on the way to those destinations from St. John's.
Hi there! I lived in St. John's for most of my life but moved to Calgary 7 years ago. Whenever I go back, I always make sure to check out the new local eateries. Here are some good spots to consider:
Yellowbelly Pub - microbrewery on site. Food was decent. George Street adjacent
Bacalao - Maybe be a bit out of price range but I really enjoyed the food.
Hava Java - Good place to grab a coffee downtown plus they have these awesome half chocolate dipped oat cookies.
Rocket Bakery - fairly new. I didn't find much that caught my eye. The location used to be Auntie Crae's, which was one of my favorites, so Rocket didn't impress me as much. However, they do have a good selection of grab & go lunches and baked goods.
Fat Nanny's - This is a great foodie store but make sure you get some bread, raisin tea buns or molasses loaf here! They're made by Auntie Crae's. They're the best.
Pi - fairly new thin crust pizza place. Good pizza, good price, lots of options for your pie
Bagel Cafe - good for breakfast & lunch. Nice selection, fairly priced, huge portions. The Sprout - vegetarian cafe. Nice setting. Decent food & prices. Very quiet.
Lighthouse Picnic in Ferryland - outside of St. John's. For $25, you get a drink, lunch and a dessert plus amazing views... LOTS of whales. Worth the trip on a nice day.
Moo Moos - getting ice cream from here is a MUST. Their soft serve is my all-time fave
Manna Bakery - A European deli & bakery with a great selection. Lunch menu available for eat in & take out.
Get Stuffed - I didn't eat here but it seems like a nice basic easy lunch place.
Taj Mahal - Great Indian food
Casbah - I haven't eaten here in years but it has a lot of fans!
Nautical Nellie's - traditional pub food. I heard their menu has improved recently.
The Cafe at The Rooms (museum) - decent food, including some traditional NL stuff (ie: pea soup)
Jumping Bean - great place for coffee. the best in St. John's, in my opinion!
Bidgood's - outside of St. John's in Kilbride. It's a grocery store but has a huge selection of local baked goods and specialty foods found only in NL (bottled rabbit and moose included!). It's a must see.
Can't seem to edit my reply...
I wanted to add Beachy Cove Cafe down in Portugal Cove, near where the Bell Island Ferry docks. They have lots of great Newfoundland specialties like cod tongues, pea soup. hot turkey sandwich, fish & chips, fish & brewis, etc. Very good food and very homey.
And if you go to Bell Island, make sure you stop at Dicks's. Excellent fish & chips!
Raymond's and Atlantica, for sure. St. John's doesn't have a lot of fine dining spots so these are the top options. 'knock your socks off' is a bit subjective... Where are you coming from (geographically speaking)
If I had to choose one, I'd recommend Raymond's because it's right downtown. Atlantica is a 15 minute drive from St. John's but the setting (overlooking the bay) is beautiful. Just make a reservation for either well in advance!
I haven't been to Blue on Water but heard good things.
You will not find your socks knocked off at Blue on Water (I've been there for brunch, dinner and lunch and was totally underwhelmed all 3 times - maybe just bad luck?) but Raymonds and Atlantica are both great. Atlantica has a car service which will pick you up and drop you off for around $60 round trip - the food and views are worth it in my opinion. Call them well in advance and ask to reserve a table by the window.
You're also close to Chinched Bistro and Aqua which would both fall into your "funky" category while being far superior (and probably less expensive) to Blue on Water. These are places where you can try some interesting twists on traditional food. I especially love Chinched Bistro - we've been fairly regular customers since they opened and are always impressed with the food and service.